Join Dr. Jerry L. Martin, the author who shared his remarkable true story of communication with God, and host Scott Langdon for a captivating discussion centered around the heartfelt letters of John and Maple. Scott and Jerry explore these personal accounts of human experience and the nature of faith, delving into personal growth, healing, and spiritual connection.
Please note that this episode includes descriptions of sensitive topics. Our commitment to open and honest discussions is coupled with a dedication to ensuring a safe listening experience for all.
John's letter narrates his journey from despair to growth, revealing insights into overcoming destructive habits and shedding light on the fleeting nature of superficial pleasures. John's story of addressing past traumas underscores the transformative power of love, empathy, and faith.
In Maple's letter, discover a unifying message that harmoniously connects all living things through communication, vibration, and the creative power of the Word. Maple contemplates an inspired attunement to a higher power, reflecting on harmonious interconnectedness. Her letter thoughtfully explores the challenges and joys of sustaining a long-term partnership with God, infused with humor and authenticity.
Embark on a soul-stirring journey of self-discovery, personal growth, and profound connection with the divine. Subscribe now for insightful discussions on resilience, empathy, harmony, personal growth, and spiritual exploration, and find inspiration to transform your own path.
Keywords: resilience and empathy, harmony, divine encounter, personal growth, spiritual journey, what's on your mind, thought-provoking, new insights, divine perspective, spiritual exploration.
Hashtags: #whatsonyourmind #godanautobiography #experiencegod
Would you like to be featured on the show or have questions about spirituality or divine communication? Share your story or experience with God! We'd love to hear from you! 🎙️
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 140.
Scott Langdon [00:01:09] Hello and welcome to God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. I'm Scott Langdon, and today Jerry and I return once again to one of our favorite questions: What's on your mind? This is a series where Jerry and I discuss emails we receive here at the podcast from listeners and readers of Jerry's book, God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher. Remember, you can hear the complete audio adaptation of Jerry's book for free any time by listening to episode one of this podcast and continuing through its conclusion in episode 44. And if you like what you hear, I hope you'll consider sharing an episode or two with your friends. Here now is episode 140 of our podcast. What's On Your Mind? I hope you enjoy the episode. Welcome back, everybody, for another edition of What's On Your Mind. This is the 17th time we're doing this. And Jerri, we've got two really great emails today. I'm excited about them.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:02:10] Yeah, they're amazing in completely different ways. And the first one just breaks my heart every time I look at it, but it's not a heartbreaker all the way to the end, thankfully.
Scott Langdon [00:02:24] No, it's somebody who, you know, has been through quite a bit and still comes out on the other side. Very hopeful, which is terrific. And our second email is somebody who has a really just wonderful outlook on things and--
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:02:37] A rich understanding.
Scott Langdon [00:02:39] Yeah, it seems to be a really rich understanding of a lot of what God was telling you about and trying to communicate to you and communicate to us all through the telling of His story.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:02:50] Yeah.
Scott Langdon [00:02:52] Well, our first email comes from John and it's a rather lengthy one. So we're going to break it up a little bit like we did the last time we had a What's On Your Mind episode. And John writes in and he says this:
John's Letter [00:03:03] I used to be a person of the world, wallowing in the pleasures and desires of the flesh. I would sleep with my girlfriend, masturbate, watch pornography, flirt with other women, lust after many others, buy sex toys, over eat, and curse like a sailor. I was obsessed with sex, like a drug. I was also full of envy, and didn’t much care for the scripture at all. I was afraid that it’d cause me to stop sex. I talked my beautiful girlfriend out of her righteous path for that reason. As a result, she started loving me more than God. Heck, I didn’t have to worry about rent and became arrogant and filled with pride. I became content and stagnant; no longer seeking more out of life. I was just some overweight sinner.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:03:58] Yeah. This is an amazing story that he's telling us and telling us with full disclosure. You know, he's not prettifying the state he was in. Of course, he's writing it retrospectively for he now has more understanding. But this is a guy who is-- and it kind of breaks my heart to read this because this is not uncommon-- he's just wallowing in everything you can wallow in, all the many, many kinds of lusts, including pride, And this life of sensuality, and I think it's important to read something like this because we all have either moments like this ourselves where we will hit bottom. You know, we are living our, you might say, our lower urges instead of our higher aspirations, and we're wallowing in those, and if we don't have it, like as a period of our life, you know, in this broad way where he's, you might say, sort of doing everything wrong, he's just totally living, as he puts it, the life of the flesh. And these other bad traits, arrogance, and pride, and meanness, and so on. But we all have, if not this general failure at some point in our life, though many of us have those, and recover or work to recover, but we have it in niches. I have the problem of eating too much. So the part that I'm relating to, I don't happen to like the other vices, but I eat too much because I don't drink or smoke or care for drugs. But, I certainly like food, and it's very hard to stay away from food. And I know this feeling because when you do overeat, you pig out, as we say, you don't feel better about yourself. I mean, he seems to feel fine about himself, that's one of the amazing things, that he, and it's part of the sadness. He was so far gone that he didn't know he was gone. He thought he was on top of the world.
