Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Abbot Christopher Jamison... the Spiritual Dimension.

A man who seems impossible not to like is Abbot Christopher Jamison, who warns us that "greed is replacing spirituality". I have read a couple of his books (just look him up on google) which have left me with a sense of peace, and that is what seems to shine from the man. There was a six-part series on television entitled "The Monastery", where six guys lived for 40 days with a group of monks and found a firm spiritual foundation in consequence of this experience. As I perceive society beginning to unravel - financially, the "benefits culture" and my expectation that we will all return to agricultural living, hopefully reaping something useful from what we have learned from science and technology (but give-up the hydrogen economy, please, in the short-term), Abbot Jamison's message that we should be less acquisitive - greedy in the material line - does appear salient.

We are kept in a state of fear and unhappiness, which is what sells. But people are holding-on to their cash now, and that might illumine the dawn of a less materialistic thought-process for living. I have a friend who tells me that the only way she can feed herself and her 5 kids in because a certain fast-food burger outlet offers a 99p "meal deal". So that's around six-quid as we say over here.

It may be nice to go-out for a meal, all of them, but she could feed the lot of them for a third of that... that's if she knew anything about nutrition. We seem to have lost a lot of knowledge... how to grow food, cook it, put up shelves, and some spiritual foundation. The "loss" of the family is a lot to do with that, and the benefits culture simply encourages and supports the mess that is reality when daddy buggers off.

In the ensuing age of "less", it will mean that less has to mean more, in the restitution of all the above that we have lost during the past 30 - 40 years. With freedom comes responsibility, and abandoning your kids is not the greatest achievement of a man. Most of the troubles of modern society are born from freedom and excess, and the lack of ability to handle both.

There never was a family like "The Waltons" probably, but we are going to need to stick together in future simply because we will need one another. This is a practical example of spiritual foundation - love, it is sometimes called. I would recommend the Abbot's wise words, in the licence of "Shoppers are selling their souls", as he is quoted below. I spoke to my mother recently who said that "when you were a baby, we were incredibly short of money. So I told the family... there won't be any Christmas presents this year..." This was in the Cardiff of 1959-1960.

It doesn't sound like it was happy affair, but they did get through it. So can we all, but with less material and more spiritual solidity.

Abbot Christopher Jamison warned that rampant consumer culture is taking over people's moral purpose as their material needs are now all met.

He urged people to enjoy the month of Advent rather than celebrating Christmas early. Not a bad idea. I think I will go out and buy an advent calender.

Related Reading.
"Shoppers are selling their souls", monk warns. By Martin Beckford:


Yorkshireminer said...

I certainly worry about my spiritual welfare, if hyperinflation takes off will I still be able to afford my single malt or have to resort to drinking blended scotch.

Professor Chris Rhodes said...

Hi Dave,

I think that's more "spiritous" welfare than "spiritual"... I see oil is down to $54 and the value of the pound at an all-time low!

I like the Abbot, anyway, he seems to make a lot of sense.



Anonymous said...

Excellent information. It's sad to see how much money is wasted in this algae for fuel industry because investors believe in fairy tales.

Professor Chris Rhodes said...


are you referring to my later posting about how much material would be needed to build the algae ponds?

But what else is there to match our huge fuel-bill based on petroleum ... if anything?