Join the entire God: An Autobiography team celebrating a special 100th episode bringing the gift of God to readers and listeners. Hear from each team member and learn how they came to work on this project and how it has impacted their spiritual lives.
"God brought us together to work together, and it is not that it was just random people applying for a job."
Hear from a highly intuitive, organized producer who knew this was the job for her, a Stoic looking for purpose, searching for God, but blinded by cynicism, an actor who understands the divine relationship between God and humans in the theater of operations within life, and Dr. Jerry L. Martin, philosopher, founding chairman of Theology Without Walls, and author of the true story God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher.
We hope these blessings and love, shared by the team all around, enter your ears, mind, and heart as we celebrate this incredible milestone!
Read God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher.
Begin the dramatic adaptation of God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher
Related Episodes: [Dramatic Adaptation] 1. I Pray To A God I Don’t Believe In | 5. I Ask God What We Are To Him | 10. I Learn How God Reveals Himself To Humans | 26. Zoroaster Sees God’s Other Side
Related Content: [Video] Do You Have to Believe in God to Pray?
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 100.
Scott Langdon [00:01:03] Hello. I'm Scott Langdon, creative director and host of God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. And I want to personally welcome you to our 100th episode. As this milestone of an episode grew increasingly closer on our calendars, we here at the podcast thought we might do something special to look back on and celebrate what we've been doing on this platform since we dropped our very first episode on September 24th, 2020. Today we give you something unique. With this episode, we'd like to invite you to have a look behind the curtain of what goes on as we bring you a brand new episode of God: An Autobiography, The Podcast every week. You'll meet all of us on the team and hear a little bit from each of us about what working on this podcast has meant to our lives. Our podcast began as an audio adaptation of the book God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher by Jerry L. Martin and has grown into something far beyond what any of us imagined it would. But I won't speculate on what the podcast has meant to anyone other than me. I'll let the rest of the team speak for themselves. So we begin with the author of the book and the producer of the podcast, Jerry L. Martin speaking first. I hope you enjoy the episode.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:02:40] Well, we're glad to have everyone here. This is Jerry Martin, and I've gathered the entire team for a celebratory occasion- this is our 100th episode. And it's gone somewhere. We just follow the leading strings to where it goes next. And that's how it's all evolved and worked out beautifully. And we had somebody, we had a team of one who set up the website and got the social media going, whatever that was at the time, people subscribing. But even when she was managing the website, we needed more help. We needed help, particularly on the business end. And that's when we put out I don't know what the ad had said, Laura, but Laura Buck came to the rescue. I remembered interviewing several people and Laura was one of them. And what was going on in your life, Laura, such that you applied?
Laura Buck [00:03:45] Yeah. So. Hi, everyone! So, I, one evening was just on my phone and I was just looking for another job I had just like another job had fallen through. And I read this ad that said two retired philosophy professors looking for help. And it said something about, you're going to be publishing a book. And I looked at it, and I went, "oh, I'm going to apply for this and I'm going to get this job." And it sounds really cocky in a way, right? Like, who am I to just say that? But there was just this feeling that just came over me and it went- yeah, apply to this job and it's going to work out. And I've always had intuition since I was little. I can tell-- I've come to know that the voice in my head, the intuition that I have, I have now come to know that it's like God sent, okay, from working on this project, especially. So, I just had this really calming feeling and I sent an email and I think in a few days you sent an email back.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:04:56] Yes.
Laura Buck [00:04:56] And, I was really excited. But the same thing again, I'm like, this is going to be like, what's going to happen now? And it's just really strange, but that's the way it went. So, I--.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:05:09] Well, I remember you showing up to the, you know, made an appointment to meet at my house. You were showing up well-dressed, well-spoken, but looking very wary. You know, a meeting at this guy's home. Who is this guy? Yeah.
Laura Buck [00:05:27] Yes. That's right. Exactly. I had driven over and I had talked to my mom on the phone, and she was like, warning me, like, "Why are you meeting someone in their house? Like, you should be meeting them for coffee?" And I was like, I don't know, I'm just meeting them in their house. Like, I didn't even think twice about it. And it was funny because she's like, "You need to call me as soon as you get out, so I know you're okay."
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:05:47] Yeah.
