Cell phones. Automobiles. Jet planes. Bottle caps and bottle openers. Personal computers, electric generators, refrigerators, and ink pens. Lighters.
You may have a list of those machines that you believe are miracles. Some are useful and some are not. Some do good and some are used for less than beneficial purposes. We live in an age of miracles. How do we not?
Sometimes I imagine a rabbi, monk, master, or snake oil salesman from the past, promising to project an image on the side of a home with a film projector. I think of the Buddha saying something like, “I am able to speak with those around the world and learn from every text with the touch of a screen.” In the context of history, most of what we do every day is a miracle.
There are stories that float around about how rabbis in the tradition of Kabbalah would travel time. The proof was that they could be in one place one day, and in a day’s time, travel a three day’s journey. We do this every day without considering it a miracle. In fact, we are prone to gripe if we are behind someone traveling through time 5 mph slower than we feel we should.
This is an age of miracles. So much so, that we take miracles for granted. We believe in the science behind the miracles, but do not consider the miracles themselves. Everything for us is routine. All of the wonder of what is around us is lost as we snap another picture to post on social media.
Of all the miracle machines around, we overlook one miracle the most. It is the very machine that makes all of the others a possibility. The human form, similar in some ways and diverse in others, makes it all possible. Ironically, in some ways, we are using this machine to extinguish the human form from this earth. But, be certain, life on this planet will continue, and most likely prosper more, if humans become extinct.
What of this body, yours and mine? What is the big deal? From the time we were infants, there has been something within us, generating more human form. We took in Spaghetti-Os and made them into something for which our parents were proud. We drank water and created hair, fingernails, smiles, and loving glances. Broccoli became new muscle, candy bars became energy, and Big Macs became neurons that were used to learn about love, history, peace, and war. Our bodies converted something from outside ourselves and created something from within ourselves. That is a big deal.
Are our bodies only avatars for some strange experiment in another place? Are we one with our body and soul? Is there such a thing as a soul? These are questions better left for those more intelligent than me. What I know is this. We are the miracle. Regardless of the shape we find ourselves in and regardless of the conditions or diseases we have been given to deal with, we are everything we need to create peace and love in this world. What a strange purpose.
Peace and love are not that popular these days. Getting all we can get is popular. Being successful is popular. Becoming an “influencer” on social media is popular. Doing things for the doing’s sake, finding ways to create and share peace, and keeping mutual needs ahead of individual needs is not popular at all. In most cases, we have used our miracle machines (our bodies) only to feed our own miracle machines. You might want to quote Darwin here and say it is evolution and survival of the fittest. I will quote any two-year old that is just learning a language and say, “it’s selfish.”
When we recognize the miracle in ourselves, the next natural progression is to recognize the miracle in others. When we think about how “we” can succeed, rather than how “I” can succeed, the world starts getting a little better for us being here. Only after these two steps, should the third be taken, which is simple. Redefine the definition of “we”. Our children, our legacies, and our purpose, can only suffer if we cling to nationalities, political parties, race, religion, or anything that allows us to divide others from ourselves and judge their worth.
Our inventions have caused some good and created some problems. Celebrate and perpetuate the good. Use the miracles to solve the problems. The miracle is you. Every day, every night, with every sip of coffee or with every noticing of a sunrise. Keep that in perspective. You are a miracle. Even when you mess up, you are a miracle. When you feel less than a miracle, you are a miracle. Others are miracles, yes, but you are a miracle and the fingertips of the hands that the Creator is using to heal this world.
Peace and love? I have done all I can to help Justin Timberlake bring “sexy” back. It is time to move on to bringing back peace and love.