Thursday, November 13, 2014

"You Were Dead"

That is the way Ruby Graupera-Cassimiro's husband described her condition. That is, after her heart quit beating and after doctors spent three hours attempting to revive her. Just as doctors were ready to give up and pronounce her dead, suddenly (several minutes after doctors had quit working on her) her pulse returned and she was unmistakably alive. All this after complications following a C-section. Baby is fine.

Hospital spokesperson Thomas Chakurda calls it "divine providence."

While Graupera-Cassimo was apparently dead she had an experience of seeing a "spiritual being" she believers was her father, surrounded by other "spiritual beings," who told her it wasn't her time.

Doctors are calling her case a "double miracle," because not only did she survive after being presumed dead, she has suffered no brain damage such as should be expected after 45 minutes without a pulse.

I love stories like this. So is it a miracle? I think not; not in the sense of being something against all know science. These things happen, even if rarely, and that it does happen demonstrates it can happen.

Having said that, these things can have a profound spiritual impact on those who experience them and their loved ones. The vision of being informed it isn't time, something reported time and again in these near-death experiences has the ring of the uncanny to it.

I am beginning to allow myself again to consider the divine in life. Just because an event isn't an against-physics type of miracle, doesn't mean it isn't miraculous. I accept evolution, yet still feel that an unguided evolution is very hard to grasp in light of the complexity of the cosmos.

For some time I've grappled with the ages-old concept of a Logos back of everything. A guiding, organizing principle behind life doesn't seem so far-fetched to me now. As I recall, even as a child I had a sense of this before I was schooled in the theology of the Abrahamic concept of God.

Even after that indoctrination there was a latent animism deep inside me that often caused intellectual conflict. I remember even as Christian wondering why God couldn't act through means rather than through the traditional concept of miracle. Always it occurred to me look first for more "natural" explanations for Bible miracles.

My journey has been a long one with many twists and turns. It is still underway....


  1. Do you feel yourself being pulled toward the Christian concept of God or are you still thinking in terms of the Oneness of the universe?

    1. Hi, Ruth. So glad you stopped by. I feel myself being pulled away from reductionist materialism.

  2. I tried posting re: Marxism but for some reason it would let me post there. Briefly, thanks for that info. I've long read a blog (not listed on my blogroll) from a fellow Canadian and though I enjoy the info. there I'm not a fan of her Marxism as she calls it. I do not know enough about it but it makes me uneasy because I sense what may be what you call extremism.

    Now for this post. If not "reductionist materialism" than what? I'm looking for replacement words for those two words.

    Note to self. If you ask questions you're going to have to turn your brain on and think. (Sometimes I wish my brain would rest.) :)

  3. Forgive my humour . . . seriously, forgive me. It is a serious post but when I read the comment about the doctor saying they never saw anything like this, (prepare for being grossed out) . . . that's the same thing the doctors and nurses said after I gave birth to our first born when I experienced a rectal prolapse.

    1. Last comment first: Ouch! It sends chills up and down my spine just thinking about that.

      Now to to your other. It is hard for me to put into words - briefly, at least - what I think now. Two years ago I would have said I'm a pantheist. Richard Dawkins characterized that as "sexed-up atheism." I felt the force of that. I suppose I have evolved, maybe, into a panentheist. I like Wikipedia's definition of panentheism as "a belief system which posits that the divine (be it a monotheistic God, polytheistic gods, or an eternal cosmic animating force) interpenetrates every part of nature and timelessly extends beyond it."

      I feel that militant (or strong) atheism is one pole and religious fundamentalism (of whatever variety) is the opposite. I see myself somewhere in the middle. I don't feel a pull back towards the fundamentalist Christianity of my youth (too narrow and extreme). I suppose I am a religious pluralist because I feel there is, for lack of something better to call it, a "divine reality" - a Logos behind the Cosmos - that the human animal naturally feels inclined towards - that is, at least until they are indoctrinated out of it. (And I do believe that reductionistic materialism is an indoctrination that seems counterintuitive.) Consequently, I think of the various faith traditions as well as the modern spiritual-but-not-religious movement as attempts to make sense of that natural inclination.

      One more thing: I don't think my view is THE truth :-)

  4. Oh that's easier to understand than reductionist materialism. :-) I do remember your pantheism journey and I actually wondered if the term you would use now would be panentheist.

    You don't come across as dogmatic Doug. Never get the sense you are preaching /proselytizing or trying to convert. :-)

    1. I suppose panentheism probably is best description for what I think. At least I think it is. But really I just find the cosmos and life in it so amazing.

  5. Hi Doug, these sorts of events present an interesting challenge. For the believer like me, I am free to believe that some are genuine miracles (i.e. God changing the natural course of events) or not. The sceptic has no choice but to say they are natural occurrences (and then perversely say that there is no evidence of miracles!). Both of us, in a sense, have got the answer our assumptions and beliefs would lead us to.

    But to someone in your position, either view, or anywhere in between, could be true. You don't really know and you can't really tell from the evidence first presented. The only way to know more is to investigate in more detail, if you can get the data to do so. And if you can't get that evidence, you can't really know what the truth is. In a sense you are tantalisingly close to some useful evidence, but may be unable to resolve it.

    Do you think that's how it is, and does it frustrate you at all?

  6. No, it doesn't frustrate me at all that I can't give definitive answers to how life works.