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

159. Special Episode | Revisiting I Ask God Hard Questions About Ego And Suffering

December 28, 2023 Jerry L. Martin, Scott Langdon
159. Special Episode | Revisiting I Ask God Hard Questions About Ego And Suffering
GOD: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher - The Podcast
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GOD: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher - The Podcast
159. Special Episode | Revisiting I Ask God Hard Questions About Ego And Suffering
Dec 28, 2023
Jerry L. Martin, Scott Langdon

Questions? Comments? Text Us!

In this captivating episode philosopher Jerry L. Martin engages in a profound conversation with God, exploring ego, flattery, and the purpose of human suffering. As Jerry seeks God's wisdom on navigating the delicate balance between healthy self-appreciation and destructive ego, embark on a reflective journey through the challenges of healing a bruised ego and living in tandem with divine guidance.

Reflecting on a poignant moment during a personal encounter with suffering—a heart attack—Jerry unveils how such trials can lead to profound insights and a deeper connection with the divine. Discover the transformative power of aligning one's life with the will of God and finding meaning in the face of adversity.

This episode offers a unique perspective on life's trials and the pursuit of spiritual harmony. Whether grappling with questions about ego, seeking solace in the midst of suffering, or yearning for a deeper connection with the divine, listeners will find profound insights that resonate with the human experience.

Don't miss out on this enlightening exploration into the realms of ego, suffering, and the transformative potential of aligning one's life with divine purpose and to stay tuned for next week's Life Wisdom Project.

Relevant Episodes:

 [Dramatic Adaptation] I Ask God Hard Questions About Ego and Suffering

Other Series:
The podcast began with the Dramatic Adaptation of the book and now has several series:

Resources:

Hashtags: #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!

Share Your Story | Site | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Questions? Comments? Text Us!

In this captivating episode philosopher Jerry L. Martin engages in a profound conversation with God, exploring ego, flattery, and the purpose of human suffering. As Jerry seeks God's wisdom on navigating the delicate balance between healthy self-appreciation and destructive ego, embark on a reflective journey through the challenges of healing a bruised ego and living in tandem with divine guidance.

Reflecting on a poignant moment during a personal encounter with suffering—a heart attack—Jerry unveils how such trials can lead to profound insights and a deeper connection with the divine. Discover the transformative power of aligning one's life with the will of God and finding meaning in the face of adversity.

This episode offers a unique perspective on life's trials and the pursuit of spiritual harmony. Whether grappling with questions about ego, seeking solace in the midst of suffering, or yearning for a deeper connection with the divine, listeners will find profound insights that resonate with the human experience.

Don't miss out on this enlightening exploration into the realms of ego, suffering, and the transformative potential of aligning one's life with divine purpose and to stay tuned for next week's Life Wisdom Project.

Relevant Episodes:

 [Dramatic Adaptation] I Ask God Hard Questions About Ego and Suffering

Other Series:
The podcast began with the Dramatic Adaptation of the book and now has several series:

Resources:

Hashtags: #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!

Share Your Story | Site | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

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 159. 

Scott Langdon [00:01:12] Hello and welcome to episode 159 of God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. I'm your host, Scott Langdon. On next week's episode of the podcast we will join Jerry and his very special guest for another edition of The Life Wisdom Project. Their discussion will center around episode 13: I Ask God Hard Questions About Ego and Suffering. In episode 13, Jerry has a basic question about ego, and God's response is one that leads to a more expansive discussion about suffering and what it means to be in union with God. So in preparation for the next edition of the Life Wisdom Project and to set you up with some context for next week's episode, we bring you a replay of episode 13. Remember, you can always hear the complete audio adaptation of God: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher by beginning with episode one of our podcast and listening through episode 44. Here now is episode 13. I hope you enjoy the episode. 

Scott Langdon [00:02:22] Episode 13. 

Dramatic Adaptation 13: I Ask God Hard Questions About Ego and Suffering

Jerry L. Martin - voiced by Scott Langdon

The Voice of God - voiced by Jerry L. Martin, who heard the voice

Jerry L. Martin [00:02:26] When I was still in Washington, D.C., a matter came up about which I needed the assistance of an eminent intellectual with whom I had a limited acquaintance. He was completely forthcoming, and I felt flattered by his response. “Lord, how should I take this? Is it wrong for me to feel flattered?”

The Voice of God [00:02:48] No, it's not. This is joy, the joy of being yourself, which is proper to and appropriate for human beings. I want you to be happy, to feel the fullness of your own being, its bounty. I blessed you with certain gifts. Of course, you recognize them as gifts, as benefits, as talents. That is okay. It is not the same as ego. Ego is destructive, separatist, defiant of my will, self-satisfied and self-lustful. A proper appreciation of yourself opens your heart, binds you to me, to those you love. Remember that I love you – I love all human beings – without reservation. Ideally, you would love yourself as I love you, as I loved Jesus. But that is not normally possible for human beings, because there are so many obstacles. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:03:56] But it is possible for a few?

The Voice of God [00:03:59] For some, yes. I have blessed them with the ability to transcend those limitations. They can love themselves fully, and this permits them to love others. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:04:31] One week I testified before a U.S. Senate committee. It did not go well, and my ego limped out of the hearing room. 

The Voice of God [00:04:40] Get your ego out of it. Stand back and look at it from a distance. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:04:47] A “God's-eye” view?

The Voice of God [00:04:49] No, just objectively, as if it were someone else. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:04:54] That helped. If it were someone else, I would know that, even on a good day, a Senate hearing is unpredictable. But there was still an ego wound. “Lord, what can I do about that?”

