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  • filipvk

Een kleine vertelling over mirakels

Bijgewerkt op: 2 dec. 2021


De hierna volgende tekst is een 'essay', of liever een intuïtieve gedachtenstroom, omtrent het fenomeen van synchroniciteit en wat we doorgaans 'toeval' noemen, en hoe dat fenomeen bij momenten een beslissende of zelfs levensreddende rol kan spelen in ons leven.

Ik heb deze tekst geschreven voor het online forum New And Ancient Story, een community gestart door auteur, filosoof en klimaat-denker Charles Eisenstein. Dit online platform is een oefening in samenbrengen van heel uiteenlopende mensen, met als voornaamste leidraad een bijzonder niveau van respect en waardering voor de ander, en een bijzonder niveau van verbindende communicatie. Meer informatie over dit platform vind je via deze link: https://charleseisenstein.org/essays/we-can-do-better-than-this/

Je vind hier een essay van Charles over een andere manier van verbinden via sociale media, waarin hij ook de waarden en principes uiteenzet die in de community van NAAS gevolgd worden

Ik heb 'A Miracle Story' oorspronkelijk in het Engels geschreven, en ik laat het in die taal verderleven. Het is een intuïtieve tekst die vanuit een eigen ervaring enkele overtuigingen onder de loep neemt die onze cultuur en ons hedendaags paradigma bepalen. Wij zijn allen grondig geïndoctrineerd in het materialistische paradigma, dat ervan uitgaat dat enkel de krachten die wetenschappelijk observeerbaar zijn werkzaam zijn in het universum. Het merendeel van alle mensen die ooit geleefd hebben, geloofden iets heel anders. En misschien moeten we eens ophouden met ervan uit te gaan dat we zoveel slimmer zijn. Tenslotte is onze soort na een geologische fractie van een seconde alweer op weg naar de uitgang en op een pad dat naar een extinction-event leidt. Niet echt een teken van intelligentie.

De tekst bevat enkele persoonlijke overpeinzingen naar aanleiding van iets dat ik meemaakte toen ik twaalf was - een gebeurtenis die mijn leven redde, maar die ook alle wetten van probabiliteit en causaliteit scheen te omzeilen.

Veel plezier met lezen.



A Miracle Story

Hello dear people at NAAS,

I have been writing what I originally thought would be a short miracle story, but I’ve gotten carried away and it’s become kind of a longer ‘essay’ on miracles. Or rather, it’s a bit too flawed to call it an essay, so rather an intuitive train of thoughts.

But I did include my own miracle story along the way.

I started writing this back in June, but somehow something always felt ‘off’, and I never posted it. So I put my story - or rather the thoughts surrounding it - aside, letting it rest. I continued in July, but it still felt something wasn’t right.

In retrospect what felt ‘off’ was maybe that I didn’t really know WHY I wanted to share my miracle story. It is a story that is about something that happened ‘only’ to myself, and I didn’t really understand yet why it may be of interest to anyone, even though my feeling kept telling me that I needed to share it.

So in the end as I struggled with it, I got to see more how the story might connect to a bigger picture, and how it might be in any way interesting to anyone else. And as that understanding changed, I kept rewriting and adding. So now I feel like I can share my train of thoughts, but it’s become a rather long and at times quite personal one, so maybe get comfortable with a cup of tea.

I do apologise if some or all of it may seem obvious, for me it was somehow good/necessary to put it into words.

So here I go.


I have been thinking a lot about miracles lately.

One of the reasons they have been more on my mind the past month or two, was the invitation for an online event in this community with our host Charles, regarding ‘Medicine Story ’.

It had been my intention to take part in the live event, but in the last minute I had to cancel.

I had noticed however that people were posting stories in the thread of the event, and I got to understand that the invitation was for ‘miracle stories’ in particular, stories that defy the beliefs about what is possible and real within the current paradigm.

That got me thinking and reminiscing, and I realized that there have been quite a few events in my life and in the lives of people around me that I can consider to be ‘miraculous’. And as I’ve thought about all these moments more now, I have a renewed sense of awe and gratitude for all the extrordinary things that can happen in life.

