07. Miracles
Spiritual Web Chat
Session 1: Sat 31 Jan 1998

[Ben's provider had hardware problems, so he was unable to be at this meeting. After waiting for him for awhile, those who were present picked up on the topic.]

christ-an< Well, just for the record, I believe in Miracles! I have experienced them personally in my life and so have members of my family!

SLIDER< Lor and FRAML: Between the two of you, can we get this class started?

Lor< Well, what might each of us consider might be classified as a miracle? What are your respective definitions? What distinguishes a miracle from something new or unexpected compared to everyday experiences?

LEGS< Lor: Many of us have unexplained "happy endings" don't you agree? Perhaps some of these are best defined as miracles?

christ-an< Lor: A miracle is often the everyday experience, out of normal time sequence, i.e., instantaneous. It always however produces a lasting harmonious, physical effect. Time and space are nullified or speeded up or changed to bring some hoped for result, I think.

FRAML< Any more answers?

nyda< I believe that miracles are events that exceed the limits that we have placed on ourselves. Is it not said that anything is within our power?

windy< I have been trying all week to think of a definition for miracle, to no avail. I agree with christ-an about miracles producing a lasting harmonious effect.

FRAML< Webster's definition: miracle 1. an event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific laws and is hence thought to be due to supernatural causes, especially to an act of God; 2. a remarkable event or thing; marvel

LEGS< Thanks, FRAML, for a logical starting place.

Lor< I was trained in the sciences. To me a miracle tends to be something that isn't readily explained by science. But of course, this is not really sufficient, as science is always improving in its understanding, and so many things that might have been thought of as miracles a few decades ago are now considered within the realm of science as we now know it. I'd like a better definition.

Azriel< FRAML: Science can explain a sunrise, but I still find it's beauty miraculous.

FRAML< Azriel, Yes, that is a simple thing that can be a miracle. They don't have to be spectacular. Sometimes a surgeon doing his job can be seen as a miracle for the person who is being operated on.

LEGS< I am interested in finding out how many came prepared to post something on a personal incident in their life which they could best describe as a miracle.

tah< LEGS: Well, miracles seem to follow me. I seem to be a lot of work. The latest one was on our icy street (total sheets of ice) where I slid for over a block, kept straight and passed perfectly between all the traffic on the major road and slid to a soft stop in a snow bank

LEGS< Yes, tah, the preservation was there for you this time. It is when we expect it that it doesn't show up, like saying "I don't have to be careful, because I'm being watched over." Remember the old saying, "God helps those who help themselves." *grin*

tah< LEGS: I've lived a very blessed life. Not saved every time, but some of the grittier experiences have given a greater appreciation of the times I've been saved!

LEGS< ((((tah))))

windy< aah ... the car-in-traffic miracles. I was in one once where time just seemed to stop. In fact that seems to happen a lot in those accident or injury-preventing miracles, whether one is falling towards a sharp object or two people are hurtling towards one another.

tah< windy: Yep, everything was in slow motion, and I didn't worry because I knew I was being guided at the time.

5foot2< A miracle is an occurrence that the human mind's reality did not yet conceive.

LAGONE< I'm really interested in what some people consider a miracle. I see a miracle happening at the airport when a plane takes off, also at the hospital in the nursery, and there are many more if we look for them.

Cassandra< 5foot2 and LAGONE: I agree with you.

Peachbird< LAGONE: Yes, I see those things as miracles as well, especially the newborn babies or even puppies or kittens. Birth is a miracle.

tah< Peachbird: I think that miracles are all around us; some lesser, some greater. Nature is "Art by God" and a miracle for all to enjoy.

Peachbird< Yes, tah, I agree. Just to sit in the back yard and look around at what is there is full of miracles. "Art by God"... yes! I agree.

nyda< Could it be that the energy that vibrates during such events is what we pick up upon that would put it in such a category?

windy< I used to think miracles involve more than one individual. Not that the miracle cannot happen to just one person, but that somehow the energy to bring a miracle into being involves many people.

SLIDER< Can anyone distinguish between general logic and a miracle? And would there be degrees to what is called a miracle? And would that depend on who or what caused the miracle?

tah< SLIDER : no, yes, yes.

Galahad< SLIDER: And would it depend on whether the miracle was a plant, animal or mineral?

Azriel< SLIDER: Is there really a way to quantify a miracle? I believe it is a subjective perception.

christ-an< For starts, I was instantly healed twice. Once, as a teenager, I had fallen from a tree and broken my back, was in a body cast for two days, and cut it off to prove my faith in God. (I stood) But the doctors were surprised and horrified, then told me they too believed in miracles. The other time I was meditating on something else, but had been told a lesion on a mole needed to be examined. I felt a spiral energy moving about this mole, and when I looked, it was normal. Still is.

FRAML< christ-an: Yes those qualify, and are considered miraculous healings.

the_Muse< FRAML: I think miracles are things that do not have any scientific explanation. Even if they are things that are later doable by science. Things where the Spirit of Love transcended the laws of nature.

Cassandra< That was a good explanation, Muse.

FRAML< the_Muse: Good point.

tah< Muse: Yes!

the_Muse< But, Hey! people might get a sudden concern for the planet and stop breeding like rabbits and the population go down and no major cataclysm occur. *holding breath*

Polgara< the_Muse: I certainly HOPE so! LOL!

the_Muse< The thing is, in breeding like rabbits, man makes of mankind a climax crop. The problem started when the Creator told this dude he made the steward of the garden to be fruitful and multiply its blessings, and he thought instead that he WAS the fruit of the garden. Hmmm. Do I really want to be wine?

Peachbird< LOL, Muse: I agree, we shouldn't try and second-guess God/dess.

the_Muse< I think being wine would be fine, but just hope the one that made me drinks no wine before its time. *chuckle* Forgive me all, I'd better go, as my owl spirit is feeling like playing the coyote.

Willow< hehehe... Muse.

Polgara< I was told recently that miracles are our birthright, and that we should stop thinking of them as out-of-the-ordinary, and realize they ARE real life... that the troubles, etc., we experience are NOT real. LOL!

windy< I agree that our lives can be blessed by daily miracles.

Somber< The fact that we are here is a miracle if you choose to see it that way.

Polgara< IMHO Somber, I sort of think it is! A miracle or a misperception, depending upon your point of view!

Peachbird< There is a miracle in the sunrise each morning, and the rainbow in the moist air after a rain, the sparkle in a baby's eyes, birds singing, and like that. *smile*

LAGONE< I do believe in miracles as I do believe in saints. I'm not one, and also I do think it will be a miracle if I master this PC. *grinning and baring it*.

Yopo< It seems to me that a miracle would be an event that is both contrary to the predictions of probability, AND containing an unmistakable element of profound significance. Sort of a synchronistic event that changes the COURSE of events in a wonderfully unexpected way.

Peachbird< Good definition, Yopo. I like that.

tah< Yopo: WOW!

windy< Wonderful definition, Yopo. Well said.

Azriel< Yopo: Can we influence the occurrence of a miracle?

Yopo< Azriel: All I have on that is an opinion. I think, yes.

Azriel< I agree, Yopo, but do we create a miracle by reaching out to God/dess or by touching the light within?

Adriane< But what is the mechanics of a miracle? Is it faith? Or is it creation of some kind? Do our thoughts and wishes take substantial form if we are balanced and one-minded in our thinking on the subject?

Polgara< Good question, Adriane!

christ-an< Adriane: A miracle might be a moving aside to let God work. The willingness to step aside is Faith?

tah< Adriane: But don't "miracles" also occur to those who either don't believe or who are not balanced?

christ-an< Another example: My baby sister, 2 years old, had been diagnosed as having a brain tumor after a fall. She was given a 50/50 chance of recovery in an operation but was told she must have it. My parents prayed and gave her to God. Next morning she kept saying Jesus slept with her. She then got a hold of some pills off my dad's stand table and swallowed them. She was rushed to the doctor's but the pills were merely blood thinners, so she was sent home. However she began to get well. We now think it was a blood-clot she had, but the fact that she swallowed the blood thinner pills at that time was to us a Miracle.

Polgara< That's sort of what I meant, christ-an! I think we block God from doing all sorts of things, and then when we let him through, we think it's a big deal, when we really could've had it all along! LOL!

christ-an< Polgara: Yes, I think you're right. I love that saying, "Could have had it all along." *VBS*

Polgara< Thanks, christ-an!

Spirit57< My dog was hit by a car on Monday and went into a coma. For 2 and 1/2 days, he did not move or respond. On the third day, I got a push to go see him and could feel that he would not come out of this unless I was there. I went to talk to him and put my hands on his little frozen body and talked. I told him he had to come back because all the people there thought he would die and they did not know he was pouting because I was not there so come back to his body. I talked for half an hour or so. Then the pupils of his eyes expanded and he moved his eyebrow. He was immediately examined by the vet. Within 3 days, the dog had nearly recovered fully. Very little effect from massive brain damage. Do you think that is a miracle? I do.

GOD< Spirit57: This was not only a miracle, it shows what the power of love is capable of... see YOU... I love YOU.

Spirit57< On Friday, my spouse went to pick up the dog from the vet. On the way, he was hit head-on by an oncoming vehicle, larger than his. There was a five inch space that he was pinned in, and they finally towed him out the side window. All that is left of our truck is a passenger fender. Spouse has minor cuts and bruises as far as I can tell. Is this a miracle? I think so.

Peachbird< Me, too, Spirit57... definitely. *S*

tah< Spirit57: Sounds like one to me.

FunBun< Spirit 57: So sorry to hear that. Glad he's in one piece. There must be a purpose for his remaining on the earth.

Spirit57< FunBun: Sometimes bad things happen. This event strengthened us both and we suffered no loss. The third miracle of last week is that I survived the first two!

FunBun< Spirit57: Did hubbie say anything about feeling 'protected' or having his life flash before his eyes kind of thing... or anything unusual?

Spirit57< FunBun: The only thing he thought was "I have to get out of this truck" and he could not move. He was pinned in behind the steering wheel and sitting defenseless on a blind curve on the icy slushy road. However, he acts a lot happier to be alive now, so who knows what he is not telling me?

FunBun< Spirit57: Keep us posted. Wow, what a precarious position to have been in. His mission on earth must not be over to have been spared through all that.

Lady_Lona< Here is a miracle that happened in my life. Mother in a cast; rain pouring so hard dirt is kicking up; groceries in back of car. Up the street I said to God, please let it stop raining for 2 minutes so I can get mom and the groceries in the house, and then if you want it pour down, then go nuts. Hit the driveway, pulled to the door, stopped raining, frantically got mom and groceries into house, door closed, poured so hard dirt was being kicked up. :0)

windy< Wonderful miracle stories, christ-an, Spirit57 and Lady_Lona. It is truly amazing and wondrous how many of us have experienced miracles in our daily lives.

SLIDER< By the answers I see, who can we give credit to for most or all of what we call miracles? And does anyone credit greater or lesser gods for certain miracles?

nyda< In my opinion, being alive itself is a miracle. We just take for granted this gift we are given. Every birth, death, sunrise, and flower is a miracle.

Purple1< Miracles... hmmm... to me, the best kind of a Miracle is one that does not need to become reality by praying to an outer being, but from within oneself, bowing to the divinity within each of us.

blakbear< I agree, Purple1.

LEGS< I know that some definitions of miracles are set up as a measurement by the Papal committees that make a decision based on those guidelines, but do not know what the guidelines are, or that we in our daily lives should be as stringent in our acceptance of what we feel transcends logic and science and becomes health and well being.

Polgara< Nicely said, LEGS!

FunBun< LEGS: Yes, and THAT would be a miracle! LOL

FRAML< LEGS: They determine if a miracle is true or false for the purpose of making a saint. However, Purple1 has an interesting point: do they come from within or without?

Purple1< FRAML: I like Gandhi's thoughts of 'creating the image of ones choice', so if seeing the divine force of miracles as an outward or inward manifestation, who's to question it? I take the inward point of view. *smile*

FRAML< Purple1: Ah, that I understand.

blakbear< Could a miracle be as simple as the use of our energy to create an instantaneous change for ourselves of others?

LAGONE< Miracles defined by the Papal committees are something I'll have to look up. One I know for sure, and it isn't always in the decision to make one a saint, is the incorruptible body, as in the case of Solanus Casey of Wisconsin.

LEGS< Yes, LAGONE, thanks. I couldn't think of the list of points considered.

Polgara< LAGONE: Wasn't he in Detroit? Or is that just where they put his body?

LAGONE< Solanus Casey was born in a log cabin near Oak Grove, Wisconsin. His story was aired on "unsolved mysteries". He did die in Detroit, but was buried near the home place.

FunBun< LAGONE: Did you already tell the Casey story?

LAGONE< Being originally from Minnesota, I got interested in his story because he was a simple man who never made it to the priesthood. He couldn't speak German as he was from an Irish family.

SLIDER< So, would most people feel that miracles are initiated within one's self and followed through by prayer?

tah< SLIDER: As I said, I think that miracles can happen to those who don't and won't believe just as often as they do to those of us who do believe.

SLIDER< tah: If one does not believe in anything, then who would call the event a miracle?

tah< SLIDER: Why, those around the person who do believe.

SLIDER< tah: Then you believe that even if one doesn't initiate the miracle, it could still have been initiated by someone else who did believe.

tah< SLIDER: Nope! I believe that those around a person who doesn't believe may chose to call it a miracle. Whatever one wants to call it, it is an extraordinary event if one has the opportunity to either experience it or see it happen to another.

SLIDER< tah: I see your point -- it would make a miracle, to a non-believer, a random unexplained happening.

tah< SLIDER: I guess the point is that we all make all our own realities and miracles or lack thereof. We are all unique and fascinating individuals struggling to understand all of the rest! What a lifelong task!

SLIDER< tah: Lifelong task indeed. *smile*

Peachbird< This was a miracle for me: it was time to close the coffin at my daughter's funeral. I was left alone with her for a last good-bye. As I stood looking at my lovely angel, just the empty shell that used to be her, I told her I loved her and how much I would miss her. Then a perfect white Lily fell from one of the flower arrangements right on top of my foot. No discoloration, no bruises or bent petals... just perfect and fresh, lying there on my shoe.

christ-an< Peachbird: That is beautiful! *smile*

tah< Peachbird: A lovely miracle at that.

Polgara< Thank you for sharing that, Peachbird! I had a similar experience after my fiancee's funeral, and treasured it as "my own little miracle"!

Peachbird< Yes, I have that flower pressed in my WhiteEagle meditation book, the one I gave to her. It was very reassuring. *smile*

Lor< There are many things about life that are NOT explained by science. One example is the fact of our existence. The existence of the earth, planets, stars, etc. We know much about atomic structure, etc., but still really do not know what an electric or magnetic field really is! I like 5foot2's comment about a miracle being something unexpected, but somehow that includes much that doesn't fit Webster's definition. To me our existence is likely attributable to an act or acts of God that cannot yet be fully explained by science.

the_Muse< Awesome book on the subject of miracles, based on a fictional tale of the second coming of Christ and what might happen: "The Second Son" by Charles Sailor. A beautiful magical joyous story.

5foot2< After having a tough go of things, I prayed that I receive guidance in what I was going to do with my life. I prayed for a sign. As I drove home that day a deer ran out in front of my car. I slowed quickly to let the deer cross. As I watched it, I saw a sign up ahead that said "This is it." Made me giggle. Yes, my "God" has a sense of humor: here is my sign. So true, I thought, just being here and now is my life, one day at a time. The next day I drove by, and the sign said, "This is it, our spring sale." *smile*

mystijul< 5foot2: How cool! LOL

Peachbird< 5foot2: Yes, I will be driving down the road and thinking of one of the ones I love on the other side, and a song on the radio will answer the thoughts. "Signs" are all around us if we but look for them. *VBS*

JjBliss< Signs and wonders ... I hear that one, Peachbird.

Polgara< 5foot2: Beautiful! I, too, see great humor in many of the lessons I learn. How could a being that created Platypuses NOT have a sense of humor?! (Or is that Platypi?!) **Giggle** I think Muse's Coyote is coming out of me now!

tah< Polgara: I think it must be platypi because it's so much more fun to say!

Polgara< You're probably right, tah!

the_Muse< Polgara: I use that very example all the time! Platypuses really are funny!

JjBliss< *thinking* We are all miracles. How else can anyone really explain all of this anyway? A miracle to me is something that takes place and seems so natural we should have expected it, but our human mind didn't see it coming. It's a miracle that I am. I became pregnant with triplets, and the family and doctors said they would never survive. I bled through the fifth month and went into labor every month. I had learned a self-hypnotic art when I was pregnant with my first child ten years earlier which gave me the ability to control the pregnancy and carry the children right up into the eight month. Having been prepared years before without knowing I was going to need the tools more for this one experience was a miracle to me. *smile*

Peachbird< Cool, JjBliss. *smile*

christ-an< Seems the interesting thing in this discussion is that miracles really do not need to be defined, for those who have experienced a miracle there is no question as to their validity. Miracles have a way of declaring themselves! *smile*

Polgara< Great thoughts, JjBliss! christ-an!

the_Muse< For me the miracle that I survived my crazy youth is my best proof of God's fantastic forgiveness and love. *smile*

siouxee< Miracles are just incredible random acts. We can not bring them on and they do not find us.

christ-an< siouxee: I don't know if they are random so much as moments of perfect harmony?

Spirit57< siouxee: I do not find that your theory fits my reality. I believe we are entirely capable of bringing on a miracle. I do not believe miracles are random acts.

the_Muse< So, what is the difference between the magical and miracles?

Azriel< the_Muse: Is there really a difference? Both words are sometimes used to describe the same event.

windy< the_Muse: I think magic is more a manipulation of energies by the magician. Miracles are gifts from God/universe.

Azriel< windy: But when we pray or ask God/dess for a 'miracle' aren't we in a sense manipulating Energy?

windy< Azriel: I think that it depends upon how one prays. I don't think of asking as much of a manipulation (although perhaps it is, in some absolute sense), but willing something to happen is a manipulation.

Peachbird< I think miracles are gifts. Sometimes we don't have to pray or ask for them... they just are. God/desses little or big as the case may be, gifts to us.

siouxee< Miracles are not "moments of perfect harmony" nor are they "gifts." Rather, miracles don't even exist; the word is meaningless. A miracle is like someone throwing a random ball into a random room full of random people. Where the ball hits can be described as the miracle. It's just a random event, not special at all. People, in their search for meaning in life, just create a fuss and POOF...it's a miracle. Am I making sense?

Spirit57< siouxee: You are making sense in that you are saying you do not believe a miracle is a directed event. I just do not agree with you. I think it is a perfectly timed demonstration of powers beyond our own, and I see that power as intelligent, benevolent, and caring. I personally call it God or Spirit.

Lor< Spirit57: I feel that remark is perceptive.

christ-an< siouxee: Interesting how your random balls seems to hit the need so accurately at the 'right' time and the 'right place, just when we're praying for it.

Purple1< siouxee: You mean, just a chance happening?

siouxee< Yes, Purple1, a chance happening. Randomness... Think about it.

Purple1< siouxee: I've thought about that and many other things in my life, and I understand your viewpoint. I don't see anything as chance, but already pre-determined: the events of past, present and future have already happened through the divine laws.

siouxee< Purple1: There are no divine laws. Random interaction is the root of everything.

Purple1< siouxee: Everything has opposites, chaos/tranquillity, black/white. Not every miracle comes from moments of crisis and needs an explanation. *smile*

windy< (in my opinion) nothing is random.

Somber< Nothing is random or coincidental.

Galahad< hehe, Somber, or everything is so random or coincidental so we might as well just let it happen and enjoy.

siouxee< Galahad: I like that idea.

