The Story of God in a six-part weekly series.

The Story Of God: Episode One -Afterlife
Narrated by Morgan Freeman
Running Length: 50 minutes
No rating given, but could be PG 13 for sacrifice scene

“The Story Of God” in six-part weekly series on The National Geographic Channel, Sunday evenings beginning April 3, 2016. This will be shown on National Geographic Channels in 171 countries, in 45 languages and in Spanish on Nat Geo Mundo. Each 50-minute episode is a separate study of faith and a belief system going from the ancient Mayans to Christianity, Judaism, Hindu and Muslim. Actor Morgan Freeman is the narrator and interviewer in the series. The first episode is “Afterlife” and how beliefs in an afterlife developed and how science is working on a digital “afterlife.” Future episodes will be “Apocalypse,” (April 10), “Who Is God?” (April 17), “Creation” (April 24), “Evil” (May 1) and “Miracles” on May 8>. No rating, but could be PG 13 for subject matter, including human sacrifice and the Crucifixion. Production values are first rate, including the soundtrack.

The new series by National Geographic, “The Story of God,” is narrated by Morgan Freeman, and the beginning of the first episode starts in a peaceful location, Freeman’s home in Greenwood, Miss. There is a gentle segue from life in a comfortable small town, to missing the relatives from times past, and is there a certainty of seeing them again? Thus begins the search for answers from Egypt to Christianity to Hindu and to science, and all in 50 minutes

Freeman describes his own experience of being in peril and seeing a light and then realizing that it is “the light” that people with such experiences speak of. You find out that the body doesn't actually stop working until hours after being declared officially dead, so there is a window of hope still there. People found frozen or submerged in water are sometimes able to come back from this experience.

Egypt is an investigation of the afterlife and how it became part of their culture thousands of years ago. Pyramids and carvings hold the answer in a Pharaoh’s tomb on how the deceased needed help in crossing over to the other side to make the world safe. An eternal trip so the sun would rise every morning on his people.

Mexico City is a study of the Day of the Dead, where one night of the year, people spend time in cemeteries with their deceased. This is said to have come from Aztec culture where human sacrifice helped the sun rise and the sun gave life to corn, a main food staple.

Jerusalem is a study of Christianity, including places where a rock-hewn burial chamber outside the city is located and this may have been built in the century when Christ was alive. What made Christianity different is sacrificing one’s desires, not their physical body. From there, Freeman travels to a laboratory where a robotic figure is located that has the memories of a living person as part of an experiment for retaining memories for future generations. It is called “cyber consciousness.” Hindu and information on the sacred Ganges River (the god Ganga) was about reincarnation, which is living---death---rebirth.

This episode contains much information in 50 minutes, and each mention of a different locale could be another episode in itself. How nice to have your own private plane when traveling. Morgan Freeman asks the questions the audience would want asked and gives the other person a chance to answer in detail. My guess is that some scenes of cosmic dust within galaxies is from the Hubble Telescope. It makes your life look microscopic.

Copyright 2016 Marie Asner