Scott Langdon [00:06:46] Well, the pleasures and the desires of the flesh, those kinds of things that he describes, the sex, lusting after women, buying the toys, just everything like a drug. There's something he's, you know, he's trying to get that fulfilling feeling on the inside from something on the outside, from something out here, something you feel like you're lacking. Something you feel like, you know, and that dopamine or, you know, whatever it is that biologically makes us feel, ooh, you know, in the brain. We want more of that because we feel like that's the thing that satisfies. And this is a condition that has happened for ages and ages and ages. This is a human condition in the Jewish Bible. In the Old Testament- King Solomon talks about this- the vanities, vanities, all things are vanities. I mean, pointing to the same thing in this day and age when things are so much more accessible, especially sex, right away, right up front, right at you, it's something that seems like, oh, if I can get more of that, it'll satisfy and it never does. And it's the age old thing. And I think it's, once you get stuck in that sort of spiral of well, this next hit will do it, this next hit will do it of whatever it is, this will satisfy. If you can get to the other side of that, as it looks like John is, you know, as we see, as the story unfolds, he's coming from a place now while writing this letter of I can see all of those things. I could see where I was. I was-- and you have to be able to, if you're in this kind of a situation, or something similar to it, to be able to acknowledge, yeah, I'm in it. This is- I'm not getting what I want, and I'm continuing to try and as I look around, I'm going deeper and I'm causing suffering with people around me.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:08:39] Yeah. And part of the syndrome, in fact, you know, there is an ancient philosophical school, the Hedonists who believed in pleasure, but the wisest of the Hedonists noticed that a life in heated hot pursuit of pleasure is actually an unpleasant life. There's something where you-- and people who do these different things often find it-- you're drinking, drinking, drinking, and then, as alcoholics sometimes say, the bottle turns against you. It no longer is a palliative or, you know, cover up of your feelings. It doesn't work anymore. And with drugs, people seek more and more intense, high, and so they get more and more bizarre with sex. Here he is getting sex toys and so on. You know, the ordinary sex now is boring. So you got to think of something else to do. You've got to reach out or reach down to other maybe things that first seemed forbidden. And now you kind of lust after doing those things. And oh, and I keep going back to the, you know, being mean to the special needs kids. Who needs to do that? How is that a life need? But you start reaching, reaching, reaching. And the pride knows no limits and because the thing you're describing, Scott, none of these things actually in the end satisfies. You know the nature of them you can enjoy a good dessert, but it comes and goes, right? And you don't enjoy it as much if all you're doing is eating dessert all day. And the same for all of these other pleasures, they stop being pleasurable if you're just saturated in them. And I think your insight is right, Scott, that these are, thinking of if I can just consume this food, if I can just consume this alcohol, if I can just consume these drugs, bring them into my body, just consume the sexuality, bring that into me, then I'm going to be happy. And as I say, he was so far gone, he kind of thought he was happy. He's just the happy pig, you might say. But that doesn't know that he's not happy.
Scott Langdon [00:11:06] Right? Well, that's so funny, because I remember growing up as a teenager and having, you know, the real prohibition philosophy kind of at the forefront of things. And one of the arguments, you know, I'd say, well, they, those people think they're having fun, but they're really not. And I would say, "That's, no, they're having fun." Yes, they are.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:11:26] (Laughter). Yeah.