Yopo< siouxee: That is the reason my personal definition of miracle includes the element of profound significance. Events that are random, or simply highly improbable, don't really fit my definition. There must be this element of deep MEANING.

Azriel< Yopo: So what you're saying is, miracles are very personal, even profound significance is subjective.

christ-an< Yopo: I agree! Great way to describe it. *S

FRAML< the_Muse: To me, magical is a trick that can be explained, like one sees on TV. Miracle is often not explained, and as stated by folks here, does not have to be a big showy thing. Miracles have a POSITIVE EFFECT, rather than a SHOWY one.

Polgara< Great definition, FRAML! Makes sense! *Grin*

5foot2< FRAML: I like that. Miracles create results.

windy< FRAML: What you call magic, I call illusion. I wish they wouldn't use the word magic when what really is happening is illusion. Magic (in my opinion) is when something is done without using the physical to do it, but rather using electro-magnetic energies, and/or atomic/sub-atomic energies.

Galahad< windy: Interesting, and illusion is like fantasy or imagination which often is more real than the "real" world. I do think though that there is magic in nature as she recycles her energy and that is physical.

Yopo< windy: I imagine that is why some like the word magick, as opposed to magic.

Galahad< windy: But the natural recycling of energies has to be allowed rather than manipulated, and that in a way isn't subordinate to the rules people put on the physical. I think the mind also, which can remember with it's neurological machinery things which to science is irrational, can do that with the physical. It can go beyond trying to manipulate it but allow it to happen.

Azriel< windy: Not being argumentative, but much of the ritual in Magick was borrowed by modern religion.

Galahad< FRAML: Why do you have to fuss about a word like that!? What to you is called a Miracle to a Wiccan person or one who believes in the Enchanted forest as being heaven is magic. And there are a lot of miracles, manipulations of energy, going on in masses of formalistic religions which aren't positive as well one could say!

FRAML< windy and Galahad: Definition of terms. You have both pointed out that we can mean different things with the same word. To me magic is a stage illusion. I had not thought of it in a Wiccan sense.

Galahad< okay, FRAML, but then mediumship can be seen as chicanery: what the people practiced who went around selling bottled swamp water as elixirs.

FRAML< Galahad: Good point. Charlatans selling "miracle cures" to me aren't in the category of a miracle.

Galahad< FRAML: And the scientists say that miracles or magic are delusions of man's mind because the principles on which they are based don't adhere to their way of looking at matter. However, I believe that to really honor a word (the logos, the Christ ) one has to look at what it really represents. That is a way of loving everything when you take the trouble to see what it really is perhaps. That's all FRAML, and I didn't mean to jump on you about fussing about one word.

windy< I'm not sure what you mean, Galahad. I think magic is the conscious or subconscious manipulation of natural energies. It's something that all of us could practice (and probably do in some ways); however, its use fell into disrepute some time ago for a variety of reasons (probably partly due to its abuse and partly due to the desire for undue power on the part of those who desired to practice it without being hindered by any competition). Illusion is a trick. Even some manipulation of energies can be illusions (such as magic that is not lasting, or magic that presents an illusion of something, rather than the real thing). Imagination is a tool which can aide the practice of almost anything, I would think, including science and math.

Galahad< windy: It is real interesting to me how you use words. I wouldn't think of the unconscious or subconscious as something which manipulates things, because I find that when I try to do that I create unneeded stress. I think that manipulation is an illusion because it suggests that there is something outside of the self which can be manipulated. But then so many people say that my thoughts are illusion, so I associate that with imagination, which is real and not illusion to me, only hidden from others. But they call that illusion, so go figure!?

windy< Galahad: Current discoveries of scientists regarding the behavior of sub-atomic particles support the concept of magic. Thought effects the behavior of the sub-atomic world in lab experiments, and if it affects subatomic particles, why not?

Yopo< windy: Ah HA! The quantum-miracle-magic connection. Interesting, how physics and metaphysics seem to be getting friendlier lately.

windy< Yopo: It is wondrous how the lines are blurring between physics and metaphysics, and how science more and more supports ancient myth and folklore and history, and yet so few people seem to be aware of this. Maybe in time... there's always the hundredth monkey.

Galahad< windy: I think that quantum physics shows how subatomic matter comes together to form quanta, packets or groups of energy, and that the way it does that breaks the rules of chance. Such is experience also which teaches lessons by giving packets of experience to an entity. Thought is in harmony with this process, but I wouldn't delineate that myself as a manipulation, but that is simply how I express it. Please do it your own way.

windy< Interesting universe, Galahad, and given your definition, perhaps I would agree. Yet if all of the universe is the self, then wouldn't it all be a manipulation by the self: i.e., one creates one's universe, the universe isn't something one is in or with or something that happens to one?

Galahad< Of course, windy.

windy< Anyway, there is a grey line in there somewhere, I think, for many of us who believe in both miracles and magic. As to when something is magic and when something is a miracle, I think Yopo and christ-an and Lady_Lona and others had some interesting insights into what these "differences" might be.

Adriane< We all seem to either have had the experience of a miracle or believe in them. But that does not answer the question. What is a miracle? By what spiritual or physical mechanics do they happen? Are they created by the person experiencing them? I think they are. But I would like to hear others discussion of how this is created.

Spirit57< Adriane: With the dog, I remember reaching to him when I was talking, and I felt I was communicating with him from a gut level. With the husband, I felt nothing of the sort because I did not even know it happened until it was over. As a matter of fact, I was quite angry at him because I had a tremendous urge to make him leave here a half hour before he did and was angry because he messed around and left half an hour later.

Peachbird< A miracle is seeing for months the image of a little dark-haired baby grinning at you in your mind, then have your daughter tell you she is pregnant. That was my most recent miracle. What a blessing!

christ-an< If miracles are 'gifts' from heaven (which technically everything is) some might think they have been overlooked by God if they haven't experienced any personally. God is not partial to any, I don't think. He doesn't play favorites. So miracles must be explained as something other that just 'gifts' from Heaven.

SLIDER< christ-an: Some so-called miracles may not be from the great creator, and I think that is where magic falls in.

christ-an< SLIDER: I believe they are. The Great MIND communes with our little minds in moments to meet our need. I don't find this difficult to embrace.

siouxee< SLIDER: Could you expand more on the role of magic?

SLIDER< siouxee: Any lesser god or one with understanding of the powers of mind or physical elements can perform miracles to those that don't understand those powers.

siouxee< Out of chaos (i.e., randomness), people feel the need to explain why. That is what a miracle is.

Rags< siouxee: I think you may have really spoken what I consider a real truth. I wish you could elaborate some.

Purple1< Rags: From my viewpoint and spiritual experiences nothing is random, but to believe in randomness is one's right, if you believe it to be.

Rags< Purple1: Thank you for your acceptance of my point of view. I think one of the major problems we have on this earth is our narrow-minded view that our answers are the only ones with credibility.

siouxee< Rags: I hear you.

Purple1< siouxee: Good that you have firm beliefs, shows strength of conviction. I can't say anything is random, because there are times I know when something's going to occur before it does.

Rags< Purple1: If you have this gift of seeing (or whatever) you are blessed. Because you can see what is about to happen doesn't mean it can't be random. Earth is a great school-yard and we randomly learn many lessons from playing in it.

Purple1< No problema, Rags, one can debate both sides of the coin amicably. Only those who do not have strength of conviction and true faith will get aggressive and offended.

SLIDER< siouxee: Miracle is a word of many different meanings to many different people for sure.

Azriel< I think miracles happen everyday, man just doesn't always take the time to realize they are occur! They aren't always the ones that make headlines in our lives!

tah< Azriel: So nicely said! Wish I'd thought of that *S*

Azriel< tah: You DID -- great spirits!

Somber< All is an illusion; all is your reality. One persons magic is another's fairy tale. One person's miracle is another's magical rite. It all has to do with what you choose to believe.

nyda< Somber: That was very well said. I think the answer for each can be only found within. What one creates in their own world is totally different from all else. But I don't want for everyone to feel the same as myself. What questions would be left to ask?

Somber< nyda: Good point! Glad someone saw and understood mine.

Adriane< We alone are responsible for our circumstances because we alone are responsible for our thoughts, only we can change them. When we fully comprehend that each thought creates according to its own nature we will want to change our way of thinking. We are always creating circumstances according to the kind of thoughts we habitually entertain. So change your thought if you wish to change your life. Think only those positive thoughts that will bring you health and happiness. Change begins with you! A positive attitude can go a long way to making changes in your life situation. If you don't like what is going on in your life only have the power to change your circumstances. Change your attitude and you will be amazed how everything will fall into place. God made everyone in his image, and gave each of us the power of free will. Be very careful what you do with this free will, because it is the power to create your own reality, a heaven or hell right here on Earth.

letgo< Adriane: I really like your post. What books influenced you most?

Adriane< letgo: The books that influenced me the most were the Bible and the advancing stream of life. Thank you for asking.

LEGS< Sometimes I think it is a miracle that our children reach adulthood at all with so many stumbling blocks for them to conquer or find their way around.

Azriel< "The miracle of life is ageless, born in time but nourished in eternity."

christ-an< Well, all, thanks for the visit. I guess the bottom line is, you can't convince someone who has been to China that there ain't no China. (chuckle) Those who have experienced a 'miracle' know it, and as Yopo says, it is a profound experience! Love and Light and Joy!

siouxee< Hey, SLIDER: What's your definition of a miracle?

SLIDER< siouxee: I have no good definition of a miracle, because the probabilities are too great to explain them -- but I do have faith that some time in my quest to understand I will find out which is which.

siouxee< SLIDER: I hope you reach your goal.

SLIDER< siouxee: Thank you. I hope every one with a goal of understanding can reach it. *smile*

siouxee< SLIDER: Do you think it is impossible to understand all? That truly would be a miracle. I don't think most people with a goal of understanding reach it, or there would be a lot of Buddha's running around.

SLIDER< siouxee: The will is all that holds one back from expectations. Understanding what one knows is better in this now than knowing more than one can understand -- that makes the goal a worthy pursuit.

edward< Hello, tah!

tah< edward: Did you listen when we were discussing things earlier? Did you have any comments on those ideas?

edward< tah: Partly. I probably need to go back 100 or so lines and catch up, but I hate to try to read all that and stay in "tune" at the same time.

tah< edward: I think that we all probably were close to agreeing that it is an individual experience. That we are each unique and wonderful individuals striving to learn and understand everyone else. Miracles are all around if we believe AND even if we don't. siouxee feels more that they are random events but is still seeking information.

Bink< To me, a miracle is simply God's law in action, we just haven't understood it yet.

edward< Bink: I couldn't have said it better myself!

edward< If anyone would like to share a miracle or two in their life, I'd be interested in hearing of your experiences. One miracle as of lately was a dream that led me to face myself and my judgmental attitude and feelings about people in my life. After facing the dark side of my self, I somehow was freed from that voice that always struck out judgment. Now I'm on a more serious search for a better relationship with the Creator!

Peachbird< So sorry to interrupt, but I just remembered my most recent miracle and have to share! It is the miracle of Eagle Eyes teaching which is changing my life! For the better! It is bringing a new peace of mind and lack of worry. I live in the now almost all the time, and I am free of some of my Ego voices and working on others! I am working through lots of emotion right now, but generally am coming out on the other side! I am very grateful! Peachbird {{{hugs}}} to all and much Love and Light! *VBS*

edward<: That is awesome, and an experience I look to have. You are blessed!!

tah< edward: There are many sizes to miracles, some more mundane than others. Well, how about a car hit straight broadside by a car doing over 60 mph. A policeman was the accident witness. He stopped counting after over three spins of the hit auto. everything in the car was ejected with the exception of the occupants. A fire station was nearby and responded immediately. Gasoline was everywhere yet no fire. All of the occupants survived -- oh, and no seat belts at that time. I sure felt fortunate and that it was a miracle to survive.

edward< tah: I look at that as a miracle also.

Bink< So many miracles in my experience, can't think of which one to tell you about!!

tah< edward and Bink: Yes, there are so many little miracles following me around that it is difficult to fix on one. That is not to say that I haven't had some bad experiences. The bad experiences have shaped the being that I am, and although I wish them on no one else, I wouldn't change them. To do so would be to change the me I am now.

edward< I also think that miracles are something we wish for very hard, and sometimes try hard at, but are surprised when it happens.

tah< edward: I thought so. Interesting how and when miracles appear. It often turns out that we just needed to think a little before we request a miracle or try to understand when one's request isn't answered.

edward< All experiences go hand in hand to make us who we are today. That is why it is important to try and create our own experiences, in the effort to better ourselves as people and souls. And God helps create the other experiences as well to guide us on our journey.

[The following interruption was totally off the subject and basically insulting, but I decided to keep it as an illustration of how members of the group responded.]

Satan< Good evening all you God fearing friends. You know, if one kills enough, then one becomes as God. For only God can get away with the great feeling and power of dropping a church roof on his groveling followers. Think about that.

[Ben< Hmm. Yes, Satan can be expected to slander God, but why would a person pretend to be Satan?]

Satan< Ben's Class? Who is Ben? One of mine I believe.

[Ben< What type of person presumes that I serve Satan? Satanists certainly don't. Neither do Wiccans or Druids or open-minded people of any persuasion. That presumption is typical of fundamentalist Christians. So this "Satan" may be a fundamentalist in disguise. And if so, he's here to enlighten the pagans.]

FRAML< Satan: Ben has been running a series of seminars here in Amazon since last August on a variety of topics. He is not here tonight, so we are just discussing how to define/recognize miracles and their origin.

Yopo< Satan: Durn. When did you get on-line? Finally solved the problem with the melting cables, eh? (*smile*)

Azriel< Yopo: It's a Miracle! *smile*

Spirit57< Really, Satan? Feeling a bit jealous?

Satan< Spirit57: Another child of mine. Isn't your name a whiskey? Not jealous of God. I have stronger contacts with humans then God does. Remember this is my planet and was given to me to rule over until my return.

Spirit57< Sorry, Satan. Your hold was broken when a certain soul lowered himself to the pits of your chambers for 3 days. You may rule the remnant of this world, but you do not have the power to claim me or anyone else who chooses otherwise. You are delusion and have deluded yourself.

Satan< Spirit57: Keep the lights on, and say your prayers, one little slip and that is a mark in my book.

Spirit57< Satan: Mark your book all you like. God is not about to toss me to you for one little slip. It must be a conscious choice, and you ought to know by now that I am not about to choose you, Master of deception.

Satan< Spirit57: God has nothing to do with tossing you aside, you toss yourself aside into my world. Free will and all that. God has nothing to do with it. You make your choices, not God. God watches while I can move at will. Master of deception? Yes and so far it is working. You who believe in your praying to earth, to different Gods, you who say God/Goddess, that is the right way to go. You who are witches, you who say your prayers and send them to Amen, that is right path. You who stand and think you are doing such good, you are going to be deceived, as it is a covenant between God and I. We will see, won't we?

Spirit57< Yes, Satan, you little devil, we will see. I have no intention of tossing myself into your world. I have made my choices and I am comfortable with them. When I feel like getting advice, it won't be you I come to. Get thee behind me.

Satan< Spirit57: Showing your lack of education about God there aren't you. I don't hate God. We talk, we get along. It is man who has taught man to hate Satan and think that God hates me. God is love, god loves even Satan. You should study more, wouldn't want to fall into a trap would you?

the_Muse< Satan forgot to mention that the roof fell on the same group that was across town in white costumes hanging a good man the night before.

Satan< the_Muse: But those that died came to me to be a part of my return, only a benefit for me. Those that got crushed by the roof and in their dying words cursed God came to me, too. Win, win all around, I would say.

the_Muse< Satan: You do not have a book. Anyway, as an accuser you are just a voice in the background.

tah< Ah, Satan, dog-gone it! Can't you use some imagination? or will the conversations be the same for all eternity?!

Satan< tah: Hold onto your false little dreams and world. Eventually everyone comes to me for something, just as you have. Remember I am the balance, and there is a little spot of me in you and in everyone that is born. That one little commandment you broke, that is mine. Now you spend the rest of your life making up for it, and if you don't, I get to have a chance at you. Thou shalt not steal ring a bell for you? Even candy is theft.

tah< Satan: Boy, have you got the wrong kid! Sorry Charlie, I'll never be yours.

Azriel< tah: You've been well protected! *smile*

tah< Azriel: I know! With more joining in each day.

Somber< Some people don't believe in Satan.

Rags< Satan: Are you for real? How is it that you can be so presumptuous? or are you playing a little game here? I'm not really trying to be cynical but it's hard not to.

siouxee< There is no god, and there is no satan. Rather we are all here because we are trying to create meaning and order from chaos. Should we be doing this?

tah< Satan needs a new scriptwriter.

Satan< tah: That doubt and fear in you is mine. To the others: it is okay you don't believe in Satan. Belief has nothing to do with it. Because we believe in you, and you have always come through in the end. For although heaven may not be open, Hell is always open 24 hours a day.

tah< Poor Satan wanna-be, I have no doubts or fears. I was made to be a warrior and I have gathered my forces. To bad, if you were more original we might have had a conversation of interest. As it is, you STILL need a new scriptwriter. (Let's make it one with some imagination, huh?)

Satan< tah: Warrior? ha ha ha, that is a good one. You have a ways to go yet. You have to learn about your enemy first, not attack them, as you have me. You have a lot to learn yet, then come attack me.

tah< Satan: Who said I was going to come for you? Scared, little one? Do some research, hire a writer, and then I'll try to listen to you with some attachment.

Galahad< Satan: To go along with your whole facade of being the Devil himself (although your act is typical enough to make it more a product of mass media than reality if one would even believe in you), God never said there was anything as sin. God is pure love. When you say there is sin you try to separate yourself from him. It isn't him who throws you out of heaven or whatever.

Somber< Some don't even believe that a satan exists.

Satan< Somber: Some don't believe in Satan. That is okay, because belief has nothing to do with existence. Some people don't believe in UFO's or God, but you know what? We all exist. Now there is something to think about. Nice to see you are such an easy person. Nice to meet you. The best are those that don't believe in God, Satan or anything. One little tangible thing they can see, and they will believe, but it won't be God, it will be me. But you won't know until it is too late.

Somber< Satan: Belief has EVERYTHING to do with existence. You create your own reality by what you believe.

Spirit57< By the way, Satan, wasn't it you I heard defending God the other night in a conversation with Hades?

tah< Galahad: Wouldn't you think he would be a little more creative? I don't think so. What about the server he's on?

Galahad< Satan: You could at least be creative enough to say that you have wild orgiastic rituals which honor the natural tantric energies of sex or something rather than trying to bill yourself as the ring leader of the Evil force in the Universe. LOL

tah< Galahad: A very pretty being, don't ya think? And so nice too!

windy< Every world has a new Satan ... or rather, competitors for the title. God is absolute (in my humble opinion).

FRAML< Satan: Actually, I'd like to hear what you believe about what is a miracle?

Azriel< FRAML: I agree, I'd like to hear Satan's ideas on Miracles.

Satan< FRAML: Miracle is that everything that will usher the world in, is in all of the misguided in here and out there. It is a miracle that it is so easy to love and worship God, and yet you don't. You do your mother earth worship, you worship your saints, you worship the virgin Mary, all that love is going to them, not God. That is a miracle to me. That is what it is to be human. Why just believe and love? You want proof, so you burn your candles, you meditate, you cast your love spells and all of the misguided worship is mine, and comes to me, makes me stronger. For that I thank you.

SLIDER< Satan -- master manipulator of words and thoughts -- don't fall into the trap, people. Satan is only a master to himself and will create miracles to trap any who would follow.

Yopo< Satan: (*smile*) All paths of love are true paths to Creator... Christian, Pagan, whatever.

