Scott and Jerry read comments and responses to God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher. Jenny, Patricia, and Tamara share their experiences with God, connected in the theme of spiritual living- in openness and connection to God. Is it time for you to share your story and experience with God?
Listen to real spiritual experiences and possibly miracles from regular listeners (not theologians, saints, or gurus) who offer profound spiritual teachings through their experiences with God in the relatable drama and setting of everyday life.
Share your story; you don't need a reason- a complex problem, a deep insight, suffering, or spiritual experience. Just get quiet, commune with God, and trust your journey's spiritual nudges and whispers.
We want to hear from you! Is Carl Sagan only presenting the tip of the iceberg in understanding the world? How would Benjamin Franklin respond to our modern ability to fly from the United States to Paris in hours? What is your story? We want to hear from you! Share your experience: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read- God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher.
Listen- Dramatic Adaptation of God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher
85. Reader And Listener Responses | Series: What’s On Your Mind [Part 7]
Scott Langdon [00:00:17] This is God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. A dramatic adaptation and continuing discussion of the book God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher by Jerry L. Martin. He was a lifelong agnostic, but one day he had an occasion to pray. To his vast surprise, God answered- in words. Being a philosopher, he had a lot of questions, and God had a lot to tell him. Episode 85.
Scott Langdon [00:01:06] Hello, I'm Scott Langdon, creative director and host of GOD: An Autobiography, The Podcast. Welcome to Episode 85 and another edition of What's On Your Mind. Today, Jerry Martin and I talk about the emails of three individuals who felt compelled to write in and tell us their stories about encounters with God. These stories are so wonderful because they all three come from a place of real desire to commune with God, and at the same time, are so relatable because they are the drama of everyday life. If you'd like to share your experience of God, or if you'd like to ask a question, or leave a comment, please feel invited to send us an email to email@example.com. Thanks for spending this time with us. I hope you enjoy the episode.
Scott Langdon [00:02:10] Welcome back, my friends. This is What's On Your Mind. This is the seventh time we're doing this. Jerry, I'm really excited about these emails today.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:02:18] Yes, I think they're fascinating and as I always think, this is real life, people are writing from the depths of their experience, and it's good things and bad things and in-between things. And it's the real drama of life; and so, I find these just fascinating to ponder and go into and to talk about.
Scott Langdon [00:02:39] And you touched on it right there, the real drama of life. When you and God often talk, especially in the book, God makes it clear that being real is about being in the world and having these day-to-day struggles and being in tune with God in the day-to-day. And these wonderful emails are about that very thing, about trying to discern, is God talking to me? Is God leading me this way? And where am I involved in all of this? You and Jerry, I'm sorry, you and Richard talk about partnership, God and us in partnership. And a lot of folks that write in to us have these experiences and they want to share them and talk about, you know, where is God involved in all of this? And it is in the drama of real life, everyday life.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:03:29] Yeah, this is how we experience God, as the adventure of our life with God. And it's, you might say, why God created all this. Why God started this whole show going- and because God is right in the middle of it all with us.
Scott Langdon [00:03:49] Right there in the good and the bad. We often wonder, you know, when the bad times come around, we might say things like- where is God, and where is God- did God go somewhere, or-- and God is always, I feel, pulling me to listen to the times when God appears in the quiet, the quietness, to quiet my mind. You talk about contemplative prayer. I do a lot of walking and a lot of meditation and things like that. So the tradition, the method by which we are sort of connecting with God and getting into that, the steps we take to participate in, consciously, that partnership with God. Sometimes we look to religion for that. Sometimes we look maybe in other places to get this method. But it's always going to be about where does God- where do we connect with God? Where can we find that place where, oh yeah, this is God leading me. This feels just right, you know? It seems like it is a feeling, doesn't it?
