‘I saw that silence is not something for the spiritually exceptional.’

Mark Vernon is not a Quaker, but his new book has a lot to say about silence, eternity, consciousness and the nature of what he still calls ‘God’

'The experience of being human enjoyed by our distant ancestors is very different from our own.' | Photo: Hillie Chan / Unsplash.

I was on holiday with friends in a sunny corner of Cornwall when one of them confessed she was engaged in a personal enquiry. She had decided to ask each of us about our image of God.

It was a good idea. As a group we occupied many positions along the religious spectrum from atheist to evangelical; ‘spiritual but not religious’ to professional Anglican clergyman. She received a range of replies, from ‘Jesus’ to ‘love’ to ‘Spirit.’ The atheist said: ‘Patriarch in the sky.’ You can be an atheist and still have a powerful image of God.

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