An Inner and Outer Vision of Ruth-Inge Heinze

An Inner and Outer Vision of Ruth-Inge Heinze

In Memoriam

On the late afternoon of July 20, 2007 I was relaxing in my wicker rocking chair on the wooden deck in the back of our home in Los Altos. It was a beautiful day. The sky was clear blue with a few white wispy clouds floating by. The mountains were in sharp view with a blanket of green trees leading up to their heights. The humming birds, chickadees, and orioles were arriving to drink from the feeders hanging over the deck. I was entering a peaceful meditative state and observing the white auras jetting out from the tall eucalyptus trees in the back yard.

I was thinking about Ruth-Inge and planning to make a visit to her at the hospice in Berkeley. Sometime during this relaxed period I entered a “sleep” state. Suddenly a clear image of Ruth-Inge appeared on my inner screen. It was much sharper than the images I usually receive. Ruth was indoors sitting in a big chair and there appeared to be curtains behind her. She was looking at me and smiling. It was that “minimum half smile” that Ruth gives when she feels pleased with a situation. Ruth looked younger than when I saw her last January – actually more like she looked when we met over 20 years ago. The image was not in vivid colors like high definition TV, yet was clear and immersed in a pale blue hue. The clarity of the vision brought me out of my “sleep.” I then watered the vegetable garden and cut down some bamboo and vines. After that Marion and I had dinner and watched a movie. I had left my computer on and about 11 p.m. before turning it off and going to bed I checked my emails. That was when I received the email from Jo Coffey -- “A Great Soul Has Gone” – Ruth-Inge had died at 3:40 p.m. on July 20th.

On January 20, 2007 I attended and spoke at an “Honoring Ceremony for Ruth-Inge Heinze.” I submitted the following write-up about how much Ruth-Inge has meant to me over the years and my insights into the soul of this wonderful woman.

William C. Gough
July 21, 2007

Honoring Ceremony for Ruth-Inge Heinze

Bill Gough -- January 20, 2007

I have thought about Ruth-Inge a great deal over the more than 20 years that I have known her. Ruth-Inge has been a fascination and guiding light for me and many others. My perception of Ruth is that she was born with an inner yearning to understand the deepest nature of people. I marveled at the love and compassion that are the essence of her core being. I wondered how the experiences she had as a young woman in Nazi Germany shaped her -- the irrational intolerance followed by the horrors, the destruction, the death and the fears during the Allied bombings of Berlin. Later in life she became a cultural anthropologist. Her life became a quest to explore the world and its people -- a true seeker for the underlying meaning of life. She became a master at walking the slippery boundary between the academic community and the non-conventional cutting edge of shamanic research.

Ruth-Inge developed a community of other seekers at that cutting edge, and I have been blessed by being included within this family. With her Germanic roots always showing through, she organized since 1984 (that's 23 years ago) an annual international conference on Shamanism and Alternative Modes of Healing. She ran these conferences with tight personal control, yet tempered by humor and love. There was a desire for perfection and professionalism, yet it was always balanced by her understanding of human frailties. Talks were timed by the clock, and I gave her an electronic timer so that disagreements would be fewer -- especially with me. The balance she maintained between the intellectual/science and the experiential/emotional created a unique type of conference and a fun time for all. But more importantly she stimulated and encouraged those around her to find their path in life and to strive for excellence.

The environment for the conferences was one where you could safely explore ideas on the cutting edge of your field of research and of your life's quest. Ruth-Inge made each speaker organize their thoughts by demanding a written paper which she devoted her time and energy to publishing. As I look back over what I have done in pursuing my own personal search for understanding, I realize that I would never have written as much nor clarified my thinking if it had not been for this publication practice that Ruth imposed upon me. Ruth-Inge is a genuine spiritual healer. She understands the higher realms of reality and the underlying spiritual issues behind creation. I believe the community that has coalesced around her considers her a true shaman.

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