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:04:50] It's often a feeling. God comes in all ways. There's no place where God is absent. And God communicates in myriad ways and can communicate just in silence, and feelings, and even things in the pit of your stomach, or events that happen in your life, and that's kind of a divine signal. And that's why we often say pay attention. You know, the first word God said was listen, and listening means pay attention. You know, try to understand what's the meaning of what's happening. And that does require- okay, you've got to, what I call, getting the clutter out of the way, not be distracted by other things and just figure out, well, this is an unusual experience. Is God telling me something through this experience? And then pay careful, attention, careful, attention.
Scott Langdon [00:05:50] Well, we have three wonderful emails today. As I mentioned, Jenny is someone we've heard from before and she follows up with an email here. And then we have Patricia, and then Tamara, and all three of them are doing exactly what you have just described, sort of trying to figure out how do we get in tune with God? What is that communication like? And Jenny writes: “I relate so much to your experience of pressing God for answers with both trepidation and hope, and sometimes receiving an answer that shakes one’s faith for a little while- that expands one’s understanding in a way that is uncomfortable at first. “Then why are You with me like this?” I asked God, urgently. “What do you want from me?” “You’re Mine and I want you with Me,” God replied. “With” wasn’t exactly the word with that He used; it was more like a concept that contained the meaning of “with”, but also “close to” and “within,” all at the same time. This answer stunned me. I remember exactly where I was in the park and the scenery that I was looking at when I heard these words in my spirit. To be honest, I still wrestle with this concept, but it is one that God has repeated, and I have learned to surrender myself to it more and more deeply. I think these two answers reveal something very close to the heart of God: that God brings forth abundant life and that God created us for and desires intimate and authentic relationship- communion. Thanks again for sharing your story.”
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:07:34] Wonderful, rich comment. Here's what, just a brief thing I said to her in immediate response: “Jenny, thanks for your comment. You have a very fine attunement to the divine.” That's what I told her, and I hope everybody listening will visit earlier episodes because Jenny is a real resource. We've discussed other communications from her, and she's one of the most spiritually perceptive people I've ever encountered. Though, I've never encountered her other than email. That's the wonder of the modern world that we can have these discussions at a distance, you might say. I was struck. She's such a-- she pays such fine attention. She talks about pressing God for answers with both trepidation and hope. She's seeing that as what I'm doing, but I never called it trepidation and hope. That's her more fine, fine understanding of what I'm going through and what we all go through in our experience of God. It's often a mixture of a kind of fearfulness, you know, especially we're kind of wondering something. We want answers, but we're there's some answers we're kind of afraid of,and maybe even good answers, because even more closeness with God can be kind of scary. And yet there's a hope. There's a hope that there's some further meaning than what we've discerned. And, you know, she says expands one's understanding a way that's uncomfortable at first.Any new expansion- whoa. We were comfortable, you might say, with the narrower frame that we brought to the encounter with God and- whoa, something broader, that's going to be uncomfortable. And that line, I mean, I found this so profound- the "with." You know, she's really paying attention. God speaks to her in her spirit, as she says. Most people don't hear an outside voice the way I did at the beginning, although, I usually now hear God speaking in my mind. Or as she says, in her spirit. And people need to pay attention to that. Don't run around looking for God to be making loud announcements in your life. Just pay attention to what somebody here is going to call whispers. It's, you know, just the faintest things and often got to feelings and so forth. But the word "with" was part of this communication and she pays such close attention that she sees it's not just with, merely, but it also seems to have the meanings of "close" too, and "within." It's a cluster of all three meanings. Don't you find that fascinating, Scott?
Scott Langdon [00:10:33] I do. I do, very much. And when I think about this email, what it brings to my mind, is I know that I get caught up in trying to make the outs. So we consider the lives we live as sort of two parts. There's sort of our inside environment, and then there's the outside environment. And it seems like I often get caught up in trying to make the outside environment seem safe and ordered, and I've got my plans, and I know what I'm going to do to make money and support my... You know, all that stuff is outside, and this "with," and "close to," and "within language that God used to you, seems to be using to Jenny, I have had that steering of myself through the process of, you know, these last two years, to turn within, to listen, even when God whispers. What is that like to me? Is it a little voice, where di--? But it's, it's with-- whatever it is, it's within. You know? And when I turn within and listen, the next steps present themselves.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:11:43] Okay.