I also got to realize that I have taken all these events too much for granted, failing at times to see their significance, or failing to recognize the consistency of the forces that seemed to be operating ‘behind’ these miracles. It is as if the Universe has been busy giving me signals and signs, often as big as huge 60-square-feet advertising billboards, as if really wanting me to get the picture, me being kinda slow in understanding... duh! :-)

And I got to realize that in fact, I would like to make the awareness of the ‘miracle’ a central part of my future projects. The awareness of the force of miracles in life can be a huge factor in shifting our collective consciousness away from the materialistic paradigms...

So thanks once more to our hosts Charles and Patsy for the event and the invitation! It started a wonderful train of thought (and feeling) for me.

As I am embarking on my own journey to help raise awareness about the all-encompassing ecological crisis that we are facing, I often get the feeling that we will need not just one but several miracles to save our planet and ourselves.

I have been concerned with the climate- and biodiversity crisis for more than two decades, and now that the crisis is unfolding so much more rapidly than even the worst case scenarios predicted, I am not immune to a feeling of growing despair and discouragement.

If I try to take in the whole picture, and really consider all the implications of what’s happening now, viewed from a rational perspective of pure materialistic cause and effect (the Story of Separation), then I say: the odds are not in our favor, to say the least. At times I am even tempted to say: it’s maybe ‘game over’ for humanity, and for many of the species we share our planet with.

However, as I said I have experienced many events in my life when the rational perspective of cause and effect was powerfully surpassed by something else, something that seems to be playing a far bigger game and seems to be playing out on a different level altogether. And I think that many, if not most people have experienced one or more similar events at some point in their lives. I believe more and more that things might happen on a planetary scale also that we can hardly imagine right now, and that the ‘something’ that at times seems to bypass what we consider possible, is impacting our reality not only on a personal level, but also on a much bigger scale, the scale of society, civilization, planet.

I am not saying here that we can sit back and relax, that a miracle is coming to our rescue soon, or that angelic beings will come to save the day sometime next month or next year.

However, I do believe that we are not just pawns in a dead universe of cause and effect, and that forces are at play that we have no idea of. These forces sometimes become more visible when ‘miracles’ occur, and the laws of cause and effect seem to be sidestepped in a most blatant way.

Charles gives a couple of examples of moments like these in his books, and of course there have been many other writers, visionaries, artists, poets, sages and saints who have alluded to the truth of miracles. And a suggestion that often recurs is: when we are giving all of ourselves to a cause of truth, beauty and love, something will come to our aid. We are not alone in this.

Goethe said as much when he stated: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

I can definitely attest to the truth and reality of this and have experienced it many times in my life. And I’ve heard enough stories to be convinced that many more people have experienced this.

What could be this Providence that Goethe is talking about? What force or intention may reside behind the moments when Providence seems to step in or miracles seem to occur?

And why is it so hard for our western minds to accept the possible reality of a force in the Universe which might be assisting us in our challenges and dark hours?

To even try to discuss this topic makes most conversations fall silent. I would call it even a kind of taboo.

I is a sort of blasphemy in the church of materialism.

What almost all of the approximately one hundred and seven billion human beings who have ever wandered this earth have believed, we cannot believe anymore. (For the number buffs: approximately 107.000.000.000 people are now thought to have lived on earth since 50.000 BC That period is taken as the moment when Homo Sapiens Sapiens really took on its present form. If we choose an earlier ‘birthdate’ for humanity, than that number would still be very much higher)

That is to say, according to surveys it seems that a majority of people DO still believe in miracles, in angels and spirits even, but this belief is not validated in our current paradigm, institutions, media, systems of education, etc etc. We cannot collectively express these beliefs in a coherent world-view, so they are marginalized and banned to the fringes of our culture and paradigm, to the world of ‘the esoteric’.

Again, I am not arguing that if we just believe in miracles again, the angels will come to save us, like the cavalry at the end of the western-movie.

But our despair and lack of action often seems to come from a lack of belief in anything greater than ourselves, any benign force that might be assisting us, and that is beyond our understanding of cause and effect. At least, that is part of what has caused MY discouragement at times, and I suspect I’m not the only one.