Laura Buck [00:05:49] I know. But, so, I remember specifically, you answered the door and you were so welcoming and kind, and you brought me in, and I remember Abigail was sitting next to you, and we just talked and you asked me your background, and I mean, you told me about your background. You didn't tell me anything about the God experience? You just told me what--
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:06:12] No, see, I was wary of that, and I didn't want to scare people.
Laura Buck [00:06:14] Right.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:06:14] And, but as you can see, I was afraid- oh if you hear, I think God talks to me, it's going to spook you. And so I think I probably suggested, I think this is what I suggested, look at the website.
Laura Buck [00:06:30] I just-- You sent me, you gave me a printout of the website like home page. So I went in the car and that's when I looked at it and I just was like, "This is really interesting." I didn't have any, you know, I wasn't like, "Oh, this is-- what's this, you know?" And I thought of it too, as a job, too. Okay, like I could deal with anything, but I was really curious at that time and having met you, it just was very-- I was like, this just seems very believable to me. You seem very genuine for the short amount of time that I was with you and I didn't come from an organized religious background. There was always kind of some tension with that growing up because I had divorced parents, so I kind of was always pushed away with that. But, you know, I had a spirituality growing up and it just seemed like it was just going to be such an intriguing opportunity. And I called my mom and let her know that I was okay. And I just said, right. And I said, they're like the nicest couple. And they, you know, it seems like this would be a really great opportunity. So I just was waiting until I would hear from you. And then I did.
Scott Langdon [00:07:51] Hello, my friends it's Scott, and I thought this would be a great time to play the first of a couple of different clips from the audio adaptation portion of our podcast episodes one through 44. This is from episode one, and I speak the voice of Jerry.
Dramatic Adaptation Episode 1. I Pray To A God I Don’t Believe In
Jerry Martin [00:08:10] Being in love was not only a profound experience; it shook my worldview. My whole life took on a new meaning. No, that is not quite right. My life went from a collection of purposes to having a meaning. It went from black and white to Technicolor. No, more radical than that. It went from a two-dimensional to a three-dimensional--or as it turned out, n-dimensional--universe. I felt surprise and joy and gratitude. I did not know whom to thank, but an extraordinary gift had come into my life.
Scott Langdon [00:08:55] That was a clip from episode one of our podcast called I Pray to a God I Don't Believe In. In that clip, as I do throughout the entire audio adaptation of the book, speak the voice of Jerry. Now back to the real Jerry.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:09:12] The first person to set up the website moved on, essentially. We needed another social media person, so we put out an ad along those lines. I guess it also said, Scott has reminded me of this Scott Langdon, whom you all know because he's our host, he's also the creative director for everything we do-- and Scott, I know, reminded me it was two retired professors because I thought, well, that could be of interest probably to just the kind of person we need, you know. And what was going on with you, Scott, such that you saw that ad and responded?
Scott Langdon [00:09:52] I was engaged professionally as an actor for the next about 18 months when I came upon the Craigslist ad. Very similar to how Laura described it, and I had done some writing and I had done some social media content for some other businesses and things prior to this. But I was really-- but I had also done some writing, some fiction writing, some ghost writing that I had found through this platform through Craigslist. And I was looking in a certain category and your ad came up and it seemed odd to be in this category because usually it's fiction and things like that, but your two retired philosophy professors caught my eye. And philosophy has always been a big interest of mine. And the idea of kind of doing some social media work and also sitting at the feet of two retired philosophy professors was really going to be a great idea. I thought it was a great idea. And so even though I didn't really need the job at the time, I thought this could be something I could do remotely and this could be something I could do, and let's see what's going on. So that's how I responded to the ad.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:11:17] Yeah. And we went through the same thing, I guess, you met with Abigail and me at my house, at our house, and probably did not talk about God. I don't know. I know we ask your Myers-Briggs profile. I always ask that because I am-- I see the forest and the trees. And so I'm always looking for helpers who are good at the details because they all drop through my fingers and just straight to the ground and I got to have people helping me who can compensate for that weakness. A lot of people make mistake in hiring and hiring someone just like them because they're more comfortable with that, but what you need is someone at least halfway opposite you to cover the territory. And so I think I ask you that and and you are rather unusual, Scott. I would say now that I've gotten to know you, you are both a detail person and a big picture person, and that's a nice combination if you can pull it off.