Scott Langdon [00:11:43] And I think that's the place of faith, right? When you can say, I can turn in and I can trust that fiduciary relationship of faith with God, that the next steps will be revealed. They will be there. They seem like a mystery now, but they will be revealed as the way to go, the way to put your next foot forward.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:12:02] That's a very nice application of what she's leading us toward. And, you know, if we go back to what she said, it was, she remembers where it happened, and she says, to "be honest," and I love that expression because she's not just saying it, she is being honest. And, you know, when you're talking to other religiously oriented people, you tend sometimes to play to their songbook. But, no- she's saying, wait a minute, I just said what I've said about God, but to be honest, I wrestle with this concept- this "with," "close to," "within" concept.
Scott Langdon [00:12:46] And hearing it within her spirit. She mentions, just before that, that- I heard these words in my spirit.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:12:51] Yeah, I heard them in my spirit.
Scott Langdon [00:12:52] To be honest, I wrestle with this. You know, to have it happen and then try to articulate what is going on here. And I don't know how to put my finger on what this means. I'm just trying to tell you in my own words what I'm experiencing. And that's the point I think, is the experience and trying to articulate what that experience is.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:13:11] And then, yeah, you discern deep- what's in it? It's like reading poetry or something.
Scott Langdon [00:13:15] Right, yeah.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:13:15] You have to do it with a kind of fine eye, and fine, a good ear, you might say, and a good spiritual attunement. She wrestles with it, but it's one He's repeated. So, you know, that carries conviction. I often have that experience that.In fact, if I doubted something, I would pray again later and say, "Is this really right, Lord?" You know, and I've learned, this is what she learns, I've learned to surrender myself to it more and more deeply. And so she learns what you just called the fiduciary relationship, the relationship of faith. God is somebody you can trust. Oddly enough, for all the ups and downs of life, and what might seem like the disappointments, and God not coming through in a way you want Him to. Once she has noticed these fine points, then we can all notice them. You know, these are teachings that various readers, listeners are sending us. Teachings drawn from their own experience. They're not professors of theology, or saints, or prophets, or anything like that, gurus. They're people with real personal experience with God of some sort, and they're sharing that with us, and we can all learn from that.
Scott Langdon [00:15:48] Yes- and we love to receive these emails. We love to go through them every week and see what folks are experiencing. And if you have an experience of God, or a question, or comment, or anything that you'd like to share with us, we want to invite you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, Jerry, I just want to echo your words here to Jenny. Jenny, thank you so much for your comment. And you have a really fine attunement to the divine, and it's a pleasure to hear it.
Scott Langdon [00:17:00] Patricia wrote in and has a nice exchange with you, a couple of different emails, and we thought we would take the three of them together. It's a really profound, and interesting, and exciting story that Patricia is sharing with us. She says this- Patricia writes: “I believe in God. It’s the people in the church that let you down. I went to church for years and when I got sick no-one came to check on me. I had a brain aneurysm and was in icu for 21 days. It took a long time to recover and remember things like cooking. Never did 1 person call or show up. I told my husband I wouldn’t go back to that church for they didn’t care about their members. That was 3 years ago.”
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:17:49] I was so appreciative of this comment from Patricia, at the time. You know, so many people go through these problems with their churches, or particular individuals, or something like that, that throws a wrench in their religious lives. Anyway, I wrote back: “Patricia, thanks for sharing that experience. Those must have been bleak, scary days for you and your husband! I hope you are now healthy and flourishing! It is a bitter irony, and surely a source of great suffering to God, when “religious” people fail so (so called religious people) miserably to live up to their own standards. That leads some people turn against God, but these are failings of human beings, not of the divine. At some churches, love is more than just a word. I hope you can find one in your area. Be well!”
