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Posts Tagged ‘miracles’

Outside perception which is natural and cast in the human image is an all inclusive world that I as a Christian would call as kingdom of heaven. Different sets of rules work in each world that is permitted but not accepted for ever. In the age of grace we need to realize serving God is the door to Kingdom of God and serving Mammon is a trip along the broadway to destruction.

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Miracles must be explained as blessings flowing from the greater to the lesser.

In the midst of winter my wife and I packed peanuts along the branches in our front garden for birds to peck at. (It is like food reserves stashed in the Arctic regions for Arctic explorers to help themselves in need.) I wanted to observe myself how many kinds of birds would pass their way through. Sure enough the birds came down flapping their wings to gorge on the precious food. It struck me that they must be thinking it a miracle to find peanuts spouting from birch saplings! I know where these peanuts come from and how much the local garden center charges for each. For the birds not having this knowledge the sight must seem incredible.

In the gospel of St. Matthew we read of a miracle of Jesus. In his earthly ministry he found himself in a desert place. It was late for the crowd who had come to hear Jesus speak find a place to find food. The disciples found the crowd was great that they had no means to provide food for all. Unconcerned their fumbling Jesus said, ’Give ye them food to eat.’ They exercised their reason, ’Shall we go and buy two hundred penny worth of bread?‘ They knew the cost of food but not what Jesus could do. It was for Jesus nothing extraordinary. Five loaves and two fishes he multiplied so each could be fed and there was still left over. Jesus had the means to feed them and also knew when. A miracle was possible because the kingdom of heaven and kingdom of men overlapped when Jesus walked the earth.

Before the Passion Jesus told Peter:’ whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound…’(Mt.16:19) Since Jesus has opened up a way miracles do occur where a need exists and one takes responsible as a servant of the kingdom of heaven. In the Old Testament miracles that Elisha and Elijah performed were as prophets from the Kingdom of God.

To sum: miracles as we perceive them on earth is but a trifle for those who inhabit the kingdom above. Raising Lazarus from death was a miracle but I do not assume that did give him immortality. Lazarus of Bethany would have died like every other. It was an exercise in faith and Jesus worked a miracle for the benefit of others demonstrating his own approaching death and the resurrective power that would lift him to his Father. Jesus truly loved the dead man and it connected his own death and the life after death through Lazarus  for all mankind. A miracle that increases the faith of a believer is a means to turn him towards the world beyond. When Jesus was accused of working miracles by the power of Beelzebub he said,”If I cast out.. by the spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” (Mt. 12:28) Any other way or for any other purpose if a miracle is performed I would consider it as suspect.

benny

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Music of Orpheus made even nature sit up and notice; or as we have been told by accounts that Tansen the immortal singer in medieval India by singing certain ragas could make rain come down. Likewise we exercise our reason in Science and Art to create a semblance of reality. How true is it? Or rather how much of Truth has been skipped in transcribing reality in human terms?

How we arrange our universe is based on certain assumptions: All life forms seek pleasure and avoid pain. We project our emotional ‘bank’ into getting the best of pleasure and avoiding it in pain. Of the latter we only need to look at higher percentage of divorces. Entire gamut of human experience is arranged on this assumption. When our pet dogs wag tail we know the signal, but in case of cats we say it is a brush off. Our experience mostly bears our assumptions as true. When your Rottweiler or pit bull badly mauls a child out of the blue one might assume there are always exceptions to the rule. What are we to make of it? There is a bubble of ignorance in our knowledge of the world about us. Interest from our emotional bank is supplied from our perception of self and nature. But where is the account-keeper that must account for other species as well?

What makes animals extra-sensitive to earth tremors? How sound is it to judge their extra-sensory perception by our reason alone? It does not make an exact fit. In our failure to match them is a good reason to let the nature of miracles existing at a dimension beyond our rational powers.

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In the way we compare material world on the basis of reason can we compare our emotional responses to material objects evoke in us?  Ecstacy of St. Teresa of Avila vis-a-vis that of Midas whose touch turned matter into gold? One over some abstract feeling based on faith the other over something concrete as gold.