Satan< Yopo: You would like to think that, and that is good for me. The more you pray, send love, love energy, etc., to something other then God, it benefits not God. Someday you will figure that out, but by then it will be too late.

Yopo< Satan: Sorry, friend. I have gotten well beyond the grasp of that sort of effort to control. Alas, it is just that sort of thing that has rendered the approach to God through the door of the Christian faith difficult for many good souls. But maybe that amuses Satan? Ah, well... Love and light to you, friend!

Rags< Yopo: I hate to say it, but "right on." Love is the lesson we all are here to learn. It doesn't matter as to the dogma, as long as its based upon love. Sorry for that stale cliché.

windy< Yopo: I have lived long enough to see many a "Satan" become a "way shower, light shower".

Rags< tah: Be a bit merciful, please. This "Satan" can't help a lack of intellect. You know even the lowest of the low can find mercy. (Of course this one may be too low for even that.)

tah< Rags, you are right! I was expecting more and I shouldn't have. OK, Satan, Joy and Laughter, Love and Song to you, sweetie.

Rags< Satan: You are really fun. I'm sure you're getting a kick out of this. Isn't it nice to create animosity?

Satan< Rags: You comment and involve yourself, so would that not make you eager to participate in chaos and animosity? Uhmmm let's think about that.

Spirit57< Satan: It is not God who hates. That is your baby, as you know. I think I will pray for you. I did not say God hated you. Your own education could use a course in reading comprehension. I said you were defending God. Now you are getting repetitious and boring. But then you do not have the power to create. Only the power to use what is already created by God. As for traps, I have no fear of falling into a trap. I am well supported by request. Perhaps you should find Hades. He seemed to have a better dislike for you than I do.

Somber< Satan: Were you raised Christian?

IMI< I/thou, clever others refrain from the show, finding truth is not so hard. "Do not the petals flutter down, just like THAT?"

Bink< Satan: Hello. You have been categorized as 'a liar and the father of it' -- so tell me, WHY should we believe ANYTHING you say? *sweet smile*

Satan< Bink: That is what man has taught man. And as you are capable of same lying, etc., that is a gift from me.

Bink< Satan: Hmmm, seems to me I recollect it was the Son of God who said it. 'bout as close a message direct from the Creator as most of us can get.

Satan< Bink: I am aware of what Christ said, and God. Are you aware of what I have said? No, never study anything except what God has said. That is good though, that is good for me.

Bink< Satan: What more does one need to understand an illusion than that it truly IS an illusion? *big grin*

Satan< Bink: Man is the creator and believer of illusion. If created man tends to see it as tangible and therefore believes, this is a benefit to me. Easily wowed and amazed. That is to my advantage. You might have the ability to see through an illusion. You are wise. You are smart and old. You walk an interesting line. I like you.

FRAML< Satan: Well, we are speaking what we believe here, and not making accusations or attacking other's beliefs. You seem to be unable to avoid doing the latter two. And the source of miracles is also on the discussion list. All have not attributed miracles to the source you mention. There are many spiritual paths in this room. We seek to understand and learn from each other. There is enough attacking and bloodletting in these chatrooms of the type you are stimulating.

Satan< FRAML: Attack, bloodletting... could it be that I am no more attacking any one than Spirit57, tah, and others are attacking me? Uhmmm lets think about that. Looks like I am being attacked just as much as I am attacking. "Get thee behind me" rings a bell. Uhmm, I see the enlightened can attack but no one else can. Must be nice to have God's power behind you. Enlightened can attack but others can't. There is a little something you should think about.

Somber< Satan: I haven't attacked you. I've asked questions (which you don't seem to be answering).

Spirit57< Satan: I am not attacking you. I am defending my self. You are the one who came in here to tell me I am joining you. I have told you otherwise, but you seem to be ignoring that.

Azriel< Peace and Love to you, Satan, may the anger that seems to carry you tonight be lifted from your spirit as a soft breeze that carries the butterfly.

Purple1< Dictionary reference for word Satan: Hebrew 'Enemy' or 'Critic of man' or 'Accuser'. Nothing about hell, or Lord of the Earth.

tah< Satan: If you go back in your posts, I was taken to task by Rags and I was trying to be nice to you. Didn't get very far, did it?

Rags< tah: You're great! I too will have to succumb to the awesome power of "Satan." Satan, my child, I love your act. Sorry, FRAML: you are right. There is enough bloodletting on the net, especially other places, but you know it's hard not to find this "character" humorous. Again I have to say sorry, FRAML, for getting down to "Satan's" level. Damn, I just can't quit.

tah< Rags: Isn't it hard to ignore when it's made so easy!

siouxee< I think it would be a "miracle" if I got Satan to define what a "miracle" is again. I didn't quite get it.

Rags< Satan: Your comment, "Hmmmm let's think about that..." You flatter yourself. Don't try to be what you obviously aren't. Think? Hmmmm.

Satan< TO YOU ALL: I am defending myself, too. Not attacking. Enlightened people have many different words for anger: defending is a new one. You are angry with me, and instead of confronting that, and acknowledging that, you make excuses and point the blame elsewhere. I am defending myself instead of saying I don't like what you are saying. You aren't even honest with yourselves, that is also a miracle of man. Don't look at self and see the problems, blame another, well he made me angry, or I am just defending myself, that is why I took a life. Love these excuses, but when I use them, oh, no way. Only the enlightened can use these excuses. Double standard I would say.

~*serena< Satan: Poor baby, are you having a difficult time? ahahahah Bless your heart, you should know by now people do not like the name Satan for what it stands for. However, I send you a beam of LOVE and say hello!

tah< Satan: Poor dear. If you don't even know what I believe, how can you say that I attack you for your name? You can believe whatever your little heart desires. As a matter of fact, read the posts and see the joy and happiness sent your way.

Galahad< Satan: What really of yourself are you defending? You said something like, all of us have to bow down to you because we all sin. (Is that correct? Please elucidate.)

Somber< Anger is the result of fear. One gets angry and upset when they fear they are about to loose something.

Spirit57< Good-bye Satan. I am exercising my ignore button for the first time ever.

Somber< "Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear." Albert Camus

edward< Back to the subject of Miracles: I believe that a miracle is a God-created experience served to build one's faith in Him!

Lady_Lona< Satan: Well, you are an interesting sort. You know your stuff, I must say, but you have forgotten one tiny little thing. You see you got kicked out from heaven, and your rebel thrones were thrown from heaven. Under your rule and the other angels rule of the people on earth, you were once again overthrown, but by man. Therefore you are once again bound, and although you can influence, you don't hold power over humans, and that is simply because we have a soul. We are placed above angels, and when you decided not to bow to man, that began the second war. We have a soul; what do you have, angel?

Satan< Lady_Lona: I shall steer clear of you for now.

Lady_Lona< Satan: Come on and play with me. I would love to know you.

Satan< Lady_Lona: I choose not to "play" with you as you tend to burn a little brighter then the others. Warrior I think you are. You should teach tah the warrior a thing or two. I know you, have sent some to you; they came back. I will watch you tonight. You are right about the soul; I will give that to you.

Somber< "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." -Frederick Nietzsche

Satan< TO ALL: Now you are kind to me. How predictable, to let others see your real face, of unenlightenment, you have to quick change pace. Ohhh how funny you are.

Somber< Satan: Would you rather these people be unkind to you? What is it you want?

Satan< Somber: I don't think you have the ability for reading comprehension. You can read, but I don't think you can comprehend what you read. That is not what I said, it is evil to put words into people's mouths.

Somber< Satan: Do you recommend a good book or paper for us to read, so that we can study what you have said?

Satan< Room is clearing out. Run, don't try to understand, don't try to see really what and who you are, run, run from your fears.

siouxee< Satan: You are breaking the flow of thought here. I am still on the fence about this "miracle" thing.

tah< siouxee: Which way are you leaning?

siouxee< tah: I am the queen of randomness, that is which way I lean on the fence. That probably makes no sense.

tah< siouxee: Actually it makes a lot of sense. How boring it would be if we all thought exactly the same!

Galahad< Satan: I ask you again, what are you defending of yourself? You said that we all sin, so in the end we all have to bow down to you. (Is that correct? Please elucidate.)

~*serena< OK, it seems to me that although I am unaware of what transpired here tonight, I have to say that nothing is more powerful than LOVE, and by showing anyone LOVE totally renders one powerless if they are trying to argue or pull power plays here. Y'all, I am surprised that the mere mention of Satan... this is just a person like you and me, probably someone who is hurting badly and could use some love like all of us but this is the only way they know how to get it? Comments?

tah< ~*serena: We did send love, however the someone has chosen to ignore all of that. Edward is still trying to get back to miracles.

Spirit57< ~*serena: This is a little more than the mere mention of Satan. This is a person who comes in here under a false name to inform me that I am joining in league with him. This is a judgment and declaration on his part that the direction of my spiritual path and my personal beliefs are wrong. This is not the place for such condemnation and I have told him he is wrong.

~*serena< Spirit57: But although Satan is wrong about you joining, on the other hand what Bink says is correct: all this is only an illusion, and we know who you are, a BEARER OF LOVE & LIGHT.

Bink< So, Satan, what about what Serena said? Are you hurting? Do you wanna drop the mask and talk a bit from the heart? *smile*

Satan< Serena, Bink: Yes, I am the bearer of love and light, and everyone should believe and remember that. For I was the first, loved above all, brightest above all. I am love.

Somber< Satan: Do you plan to answer ANY of my questions?

Satan< Somber: No, because you can't comprehend. You read things into nothing. You make up responses when the words are the words and read as they read. You make up your own things from what is said. The cat ran across the street. To you that would mean the cat ran across the street because it didn't want to get hit by a car, or it ran across the street because it was being chased. When really the words are, the cat ran across the street. Nothing more, nothing less. You should work on that problem a little. Makes you a gullible and easy target for your ego, anger and fear, and all of that is mine.

Galahad< Satan: Since I have asked you twice now and you don't answer me, I will tell you that you said we all sin and in the end we all have to bow down to you. That would be what you say you are defending when "we" all attack you. So you say that we are all sinners and bow down to you, and when we don't believe that, we are attacking you, and so you have to defend the fact that we all are sinners. Thus, if we believe we aren't all sinners, then we are attacking you, and you have to defend the fact that are all sinners. What about all the people who aren't here and aren't posting to you and don't believe they are sinners? Are they all attacking you, too? Are you sitting in hell someplace being attacked by all of mankind because they will not let you tell them that what they have done is a sin? Is that what you are defending? The right to tell all people what they are doing?

Somber< Satan: I am simply wanting answers from you. I am treating you as an equal and you won't give me that much respect. When you say "do some reading up on things I've said and done" then I expect for you to tell me of some material that I may read. It seems you may be the one with the problem. You seem to be afraid to answer anything I have asked.

Satan< Somber: There is tons of material on the net and printed. But as an enlightened person you would have already read that to know your enemy. Right? No, I don't think so. You don't have to read to find me, you are already there. That is great for me.

Somber< Satan: Thanks a lot for the great info. I thought you might have a name of a book or a web site I could go to. You know, I always thought that "hanging out with Satan" would be more fun than this.

Galahad< Satan: Let us make the theoretical statement that you do have the power to make all mankind bow down to you because they are all sinners. What truth is it which defines all mankind as sinners?

Satan< Galahad: I never said anything about bowing down. You have a reading comprehension problem there, too. Re-read what I said. We all attack you, that I said. You have too much time on your hands, son. You are so off base holy I can't believe you. Trying to sound profound, and you sound stupid. I understand what you are saying, but that is not what I am saying, that is what you are saying, big difference. You know what, so that you don't hurt yourself, for argument sake, I will say, yes, that is what I am saying. Although it is not, and you are so far out in left field, but to make sure you don't have a mental break-down, I will say yes.

tah< Satan: yada yada yada. Peace and love to you, sweetie. You don't really know how to be bad do you?

Somber< Satan: Were you raised as a Christian?

Galahad< No Satan, you did say that, and if you didn't know it already, you are on trial here for causing the sins of mankind, and since you cannot defend any reason for doing it, you are hereby banished to the realm of illusion for eternity until you come to terms with the fact that neither does man sin nor do you have any hold on their destiny!

~*serena< Satan: I so far have not seen any hatred that is for sure, nor any neg from you. However, like I said, I just joined here and what you have said so far insofar as Illusion is very profound. You do not strike me as any wigged-out idiot. You certainly seem to have contemplated a lot. May I ask why the nickname Satan? Not that it really matters.

Bink< Satan, any time you want a serious conversation, I'm around. Must get to bed now though. You want me to pray for you? *grin*

Lady_Lona< Satan: I will be seeing you again. :0)

Satan< Lady_Lona: I hope not to run into you for some time. I too need time, before I run into someone like you. Bink: too bad you are leaving, smart wise man you are. Could of had some interesting conversation with you.

Galahad< I hereby add the added ruling that any definition Satan puts on the behavior of mankind is declared null and void.

Yopo< Hmm... I'd always heard that "Satan never sleeps", but he seems to have wandered off. LOL

Galahad< /topic Trial over, Satan declared Guilty as charged

Heartbeam< Satan: What have you been found guilty of?

Jehova< Anyone want transcripts of the trial?

Heartbeam< Jehova found Satan guilty? *LOL*

Somber< Hmmmmm? Satan is bored and chatting on a Saturday night. What is the world coming to?

tah< Somber: What an interesting thought! What has hell come to?

Satan< Galahad: I know I said that, if it makes things easy for you to understand. Yes, I said that. Null... lolololololool oh, you are perfect.

Yopo< Woops! Spoke too soon. (*smile*)

Somber< Satan: Why do you hide from my questions?

Satan< Somber: Why do you hide from my questions? Why can't you ask intelligent ones?

Yopo< Satan: Uh, you seem a bit... ah... petulant? (*smile*) Folks here are generally slow to be provoked to anger. And I can't recall Somber ever asking unintelligent questions.

Somber< I'll be right back. I'm going to go have a Satanic Ritual. I'm going to burn one for Satan!

Satan< Well, I have to leave too. Nothing to keep me in here. All the worthy opponents are leaving. Spirit57 you are strong girl, keep that strength and faith, you are learning, have some to go, but now you are too ruled by emotion, in time you will be strong... nice to meet you. tah, you are a joke, study more and read, cause you don't have a clue what is going on, I think that is due to you being young. Somber, you are so messed I can't even begin to say anything to you, you have so much work ahead of you, good luck, you need it. Galahad, you are young too, and run the same race as Somber, putting you two together would be scary to say the least. Serena, your love and love and love looks good in here and impresses many, but it doesn't fool everyone. Yopo, I don't think I read any of your posts, if I did I can't remember them. What does that say about your level or enlightenment. You have all proven your fear, lack of faith, and belief in self. You let your egos come forward and fight for you when you should have let love and peace fight the battle. This is good as it ushers in the future. Keep praying to the earth, saints, ghosts, fairies, Mary, witches and their spells and candles. Keep this going as it is not for God, and none of that energy goes to God. The more energy you give to others than God, the more power they get, and that is what you are doing. You are slapping God in the face, due to your misguided faith, that religion (man) has taught you. Good luck, you have proven everything that you should not have done. You have failed.

Spirit57< Satan: You are a pain in the ass.

Satan< All the good byes to me, no love to you, so sad you are leaving. No, mean good byes for me. Once again how enlightened are you really? Think about that. An enlightened and loving person would wish me well, you have failed again. Too bad.

tah< Poor Satan -- stay in school and THANKS! I'm glad I'm young in your eyes. Quite gorgeous too! You forgot to mention that, bucko!

Yopo< Satan: Love and light go with you, friend! Uh, if you happen back this way again, you might try speaking from the heart. All who come with an open heart and an open mind are well-received in this place. Peace!

tah< Yopo: So truly said.

~*serena< Satan: I am who I am, and you are totally privy to your opinion. You have a wonderful night and sleep in Peace & Joy & Love.

Satan< Serena: There is hope for you. Spirit57: "kiss my ass" was good though, I have to admit.

Spirit57< Not kiss, Satan, a pain. Do you think I have ruined my spiritual life by speaking the truth?

tah< Satan: May happiness find you.

Jehova< The Government of the Ultimate oneness of all Universes and realities loves you Satan and banishes you to the realm of Illusion for eternity until you realize that man does not sin nor do you have any hold on their destiny. As well as that any definitions you put on their behavior are declared null and void.

Somber< I wonder if Satan knows the difference between someone being gullible and someone being sarcastic. By looking over the posts he left for me, I would think not.

tah< somber: I think not. Satan seems very young emotionally if not physically.

Satan< Somber: Cover your tracks by explaining you were being sarcastic, don't want the others to know how uniformed you are. I think that is ego, caring what others think and acceptance from others. Talking behind and cutting me up behind my back, now that isn't too enlightened. Try thinking about what people say to you, even if it is negative, and learn from it, but you ego won't let you do that because you are so enlightened and full of love. You are fooling yourself. YOPO Good one, should wow the crowd, I think they will believe you too, and won't think this kind sentiment comes from you reading my previous post.

Heartbeam< blah blah blah blah... anyone for some real conversation?

Somber< Satan: I wasn't talking behind your back. I had no need to. I saw you were still here.

Satan< BYE. Now you can all talk about me and heal and puff up your egos. Cause that make you believe more in yourselves.

Heartbeam< Satan: Are you pouting or puffing up your ego?

Somber< Satan: Good night! It's been enjoyable. :-)

SLIDER< Peace and Blessings --Satan--

Yopo< Satan: I think perhaps you are projecting your expectations on some of us. There are some very sincere folk here. And please, don't take that as a criticism. We all do that at times, my humble self included. It can be a barrier to understanding between people.

Spirit57< Go away, Satan. I want to heal and puff up my ego.

Somber< Spirit57: Hahaha! Then I don't feel quite so embarrassed by saying that!

Jehova< Spirit57: Do you want me to Email you the log of the trial?

Spirit57< Jehova: I think I heard enough of him for one night. We had a perfectly good discussion ongoing until he stepped in to ruin it. I am intolerant tonight. (I did not mean intolerant of you.)

Jehova< Spirit57: No, I was simply offering to send you a transcript of the trial. I would be happy to do that.

Spirit57< Jehova: I will read the transcript and see what I think then.

~*serena< Enorah: We had Satan here this night. LOL. Oh, boy! Shaking head.

Enorah< I just scrolled back and saw that Satan was present. hahahahaha. LOL! ROTFWL! [Rolling On The Floor With Laughter]

[The following must have been in reply to a private message.]

Spirit57< UhaneLoa: Nothing of significance. Satan managed to irritate me and went away happy.

tah< Spirit57: You did your good deed for the day, if you sent him off happy!

Spirit57< UhaneLoa: I allowed myself to indulge in irritation and let go of calm and detached. Twas my own doing and I believe I enjoyed being irritated.

UhaneLoa< Spirit57: OK! I enjoy a good scrap myself!

Somber< Spirit57: I think others who were here during that time would feel the same about themselves.

Spirit57< Somber: "Happy is the man who condemns not himself in that thing which he allows." I am happy.

tah< Spirit57: hmmm. A thought!

Somber< Spirit57: (smile)

Yopo< Gotta get some sleep. May I leave you with a poem I found the other day? // "One ship drives east and another drives west / With the selfsame winds that blow. / 'Tis the set of sails and not the gales / Which tells us the way to go." / "Winds of Fate" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) // Good night all!

Somber< Yopo: Very nice! Sweet rest to you.

Spirit57< Good Night, Yopo. I like the poem.

Jehova< People, don't feel bad about anything you did when that being who calls himself Satan was here! You only helped to solve a real old karmic riddle! You see he would only want to make you believe that you did something wrong to hide his own karma. And by knowing that you helped to expose his karma, you have shown great compassion for that entity and for the earth so that it can be healed.