Scott Langdon [00:12:20] Well, it's very interesting that you put it that way, because that is something that I believe that working on this project has strengthened- has exercised. And, you know, I would not call myself a detail person at all. I have folks around me that help me with details. But I do think that I've gotten better at it, and I do think that it's God led. And part of the way it's been God led is that God has shown it to me. Like, look at this. And I've had to go, "Oh, yeah." And when I miss a detail or, you know, I have an episode ready that I thought was just right and then send it out, and then a very detailed person like Laura and now Mandi, who we have on board, comes back with some details, that's a shot to the ego. And I have to you know, I had to wrestle with that and I had to be like, okay, where do you not have strength? Well, details. That's not a strength. All right. Well, listen. And so Laura would give me that and I would take it in and say, okay, let me really look at this. And a lot of the times would go with that idea or sometimes have to say, you know, no, I think this is I think this is it. But it was a double check and it was a step back from my ego to a place of, you know, can you release this and let it go?
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:13:44] Yeah, yeah. Let's think about Laura for another moment, because when we, just our business person, we didn't quite know all we were getting. Well that happens, my experience, I've hired people you don't know really in advance all you're getting. Sometimes you get less than you expected, but often there are other sides to people, and you just go with that, you know. And with Laura, I was struck by something you said about Laura earlier in just some conversation, Scott. And I was very surprised to hear it. And that's why I remembered it that you said, "She's the perfect producer.".
Scott Langdon [00:14:21] Yeah.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:14:23] Well, you're an actor, I don't think, in terms of theater metaphors, but you do, of course. And it struck me because I had always assumed that actors don't appreciate producers and that they would be clashing. But I was struck. Oh, the actor at least, Scott Langdon, the actor appreciates a good producer who does the producer's job and I don't know, back to Laura for a moment-- did it surprise you to evolve into this role? Where you're not just doing all the business end of things on your own, but you more and more orchestrate the whole. Keep all the trains moving on track. Getting there in the destination with the right cargo, you might say. You often remind us of things-- did you overlook this, did you overlook that? We lose things. You find them, you have them. I don't know. It's a mystery to me how you have that capacity, since I'm so far from having it. But you've become what I now think of just as Scott is the creative director of everything we do, you're like the chief operating officer. If we were a big corporation, you would be the COO, as they call it, who gets-- brings everything together. Was that a surprise or a development for you personally?
Laura Buck [00:15:44] No, I give that credit to being a mom.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:15:50] I see!
Laura Buck [00:15:50] For, what, 24 years almost? That's what I did day in and day out. I ran like other people's lives, basically. I knew how to pull in all the people going here, there and everywhere and keep everything together. It just seemed really natural to me and I would just, you know, just pull it all together for you. It just was really natural. And I enjoyed that, I guess, because it gives me a sense of calm.
Scott Langdon [00:16:22] Hello, friends. It's Scott again. And I thought it would be the perfect time for a second clip. This is from episode ten of our podcast called I Learn How God Reveals Himself to Humans. In this episode. As is the case throughout the entire audio adaptation, I speak the voice of Jerry, and Jerry Martin speaks the voice of God.
Dramatic Adaptation Episode 10. I Learn How God Reveals Himself To Humans
Voice of God [00:16:47] Instrument of revelation.
Jerry Martin [00:16:50] Is this what you want me to be?
Voice of God [00:16:53] Yes, that's right.
Jerry Martin [00:16:55] What kind of revelation?
Voice of God [00:16:58] And what kind of instrument. First, I want you to model the spiritual life. Live it deeply. Theology is not just an intellectual exercise. It must be grounded in an intimate relationship with me, an intimate openness to my word.
Jerry Martin [00:17:17] Aren’t I already open?
Voice of God [00:17:19] Yes, but you turn away. You know the problem. You hold me at arm's length and listen to me only part of the time, and only partially, not as a whole person. You need to draw me into yourself totally--live through me--and let me guide you totally.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:18:09] I've noticed this and it's one of the talents of a mom or any parent, I think is to give direction without being kind of heavy handed or intrusive. And I've noticed, just as you help with things, that you have a very gentle touch. You make it as a suggestion. Would this be helpful or do you need this? Here is this in case you've lost it. And that's part of what struck me. And Scott's a major contribution to this, as well as Amanda- a very harmonious team. Maybe God working through all of us is a big help. But we also bring our personalities that we've crafted for lifetimes, and they either fit well or they're discordant. At most organizations I've been in dealing with difficult personalities or the difficult aspects of some people's personalities, dealing with egos, as Scott was mentioning, is a problem. And here it's been amazingly not a problem as each of us seems to do our end of the job with consideration for the others. And that's certainly been true in Scott, in your behavior. I don't know if you're aware of that. Is that how you feel?