Scott Langdon [00:11:27] They absolutely are having fun. Yeah. Here's the thing that I found out, though. Yes, you're having fun and it's temporary as everything in this world, in the life, that's what it means in part to be a human in this journey, is that everything is temporary. And so when you have those hits of a good time, you want to string together as many of those as you can in a row because you think, if I can string those together, I'm just always having a good time. But you're not. You're having a good time for a while and then it's over and then you have another and you try so desperately to string that together, because that becomes, in a sense, part of your identity. And when you realize that everything you try won't satisfy and so you need more of it to satisfy and then more and more and more and you just can't get to it. And you realize it's temporary. Sometimes before that moment happens, you can get, as John says, arrogant and filled with pride. And he says right here, he says, I didn't even have to worry about rent. I assume his girlfriend was taking care of him and, you know, it was all good. So why worry? My girlfriend pays the rent. We're having sex all the time. We've got some toys over here, everything, you know, and you get filled with pride and then things can go wrong.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:12:47] Yeah. Fortunately, there's more to John's story.
Scott Langdon [00:12:52] Yes. And John goes on and says this:.
John's Letter [00:12:55] Then, it all happened in a year. I had a brain tumor. The doctor said, “if you don’t get it operated on, you WILL die.” That’s pretty scary from your doctor. The surgery was a success but my life was threatened, so, I had another surgery to put a shunt in. That shunt failed, so another was installed. I had radiation treatments. Got fired from the hotel I worked at, and got fired from the school I worked at later in the year. Then, the truly crippling thing happened. I came down with radiation side effects which caused swelling in my brain and a loss of some cognition (balance, memory, left eyes stuck left, drooling, slurring speech like my mouth was full, I could not swallow food so it came out through my nose, could not get an erection, double breathing at times, mild hallucinations of a bright light behind my eyes, and feeling like my eyes were moving around my face. On top of that, I lost all of my friends, but not my girlfriend. No one else could understand me when I talked, but she could. That is still so precious to me. Sadly, she broke up with me from being stressed out at my condition. Ultimately, she told me goodbye. I explained my love for her will never die. I was depressed and hurt. I tried to accept the fact that she was gone, but I loved her, but what I felt was a love that was more powerful than anything ever, a love that makes you do anything for that other person regardless of you or what happens to you. I knew that she is the one.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:14:34] Yeah. Isn't that amazing? So he has this worst thing you can imagine. The doctors say you have a brain tumor. Those are not words you ever want to hear in your life, ideally. But he has a brain tumor and then they have to do all this stuff. So he's put through this medical ordeal, which finally starts working, but it involves radiation treatments. And this often happens with medical stuff. It's not the original thing that kills you, but the treatments that do you in, because they sometimes have to be so powerful, like radiation treatments, that they destroy a lot of things you need. And but that's, there's no other way out than through, you know.
Scott Langdon [00:15:20] Yeah.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:15:22] And it's so striking. He lost all his friends. They were probably good time Charlie friends, knowing the kind of person he was, and people maybe he'd taken advantage of, or grifted off of and so forth. He lost all his friends, but not my girlfriend. Everybody else is gone because there's no more good times, right? Partying. Drinking. Who knows what? But she cared about him. She really cared about him.
Scott Langdon [00:15:56] I think one of the most striking things for me that he picks up on is he-- no one else could understand him when he talked, but she could. And you know the best time to realize that, if you can pull it off, is not after a terrible tragedy like John. So if you're in a situation right now and you're listening to this, don't wait to go through the tragedy to listen and pay attention to the ones who understand you. Look around and say, "Who understands me when I talk." And that's, you know, literally, but also, you know, more than literally. Right? Metaphorically, like, or do you get me, do you understand me? And when I read that line, no one could understand me but her. Literally, his speech is slurred because of his problem, and she can understand his language, but also she understands him. She alone, it seemed in his mind when everybody else was the good time Charlie, as you say, and have gone, she understood him, and that meant a ton to him. Who understands you? You know, that's a great question in one's life, I think.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:17:09] Yeah, that's a great question to ask. Who understands me. And a part of it was she could understand his speech patterns. That, of course, is a familiar phenomenon. But it's more than that. She understood him. It wasn't just that she under-- she could understand what he was saying because she understood him. And knew what he, you might say, would be saying with these gurgling sounds and so forth. And she stood behind by him, was the only present person there, and then she left, because she was just stressed out by it too much. And part of that, the tragedy of his life so far, the mistake of it, the disaster of it, was she was all alone. She was carrying the full burden here. We hear nothing about family. His friends left because they were not real friends, right? They were not the friends who understand you. They were people who liked the lifestyle but went nowhere and don't care about you as the person they're hanging out with. They just want to do the stuff that you all find fun together, and that's their only reason for being with you. So when you're no longer fun, they move on, and the whole burden of your life falls on the girl who loves you. And that's too much for her. She breaks, you might say, and moves on. And then he discovers. Wow. This is love. You know, I loved her in a way he didn't even know there was this kind of feeling. He's always been self-absorbed. I loved her in a way that I-- a love that makes you do anything for that other person, he says. Regardless of what happens to you. Well, that's real love. And he discovers that in this hardest way and a way, most tragic way. He discovers that kind of love just as she has kind of broken under the burden and had to move on. But it's a tremendous, you might say, revelation and insight for his life.