Spirit57< Jehova: What I did was not wrong, but it helped him feed on the room. In other words, I helped him lower the vibrational rate of the whole room when I chose to participate.

tah< Spirit57: Not true. He or she made it easy to answer. Just think how boring and uneventful the poor baby's life must be, to try and pull off something like that. I hope it finds joy and soon!

Somber< Spirit57: But many of us were also being kind and curious. Yes, he got what he wanted, but... oh, I don't know what I'm trying to say.

Spirit57< Somber: I was not being kind. The little stinker was judging my relationship with God and it made me mad.

Somber< Spirit57: But some were being kind. I was at first. And then became subtly sarcastic, which he took for me being gullible and tried to put down my intelligence. I became defensive also, but in a very humorous way. (At least I thought so. :-)

tah< Somber: Well I thought it was hysterical!

Somber< tah: Yea! At least someone did! (ha ha!)

Jehova< Spirit57: How can he feed on the room when his whole facade is exposed? Like the emperor isn't wearing clothes! By helping to expose that, is anybody lowering the "vibrational" level of the room? I know how it feels to you, and it seems that the whole feeling sagged in the room, but know that to create harmony one requires the involvement of all vibrational levels.

~*serena< Spirit57: Honey, you did just fine. You did not lower the vibration here, and anyone who thinks so it is their OWN choice. Love you lady!

JamesRD< serena: Namaste. Vibration can only be lowered if you allow it within yourself. Feel sorrow for that one and pray for he/she to find the truth.

Spirit57< Jehova: I could have helped to do that without calling him a pain in the ass. But I did thoroughly enjoy that.

Jehova< Spirit57: Well, words are words, and we all know what you mean, so to speak. I hope you weren't experiencing any real physical discomfort there where your nourishment returns to the earth.

Spirit57< Jehova: No physical discomfort. Once I make a decision to engage in battle, I thoroughly enjoy it.

Somber< I can't believe I said I was going to hold a Satanic ritual and "Burn one for Satan!" (ha ha ha!) (blush blush!)

Jehova< Well, Somber, the spying worked, but please be careful, for beings like that have a whole network in which they try to influence people's minds and society. Yes, it is good to make a joke out of such rituals, for they are nothing but that: complete and utter illusion. (I wouldn't even raise them up to be nonsense for that can have a spark of enlightenment in it.)

Somber< Jehova: The spying? I see what you mean, I think.

Jehova< Somber: What did you mean by "burn one"?

Somber< Jehova: Well, I know it sounded as if I was going to go "burn" a joint or smoke some pot, but I actually just went outside and smoked a cigarette.

Jehova< Somber: Me too! *LOL* I did the same thing.

Somber< Jehova: (giggle!!)

07. Miracles
Session 2: Sat 07 Feb 1998

Ben< ALL: Tonight I have 4 set-up statements, each followed by an open question, based on my review of last Saturday's meeting -- which, by the way, I think went very well in my absence. *smile*

Ben< 1. Webster's Dictionary: miracle -- an event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific laws and hence is thought to be due to supernatural causes, especially to an act of God.

Ben< ALL: Lor said he would like to have a better definition of "miracle." Is it necessary to limit the definition to events that contemporary science cannot explain? YOUR TURN

the_Muse< No, I do not think it is even possible to limit the miraculous to the explainable. I have seen explanations of events that although they are explainable are still very unlikely and impossible for the individuals to have achieved.

katzenbou< Generally I would say so, and yet there are many things we might consider miracles that are explained by science, like birth and existence itself.

Lor< katzenbou: Does science really explain your existence? or what your soul is and how it became associated with your birth? If so, I haven't heard of it.

Ocallah< I'd say a miracle could also be defined as an event or a perception that goes beyond our intellectual understanding, yet is intuitively experienced.

FRAML< I think one can also use logic to examine a miracle, however this being a "scientific age" most folks seem to want to use it.

Verge< Not all actions labeled as miracles are phenomenal. Even the smallest of action can be a miracle.

Ben< Okay. Good, thoughtful answers. More?

Zarastan< I have seen evidence of scientifically authenticated miracles that most people still do not accept. Then again, is acceptance necessary for a miracle? Isn't the fact of it enough? Kind of like having to tell everyone about your Angel or guide experience. Why? Just the knowing and experiencing it should be and is enough, in my humble opinion.

Lady_Lona< A miracle is an event or occurrence that is manifested to the senses. To be true to the senses, individual miracles, not witnessed by another, create such a change in an individual that it enables them to drastically change their life into a positive direction. This is surely a good thing.

Yopo< I wouldn't think we have to limit the definition. Some miracles might be fully explicable in scientific terms, yet still meet my own definition by showing up against all odds, in answer to some special need or situation.

Polgara< Well, for me, I think miracles also include "eleventh hour" rescues, serendipitous happenings, things that are certainly explainable and possible, but to have them happen when, where and how they do makes them too exceptional to be just a coincidence.

Lor< I think Polgara is touching on something significant. Although science does not preclude the possibility of an event happening, the fact that it does happen -- seemingly against all odds -- sometimes makes the event appear to be a miracle when it seems to have been guided by some benevolent source.

the_Muse< I remember this one time when a man was able to slow his rate of falling when his chute failed. He did it again for the camera. A miracle! For sure! But the scientists came up with an explanation involving updrafts. So if there is that sort of explanation, does it negate the fact of the miraculous occurrence?

FRAML< the_Muse: I think it could be called a minor miracle that he discovered them and realized how to use them when he needed them to save his life.

the_Muse< FRAML: Yes, that is what I would think also, but then that example borders on magical, as his action of faith may have generated the updraft, but the updraft having the strength to have slowed him was hotly debated.

SLIDER< I think some things that are called miracles are explainable, but the fact of the timing of their occurrence would make them a miracle for sure. Unexplainable timing.

Verge< But should miracles not at least transcend natural laws? Should they not be an action which is beyond the anticipated?

greyman< The simple miracles, such as the ones we take for granted, are sometimes the least appreciated magic. The forces that keep atoms together. The DNA that keeps our body machines going. And so on.

5foot2< Miracles also often exceed our expectations at the time.

SLIDER< I think discernment would have to dictate the personal meaning of any miracle.

Starseer< Miracles are brought to us by the loving care and protection of our Creator through the grace of the Holy Spirit, sometimes using other people, although angels can and do also deliver them as gifts.

aStarlight< Starseer: Loved your comment,

greyman< One person's miracle is another person's gift, intentional or not.

Ben< 2. Webster's Dictionary: magic -- (1) the use of charms, spells and rituals in seeking or pretending to cause or control or govern certain natural or supernatural forces. (2) any mysterious, seemingly inexplicable, or extraordinary power or influence [the magic of love]. (3) the performing art or skill of producing baffling effects or illusions by sleight of hand, concealed apparatus, etc..

Ben< ALL: How can you tell the difference between these senses of the term "magic"? For example, how would you decide whether someone actually caused an event or merely pretended to cause it? YOUR TURN

Zoranda< Being Wiccan, I believe in the force of magic. It is the ability to impact the unseen (or unseeable) through conscious thought (or action). Some may call it miraculous. I just find it a powerful and effective tool. If you performed "magic" to secure a job -- envisioned it, cast a spell or performed a ritual -- and then landed the "ideal" job within a day, would you define this as an event caused by magic?

Verge< Using conscious thought is just using the tools that are ours to use. Thought is a living thing.

Lady_Lona< You would feel the energy created at the time of real magik, whereas in magic there is only the energy you feel from the excitement of the people in the room and from the artist. Magik sends out different energy and makes you tingle.

Verge< Magic is performed by slight of hand. Miracles are performed by instilling Grace.

the_Muse< I think magic is a thing a person does that is linked by synchronicity to the desired result that was sought, in such a way as to not make scientific sense as we understand science today. But a miracle is a result of prayer and is done only through the mercy and love of the Creator.

Zoranda< the_Muse: Then a miracle and magic are two different things?

Lady_Lona< Magik is performed differently than magic. Magic is slight-of-hand, etc. Magik is somewhat like spells and incantations in order to produce the desired affect.

Ben< Lady_Lona: Both real magic and stage magic are included in Webster's definition, as two senses of the word. In the sense of real magic, how do you tell whether the person actually caused, or pretended to cause, the observed result?

Lady_Lona< Ben: Real magik feels different; there is like a static in the room; you feel it hit you. Stage magic is just like going to a concert or something; the energy from the people is happy and excited. Magik draws from a different pool or source, whereas miracles draw from the one source, and if you are lucky enough to be around, it feels unbelievable.

Verge< Lady_Lona: No matter how it is spelled, it is still the manipulation of physical attributes to achieve the desired result.

Lady_Lona< Verge: You are right, all of them draw upon the physical level.

FRAML< Lady_Lona: Could you call a person predicting an eclipse based upon an Almanac to a people who didn't know of them as performing magic/magik, when he said that he caused it to happen? I think that is what Ben meant.

Lady_Lona< FRAML: Okay, it is just they feel different, when witnessing them.

Yopo< By that person's ability to repeat the event under controlled circumstances? (This gets complicated. Perhaps the person can predict, rather than cause.)

[Ben< Yopo: Yes, the difference between causing and predicting something is very important. Causing means initiating or controlling whereas predicting does not. Successful replication of the same results under the same conditions is evidence for either causation or prediction. But have you ever seen anyone cast lots (such as the I Ching) with the same result time after time?]

Zarastan< By this definition, prayer, meditation and energy healings would all be considered forms of magic, affecting the outcome of a situation by visualization or by accessing an altered state where we are all ONE. That is the place where the magic occurs. Unfortunately, much "magic" is also done in service to the spell caster's ego, in expectation of an outcome. Even healings that are done with the expectation that the client (what I call "co-healer") will get well is a form of this kind of magic. That the healing or prayer or meditation (connection through higher consciousness) is simply sending the support of each one, achieving his highest good in service to his spiritual evolution, is truly the origin of miraculous and magical events.

the_Muse< I would think that the action of magic being done by an individual makes it something that can be good or ill, but a miracle is always an action of love and mercy from the Creator, so it is always a thing of beauty.

Zoranda< the_Muse: Ah, making the distinction that, although we are all One (including the creator), only the creator can perform miracles?

the_Muse< Zoranda: Wow, just a minute while I think about that!

Lor< the_Muse: But we heard last time of miracles that happened to some of the participants unexpectedly without prior prayer. (Postwise, prayers of thanks may have happened, though!)

the_Muse< Lor: Oh yes, that is true. I do not feel that prayer is a prerequisite, or that would almost be like the prayer made the effect and would border on magic. And of course how many of us have prayed in earnest and not received the object of our prayer? But you look back and you know that what happened turned out as it should no matter what you prayed at the time.

Zoranda< the_Muse: True. The gift of magik is not in getting what you asked for, but in receiving what you need. Perhaps that is a miracle?

Ocallah< I believe that magic is the ego manipulating things to go against their nature, and a miracle is when the highest good is served, through spirit.

Verge< Sometimes we experience actions so often they become less miraculous and more expected. According to your level of understanding, and experience.

Akeeah< Minor magic infers working within the structure of reality and following it's rules. Miracles suggest something outside of that structure and those rules, I think.

5foot2< Magic is something humans take credit for, miracles are from a greater power.

SLIDER< Ben: Can the ability to discern through intuition the desired outcome of a predicted miracle be called a miracle? Or would the influence in such an implication be called Magik or magic? Whether the prediction happened or not.

Ben< SLIDER: Some call discernment through intuition a miracle, or a gift of God, or a psychic ability. I think it is often subconscious inductive reasoning, but not always.

5foot2< Maybe the miracle is the fact that we are in the right frame of mind to see.

[Ben< 5foot2: Yes, I agree that is often the case. A miracle can be something that opens the eyes *or* the mind so that one suddenly says "Oh, yes! Now I see."]

[Ben< The word "magic" literally means "the techniques of the Magi (plural) or a magus (singular)". The Magi were the priestly caste in ancient Media and Persia. They were known for their study and practice of astrology, divination, sorcery, etc. A magus might or might not be a member of the Magi. In any case, the emphasis is on the secret use of various techniques such as calculating horoscopes, reading signs and omens, casting spells, summoning good or evil spirits, etc. The results are attributed to the techniques and the skill of the user rather than to Deity.]

Ben< 3. Webster's Dictionary: superstition -- (1) any belief or attitude, based on fear or ignorance, that is inconsistent with the known laws of science or with what is generally considered in the particular society as true and rational; especially such a belief in charms, omens, the supernatural, etc.. (2) any action or practice based on such a belief or attitude. (3) such beliefs or attitudes collectively.

Ben< ALL: I think we don't really need to explore this definition. Scientific orthodoxy defines superstition as religious orthodoxy defines heresy: "This is what you must *not* believe -- or if you do, keep your mouth shut." And various societies do the same thing in less formal but no less effective ways. On the other hand, I believe there is such a thing as superstition. Would anyone like to give an example?

the_Muse< Ben: That definition would include any faith in anything that cannot be explained, like the belief in a man two thousand years dead could be called superstition by that definition. Interesting juxtaposition.

Verge< Superstition is giving supernatural powers to inanimate objects.

Polgara< I'm with Verge on the definition of superstition. Nice!

HopToad< Carrying a rabbit's foot for luck. Not opening an umbrella indoors.

the_Muse< An example of superstition: Things that do not relate to any sort of higher being or basic goodness or karma, but are just believed, like black cats being unlucky.

Zarastan< Less than 100 years ago it was considered a superstition that women had souls. According to men, including scientists, women were animate but barely more than robots. Independent thought was not part of the feminine realm. What passed for such was said to originate in their connection with men (father, brother, husband, teacher). So... ?

~*serena< Example of superstition: Walking under a ladder will bring bad luck.

LAGONE< Superstitions have a root in religions, as 13 at the last supper, also in cultures and personal experiences.

Zarastan< It was also accepted as a scientific fact in central Europe for several hundred years that women were the incarnation of Satan, that all were witches, that they had to be watched closely or they would steal men's souls. Which is superstitious and which is scientific?

Lady_Lona< Zarastan: Wow, I didn't know that about the soul and women. That is pretty scary.

Starseer< Zarastan: So sad but true.

FRAML< Zarastan: I'd say some women are pretty bewitching today. *grin*

Polgara< Zarastan: I don't believe that qualifies as superstition. I am split between defining it as either stupidity or delusion! (Yes, I know that's not what you believe!)

Lor< Zarastan: Oh my, has a miracle happened that women have souls, too? *chuckle, chuckle* I'm afraid ignorance still plays an all too important part in everyone's perceptions.

Katya< Superstition is a belief in something which has not been supported through a reasonable level of evidence, proof, logic, intuition, etc. Therefore it is hard to label anything as superstition, since idea would probably not exist without some reasoning in first place... thus the judgment would be just that, judgment.

greyman< Just talk about reincarnation to a bunch of Southern Baptists.

Ben< I find superstition is usually a prejudicial label meaning "I don't believe it." However, I think genuine superstitions are created by false attribution of cause, like when the kid asks "What's that noise?" (thunder), and the old man says "That's the gods playing nine-pins."

Akeeah< The human brain is hard-wired for pattern recognition, therefore, it is natural for humans to always attempt to connect things to other things. I dropped pennies on ground... a good thing happened next day that doesn't happen often... I will drop more pennies tomorrow... etc. Superstition is man's attempt to make patterns in events and their causes.

[Ben< Sequence is often erroneously assumed to imply causation (consequence). In logic, the Latin phrase "post hoc ergo propter hoc" (after this, therefore because of this) is used to describe the fallacy of thinking that an event which follows another event *must* have been caused by it.]

Zoranda< Superstition was a way of life in the early centuries. Mainly because of the lack of "scientific" foundation or explanation. However, in many cases it saved peoples lives. The foundation of superstition includes some potent and powerful messages.

the_Muse< Zoranda: Yes, love, and we, as the small mites we are, do not have the big picture to know what is best. Hindsight is our best view of the miraculous, I think.

Akeeah< Zoranda: My point exactly! A pattern is formed and man controls events, or so he thinks... which often works!

Lady_Lona< I believe that superstitions stem from practical application for well being of self, and from mythology, etc.

Zoranda< How about the adage that picking up pennies brings good luck (or more money)? That surely qualifies as some form of superstition. Of course, if you pick up enough pennies, then the superstition becomes self-prophetic, no?

the_Muse< Zoranda: I believe picking up other people's garbage brings good luck. But then, I so often find real treasures when I do this; though, what would be the cause and what the effect? I am looking, I find...

Ocallah< Maybe superstition is giving power to beliefs... like a way of shirking self-responsibility... for instance, throwing salt over your shoulder.

SLIDER< Ben: I think the root of superstition followed known laws of bad things happening under certain conditions. The rabbit's foot was used as a reminder to beware of those conditions.

the_Muse< Ben: Like in the example of the 13 at the last supper, the number 13 is unlucky, but that had nothing to do with it. What had to happen was that Jesus would be betrayed and taken to the elders to be falsely judged, as stated by the prophets. To put it on the number is to be superstitious, but to put it on the prophets is to see the miraculous?

[Ben< the_Muse: I think the whole idea that the number 13 *causes* bad luck is a superstition. For example, I don't believe that naming a spacecraft "Apollo 13" caused an oxygen bottle to explode in flight. To say that something happened to fulfill a prophet's prediction sounds to me like religious rationalization.]

Zarastan< Superstition and witchcraft included the practice of herbal medicine for thousands of years. People have died in various horrible ways for the privilege of bringing you digitalis, penicillin, insulin, and many other "scientific" discoveries. You may think it's "delusion or stupidity" now, but orthodoxy in every age has labeled what was on the leading edge as superstition. Inanimate objects like plants and animal glandular extracts healing people? Heresy! Superstition! Witchcraft!

LadyV< Zoranda: That would also apply today, in understanding the cultural superstition of people and the belief system they have based on the rituals of the chosen belief system.

FRAML< Re: herbal medicine, could we say that a blind faith in science has caused us to regard these traditional remedies as superstition because we don't believe that past trial and error is "scientific" enough for us today?

Ben< 4. Adriane asked, "What is the mechanism of a miracle?" Usually miracles are assumed to be acts of God and thus manifestations of divine power. Power is one way to get things done: "Do it yourself." But there is another mechanism, another way to get things done: "Ask or tell someone else to do it."

Ben< ALL: Suppose your God works by inspiration rather than direct application of power: what would you consider to be an example of that type of miracle? YOUR TURN

greyman< Yes, boss, my brother is in need. OK, what do I need to do? Right. (Do I have to)? OK.

Lady_Lona< I can not answer that, as God does not work in such a manner.

FRAML< Lady_Lona: Are you saying that your god that doesn't work like that, or that all gods including the god I follow don't work that way? The god I serve does work that way.

Lady_Lona< FRAML: I only know one God -- father son holy spirit. I am saying God doesn't work like that. From what has been shown to me, from what I have read, from what I was told, from what I know to be true. The Holy Spirit assists in miracles. God can not interrupt that which is created. It is the covenant passed between man and God, and God and another force. Miracles do come from God, but are sent through the Holy Spirit and then to man. This is also based on the person's great love and trust in God. There are so many different variables for a miracle. Whereas magic is so easy, and man-made. Based on what I know.

Azriel< Lady_Lona: But how can you dismiss something as man-made if we are all made in the image of God/dess? All that we are and all that we can be is inspired and capable of miracles.

Ocallah< I believe an example of divine inspiration might be our sixth sense about things. It comes out of "nowhere" and into our consciousness, through our intuitions.

Azriel< Ben: Is a beautiful, moving symphony or poem a miracle of inspiration?

