• Welcome to all New Sikh Philosophy Network Forums!
    Explore Sikh Sikhi Sikhism...
    Sign up Log in

True Nature: Pantheism Or Panentheist?


Dec 18, 2017
What is the Sikh view on human True Nature?

Zen Buddhism says ultimately there is no self and our True Nature is emptiness, not void but empty of description. It's pure Being. So I'm borrowing this term of True Nature from Zen. Who are we really or ultimately?

Mystics of Abrahamic faiths tend to say the human self is fundamentally separate from God but our mystical goal is union with God. We experience loss or denial of our current flawed personhood that is replaced by purified version of ourselves as a servant and child of God.

For example Baha'i texts describe the final station of the spiritual journey to be the valley of unity with the Divine. There the human soul is enraptured by God and considers nothing but Him.

Some strains of Hinduism say all reality is ultimately Divine. I really need to study this again. But I think the mystical journey becomes liberation of delusion that divides us and causes attachment to the world to realise one’s true self (Atman) as part of or an expression of the Divine cosmic whole (Pantheism). Right?

So if Sikhism is Pantheist or panentheist what evidence do we have this is true? Being not mystically enraptured it's hard to know and impossible to describe. Does it even functionally matter if the goal is union with God versus being God?

This is just one of many things that keep me up at night :)

Thanks, -MM

Harry Haller

Panga Master
Jan 31, 2011
the problem is there are too many different opinions on the matter, some believe in reincarnation, some in karma, some in a lifetime with God in heaven eating rice pudding, and some believe that we are already in union.

However, a question I would like to ask, is there anything you would give up your 'life' for? by that I mean, literally, your life, your wife, ,kids, friends, job, the lot. Is there are any concept you would give it all up for or are you looking to live alongside such? Are you looking for something that enriches your 'life' or are you looking for the 'way'? to reject your life and find the supreme? or are they both compatible? Sikhism would seem to think so, but to what degree, I am not sure.


Dec 18, 2017
However, a question I would like to ask, is there anything you would give up your 'life' for?

You point out the worst thing about philosophy. It quickly becomes Plato says this and Soinoza this and the Hindus say this and the Christains say this. It's maddening. It's all opinions and there is no certainity.

Your question is a good way to think about it. When most people say they would sacrifice their life for something it seems to be really saying they would sacrifice one part of their life for another part of their life. I would die to save my kids. But those are an extension of my life aren't they? People die for their nation yet isn't that also an aspect of selfhood?

Not that sacrificing one's self bravely for ones family or culture group is bad. It's a reflection of true self denial. You are hinting at the truth that mystics know. Our rest and treasure is found in God alone. We don't appreciate this at first. It's like how no one would give all their savings to someone they don't know but would gladly spend their wealth on their loved ones. Once we begin to sample the pure wine and behold our Beloved (to use Sufi imagery) we desire Him more and more, until our very being is on fire for love of God. Then we would gladly give up everything, which is as worthless, for that which is priceless.
You also hint at the other side too. We shouldn't be hermit monks. Even we as become drawn into our Beloved's embrace we begin to see how everything, good and bad, are gifts from our Lord. We love our families thru God. We follow our careers as gifts back to Him.
For me, the question is answered by thus journey, which I have just begun the very first shaky steps. It's a journey total being consumed with love and being loved by my God. Even if there is some divine spark within me (there must be some inner light to guide my path) I am far from being able to say "this is me". "I" am not God, I am His lowly servant seeking the beauties of His love.

Thanks! Now I can let some other question keep me up at night!

"They alone understand, whom You inspire to understand" Ang 11
Last edited: