Miracles: A Matter of Perception

QUESTION: I read on the back cover of your book (Profound Healing) that you had experienced “a modern-day miracle.” Can you please explain to me what a miracle is and how I might experience one? Not that I can say I even believe miracles are real. For much of my life I've been battling poor health and low expectations.

CHERYL: Albert Einstein said, “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.” Miracles, from that perspective, are really about perception. They are not consciously directed happenings, but rather a changing or opening of perception that allows for the reality of an invisible and unlimited force.

The miracle of healing that I experienced (recovery from advanced cancer after a prognosis of just six months to live) was from my perspective, the result of an inner healing that usually, although not always, results in physical healing. It does, however, always lead to a sense of peace and acceptance of whatever the outcome might be. It is a very freeing perspective. What I learned or transformed from belief to knowing, is that laws that govern the physical world are limited. Consciousness that transcends the physical world is unlimited. Miracles can reverse physical law.

Dr. Wayne Dyer has talked about meeting a man in Hawaii who was known as a healer. He asked, “How do you get to be a Kahuna?” and the man said, “Kahunas are raised to have no doubt, to have a knowing. And when a knowing confronts a belief in a disease process the knowing will always triumph.”

Dr. Dyer illustrated that principle with a story about his young daughter who'd had a condition called flat warts since she was two and a half years old. These flat warts were on her face and by the age of seven they were getting worse, even though different doctors had said she would outgrow them and they would go away in a few months. While visiting a friend who was a dermatologist Dr. Dyer asked the man to look at his daughter. The dermatologist examined the little girl under big lights and said, “You've got flat warts.” The little girl hated that term and told him so. She preferred to call them her bumps. “Well,” he said, "the good news is that when you get married you won't have them." But he didn't know when they would go away. He said he couldn't burn them off because it could burn her face. He also said that there was no medicine he could give her. But he told her that she had the ability within herself to be rid of them. "If you can call upon that healing capacity within you and begin to talk to these bumps in a way in which you ask them to leave, you have a much greater chance of getting rid of them faster than anything I could give you."

That night Dr. Dyer went into the little girl's room and she was under the covers with a flashlight. He went over and lifted up the blanket and asked her if everything was all right. "Shhh! I'm talking to my bumps," she told him. The next night and the third night the same thing happened. The conversation with the dermatologist had taken place on a Monday and by the following Friday every one of the little girl's bumps had disappeared and never came back.

A clinical psychologist named Wes Hiler said, “Spiritual healings are called ‘supernatural’ because they are rare and we have not yet learned all the laws involved in their operation. Nor have we been able to replicate them at will. They seem to be different from events of everyday life. But life, itself, is a miracle; the existence of living organisms could not be anticipated on the basis of the laws of physics and chemistry. We are so accustomed to such organisms, however, that we forget the enormous complexity and ingenuity to be found in all living creatures. Therefore we do not recognize the miraculous nature of life.”

What is a miracle anyway? It might be an extraordinary or awe inspiring event that elicits an incredulous response. “What was the chance of that happening?” To those who respond to such events as random happenings, the little miracles of every day are more likely to go unnoticed. To those who respond to the synchronicity of an event with a belief in divine guidance or in the unexplained forces of nature and the universe, the experience of miracles become more abundant. If you don't believe it, experiment with a change of attitude and perception—and see what happens. If your expectations are low you can be pretty sure that you will meet them. Poor health and low expectations are spokes in the same wheel. Set your expectations high and you might be surprised by a positive change in your health. Here is another story to inspire you:

Luther Burbank was a pioneer who discarded the limitations of popular belief in the field of horticulture and created miracles. He devoured Charles Darwin’s two-volume treatise in 1868 entitled “The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication,” which espoused the idea that organisms vary when they are removed from their natural conditions. Convinced that plants, as well as people, behave differently when in a different environment, he began to order varieties of plants from countries like Japan and New Zealand to cross with homegrown plants. The results were thousands of varieties over his lifetime, like the Climax Plum that tastes like pineapple and the Royal Walnut that outgrew regular walnuts eight to one, and which Burbank hoped would revolutionize the furniture business.

When he later happened upon a seed ball in his potato field he applied Darwin's theory. Since potatoes almost never set seed they are propagated from the buds or “eyes” of the potato. He knew that when potato seeds were found they would grow a batch of hybrids and that got him excited. What if one of the hybrids developed into a miracle potato? He experimented with the 23 seeds in the ball and one of them gave him a variety that doubled the average yield—and was white and creamy, unlike the common red skinned variety. This excellent baker was purchased by a seed man and went on to dominate the US potato market.

Not miracles you say? When Burbank wanted a plant to develop in some particular and new way uncommon to their species he would get on his knees and talk to them. He believed that plants have more than twenty sensory perceptions that we are unable to recognize because they are different than our own. He didn't know if they could understand his words, but he felt that they could comprehend his meaning.

Burbank went on to develop a spineless cactus. “While I was conducting my experiments with cacti,” he said, “I often talked to the plants to create a vibration of love. You have nothing to fear,” I would tell them. “You don't need your defensive thorns. I will protect you.” According to Manly P. Hall, “Burbank explained to me that in all his experimentation he took plants into his confidence, asked them to help, and assured them that he held their small lives in deepest regard and affection.”

In 1906, the earthquake that devastated San Francisco also laid waste to Santa Rosa, where Burbank lived. While everything around it lay shattered and broken, not a pane of glass in Burbank's huge greenhouse was even cracked. Quietly, Burbank surmised that his communion with the forces of nature and the cosmos might well have protected his greenhouse. He believed in and accepted the miraculous in his everyday life.

To a crowd gathered expecting to hear him give explicit details on how he produced all of his horticultural wonders he said, “Preconceived notions, dogmas and all personal prejudice and bias must be laid aside. Listen patiently, quietly and reverently to the lessons, one by one, which Mother Nature has to teach, shedding light on that which was before a mystery, so that all who will, may see and know. She conveys her truths only to those who are passive and receptive. Accepting these truths as suggested, wherever they may lead, then we have the whole universe in harmony with us.”