GOD: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher - The Podcast

139. The Life Wisdom Project | Shared Journeys: Marriage and Divine Encounters | Special Guest: Dr. Abigail L. Rosenthal

August 10, 2023 Jerry L. Martin, Scott Langdon, Abigail L. Rosenthal
GOD: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher - The Podcast
139. The Life Wisdom Project | Shared Journeys: Marriage and Divine Encounters | Special Guest: Dr. Abigail L. Rosenthal
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome to 'God: An Autobiography, The Podcast,' where Jerry and his real-life wife, Abigail L. Rosenthal, explore profound life wisdom from "God Asks Me To Tell His Story." Join this fascinating duo as they delve into encounters with God, prayer, divine communication, and religious renewal. With courage and openness, they share personal experiences and perspectives on faith, complementing each other in a captivating exploration of spirituality, intellect, and faith.

Abigail offers insights on demystifying God and embracing simplicity, honesty, and openness in life. Drawing from her Jewish perspective, she emphasizes approaching God with straightforwardness. Jerry shares his intellectual insights on God's story and the demystification of divine perspectives. Together, they discuss recognizing one's calling, embracing divine directives, and the power of empathy in understanding the divine through shared stories.

Join this thought-provoking and heartwarming conversation as Jerry and Abigail shed light on the essence of human experience, faith, and our relationship with the divine.

Keywords: encounter with God, Life wisdom, demystification, simplicity, honesty, openness, Divine directives, calling, Divine story, empathy, Jewish perspective, genuine affection, renewal of religious spirit.

Relevant Episodes:

Other Series:

  • Life Wisdom Project: How to live a wiser, happier, and more meaningful life with special guests.
  • From God To Jerry To You: Calling for the attention of spiritual seekers everywhere, featuring breakthroughs, pathways, and illuminations.
  • Two Philosophers Wrestle With God: Sit in on a dialogue between philosophers about God and the questions we all have.
  • What's On Our Mind: Connect the dots with Jerry and Scott over the most recent series episodes.
  • What's On Your Mind: Share your story or experience with God. What are readers and listeners saying? What is God saying?


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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 139. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:01:17] Can you hear me? 

Jerry L. Martin [00:01:19] Yes. Can you hear me? 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:01:20] Yes. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:01:21] I can see you. You look good. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:01:24] Yeah, you're prejudiced. Ha ha. (Laughter)