Or take attitudes of man against his external world. The adage ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do.’ prompts some to let go their scruples in order to add to their experience. They want what life has to offer to the excess. On the other hand St. Paul may consider his belief stands in the way of eating unclean food of the gentiles. Who is right? Comparing value of experience with value of faith is a vain exercise. Man who makes use of thermals of human enterprises to become wealthy and St. Teresa who left her homeland to work with the poor and terminally ill in the slums of Kolkotta work on two different perceptions. The former works for this world to be seen and admired for his ‘smartness’ . He must however realize he cannot take his gains with him when he dies. The  saintly nun converted her opportunities for another world. Which is right?  There is seemingly no yardstick to get the reading right. Evenso both nestle each other.

Like the world here and now and the world to come duality of these is reflected in our chromosome in cells. It is a discrete packet with ends called Telemia. Everytime cell divides the telemia ends get shortened. There is a limit to which such cells can undergo division. In short death is worked as part of life. Period. Can we call this supersymmetry?

When Paul Dirac established the most general theory of quantum mechanics and it is from his equation we have this notion of an antiparticle to each particle – i.e. the positron as antiparticle to the electron.

Without arriving at this notion by experimenting, -a fundamental creed of Science to solve a problem only by undeniable proof, Dirac worked out by unerring mathematical logic, only reliable tool at such quantum level. Is this super symmetry consistent all throughout? If antimatter and matter were so constituted we might say universe will cancel itself. There are many imponderable forces in flow to which Science shall never be able to fathom fully without giving element of uncertainty its due place. For a Christian faith is not uncertainty but giving the pulse of life in him or her  a sound anchor.

What is faith but giving life that pulsates in us to get up and go about without fully understanding our physiology? A baby whose impression of the world is backed up even before he is conscious of what shall follow, the same growing up phase as any other infants. What loads its interior impulses even in so naked stage is its own, something that stamps it as an unique being. One might call it soul or its essence. Experience is merely molting wings but the direction in which it may want to strike out is not answerable to any known maps drawn up before. Whose hands drew it up? One need to suppose the answer for which goes farther in time and space. If we were to reason of experience we need to ask if there is a cut off point like the Pillars of Hercules, ‘No Further?’

We are star children since every element of our bodies has been bequeathed to us from interstellar events. Faith is therefore is much more than material facts that can be examined as a fossil or fitted to an original form. (To be concluded)

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According to Merriam-Webster dictionary a miracle is defined as an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.

On closer examination many events touted as miracle can be interpreted as natural causes. In ancient Greece a bleeding Juniper tree caused great sensation and was venerated by people as a miracle.

‘The phenomenon of bleeding’ tree – in which a mysterious red liquid pours from chopped-down trunks – is one which has left scientists shocked and tree surgeons baffled,’…BBC Two’s documentary series Nature’s Weirdest Events suggest it may happen more often than you think.

Australian Chris Wharton was among those who revealed their shock at seeing a tree apparently pouring blood after he had cut it down, admitting he had ‘the shock of his life’.

‘I do not understand why this tree has apparently blood pumping out of it,’ he said, ‘It was the strangest thing.’

And presenter Chris Packham added that it was by no means an isolated incident, with reports of ‘bleeding trees’ occurring across the world and everything from disease to ‘the supernatural’ being blamed.

The good news is that there does seem to be an explanation for the weird goings-on – with rising sap in the springtime apparently responsible.

‘The sap is at high pressure until the leaves open and begin to evaporate the water, any injury releases this pressure,’ Packham explained.

‘This apparent ‘bleeding’ can look distressing, but it may be the tree’s way of trying to heal.’

(ack: caroline westbrook/Metro News of June 19,2014)

In ancient Greece man had no understanding of the forces of nature that assailed his everyday life. He did not have a conception of a single universe and his own reality was ‘ a confused republic full of warring forces.’ According to Fustel d Coulanges he prayed to them and worshiped them;he made them his gods.’  Since man acquired a scientific temper much of his world around him also became orderly. Think of it as Orpheus with his music quietening the wild beasts. He could play music notes arranged to create harmony. He merely settled their untamed nature in harmony with his own art. Science is like Orpheus. A scientist of the Medieval period could not have dreamt up Spooky Science or quantum computing. Suppose an Alien could show man in the Middle Ages the working of quantum world would he not have considered it a miracle? Miracle in a way is a crossover of two different states of being where power of say Alien (in terms of Technology, mastery over multi-dimensional existence) is no match for man whose mastery is merely three dimentional in a 2D universe. (To be continued)

