Abbot Christopher Jamison, a Benedictine Monk in the 2010 BBC documentary “The Big Silence”.
These last few weeks (October/ November 2010)there was a BBC documentary “The Big Silence” in which 5 individuals were invited to experience silence and its benefits in their lives by Benedictine Abbot Christopher Jamison. It turned out to be a spiritual adventure for all of them. Many experienced difficulties in bringing together their spiritual experiences with the lack and negation of religion in their lives.
During a conversation between one of the 5 participants and Abbot Christopher Jamsion, the participant talked about not believing in God, or his difficulty in believing and Christopher Jamison said those words that struck me between the eyes – “The God you don’t believe in doesn’t exist”.
Many people say that they don’t believe in God and for many years I said the same. I did not believe in God. I did not (and do not) believe in the God I was taught to believe in. And for many many years I looked from the outside into the world of those who found strength in their faith and envied them for the “safety net” in their lives and I suffered, for I felt very much alone and lonely in a seemingly desolate world.
However, the search for my own God kept on and has almost been a life long one. I have always felt my spiritual longing. So, I decided that if there is this longing, Nature wouldn’t put it there if there wasn’t an answer to it, something to still it. Which meant for me that God must be something wholly natural, much more “there” than a white bearded old man sitting on a throne in the sky, waiting to judge me and make me feel guilty for being human. God must be much more accessible, natural, something I can feel comfortable with.
That is where I am at this moment in time. For me now God is a boundless pool of light, love, creativity and non-judgemental goodness into which I and everybody else can tune and from which strength and spiritual nourishment can be drawn, to quench our spiritual thirst and to be the best of what we can be in order to be valuable inhabitants of the world we live in. And if we fall short than’s ok too. We just keep on doing the best we can.