Scott Langdon [00:01:38] Hello and welcome to God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. I'm your host, Scott Langdon. It's time again for another edition of our series The Life Wisdom Project. And this week, Jerry has with him a very special guest, someone you may have heard of if you're familiar with this podcast, his real life wife, Abigail Rosenthal. The couple discuss Abigail's thoughts on episode nine of this podcast called God Asks Me To Tell His Story, and the conversation is as insightful as it is charming. Here, now, is Jerry to introduce you to Abigail. I hope you enjoy the episode. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:02:18] Hi. My discussion partner today is Abigail Rosenthal, professor emerita of Philosophy at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. She is also author of the best study of evil since Saint Augustine in her Pulitzer nominated book, A Good Look at Evil. She is also author of the forthcoming Confessions of a Young Philosopher. You might want to check out her blog and podcast: Dear Abbie: The Non - Advice Column. Well, I'm happy to have as my guest through life wisdom number nine, Abigail Martin, also known as Abigail Rosenthal, in her published work. Anybody who's looked at God: An Autobiography knows that it begins with a love story- and a love story that involves Abigail. But that's not what we're talking about today, as much as I enjoy talking about it. We're looking at this particular episode and what life wisdom comes through. And it seemed to me, you know, each time I would read it with this question in mind, I would see more. But let's start with Abigail. What do you see that was-- did something stand out to you at a particular event or a quote or a topic as having implications for how we can live, as I often say, happier, wiser, more meaningful lives. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:04:12] Yeah. What seems to come through in a number of points along the way of this episode is, I would put it under the topic of demystification, or simplification, or don't be unnecessarily and artificially complex. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:03:53] And instead be what? 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:04:51] Straightforward, and commonsensical, and plain, and honest, and open, something like that. You were given this assignment that in the movies, in Bible movies they used to make, comes with organ music in the back and a new hairdo. When Charlton Heston comes down from the mountain, he's met God, or the burning bush episode, he's met God and he's got, you know, new curls and a deeper voice and no sense of humor anymore. He's all transformed. And you used to like him, but now you're kind of afraid of him. But he's been touched and sent on a divine mission. So you are told that you're going to be the new Elijah, and people don't normally get told something like that by a presence they have reason to believe is God. And so you start saying, "I'm not worthy," which is like saying I'm not Charlton Heston. You know, I'm not the guy in the movie. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:06:12] That's exactly how I felt. Why didn't God pick one of these charismatic, impressive, flashing eyes people? 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:06:24] Yeah. Yeah. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:06:25] The resonant voices that roll out like the ocean roar, you know? 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:06:25] Yeah. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:06:26] Just me, just Jerry Martin. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:06:28] Yeah. Somebody you'd be afraid of. And, you know, with due respect, you're not trying to be a guy like that. You can be imposing, but only when you think you need to be. Otherwise, you're kind of unimposing. You're kind of Jimmy Stewart, regular guy. And the answer comes to you. You have more... You're not worthy, and God says, "Let me decide that." And you say, "I don't have enough faith," as if faith is some occult property by which you get zapped, and after that you're full of faith, and God says, "You have more faith than you know." And I'm thinking, as I think about that, what does that mean to have faith, or to have more than you know? And what was it about you, who had never tried to cultivate the quality of faith and faithfulness that warranted God in saying that? And it seems to me what you had was an ability to follow a directive that you took to be coming from God. And the Israelites at Mount Sinai, it's been commented not just by me, say, we will do and we will hear. In other words, we will obey, we will get in line, we'll follow orders, line up with your directives, Lord, and then we will understand what they mean. You know, fill our souls with good stuff. So, that's a simplification. You're not waiting for some occult quality to inwardly change the chemistry of you. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:08:32] Well, I know, you sometimes say, you see this task before you, and sometimes you're recounting an event in your life, sometimes something that led to a controversy, but the task had your name on it is the way you put it. You know, this is a divine call preceded by a voice and all of that kind of thing, but everybody has moments when something comes to them where, hey, I've got to stop doing my normal day to day stuff that I'm more comfortable with, and because this has my name on it, or I feel it's in my path, you know, to be done. Anyway, I think the question in a kind of more generalized way is how do you recognize this task has your name on it? Or that you have a calling to do such and such, it falls to you to step forward. Others are stepping back, maybe, the cause behooves you to step forward. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:09:40] Yeah. Well, in my experience, it's usually front and center so that the counterarguments are peripheral. They, you know, they say you don't know the outcome. They say you will be ridiculed. They say other things. That doesn't go to the main event. Can I do this? Does it seem to be within my range? Do I seem to be in a better position than somebody else? And usually I don't go through a long list of other candidates. You know, there might be somebody within eyesight or earshot, but it's fairly obvious in my experience, these things aren't that hard to determine. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:10:40] Your experience is, it's front and center, right in front of you. So, it's--

