“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein
Do you believe in miracles? If so, what would you define as being a miracle? Is it a seemingly impossible feat or sequence of events that ultimately winds up saving a life, just in the nick of time? Is it the vivid apparition of a holy entity among masses of people? Or do the enchanting and mystical expressions of nature in every waking moment constitute as being a series of small miracles strung together?
Most will agree that by definition a miracle is some kind of perplexingly impossible incident not explicable by natural or scientific laws. It is an event that leaves a rather large question mark in the minds of those who observe it. For some, it may shake the foundation upon which they stand, beckoning them to question their entire outlook on reality; while for others it is dismissed without further contemplation as pure chance or coincidence; something ‘totally scientifically explainable.’
But what if miracles don’t actually defy the laws of science and instead manifest and unfold within their margins?
“Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.” – Saint Augustine
Take into account the extraordinary case of high-rise window washer, Alcides Moreno(1). In December 2007, he plunged 47 stories down the glass face of an Upper East apartment building – while clinging to his 3-foot-wide scaffold platform as it came crashing into the concrete pavement below. Yet somehow, he survived.
24 pints of blood, 19 pints of plasma, an operation to open his abdomen, and 9 orthopedic operations is what it took for Alcides to fully recover. On Christmas Day he showed signs of consciousness. 6 months later he was walking again.
Having been cited as one of the top medical miracles of our time, Alcides’ case makes us question how he could have survived such a fall. According to Dr. Many Alvarez, Health Managing Editor(2), there were a few factors that may have increased his chances of survival.
One is that he was holding on to the scaffolding as it came down, which may have slowed down the drop of decent. The second factor is the surface that he landed on. The third is that Alcides may have fallen in a way that most of the impact was distributed to his lower extremities, keeping the vital organs, spine and brain intact.
Though not related to the fall itself, yet another factor is the team that worked on him as soon as he came through emergency. They knew his chances of survival were so slim they refused to move him and instead performed the operation right there in the emergency ward.
It could have happened any other way, but it didn’t. Consider that all these factors were not arbitrary, but orchestrated by an intelligent source with intent. However, in our limited perspective within our 3rd dimensional reality, we cannot observe this intervention in any other way than the laws of nature and science will permit.
Another compelling case that might offer us some insight on this matter is the experience of Geomicrobiologist, Stephanie Schwabe(3). Stephanie came chillingly close to death in August of 1997 while deep sea diving to collect samples of sediment from the inside of an underwater cave in the Mermaid’s Lair, Grand Bahama Island.
Her husband Rob, who shared the same career and passion as her, had passed away earlier that year, failing to surface after a dive in the Red Sea. Having always relied on him as her guide while on these diving assignments, on that particular day, as usual, she lost track of her guideline. She was trapped in the dark recesses of a complex submarine cave system with only 20 minutes of oxygen left, as indicated by her tank gauge.
Caught up in a flurry of rage, hopelessness, fear and sadness, Stephanie recognized the deep sorrow that had followed her since the death of her husband and realized she had just about given up on life, and for all intents and purposes she was ready to leave her life in this moment.
Then unexpectedly, at the peak of her emotional distress, there came a completely different sensation. “I suddenly felt flushed and it seemed like my field of vision had become brighter,” Stephanie later recollected. From the crisp clarity of her mind emerged the words her husband always used to say to her: “All right, Steffi, calm down. Remember, believe you can, believe you can’t, either way you are right. Remember?” It was this state of unprecedented mental lucidity coupled with her husband’s distinct presence in that cave with her that saved Stephanie’s life by prompting her to simply lift her gaze to a precise location and catch sight of her guideline.
The Third Man Factor
Occurrences like Stephanie’s are termed The Third Man Factor(4), where a person facing a life and death situation is guided internally by something of a higher source that leads them out of imminent danger. An outside observer looking at the situation wouldn’t see anything divine or miraculous about the occurrence. But to those directly experiencing the phenomenon, this guiding presence is unmistakably real and completely undeniable.
In my own experience of a life-threatening event back in 2004, I can attest to the brief intervention of some higher presence which pulled me back from the reaches of a tragic and possibly fatal accident on a motorbike in Varadero, Cuba.
It was my first time ever riding a motorbike on my own, and we were barely given any riding instructions by the company that offered these excursions. As I rode at nearly 70 km an hour on a long stretch of highway, the bike began to subtly but swiftly wobble from side-to-side. I knew nothing of the physics of riding, and still wasn’t entirely coordinated when it came to which side was the brake and which was the throttle! At first I was imbued with a sensation of mild panic, but then out of nowhere I felt a force take over me that made my right hand swivel the throttle in a downward motion to accelerate.
If I had time to actually think about what was going on, my first reaction would have been to brake. I later learned from the person who was on the motorbike behind me that this would have been a most fatal decision to make, as what I was experiencing were ‘speed wobbles’. To safely come out of them, one must accelerate, not slow down.
I believe the force that took over me that day was my spirit guide, or guardian angel. It was not my time to leave this earthly realm and through some miraculous control of my motor skills, this guide was able to smoothly lead me away from such a tragedy.
Each of these cases could serve as an example of how something of a higher dimensional existence could intervene with our 3rd dimension, panning out as what we call a miracle. With Alcides Moreno, every factor played a key role in his survival. These factors were all grounded within the laws of science and nature, but such laws could merely be the ‘fingerprints’ of an intelligence emanating from a higher dimension. We perceive these fingerprints as natural phenomena. But Science is searching within the constraints of our observable reality for irrefutable proof of god or a divine source – it is looking for the fingers in themselves, which are leaving these fingerprints behind. In this regard, it is understandable why Scientists cast aside any notions of a god or a divine source.
In the case of Stephanie Schwabe and myself, we had experienced the intervention of something beyond this dimension right through our own body and mind. Changes in mental perception, sudden intuitive movements of the body, or a cognitive ‘download’ of information pertinent to the emergency situation at hand are all examples of an intervention with the 4th or 5th dimension. We are all in a sense mobile portals to these higher realms. Our consciousness is the vehicle that transports us into 4D and beyond. But as with a car, you have to learn how to drive before you can get from point A to point B.
Perceiving divine interventions and miracles in this manner shows us that Science and Spirituality are merely two sides of the same coin, depending on how you look at a particular phenomenon. They do not contradict one another; rather, they are like two ballroom dancers, flowing together in harmony to the same rhythm.
To read more about the existence of other dimensions and how we can conceptualize them, have a look at this article.
(1) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/04/nyregion/04fall.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1& (2)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9__MVmOmzpA (3)http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112746464 (4)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Man_phenomenon