Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Formula For Miracles

“You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.” [Brihadaranyada Upanishad IV.4.5]

We have lots of wishes – those “wouldn’t it be nice” thoughts and day dreams. But some of those wishes solidify into real desires. What we honestly, deeply desire, we make a commitment to and we find ourselves working toward. Imagination fueled by emotion and accompanied by action is the blue print for accomplishment.

In 1829, New York Governor (& future president) Martin Van Buren wrote to the sitting President of the U.S., Andrew Jackson. In his letter, Gov. Van Buren said, “Mr. President, ‘railroad’ carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by ‘engines’ which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside…The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.” I wonder what Mr. Van Buren would think of our world where we fly across the country and even from continent to continent in only a few hours!

In 1948, Claude Bristol wrote in his book, The Magic of Believing, “…the American Rocket Society has made application to the United States Government for land on the moon. Perhaps the application was made in a spirit of facetiousness, but who knows when some ‘Buck Rogers’ will pilot a rocket plane to the moon? I, for one, wouldn’t say it couldn’t be done some day, for I don’t know and neither do those who say it is impossible.” That was written when my mother was 5 years old! Since then, “rockets” and space shuttles and satellites have made many trips into Space.

The point is, an idea may seem foolish or impossible. But if we can imagine it, then at some point in some measure we can probably accomplish it. When the idea becomes a desire, and the desire grows into a “driving desire,” then eventually we actually make up our minds to do the thing (or at least to honestly attempt it). Once we’ve made up our minds, action follows and our actions create our destiny.

We may be too sophisticated to believe in magic or miracles, but then in 1829, traveling at 15 miles per hour seemed like the stuff of science fiction. A seventy-mile per hour speed limit would seem like a fantasy (or a nightmare) to Martin Van Buren. But someone dreamed the dream of locomotion into reality, and here we are. When my mother was a child, Buck Rogers was a fantasy hero. Now, space flight seems almost common.

Once we allow our “wouldn’t it be nice” thoughts to evolve into desire, and then we allow our desire to evolve into commitment and action, we will find that magic and miracles still take place. Imagination fueled by emotion and accompanied by action remains the blue print for accomplishment…even miraculous accomplishment!

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