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:10:40] Yeah. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:10:41] As people sometimes say, the only way around is through. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:10:50] Yes. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:10:51] Otherwise it's a deflection. You're not taking on what is presented to you to take on. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:10:58] Yeah. Yeah. It doesn't seem mysterious. And I don't know, you know, is there a phenomenology? Has anybody tried to portray or study people's reactions to-- along a gamut from I will do it and I will hear it, to not today or somebody else would be better qualified or I'll be back next week, have to consult with my lawyer. You know, people can feel unworthy, I suppose. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:11:39] That's a comment by God, as a blocking one of those deflections you're talking about. You think, well, surely not me or someone else. Either they're at hand or they're not at hand, but you can conjure them up in your imagination, the kind of person who would be needed the way I think you need a Charlton Heston type of person. And God says, "I will decide that." And you might take it that when the task is right in front of you, in this way, that the only way around is through, that you have to assume you're worthy or decide that doesn't even matter. It's not a matter of worth. It's a matter of this is your job. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:12:27] And always, I think, you know, there is a question, was that really God? Was that job really mine? One thing I ask myself, and I don't know if this qualifies as a criterion or just my psychic wheels spinning, but I ask myself if I don't do this will I never know whether this was to be done or not? If I'm not sure, the only way I can know is if I do it, and it turns out, it leads to a pratfall that leads to something ridiculous, that leads to something regretted for the next 25 years. Then I'll know, you know? But, if I don't try it, I'll never know. And, I'm, I guess I'm a philosopher enough. Aristotle says all people by nature desire to know. I think children desire to know before it's stamped out of them. So, I desire to know was this what I thought it was or not? And there's only one way to find out. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:14:05] Something I'm told, of course, this is the heart of the book, gives it its title, that God asked me to tell God's story. And of course, to me, by a lot of high theology and philosophical analyses, God doesn't have a story. God is eternal, unchanging, and so forth. And, so, this was a bit hard to take in. Did it surprise you? Does it make sense to you that God has a story? 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:14:38] Oh, yeah. At the risk of pulling Jewish rank, Jews have lived for a long time with a personal God, and they do have a sense that God has feelings. God can feel misunderstood. God can get His feelings hurt, God can threaten, God can cajole. He can do a lot of things that we can do. And He can also be talked out of things, He was about to do, as Moses and Abraham do several times. So, God is not approached by mystifying God. God is approached straight on, and if He's anything like us, and we're supposed to be created in God's image, that must mean something. If He's anything like us, He's got a story. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:15:45] He's got a story. What does that tell us about how we should live our lives? 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:15:51] In Thomas Mann's Joseph stories, Joseph is importuned by Potiphar's wife, you know, "Come and lie with me. I'm an Egyptian princess." And Mann has Joseph say something that's not in the actual text of Genesis. "Have a care for your story. Someday, I can well imagine this might show up in a book." How would you look in a book? You know, so that's one question. You know, suppose this were written about. How would that look? And a lot of rationalizations that people can get over, import from their lawyer, or their psychiatrist, or their coffee klatch set don't look that great in a book. So, I think that's one thing, you know, to bear in mind, a lot of what we have when people make the claim, as was once made to me by an English young man, "You talk about people having a story. I don't have a story," he said. And I was thinking, there's a story in that. And if we weren't in public, I would ask you about it. What the hell happened to your story? It's just, you know, how would this look, is part of what goes into a story. There's other stuff, but that's part of it. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:17:39] Yeah. I had a friend say, you had written this article on the English philosopher A.J. Ayer, who had an after, what would you call it? Not an afterlife experience, but--

