Friday, November 4, 2011
Looking for a miracle? What amazing turn of events do you seek? Need a new car? New home? Maybe a miracle is what it will take to heal from an illness or life trauma. What makes a miracle? How do we petition the miracles we are desperate for. Miracle is most often defined as divine intervention and usually regarded as pleasant.
Miracles are most often observed when the impossible happens against all odds. Though many things unpleasant and even horrific do happen against all odds, we have a way of compartmentalizing phenomena into good and bad. But one persons junk is another's treasure- no matter what it may be.
Millions of human beings are in real need of what we consider to be miracles. Myriad ugly situations such as unclean water and oppressive political organizations have much of humanity in no more of a position to appreciate the ground beneath their feet than the concrete slabs they sleep on. I'm going to call that not having basic needs met and bureaucratic affliction. It would be shallow, foolish and sophomoric of me to presume anyone living like that would be hoping for nothing less than a thousand miracles.
For the rest of us however, whether in the midst a genuine crisis or just wanting a little more of what we've already got, here's a thought: If life is feeling less than miraculous, simply contemplate existence.
Existence of earth, air, stars, sky, people, puppies, Tupperware, your favorite boots, cheese. The list goes on. I mean, given the variety of experiences available to humankind it's almost too obvious. The phenomenon of what we call reality itself is one gigantic miracle or a stream of infinite miracles continually unfolding. Infinity is a miracle in and of itself. I'd even venture to say this existence thing might be happening against all odds.
Look at the object nearest you right now. It's made of the same protons, neutrons and electrons that you are made of. The atoms in that object and the atoms composing the elements which (miraculously) systematize themselves to actualize our bodies may be "formulated" differently, but they are all made of the same stuff, which when looked at closely it's not really stuff at all. In fact, it's scientifically possible that stuff doesn't even exist! Miracle.
Think about the functionality of our own bodies. What or who makes the human body work? If someone handed you the computer program to operate your body and mind, how long do you think it would take before you keeled over? Just try controlling the functions that make you breath, your heart beat and give you mental capabilities. Given that opportunity, we'd all drop dead in less than a minute. Us being animated, thinking, creatures? Huge freakin' miracle. Overlooked daily.
In light of this infinite miracle existing at this moment; breath, blood, beating hearts, redwood trees, water, stars, bubble gum, emotions, The Rolling Stones (!)- how can we ever question that miracles are being worked not only constantly, but miracles are the only thing that ever happens.
I don't mean to get all trippy, but whoa, that's cool. You gotta admit. And I love being reminded of it.
Returning to poverty and oppression as translated into miracles? Maybe the more we as privileged individuals living in the world of easy to spot miracles appreciate this phenomenon, the deeper appreciation we have for what the the world around us offers. We feel ease and gratitude in extending ourselves to those who do not have that luxury.
As a woman in the midst of a full swing life transition (I'll spare the details) that could easily be viewed as a partial crisis, I have thought a lot about this. People do extend themselves to offer time, energy and resources and it feels miraculous to get what I need precisely when I need it. I can slice into an orange, listen to my boys giggle, plug in my miraculous little ipod device, say hello to a dear friend and my breath is taken away by commonplace bits of magic. Every miracle I need exists all around me at all times.
My miracles may be different than yours, but if you really think about it, there is no one thing that is more miraculous than another. Truly so. Some things just appear more impressive than others, which is probably why we've forgotten what the miraculous really is.
Recognizing miracles is much like the Hindu story about the monkey deity Hanuman who possesses vast powers, but has merely forgotten it until reminded that his power is infinite. Only then does he remember that he can do anything. We, like Hanuman are also immeasurably powerful. Miracle workers in need of a simple reminder.
I like to remember the Hopi Elder saying: "We are the ones we've been waiting for." A statement as deeply profound and true as it gets. Human existence is a miracle, down to every single aspect of our beings. Which means every capability we posses is miraculous. That makes our actions miracles, therefore we are miracle workers. We are, every single one of us miracle workers.