“Miracles do not happen in contradiction to nature, but only in contradiction to that which is known to us in nature.”St. Augustine
Why don’t miracles happen anymore? Do miracles still happen? Are miracles real, and is there scientific evidence for them? Based on the evidence, I believe that miracles are very much real, and have a lot of scientific evidence to back them up.
I was raised Christian, so I learned about all the amazing miracles of both the Old and New Testament Bible. Fire called down from Heaven, Jesus walking on water, healing others, flying into the heavens…it’s all pretty incredible to hear.
I grew up partly in a very Pentecostal, “faith healing” denomination of Christianity: people would fall “under the Spirit” during services, get healed from any afflictions, and there would be some teaching on how to cultivate this “anointing” and heal others.
I remember as a kid going to these services, and always wanting to experience these supernatural events. I would go up to these prayer and healing lines, expecting to be “knocked out in the spirit”, but nothing ever happened. I started to think everybody was just faking it.
Then I went up to a prayer line again. But this time, as soon as the teacher laid hands on me, I immediately lost consciousness and fell. I didn’t force it, but something real just happened. I also saw angels and demons as a kid, and had other weird spiritual experiences.
I also remember going on a missions trip to Peru when I was 13, and a girl on my team getting her ears healed. Can’t remember if she was completely deaf in one ear or partially deaf. But I remember the tears after she got healed. Hard to fake the emotions she was having, and she definitely wasn’t one to fake anything.
But then I remember my grandpa getting diagnosed with emphysema when I was a kid, and everyone around me accepted that he was going to die. But as a kid (maybe 10?), I either had faith or was naive enough to think he could be healed. I thought, why wasn’t anybody laying hands on him so he could be healed? I didn’t get it.
I also remember my brother-in-law’s mom dying from cancer, despite them praying every day for her healing. Why would some people get healed and some don’t? And then fundamentalist Christians would chock it up to “not having enough faith”.
So to this day I’ve been somewhat obsessed with the supernatural and healing miracles. I argue that miracles do still happen, but admittedly they don’t seem as common as they used to be.
But there is a reason for that.
There are stories of many people in many spiritual traditions performing miracles: Jesus, Thomas Aquinas levitating, the Buddha levitating and turning invisible, the Hindu rishis levitating, healing, flying, and stopping breathing for days on end.
Are these stories true? I believe so, and there is scientific evidence to support that fact.
But how? Is there a scientific mechanism to miracles that we don’t know about? Is there a pattern of how all these people were able to perform these miracles?
It turns out, I believe the answer is yes: there is a science to miracles, and there is a pattern to how all of these people were able to perform them.
The Philosophy of Miracles
I have attempted to find a philosophical mechanism or pattern to miracles in many different traditions. I studied the books of Christian faith healers, qigong masters, and more. But I felt that they were vague on how exactly they were able to accomplish these miraculous feats.
But then I started noticing patterns. Jesus spent long bouts of time praying in the mountains. The Buddha spent long periods in meditation and was able to levitate and turn invisible. Thomas Aquinas (in the Christian tradition) was notorious for his long bouts of silent contemplation and was reportedly able to levitate.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (puh-tan-jill-ee) have an entire chapter dedicated to mystic powers (called siddhis). In it, Patanjali teaches that the key to performing miracles is what’s called meditative absorption (samadhi). This state is when you meditate on an object long enough that you become totally absorbed in that object. Your sense of self dissolves and you essentially become one with that object.
This is essentially the same as the practice of nondual awareness in Advaita Vedanta, Zen, Dzogchen, and Christian contemplation. But, instead of absorbing yourself into objectless awareness of the interconnected energy of all things, you absorb yourself into the energy underlying one specific thing or intention.
Patanjali argues that in order to levitate, you have to absorb yourself completely in meditating on the underlying structure and energy of your body, and meditate on an extremely light material (such as cotton). He has prescriptions like this for all kinds of miracles or mystic powers: flying, knowing the past and future, reading people’s thoughts, and more.
