By Brian Luke Seaward
When Matt was 16 years old, he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. As you can imagine, the diagnosis left Matt and his entire family devastated. His father, Jack, was a physician who became especially involved – and concerned – with the medical treatment. One day after an exchange with another doctor at the local hospital, both Jack and his wife, Kay, decided to hold a prayer meeting for their son. On the designated Saturday morning, hundreds of people came to pray on Matt’s behalf. They prayed alone, they prayed together. They prayed in words, and they prayed in song. At the end of three hours, Jack rose and said to the crowd, “I know that your prayers have been heard, and more importantly, I know they have been answered.”
Later that month Matt and Jack returned to Duke Medical Center for more tests. After several hours, the oncologist and radiologist walked back into the office with x-rays and MRIs in hand, quite flummoxed, and told both Jack and Matt that there had been a “misdiagnosis.” There was no tumor after all. At the sound of these words, Jack gave a smirk. After all, as a physician, he knew how to read medical films. But then, Jack and Matt looked at each other and smiled. Indeed, a healing miracle had occurred. Now, 20 years later, Matt is still free of any associated medical issues.
A few weeks after that Jack was asked to do a grand rounds educational session at his local hospital on the healing power of prayer. He agreed, but noted it would be a very short presentation. On the appointed day, he stepped up to the podium, adjusted the mic and addressed the crowd of physicians. After showing both the before and after test results on the screen, he began,
“My talk today is on the healing power of prayer. For those who believe in the healing power of prayer, no explanation is necessary. And for those who don’t believe in the healing power of prayer, no explanation will do.”
And with that he concluded his talk and left the stage.
Miracles are those rare and unusual events that seem to have no natural, logical explanation. They have fascinated people throughout history, and they still do. They defy our understanding of what is real but we know they are different from trickery, magic, or sleight of hand. These events leave a lasting impression and a sense of wonder: we know what we have experienced even if we can’t explain it. Regardless of how they happen, miracles are recognized as events that seem to involve a powerful element of the super-natural. Although there are many definitions, the one I like best describes a miracle as an unexpected and surprising, if not extraordinary, event that can leave you feeling amazement and awe.
While there may be a scientific explanation (one not yet known) for these supernatural events, many people see them as welcome instances of divine intervention. Stories of miracles can be found in all cultures and religions throughout the world as well as in folklore and legends. For some, the most recognized miracles can be found in Christian New Testament stories such as the ones about astonishing healings, turning water into wine, raising the dead, and feeding a multitude when there had been only meager portions of food.
Science and the divine parted company centuries ago.
The very nature of miracles contradicts the western view of reality and the accompanying scientific method which uses evidence-based, double-blind studies to produce demonstrable facts and repeatable results. Miracles, we know, don’t play by those rules. There’s a growing number of people however, who go beyond the stubborn denial that they happen and have been open to exploring phenomena that are forbidden to “real” scientists. They have applied the scientific method to the exploration of what are called subtle energies, specifically the study of energy healings, and remote healings. Through the works of Elmer Green, Marilyn Schlitz, Dean Radin, Beverly Rubik, Larry Dossey and a score of others, we are beginning to move from appreciation toward an initial understanding. While no one claims to be able to reproduce a miracle, conclusions based on observations from their studies suggest that a shift in consciousness is a factor in the results. Although we cannot demand a miracle, we can prepare the mind for one.
A popular meme circulating on social media these days, loosely attributed to both psychologist Carl Jung and physicist David Bohm, states that “Spirituality hides in the foundations of quantum physics.” Indeed, it has been through the lens of quantum physics that science has begun to gain a deeper appreciation of consciousness. That may be an early step in understanding the dynamics of miracles which inevitably occur at the crossroads of humanity and divinity, where the measurable concrete world meets the non-measurable dimension of extraordinary events.
Miracles are the manifestation of love, something we are all capable of, yet we must work to open to this possibility. As we begin to explore the nature of miracles, we begin to realize that life itself is a miracle. Anyone who has seen the birth of a baby can know this. As we remove the veil of illusion that keeps us from exploring what is beyond us, that separates us from our awareness of what is greater than we are, we can realize that miracles are not as uncommon as we thought. We find that miracles are the manifestation of love realized.
The topic of miracles has been explored in a number of literary works as well. One of the more popular books is called A Course in Miracles, where the nature of miracles is observed through the lens of love. Whenever there is a shift in consciousness, as for example from a state of fear to one of love, the possibility for unusual events opens up. Fear is a product of the illusion of separation and isolation in our lives. Love is the realization of our interconnectedness to all life.
It’s no secret that our world is continuing to spin in the direction of uncertainty, difficulty, and rapid change. With each turn, the winds of change are generating a fair amount of stress that can become feelings of fear and anger. While these emotions are a constant part of the human experience, left unresolved they can keep us stuck in that thick veil of illusion and the ignorance that makes life mainly
a struggle for survival. Wisdom keepers and spiritual luminaries the world over remind us of the truth that we are sparks of divine creation and love is a divinely given force. We hold the capacity to express and radiate love, sending ripples of compassion in all directions. All miracles, no matter how big or small, are expressions of love.
In the 2004 hit movie, Millions, two young boys find themselves in possession of an athletic bag containing over a million dollars. While the elder boy wants to invest the money and become even richer, the younger brother, who is still grieving for his mother who died of cancer, expresses his desire to give all the money to the poor. In one of the final scenes, the younger boy is able to converse with the spirit of his dead mother. He apologizes for not being able to manifest a miracle and save her life. She tells him,
“But there was a miracle, the miracle is you.”
What a different a world we would live in if we could share that knowledge – that each one of us, and all of us together, are miracles.
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Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is the executive director of the Paramount Wellness Institute located in Boulder, Colorado. He is the author of the best-selling books, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water and Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward. He can be reached via his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net
From Celia – The image that leads this post is from the delightful weekly Newsletter written by Jenni Glenister and sent out by New Morning Farm in Hustontown, Pennsylvania.
The photograph was taken by Wren Nicodemus.
For me, this circle of hands stained with resin from harvesting tomatoes is beautiful – and meaningful. By working together for the ordinary good of all of us, we could create extraordinary events in our world.
(If you cannot see the image, go to http://www.winnpost.org)