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Man’s needs, say for a specific example his social needs have configured his anatomy accordingly. No one will dispute the fact he as a social animal requires speech in order to communicate. Apes also are gregarious and live in social groups and speak in a manner of speaking but speech of man is altogether of another league.
His speech owes to the larynx or voice box, that sits lower in the throat than in chimps, one of several features that enable human speech. Human ancestors evolved this roughly 350,000 years ago. We also possess a descended hyoid bone — this horseshoe-shaped bone below the tongue, unique in that it is not attached to any other bones in the body, allows us to articulate words when speaking. Add to this the use of hands where we can bring our thumbs all the way across the hand to our ring and little fingers. We can also flex the ring and little fingers toward the base of our thumb. This gives us a powerful grip and exceptional dexterity to hold and manipulate tools with. Thus man although he bears many similarities to other species have cut the bridges behind him so to speak. Research has shown that monkeys that live in larger groups grow bigger brains. If man did learn to speak at first with signs or clicking his teeth he went further to perfect speech. Here also modulated speech served him well to give different shades of meaning to his thought. Wisdom and power in the case of man was put to a specific purpose.

By inventing writing around 3100 BC he added his skills to strike a different path from other species. Writing led to other skills art and literature,- each step keeping his progress so unique, and reversal would never mean going back to the state where he began. Life experience of one has become common for all. His personal experience has become part of collective memory of his species.
Experience and his social back up are the two pinions that keep the species survivors. Miracles and ability to move through other dimensions are as trivial as a conjurer’s tricks. It does not add to the common experience.
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No man lives for himself and his pioneering work adds to the common fount. Have you thought the invention of wheels by a nameless inventor is even now crucial to human advancement? Invention of movable printing freed man’s thought from the Church of Rome’s stranglehold. Man’s progress is fuelled by unrestricted exercise in setting goals for individual advancement and in meeting them experience has added to the whole.
We as humans traded off working with many dimensions in order to get our image of the physical universe in focus. Our body thus is made to prioritize our goals since we are mortals and bequeath our gains to our children. Our genetic push is not only in terms of hereditary traits but also our civilization. Is it not better to live focused and be vital in one’s short life than live useless playboy style of living for some 200 years, and competing with our children for livelihood and place in the sun? Nature also indicates this point according to Malthusian theory on Population and Resources. Under threat of limited resources wars, plagues and calamities Nature clears off the old, useless and the weak. The idea is that the young and strong stand better chance of passing on the gains forward.
In such trade off what we call as miracle is against natural laws. Every day Prophet Muhammed did not ride up his winged horse to commune with the Angel Gabriel. Nor did Jesus of Nazareth make five fishes and loaves multiply to go around. This being the case a man being able to enter another dimension or distort time holds for the world no practical value or merit. Nowadays the Church of Rome needs to propose a name for sainthood more often and ascribe miracles to the candidate, which seems more an exercise to distract the world from looking at the all pervasive sex abuse and corruption that goes under the Holy See.
benny

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A miracle to a modern mind is inconvenient since he cannot break its hard exterior to reach what kernel it may carry within. Where he seeks order and assurance what his senses tell are all within reason anything that does not fit this rule is disconcerting. Miracle is one such.
There is another difficulty and it rather indicates how shallow man’s reliance on reason is. Miracles in popular mind is connected to the Scriptures. Having rejected religion as not consonant with his rational belief he is more likely to reject miracles. Such rejection from a preconceived standpoint does not make his necessity of reason any more than an attitude. He is a modern man with a mindset of some centuries backwards.
Let us for a moment speak of miracles without including God or of the scriptures. There are galaxies moving and it is very likely these moving galaxies may criss cross one another. These billions of stars do not collide. Is it not a marvel?
Think of the Big Bang. Hypothesis of inflation states that all of the observable universe originated in a small casually connected region. I am not an authority in cosmology but I understand there are vast regions that are void,-where matter is thin and there are some regions where matter clusters. Background radiation preceding from the first moment( some 14.5 billion years ago) reaches us still. What has created such deserts in Cosmos? We have not really understood the nature of our universe or the scaffolding that is already set in it. Whether universe expanding or contracting to a Big Crunch we have to accept exception to a general rule is the norm. Such anomaly of matter being evident in the atom (so quantum mechanics could be built on its own rules of probability) can we say miracles are impossible?
Matter has its opposite anti-matter. Naturally annihilation must be a certainty when matter collides with antimatter. But universe is not annihilated because conditions that govern such destruction seldom occurs. It is as though a safety clause is built into the very heart of an atom. Anomalies of matter is a clause to keep the superstructure from falling under its very weight. (In the matter of voids and regions where matter clusters, are the voids some kind of nurseries for debris or to absorb all such shocks since cosmos is a field where stars die violently and give birth to new stars?)
As it seems to me such a safety clause is a positive aspect and an Absolute number to safeguard the infinite numbers (events,ideas, people or being) from completely overturning the few. Thus Hitler who had vowed to annihilate an entire race will be thrown down by causes that have no bearing on the few. Some may assume the few stands for the Jews. It is as correct as the Poles who would say their long cherished dream of sovereignty was preserved by ‘historical imperative’ and it is anomalous nature of matter.
Nature holds tricks that defies reason and confuses who impute God as an intervening deity to further their narrow ends. The Jews after the formation of Israel defends unlawful claim on Palestininan land on God’s promise to Abraham. Only events shall prove who is right. When Hitler was in full control there were so many who truly believed he represented the wave of future. Hitler claimed a 1000 year Reich but could only do damage for 13 years. In terms of yawning history running in millennia his reign was only a sneeze!