So there is a pattern to the miracles of Jesus, the Buddha, Aquinas, and the rishis, and it is meditative absorption. They all practiced long periods of silent contemplation and that was the key ingredient to their miraculous powers.
When Jesus said we can have whatever we want if we just have faith, I believe he was talking about the concept of meditative absorption. If we are completely absorbed in an intention or outcome, we have no room for doubt. And that’s faith.
Now, I do think that these miracles are not supernatural. We just haven’t known the scientific mechanism behind them, until now.
The Science of Miracles
It is a scientific fact that consciousness affects reality.
One clear piece of evidence for this is the quantum observer effect. This is where matter can behave like a particle or wave, depending only on whether it is being observed. In other words, when we watch matter, it affects how that matter behaves. Spooky.
More fascinating evidence for miracles and prayer is from an experiment by René Peoc’h, which is being further explored by Brenda Dunne at Princeton.
First, Peoc’h let baby chicks imprint relationally on a Random Event Generator (REG) robot after birth (chicks always imprint on the first thing they see after being born). Then, he let the robot roam freely through a room. The robot predictably moved in a random pattern.
But, when the imprinted chicks were put in a cage inside that room, the robot’s movements gravitated toward the chicks.
If all of this is possible through basic observation or the lower consciousness of baby chicks, then imagine what’s possible when a human mind goes deep into meditative absorption.
Through focused concentration, it seems we are able to bend reality to our will.
This evidence supports several types of miracles, but particularly the miracle of manifestation. New Agers sometime get a bad rap for the Law of Attraction, but this evidence does support it. In the Christian tradition, we called this God’s providence (“all things work together for good for those that believe”. We also call this phenomenon serendipity.
Reality has a tendency to gravitate towards consciousness and give consciousness what it needs.
Another example is heart coherence. It is now proven that when we achieve a state of heart coherence, it not only affects how well our bodies function (including how our body heals itself), but also creates a positive electromagnetic signal around us that affects the mental state and healing of others.
The heart actually produces a large electromagnetic field around us at all times – at least 3 feet – which is even larger than the energy produced by the brain. We are able to control what type of electromagnetic signal we are emitting, for the good or detriment of others. This is part of the reason that Jesus, Reiki healers, faith healers, qigong healers and others, are able to heal others.
This state of coherence has been shown to influence the wellbeing and healing of others around us. Not only does our heart’s field impact others around us directly, but there is also an electromagnetic field pervading the earth (called the Schumann Resonance). Our thoughts, feelings and intentions affect that field, affecting the states of others. When we come into coherence, we start to resonate at the same frequency as the earth itself.
It turns out that the supernatural healings of Jesus and other healers are more science than woo woo. Research has even shown that over 70% of touch and distance healings result in statistically positive outcomes. This is through the cultivation and manipulation of life energy: qi in Qigong or prana in Yoga. Reiki healing is also practiced in hospitals. Dr. James Oschman and Barbara Ann Brennan also have excellent research compiled around the study of energy healing. It is also well known that many healings are caused by the placebo effect (and it’s still amazing that our minds have that much power).
It is also theorized that there is also a quantum field pervading all things, and that’s partially why we are able to affect and be connected to others at long distances. We know anecdotally that a mother can have the intuition that something is wrong with their child, even though the child is a long distance away.
Hard evidence of this can be found through quantum entanglement. Quantum entanglement is when two particles link together in a certain way no matter how far apart they are in space. Their state remains the same, despite being thousands of miles away from each other.
Why Don’t Miracles Happen Anymore?
They do, just not as often. From the evidence above, I believe it’s because we’ve lost the art of deep, silent contemplation (meditative absorption). We just don’t have the desire or time to meditate like Jesus, the Buddha, or Aquinas did for days or weeks on end. 21st century society is usually too busy for that.
But, there are many effective healers out there, producing amazing miracles for people. I believe that if humanity learns to cultivate this practice of deep contemplation again, miracles can start to happen more frequently. This is not just for the sake of having “superpowers”, but for the healing and wisdom of humanity.