[Ben< Azriel: Yes, I believe it can be. Many artists, poets and musicians have said that what they did was not their own, but given to them in a vision or dream, both of which can be forms of inspiration. Handel's "Messiah" is a classic example. The mechanism of inspiration is communication from God, or from a member of the Kingdom of God, through God's messengers, to a receptive person. The word for "angel" means "messenger" in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.]

LadyV< Ben: I think God would utilize all of the people and throw in a few angels as well.

[Ben< LadyV: Yes. However, not all people are receptive to God's messages. Many aren't receptive at all. Of those who are receptive, many are tuned to some other source, and many don't know how to discern one source from another.]

the_Muse< I am out there cleaning up messes I didn't make, as a love gift to the Creator in showing I treasure the works of His hands. Does this maybe inspire the regular finding of treasures?

Zoranda< the_Muse: Half the battle is in the looking! You put energy toward... you receive?

Ben< christ-an gave a good example last time, when he described how his two-year-old sister found and took the blood-thinner pills she actually needed. I believe she was *inspired* to do that -- by someone (not visible to others present) who loved her and knew what she needed.

Akeeah< Ben: I believe it was the child's Higher Self. I believe GOD the ONE does not have to get involved at such a physical level and usually doesn't. *smile*

[Ben< Akeeah: I agree. That's what I meant when I suggested that God doesn't use much power (the "do it yourself" approach). I am looking at how individual members of the Kingdom of God (vast numbers of incarnate and discarnate souls) implement the impartial, unconditional, good-will of God on their own initiative.]

katzenbou< Ben: Could the pills have been given by guardian Angels?

Ben< katzenbou: Yes, I believe that little girl was inspired by an angel -- a good angel -- who loved her and knew what she needed.

FRAML< Inspiration is getting an idea on how to do something, or how to help someone. Thus, I am the tool.

SLIDER< That is a definition I can attribute to. Things happen, and knowing when and how to respond to these happenings, and to understand and discern their meanings through intuition, can be called a miracle.

the_Muse< So, if we are in tune with the small voice, it guides us in a truly miraculous way, inspiring art and joy.

Ocallah< So, maybe our intuitions are miraculous because they connect us with spirit and creator... and maybe magic is not, because it secures us in our ego's?

the_Muse< Ocallah: You have stated a thing that I believe. I know magic and feel it is a matter of ego and power, the wish to dominate others and nature. Except in the case of healing, which force comes from the Creator.

Ocallah< the_Muse: Yeah, healing is tricky. That's why it is good to always pray for the highest good of all; that way, we keep our ego out of the way. Because sometimes illness IS healing. We alone cannot know the path of another. If we try to heal another out of our own fear (or whatever), then we are choosing alone what is best... and we alone cannot know. Yet through spirit, we Know. *smile*

the_Muse< Ocallah: I agree entirely, and it is such a hard thing to have faith in when the ill one is a loved one and it seems unfair. That is faith.

Zoranda< the_Muse: True. I often put my beliefs into action and forget that there are other methods followed. However, everything is somewhat holographic (universally speaking). Even differences of action hold common ground, don't you think?

the_Muse< Zoranda: Yes, differences of action are all part of that mosaic. If a person doesn't get the point with one thing, then there are other things to teach that lesson, all for the same lesson but different actions. But in that case there is a common ground in a positive goal.

Zoranda< Always, the_Muse. But perhaps it is a matter of timing, and we are being short-sighted in believing that differences of action or belief really matter over the "long-haul".

the_Muse< Zoranda: Beliefs are just hypotheses, but actions are how you express what and who you are. In being true to them, no matter if it does you harm, you show deep courage. The greatest truth an individual can speak is the one that causes him harm. For example: "He did not burn down the library, Judge. I did it. He is innocent."

Zoranda< Don't you figure if we were truly "created in the creator's image" the power to create these miracles (call them inspired) might not be our "own" but powered by higher self or the creators energy or connection to us?

[Ben< Zoranda: Yes, inspiration can also include energy, as well as guidance.]

Starseer< Ben: I would say a higher realm inspiration for developing a medical breakthrough (let's say given divinely to a medical doctor or scientist) for healing or curing a horrible disease would be an example of a miracle by inspiration.

[Ben< Starseer: Excellent example. Many doctors and scientists have testified to their experiences in which they received inspiration, and in many such cases, the benefits to others have been awesome.]

the_Muse< Starseer: That is a good example. How about the use of things, like a deadly poisonous plant like foxglove being used for heart pains and then digitalis being isolated from that plant? Where does such an inspiration come from? It must be a miraculous inspiration from that little voice.

Zoranda< How about being inspired (directed) to move to a new location, receiving great opportunities and wealth at that location... incredible gifts never imagined. Wait time is about two years. Does this qualify?

[Ben< Zoranda: *smile* Being inspired (directed) to move to a new location reminds me of Abraham, and Noah, and Moses.]

aStarlight< I feel that miracles are "proof" of Divine existence of the Holy Spirit. People need help or proof because they don't have enough faith to do it or believe it themselves.

Lor< aStarlight: I am suspicious that if I were to believe that miracles were proof of divinity, I might be led down a wrong path by anyone sharp enough to make some things seem like miracles. I prefer to look at the spirit behind it and the fruits of the event -- that is, whether the results are really helpful or not -- to aid in discernment.

[Ben< Lor: Yes. By the fruits we can know whether an event came from God.]

Zoranda< aStarlight: It is a shame that any human needs "proof" of Divine existence, given the planet we live on and the universe we live in.

the_Muse< Zoranda: I think the time of making God give proof in the way of miracles is past. We all have the info we need. It is now time for those who believe and have faith in spite of all to receive miracles as reward. Any vain and foolish generation will ask for proof, but none will be given.

Lor< the_Muse: But also how vain and foolish the generations that would follow someone or some god merely because of such so-called miracles without testing whether the results or effects are kind, gracious, wise, beneficial, etc.

the_Muse< Lor: For sure! And the prophecy that there would be no miracles was obviously not for the generation that witnessed all of Jesus's. But was for the generation that would see the two witnesses die and resurrect after 3 1/2 days. Jesus said a vain and foolish generation asks for a sign but no sign will be given but the sign of the tomb. So we in these days should look only for that sign.

aStarlight< Lor: You are correct. For instance, there is someone whom I believe is the Anti-Christ, Lord Maitreya. He has been performing "miracles" for the poor in rural communities all over the world. Please be careful with him. He is a very powerful spirit, but not with loving energies.

Starseer< aStarlight: I would like to hear more about this guy. Sometime when you have a chance, let's chat.

Willow< aStarlight: If you mean the man, I believe you are right. I get very negative energies from him. The Spirit Lord Maitreya, to my knowledge, is of the Light.

Ben< Willow: Were you speaking of Benjamin Creme?

Willow< Ben: I have heard of two making this claim, Creme and another... in England? I believe it was his info that I reacted to.

aStarlight< Ben: Actually we were speaking of the so-called Lord Maitreya who resides in London (not the spirit Lord Maitreya).

Lady_Lona< Willow: What can you tell me about this Benjamin Creme?

Willow< Lady_Lona: Very little. I had a very strong reaction to his information, and have stayed away from it. Lord Maitreya is familiar to me. What I felt in response to him is not.

auralady< Maitreya... hmmm... Someone (don't know who) sent me material about him, from Share International. Who is this being?

Lady_Lona< Willow: Is this Creme on the net? Do people think him Christ?

Willow< Lady_Lona: Yes, he is on the web. He appears to have many 'believers'. wiseguy may have the URL.

Lady_Lona< Willow: Thanks, I will ask him about it, or search it out for myself.

the_Muse< Willow: I heard that Creme is the right hand man and herald to this Maitreya figure. He has been here heralding on a couple of occasions. To me, the use of miracles is proof that the person is not sent. I do not wait for Christ's coming, as first the two witnesses will come, and their public death and resurrection will be seen by all. So if anyone says, here is the Christ, you know they lie. There will be no Christ revealed till the two witnesses reveal it.

Lady_Lona< the_Muse: You are right, the witnesses have to come first. And they have not come as yet.

the_Muse< And the two witnesses will do miracles for the faithful but not to give proof, like a dog and pony show of God. So the ones that ask for miracles so they will believe will have none.

Lady_Lona< the_Muse: You are right. So they or people think this Creme person is Christ?

Mouse< the_Muse: I am fascinated by your reference to the "witnesses" can you elaborate ??

katzenbou< the_Muse: I have not heard of the two witnesses before; however, Jesus said he will return in the same way in which he left. Does that mean from the sky, as that is the way he left? And He also said that there will be many false prophets and messiahs coming in the end times, and that many of them will have the ability to perform miracles.

the_Muse< Katzenbou: Oh, gosh, I have a bunch of stuff on this. Maybe Ben will do a seminar on them one day for me to share in? I find this to be a safe forum for stating theories. *smile*

katzenbou< the_Muse: Would this fit in with your "goofy theories"? *smile*

Ocallah< I believe the "second coming" of Christ is within all of us... that it won't be just one individual... that it will be in all... like the Great Awakening. *smile*

aStarlight< Ocallah: Your comment about the Second Coming of Christ occurring in all of us makes total sense to me. I concur with you wholeheartedly.

Azriel< I think that anytime we step outside our 'usual' self, in writing, an act of kindness, etc., and it leads to a positive result, whether by inspiration or impulse, it constitutes a miracle -- and there are no small miracles.

~*serena< Azriel: How beautiful! I like that. I agree with you. Miracles cannot be measured -- they are true Blessings of Grace from our Divine Creator. How fortunate all of us are!

samadhi< What would you say if God spoke to you right now and told you that you are missing the boat?

aStarlight< Azriel: Loved your comments. How true...

Polgara< Beautiful thoughts, Azriel, Ocallah! *smile*

Lady_Lona< Azriel: We are made in the image of God: God's essence, the soul. The body is or equals Christ, and the spirit is or equals the Holy Spirit. Let us create man in our image, it says. But that was the second creation, before the second war in heaven. Man is capable of miracles because of our faith and trust in God to come through.

samadhi< I said, you are missing the boat.

Zoranda< Lady_Lona: Perhaps it is semantics? Man is capable of miracles because of our faith and trust in God could perhaps be interpreted as Man's ability to (through God) use that which God provided.

samadhi< Soyanara. You missed your boat.

LarryGC< Miracles are only miracles to the involved humans. They are just what has happened, regardless of the viewpoint.

samadhi< Who gives a fig about miracles? They don't matter. What matters is your understanding of who you really are. Self realization is the same as God realization. Enough said.

Ben< ALL: In the case of miracles via inspiration, the Source of inspiration provides the guidance, and the recipient of the guidance supplies the power, whether that power is physical or psychic. Thus, miracles via inspiration operate within the known scientific laws, and outside of them, but not against them.

Lady_Lona< Ben: Well put.

LadyV< Ben: Thank you.

Ben< ALL: My last comment before open discussion: I and others I know have functioned as good angels do, by asking or telling (inspiring) someone to do or not do something while we, ourselves, were out-of-body.

Starseer< Ben: I know I have done that myself during meditations (pre-sleep) and I would think perhaps during OBEs as well, although I can't remember what I do when I am asleep or unconscious or in an OBE state.

the_Muse< Ben: When I have done that I have found it is only through Spirit that it has any more affect than if I were to state things in person. People ignore their own inner voice, and they will ignore the sendings of another just as easily.

Ben< the_Muse: Yes, God and all the angels also have that problem of people not listening to inspiration!

Ben< /topic Open discussion of Miracles

Yopo< Ben: I got seriously sidetracked on the superstition issue. LOL

Ben< Yopo: LOL! Yes, I saw that superstition was a more popular topic than I thought it would be.

JJ_1< If we are all loving, joyous, wise, and powerful manifesting Gods or Goddesses, born of the original light from which nothing is withheld, should not life be a succession of miracles? Should we not expect the miracles, and if they do not occur, know the reason why? The greater picture playing itself out.

samadhi< I read your words, but there is a lack of true meaning. There is no GOD but GOD.

Azriel< JJ_1: Perhaps life is a succession of miracles, we just don't have the 'vision' to always recognize them!

samadhi< No one has heard a word I have said tonight.

Ben< samadhi: Yes, we have heard you. But it helps to address your remarks to a specific person by starting your post with that person's nickname.

SLIDER< samadhi: Your words have been presented but not directed. To whom do you speak? *smile*

samadhi< SLIDER: To anyone who has ears to hear and eyes to see.

Senita< TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE YOUNG CHILDREN: Have you ever noticed that your child may "remember" a previous life?

Akeeah< Senita: I've always noticed... children are fabulous!

Senita< Hello, Akeeah. So, yes, you have children? I don't have any (can't wait though!) but I have often wondered if parents noticed any little signs.

FRAML< Senita: We have been discussing the nature of miracles tonight, rather than past lives/reincarnation.

Senita< FRAML: Yes, I understand that the discussion is mainly about miracles; however this is an open conversation, is it not?

FRAML< Senita: Yes, it is; however we usually continue on with the main topic of the night.

Lor< Senita: My understanding is that for the first hour, it is NOT open (but guided) discussion; although the second hour is open. OK?

the_Muse< Senita: Yours is a good and interesting question, and will get lots of attention. Do be willing to attempt that conversation again, soon? I know many people here would enjoy it. I think most are a little tired though, as Ben's seminars really make one concentrate on the subject at hand. *smile*

Ocallah< Ever notice how small children have no problem following their intuitions? They are so in touch with the Now, they go with the flow. They feel deeply, without self-judgment. I believe their egos are in alignment and in tune with their spirit. If they feel bad, they cry. If they are sick, they sleep, or whatever. They just go with the flow. I need to take lessons from my 6 year old daughter. *smile* She is a master of mindfulness. *smile*

Spirit57< Ocallah: They also play in the road. Don't get too carried away with acting just like them. They have a need for us to guide them also.

Ocallah< Spirit57: LOL! Ain't that the truth! They are inexperienced in 3D. Yes, they need guidance... for sure! *smile*

the_Muse< Ocallah: I can't help but think of my daughter's honest question the other day: "Is that lady got a baby in her tummy, or is she just fat?" Such honesty must be tempered a bit, yes? *smile*

Ben< the_Muse: Hah! An honest question deserves an honest answer. What did you say to your daughter?

the_Muse< Ben: I said that she might have a baby in her tummy. And smiled ruefully at the woman. She just laughed at the whole thing.

Ben< ALL: Do you think it worthwhile to continue this seminar on miracles for another session? (I do have some more questions I could post. And as usual, they are not real easy ones. *grin*)

[Those who replied said, yes, they would like another session on miracles.]

Ev< I've been reading. Is the question, what is a miracle? Miracles are a way of thinking and creating.

Lady_Lona< Ben: What is your perception of a miracle, in comparison to magic, and superstition?

Ben< Lady_Lona: I see miracles via inspiration all around us. They are often apparently little things, but always a product of kindness and truth.

Lady_Lona< Ben: What would you say is the difference to every day fate and miracles?

Ben< Lady_Lona: In my opinion, fate consists of more-or-less random events. Miracles are not random, they are specifically caused. The question, then, is discernment of cause.

Lady_Lona< Ben: I believe fate is not random, but set down before we came to earth. I also believe that miracles are not random. Discernment of cause in regards to fate is not discernment, as it is. Fate can be changed to a certain degree, but something we must experience. Miracles I believe are an awakening of such magnitude that the person can not help but to change their ways. Their whole being, soul, spirit is changed completely from what they were before. Though I somehow wonder if this is not planned as well, or can be considered to be a problem, that you would require a miracle to get you back on the right path, so to speak.

Ben< Lady_Lona: Well, I do think a lot of stuff is basically random, and not specifically caused or intended. Like... Why did that bird defecate at just that moment, fifty feet in the air, and hit me squarely on the shoulder?

Ocallah< Ben: LOL! Maybe that bird was trying to tell you that you were carrying a lot of shit on your shoulders! LOL!!!!

Lady_Lona< Ben: LOL!! Yes, that kind of stuff is random. I was meaning more life related and soul related events. Although, one could learn from that bird.

FRAML< I can hear the Bells of St. Sealy's are pealing in the background. I must answer their call. TO ALL: remember to count your blessings before you sleep.

Ocallah< Nice reminder, FRAML. Thanks!

Azriel< Goodnight, Dear Friends. It's been a long day, but has ended with an enlightening exchange of thoughts and ideas -- and again, Ben, no bloodshed. That is a miracle! Thank you ALL!

the_Muse< Thank you, Azriel! What a lovely blessing! My heart just sang to hear it. No bloodshed. Yes, folks, we have here another proven miracle, many beliefs shared with all open minds -- the miracles are afoot! LOL *Poof*

Ben< ALL: Yes, I want to commend all of you for expressing what you believe without attacking what others believe. It is a blessing, given from each one to all others.

Ben< ALL: Okay, friends, it has been a good evening. As several said, no bloodshed! And a lot of content in the discussion.

Ben< /topic Open

Ocallah< I wonder... has anyone considered that Jesus channeled the Christ, and that the Christ is the Universal Higher Self? just wondering.

Lady_Lona< Ocallah: Christ is God. God is composed of three things: father, son-christ, and holy spirit. So god couldn't channel god.

GOD.< Ocallah: Since GOD is all things, and IS all things and was ALL things, GOD can only be GOD channeling self.

Ocallah< Or perhaps the "father" is the creator, the "son" is the ego/personality and the "holy spirit" is the union of both, so then the son (Jesus) could actually channel or intuitively connect with creator through the personality.

SLIDER< Ocallah: If we knew the expanse of the unknown cosmos, maybe then we could answer that. *S*

Ocallah< Yeah, if we really knew God, then an aspect of God could in fact connect with an aspect of God.

GOD.< Ocallah: There is no aspect. That would be separation of GOD from GOD. There only IS GOD.

Lady_Lona< Ocallah: That is possible, but it isn't how it feels to me. God is like this huge energy pocket. Within this energy is 3 connected, at all times pieces, but not pieces. That being the father, son and holy ghost. Just as we are 3, body-christ, soul-god, spirit-holy spirit. Christ would not channel god, because he was god. Christ was always connected.

Ocallah< Lady_Lona: But I am differentiating between Jesus as a person and Christ as a state of spiritual self (ego)-realization; like the ascension is something we do in our bodies, when our ego is no longer leading the show, but is in service to our spirit/higher self/christed self/bridge to creator?

Starseer< Ocallah: I believe we all are (or have the choice) to be christed beings living in a christ consciousness connected by a grid held here to experience the individuated essence of the Creator, given personal instructions from the Office of the Christ, so in a sense we who choose all channel the Christ energies.

Ocallah< Starseer: Yeah, I believe that, too. *smile*

Ben< Ocallah: Jesus is a personal name. Christ is just a title (the anointed), as Buddha is a title (the enlightened).

Ocallah< Ben: Exactly. *smile*

aStarlight< Ocallah: I agree with you. My opinion is that Jesus became "ONE" with the Christened Cosmic Energy, and some people feel it is equal with "GOD/DESS".

Ocallah< aStarlight: I agree, too. *smile* To me, the person, Jesus, taught ascension through example, an example of what becomes possible for all of us when we connect to our Higher Self -- i.e., Christed Self -- like, "These things and more..."

auralady< Agreed, Ocallah. What better example (than Jesus)? Now, though, we have to work on it all ourselves. It's kind of time to "grow up", don't you think? *smile* By the way: what revelations? awakening? do tell!