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:17:54] A near-death experience. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:17:55] A dream in which he felt he encountered God and saw the, you might say, enacted, as you read it, the meaning of his life and how his philosophy was unsustainable. It was not. And I remember a friend of mine said, "Oh, gee, having read your piece, what would it be like to read-- to live -- if I had to live my philosophy? And I remember thinking, "Oh, gee, you know, don't you understand? You are living your philosophy." And, to your point, you want how you live, and how you're thinking is part of how you live, to be something that you wouldn't mind having written up. In Washington, D.C., they always said don't put anything on an email you don't want to read in The Washington Post. Well, that's kind of useful. And God is even higher than The Washington Post and The New York Times. So think about, you know, you're writing your story, and it's, you might think about it as sort of indelible. So, if you make mistakes you then can remedy them in various ways, apologize or make it up to somebody if you did them wrong. But it's somewhat indelible that you do what you do, and that's your story. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:19:18] Yeah. It's not free of mistakes. Not free of things you wish you hadn't done, but, I try to look at life, I guess, this is part of it. There's a dialectical character to story. There are dead ends and false starts and blind alleys. And sometimes you go down those two learn, oh, that's a blind alley. That's not a shortcut. So, it isn't as if you're a goody two shoes all the way through and everything can be on page one. I would hope not, but, you retrieve the story if you've bungled it. You consider that that's what you're doing, and that God is witnessing it and it is of the greatest importance. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:20:29] And as you learn things, well, that's the point of having all these experiences. You try things out. There's no way to know in advance for sure what's the right way to go. But you try things out and you see. You see how they come out. And I'm thinking one that you tried, it'll be in your forthcoming book, Confessions of a Young Philosopher, an episode following a kind of guru, you might say, on I think you call it Gnostic Christianity. But that effort to kind of levitate out of existence, you know, kind of jump, as you put it, sometimes to jump the timeline, just jump out of the course of time and living in the course of history, and just jump out of it. And you tried that for some months under this influence, and I gather it didn't work out. You learned its limits, might be the way to put it. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:21:29] Yeah. And that's not to deny that life can be subjectively close to unbearable so that you really want to jump out of it one way or another by embracing some delusions that you half know aren't true, but put you in a more advantageous spot than you feel you are in now. So it's not that I have a recipe for, you know, avoiding misreadings of the life plan of our stories. I don't have a recipe. But, one has to respect the story. If you've taken a wrong turn, you have to make your way back. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:22:45] Now, I'm told, in this chapter that there is-- you know, not all is lost. There is-- that the old religions are sort of losing steam, you might say. And so there's a need for renewal. And in fact, I'm told, this is a quote from this episode that there is a "renewal of religious spirit." That's the good news, but God goes on to ways in which it's questionable that many things crop up filling that gap of spiritual yearning. I guess, answering people's existential crises and spiritual yearnings. And I'm told not all spiritual voices are divine. And I was wondering if that relates-- Let me see if I can... Well, I don't have the quote exactly right in front of me. But, you know, they're impressionistic, a lot of the new spiritualities, yeah. Aimless, made up, impressionistic, psychologized, sometimes flaky, and even dangerous and demonic. Not all spiritual forces are from God. And I was wondering if that related to what you were saying at the beginning Abigail, where, you know, one has to be somewhat straightforward. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:24:10] A couple of thoughts there. I remember at one point, as God tells you to tell God's story, it seems as if you're being told to report on the inner life of God and what it's like to be God. And aside from your raising this question about whether you're worthy, I suppose a lot of people would say, how can you know the other if any other human being is already the other, wouldn't God be the other of all of those? How can you presume to report the inner life of God? Well, of course you're not guessing. You're being told. But, that seems to me one of these mystification that this episode doesn't indulge in. It's not that hard to know other people. It's not that-- an animal can sense what you're feeling, and you can often sense by their bared teeth and growls what an animal's feeling. And animals know to trust people or not. And we have a kind of a subliminal sense of that kind, and maybe it doesn't work as well as in animals because we are not self attuned the way they are, but I remember I was diagnosed at one point with a very life threatening illness, and friends of mine said to me about this business of the other, can we know the other, "Abigail, no one can know what you are going through. You must go through it alone." And I thought to myself, It's very simple to know what I'm going through. All you need is a diagnosis from your doctor, and you'll start going through it. And what you're telling me, instead of how no one can know the other is you can't work up sympathy because you're too scared. And, so, if we can know the other, and I would submit to you that we can, and we wouldn't be able to get through the day if we couldn't. We couldn't talk to the mailman, we couldn't talk to anybody if we didn't know the other. It's also not out of range for us to know as much of God as God wants us to know. Let's demystify this whole God thing. It's not out of range. It's not out of reach. One of the things you were told in this episode and elsewhere is it's not that far away. