Miracles are defined as something that cannot be explained by natural laws. Baruch Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher in the 1700s.
He believed that a miracle is something we just haven’t yet found an explanation for. If you believe that premise, then there are no miracles. Humans seek answers to every question. If people keep searching long enough, they will find an answer, right or wrong.
What are Some Famous Miracles?
In 2014 Rub Graupera-Cassimiro became unconscious at a Florida hospital. She had no pulse for 45 minutes. While her family were saying goodbye, she came back to life. She did not have any brain damage and completely recovered.
In 2015 a St. Louis teen fell through ice and had no pulse for 45 minutes. He made a complete recovery which his doctors called miraculous. His mother wrote a book called Impossible. The book has been made into a film named Breakthrough which will be released in 2019.
In 2015 Pope Francis kissed a vial containing the blood of St. Gennaro. It partially liquefied. That had happened once before in 1848 when Pope Pius IX kissed it. St. Gennaro is the patron saint of Naples, Italy. He is also honored every year in New York City’s festival in Little Italy. The food is always miraculous.
In the 17th Century St. Joseph of Cupertino flew over a watching crowd while in a deep meditation. He is the patron saint of air travelers.
St. Bernadine Soubirous saw the Virgin Mary 18 times at Lady of Lourdes. Her body has never decayed and gives off the scent of flowers.
The Virgin Mary appear several times to Juan Diego. The Virgin imprinted her image on his cloak to show proof that he was in her presence. When he unfolded the cloak to show others, flowers fell out. A cathedral in Mexico City was built on the spot she appeared along with a shrine. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic site for pilgrims in the world.
Saint Charbel Makhloufird was a Lebanese Maronite monk who lived in the late 1900s. Before being a Monk, he was an orphan, a shepherd, and hermit, and performed many miracles.
After Charbel died, a paralyzed woman dreamed of being operated on by two monks. Saint Charbel later appeared to her and said he was one of the surgeons and performed the healing to bring those who had lost faith back to the fold.
The Miracle Berry from West Africa makes sour foods taste sweet. The berry has a low sugar content. The fruit creates a chemical reaction with the molecules on the taste buds on the tongue. This causes something sour, like lemon juice to taste sweet, like lemonade. The berries are freezed dried and imported. You can read more about the Miracle Berry if you CLICK HERE. I haven’t tried them. But I am ordering some and will do a complete review at a later date. Imagine drinking vinager and having it taste like apple juice or wine. Okay, I admit, it’s not really a miracle.
Faith Healing and Science
The laying on of hands phenomenon began in the mid-1800s as an adaption of the first Pentecostals. The practitioners said that the power they transferred through their hands to a sick person was from a connection to the Holy Spirit. There were also many mesmerists who used techniques to give the effects of magical powers. Spiritualists were wildly popular with the public in the late 19th Century, especially in Victorian England. Live performances were the onle public entertainment and the medical profession was still limited. Aspirin and penicillin were not known. In the early 20th century faith healers again became fashionable. Many traveled around the country and were as much entertainment as religion. With the advent of radio and TV several faith healers had the opportunity to reach wider audiences. Healers have the intention to answer the question, “do miracles really happen” by their actions. The tone of their words and the atmosphere they create add to the psychological impact. They range from extravagant theatrical events to intimate gatherings. The leaders are immensely charismatic personalities.
Aime Semple McPherson built a temple in Los Angeles that is still used as a worship place. She was probably the first religious personality to use social media to her advantage. She became friendly with Hollywood stars of the period. There is sometimes confusion about faith healers who practice mentalism rather than spirituality. There are also outright frauds. Most are well-meaning people whose egos are as big as their spiritual nature. The end up enjoying their celebrity status and incomes, which is sometimes their downfall.
Christian Scientists that have beliefs that faith and Christian living are to be relied on rather than medical science. There are also many charismatic groups that believe faith heals. Since antiquity people have believed that God or their Gods could cure them. I would think healing by touch goes back to the first humans. The concept that God is a living force, and certain individuals possess the ability to transfer that energy is found through a multi-cultural history. Shamans, medicine men, and healers were curing people for thousands of years.
Medical science and Wikipedia consider this pseudoscience and states that people who resort to such healing are harming themselves. They could be seeking proven medical treatment. Of course, medical treatment doesn’t guarantee cure. Many medical groups have introduced meditation, massage, and other forms of treatment into their practices. Many are stressing the balanced well-being of a person’s lifestyle is important to address, instead of relying only on medication and surgery.
Derren Brown is an illusionist and mentalist in the UK. His shows have been widely popular and often complained about. His show Miracles for Sales debunked those who seek out magical solutions to their problems. He uses hypnosis and mental pranks to make people think they are participating in a session with a psychic or spiritual medium. Then he discloses the techniques used to fool people. Brown chose to use his talents to show people how easily they can be fooled into thinking something is miraculous. His Netflix show The Push is an exploration on how far people will go as a result of manipulation.
The book A Course in Miracles is a widely popular course aiming at self-transformation. The principle of the course is that the greatest miracle in life is to find one’s own spiritual awareness. This self-study program teaches that struggles in one’s life are because of a separation with God. Marianne Williamson is the course’s most famous leader, lecturer and author. Oprah Winfrey featured the series on her radio show.