Scott Langdon [00:18:51] Yeah.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:18:52] Isn't that great? Her story goes on. I was glad to see she started this, but I believe in God. So I was pleased that, although this is a dismal, dismal experience, she's in the most desperate circumstances and no one coming forth of all these people who believe in love.
Scott Langdon [00:19:14] Yeah. You know, when we go back to Jenny's email, just a few minutes ago that we read, the idea of relationship-communion, is something that God wants with each one of us individually. At the same time, there is- that is the point of a relationship with one another, as well, with other human beings.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:19:38] Yes.
Scott Langdon [00:19:38] So, to try to have a relationship with God, say, you know, "God and I are in this great relationship," and then not try to help relieve suffering in the world, there's a disconnect there. Right? You have talked a number of times, and God has said there is work to do in the world.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:19:55] Yes.
Scott Langdon [00:19:55] That's why we're here. And the specifics of what that work might be unfold as our life unfolds, it unravels as a dozen. There's the fiduciary relationship of trust that as things unfold, we will know what to do. And yet, you know, we get caught in this fear and don't, you know, we get caught in, you know, how am I going to make the internal environment, my world, okay? You know, and if I encounter this other person, is that going to somehow hurt me? You know, or how am I-- So, negotiating relationships with other people in terms of, you know, a communion, the way Jenny was talking about God and us, you know, how does that work toward others? And in the world today, part of how that works is religious community, or community of some, you know, some kind- and oftentimes, it's a religious community. And Patricia is dealing with that now. And it is such a common complaint. It's such a common situation that people talk about that the church, the people in the chu-- I'm not upset with God, it's the people that I'm you know. And that is something that we deal with often.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:21:03] Yeah, because what's the point of the religion? The point of the religion isn't to have a church, and a steeple, and all the people. It's to live in a certain spiritual way. And it's to help them do that, and that spiritual way has inner-dimensions and interpersonal dimensions. And both are important. And, so, it just belies the, you know- what is this whole thing about if it's not achieving that purpose? Anyway, but Patricia's story goes on.
Scott Langdon [00:21:34] It does go on, and it's very hopeful, because when you mention to her, you know, that's very disappointing that the people in the church did not respond in that way. She comes back, though, and says this. She says: “I didn’t forsake God. I love him more than I did before. I am better, thank God. I did lose faith in the Church people. They pray and preach about helping people but not one person did. My husband had to do all the cooking, cleaning and taking care of our 32 year-old autistic son. It was hard on him trying to do the shopping and take care of me and everything. Hopefully one day I will find a church.”
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:22:11] Yeah. And again, the thing I said to her at the time was: “Patricia, it is a terrible thing when the church you counted on lets you down. You are right not to let that turn you against God. Faith in God is different from faith in a particular church. Many people cannot make the distinction. When they reject a church, they reject God. You did not make that mistake. Each congregation is different, and there are many that are loving, supportive communities. One of them is waiting for you!” At least that's my devout hope, that there is one there, somewhere within reach, waiting for her. Something that this email brought out is just an additional burden on someone in such a situation. They have a grown autistic son, who then necessarily requires a lot of extra attention and work to manage that life situation. And another striking thing that I noticed when I first read this- "I didn't forsake God. I love him more than I did before." And that's something that somehow her openness of soul pulled out of this situation. She's been through a terrible, terrible thing. And we sometimes talk about, you know, why is there suffering in the world? And I was told at one point- suffering is the law of growth in the universe. But it's very hard to make the connection. To think how on earth going through an experience like this could help one grow. But what Patricia is telling us- this experience helped me grow. In the sense that she now loves God more than ever. So, maybe, being pushed away from her church actually pushed her toward God. That's quite possible.
Scott Langdon [00:24:14] Right. Well, God is certainly capable of using that. You know, so, Patricia, has this thought, this perception, this feeling, about how people in the church are treating her, or not treating her. Right, which is how they're treating her.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:24:26] Sure.
Scott Langdon [00:24:27] When I'm in communion with God, and I feel that step- I'm in step with God, and I know that. And, I, you know-- because God talks to you often about taking the ego out of it.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:24:38] Yes.
