2 thoughts on “The Heather Rausch files

  1. Liveliest Crib

    I have no idea whether she’ll frequent the comment page of her own hate mail file, but this is for Heather:

    I have no doubt that you have had spiritual or “supernatural,” to use your word, experiences. I can believe that you really did hear a voice inside your own head. And I can believe that your wish, which you felt would not happen, came true. And I have no doubt that the experience felt profound, even transcendent.

    I would only caution you not to jump to any conclusions about the nature of the universe or the existence of god because of it. Bear with me, for I’m not trying to be snobbishly didactic. I think you have something far more valuable than what you think you have, and you have failed to give credit where credit is due. As such, you’re missing out on something you actually do have.

    Normal Bob has one of the best and most down-to-Earth answers for the ubiquitous question, “What do you have to lose by believing in god?” (The lazy version of Pascal’s Wager.) His practical, and very wise answer, is that he loses out on the ability to truly appreciate the life he has right now, the only life of which he can be sure. Your comment so perfectly illustrates what he’s talking about.

    Listen to your wish, Heather. I would like him (my husband) to get me some flowers and to tell me he loves me, but that will never happen. This was your answer to the voice that arose in your head. As clear as that voice was, so was your heart’s desire. You were that in touch with what you wanted at that moment. The only thing you got wrong was that you believed your husband could not likewise be that in touch with what you wanted.

    But he was, Heather. Some wives in your situation, but with different preconceptions about how the universe operates, might conclude that their husbands were psychic, and could literally read their minds. It would seem just as real to them as the presence of Jesus felt to you. Other wives around the globe might think the experience validated their own beliefs in whatever god they prayed to – and Israeli wife might think such an experience validates Judaism; and Indian wife might think it validates Vishnu or Ganesh; an Iraqi wife Allah.

    But not only are such leaps unwarranted, they are undermining. Your experience was very special, but not because a magical god made it happen. And your focus on the supernatural component you perceive distracts you from the natural experiences of which you can be sure: You were in touch with your own mind, your own consciousness, your own desires. At the same time, your husband was in tune with you as well.

    Focus not on the love you think you got from a magical being who made something happen for you. Focus on the love for which you have real evidence – the love you receive from your husband. You and he made that event happen. You were in tune with one another, in a way you mistakenly thought you were not. Don’t give that credit away. Don’t take it from yourself, and certainly don’t take it from your husband. You’re cheating the both of you.

    You may think the supernatural component you perceive enriches the otherwise purely coincidental experience. I probably can’t convince you otherwise. I can only ask that you try to see it from the perspective of atheists and naturalists: The spooky part, the supernatural assumptions – those are what cheapen the very real experience you had. It distracts you.

    It distracts you from examining truly why both you and your husband was so in tune with what you wanted when you wanted it. You could probe into your own minds, figure out what communication worked. But my guess is that you won’t. You’ll give all the credit elsewhere, declaring it a kind of magic, not something that came from within him, within you, and as a consequence of the kind of relationship you have. And you’ll leave it at magic, and, when you need it to happen again, you’ll seek magical means like praying, rather than the natural means at your disposal.

    Some people spend their whole lives waiting for moments like the one you had. But waiting doesn’t make it happen, nor does wishing, nor does praying. People make that happen by having the right connection and communication.

    You’re lucky to have that love. It is not the love of god. It is human love, the love of your husband for you, and you for him.

    Seize on the natural, study it, and make it grow.

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