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Oprah’s Documentary Series Belief is Masterful and Vital

The landmark television event “Belief” will air over seven consecutive nights, October 18-24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

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Photo Credit: Harpo Inc.

I was deeply moved by the new documentary Belief and encourage you to see it and to share it with others. Airing on OWN/TV Sunday, October 18th at 8PM EST, the seven-part documentary, which took three years to make across six continents, is remarkable in the depth and breadth it explores and the groundbreaking ways it portrays our impulse to believe, which, like the impulse to heal, is inherent to our nature.

Without judgment, the documentary affirms that no matter the form of belief or faith we are drawn to, including atheism, belief itself is medicine for the soul and a binding agent for the world. The series confirms that our human need to connect with each other and everything larger than us is irrepressible. In fact, our need to connect and join is inevitable. The very touching and diverse human stories from all over the world show how our journey through hardship, if faced together, leads us to a life that is real and renewing. These stories show that each of us is possible.

By juxtaposing the vastness of the mystery of life with such intimate stories, Belief reveals how the shimmer of an inexhaustible Universe can touch anyone brave enough and tender enough to embark on an authentic quest to know who we are in relation to everything around us. Whether you call that vastness God, Atman, Dharma, Allah, nature, or quantum physics, Belief shows how close each of us is to what matters, if we can face the truth of our lives, love each other in spite of and because of our differences, and live into the deeper questions of life through acts of love.

As the sun causes every plant to grow, the one unnameable Spirit causes all forms of belief to enter the world. And just as we need all plants to have a vital expression of nature, we need all forms of belief to have a vital expression of humanity. This acceptance of the many ways we can journey into meaning and grace is essential to our survival.

In a world struggling so mightily with living side by side, efforts like Belief are sorely needed to restore our basic trust in life and each other, as well as to water the hearts of the children to follow us. Throughout history, there have been those who fight to hoard what they can while here, and those who meet suffering with kindness by sharing whatever they have. Belief powerfully joins the lineage of kindness, showing that love is a strength we can’t do without.

With the release of this documentary series, Oprah Winfrey extends an already unprecedented list of achievements and further weaves her many gifts. Oprah and her creative team have brought something into the world that is vital and lasting. Belief will help to educate and empower generations to come. Beyond its immediate impact, which will be great, there will be a flowering of wholehearted leaders in years to come, whose names we don’t yet know, who will have opened their hearts to what is possible, because they experienced Belief when they were young.

Perhaps your son or daughter might be one of these growing lights. I encourage you to not only watch the series Belief, but to do so with your loved ones and friends and children, so you can discuss and explore what it is you believe in, about life and love and the mystery of this journey we call being human. So you can listen to each other and enter life more fully, and better participate in the world.

Mark Nepo is a poet, teacher, and author most recently of Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness (Sounds True) MarkNepo.com


Mark Nepo moved and inspired readers and seekers all over the world with his #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening. Beloved as a poet, teacher, and storyteller, Mark has been called "one of the finest spiritual guides of our time. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

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