Although Pandeism deals with an omnipotent and omniscient God, it still troubles me to think God would annihilate himself for no purpose. My latest conclusion was, God did have a purpose for his annihilation, which was curiosity. But how can an omniscient being be curious?

Pandeism info: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pandeism

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    Can you be more specific as to what you mean by pandeism? Reading briefly over the wikipedia, it's not entirely clear where/how one would make a judgment as to what pandeism requires, and without that it's nearly unanswerable as an SE question.
    – virmaior
    Jun 16, 2016 at 5:32
  • I found the definition of pandeism somewhat confusing. I also do not agree with the definition of pantheism which links to the pandeism article. I think if the pantheism definition was better there would be no pandeism. Asking for purpose, asking why, can only be done within the universe of time, space, and causation as why implies causation . To be omniscient and omnipotent is beyond, or for lack of a better word, outside, the universe. There is no why outside the relative universe. There is only 'isness'. Jun 16, 2016 at 9:10
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    You are assuming that you could evaluate His ways, which seems problematic to me. The Kaballah in some ways adressed this issue under the notion of zimzum and Spinoza (the philosophical pantheist) wrote about it in his Ethics, if you're interested in further readings on this topic.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Jun 18, 2016 at 19:16

5 Answers 5


I'm not an expert on Pandeism, but it seems that the concept is not that God is "annihilated," but that God transforms into the Universe (and that the Universe may someday transform back into God). The obvious motivation would be to bring into existence the dynamic experience of a living universe, as opposed to the inert stasis of absolute perfection.

For a mundane metaphor, you might ask why someone who is comfortable at home might undertake a difficult and potentially dangerous journey --for the experience.


In formulations of pantheism where God is a conscious, planning actor at the start of time, and surrenders himself to his creation, there can also be the notion of a 'Convergent Eschaton' wherein consciousness will coalesce over time and God will again be a conscious, planning actor at the end of time. (At which point time will have served its purpose and we won't have it anymore, or it will start over refreshed for another run.)

The purpose can be seen as playing out the Hegelian evolution to explore multiple viewpoints and challenge the limitations of being a single organized entity. In that model, he has not annihilated himself, he has parallelized his mind for a given purpose. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis on the necessity of incarnation "He will return to his glory paradoxically informed by the experience of lacking omniscience."

The references I have are beautiful but pop-culturish.

One notion of the Convergent Eschaton is captured in YouTube recordings of 'spiritual scientists' like Terrence McKenna trying to revive the Hermetic understanding or Alan Watts trying to expound a Western understanding of selected Hindu tropes, my favorite example is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgk_DB5eJc0.

The other is outright silly, the song "On the Silent Wings of Freedom" https://play.google.com/music/preview/Ttx4zgosrwos7hth2hjxmi5dhza?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics&u=0# which is from the period of 'Tormato' and 'Relayer' during which their music is a collection of hymns on an odd collection of religious concepts left out of the Western ambit.

(Surely an actual Hindu can do better on accessible references.)


As I understand it or think of it, God became the universe - so he, as the universe could experience limitation. When he ceases to be, he also sort of still exists, in the sense that we are his particulate matter. Just as when we die, we cease to be but our matter lives on in other organisms or ecosystems. He lives on through many forms in order to experience what it's like not to know. Even if he knows the outcome of his annihilation it doesn't matter because he would stop knowing that once he became the universe, and therefore the experience would be fresh as it ever was.

  • Would you have any reference to give the reader more background information on this position? It would also strengthen your answer. Welcome to the SE! Nov 1, 2018 at 13:30

My sense of this is that it is not curiosity but a calling. As Thomas Altizer puts it in his book, Godhead and the Nothing, a recalling.

(page 20)

it is of fundamental importance to realize that we are not simply called to sacrifice, but recalled to sacrifice. Only recall can be actual for us. This is a recall to that which has not simply occurred, but has ultimately occurred, an ultimacy actually present when we are recalled to primordial sacrifice. ...

(page 27)

Nietzsche and Hegel, above all other thinkers, could understand an absolutely self-negating act as an absolutely sacrificial act. Nietzsche could reverse Hegel’s understanding of self-consciousness by understanding it as an absolutely negative self-consciousness, but an ultimate and final negativity only revealed or made manifest by the final and irreversible death of God. This irreversible death of God is unknown to Hegel, who finally knows the death of God as the resurrection of God. Thus it is Nietzsche, and not Hegel, who most deeply knows the absolute sacrifice of God, and an absolute sacrifice of God unveiling the absolute negativity of the "I" of self-consciousness, for once the irreversible death of God has wiped away our whole horizon, and we are now straying as through an infinite nothing, an absolute groundlessness is our own, and is our own most deeply in our deepest center. Only now can we know our "I" as the "I" of ressentiment, of a pure No-saying, and that No-saying actualizes itself in an absolute and final self-negation, but a self-negation alone making possible an absolute act of Yes-saying.


It is important to remember here that Pandeism is a metatheory. It is not a set narrative like that of, for example, Christianity or Islam or Scientology, where a sequence of events is recited and purpose is explained for them. Instead Pandeism simply proposes the possibility of a Creator becoming the Creation in order (most likely) to experience existence as the Creation.

So, in such a scenario, did the Creator know what would come of its radical kenosis? It is not possible to know; it is only possible to consider the range of logical possibilities. It almost certainly must have intended for consciousness to evolve within this Universe, because it requires meticulous attention to physics to make it so that it gives rise to the series of increases in complexity needed to yield consciousness.

And as to the question of whether an omniscient being can be curious -- consider this, before our Universe existed, the Creator could have no experiential knowledge of things like fear of the unknown (and, conversely, of courage in facing it), of loneliness, of discovery of new things, of being surprised. It is literally only by existing through the lives of non-omniscient beings that it can possibly acquire such knowledge. Omniscience thusly presents a paradox, and so it can not be claimed that the Creator ever really is or was or could be omniscient, but only that it had knowledge sufficient to set forth a Universe which would solve this problem.

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