It seems to me that, at some level we don’t even really believe anymore that we have a meaningful role to play for the good of all beings on this planet, or are a meaningful part of the Universe in any way. Materialism kills our courage to do anything for a cause that seems impossible by the standards of cause and effect. It kills our ‘guardian heart’.

Any great visionary of the past was driven by a belief in something greater than mere logic or reason. And any great movement, (r)evolution, paradigm shift or major change in the human consciousness that has ever occurred, was in some way really impossible from the viewpoint of conventional logic.

I do believe that also now, when we seem to be confronted with a crisis that seems too vast and all-encompassing to even know where to begin if one wants to address it, also now in this moment in our history we really are being assisted in ways that we cannot fathom or understand.

I don’t ALWAYS believe it, and at times I am also doubting the reality of anything other than pure materialistic cause and effect. I can still get just as scared and discouraged and doubtful as anyone. But I believe more and more that what we consider to be ‘real’ is only a tiny part of the spectrum, like visible light is only a tiny part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

And I do believe that miracles will happen. I do not know if we will make it in the end, but I do believe that we need to give it all we’ve got whether we make it or not, and I do believe that Providence, the Universe, or the Powers that Be will be working with us.

It might take several miracles in order for us to make it, but miracles do happen.

If we indulge in our human need to classify things, then maybe one could say there are two kinds of miracles: first there are the events in life that are extremely unlikely and seem to contradict what mere reason and logic tell us is possible. These events can involve ‘coincidences’ of a very unlikely nature, or they can involve interactions with or responses from people that are also extremely unexpected or so synchronistically meaningful as to seem almost impossible.

Then one might say there is a second kind of miracle: these are the events that are not only unlikely but also seem to violate the laws of physics. These are probably the most ‘impressive’ ones, but I don’t think there needs to be a qualitative difference between the two. An event of very special synchronicity can be of the highest importance in someone’s life and can be profoundly magical, without there being any ‘supernatural’ side to them.

But miracles that do involve something that is considered physically impossible according to the belief system in place, like walking on water or multiplying bread, of course do have special power to change disbelief into belief, and that is probably why that kind of miracle was most often ascribed to saints and prophets, as an ultimate proof of their specialness.

I don’t think we should need miracles of that sort as a kind of ‘proof’, because believing ultimately isn’t about proof in that sense, and shouldn’t be. Proof is for the scientific method, not for the heart.

But still, when miracles that defy the laws of physics do happen (and they do), they can really have a powerful impact on our world views or beliefs, and that makes them very powerful events.

I have been lucky enough to have experienced many miracles of the first kind, and I have also experienced some miracles of the second kind: events that science tells us are impossible. Impossible, yet they did happen, what can I say. I was there.

I would over the course of time like to share some of my own miracle stories here, and say something about the impact they have had in my life and my family’s life. I love the miracle stories others have shared and I would hope that my story or stories can be of some meaning to others.

The story I’d like to share first belongs to my feeling in the category that is not only unlikely but also quite impossible, even though I might be wrong on that - I will leave you to be the judges of that.

This story is kind of dear to me because without it, I probably wouldn’t be alive. It has been on my mind a lot lately, even though it took place a long time ago.

Forty-two years ago to be precise, at a family gathering on a lovely spring Sunday morning.

The family group, consisting of several uncles, aunts, cousins and nieces, had enjoyed lunch together in a countryside restaurant my parents had reserved for the occasion, and after the lunch the whole family went for a walk in a nearby natural reserve, a beautiful area with mostly heather, a dry sandy soil and fir trees.

There were quite a lot of people in the company, and the whole gathering had been very pleasant.

At some point, a cousin and I wandered away from the company and climbed up a fir tree, out of sight of the group.

It was a tall tree, and after a while we were really high up, about thirty feet or so.

I was standing upright on one of the branches of the tree, and with both hands I was holding another branch of the tree at chest-height.

All of a sudden the branch I held with my hands broke off, and I fell backwards and then I sensed myself falling down head first, upside-down.

I can still recall this tunnel-like vision, the branches of the fir tree shooting up and receding very fast all around me as I was falling towards the ground. I remember the frightened shouting of my cousin, who saw me falling down.

