Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Extreme Pilgrim concludes

The BBC’s Extreme Pilgrim reaches its conclusion this week – or does it?

The series will end on Friday night, but will Peter Owen-Jones reach any conclusions or find any satisfactory answers on his quest to find a spiritual dimension to his faith? I hope he does – primarily so that we can all learn from his adventure. I’ve also warmed to him over the course of the first two instalments, and I hope that he finds some answers for himself.

Before the series does conclude I thought I’d share my thoughts so far – based on what we’ve been shown. First of all, as PO-J has relaxed and retreated from (Western) society, he has found more peace and seems more at ease. This seems to point toward a need to slow down and step back from the hurly-burly of every day life. This fits with some of my own developing thinking about establishing Sabbath practices as an integral part of our lives.

Secondly, PO-J’s progress has also been linked to his involvement in small communities - in the mountain-top Buddhist monastery and in the Indian village in the foothills of the Himalayas. The lessons here seem to be that we do not exist in isolation, and certainly few of us will not find a spiritual dimension in completely retreating from the world.
The question is how do we maintain the spiritual dimension in our lives – short of trekking half-way around the globe and doing headstands in a thong?

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