Scott Langdon [00:19:24] You know, when I thinking about this, as we're talking about it right now in the book and then especially on the podcasts, particularly in the discussions with you and Richard Oxenberg, the dialogues, there is a lot of talk about how God developed over time, how God unfolded, and God learned through other religions and through, you know, through the experience of the world, god developed and said, you know, "Ah, I am a lawgiver." Through His experience with the Jewish people. "Oh, I am the Great Spirit." That-- yeah, okay, that's how you can articulate that. And there's development over time. I think that is really apparent in the podcast and how we've developed. Because initially, you know, you talk about the word producer, I was coming from a framework of radio. What happens on radio and a producer, you know, would do everything that we've just talked about, you know, kind of tie it all together, keep it all together. And initially when this job came about, I felt that that was part of what I was going to have to do, tie the whole creative process together. Laura was going to handle, you know, payroll and was handling your side of the business and all of those things, but I was going to have to do that, and also was going to have to do all of the copywriting and the hashtags for social media. It just was so much and I didn't know how to just kind of fit the creative part of it. And over time, things unfolded and developed, and Laura's strengths and what she does really well and loves to do unfolded. And that position just sort of became what it was a producer. Yeah, this. I don't do these things. Laura does these things. Excellent. More time for me to work on the podcast. And then we have these other situations where we go, Oh, well, how do we publicize this? And how do we make sure people are getting it? And hashtags? And I don't have time to do all of that. And voila.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:21:32] Yes.
Scott Langdon [00:21:32] God provides.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:21:33] Yeah. God provided Amanda. And Amanda comes in to our story about the way you're describing it, Scott. That because we started the podcast and you know, everyone here works part time, 10 hours a week or whatever and Scott was spending-- it took all his time to do his production, putting in the music, editing, the whole works, and the creative side, and his own thought contributions like What's On Our Mind and What's On Your Mind. We needed then help with the original job description, which was like social media optimization, marketing in the broad soft sense of that term, getting the word out, getting people interested. And we put out an announcement, I guess for two, probably two retired philosophy professors looking for social media help and research assistance. And how did that come about? What was going on in your life, Amanda, such that you said, "Oh, this looks like something I might want to do."
Amanda Horgan [00:22:41] Well, I was. I'm trying to remember what year it would have been. I guess it would have been 21 when the ad went out and I had responded. So right before that was 2020 and COVID and the whole world changing. And I took that opportunity to go back to school and finish my degree and right before finding that job posting. You know, when you're in school, they go over ways to be successful. When you get out, you establish these smart goals and figure out what you're going to be applying for, and it just all seemed like stuff I couldn't quantify. I had to really sit down and be like, "What do I want to do now that I can do more?" And I realized after applying to a bunch of jobs that seemed like marketing jobs for marketing companies or like jobs that just I, I was like, who would I be working for in this scope? It just seems like unreal jobs. And I knew I wouldn't be able to handle that because I need something I feel connected to. And I remember I was laying on my bed because that's the best desk, of course. I had all my books spread out and my laptop and I was applying to so many different jobs, and I remember just like throwing my hands up in the air and crying and saying, I-- "My kids were in school at home school, I was going to school at the same time, I made this huge sacrifice, for what?" And I remember actually, I guess it was a form of a prayer, but without being an actual aware prayer, throwing my hands up and being like, "Whatever is out there, whoever is out there, I just need a job with purpose." I just felt so defeated. And then, a little about me, too, prior to that, I just was very involved in Stoic philosophy and studying philosophy, but I wasn't quite developing a relationship with spirituality yet. And when I found the job, being a cynic at heart, I was just, "This is fake."
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:25:20] Yes. Oh.
