In the fall of 1976, I was a college student in Connecticut living in a big house off campus with nine other students. We were preparing a festive Sunday dinner and had invited our parents to drive up and join us. Judy Skutch, the mother of my best friend and housemate, had promised to bring apple cider.
Judy was driving up from Manhattan and assumed she’d have plenty of opportunity to pick up a few gallons along the way. But it was Sunday, and every place she looked was either closed or fresh out of apple cider. Growing increasingly anxious, she stopped at a farmer’s roadside stand — only to learn they’d just sold their last bottle. At that point, Judy knew she needed help — not to manifest the cider, though that would be nice — but to release her attachment to it and her fear of disappointing her son. She went inward and asked for help.
The Road Less Traveled?
As her car exited I-95 only a few miles from our house, she felt a sense of calm. She could let go and accept that there would be no cider. The Sunday dinner would have to proceed without it. There would be love aplenty, with or without cider.
That’s when Judy spotted a solitary man sitting dejectedly in a lawn chair next to an old car parked by the side of the road. Concerned that his car had broken down, she pulled over to ask if he was okay. He was fine, he said, and needed no help. On a whim, she asked if he had any idea where she might find some apple cider at this late hour. His eyes went wide. He stared at her in disbelief, and then said, “Lady, you must be a miracle.”
He went on to explain that he had four gallons of cider in the trunk of his car and absolutely had to sell them before he could return home to his wife. He really needed the cash. He had been sitting there in the cold the entire afternoon. He’d just given up and loaded it all back in his trunk when Judy appeared.
What was the real miracle here? Was it the sudden appearance of apple cider for our Sunday dinner? Or was it the realization that what helps one helps the other? That, at the deepest level, we are all interconnected — all one in Spirit — and so we partake equally of the miracle. The man selling cider needed cash. Judy needed cider, but far more, she needed peace of mind. By shifting her perception of the situation and releasing her fear of disappointing her son, she received a dramatic demonstration of “I will be with you.”
Miracles Are For Everyone
Many people think that miracles are reserved for only the most exalted of saints and gurus. According to this belief, the majority of humans are unworthy of miracles. Saints are a special case. God smiles upon them. The rest of us don’t even come close.
Remember, however, that in Exodus the Red Sea parts for Moses and the Hebrews, not to prove their worthiness, but to help them escape Pharaoh’s slavery. The Red Sea parts as an object lesson that, on the spiritual journey, even the seemingly greatest of obstacles can disappear overnight.
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As with the Hebrews, miracles come to us, not as proof of saintliness, but as a means of transformation. They carry us to a different perception, a new understanding of who we are and our connection to Spirit.
We no longer need to fear for our survival. We no longer need to search for meaning. We’ve become a conduit for miracles. This is our new purpose. In this sense, once we’ve committed to the spiritual journey — truly committed — miracles are inevitable.
Miracles: A Better Way to Travel
Miracles work at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances. They cannot be limited by anything of this world. And they’re always available. All we need to do is shift from ego-mind to Moses-mind. That’s our part. That’s what’s asked of us — nothing more. Once we change our mind, quite literally, we welcome in the miracle.
But how does this work? From our limited human perspective, we can’t know the answer. It’s enough to know that it does work, that it cannot fail to work. But let me offer an analogy.
Picture a stream. Its waters flow easily and naturally downhill. Now, picture a spot in the stream choked off by a mass of dead leaves and tangled twigs. The water can’t flow. It’s backed up in a stagnant pool. Now imagine clearing away the debris, gently pushing it aside with your foot. The stream begins to flow again, all on its own, powered by the force of gravity. All that was necessary was to remove the obstacle.
That obstacle is the ego-mind. It keeps us stuck and stagnant. It blocks the flow of miracles that would otherwise be ours. When we remove the blockage by changing our mind, miracles flow forth freely and naturally, like the stream. And there’s nothing remarkable about it. It’s how things are supposed to work. It’s the very nature of miracles. As A Course in Miracles states: “Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong.”
Synchronicity and Flow: The World of Miracles
Once we’ve experienced miracles, it’s impossible to see the world ever again in the same way. Miracles free us from fear. For what is there to fear when we know firsthand the power of Spirit?
We become citizens of another world that follows different laws, those of synchronicity and flow. It’s a world where we can receive guidance and miracles directly from Spirit, free of fear.
©2012 by Robert S. Rosenthal, M.D.
All rights reserved. Excerpted with permission
of the publisher, Hay House Inc. www.hayhouse.com
From Plagues to Miracles: The Transformational Journey of Exodus, from the Slavery of Ego to the Promised Land...
by Robert S. Rosenthal, M.D.
Psychiatrist Robert Rosenthal takes a fresh and bold new look at the story of Exodus in which the figures of Moses and Pharaoh represent dueling aspects of the human mind. Pharaoh is the ego-mind: arrogant, capricious, and cut off from God and Spirit. Moses represents the part of the mind that is and has always been in full, direct connection with God. And the Hebrews represent us — all of us, regardless of religious affiliation. Their trials are a mirror of our own spiritual dilemma as we’re tossed back and forth between ego and Spirit — Pharaoh and Moses — all the while trying to find our way to the Promised Land of inner peace and freedom. Viewed in this way, Exodus becomes a travel guide for the spiritual seeker: a powerful roadmap for navigating the different stages of the spiritual journey.
About the Author
Robert Rosenthal, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist and psychotherapist in private practice in the Princeton, New Jersey area. He is a specialist in the areas of relationships, psychological trauma, and the interplay between psychotherapy and spirituality. Dr. Rosenthal was a close friend of Bill Thetford, Ph.D., one of the co-scribes of A Course in Miracles, and has studied the Course since 1975. He has served on the board of the Foundation for Inner Peace, publisher of the Course, for the past 20 years. He is also a novelist and screenwriter (see IMDb.com).