What Are Miracles?

By The Spiritual Explorer | Published 8 July, 2015

Dear Spiritual Explorer: I don’t really understand the question of what are miracles? Are they phenomena that circumvent and supersede natural laws? Lorde P., Laramie, WY

Sai Baba: Man of Miracles

Dear Lorde: When one asks what are miracles, I think your definition is very accurate. However, someone like Madame Blavatsky, an occultist around the 19th century, would say that miracles are indeed a product of laws, except they are so esoteric that not everybody can divine them. She refers to them as a rhythmic harmony which embraces the deepest laws of the universe. These are laws that require a deeper sensitivity and awareness. Incidentally, Madame Blavatsky had many talents, some of which related to conjuring spirits from the outer world, manifesting objects and other phenomena that were not visible to the naked eye. Some would say Satya Sai Baba was also a man of extraordinary miracles, too numerous to mention. When one asks the question, what are miracles? I think you can get a fuller view when reading Howard Murphet’s Sai Baba, Man of Miracles, for a fascinating, compelling and deep book about an extraordinary and sometimes controversial saint.

What are miracles?

What are miracles? When I ask about miracles, I think of them as unexpected happenings that I didn’t rationally expect from a situation. It is sometimes when you are expecting a bad result from your doctor and your test performance turns out excellent. Or how about when you go to get your car repaired and the bill is much less than what you expected? We then easily say, “Wow, it’s a miracle.” It seems that objectively one outcome occurs instead of an expected one. Our logical mind says that rationally one thing should occur, yet another does.

Aspirants newly on the path

Remember the phrase, “Expect a miracle and it will happen”? In the 70’s, particularly with new devotees of Satya Sai Baba, I would hear them tell me that now they had the miracle of always being able to get great parking spaces. While this always sounded naive and foolish, I marveled at the new enthusiasm which people felt when meeting a new and wonderful spiritual teacher. To finally arrive at that connection with an extraordinary teacher and saint was revelatory and nothing short of miraculous. Their views changed, becoming wider and more expansive, their compassion deepened and there was newfound hope and discovery.

Finding miracles in everyday life

In asking what are miracles, I think we need but to look at our everyday life and see the miracle of the human body, the green of the grass, the blue of the sky and the many wonders that are in this universe, which we inhabit. It is that time when the remembrance of gratitude compels to open us up even more to witness the miracles around us. For those of in the western countries particularly, we have the miracle and fortune of having shelter and food and other luxuries of living that few people have.

We must be careful however to not ascribe to the notion that it is our wonderful selves that have brought upon these miracles. It is always interesting to me to see athletes who have kicked a ball and won a game or someone else who has received good fortune to think it was because of their faith. They quickly say, “Thank you, Jesus, God or whatever divine entity” they think worthy. While not bad to feel gratitude at that moment for good fortune, I have been shocked at the arrogance of some who in the midst of a terrible tragedy where many people die, they say, “Well, but for the grace of God, I would have died also.” Was God not also looking down on those people also; or is it because you consider yourself so special as to be able to avoid misfortune? Were those people not also entitled to miracles also?

It is a good idea to always subscribe to the attitude of gratitude. It keeps one humble and receptive. Sometimes when I ask what are miracles, I think it a miracle that I just remember to be grateful for the basic goodness in my life; the ability to write these words, the chair I sit upon, the television I see, the food I eat. All of these simple acts and gifts, as I look around my life, in the scheme of things, are also miracles.

I have also found that when I am grateful, there comes upon me a receptivity that allows an essence to enter that makes me feel even more grateful. I have noted from experience that the universe appears to respond to my gratitude and I am gifted even more in ways that I did not expect. Perhaps as Madame Blavatsky said, miracles are responsive to a natural, esoteric law of which we are unaware.

If that be the case, let us do our part and cultivate gratitude!

If you have a question about “What are Miracles,” or anything else, you can write me at Ask The Spiritual Explorer.

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