Scott Langdon [00:19:33] It is. There is a turning point. It gets dark for him, he continues by saying:.
John's Letter [00:19:37] I was lost. I didn’t understand what happened. Here I was, happy and on top. Now, I was this broken, disabled guy. Why I was being punished? I thought God hated me. Shortly after that, I made a decision to get my own bible, understanding that God hates no one, and things happen for a reason. My speech improved a little. I read passages, scriptures, and started living a more proper lifestyle, meanwhile slowly getting back my physical traits that were gone. My speech is nearly all returned to normal, balance has gotten much better, and everything else is recovering. I’ve lost 60 pounds, attend college, and I am a great man of faith.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:20:24] Yes. Isn't that something? It's turning up, he still looks back on it that he had been happy and on top, you know, whereas I see he had been, you know, on the most disastrous lifestyle conceivable and was going to hit bottom even without a brain tumor. But he sees the contrast. You know, he was living the high life, you might say. Now he's a broken man. And then naturally, this is a natural way for us to think- Why was I being punished? It's very natural to think if something goes wrong, I'm being punished for something. It must be my fault. Well, it is kind of his fault, you know. But this isn't prompted to an analysis of What did I do wrong? In fact, he didn't presumably cause the brain tumor or the radiation side effects. But it's kind of natural and it's a reason sometimes people become atheists and reject the whole idea of God. Because if you think you're being punished, then you think God hates you. And in the hardest times of life it can feel like that. That God or whoever is in charge around here has it in for me. And that's an impulse that's sometimes hard to resist and sometimes, somehow, John, he doesn't explain where it comes, maybe from looking at the Bible, but he finally, but he sees, "Hey, wait a minute. God does not hate anybody. That's not, you might say, who God is. God does not hate anybody. And things happen for a reason.
Scott Langdon [00:22:22] Well, God is known in the Christian tradition and in every other major tradition in a similar way. But in the Christian tradition, God is love.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:22:31] Yes.
Scott Langdon [00:22:31] We talk of God is love. And so what causes or is at the heart of this transformation for him is eventually perhaps through the Bible, through, you know, looking through things in that way. That was the track he was on. I would argue that it's the girlfriend and the love. We've talked a number of times about, in fact, the most recent From God To Jerry To You episode is What Does God Sound Like? And you talked about, you know, what does God sound like? He sounds a lot like you. And you know that God would use your equipment to communicate with you, you know, from the inside, from the outside, and the inside, in a sense. We've also talked about the fact that other people, God uses other people to speak to us, to communicate to us. And so in a sense, in a very real sense, through his girlfriend demonstrating love in this way, he sees that it's there, he sees it is what God is steadfast, loving. Now, his girlfriend had her own track and she had to leave him at that point. Now, there's nothing to blame or to say on that part, you know, she is on her journey. So up until that point, she was God's instrument to him to see- Hey, everybody else has left you. Love does not leave you. So now what do you got to do? And he is hoping she'll come back. He explains to her, you know, my, I have a love now that will never die. I didn't see that before, and now I do, kind of a situation. And, you know, that might be it for her. That's okay. Well, what's next for him? Who knows? But God is saying, okay, maybe it's time for you to take care of yourself a little bit now. Maybe it's time for you and I, God, to have a little bit of a journey together. And then we'll see going forward if you have your girl back or another girl or something else. But maybe we need to work on our relationship a little bit. Maybe that's what God's saying here.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:24:43] Yeah, that may be kind of next lesson that will unfold for John. He seems to, I mean, the wonderful thing here, the girl moved on and we don't know the future with regard to her. But, the lessons stuck. He understood the message that love is the crucial thing here. And God doesn't hate, you know, and real love involves not just soaking up the attentions that someone else gives you, but giving them attention, doing things for them, and that's a discovery for people, often. I know a guy who is a, oh, powerhouse lawyer. Texaco was among his clients. You know, New York, big New York law firm, had a beautiful home in Connecticut and so forth. When he retired, he started playing piano in the old folks home. And he says nothing he'd ever done, not winning cases in court or anything, had been as satisfying as playing. He knew the old songs that they knew, is playing to the enjoyment and delight of these people. So he was in an entirely giving mode in doing that, and I'm just very impressed that John has lost 60 pounds, is attending college, and feels now to be a great man of faith- that he's dedicated to a future with God, you might say.