Lady_Lona< Ocallah: I don't subscribe to Christ and Jesus as separate. To me they are the same. Christ as a state of spiritual self-realization I don't believe in either. I am not Christ, nor will I ever be. I can love as I can, but not as christ or God can ever love. I am human first, and maybe someday I will be able to love as christ does and God does. That is something for me to work on. But I don't think in this form I will ever achieve love as christ and god can. Otherwise I wouldn't have come down here, I would have stayed above. Bridge to creator has always been there for me. I pray to God, and Christ, but since birth I have always seen the bridge to be there for me. Sounds strange but this is what I know to be true.

[Ben< The word "christ" is from Greek *christos* which means "anointed with oil". Greek writers used it to translate Hebrew *mashiah* which means "anointed with oil" and implies "approved by God". As a state of self-realization, "I am Christ" usually means self-anointed and implies self-approval.]

katzenbou< I have heard from so many that seem to have intuitive knowledge, that the anti-Christ is alive today, although many believe him to be yet a boy who may not even be truly aware yet of the role he will play in things to come.

Lady_Lona< Ben: What is your belief in regards to the anti-christ? Is this anti-christ alive now?

Ben< Lady_Lona: Anti-christ may be an entity, but I usually think of it as a force or a movement: i.e., anti-christian. There's sure a lot of that in evidence. Also, pseudo-christ is often translated anti-christ even though it means false rather than against. False prophets and false christs would be those who claim to be such but are not.

auralady< Interesting interpretation, Ben! And I have to agree somehow. There is definitely un-Christ-like behavior in great abundance here.

Lady_Lona< Ben: Right on. I think the same. It is getting very scary these days with so many different directions people are heading in. I do believe that there will be an actual one person that will be the anti-christ, one to lead. For many humans like to be lead.

siouxee< Lady_Lona: Hello. I was going to be a "good little girl" and keep quiet this evening, but what did you mean when you said that it's scary how there are so many different directions people are heading into?

Lady_Lona< Just some info that I learned: when we pray and say "Amen", we are not sending the prayer to God; it is going to Amen.

Fomhar< When we pray, does it truly make a difference what name we use? If we are sincere, won't the Divine sort it out for themselves?

Ocallah< hmmm... I thought "amen" meant "so be it." Who is Amen?

Lady_Lona< Ocallah: Amen is a God that was here before Adam and Eve came on the scene.

Fomhar< Lady_Lona: Would you tell more of Amen?

Lady_Lona< Fomhar: Amen was Amen-Ra (and Amon as well). He was worshipped as a god until Thoth his brother threw him out. Amen is the sun and the sun calendar, and Thoth is the moon and moon calendar. These gods were the ones that had their rebel thrones thrown out of heaven, and they were given earth to work with and humans to rule over. They messed it up, and God created Adam and Eve, and placed man above the angels. The rebels thrown out of heaven refused to be below man and thus began the second war in heaven. The covenant between God and these rebel angels was that they are allowed to rule earth unless man overthrows them. Man overthrew them, and thus they are gone from here, not dead but sleeping. They are waiting for man to awaken them. This will be the war on earth for man and our souls.

LEGS< Lady_Lona: I believe that God is all-knowing enough to know to whom we are praying when we pray, and that it doesn't really matter what name we call out, for He will hear us. At least I trust that is true. Perhaps that is part of Faith.

Lady_Lona< LEGS: I use to think that, too. But when we pray love energy to God, it goes to God; when we pray it to earth, it goes to this planet and not to God; when we pray to Mary, it goes to her, not God. The human soul is powerful, very powerful, so now when I say a prayer, I finish it by saying God, or Jesus, just in case that love is not going to the right place. Amen was made by man, and is also a balance between the forces.

[Ben< I believe that prayer is the heart's sincere desire regardless of the words employed. "Amen!" is a Hebrew exclamation that means "Truly!" or "So be it!" Surely the millions of Jews and Christians who have ended their own prayers and endorsed the prayers of others with the exclamation "Amen!" were not focusing their hearts on an ancient Egyptian god.]

07. Miracles
Session 3: Sat 14 Feb 1998

Ben< ALL: I have three views of miracles for your consideration, and then I'll set up four questions.

Ben< Emotional view: If something happens that pleases me greatly and I don't know how it happened, I feel glad -- but I may think I feel grateful and want to thank someone. That's why we say "Thank God!" when we don't know what else to say.

Polgara< For myself, Ben, I believe I am supposed to give thanks to my God for all things ... those that I think are great, a pain, average, or miraculous ... and to me, if I believe it's miraculous, regardless of the type, I'd say he was responsible and give thanks accordingly. I must confess, though, the more positively I see the event, the more enthusiastic my thanks!

Ben< Subjective view: Miracles are normally considered to be very rare and improbable events. In other words, if I expect it to happen, or if I think I know how it works, I don't call it a miracle. But this view is mainly semantics -- my own labels -- and it arbitrarily narrows my understanding of the word "miracle".

Ben< Objective view: Both miracles and magic (real magic, not stage magic) alter an expectable chain of cause-and-effect. However, that only means an unexpected source of causation is operating. So the basic issue is attribution of cause: What or who *caused* this to happen? That is a question I can work with.

Ben< ALL: Last time, several people said that miracles are actions attributed to deity, and SLIDER asked "By greater or lesser gods?" His question infers there are many gods (polytheism), so monotheists and pantheists should look at it hypothetically, but it is an interesting question. What types of miracles were attributed to greater and lesser Hindu, Egyptian, Semitic, Greek or Roman gods? (Pick a god, any god!) *smile* YOUR TURN

Roanna< All I can think of is Artemis and Apollo killing Niobe's children, a kind of reverse-miracle. Also, there is the "miracle though it is quite ordinary" of spring which is the Persephone myth.

Ben< Roanna: Yes, spring is a quite ordinary set of miracles. My tulips have their little green noses above ground, and I don't know how they do that. Others?

greyman< Ben: Biological genetic programming by the architect(s) of life. Warmer than normal temperatures trip off tulips noses.

Poweress< Well, I am not very familiar with the particular names and attributes of some of the Gods in these religions. I will try. Luna, I believe, is a god whose domain is the moon, so would a lunar eclipse have been thought of as a miracle attributed to this God, before the understanding of eclipses had scientific explanations? Sorry if this is off track. I am trying to respond to question as I understand it.

[Ben< Poweress: Yes, eclipses were often attributed to one or more gods, usually as one god eating another.]

Roanna< I think Greek myths are pretty blood-thirsty. They are great stories, but I don't think there is much that is "true" in them.

Awenydd< Roanna: Granted, the Greek Myths have been embellished, yet the history of man has not been as nice and peaceful as it is now. It is human nature, unfortunately, to be blood-thirsty. But perhaps we are beginning to overcome this.

the_Muse< There is the god Tammuz, a king who is murdered, and his blood makes all things new. This is the same theme as with Osiris and so many other dying and resurrecting God/Kings. And the mother of Quetzacoatl was known to be a virgin.

Yopo< Hmm... My thought is that the Semitic God involved himself more with the affairs of men, while those others were more involved with the affairs of fellow gods and goddesses. But I don't know that much about other mythologies.

[Ben< Yopo: There were many Semitic gods other than Yahweh, the God of the Jews. Every tribe and almost every hill had its own Ba'al (Lord). Semitic tribes other than the Jews worshipped some version of Ashteroth (fertility goddess) and/or Ashera (mother goddess), and there were many other cults. Polytheism is taken for granted as the surrounding religious environment throughout the Old and New Testaments. Monotheism was the exception to the rule in those days.]

windy< What about the miracles attributed to or associated with Mary at Lourdes, Fatima, and Guadeloupe?

[Ben< windy: An excellent question. I'm sorry I didn't see it during the seminar, and no one responded to it. It might have stimulated a lot of discussion.]

Ben< In Hinduism, Brahma is seen as creating, Vishnu as preserving, and Shiva as destroying all things. These are functional attributes.

the_Muse< All mythic systems have a god who is an artificer and artisan that brings metallurgy to the people of the Earth.

windy< Or possibly mortals who had achieved a greater degree of technology than other mortals?

Ben< I think at least some of the gods were ex-human ghosts playing what I call "the god game" via mediumistic priests: "I am the great and wonderful ZOT! I control the weather. If you do what I say, I will send the rain, so your crops and animals and family will flourish. If you do not do what I say, I will hold back the rain, so your crops and animals and family will perish." This sets up a neat little religious tautology: When everything flourishes, praise ZOT! When everything is perishing, blame yourself for having incurred the displeasure of ZOT! Does that tautology sound familiar?

the_Muse< All hail Zot! Long may Zot live! Send all contributions to Zotness fund. hehehehe

Willow< *grin*

Roanna< Ben: Read Deuteronomy 26-28 if you want to see blessings and curses.

Ben< ALL: Okay, second question. christ-an asked, "What is the role of faith in miracles?" What do you think? YOUR TURN

Polgara< Totally unsure on that one, Ben !

Ben< Polgara: I said last time that I had some more questions to post, but as usual, they weren't necessarily easy ones! *grin*

the_Muse< Ben: I do not think faith has any role in miracles. A miracle happens because of God's choosing, unlike a seance where any "doubt" causes the inability of the "seer" to function. But I think it is important to have the grace to be joyful and grateful for miracles received.

required< Ben: I believe that 'faith' is completely necessary for miracles as well as for most manifestations of spirit in this plane of action.

Roanna< required: What of the talking ass in the tale of Balaam who was sent to curse the Jewish people? He was a priest of Ba'al, NOT of Hashem. Yet God made his donkey talk so that he might be dissuaded from his mission.

required< Roanna: I would have to look that story up to be able to comment.

Roanna< required: It's in Numbers 22 and it goes on for a couple of chapters.

required< Roanna: Thanks. I remember the story from years ago, just not any particulars. Will enjoy rereading it.

the_Muse< Roanna: ahh, yes. Have you ever thought about the fact that God laid out two possible futures, so that both must exist?

Roanna< the_Muse: There are probably an infinite number of futures, and I'm not all that sure they are all laid out due to their large number.

Lady_Lona< I do not believe that a miracle necessarily has to occur or not based on faith, as miracles have been performed or experienced by those who had no faith. But after their experience with a miracle, they have more faith then 10 men might have. I believe that, when a miracle occurs, it is to really prove to the individual that received it whatever it is that they doubt.

Awenydd< I think miracles are works of God, yet the more representation in favor of the act there is, the greater the odds of the miracle occurring. Therefore, the more people in faith and will of the miracle, the great chance of it happening, but not the guarantee.

Azriel< I don't believe faith is necessary to recognize or facilitate a miracle, but perhaps faith can create an attitude that will attribute miracles to the ordinary , i.e., Jesus' face on a tortilla.

Poweress< I believe that faith is the foundation of miracles. Miracles are achieved by expectations. For example, if you truly expect something which is considered impossible by the standards of the society at large at the time, then it will be viewed as a miracle by that society, but it will not occur unless the belief is there in it's pure form by the initiator of the miracle.

FRAML< Faith gives us the ability to see the acts of the God each of us follows in those good events for which we have no rational explanation. Particularly if the event happens after our prayers to that Deity.

5foot2< Faith allows the "how" of miracles to be answered/accepted.

the_Muse< I agree with FRAML and 5foot2 that faith allows an eye to see a miracle. Without faith we are blind to miracles.

Yopo< I suspect that miracles are more likely to happen where strong belief is present, on a conscious or unconscious level. Belief doesn't guarantee miracles, however. It's sorta like, tulips are more likely to stir when there has been rain, but rain doesn't guarantee tulips.

LEGS< Sounds good, Yopo, but I'm thinking of things that happen, and then after the fact, people say it was a miracle they were saved when the car was demolished (for instance). Is this a miracle? or luck? or God's grace? or what??

Yopo< LEGS: I suppose it is for the people involved to decide.

edward< LEGS: I've had a lot of experience with the "miracle" of the Holy Spirit, coming from a Christian background. Some groups believe that it is by faith alone that a miracle can be experienced. Others believe that no faith is required to receive miracles. I have spun my head around a million times trying to find an answer to it all, and end up at the same place. I think miracles should be left to the individual to interpret, receive, and only be guided.

Ben< I believe that miracles happen because I have a lifetime of experiences that science cannot explain. However, because miracles are, by our own definition, exceptions to the rule, the normal course of events will tend to destroy a faith based on miracles. For example, this is what I call "The National Inquirer" view of miracles: "My child was sick. I prayed to God. My child got well, so now I know there is a God." (But what if the child died?)

greyman< Ben: The operation was a success! The patient died.

Lady_Lona< greyman: The patient died ... right on. That would be a miracle in some aspects, too. For it would have taken that soul away from disease. Maybe the people that are ill ask for the miracle of death, and it is granted to them, for although sick, they are still a soul.

Polgara< Ben: That is why I like the idea that Miracles are our birthright, and are not miracles at all, but commonplace events that we should all expect!

kweenmum3< Polgara: You have said it once again. A birthright, commonplace, events we should learn to expect. I do. Every day of my life is a miracle. The more I learn about the intricate complexity of the Universe, the more I end up saying, Thank God, we evolve as a result of the collective conscience.

Lady_Lona< Ben: Whether not a miracle or a miracle, it was a miracle because that person has faith in God, and loves God again. Therefore the outcome may have been a miracle.

[Ben<Lady_Lona: I was thinking of those who earnestly pray for something that even a decent person would do -- like heal a child -- but it doesn't happen, and then they lose their faith in God. I've met a lot of people who lost their faith that way.]

Lady_Lona< Faith is a gift from God, so that we can have faith in ourselves, faith in others, and faith in God. Faith is unconditional trust, and that is a hard verity for human beings to hold to them. For most of what is encounter, a human being lost faith in the neighbors, lost faith in the transit system, etc..

Spirit57< I think faith is the way we open a channel to allow the power to come on full blast. I think faith is a way of keeping our negativity from blocking the force from full operation. Hence, miracles will occur without faith, and will occur more frequently with faith. Faith is our mechanism for getting out of the way and allowing the power to work.

Lady_Lona< Spirit57: Very nice.

Ben< Spirit57: Have you been peeking at my question list? Your last post sounds like an answer to my fourth question. *smile*

Spirit57< No, Ben, I just examined what happened over the course of my life. Faith is not a catalyst. It is a way to promote the flow by keeping us too busy maintaining our faith to interfere with the natural flow. It takes our minds off the problem and readjusts the focus, thereby allowing the universal power to flow freely. Further, doubt (as the opposite of faith) also has the opposite effect. It blocks the channel which the power flows through, creating more problems.

shoko< Is god a state of consciousness?

required< shoko: Perhaps God is simply Consciousness Itself? *smile*

Poweress< Ben: I believe there is a tricky little hitch to miracles: you may ask for them, but they tend to succeed more when you ask for the best to come of a situation, and let it go. In other words, to not demand a particular result. And sometimes whether we know it or not, our desired results are not what is best for the big picture. Would be nice if we could pick and choose miracles in a more detailed way, but without the "big picture" we might end up screwing up more than we are fixing.

Ben< Poweress: Good point. Miracles seem to be somewhat like the game of golf: the harder I try, the worse I do.

FRAML< Poweress: Good point on praying for what God wants done, and then doing what is needed.

Poweress< Ben and FRAML: Thank you.

Lady_Lona< Ben: What are some of your personal miracles? How many have you had?

[Ben< Lady_Lona: There are some examples on my website of experiences that I consider to be miracles. I don't try keep count of the number.]

the_Muse< I do not believe that any human or non-human agency can block the Creator in doing a thing, miraculous or not, that the Creator intends to do.

Poweress< the_Muse: I agree with that completely. We may ask for a miracle, or we may even not want a particular miracle, but if it is important to the creator, it will be. There are many things in our lives which can go one way or another and not necessarily have an impact in the grand scheme of things, but there are other things which may seem inconsequential to us that must be accomplished, and if God assigns that task to us, we will fulfill it one way or another. We cannot override the will of God.

Lor< the_Muse: I agree we probably are not likely to block God's miracles, but on the other hand, we can possibly help someone that He has trouble reaching.

the_Muse< Lor: I do not believe I can do a thing to help a person if it is not God's will.

Willow< I tend to go along more with faith allowing us to recognize a miracle, and possibly allowing one to occur within ourselves. I don't think that my Faith increases or decreases the occurrence of miracles in my life; it simply points them out to me.

Roanna< Willow: I think I agree with you. Around the time I first started reading Scripture and learning about God, I was also taking chemistry. I learned about the miracle in a drop of water. Alright, so water is at its most dense at 4 degrees centigrade. So, big deal, right? A very big deal indeed. What this means is that, as it gets colder, ice becomes less and less dense. This is VERY DIFFERENT than most solids. This means that ice floats. So why is it important that ice float? If ice sank, a fair portion of it would find itself insulated on cold lake bottoms and the bottom of the sea, and never melt. It would absorb enough heat to freeze much of the water above it. Water is very good at absorbing heat, which is why we use it to cool cars. Now, who is responsible for water behaving the way it does? None other than God. That ice floats and water expands as it gets colder is a miracle.

Lady_Lona< Roanna: Very nice post.

Awenydd< Roanna: I would not consider that a miracle at all. That is a product of Nature, which is governed by the law which God has set. A far cry from a miracle.

the_Muse< Roanna: Awesome example! And it was your innate faith in the Creator that allows you to see the Spirit behind the science!

Willow< Roanna: Along with many other 'ordinary' miracles. *smile*

required< The old definition of faith -- "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" -- seems to imply some kind of mental/spiritual manifestation by the use or action of Will and desire?

Universalove< ALL: Miracles are merely an illusion. *Smile*

5foot2< Miracles are what our human mind has not yet conceived to be possible.

required< 5foot2: I think miracles are quite conceivable. They are simply actions that seem to bring instantaneous help or healing right when it is needed or asked for.

Ben< ALL: My third question may be somewhat redundant at this point, but I'll post it anyway. How about the validity of miracles in determining a person's authority to speak from God? Past and present? YOUR TURN

Lady_Lona< I think the validity should be maintained until the individual starts being overwhelmed by it and seeking power with it.

greyman< To perform tasks beyond normal abilities. Whatever 'normal' is.

Universalove< To hear and speak/channel the "voice of God" within yourself is because you are your own God/dess. It's that simple. The answers lie within yourself and not in books or from other people.

Polgara< I don't think "miracles" are what grant that "right". After all, how many times did Jesus tell people not to tell who performed their healing?

FRAML< Yes, I believe that is valid; however, one must evaluate the 'miracle' and the message of the 'prophet' to see if they are in line with what we know from scripture that God desires. (Note this discernment can also be applied to non-Judeo-Christian deities.)

greyman< Well, Moses had a good track record.

Ben< greyman: Yes, Moses had a good track record, but the Egyptians didn't like it a lot...

greyman< Ben: It would still appear so, for the Egyptians of today.

the_Muse< greyman: Moses was trained in the Egyptian systems, as all the sons of Pharaoh were. But his being beloved of Yahweh gave his magic the power to overcome.

Lady_Lona< The Muse: I am just studying that, too, about Moses and the great prophets. There is some really interesting information out there. He was schooled and his father was very schooled, too. I think Moses's father didn't want to leave the city he was in, but Moses did leave.

the_Muse< Lady_Lona: You may have Moses, who was raised by Pharaoh and schooled in the arts as all the sons of Pharaoh were, confused with Abraham, who was most likely royal and his father a high priest of Ur, the city that was said to have been destroyed by a experiment that went boom!

Lady_Lona< the_Muse: You are right. I am just reading about it now and studying. That is what it said. LOL

Roanna< the_Muse: I always thought that Abraham really came from India, where he learned about Brahman and the beginnings at least in theory of monotheism. If all gods are one, why not just worship the one god? That is just my guess, and the Bible does not back me up, and neither do the rabbis.

windy< Roanna: re: Abraham ... that's what I think as well.

the_Muse< Roanna: There is only One Creator, and all the other gods will be with us in the same place in the end. We are all created by the One Creator.