Miracles in nature exist and works for each of us; only that we are inadequate to explain why.

Benny

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In my previous posts where I examined the Big Picture I had formulated several principles to underpin my theories. Conjugation principle,Inversion Principle,Uncertainty Principle,Cluster Principle and so on. There is one principle of which I had till now held back. What is Clean Slate principle? In order to explain it let me point out from the night sky.

There are several billions of stars, light of  which when added up must make the sky bright. Yet it does not. Supernovae of star sends materials helter-skelter across space creating new stars in its wake. Background radiation of the Big Bang still reaches us. With such persistence cosmic events leave their signature around. This being the case why we see the night still dark as though the light sent forth from stars is blotted out by an unseen hand? The sky, in a manner of speaking has become a clean slate.

Science explains this  as due to the nature of universe expanding at a rate that starlight shall not make the night seen as day. The nature of Day is as distinct as Night is the exclusion of light is. Day and Night are distinctly apart.  Nature of Truth as distinct from Falsehood is. In  short we have to see in the Objective Lessons of Nature, what makes them valid. Nature as a mirror to Truth. Man makes truth of Nature, truth of Experience, and Truth of Action  to justify himself. Absolute Value of Truth is not what he can demonstrate. Even so it is in context of Truth.

The Clean Slate Principle refers to Absolute certainties against which every finite value has to come up against. Thus we use our free will to explain the nature of evil. Do we not use sophistry to explain that God as Omniscient Being must have known evil beforehand?  If He knows evil He cannot be Good? We weave our own ropes of reason to hang ourselves with.

In the analogy of night sky light supplied by various sources is still rendered as though these were null owing to the expanding sky. Similarly in the run off of march of events supplied by good and evil motives, consciousness of evil on God’s part is negated by power and wisdom of God. He is not the conscience keeper of the evil one. Bad motives come from a different source than good motives that a man keeps and acts upon are in keeping with His commandments. So man who suffers like a wrongdoer for the good that he did out of good conscience is in His keeping.   Clean Slate principle makes God free from any unfairness or partiality .

Is God partial? I may sound contradictory.God or Truth being absolute is impartial. Then if the righteous I mean those washed by the blood of Christ,-the manifestation of Love as collateral with Truth or Just draw from the Nature of Things and from the interplay of Wisdom and power do we say that God was unjust? Nature as mirror of God in wisdom and power creates what may seem to us miracles. Shall we accuse God of favoritism? Can eye accuse the body ‘why I see evil?’ Ear of the person has already lent itself to hear  what smacks of evil, and the eye is drawn along. Had the body renewed itself to weigh things as they are and not be swayed to the side of evil around the person, ear and the eye would have had saved themselves from the bother. The existing order of Nature is like the body. A miracle is nature on an improbable mode from our rational point of view. God is not stooping Himself to be partial but wisdom and power operating in Nature manifest as a miracle.That is all.

Here is the mystery of Born Again experience and miracle in a nutshell. Though born again a believer,-who had tasted His lovingkindness in the way he could have a renewal it is in the ways things operate.Such a person may still backslide and sink deeper into sin. God was not fooled by his fall. God is freed from what one does with good motives or  actively fall into sin on another occasion.

