The NY Times has a brief interview with Barbara Ehrenreich (who will be at WiS3 in a few weeks ohboy).
She had some mystical-type experiences when she was a teenager, although she didn’t conclude they were from god or anything. She’s written a memoir about it.
You’ve written and spoken extensively about your atheism. Did you ever feel you were being deceitful because you’d had these experiences with a world beyond the rational?
I realized that whatever I experienced was not anything like a deity that I knew of. It certainly was not a good, caring God of Christianity. On the other hand, I knew it was way out of the reach of science, and I did feel uneasy. My younger sister was distressed that I wrote a book with “God” in the title. We are hard-line atheists, and I had to re-establish my credibility with her or I’d get booted out of the family.
How did you earn back your bona fides?
I told my sister how much I was annoyed by a friend of hers. She’s very New Agey. Damn that stuff. I can’t be around it. If something has happened that you don’t have words for, keep thinking.
Great line. A variation on Wittgenstein’s line, I suppose, but I like hers better – it’s less fatalist. Not we must be silent, but keep thinking.