Universalove< ALL: we are all "God/dess" in ourselves. There is no "separation" between us and God; therefore, we are speaking as "God/dess." For instance, we are performing "miracles" by creating babies like a "God/dess"!

required< Universalove: Some might say, from the old story, that we were supposed to reflect God's Image, and not our own? (chuckle) Maybe reproduction is not the best proof of our god-ness? *smile*

Azriel< Ben: Giving credit and authority to someone for God/dess' miracle can get a little tricky!

Yopo< I pretty much reject the whole concept of "authority to speak from God", as it usually seems to be my fellow humans who want to grant or withhold that authority. But I wouldn't think that would be valid. The doer of miracles I would think to be more of an instrument. I wouldn't ask questions about the nature of God of a surgeon who saved a life against extremely unlikely odds, for example.

Poweress< Ben: I think that we place too much emphasis on the instrument of the miracle having an elevated position in the eyes of God, and therefore in our eyes. I think that we all hold equal importance in the eyes of God, and each of us has a path to follow and a job or many jobs to perform here. What seems miraculous to us is only the unexpected. Nothing is miraculous to God, and therefore nothing of higher or lower importance.

Willow< Ben: Who determines the validity of a miracle?

Ben< Willow: I do -- if and when I can -- but I'm not very good at it. *smile*

Ben< ALL: Personally, I know deceivers can work "signs and wonders" and thus lead people astray from what is good for them and others. So I do not believe that miracles or spiritual gifts or psychic powers are valid indications that a person is working or speaking for God.

Willow< Ben: Well, I meant in relation to a person's authority to speak from God, and I agree completely with your answer. I have heard the words of God in a child, a neighbor, a stranger... and I have seen the trickery of some claiming 'enlightenment'.

Lor< Ben: We have been warned about the possibility of false Gods performing "miracles", etc.; hence, I have come to believe that in evaluating such, we must look carefully at what they say and the results; i.e., "by their fruits you shall know them". This seems to be a very important factor helping us from being deceived.

required< Ben: I believe that Spirit may be used through mind in very many ways, even to create a 'miracle' when one is not in Harmony with the One. So, a miracle is not a test of Godliness, in my opinion.

Akeeah< required: Thank you for that bit of wisdom. I agree, with the only extenuation being that ultimately it is all GOD because GOD is ONE.

required< Akeeah: God is All -- One -- yet we are parts. Sometimes the parts may go awry? Free-will allows this. To actually be One with the One, I think, means a decision of the heart and mind to Harmonize with the Purpose and Will of the Creator.

Polgara< Nicely put, required!

the_Muse< required: Well said.

Akeeah< required: Yes, yet not aligning with GOD and acting in free-will does not make you any less a part or aspect of God. All these so-called divergences are actually not even reality ... not God's anyway.

required< Akeeah: This really has not been wholly determined. Edgar Cayce seems to imply that while our Spirit is of God and will return to God, our soul, our individuality, may be dissipated through lifetimes of 'rebellion' against the One. This individuality or soul aspect may be re-absorbed into the One and rechanneled by Him. This is an interesting possibility to me.

Akeeah< required: I have always viewed Edgar Cayce as a questionable source of the nature of GOD outside of himself. That's really just 'it' isn't it? We won't know the details until we lose this body, and whatever is will be. I can look at a cat and believe it to be an elephant, but ultimately it will one day reveal itself to be a cat and not an elephant. With that I leave this worthy discussion of cats and elephants for this evening... wishing ALL greatest Love and Light!

required< Akeeah: As all 'knowing' must come from experience, I would agree that we must seek from within. Yet there are always lights upon the way. Discrimination allows us to recognize these along our way. We may test these lights to prove or disprove their validity. Edgar Cayce is one of the few 'psychics' that has actually lived a life of service as well as read the Akashic Records. I have put some of his ideas to the test and found them reliable. I think of him as one 'shining light' among us.

[Ben< I believe that each soul is a spark of Light and thus a little god or child of God or part of God in terms of spiritual *substance* (Namaste!). However, I don't believe this is particularly comforting, or should be taken as a source of pride, because it also applies to demons, devils and fallen angels. By the degree each soul aligns his or her free will with the good-will of God toward other souls, he or she is oriented somewhere between perfect obedience and absolute opposition to the will of God in terms of spiritual *direction* and it is direction, not substance, that determines the destination of a soul.]

Roanna< I believe that one reaches God by study (both Torah and secular subjects), kindness (charity and other good acts), and faith. You need all three pillars to get a balanced view. I believe that the first two acts we use to relate to God, study and kindness, are outward acts, not inward ones.

greyman< Roanna: Kindness is a pillar to fortify!

the_Muse< Ben: About your third question: throughout the Prophets, God would identify the people who had the authority to speak his thought by showing them to be prophets. This is the big failing of the New age prophets, they do not measure up by being able to correctly predict anything!

Lady_Lona< Ben: If a psychic receives information that is about the future event, or a scene or a person that relates to religious matters, then where would it come from?

[Ben< Lady_Lona: I'm sorry that I didn't see this question during the seminar. It touches on the (huge) subject of precognition, which may or may not be from God.]

Lady_Lona< the_Muse: Do you think that psychics today are receiving flashes or information from God?

the_Muse< Lady_Lona: Yes, I believe that psychics/mystics are receiving from God. I believe mystics throughout time have done this, and in all places. But there is something special about that 100% accuracy of prediction that shows that person is truly without any motivation but the word of God.

[Ben< the_Muse: Verity is a one-sided way to test the source of a message. Anyone who lies or makes false predictions did not receive those words from God. On the other hand, verity is not proof that one did receive those words from God, because demons, devils and fallen angels can tell the truth and make accurate predictions when it suits their evil purposes.]

Awenydd< The Muse: If one could predict the future with 100% accuracy, then that would mean our futures are set; therefore Fate exists, and no matter what you do, the outcome would be the same. Kinda sounds communist. At any rate, have you ever heard of or met anyone who could predict the future with 100% accuracy?

Yopo< Awenydd: Yes, but only about 10 seconds in advance. LOL

the_Muse< Awenydd: ahhh, good point! Now the method of prophecy is this: the prophet gives a set of choices to the people and tells them what will occur if they make the different choices. This shows, not that the future is set, but that the prophet is speaking the mind of God and what God will do!

Poweress< I tend to be a little skeptical of anyone who wants to interpret God's intentions for me. In my opinion, God and I do not need interpreters, other than the one he already gave us, (my terminology here) the holy spirit, which I believe is for each of us, our own spiritual essence. The answers of what God wants from us and direction from him comes from within, our inner voice. I believe he established a way for us to stay connected this way, and the only guidance we can truly receive from another is in learning to connect with that part of ourselves.

FRAML< Poweress: Nicely said about the Holy Spirit.

Poweress< FRAML: Thank you again. *smile*

required< Poweress: It is true that God speaks to us directly if we are open, yet, in those times when we are clouded, He may speak to us through our brother or our sister. God is in all; therefore this should not be strange. God has many hands and many voices. When He speaks, wherever it comes from, we should be able and willing to hear.

Lady_Lona< required: Very nice.

Poweress< required: I agree that he speaks to us in many ways through our communications with others. What I meant was that I am skeptical of those who speak authoritatively, such as, "God has told me that he has this message to send to all through me." Like a sort of proclamation. I think that God speaks to us individually about direction or paths. If he wants to speak to us through others, it is more in a form of allowing us to see a child play in a carefree way, and at that moment, we realize that we have been placing unimportant things in the way of simple joys. Not a beaming proclamation from a prophet telling us all how to live. See what I mean?

required< Poweress: I see, and I agree totally with your explanation.

the_Muse< Poweress: ahh, that is so important! Anything that comes between your direct communication with God is a wall, be it Astrology, Tarot, Channeling, or preacher. Although these steps may be a baby steps, we must look within and move past anything but direct communication, yes?

Poweress< the_Muse: I am glad you understood what I meant. Thank you. I think we are on the same wavelength, so to speak.

Spirit57< It has always been my policy to believe that if God wants me to hear what he has to say, he can come tell me himself. If he sends a representative, it is up to him (God) to convince me that the message has its source in him. If I do not believe it, then he will try another one. I am slow, but I get the message. I hold God responsible for communicating with me, since he has the power to step in and manifest anytime. If he chooses to communicate in other methods, I think it is his duty to make that clear to me.

Lor< the_Muse and Spirit57: Sometimes some of our friends seem to be rather stubborn or fixed on a misconception, and resistant to any direct message from God or his angels that would try to change their ideas, but we can be led to help them more audibly and visually in ways they can more readily get the message of truth!

Spirit57< Lor: I have many friends who are stubborn and resistant (like attracts like after all!), but I do not feel the least bit disturbed and feel absolutely no push to explain to them my beliefs unless they specifically ask. If I ask them about their beliefs, they will talk their own way to the truth. I spend time listening to them, and then they spend time listening to them. Hahahah. The truth is apparent. They simply have to decide to open their eyes.

the_Muse< Lor: If, through our Truth and Love and obedience to living the Law of our heart, we show our joy to another, then we did the job that God loves us to do. But people are blind unless something in their heart allows them to see. God is an internal mover. (In my humble opinion)

FRAML< Ben: I have noticed that the prophets of the Old Testament seem to have been reluctant to take on the role. They knew there was personal danger in it; as opposed to a prophet who seeks his own glory by claiming to be the human voice through which God speaks.

the_Muse< FRAML: Yup! Better to be swallowed by a whale than murdered by an angry mob, any day! But Isaiah was a willing volunteer and gave some of the most beautiful of all prophecies. Isaiah 54 for example.

Ben< ALL: Miracles can be considered a manifestation of either divine power (deity does it) or authority (deity asks or tells someone to do it). The latter, I and others refer to as "miracles by inspiration." The fourth question will relate to that type of miracle.

Ben< ALL: In the New Testament and elsewhere, some people have been referred to as "miracle workers." Do they work miracles, Adriane asked, "By reaching out to God/ess or by touching the light within?" How would you answer this question? YOUR TURN

Yopo< I would suggest that perhaps they're the same thing.

Lady_Lona< Ben: Who is Adriane?

Ben< Lady_Lona: Adriane was here and asked that question a couple of sessions ago, and I noted it while I was cleaning up the transcript to post on my website.

edward< I believe all miracles come from God, but a "miracle worker" reaches within to establish the personal connection with the Creator rather than reaching out.

5foot2< By reaching out to "God" AND by touching the light within. I believe it is working in conjunction.

Polgara< I would say by Divine request. Patsy Claremont tells a story about an aunt who talks about how she doesn't want "No more whuppin's from the lord". When Patsy asks what that means, the aunt tells of how she heard God tell her to reach out to a woman passing her on a stretcher in a hall in a hospital. She didn't do it, saying the woman was a stranger and people would think she was crazy. She later learned that the woman died, and felt horrible. She was the last person on this earth who could've reached out and comforted the woman with God's love, and she didn't do it. I believe God tells me when he wants me to act, and then I can honor it, or not, and live with the consequences.

Azriel< Perhaps a 'worker of miracles' is one who, through the strength of their own belief and enlightenment, has simply allowed others to see what was already there!

Spirit57< It is my opinion that the miracle workers have simply discovered how to operate Spiritually. They open the channel and allow the flow to come through. I think this is an innate ability and can be achieved by anyone who has the will to tame their mind. Not to be repetitious, but it comes down to faith enabling or doubt blocking. When we can tame the mind and direct the intent, the miracles follow as part of the natural course of things.

Universalove< I agree with Spirit57's comments. They express my sentiments exactly in response to Question #4.

FRAML< Spirit57: I agree with "opening the channel." That is a good description. And one must be willing to be that channel. Prophet means a speaker for God, rather than a predictor of events.

the_Muse< FRAML: "prophet means speaker for God" that is exactly it! Miracles are not proof, but being able to predict future events to the degree of 100% correct is. Then you know that person can give you some of the inside scoop on the mind of God.

Lady_Lona< the_Muse: Thanks. I wondered what you thought. *smile*

Poweress< the_Muse: I believe that the ability to predict or to sense from others is something we all possess, but have not all accessed. I think that it is increasing in these times, as I feel the energies are increasing and we are beginning to evolve spiritually.

Lor< the_Muse: I believe that relying on someone being able to make a future prediction correctly can result in being deceived about other things. I sense that discernment involves evaluating whether the message is kind, helpful, caring, full of grace, etc. Many people can make guesses about the future, and can sometimes find that their predictions were right, but that does not make them any more believable as not being some kind of false prophet.

the_Muse< Lor: I think the two witnesses' message will anger enough people that there will be dancing in the streets when they die. I just hope I will have kept enough of an open mind that when they stand up after 3 1/2 days I will be able to say, I guess they were right when they said all THIS! So I feel judging a message based on what we want to hear is just as dangerous as being deceived by miracles.

Lor< the_Muse: I could not agree more. Listening only to what one wants to hear does not correct wrong thinking. Judging whether a message leads to kindness, joy, helpfulness, etc. need not always be what one wants to hear! But I'm sorry, I do not comprehend what you mean by the two witnesses and dancing in the streets.

the_Muse< Lor: See Revelation Chapter 11, also Zechariah Chapter 4 and 7 (?) for the two witnesses. So, if the two witnesses say something like "The ones that finance destructive technology will die," and then a bunch of guys like DuPont kick the bucket, would you feel they were loving? This is the sort of thing I believe they will say.

[Ben< the_Muse: I believe Revelation 11 refers to the Jewish war of AD 67-70. It is full of references to the duration of that war: 3.5 years = 42 months = 1260 days. And I believe Revelation 12 refers to the Christians who escaped from Jerusalem across the Jordan River to Pella, in the desert, and thus survived.]

Lor< the_Muse: I believe that technology is inherently neutral. It is how it is used that can be beneficial or detrimental. We all will die sometime, I suppose, so how is anything kind, caring, loving, etc., about saying people that finance technology will die?

the_Muse< Lor: There was clear evidence about the results of the use of CFC's. DuPont chose to make a profit. How evil is it to endanger billions who live on this planet for the profits of a few? To finance that sort of thing is very different from building a flywheel that will allow a bicycle to go faster easier.

Lor< the_Muse: I wonder whether the scientists at DuPont knew the full consequences of their work when it was released as a product, and whether they may have thought that they were actually doing something very beneficial without being aware of its potential problems. As a scientist myself, trying to do things helpful for my society, I am aware that my colleagues and I simply cannot be fully aware of the consequences of our efforts. We are not just that all-knowing!

Yopo< Lor: Technology may be neutral, but the problem is that it increases our powers more quickly than our moral understanding can grow to fit them. In my opinion.

Awenydd< Yopo: Good point, and interesting to note that most things end up at the table of morality. And for that, there is no set standard. We all have our own opinions on morals. It is a tough stage to walk on.

Lor< Awenydd: I sense that it was nearly two millennia ago that a rather profound set of workable ethical standards were proclaimed, but few seem to have chosen to adopt them.

Lor< Yopo: I agree that we clearly do not have our ethics well developed yet. I suppose that is why I consider this seminar to be a step in the right direction. But what do you say to the person that says, "Well, the technology is going to be developed whether or not you help" and you, as an inventor, know of some potentially very beneficial technical developments that are now feasible that could be developed, and also know that they could be devastating if misused. What do you do?

Yopo< Lor: I certainly understand what you're saying. Hmm... I am at a loss. It doesn't really do to say it is a matter of personal responsibility, because the inventor or scientist or whatever soon loses control of his or her creation.

[Ben< Lor: As a suggestion, you might consider how you would feel about such a decision later, while watching what happened. If the technology *was* misused, would you feel that you really didn't know what others would (or might) do with it? Or would you berate yourself, saying, "I should have known better"? Or would you feel, "I knew someone would develop it, and they did, but I'm glad it wasn't me"?]

LEGS< I suppose some of us consider that our wishes being fulfilled borders on miracles. But as a point of information, doesn't the Catholic church have a list of qualifications to determine what they accept as miraculous? Do other churches also use such guidelines? And what about the doctrine or idea or tenet that miracles are out of date since the Bible was completed?

[Ben< LEGS: I don't know the Catholic checklist for authentication of miracles, but I suppose I could find it. The doctrine that miracles ceased when the Bible was completed is called "dispensationalism." Some fundamentalists preach it.]

windy< I have been re-reading a book called "Miracles" by Geoffrey Ashe today. I hoped to gain some insight to add here tonight, but in truth it would seem that we are doing as good or better of a job in explaining what a miracle is than does his book. He seems to encounter all the same difficulties and similarities in trying to define just exactly what a miracle is ... evidently, a not to easy task. *grin*

Polgara< Beautifully said, windy!

Ben< ALL: Miracles via inspiration seem to work best when the "miracle-worker" lets his or her own inner love-light shine outward in two directions at once: to the Source of guidance and energy (God), and to another individual (person or living thing). This is how healers like Olga Worrall have said they work miracles. Apparently, these two caring-connections create a spiritual channel through which guidance and energy can flow from the Source to the "miracle worker" to the one in need. Where I have been involved in healing, and in soul-rescue operations, that is how Divine help and guidance and energy was provided. And angels can follow those two connections to do their work for the one in need. This is my understanding of how miracles via inspiration actually work.

Yopo< (*Yopo looks intently at Ben's "diagram" of inspirational miracles, feeling momentarily like someone just turned on a light*)

FRAML< Ben: Yes, I have experienced that myself.

Universalove< Yes, Ben, that was what Spirit57 was trying to express as well.

Poweress< Ben: Wouldn't that demonstrate the basic direction of true sharing and love, and therefore give the power to the miracle? Very logical conclusion, in my opinion. After all, isn't the basis of spirituality and most religions about seeing all other beings as one with ourselves? And sharing in a true loving nature without anticipation of reward would certainly demonstrate the true spirit of love. Perhaps the true spirit of love is a major conduit of the miracle process. That combined, in my opinion, with the belief and faith that it will be achieved, which is demonstrated by the letting go of the fear of the outcome and handing it over to the hands of the creator.

windy< If we agree that God is the source of miracles, then miracle-workers must be able to channel the God-force.

Spirit57< After long thought, I came to the conclusion that the moving energy force which comes through the channel is love. Love flows through you to God and to the person, then back to you from God. It is the healing force. I have never been able to make this work without loving the person (or animal) in need, and I think that if I could elevate myself Spiritually to unconditional love, then what a power this would be to help others! Unfortunately, I am not yet at that point.

Polgara< I'm with you Spirit57! But we keep trying, don't we?! LOL!

LadyV< Spirit57: The humble one is the one most often used by God, I feel. Only the very strong can be humble. I feel that you may be used in more ways than can be imagined by your unassuming manner and graciousness.

Willow< LadyV... ~beautiful~ ...*smile*

Spirit57< LadyV: I do not know many that will be open to learn while defending against attacks, and I probably already met them all during my more combative days, if there were any. The truth speaks for itself, no matter who says it. It became known to me that more would benefit if I told the truth I believe, and let them have the same freedom I had, to decide for myself. I do not think I am smarter than most, and if I could find the truth, so will they.

[Ben<Spirit57: Amen! People whose beliefs are attacked tend to defend their beliefs and entrench their positions -- or else they simply go away rejecting what the one who attacked them said. That is why I set the one ground-rule for these seminars: "Please testify to what you believe without attacking what someone else believes."]

Ben< /topic Continuing discussion of Miracles

Roanna< Ben: What about great deeds wrought by individuals through skill and learning? You know about Semmelweiss. He was a doctor in a big hospital in Vienna who noticed that the women in the lying-in (obstetrical) ward were dying like flies and figured out that the doctors delivering babies were coming from autopsies and not washing their hands. Of course they didn't listen to him, but he was right. I think he published and his methods got adopted somewhere else. It's not a miracle in the traditional sense, but where does a discovery like that fit in?

