Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Miraculous Vision

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, Every cubic inch of space is a miracle. Every square yard of the surface of the earth Is spread with the same. . . . What strange miracles are these! Everywhere . . .
Walt Whitman

Once when I was giving a talk I used the word “miracles,” and someone in the audience asked skeptically, “Tell us about one.”

Every moment you remain alive is a miracle. Talk to medical people; they will tell you there are a million and one things that can go wrong with this body of ours at any given instant. It is only because we haven’t developed the capacity for appreciating miracles that we don’t see them all around us. Life is a continuous miracle: not only joy but sorrow too; not only birth but death too.

But the most precious miracle of all is to see the divinity in every creature – when we see that the divinity in our hearts is our real Self, and that it is the same Self shining in all.
--Eknath Easwaran

Someone has just said to me that I'm "bereft of original ideas" to post on this blog, and he suggested that I rename this blog and dedicate it to commenting on the ideas expressed in his blog. It may boggle the mind that I would turn down such generous advice, but I replied to him that I would go on plugging away with my blog the way it is now.

One of the things I enjoy doing here is posting Easwaran's "thoughts for the day" when I find them particularly compelling. Sometimes, I have a comment or two to make about them, and sometimes I simply let them speak entirely for themselves. I hope that you, my readers, enjoy them and that some of you may even feel inspired to familiarize yourselves further with Easwaran's teachings.

It seems to me as though the word "miracle" is often overused to refer to things that are too commonplace to be truly miraculous. I tend to think of a miracle as something extremely and wonderfully extraordinary or unusual. By that token, there is nothing particularly miraculous about billions of human beings, not to mention other animals and life forms, remaining alive on this earth, unless, perhaps, this is the only planet or one of a vanishingly small number of planets in this incomprehensibly vast universe in which life exists at all much less persists for decades in a creature as seemingly complex as a human being.

But it does not seem to me to be the slightest exaggeration to refer to Whitman's vision or Easwaran's as a miracle because it is, indeed, wonderfully extraordinary. Despite the fact that saints and sages thoughout millennia have been telling us with their beautiful words and showing us with the majestic substance of their lives that God dwells within us all in some breathtakingly profound way, too few of us share this miraculous vision to set the world alight with its uplifting wisdom. However, there have been times when I've had alluring glimpses of this vision and beccome quite convinced that it amounts to more than self-aggrandizing delusion.

This is why I post Easwaran's words and my limited commentary on them here today. I'm hoping that Easwaran's words and mine will resonate with your own experience or help open the door, if only the tiniest crack, to your own miracle.

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