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New World Library Unshelved

New World Library Unshelved

Positive news and inspiring views from the New World Library community

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
"What Is a Miracle?" by guest blogger Bernie Siegel, M.D.

I have always believed we must either consider life and everything associated with it a miracle, or consider nothing a miracle, and I’ve used this philosophy in my life and in my medical practice. What I mean is that we really cannot explain the origin of life and its evolution. In a sense everything came from nothing. But because I believe life evolved from intelligent, loving, conscious energy, the “nothing” is something, even if it is indescribable. Creation itself is a miracle, whether we know how it happened or not.

Another miracle is that we and all living things were created to survive. Even bacteria alter themselves genetically and resist antibiotics that have been designed to destroy them. Viruses resist vaccines. We recover from illnesses and heal wounds. An inherent inner intelligence provides these mechanisms. In a recent article a botanist discussed a plant that had a genetic defect that led to its buds not opening. If this happened to all the plants of this species, it would become extinct. But despite the defect, the botanist observed that some of the plants spontaneously started to open their buds again. He called it a spontaneous reversion to a healthy, normal state. He believes that the RNA makes changes that repair the DNA defects and lead to a reversal of the abnormal pattern.

When I read those words I couldn’t help but think of the term doctors use for cancer patients who experience an unexplained disappearance of the disease: spontaneous remission. From my experience this is the same mechanism as in the plant. The will and intention to live and the quality of life created can lead to changes within the genetic makeup of the person and alter their cancer cells. These alterations may be harder for people than for plants due to our complex lives and minds, but they are still possible. This phenomenon has been reported in concentration camps where people sought life and health when disease and the inability to work would mean execution.

In the other extreme, I’ve seen cases where a patient’s mortality starts the patient off truly living — they accept their mortality and start a new life they can love. I call it being born again.

The potential for miracles is built into us all by the nature of life and creation. The term “spontaneous,” and maybe even “miraculous,” should be eliminated from how we talk about these experiences. Instead, our perspective should be that healing, reversion to health, and survival are self-induced, not spontaneous. After all, what would be the point of creation if what was created could not survive life’s difficulties? I love the words of Ernest Holmes, the founder of Science of Mind: “What if Jesus was the only normal person who ever lived?” Holmes suggests that if we accept that life creates healing and survival, we all have the same abilities and potential as Jesus.

Today even scientists are becoming more open-minded and willing to explore and research things that were unacceptable decades ago. I know of diseases, including cancer, being cured by energy conducted through the hands of the healer. I have had that experience personally with an injury. I have also learned to accept what I experience and not close my mind to the fact that miracles are a part of life. There are mechanisms within us that allow these so-called miracles to happen, but the fact that they are built into us is what is miraculous.

Some might call it miraculous that Carl Jung diagnosed a brain tumor from a patient’s dream. How is the body able to speak through images? We may not know how, but we know it does. Dreams and drawings can reveal the future, since the future is prepared unconsciously and can be revealed through symbols and images. I know this from my work with patients’ drawings. I have a drawing, done by a child, that depicts the operating room she had never been in but was about to enter. I’ve seen many times how powerful the mind can be in eliminating disease when it is deceived into thinking it is receiving treatment.

I also know the curative benefit of traveling to Lourdes or leaving your troubles to God. Can we say that these are not self-induced miracles? I could go on to describe the physiology involved and make it scientific by showing how immune function and stress hormone levels are altered, but the fact that it is a part of our potential is miraculous. I know that how we act and feel alters our body chemistry. For example, I have drawn blood from actors while they performed in a tragedy and also in a comedy, and there are differences in what I observed.

Accept the fact that we are all living miracles and that we are here to learn and become complete as other forms of life are. When you stop to appreciate the miracle, life becomes more interesting and offers much greater potential. I hope someday we will be as interested in exploring our inner space as outer space, because we are all part of creation. We are all part of the same system. We don’t have to go far to understand how and why.

Dr. Bernie Siegel’s bestselling first book, Love, Medicine & Miracles, was published in 1986. He is the author of multiple other books, including 101 Exercises for the Soul, 365 Prescriptions for the Soul, and Peace, Love & Healing. Dr. Siegel lives with his wife in Connecticut. They have five grown children and several grandchildren.

Based on the book, A Book of Miracles by Dr. Bernie Siegel. Reprinted with permission.


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