Scott Langdon [00:26:26] Yeah, there is definitely a transformation that is taking place. And now he is on a road, in a direction that has got to be a lot more fulfilling. It seems to be coming from a much more fulfilled place. And yet, he still says:.
John's Letter [00:26:42] Now, all that remains is her. I am waiting on her to come back. God told me just to wait, to stay and endure my situation. I’ve had visions and signs from God that point to her return to my life. So with faith, I’ll wait for her. I still love her very much after all, and I can say that with a big smile, I may have lost all my friends, but I have faith and hope that it will get better. I hope my story helps someone.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:27:15] Yeah, that's an interesting final. Here's my response that I wrote immediately to John, it reminded me of an experience of my own. His sort of testimony reminded me of something from my childhood, and I write to John: “Your story reminds me of the time my parents and a church group visited an inner-city mission. It was the sort of place where someone who is down and out can get a hot meal and a clean bed for the night. We were given a tour, told about the work of the mission, and then we ate with the street people who were there that night. After a bit of talk and singing, anyone who felt moved to say something was invited to do so. To our surprise, one of the most respected members of the church, a solid family man who had a Ph.D. and an important government position spoke up. He told everyone about his own wasted youth, his days as an alcoholic, and how it ruined his life until God, as he felt, turned him around. It was the most moving testimony I had ever heard, and I hoped it did as much for the street people as it did for me. Yours, John, is the story of a different but equally destructive addiction, which sent you to the very bottom. One never knows which moments of despair also contain latent hope, an offer of grace. As for your girlfriend, you do need to be careful. The feeling that God is promising to do for us the very thing we most desperately want can just be the echo effect of our own earnest desires. I hope that, if it is right for you and right for her, your dreams will come true. And, if it is not right, may God bless you in His own way.” So I sometimes feel a little note of warning when people feel, oh, God has promised me this and that, it's very hard to know whether God is promising-- to separate out your own, you know, most urgent desires from the voice of God from what God is sending you. And miracles do happen so that God may send her the next day. You know, she may say, "Oh, you're better now. I can come back. I've taken care of this and that." But if it doesn't happen, don't think, "Oh, now, God, let me down." God gets to decide what you need for your life. God is not somebody where you snap your fingers, even if you're very devoted and faithful, God is not there to do your will. You're there to do God's will. Because God's will is also the best will for you. What God wants is what's best for you. And you have to keep that in mind.
Scott Langdon [00:31:00] One of the things I found is that forgiveness does not necessarily guarantee reconciliation. That's one thing. The other thing is, when you're in tune with God, as we often talk about, when you're ready to take on those divine nudges when they come and pay attention to them, if you can be in a frame of mind to listen and pay attention so you're in tune with God, you start to realize more about what Mark Groleau was talking about. When he was talking about being the object in someone else's existence. So how do I show up as an object in someone else's subjectivity? And so you start to say, "Oh, I really want my girlfriend back because this is what I want. This is what I need, what I want." But then I found the more you're in tune with God, the less it becomes what I want, what I want. And you start to see regarding these other folks who are in your life, who are estranged, you start to see, how do I best show up for them in their life? What do they need and how can I be available for them? And when you start to have that attitude, it seems like God is able to work more things with you then. Instead of it's, "God, why won't you give me what I want? Why do you hate me from keeping these things from me?" Instead it becomes, "God, How can I be of service to this other person?" And if that is, I just can't be around them for a while, they can't be around me. They have stuff they have to work on and work through. Then that's between God and them and between God and you, because we're all connected. So I feel like my job and I would advise John if he were listening to me to say, "Get in tune with God as you are. Continue that intunement." And what happens with your girlfriend is what happens with your girlfriend and that-- how do you show up? God, how can I be available? That would be the question I would ask.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:33:01] Yeah, that's a wonderful reflection, Scott. And the other thing I was thinking that I think connects with what you were saying is if you keep just praying, "God, God, please do exactly what I want." You're going to close yourself off. We're always talking about keeping an open soul, paying attention to the divine signals, however they're coming, and they may be coming to you precisely through someone else presenting a need, right? That you can respond to and enact a loving relationship. Not just wait for someone to come love you, but enact a loving relationship by helping someone else and live a more open story than just saying, "Oh, here's what I want. God, please give it to me," and kind of live the divine adventure. I also want to say, and John, I think, shows he's really on the right track and exactly what you're recommending, Scott, because that final sentence, "And I hope my story helps someone." It's not, oh, I want to be here. I want everybody to understand. I've gone through suffering and I have these hopes and I'm going to the Bible and lost 60 pounds and going to college. He's been extremely candid about the embarrassing way he was living, and he hopes that helps someone.
