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Omens

If life is to be awakened and fit
From a superior clarity,
Anticipate new opportunities each day,
Giving birds a drink or feed them well now and then.

A rising sun looks ahead
And has a joyous and joy-giving mood.

Seals and UFOs

SUN-UP Beneath the hermitage cliffs in Encinitas a huge seal lay on the beach. What could the huge seal on the beach be taken to mean as a natural sign?

At an Self-Realization Fellowship convocation I stood near the late SRF minister Bhaktananda when someone pressed him to tell about Yogananda and UFOs. Were they real? Reluctantly Bhaktananda admitted that Yogananda had said they were real and told a story about someone Yogananda took with him into the desert. The person did not believe in UFOs, she said, and then a UFO landed. So we were told back then in the early 70s.

Synchronicity and the God of Death

Now and then things appear to happen in confluent ways. Carl G. Jung termed this phenomenon synchronicity. A dictionary explains it as "the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality - used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung".

Accordingly, many seemingly small deeds and incidents in our way could be strange things derived from levels that have clarity above our heads, as we move to our inner truth-sides by deep meditation. To the degree we know the meanings and significance of such "items" we might be better able to guard ourselves, do anything about what an omen tells of, or make good use of good opportunities.

Some books interpret pictures and symbols that appear in dreams, as important messages of this and that. However, some mental ideas are not like that, they are not common or rooted in dream interpretations fit for other people. And some dreams may just as well go by ignored; it happens to most of them anyway, say dream researchers. "Better be fit for life than for enigmatic dreams" - is derived from the Old Testament.

OT The Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and said, "When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my faithful servant Moses." [Numbers 12:1-10, rendered]

Something I left out above: "With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles." Someone who lives decently, should have no need to depend on interpreting dreams and visions. Not that interpretations of dreams, omens and visions need to be faulty; but there is something even better to go for, and behaving well is a part of it. Sound moral development against conformity may be fit.

In folklore, three talking birds at times appear to tell the good girl or good boy which of three treasure boxes to choose - they serve like omen singers. Maybe the folk tale tradition reflects something in a real world, but I would not put much trust in the outward scene. God in heaven is within somehow. That is where to look first, says the Bible, and Paramahansa Yogananda too. "Find Him within, you find Him without." [In East-West, January—February, 1929 Vol. 4—1. Abridged]. Hence, proper wariness and adjustment rises above tale traditions.

If you find a bull's head in your bed one morning, or dream of a bull's head, what then? It depends.

The Death-God Yama has a bull's head with long and outspread horns and also takes care of a bleeding human heart as he stabs the enemy, rings a hand-bell, and binds him with a noose. Yama is also thought to be an Osiris-like judge of the dead, the controller of rebirth, and he is righteous - even the one who consumes and destroys Samsaric ignorance (index).

Much is symbolic in tantric art. Here is a shot at it: Maybe - just maybe - the animal head is a token that you are heading downwards to an animal level. Maybe it is a warning, not a token of what is to be. And so on.

SAYING: Man comes to this world not by proxy and whim, and does not leave it by proxy either.

TO TOP

Miracles

I am not embarrassed to tell you that I believe in miracles. [Corazon Aquino]

A miracle is something you did not think could happen. It can be loosely understood, and differently understood. "Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature," says Augustine.

Many folktales and people claim that there are events that are "miraculous". People in different faiths have different understandings of the word. Some groups are very cautious about proclaiming apparent miracles to be genuine ones.

"The miracle . . . that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance under the prompting of a brave, determined spirit," says Mark Twain. He tones down the understanding of "miracle" thus, whereas George Bernard Shaw says, "Miracles, in the sense of phenomena we cannot explain, surround us on every hand: life itself is the miracle of miracles." There are other sides to it:

More on Miracles

Do not stand in a place of danger trusting in miracles. [Arabian proverb]

A miracle is an extraordinary and surprising happening that may not be explained by normal standards and is therefore attributed to the presence and action of a supernatural or divine power. Belief in miraculous happenings - they include signs - occurs in all cultures and is a feature of practically all religions.

In religions of the ancient world (eg, Babylonia and Egypt) certain kinds of divine action or cosmic operation (eg, oracles) were accepted as part of the normal order of things. [Britannica Online]

A miracle can rest on one or more natural law not discovered or divulged to the public, but that is not the most important here: In some traditions miracles involve acts of some supernatural being.

A miracle is an unusual event, and may or may not bring with it wonderment. A miracle is also a significant event, and hopefully to a good purpose. And a miracle can be done to authenticate a person and his message.

Miracles that do not stand up to the standards of what is permitted to be used as evidence in a court of law, should not count.

Accounts of miracles abound the world over, and are contained in stories, and stories have context, characters, plots, climaxes, and so on. In order to profit somewhat from miracle tales, we may look at the miracles with a literary view too. And along with understanding of plot, character development an so on, we hope to distill essential meanings through observing happenings, scenes and other things; interpreting thoughtfully and carefully the day we can; and as for application, that is not our subject here. It may be individual or tailored individually. So by interpreting stories that abound in miracles, maybe we get to sense the id dynamics that urged such stories and faith in the first place. That could be good for us.

It is good to track the progression of thought in a miracle tale, for its progression ties the story together - as in a folk tale. [Propp] Here are facets to note:

  • Where - geographical items.
  • When - people and conversations as presented in more or less chronological sequences.
  • Who - the people involved.
  • How - practically or logically (etc) with a view to effects, for example.
  • What - What he makes use of: Persons, animals, things, knowledge, and miracles may be among them.
  • Why - Truths and ideas emphashise ideological parts of the tale. Questions of why this and that miracle was performed.
Basic understanding of literary sides of miracle tales may help us derive benefits. Such knowledge happens to be important for making things out of tales, by and large.

Interpretations of meanings rest on fit and good concepts. One may ask: "Where and what is their focus? What relevance has this teaching for us here today?"

After than questioning comes the application phases - they rest on individualised meaning-making. Management linked to essential ideas or core values (norms) found in gospel tales, had better not be under-studied. It should be skilled and patent, hopefully well-informed enough to make a living.

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Contents


Omens, portents, miracles, wonders, Literature  

Moof: Propp, Vladimir. Morphology of the Folktale. Austin: University of Texas, 1968.

Pusb: Maslow, Abraham. Motivation and Personality. 3rd ed. New York, HarperCollins, 1987.

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