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K-State Today

Division of Communications and Marketing
Kansas State University
128 Dole Hall
1525 Mid-Campus Drive North
Manhattan, KS 66506

April 2, 2024

Interbelief Show-and-Tell presentation April 8

Submitted by David Yetter

Next Monday, April 8, at 12:30 p.m. in the Hemisphere Room, Hale 581, the Interbelief Show-and-Tell series presented by the President's Committee on Religious, Spiritual and Non-Religious Diversity will continue with a presentation by Joy Knutson, "Pantheism and Omnism: It’s only when I stopped being afraid to die that I finally understood what it means to be alive."

Presentation abstract: "Religious faith requires no proof and demands belief. But there is proof for spirituality in physics without requiring belief. Albert Einstein is considered by many to be the most famous Pantheist, although he did not consider himself to be a Pantheist. Einstein knew that everything is made of energy and that 'energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.' In his words, 'This is not philosophy. This is physics.' Although I may not understand the mechanics of physics, I understand the logic. By following this logic, since everything is energy and can only be transformed, we have all transformed repeatedly, and we will continue to transform repeatedly. Once I understood this, I understood that even though our physical body dies, our spirit, or the essence of who we really are — our soul — never dies. It merely transforms into another state of being.

Since I have come to understand that we’re made of energy and that we’ve transformed repeatedly, I’ve understood that we are all connected, from the person reading this to the family of beings living on the furthest side of the universe. I’ve also come to understand what the philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin meant when he said, 'We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.' By understanding all of this, I’ve come to know that things I was taught to believe were supernatural and evil are in reality natural, and they should be attended to seriously."

The President's Committee on Religious, Spiritual and Non-Religious Diversity welcomes volunteers from any religious, spiritual or non-religious tradition to make future Interbelief Show-and-Tell presentations. After a 30-to-50-minute presentation, the remainder of the hour is devoted to respectful questions and discussion.  If you are interested in presenting, please contact the chair, David Yetter at dyetter@k-state.edu.