Scott Langdon [00:24:38] Right? And I think there's kind of there's a sense of that here, when I think, well, what can Scott do? What am I going to do? How can I change the world? Etc. Okay, calm down. We're partners. Relax. And then I'm armed with, okay, God and I are seeking ways to serve, instead of Scott trying to do. And I don't worry about how other people are going to perceive it. I don't worry about if people are going to say, oh, well, he's just trying to do this for attention. All that noise in my head goes away because God and I have taken the time to be quiet, and now, move forward. And I think that's what Patricia is doing here. She can shut out the other people and come back and say, God and I are still okay and people can still be people. In fact, I've even learned something I didn't know before, and I love him even more for it.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:25:23] Yes. Yes. Now, that's a remarkable development, and that means she's making the most of this terrible, terrible experience, and that shows an openness of soul. She doesn't tell us how she went about it, but it does tell us that she has an openness of soul such that even in this terrible time, and this great disappointment with God's people, as they're supposed to be, she grows closer to God. But her story goes on.
Scott Langdon [00:26:35] Patricia's story does go on,and it's really interesting because it reminds me of one of the times when, you know, you describe this in the book, and we do a podcast episode- it's in an episode early on. When you're driving down the highway, and God-- you hear a nat, sort of in your ear, and sort of swipe it away. And God says to you, "Listen to Me even when I whisper." And there's kind of a whisper situation here in Patricia's next email, and she writes this, she says: “I have heard God’s voice like a whisper. One day I was driving my car and was at a stop sign. The highway was in front of me. A truck hauling rock (not a pickup) had its signal on to turn on the road I was on. I didn’t see any other cars or trucks. I looked under the truck to see if I saw any sign of a car or truck and I didn’t. I started to press on the gas to turn left where the truck was turning in front of me, when I did, I heard “no”. I stopped. I still didn’t see anything and started to put my foot on the gas again. “No,” I heard. So again, I didn’t go. Right then a car went past the truck that was turning on the highway in front of me. I had never seen the car before. If I had gone, when I started to go, I would have been hit on my driver’s side door and probably killed. I was so shaken I called my husband and told him God saved my life.”
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:28:02] Yeah. Now there is a story. Isn't that remarkable? After all these horrors she's been through that would shatter the faith of someone a little less spiritually attuned and open to the divine, she comes out now hearing God's voice like a like a whisper, one of these faint things. It's all God's voice is almost whatever the oral version of invisible is.
Scott Langdon [00:28:27] Right.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:28:27] I think God sometimes writes in invisible ink, you know, and it's very hard to decipher. The voice is often like that. And yet here, it wasn't just a whisper. Well, maybe it was a whisper. I don't know. But it sounds like "no," sounds, like, pretty definite. Not just a lucid wisp of sound, and she could have been killed.
