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

40. God Explains Infinite Worlds And Their Purpose | Dramatic Adaptation Of God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher [Part 40]

September 16, 2021 Jerry L. Martin, Scott Langdon
GOD: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher - The Podcast
40. God Explains Infinite Worlds And Their Purpose | Dramatic Adaptation Of God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher [Part 40]
Show Notes Transcript

"Worlds are more like necessary scripts, dramas that absolutely must be enacted."  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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GOD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY - The Podcast Ep40

Adapted for audio by

Scott Langdon and Jerry L. Martin

 

(Chapters 61, 62, 63)


CHARACTERS

 

JLM (NARRATOR)           ----      Jerry Martin

JERRY                      ----    Jerry, a human

GOD                        ----    A mystery



CHAPTER 61



GOD

Let's go back to the Atman of God. It is the God that endures beyond different worlds.

JERRY

Lord, can I communicate directly with the Atman or Soul of God?

GOD

You know already that this is a misplaced question. The Soul - Atman - of God is incarnated in Me. There are not two of us, only one.

JERRY

I think I see. My self is my Atman incarnated. You as God of this world are the incarnation of You as God beyond this world. Is that right, Lord?

GOD

Basically correct.

[break]

JLM

The next time I prayed, I was told not to ask questions, but to go into the Atman of God. I doubted I could do it, but I closed my eyes, withdrew into an inner peace, going deeper and deeper. Here are my notes about the experience.

Feels first like a dispassionate center, very quiet, sober, presiding over and surrounded by whirling masses like vast pinwheel shapes of rotating clouds or stars. Feel a quietly, slowly pulsing energy, not sure if it emanates from the divine Atman or if it is background noise from the worlds.

The divine Atman feels very impersonal, not like an inanimate thing, but like a very impersonal person, not cold but without much texture or definition, no traits of personality, no emotional states other than sober seriousness, no striving or worry, caring only in the sense of being responsible and what we would call "professional." It doesn't feel fractured, doesn't seem to lack anything. It is a bit like a telos. I thought of Aristotle's Unmoved Mover.

 

 

JERRY

Lord...

JLM

I was speaking to the Atman of God, or God beyond God.

JERRY

...I have the sense that I should ask what You were and are before, behind, and beyond the God of this world.

GOD

The Atman of God is passionless, but has a kind of love, beneficence, benign-ness. From where I, the Atman of God stand, I see this God of your world, Myself, emerging, unfurling the new world. I smile like the parent of a newborn child. I know there is an adventure in store for the new God.

[pause]

 

                          JERRY

Do You, Atman of God, have a karma?

GOD

Yes. My karma, if we call it that, has to do with unfurling world after world, God after God, and tracing their steps, following their progress, sharing their burdens and hopes and sufferings.

JERRY

So, You go through all time spinning out one world after another, one instantiation of God after another, and caring about them all.

GOD

Yes, though you have to remember that time is not what you suppose it to be. It would be just as accurate to say they are all happening simultaneously. This linear frame does not apply here.

[interlude]

JERRY

Why do I need to know this?

GOD

Because this is the ultimate story, the ultimate meaning of it all.

JERRY

It has to do with Your karma?

GOD

Yes, in a sense. I have a project to complete.

JERRY

What is the goal?

GOD

The goal is completeness, connectedness, to create the many and to pull them back into the one.

JERRY

Something like the richness or plenitude of being?

GOD

It has to do with complexity or texture. A real world is one with complexity, texture, denseness, particularity. There is no point just to an eternal Atman--by itself a simple, undifferentiated, unrelated point, difficult to distinguish from Nothingness. That would be an unfulfilled World--as much as if the Creator had just created a single atom.

JERRY

I am confused. Who cares whether there is density and so forth? How can that possibly matter? I expect the point of the World to be, in some sense, moral. Is the point just metaphysical?

JLM

The contrast I had in mind was something like the difference between values and facts. I was asking whether the aim of the World is to achieve certain values or just a different set of factual characteristics.

GOD

The moral occurs within the metaphysical and is conditioned by it. The point of Reality is to produce a complex, integrated Whole, suffused with Spirit, reflecting a fully developed God.

JERRY

When You say God, do You mean the Atman of God or God as present in a particular world?

GOD

Both. Each incarnation of God strives for wholeness in Its world. I strive for wholeness in the totality of worlds. Achieving that integration completes Me, completes My task.

JERRY

Will it be finished or does it just go on forever?

GOD

Remember that time is not as you suppose it. You could reframe the question as whether there is a finite number of worlds or an infinite number. For the God of each world, the task is finite and can be completed. For the totality of worlds, it is not finite, but simply gets richer and richer.

JERRY

Isn't that pointless then?

GOD

How would that make it pointless?

JERRY

Well, it is like Sisyphus, rolling a stone up the slope, only to see it roll down again.

GOD

No, it is not the same stone. It is like a Beethoven who lives forever and writes one great symphony after another, never-ending.

 

(MUSIC)

 

 

CHAPTER 62

 

 

JLM

The next time I prayed, I was again asked to enter into God. In the usual quiet, still way, I did my best to do so. I recorded the experience.

 

I looked at God from the standpoint of the Atman of God. Saw God trying to communicate with human beings--whispering warnings, inspiring expressions (like cave paintings and poetry), prompting behavior and insights, coaching people for the sake of individual spiritual development, frustrated by 'deaf ears.' Also the Divine Self growing and developing.