Scott Langdon [00:34:32] Yeah.
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:34:32] That's a wonderful final note for him to end on.
Scott Langdon [00:34:58] Absolutely. Our second email of the day comes from Maple, and I just love the name. I haven't heard Maple as a name in years. So Maple, welcome. I just love it. Maple writes in and says this:
Maple's Letter [00:35:10] I really enjoy you sharing your message, THE message, because I do believe there is one unifying message. There is, for lack of better terms, a harmonic expression that is in all living things; it permeates all that we are and every living thing around us, and we are part of it all. When we have something to tell someone,we communicate through words. To be heard, which is a vibration. In the beginning was the Word. That’s a very powerful statement! So powerful that it caused men to write IT down…for what? What could possibly be so important that men were moved to put what they were experiencing down onto paper. They were inspired!…from breath… from the Living Word! The energy is always there because it comes through us, not to us. A lot of people are waiting for that perfect AH! to come to them without realizing they have to participate in the connection. It's like waiting for the phone to ring rather than picking it up. Its there. Waiting like a lover. For me, we were taught trinity, 3 in 1. So I always anthropomorphically have the Father…The protector, The second part is different because I didn’t have a strong brotherly kind of relationship to associate with, So the second part is like a good Jewish Mother, one who give you advice, warns you of the dangers and prepares you for what is to come. The third part is the Spirit, he’s the one that will take you there, he’s the party bus going to Woodstock. He comes with a lot to share and it's unlimited: Wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and awe! I think the main thing is to be at peace with the idea that there is a higher power, that we are NOT the be all end all. We are connected to every single living thing…when you get plugged into that, it really is a WOW! I look forward to reading more of the God Book!
Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:37:31] Isn't that just marvelous, wonderful communication? I just write back underscoring one of her thoughts, to Maple: “Yes, waiting for that perfect Ah, the undeniable epiphany, a clear communication like, as you put it, the phone ringing, is a mistake. Too often we overlook all the other ways the divine is present to us, simmering beneath the surface of everything we see, humming in the background of wind and surf and word in, as you nicely put it, “a harmonic expression that is in all living things.” We wait for a message that is already there, but we have to notice it.And yeah, I thought she's on to so much here and has arrived at understandings that didn't have to go through, as far as we know, we don't know the rest, you know, the earlier part of her life, we don't know how she got to these understandings. Maybe she went through a downfall and then rise again and understandings through that. But anyway, she's come through to a very wonderful understanding and I guess I took the key insight here to be we have to participate in the connection. It comes through us, not to us. And so we have to participate. We can't just wait for the phone to ring. I mean, the phone rang for me. You know, the voice kind of out of the blue. I may have participated in the connection in subliminal ways, you know, leading up to that moment. But normally, basically, you have to participate. And some things remind me of my dialogues with Richard Oxenberg, which, by the way, will be published in a book very shortly. But the dialogues Two Philosophers Wrestle with God, Richard often talks about harmony as the basic goal and the principle of things. And harmony is critical here. And he at one point talks about the participatory nature of reality and the participatory nature of God that comes through. It's kind of one of his summations of what comes through in God: An Autobiography. It's not that God is out there. You know, one often feels if you overdo Genesis 1:1 that there's like a bunch of nothing and God zaps the world into being and God remains very distant from that world. Now, that's not the view of God: An Autobiography, but it's a way, it's not even probably a correct interpretation of Genesis 1:1. In fact, you mentioned Mark Groleau earlier, he has a wonderful new series retelling parts of the Bible that's based on superior scholarship, and at the same time, Mark's wonderful presentational abilities, he makes the story interesting, alive, good humored, you know. And so I will probably put the link somewhere so people can go check out Mark Groleau's project of telling biblical stories. But those things all come to mind. And it's a wonderful communication from Maple, isn't it?
Scott Langdon [00:41:28] 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.