On Sunday, April 3rd National Geographic are screening the first part of a six-part documentary series called ‘The Story of God.’
Narrated by Morgan Freeman, it follows the actor to the lengths of the Earth as he explores the major religions to better understand God’s origin and how that image has evolved over the years.
No stranger to getting up close and personal with the Big Guy himself (playing God in Bruce Almighty), Freeman promises to present a new perspective on the age old question of ‘Who is God?’ which will prompt questions about our own faith.
Freeman’s search for answers, which culminated in visiting twenty cities across five continents, certainly draws parallels with my own thirst for knowledge.
While I may not have his velvet-soft vocal prowess, what we share is a child-like curiosity about the world, continually seeking new experiences that will bring us closer to a central truth.
Readers of my blog or social feeds may already know a little about my own journey, but for newcomers, it’s worth an introduction.
I shed my corporate skin in 2011, having worked for a decade in healthcare and started a pilgrimage to find answers to questions that have plagued me for years. Who are we and why we are here?
Opening myself to spiritual practices, I was trying to better understand the techniques people used to get closer to their God or how they managed to tap into a Universal Energy/Life Force/Holy Spirit/Tao/Harmony. My one-man crusade for knowledge that first seeded in Miami, soon had me traveling to the wilderness of Alaska, via Denver.
New York soon came calling. There, I studied yoga with Dharma Mittra. Shortly after, I traveled to Europe with my first port of call being France to connect with my ancestral homeland.
Spain’s number was up. I walked the Camino de Santiago – the pilgrim route to the shrine of the apostle, St. James. Further adventures planted me in Switzerland to investigate the God particle at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. Despite the secrets of the Universe in Geneva, I moved to Greece and trekked among the Orthodox monasteries at Mount Athos.
The people in Tblisi, Georgia were kind enough to take me under their wing, where I quickly got lost in the orthodoxy and wine. Turkey came next and with it Rumi’s Mevlana Commemoration in Konya.
All roads pointed to home after that, with the small but pressing matter of my child’s birth.
After a few months of paternity leave, I packed my rucksack again and headed off. This time to Asia.
Northern India was my first destination where I volunteered at a cardio-renal clinic which tended to the needs of Tibetan exiles, including some of the Dalai Lama’s staff.
In the Himalayan foothills, I meditated.
In Kashmir, I saw one of Jesus’ tombs.
In Rishikesh, I studied at a yoga ashram.
In Lumbini, I meditated under the Bodhi tree at the birthplace of Buddha.
In Nepal, I trekked to Annapurna Base Camp.
In Varanasi, I drank tea to the sounds of exploding human skulls at the funeral pyres.
In Kolkata, I assisted Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity at the homes of the dying and destitute.
In the fascist Disneyland of Myanmar, I had heated debates with racist monks.
In Cambodia, I volunteered my services again to the greater good.
In Vietnam and Laos, I motorbiked through wonderful locations and met humble, compassionate people.
In Thailand, I meditated. Again.
In Tokyo, I had a chance to digest what I had seen and contemplated harmony before returning back to the good old U.S. of A. for a leisurely hike of the Grand Canyon with my mother for her 80th. Happy birthday Mom!
While I’ve learned a lot during my years abroad, and absorbed insightful lessons through interacting with fascinating people and their belief systems, my thirst for knowledge remains undiminished.
It will be with an eager eye that I watch ‘The Story of God’ this weekend, curious to see if Mr. Freeman has similar observations in this spiritual quest that we call life.
I’m excited to be able to share my own learnings in the not too distant future with the release of my book – Spiritually Promiscuous.
Stay tuned for more info about that.
Are you planning to watch ‘The Story of God?’ I would love to hear other’s thoughts on the show.
Let’s connect on the following streams: