July 7, 2013

Miracles and Marvels.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

By Dean Radin PhD author of SUPERNORMAL

The word miracle comes from the Latin miraculum or “object of wonder.” It refers to an astonishing event attributed to something beyond all known natural or Earthly forces.

Miracles are said to caused by supernatural or divine means, that is, by God or the gods. By contrast, a marvelous event is an unusual or extraordinary natural event that’s just not well understood. Marvels are supernormal phenomenon.

The supernatural vs. supernormal distinction might seem like a quibble, but it’s an important one if we look toward science as a modern arbiter of truth. Science is great at investigating Nature, but it is not equipped to study beyond Nature. The scope of what is now considered to be Nature has significantly expanded through the history of science, so it’s not always clear where to drawn the boundary between miracles and marvels. But at the present time scientific and theistic truths do not mix because we cannot study that which by definition resides beyond Nature.

Despite their differences, miracles and marvels share a common characteristic – they evoke a profound sense of awe. As the scholar of religion Walter Huston Clark described it, sometimes the awe amplifies and becomes “a descent into madness, described as the mysterium tremendum, or the mystery that makes one tremble…. In these cases the sense of wonder is tinged with a religious intimation of overwhelming significance.”

One might think that in the sophisticated, 21st century that we are long past the need for moments of miraculous awe. And yet, in 2007 when the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life asked 35,000 Americans, “Do you believe in miracles?”, a whopping 79% responded yes. Among those with religious affiliations 83% said yes, which is not surprising, but even among the religiously unaffiliated more than half – 55% – also said yes!

Tremendously popular faith in miracles causes militant atheists to descend into their own version of a trembling madness, but it is clear that the idea of miracles provides something essential for most people. People need to believe in a sense of higher purpose, otherwise nothing makes sense. Indeed, miracles are so attractive to the human psyche that traditional religious authorities are quick to constrain rumors of miracles whenever they occur. Whether it’s the face of Jesus appearing on a grilled cheese sandwich, a “bleeding” statue of Mother Mary, or the miracle of Fatima (in Portugal in 1917, where thousands of witnesses, including hard-nosed skeptics, were stunned to see something unearthly in the sky), the orthodoxy of the day immediately dispatches miracle control squads to investigate such claims, often to dismiss them as hoaxes, or in a few cases to declare them genuine provided that the accompanying narratives are properly packaged and marketed to the faithful with the proper spin.

While supernatural miracles are not amenable to scientific study, are there genuine marvels that science can investigate? Certainly. Dozens of them. In historical terms, science is still in its infancy and we’ve hardly even begun to understand Nature and her mysteries. This is easily confirmed by studying the history of scientific advancements, which shows an ever-increasing pace of discovery as new instruments and more scientists explore the boundaries of the known. These advances are blurring the distinction between marvels and miracles, and at some point ideas thought to be beyond the pale of science – including what we now call spirituality – will probably begin to yield to rational investigation. What science and the supernatural may look like then is difficult to predict, but one thing is certain – many aspects of civilization, from politics to healthcare, and from technology to the very meaning of existence, will radically differ from what we take for granted today.

Write Your Comment

  1. aesthetically designed

    I want all definitions of miracles/god or no god involved/karma miracles

  2. Alice Maud Hazelhurst Fenton

    I tried meditation at one time in my life. During that time I experienced a lot of supernatural things - one eg. The night before we had a attempted burglary, I was just about to fall asleep when suddenly I was aware of a man standing in front of me. I felt that he was a bad person and my entire body went ice cold. The next minute I was wide awake. I told my husband about the experience and also told my colleagues at work the next day. I couldn't understand it as the experience I had was very vivid. Almost as if someone had actually been standing in front of me. The day passed and my husband and I went to bed that night. In the early morning hours I was awoken by something and I immediately remembered the experience I had the previous evening. I got out of bed and went to one of the windows in our bedroom. I looked out and then saw a person standing on the outside in front of me. He was quietly picking the putty out of the window. We called the police who caught not only the one burglar but also another who was attempting to break in one the back of our house!

  3. Spomenka Jahovic


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