Welcome to Omnism.com
IN THE BEGINNING… A GREAT IDEA
A couple of years ago someone suggested the term "omnist" to me for those who seek the core of spiritual truth that is at the heart of all spiritual paths and then collect from those paths the pieces that call to one's own heart. I thought it was a fabulous idea! In the past when people have asked me what my religion or spiritual path is, I’d resorted to either being non-committal or listing off all the various spiritual paths I’ve studied and found interesting or useful. Now I no longer have to do that as I have a simple word for my spiritual path - Omnism.
Some time after I came upon this term and started using I thought to search the web to see what there was out there about Omnism. There wasn’t much (click here to see it). So I thought about it for a while and discussed it with my husband and we decided to put together this website to explore and present what Omnism is about for us.
By its very nature Omnism is going to mean different things to different people. This website can - of course - only express our perspectives on the subject, based on our many years of spiritual and metaphysical exploration, and should by no means be considered any sort of definitive view.
It seems to be a fundamental need of human nature to be part of something greater than oneself, to seek to understand the meaning and mystery of what it means to be alive and to wonder what happens to our “essence” when our physical bodies die. Over the millennia many religions have arisen to serve this fundamental spiritual need. Historically there has been very little freedom to challenge the precepts of the religion one was raised in. In fact in general there was very little freedom in the sense we know today to challenge anything - the world was very hierarchical and individual’s roles and place in society fairly rigid. The growth of freedom and democracy and a belief in human rights (the rights of individuals), in addition to greater educational opportunities, has and continues to have a huge impact on religions and spiritual attitudes. Since the 1960’s more and more people have left the traditional religions they were raised in and started researching, exploring and experimenting with various forms of religion, spirituality and metaphysical philosophy. Many people are moving away from calling themselves religious (identifying with a particular institution or culture) and instead referring to themselves as spiritual (identifying with a universal aspect of human nature). We are in the midst of a spiritual renaissance, or to state it more boldly, a spiritual revolution!
People today are more educated and educated people think and ask questions. They tend to be distrustful of so-called spiritual authorities who have no reasonable explanations for their belief systems and dogmas, who care more about following rules than seeking to understand the mysteries of the human spirit. There are many resources in society today (the internet, books to read, groups to participate in) for studying various spiritual and religious philosophies. Every conceivable spiritual idea that humankind has ever pondered is available to be discussed, analyzed and tried on for size. In addition, being raised in a Democracy with all the values that are part of that ideal makes it difficult to accept religions that are essentially totalitarian/authoritarian and inflexible in their dogma and politics. Omnism is an outgrowth of these factors and I believe provides a much needed more reasonable alternative to the traditional approach of religion as we start off the 3rd millennium.
WHAT IS OMNISM? ARE YOU AN OMNIST?
An Omnist is someone who seeks and is open to spiritual truths from many religions and then comes up with their own individual form of faith or spirituality. Omnists realize that although all religions have some powerful spiritual truths and great wisdom in them which can be very inspirational and moving, they also contain a lot of human opinion, social politics, and outdated viewpoints (beliefs and rules that made sense at one point in history but don’t apply as well in today’s world). Omnists explore spirituality and religion in a modern context using reason and their intelligence as well as their intuition and insights gained from personal mystical/spiritual experiences. The key is what has meaning and relevance to each individual in their seeking. You could say that for Omnists the focus is spirituality more than religion and the general approach is exploratory and open minded rather than dogmatic and rule-based. Omnists tend to be freethinking, non-dogmatic, non-hierarchical, syncretistic and science-friendly. Omnists respect the rights of each individual to have their own spiritual/religious views as long as those views do not espouse harming or being intolerant of those who disagree with them.
Omnism differs from agnosticism in that it implies a more active personal spiritual exploration rather than a detached belief that there is probably some sort of higher power or consciousness. Also, there is no reason that Omnism needs to be an “exclusive” sort of label. Many people feel strongly about their own religion, using it as their spiritual center, and yet are open to, and actively study, the spiritual ideas and wisdom of other traditions. One could easily be a Christian Omnist, a Buddhist Omnist, a Neo-Pagan Omnist, etc.
Obviously some sort of sensible constraints or guidelines are necessary as one explores various spiritual paths. Here are some that seem to be practical and common to the many types of spiritual seekers I’ve known over the years. First of all there are the basic common moral values of not killing, not stealing and not lying (valuing life, property, truth). In addition I would add the following commonly held spiritual values and goals: living the Golden Rule (most religions have some form of this); reverence/respect for the world of Nature; tolerance; personal growth/evolution; the pursuit and development of one’s faculties of love, compassion, truth, and wisdom; serving the greater good of society; seeking consciousness and connection with one’s “soul”; seeking a positive and life-enhancing relationship with “god” (some force which is greater than themselves).
OMNIST PERPSECTIVE ON “GOD”
What is the Omnist approach to the concept of God? Since an Omnist comes up with their own view, concepts of, and relationship with God based on their own explorations, intuition, and personal preferences, there is no one definition. The term God is very loaded for many and so may not even be used. Omnists may or may not personify God as a male or female deity or deities or higher power, and may or may not believe in any gods at all. Instead one may refer to: The Divine, The Source of All Being, A Higher Power, The First Cause, The Universe or Multiverse, or simply as a state of cosmic consciousness or enlightenment. Scientists today sometimes speak of “intelligent design” which implies some sort of cosmic intelligence at work in the universe but doesn’t deify it. Basically Omnists are exploring and trying to discover for themselves what the nature of the Divine (or realm of Divine Ideals) is and what that means to them.
This website is under construction. This first draft version has been online since 2003, and a MAJOR UPDATE will be launched in early 2012. We plan on having an Omnist Community section where we post essays from other Omnists on their thoughts and experiences. If you have any positive and constructive thoughts or ideas you’d like to share about the concept of Omnism, things you’d like to see on this website, or relevant links please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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This website last updated: January 1, 2012. Please send comments or problem reports to email@example.com