Scott Langdon [00:28:55] Hmm.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:28:55] And I'm not myself a big person on miracles. Though, there's no reason to think miracles don't happen. And sometimes, you know, that's the, you know, if you just connect the dots, that's the interpretation you get. This is a miracle. God has stepped in, and of course, God being the world, and us, and everything, of course, that's a possibility. I guess the reason I don't mainly look for miracles, is that the story of life and of the world is not to wait around for miracles, is not to look for miracles. It's to develop our own openness to God. And then try to figure out what God and us ought to be doing, in what you, Scott, called service to the world, and then get about providing that service to the world, you know, in whatever form we are called to do that. And so the miracle thing can be a bit of a cheap out for people. However, miracles happen. And here, she, thankfully, listened to the no. And at first, well, she didn't see a warning, so she was going to ignore the no. That's common sense. But the no comes again, and- Whoa! Well, she does stop, and then here comes a truck, or whatever it is, and would have killed her. It's amazing, an amazing story. And well, I guess I'd forgotten to share what I wrote at the time: “Patricia, what a wonderful story! And a perfect example of what I mean by “paying attention.” Someone else might have dismissed the “no,” perhaps so automatically she didn’t even hear it.” Because that can happen too. There's a nudge and you just override it because maybe you don't accept such things, or you're not spiritually open, or just not paying attention, maybe you're distracted. “Instead, you let it guide you. When something unusual happens to me, I ask myself, is God trying to tell me something? Is there a message in this? That would be a good question for you to ask.” And I guess what I'm thinking here, Scott, is, well, there's this wonderful attunement to the divine, she hears the no, it saves her life. But, I guess, there's a further question in my mind. Well, God, what is the meaning of this experience? Is there some further message here? And, I don't know if there is or isn't. Those are questions only the person can answer and has to kind of get very attuned, maybe go through some of the exercises you described Scott. Certainly, get quiet within themselves, get the distraction out and, see if they can get a little bit of a whisper. Is there some further implication here? Maybe this is supposed to be a parable for some other parts of her life or, you know, sometimes people feel, I guess, people who survive a terrible airplane crash or something, they kind of start feeling, I think I was saved for a purpose, and then it starts coming to them what that purpose is. And that can be a life changing experience.
Scott Langdon [00:32:35] Yeah. I think you hit it right on the head when you talked about miracles. And part of the difficulty with letting miracles actually work their miraculous work in one's life, is that hesitation to take miracles seriously because they can seem to be looking at the finger instead of that to which it is pointing. Right? So, look at the miracles. You know, there's is authority now in our teaching. There's authority now in this method, or this system of beliefs, because there is these miracle things that happen. These extraordinary things that happen, those are miracles. My view is that we declare-- we declare our own miracles. Something happens and then you declare it a miracle, and you only you get to decide. That's how miracles work. And so, on the one hand, this is very dramatic, and so we would all recognize this- oh, it's a miracle story, whether you believe in miracles or not. Oh, it's dramatic. She could have been killed and she wasn't. In our everyday life, if we go, I don't have a miraculous miracle-story like that, I must not have a relationship with God. I would like to argue that if one takes a look into one's life, and really kind of looks at the day to day, that there are an abundance of things you could declare as miracles, that happened where you are. You might be at a stoplight and are going to go and you hear a voice say no and you realize you could have gotten sideswiped. Sure, that can happen. But also this, you know, I go to an audition for a show, and I don't get it. And I'm like, oh, this is horrible and I must be worthless. And if I were better, I would have gotten the role. And then, you know, in then in the next-- and then two days later I get a call to do another show with a better salary and a longer run at a different theater. Right? And you go, oh.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:34:25] Yes.
Scott Langdon [00:34:25] If I had quote unquote, gotten what I wanted, then I wouldn't have been available for this actual better thing. But because I let that feeling, you know, be there of disappointment and, I, okay, this is disappointing. And I just sort of let it go through, and just that's just not what God wants today, that's all right. And then I get another thing. Well, I could declare that a miracle as well, you know.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:34:47] Sure.
Scott Langdon [00:34:47] So, I think we could look into our lives, and go- yeah, they can be really dramatic things, but the day-to-day relationship with God, this communion, brings its own miracles. And is it perception? Is it the way we look at it? Maybe. But I think there's something substantial about that, too.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:35:03] Yes, yes, yes. It's not just making it up. Certainly.
Scott Langdon [00:35:07] Yeah. Right.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:35:08] My wife, Abigail, often says it takes two to make a miracle. For God to make it us to recognize it.