Ben< Roanna: Yes! Human minds are wonderful -- learning machines, tools and instruments of the soul. Human beings have learned, and learned, and learned, from nature and observation and experiment and each other and their ancestors. I find that encouraging, and hopeful.

Roanna< Ben: I like to put it another way. Doctors, scientists, inventors, etc., obtained their insights by studying the world which is God's design. I believe that study is one of the ways we reach God.

Ben< Roanna: Many doctors and scientists have said that a great insight just came to them. Some have credited the Source. Granted, many great insights have been worked out by human thought alone, but even then, the power of knowledge comes from learning the truth.

the_Muse< Roanna: So true, and the reverse is even more true, I think. So many great men of science had deep beliefs that inspired the miraculous insights that are the foundation of all the sciences. *smile*

Roanna< the_Muse: I think insight certainly happens, but more often it is as Isaac Newton said: "We are standing on the shoulders of giants." There are few people more protective about "the literature" than scientists.

the_Muse< Roanna: Funny that you should mention Isaac Newton. You know he was a professional astrologer? And of course one of the giants he stood on was the alchemical and mathematic mystic Pythagoras. I agree with you about this issue. It is the ones that do not see the harmony that have led us astray on both sides. The religious who turn from science, as well as the scientific who turn from God.

Roanna< Yes, but I feel that too much inward seeking becomes navel-gazing. How do you strike a balance?

required< In regards to science, I like what the Hopis said about the explanation for their world being destroyed: "Men forgot to worship the Creator, and began worshipping their creations instead." The more wonders science is able to tap into, the more man glorifies itself and forgets the real Source of All wonder. (sigh)

the_Muse< required: Good point! It says the same thing in Revelations. Men worshipped the works of men's hands more than the works of the Creator. The car is way more cherished than the dog.

required< the_Muse: I did not mean to imply the car was wrong in any way, only that man is so ready to give himself the glory for that which belongs to the Creator. It is merely a matter of humility and understanding, I think. *smile*

Poweress< Ben: I know that the strongest miracle to which I can personally attest was the miracle of my survival of my cancer when doctors told me I would not survive. I know in my heart that the reason I am still here has nothing to do with my value above any other, but the fact that I was given the faith and courage to say to God, "I am no longer afraid to die; what will be will be, I only ask that whatever the outcome, that it be what will be best for my children." I do not mean to interject too much personal stuff, but this is something that I feel very deeply, and although I cannot provide proof of the reason for the miracle, I simply feel a knowing about it. That is enough for me.

Awenydd< Poweress: Yes, I would certainly consider your experience a miracle, and you are blessed. I for one would not try to degrade it by claiming it was an act of "science" or the ability of Man being able to follow God's rules of life.

Poweress< Awenydd: Thank you for your kind words. I am indeed blessed. *S*

required< Poweress: Thank you for sharing your miracle with us. I know what you mean. To those who have actually experienced a miracle, knowing is a better word than believing in describing their experience. *smile*

Poweress< required: Thank you. Yes, it is a matter of belief, and therefore can be shared but not taught. Each person comes to their connection to God in personal ways, often at critical times.

required< Poweress: So very True!

Polgara< Thank you, Poweress! Beautiful history!

Poweress< Thank you all. *smile*

required< Ben: As I was healed during a meditation not related to healing, at a time when healing was not on my mind, I would say that it is not limited to flow between two people. Sometimes we just touch His garment, with our hearts and minds, accidentally.

Ben< required: Yes, we can be, and many people have been, healed and helped by connecting to the Source of healing and help. What I was describing earlier is the role of an agent or living instrument in extending that help and healing to others.

required< Ben: I see. Thanks for explaining. I have never consciously been a channel of healing to another. I have always prayed not to be aware of it if I was. (chuckle) It is so easy to take the credit to one's self even when we think we're not. **smile**

FRAML< required: Yes, that is a good point. Being willing to be the conduit is more important than knowing you are the conduit.

required< FRAML. Yes! It's a wondrous thought that one may be His channel without awareness of self's participation! *smile*

Universalove< ALL: I was able to heal my left knee more than four years ago, and last winter I healed my right knee of a possibly serious injury. I had faith and asked God, Holy Spirit and Son of God, Lord Jesus Christ, to please send their healing energies through my hands, and it worked after about 30 minutes of hands-on healing process. You all can do it, because it is an innate ability that many have "forgotten."

[Ben< Universalove: Yes, healing by the laying on of hands is another example of a miracle via inspiration, the kind in which healing energy is transferred.]

LadyV< Ben: In your website, you talk about how you are used as a Friend to Friend in healing and spirit work. Do you feel now, in retrospect, that you were chosen for this sharing, or was it something that just happened? If I may ask.

Ben< LadyV: I think I brought with me a thirst for a better God, a Master worth following, and have pursued that karmic tendency all my life.

LadyV< Ben: That statement, in the time frame of knowing you over this year, is one of the most profound things you have ever said, and I thank you for it. I agree that this is the example that you set also for others.

Ben< LadyV: Thank you. I didn't consider that statement profound... only honest. *smile*

the_Muse< Ben: I am so grateful that God gave me a heart to know and Love him. This was the greatest joy and also a source of sorrow. Thank you, God, for letting me have a flesh heart. *smile*

Spirit57< I heard a quote on television during a commercial the other day and would like to share it. The woman said, "Yes, we are predestined. We are predestined to become the image of Christ." I thought this over. Christ to me represents perfection. We are predestined to perfection. Then I wondered, if this were true, what is it that we do to ourselves to block this natural flow? Then I realized what I had asked myself. We block the natural flow of our selves to becoming perfection. Things began to light up. It is our job to remove the blocks and get out of our own way and guard against further blocks. That is our job. The progress toward perfection occurs naturally. We are our own obstacle courses. Sorry this was so long, but this was a major thinking breakthrough for me and I thought it might help someone else.

Lotus< Nice, Spirit57.

Universalove< Spirit57: Thanks for sharing your "major thinking breakthrough" and I concur with you! Yes! "We are our own obstacle courses." Very true!

Spirit57< I have known something similar to this. I know that I have to work on myself. But I did not realize until that moment that the self is a natural for spiritual development. It is what we do to the self that prevents it, and not what we do not do to promote it.

Lor< Spirit57: Your breakthrough is worth pondering. We ourselves are not the only blocks we have along our path, though.

nemo< OK... here's one of mine: when I was about 4, a family dog had died. About 5 years later (about age 9), I was playing some old records, fooling around with a cheap old record player and some really old records. Suddenly I heard this corny song about a cowboy singing about his dog and lamenting it's death at the very end. I was deeply struck by the song, almost mesmerized by it, and played it over and over, each time crying at the end of the song... and feeling some small sense of relief... not realizing that I had somehow egocentrically internalized the death of my own dog as somehow being caused by me. I don't know how many times I played it, but I'm sure my mother got sick of it and demanded that I turn it off. The miracle in all this is that as a little boy I healed myself of a deep grief I barely knew I carried, while unconscious of being an active part of a healing process of a power greater than myself. I don't think I would have the courage to childishly follow my intuition so spontaneously today.

Ben< Nemo: Yes, that is a good example of do-it-yourself psychotherapy! Perhaps you were led (inspired) to do that.

Zarastan< nemo: I totally understand what you are talking about. Now that I am really allowing myself to process feelings of grief for Sunny, I am remembering and dreaming about pets who passed on decades ago. Sunny brings them with her in my dreams.

nemo< Thanks ... Ben ... LEGS ... Zarastan!

Spirit57< nemo: That was the song "Old Shep" wasn't it?

nemo< Spirit57: I don't know. I think I've blocked out the specific song, and I just recall undergoing the emotional process of feeling the loss over and over, but maybe that was it. Doesn't ring any bells, though.

LEGS< Dear nemo, thanks for sharing that. You would be surprised how many of us carry guilt as adults when we lose a pet. My cat died in a convulsion after I sent him to the vet to have his teeth cleaned. I have berated myself for it for years, that if had I not been so careful to do all the things on the list, he would have been OK... and the thought still haunts me that he died in fright... from fright... still grieving.

Zarastan< LEGS: I have had the same feelings of guilt about Sunny: that I could have, should have, done something else, more, different. I replay the last few moments of her life over and over. People can tell you NOT to feel it, but you DO feel it. And the only thing that can be done is to feel all of it, and let it move on through. I think. I don't know yet. This is unexplored territory and treacherous.

Awenydd< LEGS: I can understand that. I love cats -- well, all animals actually, but you did what you thought was right for your pet. You can't blame yourself for the death of a pet, not when you are doing the best you can.

Zarastan< Nemo and LEGS: I think grief is one of our least recognized processes in this society. The theme song seems to be "Get on with your life." But you're done when you're done. Peace comes in its own time. If you stuff it, you have to face it the next time. I find myself talking to my departed Grandparents, to Sunny, to houses I have let go of, to old loves, to all sorts of things that I stuffed. Allowing yourself to grieve and recognize all that is swirling within is healthy. I got a couple of books from the library yesterday, "Pet Loss" by Hubert Nyberg, and "When Your Pet Dies" by Quackenbush. Both helping. Also allowing yourself to grieve for a pet can be SAFER than going right into your grief for departed human loved ones. It can be a way to access those deep parts of yourself. I know you are intimate with this process, dear (((LEGS)))!

nemo< Thanks, Zarastan. I had no idea that grieving the loss of a pet had been an issue for you. I do think experiencing it as a child can give us practice for grieving as adults, though nothing really can prepare us for deep losses.

Yopo< Zarastan: It seems good to feel it, but not to dwell on it. After I had helped my cat companion of many years to make an easy exit, I kept feeling regrets that I had waited too long, allowing my love to hold her in a place of suffering. It is always difficult, I think. The sense of regret is there, whatever one has chosen. I think it is actually regret for our lack of power to keep harm from one we love.

LEGS< Yes, Yopo, much of grieving of any sort is a feeling of regret that everything we should have done or said, we left until too late... but then, for some of us, forever would be too brief.

Zarastan< Yopo: Thank you for your words. Each process is unique to the individual and situation. It is not up to another person to decide if you are taking too long.

Yopo< Zarastan: (*Yopo bows*) Yes... It is no one else's place to say.

edward< Yopo: My sentiments exactly!

Ben< ALL: Though I don't like to push my site, several of you might like the paper entitled "Stacey, the Cat." It is under "Sampler" near the bottom of the page.

FRAML< Ben: Or "Fluffy the Wheep".

Ben< FRAML: Yes, these animal lovers might like "Fluffy, the Wheep." If so, it's under the "Contents" button.

Yopo< Ben: Another excellent session. I always enjoy the discussion and sometimes find what seems like a missing piece to my own particular puzzle. Thanks!

Poweress< Ben: Thank you for another wonderful session. May I ask if the next will be on the same subject?

FRAML< Ben: What did you say is the topic for next week?

Ben< Poweress, FRAML: I think we've done a fairly good job with the topic of miracles. I haven't picked a topic for the next seminar. Suggestions?

FRAML< Ben: I think the "theology testing" topic is a good one to take up next.

the_Muse< Ben: Thank you for another lovely and invigorating discussion. Night all! I have a horse to check on and stars to look up at. What sort of thing is Man that the Creator of the Stars gives us any thought?

Ben< /topic Open

[The following side conversation was woven throughout the seminar transcript, but I pulled it all together and put it here so it would be easier to follow.]

Roanna< Ah... I don't believe people can perform miracles on a regular basis. Anyone who claims that is some kind of fraud. God performs miracles, and most of them are for something other than a specific human or the human race. Water's odd behavior is a very good example. Without it there would be no life (due to a water shortage and the fact that the oceans would be much colder), but we tend to overlook it and all the best miracles.

Awenydd< Roanna: But I thought a miracle was something spontaneous and against the norm. How can the behavior of water, no matter how unique in science, be considered a miracle? To me, there are no ordinary miracles. There is life as we know it, whether or not we understand it, and there are miracles, which happen to override a law or rule as we perceive it.

Yopo< Awenydd: I must agree with you, about no ordinary miracles. Folks who talk about them are really expressing an appreciation for the wonder of everyday things, which I share. But I don't think that's what we're really discussing here.

Roanna< Awenydd: I disagree. I think most of creation is a miracle if you have the time to study it and learn its secret. Creation is God's handiwork, and the fact that it all works so well most of the time is just amazing. Yes, there are laws, but who is the author of those laws? Who is the architect of the whole design?

Awenydd< Roanna: But you are either degrading the power of God or the miracle itself. If you say all of life is a miracle, you degrade the power of God, making it sound as if we are all a fluke. I suppose you have had the time to discover the "secret" of creation? Some would consider the birth of a child a miracle, yet it is only a part of the plan. True, not anyone can conceive, but this matter is not a black-and-white issue. There are many factors here to consider, and if you presume to understand the secret of life and God's plan, you are setting yourself up for a big disappointment. Just because mortals can't duplicate the power of God does not mean that anything we cannot achieve is a miracle.

Roanna< Awenydd: For the past three hundred years (and for quite some time before but at a much slower rate), we have been figuring out the secret of creation. We don't have it all, but we have a lot. Mathematics and science are powerful tools.

Awenydd< Roanna: You are right. In a few more years we can probably duplicate creation perfectly, but would a soul choose in incarnate into that body? Just because we are finally learning the rules doesn't mean we can become God. It takes more than a "miracle" to be God.

Roanna< Awenydd: There is no reason that something we genetically engineer or otherwise create in a lab would be soulless if it was alive. We have been manipulating the genome for years via selective breeding, even before we had any real understanding of genetics.

Awenydd< Roanna: Well, I suppose everything is OK now. We can have wars and regenerate those who are killed, and if someone dies of cancers, well, we can just replace them. hmm. I wonder what lessons can be learned now. I mean, if we can create a body that souls will fill, what have we to lose? Humans are immortal now, thanks to the modern miracle of medicine. Is that what you are saying?

Roanna< Awenydd: Clones do not replace individuals; they produce identical twins. As far as I know, identical twins have separate souls. As for human cloning, I am all for it. If an infertile couple comes into the fertility clinic, they now have one more option. Much better than egg donation from a stranger who may some day want her baby back. Much clearer what to do in case of divorce etc. You read about that kid out in California with either four or six parents, donated egg, donated sperm, mother who was paying for this, father who divorced the mother and then said "It's not mine", surrogate mom (well five parents anyway). Cloning would cut way back on that kind of mess. Also, the way eggs are harvested from women is nasty! Lots of hormones (strong ones) to produce the eggs that are suctioned out. It is much less risky to take a tissue scrape or blood sample to provide somatic cells to clone.

Awenydd< Hey, I have no problems with science. I merely feel they are learning the rules that God has set, because he has. Only in the case of miracles does even he/she break or waiver the rules. I just feel that science is a student of God, as we all are.

Roanna< Right now cloning adult mammals has an abysmal success rate, which means the technique needs more study until we get it right. If I ran the world, I would probably have the government fund research and ask for volunteer infertile couples and tell them, "If you get lucky, you get to have a child, but chances are you won't." I don't want to see some unscrupulous doctor making money off of cloning and not delivering the goods. Infertile couples are often desperate.

Awenydd< Roanna: Cloning is of course a sensitive issue, and I have not yet made my stand on my feelings for it. At this time, I can see cloning body parts, but a full body including a brain, I have trouble with. Furthermore, in respect to the "parents" of the clones in the case you stated, I have even more problems with that, because you are dealing with the state of mind and beliefs of many more souls than just the clone. Our society is not yet equipped to deal with this. Sure, in a few respects it solves problems and adds options to those who are infertile. But don't you even stop to wonder if those people are infertile for a reason? Perhaps the reason is to advance our understanding of life and medicine. Or perhaps it is Karma. Maybe those who are infertile (at least some) are being punished for sins in an earlier life, like rape. Who is to say that our 3d existence now is NOT hell? Or an in-between stage, to either pay for past mistakes and move on, or to be eternally dammed to continue to return here and suffer? I have known some religions to consider this life to be worse than hell in one respect ... Hell being hell because once you are there and can't go back, you will see what heaven truly is, and be in remorse for what you must now live with, though it may be better than the world we know now.

edward< Roanna: What happens when we do start cloning everything? First we start making up for the mistakes we made against nature. and next we start cloning animals which natural selection chose to erase. Then we start cloning animals for food, clothing and shelter (just to name a few). This inspires laziness in an already suffering human race. Now we can start giving homosexual couples children to call their very own. Does any of this worry anyone? Actually it worries a lot of people, but the way I see it, it's just another way for us to say, "Well, sure, we made a few mistakes, but now we can fix it all up again." Sorry, but this kind of thinking should be prohibited, not encouraged.

required< Roanna: One last comment. It took the scientist 233 tries to produce a cloned lamb. Does anyone really want to see what the failures looked like? How many baby failures will there be before they really get it 'right'?

[Apparently, Roanna left the chat-room.]

Awenydd< It figures that she would get some opposition and bail out.

[Ben< But which is more important: the person, Roanna, or points being made?]

nemo< required: Good point. It looks like that is the current "state of the art" in cloning. One may have to go through several miscarriages and several underdeveloped still-borns before a successful birth. I don't like the looks of that!

Lotus< required: The sheep cloning is now being disputed for several reasons, one of which is that no one has been able to replicate it.

Zarastan< A word to the crowd on cloning. My biggest problem with it is from the societal adjustment to clones. Will our (admittedly warped) mainstream society see clones as having souls? As being entitled to the rights and privileges of "real" people, "real" living beings? We have enough trouble helping people to remember to be kind to each other when we are all on the same "natural" footing. Add the element of "artificial" creation and voila! Open Pandora's box!

Yopo< Yes, technology without the wisdom to accompany it may get us into tremendous trouble. We are on the verge of altering world systems that we do not fully understand. We may put ourselves so far outside of the natural order of evolution that we no longer fit into the world we inhabit. Nature has a way of eliminating that which no longer meshes with the whole.

Awenydd< Yopo, Zarastan: These are the very points I was trying to get Roanna to see before she turned and ran. When you start messing with God's plan, you will turn everything upside down, in my opinion. She said cloning is good, but as Zarastan said, our society is barely coming to terms with women and non-whites being human. How would they react to clones? Society is not ready for the term "Dr. God".

required< In respect to animals, it surely must be clear that many species of animals are no longer necessary to this world or to the experience of man. Man cannot of himself destroy anything. The Creator created dinosaurs, and somewhere this archetypal pattern still exists. It does not have to be manifested in the earth-plane to have existence. It may be that the next world (the New World) will actually be animal-free -- who knows? Something to think about?

Yopo< The Universe is not centered around the existence or experience of Man, I think. We belong to Creation, not the other way around.

required< Yopo: I think Man is very much what creation is all about. *smile*

the_Muse< Ahh, to be a clone and to do a better job of raising myself than my parents did! LOL

Walt< I have a cloned Cyber-Sheep. Anybody else want one?

Lotus< Walt: Yeah, I'll adopt a cyber sheep.**

required< Awenydd: Just because scientists can manipulate some DNA doesn't mean they are God. They have yet to actually create LIFE or even show where it comes from. (chuckle)

Awenydd< required: Yes, I know that God created rules to everything, and follows them, even him/herself. We can follow the rules and duplicate his works, but can we call ourselves God because of it? Some get so caught up in ego, they forget who they are. I can follow Betty Crocker's recipe; does that make me Betty Crocker?

[Ben< In our miracles of science and technology, we humans are playing god. We create, preserve, and destroy. But we are like children playing they are adults. Will humanity mature in kindness and wisdom and self-control, and thus become adult children of God? It remains to be seen.]

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