The next thing I knew was that something grabbed hold of my right leg, and I sensed myself suspended in mid-air.

I was all dazed, and it took me a while before I realized where I was and what had happened.

My right knee had gotten caught on a branch, and I was hanging upside-down in the air, my knee folded over the branch that was holding me.

As I looked down, I saw the ground and the roots of the tree about two feet under my head...

I was swaying a little back and forth there, still upside-down, my right knee firmly hooked onto the branch, but with no pain whatsoever. It felt almost rather comfortable to be dangling there from one knee.

Had my right leg not caught onto that tree branch just a split second before I would have hit the ground, I would surely have broken my neck and died, or I would have been paralyzed for life.

After a while I pulled myself up on the branch and then lowered myself to the ground.

My cousin climbed down, very relieved when he saw I was okay, and we rejoined the company.

No one had noticed what had happened and at first I didn’t give it too much thought. It seemed like a minor incident and I was happy that I didn’t hurt myself.

Only much later, at various times in my life, did I begin to remember this moment with a renewed interest and increasing wonder. Only much later did I begin to see that what had happened then was really quite unlikely or even impossible.

When I look back at the particulars of the fall, my position, the direction of my body, the position of my legs, my speed, the way the knee hooked over the branch so neatly and painlessly, and so forth, I really do not see how this could have happened the way it did.

I don’t see how one of my legs, which were both limp and pointing upward during the fall as I was falling down head first, could have clenched itself around this thin branch firmly enough to stop my fall without slipping off the branch, considering the speed I must have had at that point after falling more than thirty feet.

But even if it was indeed physically possible for my knee to hook over the branch and stop my fall in this way, it would still be a miracle. The odds of the event happening would still be almost zero, especially considering the fact that it happened right before I would have hit the ground, after a fall of more than thirty feet. It just adds to the sense of gratitude and wonder I feel now, 42 years later, when I think back of this moment.

Back then, for my 12 year old me, the event seemed kind of normal (and maybe miracles áre normal for children). I was just happy that I was okay.

The following year I carried on with all the stuff a twelve-year old is concerned with, and a little later with all the stuff a fourteen or sixteen year old is concerned with, which is quite a lot of stuff, so for many years I did not give the events of that Sunday morning much thought, and the memory kind of faded from my consciousness.

But later in my life, many more events took place that were no less unlikely than the split-second rescue in the tree, in some periods even with an intensity and frequency that blows my mind when I consider them now.

Many of these synchronicities and miracles happened during a period of my life that was very traumatic and painful, and these miracles not only helped me to merely survive, but to accomplish things that would have been difficult even had I not been so severely traumatized and stressed to the point of breaking.

Over time, I realize now, I almost began to feel like these miracles and synchronicities that seemed to continuously assist me in these difficult times were ‘normal’, also because there were happening so many of them. Just as my twelve year old me had considered the miracle in the tree to be ’normal’.

And guess what: maybe events like these ARE normal.

And maybe in my case the synchronicities and miracles have just been somewhat more sharply contrasted against the ‘background’ of my life because of the difficult circumstances I was in for many years.

But it seems to me that we are all continuously being assisted, also in smaller and more inconspicuous ways, and we are being held and supported all through our lives. We just tend to lose sight of it or take it for granted. (This does not mean we don’t experience trauma, suffering and loss, but I’ll get to that). I for one lost sight of how special these events were, and now that my attention has been drawn to them again, I can see more clearly than ever just how unlikely they were.

Maybe it is so that we have lost our natural and ancient knowledge of how the Powers that Be continuously assist us. A knowledge that was maybe obvious to most humans that have ever lived. Maybe in the past there was much more of an intimate connection with the mysterious events that occur in everyones lives that help us to unfold those lives and pursue our path.

The Universe, God, Providence, the Spirits, the Angels, the Powers that Be,...however you’d like to call it, SOMETHING does often step in and assists people in ways that defy any logic, reason or science.

That does not mean that we don’t experience, trauma, loss, illness, and all possible trouble and disasters. Sometimes these disasters also seem to defy logic, probability and reason.

