Sunday, October 19, 2008

Book Review: The Twelve Conditions of a Miracle

Most of you are familiar with the miracle of the loaves and the fishes from the New Testament. For those who aren't, here's a simplified version: Jesus was preaching to his followers outside of town. It was getting late and no one had had dinner yet. They took a collection among the crowd and came up with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. They started to distribute what they had, and it not only turned out to be enough to feed everyone, but there were 12 baskets of leftovers.

Did this really happen? Those of you who are Christian fundamentalists will have no problem saying yes, but what about the rest of you? Do you believe in miracles? Before you answer, what is a miracle? I can think of three possible answers:
  1. Miracles are deviations from the course of nature caused by divine intervention.

  2. Miracles are deviations from the course of nature, and are therefore impossible.

  3. Miracles are apparent deviations from the course of nature, and it's rather arrogant of us to think that we know everything about how nature works.
As you can tell, I prefer the third answer. Since we don't know all the laws of nature, someone who managed to find out more about how things work might be in a position to do things that seem impossible to the rest of us. Todd Michael, author of The Twelve Conditions of a Miracle: The Miracle Worker's Handbook, has found out something. By using correct translations of the words of the original which for some reason aren't used in the conventional translations, Mr. Michael has created a pattern that can be used by us to create our own miracles.

The Course in Miracles says that miracles happen naturally, but that our fear, judgements, and hate prevent them. This is all part of the baggage I keep talking about. Mr. Michael's book doesn't really address that, but that might be because he's already gotten rid of the baggage himself. Your mileage may vary. Don't let that stop you from reading his book. Also, Mr. Michael has an interesting book about angels, and one about parables.

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