Amanda Horgan [00:25:21] This is not real. This can't be real. So, I applied, and then, I don't remember if we had gone back and forth at all yet. It was primarily Laura and myself in the beginning. But during that time-- and of course, I just had this moment of desperation where I'm pleading with the universe to give me a job with purpose that would fulfill me. I see it, don't recognize it, and then forget about it a little because my grandfather passed away. So we had to go to Tennessee and it was hard. And the hardest part, I think, when someone like that passes is how it changes your family, too. I had to see my mom and my sisters and my brother being very sad. So I was just like wrapped up and consumed by that and then came home and I think I had to submit a video and it was very half fast of me. I was just still thinking this could be potentially fake or just a ruse by the universe. Like, "Ha! This won't follow through." And then I met you guys and it was very real, very genuine. You both were very authentic. And Laura was just so... wonderful... I don't know what the word would be. It was just as soon as I met and spoke to Laura, I was like, okay, this this is this is real. This is true.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:26:44] Well, I think I mentioned to you, Amanda, the other day that Abigail, we had all these, you know, applications coming in and at some point we requested materials or maybe that was in the original. Anyway, Abigail and I, and Laura, were all looking at this as we went along, and early on, Abigail, just as soon as she came to Amanda's, "This looks like the right one," you know? "Let's get her." Well, I always have an attachment to process and so forth, as well as other distractions. So kind of proceeding slowly. And then I was kind of afraid. Oh, no, what if we've lost her? What if she slipped through our fingers?
Laura Buck [00:27:24] I remember I had reached out to Amanda and I didn't hear from you. I guess because you're going through, like, the loss of your grandfather and Jerry thought that- oh, you know, maybe she already had another job. And I'm like, but I didn't hear back. This is before you did your inter-- your video, and I just sent you another email because I'm like, "No." Because I really kept going back to you. I'm like, I really there's just something about her resume I just wrote and I'm like, I'm not going to just let it go. And then you did say, "Oh, I, you know, I'm so sorry I'd been away." And then it just worked out.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:28:28] Scott being an actor as he read, God: An Autobiography, this is how I remember it, Scott, you said, you know, "Really, this is very dramatic." And, you know, you started seeing it on stage, you might say. And in fact, your, as I recall you first suggested we make it into a kind of play. And I didn't like that idea because I thought, well, then it'll be human actor playing God. It's going to look like fiction. And so he came up with the idea of what is now the first 44 episodes of God: An Autobiography and a kind of what I always think of radio, theater, dramatic adaptation and and this is where it starts intriguingly Scott because as an actor. You know, I-- wasn't a big stretch for me to sort of play God, but all I'm doing is reading back what God told me and trying to say it roughly the way I heard it. And where as you're enacting Jerry Martin and you are talking to God. You as Jerry are talking to God. And so I just kind of wondered, what was that like?
Scott Langdon [00:29:45] It's very much like what you just described yourself doing, which was just saying the words in the way you remember hearing them. I was just thinking, how do I say this? In the way that it is on the page in order to get the most truthful rendition of what is intended. So I would talk to you and would ask you about your experience with it. And then God and I would have our time right down here in my office, in my workspace, and I would try different ways and I would say a line this way, and it just wouldn't feel right. And then I would say the line this way. And it was like, okay, that feels right. And I don't know how to explain that other than to say the- does it feel right? Question was coming from me. And the, no, that doesn't seem right, was coming from God. That's how I perceive it.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:30:47] And that, of course, is what the God book actually tells us.
Scott Langdon [00:30:51] I think so, yeah.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:30:52] I mean, one of the difficult-- I'm an old logic professor and you kind of reason about things in opposites- it is, or it is not, or you know, it's this, or it's that opposite. And God kept telling me things that seem to violate this either/or, either/or, and told me think more in terms of both/and and less either/or and just try to expand your mind to that concept. And I wondered, I remember asking, where do you go to get new concepts? You know.
Scott Langdon [00:31:26] Right, right.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:31:26] But the biggest both/and is that God is everything, including us, and therefore we are God, you know, we're part of this God, God presence. At the same time, we're different from God. We're different enough that we can have a relationship. We can have love. We can have obedience. God can want things of us. And we can rebel, we can refuse, we can ignore. So we have all of that particularity. And it's not that the aspect of God being us is more real. It's almost less real because the diversity of our particularity is sort of the actualization of this God presence. And so both are real and, you know, both are real.