The Clean Slate principle states that we create evil, result of our finite nature. According to Cluster principle evil creates much more:  misery is another byproduct. The Clean Slate Principle states that evil resulting from man’s free will remains at finite level. Absolute value of Truth is undimmed by finiteness of truth we demonstrate.

God remains inviolate because of this principle.

God as Truth is not made any whit less because of truth as demonstrated by man.

It is in the nature of God, because God is  Love, to exercise this principle. Though our sins be as scarlet the Clean Principle can render as white as snow, to use a Biblical expression. This principle is in conformity with conjugation principle.

PS. Day is distinct from Night. Light of the Sun makes Day and Night though littered with stars and visible to us, is still Night. In this connection let me point out some men due to some accidents in their biology may be effeminate or genetically feminine. Has God gone wrong? In His eyes they are as distinct as man from woman is. God looks at the soul that is according to the Clean Slate Principle makes man and woman, distinct and clean. To God there is no confusion as we may have.(this is an amplified version of my previous post dated 18Feruary,2010)

benny

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Luk 24:5-6

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He is not here; he has risen!

I consider Christian living quintessentially is a point of view of an individual correctly understood and lived from that standpoint. Unless one knew his mind it would be a constant struggle to right himself and hold the position where he ought to be. If we seek thus a clear point of view others also are entitled to theirs. As a Christian my concern is with the living. Of these Risen Christ is like the pole star that mariners of old took their bearing. If others seek their salvation from dead works what am I to fault them? They serve their masters gurus,shamans and preachers. I have found my savior and it suits me to live in the land of the living and to seek His Will in charting my course.

Nu 21: 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.

We read in the Old Testament of putting up a bronze snake. Material to make the snake came from the free will offerings of the people. There were also men whose art excelled in fashioning snakes as well as ark of the covenant.

The saving of their lives was not in their own works, art or in their symbols. Instead it counted on their faith. We read that their murmurings didn’t end with it. They were rebellious people whose attention span for things of God was indeed very short. Like Simon Peter who could receive the revelation from God and could not mind the things of God just as easily he received it. The same Simon Peter wanted to experience what it is to be Jesus. But his faith was so little he could not keep up with his master.(Mt.14:28-31)The children of Israel were of divided mind so God’s majesty could not be appreciated or kept in their rebellious hearts. Bronze serpent or a miracle of Jesus to men of little faith are dead works. Then there are false preachers who wish to establish their control over others. Even this day we are of little faith we can only be moved by supposedly miracles performed by preachers and healers who are in most cases dubious and of little merit. Those who seek Christ among the dead works remain like the proverbial house divided.

The lesson of Easter teaches us to fix our standpoint correctly. The Word, Life and Vision are three legged stool to give us stability. Many stranded rope is, as the Bible teaches us, not easily broken. A tripod is stable. Our stability is established on His Word,our life and in our vision. Of the last our vision is focused on Risen Christ and not an historical Jesus.  Simon Peter looked at the boisterous waves rather than his master and he began to sink. Easter celebrates Risen Christ and life, and not death. Not dead works either.

Simon Peters plight in this context teaches us to keep our focus on the Risen Christ. ‘I am the Resurrectiion and life, said he. If what we believe cannot be translated into action it is of little use. Apostle James speaks analogy of Christian living to the mirror. We see our lives reflected in the Word but we soon forget what we saw thereon since we do not do what we need to do.

We live in an age of instant gratification; we also have cultivated many attitudes to prove we are in the swim of things. There are buzz words like quality time,tough love and proactive. Do they really mean anything worthwhile? Of course not. If we cannot make our time count in quality we are wasting it. In driving our children on the wrong path by our negligence and foolishness any toughness we imagine by doling out love is non starter.

The angel announced to the women to proceed to Galilee but we read that Jesus himself appeared to them. Angels are all  right but salvation is not for them to give. (Mt 28:5-9)The sign of New Age it must be that people are talking of their guardian angels as though they are talking of houseplants. They will need much more than pruning and quality of mulch to make sense of what they mean by angels. A guardian angel for them is like a security blanket to hold on to in times of their stress. Well it suits them to feel secure with their buzz words. These buzz words are short cuts to thinking. As a Christian my point of view is set on Christ whose words are unchangeable. Since he has overcome death, his words also shall live on. We need to seek him among the living.

Mt 28:”All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. vs.18.And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” vs.20

benny

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