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:27:17] Right. Right. Yeah. One of the things people always talk about how unknowable God is, the divine is, and I hadn't really studied religion until I had my own experience. And I started looking around and what struck me was quite to the contrary. All cultures at all times in history, go as far back as you want to, have had quite an understanding of the divine and articulated in their different ways, and with different experiential components, and so forth. But it all adds up to a surprising amount of knowledge. And one thing God complains about is the ineffability line. Which, well, how are people going to relate to Me if they just think, oh, I'm ineffable, I'm beyond all. The mystical thing, which is the kind of pea soup version of mysticism and how can they really relate to me? And I think in terms of our relation to one another in daily life, if you think of the other as you're putting it Abigail, and some people do talk this way, as if the other is unreachable and you can't presume to understand it. What's required is what they call empathy. And I've been writing about that. Someone, a great psychologist of empathy, calls it something like "vicarious introspection." You know, you talk about Abigail. What? Just imagine the doctor tells you you've got this. You'll know, because you will have the vicarious introspection of seeing what that's like, of what that feels like. You will experience it yourself. And God is saying this other thing we do to one another, psychologists do it, but we do it in many different ways, is, we put each other in categories. We classify one another. And sometimes it's kind of diagnostic as though somebody has put us in a category, that's a woeful category. Defective category, wrong headed or immoral or something. And I take it that what we hear from God to us, but that we should remember vis a vis one another, is don't just look from the outside. God said you can't understand the divine just from the outside. And it's not by the pea soup version of just jumping into a drop in the ocean kind of mysticism. It's- God has a story and feelings and desires and you might say hopes and just relate to those. That's what you want to do with one another. That's what a husband wants to do to a wife and a wife, to a husband and children, to parents and parents, to children and neighbors to one another is try to understand the story the other person is living. From something like inside their skin. And the novelists are awfully good at this, to an astounding degree, it often seems to me, they'll tell the inner experience of someone very different in time, place, gender, race, whatever, they will tell the story very truthfully as far as we can tell. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:30:43] Yeah. It's another example of what I was talking about in characterizing this whole episode, that there's some kind of demystification, some kind of simplification straightforwardness. And it has-- it touches all of our experiences if we just unwrap all these obfuscating categories and look at life, real life more straightforwardly. I'm thinking a couple of examples come to mind. Emmerson says he gave these speeches all over America, I think, if the speaker can get in touch with his own unique motivations and pull those into consciousness, he can reach the person in the farthest balcony. But if he's trying to reach that person, he probably won't reach himself or the audience. And a different example, which is not about public speaking, I sometimes compare my mother and her kind of personal love to Mother Teresa, that saint or saint candidate who dealt with lepers in India, I think. And I don't say my mother was a saint, or would be good with lepers in India, but Mother Teresa used to see in the, you know, distorted face, the injured face of the leper, Christ. She would see Christ in the face of the leper. And God bless her, my mother would see you, I remember her saying, two examples come to mind, a Moroccan boy was a guest in our house, briefly brought by a girl I'd met on shipboard, and mother said to him, "Oh, your grandmother must have loved you." They had just met, and he looked at her and said, "When she died, I left home." And another time there were some German young men, guests in the house, and mother said to them, "What does it feel like to be in the home of Jews?" You know, it's just what you never say. But it brought out their feelings about what it felt like. And that, to me, speaks more of personal love. And God, as said to you, that God feels personal for us as we are. And more than Mother Teresa, God bless her and her seeing Christ, I'd rather see Abigail than Christ. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:34:03] Yeah, there's some question about, you know, what is love, actually? I do know some people talk about it in these rather oozy ways, you know, abstract or woozy, larded over with rhetoric or poetic language ways. But, I guess, I see it as much as you're saying- love of the particular person. And, you know, when we fell in love and I went and read all the relationship books because I thought, what is this? I had never experienced anything like this degree of being in love. And they all say all these warnings, you know, you think the person is perfect, and in six months you'll learn they're not perfect and then the love will blow over. Well, I'm still in love just as much today. And anyway, it was never premised on the idea. You were perfect. I'm not perfect. You're not perfect. Perfection has nothing to do with it. You love the person as they are, and you don't have to see Christ in their face. You don't have to see Brahman or some other abstract entity. I remember being told that Paul Tillich, the great Christian theologian, said, the marriage is about calling one another into being. And I thought, gee, that's an awfully abstract account. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:35:34] If you're in a health emergency, I would say, yeah, you'd get the person you love to the emergency room of the hospital as quickly as possible so they can stay in beating, but not otherwise. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:35:17] Right. No, that's like mouth to mouth resuscitation. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:35:49] Exactly.