Dramatic Adaptation Episode 5. I Ask God What We Are To Him
Jerry Martin [00:32:32] Lord, what are we to you?
Voice of God [00:32:36] You are my face onto the world. And onto each other--you, whom I love. I want you to love each other. Christ's two commandments are right--"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." They are rooted in the Old Testament. It is hard for me to love people directly--hard on them, that is. I need people to do it for me.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:33:28] Laura was already hinting at the impact of working on the podcast, reading the God book has had on her. And I was struck myself by saying you already knew to trust your intuitions. And the old logic, professor, intuitions aren't in the logic course, they're left out entirely. You make arguments, premise, conclusion and intuitions or something different. And now that I've become more open to that concept in my own life, and also in thinking about it, you know, what's the role for it in knowledge, for intuitions and feelings and intimations and a sense of things? You know, these broader terms. But anyway, Laura, can you say something about how working on all of this has affected you, your spiritual life, or your just understanding of life?
Laura Buck [00:34:33] It's confirmed. Like I was saying, my intuitions, it's like a gut feeling. I've always like I said, I've always had that and it always would lead me in a direction like away from something that wasn't going to happen or that was not going to work for me or, you know, would cause harm. And like I said, just from like a small child, but with the project and I know this comes up a lot in the podcast is like when you say to listen for God, right? And you know, it might be in front of you all the time and you just don't see it. Like, I just said, it confirmed that to me because I felt...I just felt like an acknowledgement to say, I just feel like I don't doubt it. I just feel it's like a divine acknowledgment. It's a sense of calm and it's a sense of, not relief, but I just know if I go with that, that it's going to-- things are going to happen for a reason because I'm putting it in God's hands, right?
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:35:43] Yeah.
Laura Buck [00:35:44] And I've just learned to just really listen to it. And I just have a very big sense of calm. And also dealing with coincidence is a big thing as well. Like, I feel like we have all worked together for a reason. Like some-- God brought us together to work together, and it's not that it was just random people applying for a job. So it's just really brought me a sense of peace because like I said, I didn't come from an organized religious background and in some ways I doubted God because of maybe, you know, tragedies in, you know, someone dying from cancer like my dad. And I doubt that. Right. But I've come to have more of an appreciation of the way life works. It's not always going to be easy. We're going to learn from what's happening to us, and it's going to be okay. I come from that now. Everything's going to be the way it's supposed to be.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:36:47] Yeah. Yeah, that's also in God: An Autobiography. God tells me, you know, it's a rough world. He describes it as the world's guilty resistance at one point, but it's just mainly that it's the world of physical matter, that any real world is going to be an actual world. It's going to be made up of stuff. And if it has living creatures, they're going to be organic stuff. Organic stuff can get sick and can wither and die. You know, in fact, that's a life cycle. That's the nature of organic stuff. And okay, so that's the theater of operations of our lives we live with God and other human beings and do the best we can in that theater of operations. And also struck Laura, you're mentioning coincidences, because again, the old logic, professor, coincidences are just coincidences. The world's full of coincidences. Everythings a coincidence. In fact some young man who friends had ridiculed a very dramatic religious experience he had had. Oh, just coincidence, you know. He said, "These people don't believe in anything else because they sure believe in coincidence, they think it accounts for everything." But since then, I guess I don't think there's well, I'm told God isn't writing the script. So it's not as though every little detail of the letter arrived today or tomorrow is necessarily a divine, you know, plan. But, I always wonder when something happens. Is this meant to tell me something? This combination of events. Is this meant to tell me something? And I pause over it. I try to see if I've taken a lesson from or something- it had something to tell me. And let me ask Amanda, because you said early you would-- I was impressed that you were interested in the Stoics. I see that they're having a resurgence these days. And I noticed in a bookstore recently a lot of books in the Religion and Spirituality or Philosophy section were recent books on the Stoics and stoic view of life. And so that's a very high tone philosophy- stoicism. But it's not exactly spiritual. It's almost, you know, reason dominates the universe, the kind of logos, intelligence dominates the universe and you are to get in tune with it, you know, live your life rationally. Whenever I see Mr. Spock, I think, well, he's a really good Stoic, right?
