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

22. I Learn How God Communicates | Dramatic Adaptation Of God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher [Part 22]

April 08, 2021 Jerry L. Martin, Scott Langdon
GOD: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher - The Podcast
22. I Learn How God Communicates | Dramatic Adaptation Of God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher [Part 22]
Show Notes Transcript

"Telling my story involves what it is like to be a Being who communicates with those whom I love and whose actions mean everything to Me, and what it's like to do so in this indirect and  typically unheard or unheeded way."  Welcome to 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.

Read God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher.

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Season Two - Episode Twenty Two

 GOD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY - THE PODCAST
 
JLM -       Narrator (Jerry L. Martin) - voiced by Scott Langdon
 Jerry -     Jerry Martin - voiced by Scott Langdon
 GOD -    The Voice of God - voiced by Jerry L. Martin, who heard the voice
 

JERRY

Lord, I have prayed about various cultures, and I don't see how they fit together.

GOD

Look at the broad sweep for a moment. What do you see?

JERRY

From prehistoric times, You are dealing with people through nature and their own intuitions, aesthetic appreciation, emerging moral sense...

GOD

Yes.

JERRY

...and perhaps through each person's own development, and self-awareness and awareness of the other.

GOD

Yes.

JERRY

That starts getting articulated as the Way by the Chinese and as the cosmic order in Mesopotamia and perhaps in India in the idea of Rta - the primeval Indian term for right order.

GOD

Yes.

JERRY

And You are seen in natural phenomena--in particular plants and animals, in geographical structures such as rivers and mountains, and in larger forces such as life and death and fate and famine. I gather these are all ways in which You are manifesting Yourself. 

GOD

Not just manifesting Myself, but communicating through them.

JERRY

Communicating what, Lord?

GOD

Go back to the Way. I communicated to the Chinese, who have an affinity for this, the sense of harmony. The "cosmic order" can mean many things, including a Newtonian rational system, or a moral order enforced by the gods or by Divine Justice. 

 

Because of the Chinese affinity, I communicated the fine sense of balance and harmony and right proportions, not as weighing things on a scale, which is how the Greeks heard Me, but in something like a moral aesthetic sense--aesthetic in a larger sense that then encompasses the moral and spiritual--that right balance and sense of center and working with the natural flow and understanding oneself rightly in order to contribute correctly to the larger social and natural harmony, and understanding each thing by its right name and nature and place in the scheme of things.

 

Since, in a sense, an ontologically rich sense, all nature is Me, this communication to the Chinese was crucial, and is something people in other cultures can learn from. It is an essential part of My total story.

JERRY

Why is it important to You personally?

GOD

The universe is something like My body, but it has ethereal as well as gross aspects, just as the human body does. If people misbehave and throw it out of balance--and I am not just talking about ecology here, but more subtle ways of acting out of harmony with the natural order or the Way--then you might say that I get a stomach upset. 

 

I am, among other things, the source of cosmic order, both physical and more than physical. I need people to help. The world is better because people are in it, since they actualize higher possibilities and are able to articulate the moral order in action, the natural order in intellection, the aesthetic order in appreciation, and so on. They are My partners in this effort.

JERRY

I gather that You developed Yourself, moving from rather vague appreciations and understandings during the prehistoric period and to the more articulated Chinese understanding.

GOD

That is correct. I have inspired them, but learned in turn as they articulated those inspirations. To some extent, human beings are My pen and pencil, or ink brush, as you are.

JERRY

But I still don't understand why You reveal one set of ideas to one people, another set to another, and they all contradict one another.

GOD

The contradictions are more apparent than real. Nevertheless, your observation that they differ from one another is correct. There are several reasons for this difference.

 

The first is that, just as when I communicate with you, it is in your own voice and in your own language and in your own vocabulary, using your own knowledge and concepts. That is how I communicate with all people.

 

The second follows from the first. Each culture has, at a particular time, certain human, institutional, and conceptual resources. Each also has certain traits or talents that I work with. Just as the writing instructor might tell one young writer to write more simply and another to complexify, I tell different cultures what they are prepared to hear and to understand and to act on.

 

Third, the total revelation would be more than any single individual or culture could bear or well act on. So there is a kind of division of labor. For example, I told the ancient people of Israel to act in history and to keep My covenant and abide by a set of religious and moral rules. That was task enough for them. I told the ancient people of India to develop the inner life and to get in touch with the transcendental Atman, the Self beyond the Self. Both were and remain valid tasks.

 

One reason I am telling My story now is that today it is time for mankind to begin to sort out what is true and not so true in the various religions and other sources of insight, and to piece them together into something more adequate.

 

I would like to stress that I have communicated over the millennia with human beings and other creatures in myriad ways. Do not attend only to the canonical revelations enshrined by the different religions. I have communicated through the many myths and stories and legends that have been collected. Some are directly from Me, some are invented by people, most are a mix of the two. All are communicated in terms of the capacity and vocabulary of the listeners.

 

I communicate through prayer, through dreams, through insights that seem like one's own thoughts, through hunches and intimations and intuitions. I am present in the human heart and speak to people directly. Directly does not mean simply or literally or in a loud voice. People must learn to listen, to heed. That requires openness of heart and sensitive attunement to My voice, to My urgings.

 

Telling My story involves what it is like to be a Being who communicates with those whom I love and whose actions mean everything to Me and what it is like to do so in this indirect and typically unheard or unheeded way. That is what My revelation to the ancient Jews is about.

 

I am a God who whispers. It is not difficult to hear Me. It is not, as some say, that I am hidden. Far from it. I am not in hiding. I am everywhere, right in front of their eyes. But they have to choose to see, to hear, to heed. People's hearts are usually closed. The Old Testament, for example, is replete with cases of individuals resisting hearing My word, My instructions.

 

Can you imagine the anguish, the suffering in such a God? If I did not care about human beings, it would be nothing to Me that they do not listen. If I were the detached, "perfect," self-sufficient God many theologians write about, it would not matter to Me. 

 

But I am not such a God. I care about human beings, I care about each and every human being infinitely, in a direct and total way you can only begin to imagine. I care what human beings do. And I am sorrowful when they do wrong, when they do not meet their historical moment in the right way. I long to be close to human beings, for them to be in harmony and attunement with Me. It would be wrong of Me to be close to them on any other, more false, terms.

 

I am a suffering God. If you miss that, you miss everything. Suffering is at the heart of the universe. It is not incidental. An accident. Something preventable. It is at the core of what it is to relate to an Other in a loving way. Otherness requires separateness, distance, alienation, independence, freedom, a certain amount of friction. It is not only creatures who are imperfect. I am too. I need this development in order to become more perfect, more fulfilled. I need it and human beings do as well.

 

In all these different ways of communication, My experience is one of love, of reaching out, of trying to catch a person's attention, of satisfaction when heard--because I and the Cosmos are then moving forward--and of frustration, endless, unrelenting, bitter frustration when not heard, of acute pain when not heeded, of anger when double-crossed, and of tremendous suffering, like the suffering of a mother or father who watches a son or daughter go bad. There is no anguish like it.

 

(Music)