John, Victor, Anita and All,
Re your "is nontheist simply the narrowly defined belief there are no god(s), but other supernatural events or "things" exist?"
Here's a view on what "nontheist Friends" might mean, - and potentially in the context of Hinduism et al:
Nontheist Quakers (also known as nontheist Friends or NtFs) are those who affiliate with, identify with, engage in, or affirm Quaker practices and processes, but who do not necessarily believe in a theistic God, a Supreme Being, the divine, the soul or the supernatural. Like traditional Friends, nontheist Friends are interested in realizing centered peace, simplicity, integrity, community, equality, love, joy, and social justice in the Society of Friends and beyond.
As wiki, it's open to editing - with an invitation to co-edit this as a conversation in these regards.
Friendly cheers, Scott
- Scott MacLeod - Founder & President
- World University and School
- CC World University and School - like CC Wikipedia with best STEM-centric CC OpenCourseWare - incorporated as a nonprofit university and school in California, and is a U.S. 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt educational organization.
Thanks, Bill, and John, and Nontheist Friends,
I searched on "www.nontheistfriends.org definition of NtF" in Google and found in a related vein ...
... to add to this unfolding conversation.
What do you think of these approaches, web site-wise?
I didn't look too closely to find the British NtF web site.
There are actually two NtF / (aQ?) wiki schools @ https://twitter.com/WorldUnivAndSch :
(And the older one -
but still accessible from Wikipedia here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheist_Quakers ).
John and NtFs,
Re your initial question of:
"What does nonthiesm mean in the context of Hinduism, which blends monotheism and polytheism in a complex way?"
I'm an appreciator of the vision of transcendentalism (which I'll call a "meme" here as "replicating cultural unit") which has roots in America in the early 1800s with Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Amos Bronson Alcott, Frederic Henry Hedge, and Theodore Parker et al (https://plato.stanford.edu/
"It was also strongly influenced by Hindu texts on philosophy of the mind and spirituality, especially the Upanishads." (https://en.wikipedia.org/
"Like the Quakers, Transcendentalists believed that every person possesses an Inner Light that can illuminate the highest truth and put a person in touch with God, whom they called the Oversoul." (https://www.apstudynotes.org/
us-history/topics/ transcendentalism-religion- and-utopian-movements/)
Non theism here plays a role for me highlighting a kind of "philosophy of mind" and vision of transcendence without regard to a concept of the divine. (There are aspects too of transcendentalism at Harbin Hot Springs - which is also my ethnographic field site, and about which I've written two books, one of poetry ... and particularly re a friend at Harbin - Heartsong - who was influenced by the transcendentalism emerging in the 1960s and 1970s in the US from Hindu cultures). I'm hoping in this kind of transcendentalist vein that we'll be able to visit the Harbin warm pool virtually in something like Google Street View ~ http://tinyurl.com/p62rpcg (in which you can "walk" down the Harbin road 4 "miles" and "amble" around Middletown, CA) ~ accessible from here too ~ https://twitter.com/HarbinBook ~ http://bit.ly/HarbinBook ~ while soaking in our bath tubs for, what I'll call, an inner releasing action akin to the relaxation response, about which I've written before a few times in our NtF list. Soaking in the Harbin warm pool for this inner release has many parallels for me with sitting in Quaker Silent Meeting ... in terms of a kind of meditation ... and here in an NtF milieu. So a kind of non theistic (Quaker) meditation meme would emerge newly here in a kind of conversation with Hinduism and transcendentalism for me and for f/Friends who explore sitting in Quaker Meeting online.
Friendly cheers, Scott