Amanda Horgan [00:39:30] Well, you're right on with Spock. He is who I reference, always. When I'm like, what should I do? Well, what would Spock do? But, I-- so, spiritually, I felt like I never really had quite a connection early on. I think I relied on an understanding of psychology and philosophy to help me kind of figure out the world around me.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:39:59] Yes.
Amanda Horgan [00:40:00] And I kind of felt like if I read the oldest, the oldest things I could find on the way the world is I would have the best insight of where we're at today. So that started with the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras that I had to read for a yoga class, and then went on to the Stoics and reading Marcus Aurelius and my favorite Epictetus, who ended up becoming someone I read daily to help me align with the universe. And the one thing that made sense to me was there is a nature, there is something natural, and when you're in line with that nature, the world just seems a lot more-- It makes more sense and it's much easier to live. With spirituality, I feel like I didn't get to that point yet because I hadn't understood God until the book God: An Autobiography as God as being-- going through this evolution with human beings. So my husband, who actually is very spiritual and always has been, I remember him talking about going to Sunday school and the teacher saying, "What is the strongest, most indestructible material in the world?" And he's thinking like, okay, metal, alloy, like what would be the strongest? And he raises his hand and answers something and they're like, "No, wrong. It's the Bible." And his thought was, "Well, I know I could get strong enough and rip this in half." So he and I think connected that way. Like he-- I would have thought the same thing as a child. So for me, it almost made me distrust this idea of spirituality and believe coincidence only, only. And it's interesting, they do go into, you know, a little bit of spirituality as far as how to handle it in the Stoic texts, and each one is a little different, but I just didn't know how to handle it yet. But I felt myself opening up to this idea of-- I am wrong! Which is always exciting. So, I was looking for God.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:42:41] It's always shocking and scary to think, "Oh, I've had a worldview, and what if it's wrong? Or dramatically incomplete."
Amanda Horgan [00:42:55] I find it exciting, though. I kind of like--
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:42:57] But you find it exciting. Well, that's good. It means you're a truth seeker.
Amanda Horgan [00:43:00] Yeah! It makes the world more spicy, you know, it's boring, otherwise, I love finding out- wow! I can connect with this and, you know, as going through it, and I think we'll talk about our favorite episodes a little later, and this'll explain a little more about how I came to this. But, you know, recently going through something really difficult with my family, all of this has helped me so much not just being a part of a team that's been so supporting and graceful and kind, but also just having spirituality as a source of strength. My husband said to me the other night, just feeling defeated, "Why us?" And for the first time I wasn't the cynical one. And I said, "Well, why not us? Who better to go through something like this?" I feel empowered, I feel we have got this because I feel like we are taking this journey and our story is going in this direction for a very specific reason. And, and I am okay with that being a divine reason and a divine purpose. And so to answer the question, I guess the podcast and the book helped me to establish a relationship with God for the first time because I was able to trust God. And I don't know what this says about me, but I just love an imperfect God. And I love--
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:44:32] Oh, right!
Amanda Horgan [00:44:33] I love that He struggles with evil because that just made me trust Him so much more and trust God more, and know that instead of God being this, all powerful being, immune to evolution in the sense that God is just perfect immediately, innately and completely, knowing that God struggles with evil similarly to humans do but on a much different level, puts me in the fight with God. And now I feel like a champion with Him or for Him on this plane of existence and understand that I can help Him, and then it changed my relationship with Him.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:45:23] Yeah, that's a very striking implication- that God grows through interacting with us. So, we have an extremely important role, had you ever thought about that, Scott? We've had these conversations at various times. I think some of them are in What's On Our Mind, where you use the analogy drawn from being an actor to understand this puzzling both/and of God, it's both same and other than us. And could you just say a little more about that? You're both same and other, I guess, as a character you're enacting.
Scott Langdon [00:46:03] Yeah. And that really took shape throughout the course of working on this project, how to sort of see that and articulate that. When I step back and think about that separateness and sameness that we're talking about earlier, I spent so much time in my religious life growing up with the separate part, having it be told, you know, you're separate, God could be separate from you and God could turn God's back for me and so forth. What I got through the course of this project and through my experience as an actor and as a writer and as a creative person in that way is I recognized who God is to me.So the essential nature of us all is God's. That's the same part. We are all essentially God. The reality of being in this world is our particularity. And so in a sense, when I talk now about my character, I'm thinking less about when I talk about someone's character, less about how they behave and are they good or bad? I think about it in terms of God playing a character, and so it's changed the way I see other people. When I see somebody, I see God at play and there is the good and bad in them and they kind of somehow get lost in the character. To sort of Mandi's point there is that there's that struggle between the two parts of us. That's God at that's God at play, a God at work, God in character. And so when I realized that I was the experience that God is having. I took on the sort of responsibility that Mandi talked about, that Laura talked about that I'm playing God is playing this role. So let's pay attention. And that's what it came down to. It's the big thing I've learned and experienced here is listen and pay attention.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:47:58] Yes.