Scott Langdon [00:35:15] That's right, yeah. Beautiful.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:35:16] And when I'm trying to think, and maybe you remember better than I do, Scott, where in the book miracles come up. And I know I'm told at one point miracles do occur. It's no big deal. It's no big deal. Miracles are actually compatible with the laws of the universe. I mean, one of the reasons for skepticism is often, well, you mean you suspend all the normal laws of gravity and whatever? But no, no, you're not suspending all the laws of physics, and so forth, are they work compatible with those things, any more than when you raise your arm arbitrarily. Which in a way, our ability to do that is a miracle. But it's not through current-- doesn't require suspending the laws of physics to say I can just do with my hand whatever I want. Well, God can do with the world, that. And I was told, I don't know if this is hard on Christian listeners or not, but in the context of Jesus, the fact that he did miracles- but so what? I mean, that's what God is saying, that that's not the proof of his divinity or anything like that. There were a lot of miracle doers. And of course, in the Indian tradition, these guru types often perform the most amazing feats of, according to eyewitnesses and so forth, even skeptical journalists who cover them . Who will often say, wow, this is amazing. You know?
Scott Langdon [00:36:48] Absolutely. And at the same time, I mean, can we not understand that we sent people to the moon? That's a miracle.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:36:57] That's right.
Scott Langdon [00:36:57] Do you know what I mean? That you can fly from here to Los Angeles in 4 hours? That's a miracle. Do you know what I mean? Like, I understand the difference in the distinction between what we're dealing with here, and Patricia's story, and flying to Los Angeles in 4 hours, and yet, at the same time, that's what I mean. There are miracles. A hundred years ago, 200 years ago, if you were to talk, if you would have told Benjamin Franklin that in 2022, you know, I can fly to Paris in a day. He would freak out and never believe it. You know?
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:37:30] He would have had trouble even understanding- what do you mean?
Scott Langdon [00:37:33] What do you mean fly?
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:37:34] Flap your arms? What do you mean?
Scott Langdon [00:37:35] You know, we get in the machine, and we go, Oh, sure, you know, Da Vinci.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:37:39] Yeah, yeah. No. And you know, if you get more basic than that, life itself is a miracle. It's often presented that way in religious context, but the scientists puzzle over the question- what is life? You know, it doesn't-- it's not obvious in a world with the, you know, all the chemicals that are on the table of elements that we all saw in school, that those would ever concatenate in a way that would produce life. And in fact, it's not well understood how one goes from one to the other. And as far as we know, the only life in the universe is right here, on this little planet of little consequence. In astronomical terms, we're just nothing. But, we have life, and life is a miracle. The fact you can take in oxygen and breathe that out again, that you can, that we have vision, and can see colors with our eyes, how do these great eyes evolve or whatever? You know, that those-- that life is just full of these unexplainables that are wonderful. And, well, that's not a bad definition for a miracle- an unexplainable that's wonderful.
Scott Langdon [00:39:05] I heard a spiritual teacher relatively recently say, "You are the experience God is having.".
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:39:12] Yes.
Scott Langdon [00:39:12] And, I've contemplated that. I think that's a really interesting way to say it, to talk about things like that. What got me about it, what wrapped in my brain, and I thought more about, is the idea that we are completely unique. There has never been another me. There isn't one now. There never will be another me. And as long as God has been doing this, manifesting God's self as the world and specifically as human beings, the specificity, the particularity of every human being, when you think about the analogy that you just used, you know, who are we- a speck in in the sands of the universe? We're of no real consequence. And yet, at the same time, we are completely unique, and completely unduplicatable, and God is partnering with us all the way. So we are of this immense consequence, appearing to have not a whole lot of consequence. Do you know what I mean, when I say that?
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:40:17] From that cosmic or astronomical point of view, we look very tiny. But, I do remember the great astronomer, Carl Sagan, who wrote the book "Cosmos," and used to be on television explaining latest discoveries, and what we all know about the great universe. He talked about human beings as the universe's way of knowing about itself.
Scott Langdon [00:40:41] Mm hmm.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:40:42] You know, the rest of the universe doesn't know it's there. You know, it knows nothing about itself. So we are the only creatures who know that it's there. I'm not going to go into dolphin intelligence, but we know that it's there. And we have theories, and maybe true theories, of what it's doing. And then, of course, we develop further understandings of, well, what should it be doing? What does it mean? What does it mean that we are here? What Carl Sagan is talking about is just the tip of the iceberg. You know, what's the point of understanding the world? There's got to be-- there's more to the story of what human beings are than little science machines or something. We live whole dramatic lives that have many myriad levels of meaning and aspects of meaning. And that's what one needs to take in. And you're right- it's different from one person to the next person, to the next person. And yet, all of those very different people are interconnected. So, we have both that, what some call singularity, you know, and interrelatedness.