Jerry L. Martin [00:35:57] You're doing something very different. And it's not unlike that God having a story, us having stories, of two people in love have a story, try to live a life together. And so you're in part sharing a story of your own individuality and your own projects and so forth. But in part, what one of the things you're doing is sharing a story. And that's not just in love. A family has a story, a community has a story and so forth. And we share one another's stories. That's part of life together. Right? Well come, tell, tell us all. That's, you know, here I am, swept in the whirlwind, a new Elijah, tell God's story. The most improbable things. What on earth could this have meant to you at that point? Completely, you know, pretty much out of the blue. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:37:17] Yeah. Yeah. Well, I puzzled over this, you know, reading, rereading that episode and trying to figure out why was I unfazed, you know, what was going on in my world? And, I think it had- my unfazedness- had something to do with my Jewish attitudes toward God and real life. To come back to the Mount Sinai moment where in contradistinction to religions that ask you to have faith, it doesn't seem to me that Jews were asked to have faith merely to sign on. You know, we'll do it, and then maybe we'll get a deeper spiritual quality to our doing it. But first, the main and last. The main thing is when you do it. And, so, thinking about it just in connection with our conversation, I thought, I was thinking, well, since I had no reason to think you were nuts, I had no reason to think you were unreasonable, ungrounded, given to ecstatic or wild, enthusiastic fits and starts, you seem to be on the same even keel pretty much. Whether there was a voice from Mt. Sinai or not, you were still Jerry Martin. You were still the guy I married. So, the usual questions- does somebody who- is somebody who claims to be hearing from God in his right mind or has he gone round the bend? Really, did not correspond to my sense of you. And, so, then the question is, what does God want of you? And, I was thinking again about the Jewish experience, being Jewish, as I just said, doesn't seem to involve a particular inner spiritual quality. You might have it or you might not. Might be holy and saintly and filled with the presence of God, or you might just be, you know, not at all, just very ordinary. God can use you if you're willing and I don't think of Jews as having a Jewish faith or a Jewish religion so much as being in a Jewish situation. And whether you become a Christian or a Buddhist or an atheist, whatever you are, you're still in a Jewish situation. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:40:50] What do you mean by you're still in a Jewish situation? 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:40:54] You have inherited a relationship with God that first occurred in real historical times and has been remembered. And even-- remembered and recorded and people view you in the light of that inheritance. And you might even be a great reductionist or great humanist and say nothing like that ever happened. There's still a biblical record and people still treat you as if it had happened for good or evil. And so you are in that situation and there's a question: how do you behave rightly and honorably, given that you can't change the situation you've been put in, that you didn't necessarily choose to be put in? And so-- there's a great question of doing it right. You know, how do you do this correctly since you're in it anyway? And, so, my sense that you'd been told, now that you'd had this God encounter, that there was something you were supposed to do and do correctly, that seemed to me to follow quite naturally from the fact of the encounter. It's not just you're going to be blissed out. Excuse me, honey. I have to take time out. Go to my study and have a blissful time alone with God. All right. Some people like classical music. Some people like being alone with God. But that wasn't the kind of thing that God I know about does. The God I know about wants you to do something. And, so, I wasn't surprised. I wasn't surprised. You know, if this is an authentic meeting between you and God, so the barriers of whatever kind, theory of knowledge, whatever, this can't, psychological, this can't be happening. I'm a modern man. But if that's all cleared away and you really have a Q and A going on with God, God will want you to do something. And what are you? You're an intellectual. You've been a philosophy professor. You know what it is to be a cultured man, to be a thinking man. God will want you to do something like that. You're not Martha Graham. He won't want you to invent a new modern dance style, or be an acrobat, or something else. He'll want you to do what you do. So it seemed to me in a funny way, and people might think this is odd. What can I do about that? It seemed to me quite natural. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:44:02] Interesting. It seemed to be one implication of what you're saying, Abigail, is that, in a way one shouldn't worry over belief system so much. Do I believe in God? Do I not believe in God? If I'm inclined to believe in God, what kind of God? Can I find arguments one way or another? But it's much more almost where we began, which is, well, you're living a life, you're in real situations. You're developing your own story. Which is or you're living it as if it were being recorded and viewed from afar, you might say. And. It makes more sense than worrying about all of that, and can you have the ultimate spiritual experience of X, Y, Z? And just think what am I supposed to be doing? Maybe even what am I supposed to be doing today? I'm sometimes told that's my only job to do today, what I'm supposed to be doing. And, if you're doing that in the right way with regard to the people you affect in your situation, then you're working with God, whatever you call yourself, whatever your label. You're filling out your story and maybe helping fill out God's story. Because it's like a marriage. You're doing a story together. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:44:34] Yeah. That, so, atypical as it might be to talk about it, or record it as you've done, it may be much more common than is widely acknowledged. You know, it might not be that rare. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:46:02] Thank you, Abigail, for an interesting discussion and full of a lot of wisdom. I don't know any woman with more. 

Abigail L. Rosenthal [00:46:10] Thank you, Jerry. This has been a rare treat. 

Scott Langdon [00:46:34] 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 questions@godanautobiography.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.

Introduction | The Life Wisdom Project
Meet Dr. Abigail L. Rosenthal
Demystification And Simplicity
Being Chosen As The New Elijah
Recognizing Your Calling | A Guide To Discovering Your True Path
God Has A Story | Finding Meaning in the Divine Narrative
Mistakes and Ayer
Spiritual Voices | Navigating The Sacred And Spiritual
Renewal Of Religious Spirit | Reviving Faith In Modern Times
God's Desire | Exploring The Depths Of Divine Will
Inheriting A Jewish Situation | Embracing Tradition In A Contemporary World
Outro and Contact Information: Stay Connected