Scott Langdon [00:47:58] So now and I do that on stage as the actor, I have to pay attention to, you know, where I am on the physical stage, where the lights are and all those things. So in that sense there is the separateness of me. But if I'm doing my job right, the people who are watching the play, who are in the audience don't see the lights. They don't see that I've walked in and out of a cardboard, you know, plastered thing that's not real. It is real to them in that moment. So in that same sense, the reality of being in the world is God playing these various characters, and my responsibility is to be present to that.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:48:36] One of my favorite lines is "Listen to me, even when I whisper."
Scott Langdon [00:48:43] Me too.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:48:43] Yeah. And that occurs early in the book. And God whispers in a lot of ways that those come out are mentioned here and there in the book. In the many ways one would be intuition, in the sense that Laura was describing it.
Scott Langdon [00:49:01] And now people ask me-- when people ask me what I do. Are you an actor? Are you photographer? Are you a writer? What do you do? I say now I'm a storyteller. Everything that I do with this project and in my other work, I may be an actor, but I'm telling a story. And the idea that God is asking, asking you and then by extension is asking us to tell God's story, I think, all right. That's what I do. Let's go.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:49:32] Okay. Yes, yes.
Scott Langdon [00:49:33] You know, and being a part of this team has been the greatest pleasure of my professional and personal life.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:49:42] Yeah. No it's, I mean, I don't want to just- ooh, and ahh about ourselves. It's been a remarkable experience. It's a remarkable team, a remarkable group of people, each bringing a, much like the way you're talking about, you know, actors and characters and so forth, you know, from each character in some huge novel like War and Peace, you see a different part of the world through each character.
Laura Buck [00:50:12] I often think about the love that you and Abigail have for each other and how that she's not like in producing the podcast with us, but she is involved with your everyday life. I work with both of you and I see you, you know, one day a week and I see how you interact. And if she wasn't the person that she was or gave you and said, What are you going to do about this with the voice, I often wonder what would have happened. Right. She-- you are both. I'm just like, I love, true love. And I feel there's such a force behind that. And you two are in such awe of each other. And I just like, I can feel that. And I think there's a really big force behind that in what you do because she's Abigail and you were meant to be together. That's why you prayed. So I just feel like God sent her to you. And she's-- it's just such a big factor for me.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:51:16] Well, and you're right, Laura, too say-- I mean, everything you said is true as far as I can tell. I waited a long time then God made gave me the one right woman in the whole universe for me. And I guess, as it turns out, I guess, this is part of Laura's point, for what God wanted me to do. And then if we, I tend not to talk a lot about as if I know what or which things are brought about by God and which things are just brought about, but if you extend it, God brought me Laura and then Scott and then Amanda. We're all great blessings to one another, as far as I can tell. We actually met, I always have the feeling that and nobody's reading the God book because it's not a big seller, but a friend of mine, a friend of Abigail's mainly is, was in a reading group and another member of the reading group said, "Oh, I'd just started a second reading of this fascinating book God: An Autobiography," not knowing that our friend Mary knew the author, you know. And so we got to know that was Marie. Laura will remember her. And Marie, at one point, there is this question, you know, people are kind of asking often kind of irritated, "Why doesn't God talk to me?" They ask it with different frames of belief and attitude around the question, "But why isn't God talking to me?" I remember Marie said one day, "Well, maybe God is talking to them through God: An Autobiography." Think of that. You know, and I often tell people, if you read the book and you find some parts or maybe you don't relate to or they're off putting or something, read for the parts that do speak to you. Because I always have a kind of basic belief that those are the parts of the book meant for you as a reader. So just pay attention to those. And when you find them, take them to heart.
Scott Langdon [00:53:34] 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.