Scott Langdon [00:42:01] And that interrelatedness is essential to know about, and essential to explore, because there is something I believe, God breathed, if you want to call it that way, God led, I don't know whatever language one can hear about this, that there is sometimes a pull toward getting in touch with someone, or sharing experience with someone, or being there to receive an experience from someone else. Right? Sometimes, like- who am I in this situation with this person? Maybe you're just the person who needs to be there while they share their story. Maybe you're supposed to be the recipient of this story, and it's not supposed to be your story, or whatever it is. But to be aware, and to be sort of conscious, I guess, is the word we could use now, to be conscious of being led by that, takes us right into our last email today, and that is from Tamara, who writes in this very brief but wonderful thing. She says this: “I keep having a “feeling” that I need to get in touch with you somehow but don’t really know what to say because ALL my “friends” say that I am crazy and don’t know what I am talking about.“ And all my friends is in capitals.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:43:15] Is in capitals!
Scott Langdon [00:43:16] A-L-L, you know, and friends is in quotation marks. So all of her so-called friends, I guess, is what she's meant, you know. But she has this feeling to get in touch with you. It's interesting that she noticed it, and acted on it in the sense of writing it to you, and hitting send.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:43:30] Yes, yes, yes. Yes, surrounded by scorners dumping on her. And this is what I wrote at the time: “Tamara, thanks for acting on that feeling. Let’s not worry about your friends for now. What has prompted your sense that you need to get in touch with me? Just tell me your story. I will be very interested in hearing it.” Haven't heard from her yet, but hope to. But you don't need to know in advance, I mean, she's trusting her feeling. That's lesson number one in this whole thing. This feeling comes to her and this whole issue of trust. God is there, and you experience God in many ways. And often it's just a feeling of this sort that you- there's something you should do, somebody you should relate to, whatever, and we'll just go with that. You know, not that if it's a feeling that you should jump off the cliff, but the feelings people write in about are not, you know, crazy feelings, they're feelings like this- that they should be, here, you're talking about getting connected to people, or getting in touch with the guy who wrote this book, God: An Autobiography. I feel I should get in touch with this guy. And you don't need to know in advance why. You know, she doesn't know what to say. And of course, it's harder to know what to say. Talk about getting the distractions out of the way, the clutter out of the way. She's surrounded by clutter, you know, a cacophony of negative voices coming in on her. And in the modern world, we live in a very secular world. And a scientific world, as if science-- E=MC^2 is sort of the last thing you need to know, and that settles it all. But there's a great deal more to know than the high truths of physics. But you don't need to know in advance why you're supposed to contact this person if you have that. And as you just said, Scott, it might be not because you have something to tell them, maybe they have something to tell you. It's a friend or a neighbor or something. And of course, what I told her, just tell me your story. You don't need any big thing. You don't- there doesn't need to be a problem, doesn't need to be an insight, some decision that's looming large, or a suffering that you want to share. Don't worry in advance what it is. Start telling, telling me, or you're your friend your story. And then kind of trust that God will nudge you along and the important things that you need to talk about will come out.
Scott Langdon [00:46:57] Thank you for listening. To God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. Subscribe for free today wherever you listen to your podcasts and hear a new episode every week. You can hear the complete dramatic adaptation of God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher by Jerry L. Martin, by beginning with episode one of our podcast, and listening through its conclusion with Episode 44. You can read the original true story in the book from which this podcast is adapted. God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher, available now at Amazon.com, and always at godanautobiography.com. Pick up your own copy today. If you have any questions about this or any other episode, please email us at email@example.com and experience the world from God's perspective as it was told to a philosopher. This is Scott Langdon. I'll see you next time.