 

And I thought: This all implies that human history is the story of man's hearing or not hearing, heeding or not heeding God's voice. He is like a director of deaf actors in a play. The experience continued.

 

From the perspective of the Atman of God, our God is thrashing about, in some sense bounded and limited by, and immersed in, the material changing world. What is the attitude of the Atman of God? Serene, quiet, motionless, dispassionate - but loving in some sense - benign, well-wishing, interested in a disinterested way. 

 

Until now, God's story had been about the God we know in this world. It is a moral and spiritual drama in which we and God are the main characters, and God's interactions with us drive the action. Now there is a further dimension--the Atman of God, the God of all worlds.

 

Later, I asked:

JERRY

Is the right question, why would the God beyond God enter or create the world?

GOD

Yes.

JERRY

Haven't we answered that already, something about needing the true grit of material reality?

GOD

 

No, that is not an answer to this question. The God beyond God enters or creates the world in order to find Himself/Herself/Itself, to discover 

Godself as a Person. This is analogous to why a human being’s Atman enters the world, "inhabits" a person or "projects" a person. There is an odd way in which, prior to that, or rather without that, God and the Atman is nothing. You know yourself the odd emptiness of the Atman.

JERRY

But now I'm getting queasy. It sounds as if God needs a voyage of self-discovery and we are merely tools in that effort.

GOD

Think about what you are saying. "Tools"?

JERRY

Let me put it less plaintively. God enters the world to be real and to develop to some completeness. We are not merely a means to that completeness. Interacting with us is part of the end itself, like two lovers finding one another.

GOD

Exactly!

JERRY

Or like a mother raising children. It would be odd to say, oh, the children are merely tools for the mother to fulfill her motherhood. It is a mutual interaction and bond of affection through which both grow.

GOD

Yes.

JERRY

Is the world then just sort of made up, like the grounds set aside for paintball? I thought You said, in the context of reincarnation, that we enter the world because a task actually needs doing.

GOD

Worlds are more like necessary scripts, dramas that absolutely must be enacted.

 

This world is a necessary arena of action. Nothing happens unless God and you are real, that is, engaged with a real material world, and engaged with evil and limitations in that world.

 

This is the world that has come into being, and so we must be engaged with it, just as if you were born an Armenian in 1900, you would be engaged in a particular set of historical struggles connected with that people and that time.

 

This world is the world of your struggle and of Mine. And we each have struggles in other worlds that are just as real and compelling--and necessary.

JERRY

Lord, I get the sense of the Atman of God, the God beyond God, being pulled into this world, into creating this world. The pull feels teleological, magnetic. Perhaps it is the force of love itself.

GOD

Yes!

JERRY

I thought of Tillich's description of love as calling one another into being.

GOD

Yes!

JERRY

Prior to Creation, God is drawn into the pregnant Nothingness . . .

GOD

Yes.

JERRY

. . . to make it into something.

GOD

Yes.

JERRY

In a way, this is so simple. God creates the world in order to love it and creates human beings as suitable objects of love or partners in love.

GOD

Yes, it is simple as well as complex. E=MC2 is simple as well as complex. The "mechanics" are much more complicated than you realize but the purpose is not so hard to state, and love about sums it up.

 

So the simple principle of the whole of reality is that God creates the world in order to love it and people as partners in that love. Like Einstein's formula, everything else must be understood in relation to that. Love is the sum and substance of it all. It is starkly simple.

JERRY

Then, Lord, the purpose of incarnation, of our entering the world, is to create the otherness that makes possible a person-to-person relation to God, not a merger relation.

GOD

Yes!

JERRY

So mysticism is precisely wrong, backward.

GOD

Don't get carried away.

 

 

(MUSIC)

 

 

CHAPTER 63

 

 

JERRY

Is there something the Atman of God is trying to do?  

GOD

This is the level of Being, where doing and being are not two separate acts. This--all that is going on with Gods and in the worlds--is all Me. I "do" by "being" all this. Is the electron doing or being? Its activity is what it is. It is not one thing that then bestirs itself.

JERRY

And what You are doing is moving toward fulfillment, integration?

GOD

Yes.

JERRY

Why is there a world at all? Why aren't You integrated from the beginning?

GOD

There needs to be a world for there to be actuality. Imagine an Atman without an empirical self. Is that complete? Remember the need for complexity, density, texture, detail. Otherwise, I would just be an empty still point, like the pronoun I without the rest of the sentence, a hydrogen atom in a vacuum.

As a consequence, there needs to be a "process." There is no density without resistance, traction, friction. It is that grip that defines reality.

JLM

I asked the Atman of God: 

JERRY

Do You also have a story? Am I supposed to tell Your story, or just the story of the God of this world?

GOD

They are the same story. Remember God is the Atman of God and vice versa. They are not two Persons, any more than you and your Atman are two different people. One is the self in the world and the other is the Self that stands behind the self in the world. The empirical self suffers pain and disappointment; the Atman does not, except in the sense that it is rooting for the empirical self.

JERRY

I think I see what You mean. The God of this world is, you might say, You in action, You embodied in a world, You at work mending the world.

 

I can see how the earthly God has a story, since the world certainly has a chronology. But standing outside all worlds, how can You have a story?

GOD

The larger story is the totality of the individual stories. Just as for the parent of several children or the coach of several players, there is a combined story.

 

To Me, they, the worlds, are part of one story, the story of the universes becoming whole.

 

(MUSIC)

 

JLM

Still, I thought, it is our God who has a story in this world, and that is the story that matters to you and me.

 

(MUSIC)

 

(THE END)