God contradicts every key attribute of the conventional definition of God. Drawing misses from other philosophers and concepts about God, Jerry finally asks, "Why the guessing game?"
In next week's Life Wisdom Project episode, Jerry discusses I Ask What God Is Like with Judy Dornstreich, an anthropologist turned organic farmer, with a deep spiritual background and rich take on life.
-Share your story or experience with God-
LISTEN TO RELEVANT EPISODES- [The Life Wisdom Project] The Afterlife And Reincarnation | The Drama of Suffering | Situational Attention
Life Wisdom Project explores lessons and insight from each chapter of God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher. From Jerry's conversations with God, the Life Wisdom Project will look at the takeaways from God and the book for everyday living. How can we live better, healthier, happier, and wiser lives?
God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher, is written by Dr. Jerry L. Martin, an agnostic philosopher who heard the voice of God and recorded their conversations. The podcast began with the Dramatic Adaptation of the book and now has several series:
WATCH- Where Scott interviews Sarah Lynn Dewey - voice of Mary & the female voice of God
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Scott Landon [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 128.
Scott Langdon [00:01:08] Hello and welcome to God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. I'm Scott Langdon. In next week's episode, we give you a new edition of The Life Wisdom Project, where Jerry sits down for a fantastic conversation with the always fascinating Judy Dornstreich. So in this week's episode, we bring you the subject matter for next week's conversation, and that is episode seven: I Ask What God Is Like. In episode seven, as is the case for the entire audio adaptation of the book, I speak the voice of Jerry, and Jerry L. Martin, who heard The Voice, speaks the voice of God. Remember, you can always find the complete audio adaptation of the book any time for free by beginning with episode one of this podcast and listening through episode 44. Here now is episode seven. I ask what God is like. I hope you enjoy the episode.
DRAMATIC ADAPTATION EPISODE 7: I ASK WHAT GOD IS LIKE
Jerry Martin - voiced by Scott Langdon
The Voice of God - voiced by Jerry L. Martin, who heard the voice
The Female Voice of God - voiced by Sarah Lynn Dewey
Jerry Martin [00:02:10] Lord, are you infinite?
The Voice Of God [00:02:13] I am boundless.
Jerry Martin [00:02:15] Are you omniscient?
The Voice Of God [00:02:18] I know everything that is important.
Jerry Martin [00:02:20] Are you omnipotent?
The Voice Of God [00:02:23] I can do everything I care to do.
Jerry Martin [00:02:27] God had just contradicted every key attribute in the conventional definition of God. He is not exactly infinite, not exactly omniscient, and not exactly omnipotent. All this was so new, I just didn't know what to think, but I was beginning to sense that one reason God spoke to me was to clear up some misunderstandings. “Lord, philosophers have conceived of God as Being, the very ground of reality. Are they right?”
The Voice Of God [00:03:04] Being, pure Being, Being itself, and the like, are not quite right. You need to keep reading and thinking about this.
Jerry Martin [00:03:28] The great Catholic philosopher St Thomas Aquinas defined God as that being whose very essence is to be, to exist. “Lord, is *to be* --the esse of Thomas Aquinas--right?”
The Voice Of God [00:03:48] Close, but not quite right.
Jerry Martin [00:03:51] Why the guessing game? Why don't you just put the answers in my head?
The Voice Of God [00:03:56] That isn't the way the human mind works.
Jerry Martin [00:03:59] That makes sense to me as a teacher. Learning is an active process. Lord, do any of the gods of the world's religions fit you correctly?
The Voice Of God [00:04:11] Some – many – come pretty close.
Jerry Martin [00:04:15] Is the God of the Old Testament one of the accurate depictions?
The Voice Of God [00:04:20] Yes, that is certainly me. That is what I was like at that time. I led you to the Miles book because that is something he got right.
Jerry Martin [00:04:29] I had read and liked Jack Miles' award-winning book, "God: A Biography." Though a trained theologian, Miles reads the Bible like a novel in which God is the main character. That may sound as if it would fail to do justice to scripture, but it avoids the worries that theologians and historians usually bring to it. He just lets the text – and the character of God – speak for itself. The God who speaks to me is personal, and in human experience, persons are either male or female. The voice I heard was definitely a masculine voice but sometimes, in some indefinable way, also had a feminine aspect. I had a very basic question and, to my surprise, God's answer came in a female voice.
The Female Voice Of God [00:05:40] There are many sides to God, some of which you might call feminine.
Jerry Martin [00:05:45] One day I had an experience that felt like the feminine presence of God--like a powdery shower, perfumed talc sprinkled over my whole being. “Lord is there a special meaning to the feminine presence?”
The Voice Of God [00:06:00] You need both (masculine and feminine). What you call the masculine presence gives you strength and energy. It is a bonding in my service. The so-called feminine gives you grace and peace. It is a healing between you and me.
Jerry Martin [00:06:39] A woman I know recently took a boat trip up the Amazon. One night, she awakened when everyone else was fast asleep and went up to the deck. The entire galaxy was splayed across the sky. She was enveloped by the dark sights and murmuring sounds of the jungle, teeming with life in the midst of tranquility. It was an immersion in the universe itself. She did not call the experience mystical or even religious, but it was certainly an epiphany, a moment of intimate connection with the Whole, full of awe, wonder, and reverence. Abigail asked if I had ever had any spiritual experiences before. I said, no, but I had forgotten two events early in my life. Well, not forgotten. Set aside, is more accurate. The first occurred when I was just a kid. One of my chores was watering the lawn. I had run water in the shrubs and bent down to turn off the faucet. I don't know why I lingered for a moment, crouching down, looking at the tap, but as I did, a last drop of water slowly formed on the bottom edge and hung there. I looked at that drop of water in a way I had never looked at anything before. I saw it--how to describe it?--in its full presence, its suchness, its integrity as an independent existent in the community of being. When I later read about encountering Nature as Thou, this experience came to mind. It was not as if the drop of water had a mind or a soul or was looking back at me or anything like that. Yet I no longer saw it as merely an *it,* merely an item in the inventory of the universe. I saw the drop of water as, in a sense, a member of what Immanuel Kant called the Kingdom of Ends--the community of all beings who should be respected as ends-in-themselves, not just as means for the use of others. This is, of course, language I now use. I don't know how I would have described it at the time. I was just a kid, after all, and it didn't seem worth telling. The other experience was more arresting and consequential. It was a balmy evening during my senior year at Riverside Poly High School. We used to go downtown to one of those old-style, elegant movie theaters. My friends and I were outside, standing around and joking, waiting for others to arrive. Suddenly, I was in a world of my own, enveloped by concentric circles swirling around a center, like a small spiral galaxy. Just as suddenly, the experience was over. It would have been hard to describe even then, but its meaning was crystal clear. Time had disclosed its essence to me. I did not mention it to my friends, who had not noticed my "absence." I did not tell anyone--whatever understanding I retained I could not have articulated even to myself--but the moment left an imprint.
Scott Langdon [00:10:39] 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.