The Voice of God [00:05:04] Look, you're encased in a body and a personality, and it requires ego, strength and self-respect. When I say, “Get the ego out,” I mean the second-order attachment to ego. The ego, like desires, is a fact, a necessary fact. Like the body, it gets bruised. You just nurture it and let it heal. Don't deny it, but don't dwell on it either. Accept it and don't attach it to blame. That your ego has been embarrassed is not the same as “doing something wrong.” Don't blame yourself. That is an example of the wrong kind of attachment. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:05:47] So I should just say, “I wish it had gone better,” and leave it at that. 

The Voice of God [00:05:53] Correct. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:06:08] I had now accepted the assignment, but God wanted more. 

The Voice of God [00:06:12] You need purification. Transformation is a good word. It is obedience, which at its fullest is transformation. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:06:23] “What does that involve, Lord?” 

The Voice of God [00:06:26] Putting me first rather than last. Living every moment, making every decision, in response to my call. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:06:34] How do I go about doing that? 

The Voice of God [00:06:37] You know this. Start every day with prayer and let prayer guide you through the day. And always listen to your body– it is also my voice. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:06:50] I have not found it easy to live my life fully in tandem with God. Every day there are items on my personal radar, and I usually attend to them first and fit God in when I have a chance. “Lord, I know I should try to live each day in response to your purposes.”

The Voice of God [00:07:09] That's right. Not just do it mechanically, like a soldier following orders, but do it as an organic flow, wishing to be in touch with me and to live in accord with my will, my love. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:07:24] Yes, I always think of you “pushing” me rather than me being “drawn” to you. I respond to orders rather than seeking union. 

The Voice of God [00:07:34] That is good. The shallow seeking of union with me is a delusion. The goal is to be “in tune” with me. The work will flow from that. This is not just a matter of doing your duty. It is coming into alignment with me like two singers doing a harmony. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:08:07] Any person who believes in God has to confront the problem of human suffering. Why does God permit it? “Lord, does suffering have any purpose or meaning?”

The Voice of God [00:08:20] Of course, suffering is what makes life serious. Imagine a world in which actions never resulted in suffering. Imagine a world without the pain of regret, without feeling bad about doing something wrong or shameful. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:08:38] But disease serves no moral purpose. 

The Voice of God [00:08:40] Now you are fencing with me on “the problem of pain.” Just listen. You will never learn from fencing. Disease, disaster, aging, death are essential aspects of suffering. We live in a physically vulnerable world. That is the essential condition that makes life serious. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:09:06] All that's rather abstract. What exactly does disease do for us? 

The Voice of God [00:09:11] Suffering is the test of your humanity. There is no greater test than pain– how one copes with it. It is easy to be nice, faithful, and such when things are great, but very hard under adversity. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:09:28] But that just seems perverse– or cruel. 

The Voice of God [00:09:32] No, that's not so. Think about your own times of physical suffering– in the hospital, for example. Those were full of growth. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:10:02] A couple of years before these prayers began, I suffered a mild heart attack and was rushed to the intensive care unit. They took blood tests, day and night. There are a limited number of places from which blood can be drawn, and the same spot cannot be used again right away. The wrists are ideal, but mine are sensitive and a needle there smarts. One does not have much power as a patient, but safeguarding my wrists became my prime imperative. One after another blood drawer would come and I would plead, argue, wheedle, and insist they find some other place to puncture me. Each resisted, then managed to find a spot. I was transferred to another hospital for the surgical procedure. I was met by a technician who said his name and stuck out his hand – while looking the other way and standing on my oxygen tube. When it was time to go into the operating room, he snatched away my blanket with so violent a jerk it would have ripped out the intravenous insertion if I had not by now been on high alert. The procedure went smoothly. I watched the monitor as the surgeon snaked a catheter through an incision in my groin up to a major coronary artery where a stent had to be placed. Opening an artery is a very serious matter. Bleeding can be life threatening. The patient has to lie flat and immobile for 24 hours. Nurses in my first hospital had been angels in white, but here I was attended by Nurse Ratched's less charming twin. She seemed to resent patients needing her help. My body was recovering nicely, but the whole experience – starting with “indigestion” in the night (I didn't know that was a heart symptom), calling the office the next morning to find out what nearby doctor was covered by my health plan, driving myself (fool that I was) to the doctor's office, filling out forms and waiting for some time before going up and telling the receptionist, “I may be having a heart attack,” the quick examination and discovery that I was at that very moment in the throes of an incipient heart attack, an emergency medical team rushed to my side to head it off, being shoveled into an ambulance, the sirens, intensive care, the surgery, the whole ordeal – left me feeling fragile, as if I were made of spun glass. A sharp tap, and I would shatter. 

The Voice of God [00:12:49] These moments were not empty suffering; they even had to do with leading you to me. 

Jerry L. Martin [00:12:56] How so, Lord? 

The Voice of God [00:12:58] They focused your attention on your mortality, which led you to open your heart freely to Abigail because you realized how precious this love was. And it led to your prayer to serve God. 

Scott Langdon [00:13:37] 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 to God: An Autobiography, The Podcast
Revisiting I Ask God Hard Questions About Ego and Suffering
Navigating Ego: From Flattery to Healthy Self-Appreciation
Healing a Bruised Ego
Divine Harmony: Living in Tandem with God's Guidance
The Purpose of Suffering
Meaning in Suffering
Outro and Contact Information: Stay Connected