If all there was were benign miracles, we’d be in heaven. No, we’re in deep trouble and there is tremendous suffering in the world, and there always has been. But maybe the trouble we’re in is also part of something larger than ourselves, something surpassing what we can understand with our limited minds. Maybe the relationship of our troubles, our hearts, our guardian angels and our times of despair is part of a game that we cannot possibly understand from the Story we’re in now. But they are all part of the journey we’re on, of the lessons we’re learning, of the growth we experience.

We often struggle to make sense of loss, suffering and death, and a universe that is governed solely by blind laws of physics offers little by way of solace, meaning and understanding in the face of extreme suffering and death. When things open up to include forces and influences from outside our usual perspective, it becomes a whole new ‘game’ entirely. Not necessarily an easier game, because nothing can make trauma and suffering ‘easy’. But the suffering is then framed and interpreted quite differently, or viewed through a different lens.

I myself have experienced very intense periods of trauma, loss, suffering and seemingly unbearable pain, but at the same time I realize more and more in hindsight that all through these times, I was getting help and guidance, without which I could not possibly have survived.

I do not know why I had to go through that suffering, but I do know that I would not be who I am today without those challenges and hardships. They have definitely been important for me to learn my lessons, and they helped me in many ways in my intention to become more empathic, grateful, loving.

I have come to believe that both the suffering that I had to experience and the help that I received from some powers beyond my understanding, are part of the same story. That we’re all playing a game that is excruciatingly difficult at times, but that we’re all being assisted, sometimes even in lifesaving ways, in order to pursue the path that is right for our souls.

Author and psychiatrist Scott Peck has written quite a bit about the instances where the Universe steps in and either saves people in an unlikely way or sustains them in ordeals that seem impossible to survive. In his decades of work with his patients, he has witnessed uncountable ‘miracle stories’. If you are not familiar with his book ‘The Road Less travelled’, I highly recommend it.

And then there is Michael Singer, who has dedicated his life to the art of tuning in to synchronicity and the miracles that result from that alignment. ‘The Surrender Experiment’ is a wonderful exploration of those strings of miracles that ensued when he decided to let the Universe call the shots in his life.

And of course our host Charles recounts a couple of great miracle stories in ‘The More Beautiful World’ and ‘Climate, A New Story’.

And yes, maybe we all really need to bring these stories to life in this world, in order to make cracks in the old paradigm and the old story, and in order to shift the beliefs that deny the reality of intention, purpose, love and intelligence in the Universe and in our lives.

Reawakening the interest in the miracles that have happened in our lives can reawaken our belief in the assistance we will get from powers that are beyond our understanding, as we are trying to be of service to a more beautiful world. Even and especially when the odds seem to be stacked against us, as they now.

If the world is a living organism, if there is indeed intelligence and purpose in the Universe, then how could it possibly be that we would NOT get help? If we are part of a world that is sacred, then that world will surely not be indifferent to our intentions and our actions. If we want to save the planet in the belief that it is alive and sacred, than maybe we should trust that it is not just a passive bunch of matter that is powerless in itself. Because that would be part of the old story, right?

So if we start actions that might seem futile, against odds that seem overwhelming, maybe we do have to remember that we are being helped, and that miracles will happen.

So I believe that the topic of ‘miracle stories’ is a very valuable one in this community platform.

Thanks again Charles and Patsy for pointing our attention in this direction and inviting reflection and storytelling.

In any case, I am grateful for all the years and life-experiences I gaven been given since the branch of the tree saved my life (well come to think of it, it was another branch of the same tree which got me in trouble in the first place, so the tree was involved in more ways than one - I wonder if that’s a useful analogy for how life’s lessons unfold. Maybe our trouble and the salvation both originate in the same place).

I hope to add many more years to my path, if the Universe (or God, Providence, the angels or the spirits) will allow me.

Someday it will be my turn NOT to be saved miraculously, and then I will pass on to whatever comes next. But then that will be okay, because that will be when my time will have come. That Sunday when I was up in the tree, my time had apparently not yet come.

Each morning I try to be aware that each new day is a miracle in itself. And my renewed memory of that day 42 years ago reminds me that nothing is to be taken for granted, and that every day is something to be grateful for.

Thank you for reading, have a wonderful day!

With love, namasté, 🌹🙏🏽

Filip


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