Is Religion the Same as Faith?
There are many who live life as if everything had a scientific explanation. There are others who live a life of faith in a higher power. The first group thinks that there is a rational reason for everything. The second group can sometime overlook rational thought by stating that they “believe” and that is enough. Skeptics often consider such people as ignorant or brainwashed. Faith-based groups call non-believers evil. They believe explanation is not only unnecessary, it is sacrilege.
Most people are somewhere in the middle. According to a Washington Times 2012 study 84 percent of people in the world have faith. In 2018 the World Religion News estimated that 90 percent of Americans believe in a higher power. When the research is referring to those that are religious, the numbers change. A 2012 Gallup study said 59 percent of people say they are religious.
It seems there are many who believe in a higher power, yet don’t follow a religion. They admit that they can’t explain everything and yet don’t necessarily have a strong conviction about God. Most of the population of the world think their belief system is the truth. A belief system is a combination of thoughts, feelings and knowledge that connect someone to a higher power or a sense that there is an understanding of your surroundings.
There are approximately 4,300 religions in the world with five main religions. My discussion here is not about religion. I am interested in those occurrences that do not have a rational proof and lead people to think a higher power is the cause.
There don’t seem to be instances where scientists find something they can’t explain and say the reason is the result of unknown phenomenon that are all-seeing and in control of the universe. Science is in a sense a religion to many. They think research, proof and data are sacred. Yet, data can be manipulated. Today’s proof can become tomorrow’s false evidence.
My feeling is that we are only human and can only understand what human brains are capable of. But that is not the whole of being. There are many other realities, dimensions and ways of experiencing the universe other than the human experience. Our ability to explain things has little bearing on whet happens. The universe keeps flowing on if we can make up proof and if we can’t explain it.
Can Miracle Really Happen?
Miracles of faith need no explanation because that is what makes them miracles and that is what makes faith. Belief has been established before. The only proof is to determine if the person is telling the truth, in his or her right mind, and is devoted enough for such an occurrence to happen. There are also instances where the innocent witness a phenomenon.
Is the power of miracles is in the head? The brain power is energized by prayer or meditation to be open to something that seems irrational. This may be the case in many instances where someone wanted something that seemed impossible to them. In fact, probably the desire was always possible, but the person had learned somewhere in his or her past that they couldn’t expect it.
Consciousness is the awareness a person’s mind that it exists and that the world around it exists outside. It is a sense of identity. The being is unified and yet separate from the universe. A great deal of evidence suggests that animals also have consciousness. In the past, people thought humans were special in this regard. Consciousness was considered one of the differences made by man’s large brain. But testing has shown that animals have the neural capabilities and they often show behaviors that indicate they are conscious of their own being and of outside themselves.
In the future will artificial intelligence be programmed to have consciousness. It seems that if it is only a matter of brain power, then that might be possible. Behaviorist psychologist believe there is no mind. They see that brain as the same as any other organ that can be changed and trained.
The Conflict Between Science and Metaphysics
Consciousness is not understood by science. We know what loss of consciousness is. We think we know what causes altered states as a result of drugs, brain damage, seizures, delirium, illness and dreams we have every night in sleep. Changes in brain waves, metabolism, eye movement and trances. WE can track the chemical reactions in the brain and measure the waves. But is this physiology a change of consciousness. Since there is no definitive scientific definition, we don’t really know.
Is there a God-consciousness? Does a cosmic awareness of a God exist that is part of our connection to the mind, body and universe? Is this what the soul is?
Are there no miracles because everything has an explanation? Or is everything a miracle because there will always be unanswered questions about existence. Someone will always come along and ask, “Why is this happening.”
A baby can’t explain what is sees because it doesn’t yet have knowledge. So, everything is miraculous to it. Who was the first baby to every exist? Who was the first person to look around and ask “Why?”
Some people claim that everything has a rational explanation. Yet there are so many things that humans don’t understand, and we accept them as reality. We can’t conceive of infinity, black holes, and the creation of the universe. Yet we think they exist in our world as something that will be explained in the future. They can often be explained by math. Yet math can be manipulated so that the desired answer is attained, as in political polls. Many “facts” have been proven that were latter debunked. At one time science had proof of race superiority. Of course, the scientists that proved that made sure their own race was the superior one.
The whole premise of miracles is that you can’t explain them. They aren’t meant to be explained. Miracles are a physical occurrence happening with no rational reason. They are the result of faith or the cause of the observers having increased faith.
How Do I Personally Define a Miracle
My personal miracles have been answers to questions of faith, cries for help or purposeful requests or God. They have usually only been answered along with a complete surrender of my own will. My journey has led me to a place where I need to live faith and love. Often my self-will takes me places of struggle. I must follow my heart instead of my head. The vibrational energy of the heart that gives our lives meaning. It is the heart that opens to higher source. If the brain was running things, we would be robots.
It may sound corny to say that following my heart is the way I want to live my life from now on. So much emphasis is put on brain power and logic. Living in love and following your heart is tapping into a different energy. How many love songs say, “I give you my heart?” They never say, “I give you my brain.”