© Copyright 1994 by Timothy Conway, Ph.D.

(The following short essay on Miracles is an excerpt from the first part of the Appendix on "Miracles and Other Unusual Phenomena" [trance states, energetic phenomena, etc.] taken from my book Women of Power and Grace: Nine Astonishing, Inspiring Luminaries of Our Time [Wake Up Press, 1995]. The reader may also find especially useful the bibliographies in the endnotes herein on physics, cosmology, parapsychology, etc.)

A most important issue needing clarification in our reductionistic, materialistic era is the subject of miracles. For the sake of this book, the topic of the miraculous is especially important, since many of the female adepts profiled here have been associated with highly unusual phenomena.

The term "miracle" originally means "that which inspires wonder." Numerous sages have declared that the world-appearance itself is, truly speaking, the greatest miracle or wonder. How does it arise ex nihilo, out of nothing, like a colossal dream? How utterly improbable and stupendous! Many physicists today are also seriously wondering about this miracle of a universe scaled on incredible proportions somehow appearing out of a mysterious, primordial "inflationary moment" from timeless, spaceless nothing, a virtual particle of energy popping forth due to the enigmatic working of the laws of quantum mechanics and instantaneously inflating to about the size of a soccer ball before expanding more slowly in the well-known Big Bang scenario.[1] This inflationary model, we note, replaces the older idea that the silent Big Bang unfolding of energy into matter originated from an infinitely dense, infinitely massive singularity point—a notion that would entirely obviate any further theorizing in physics. In either case, David Bohm's idea of an original "implicate order" is attractive as the ineffable source of this manifestation of a world.

And within this overall context of a miraculous world-appearance, we use the term "miracle" in the same way that professional parapsychologists use the terms psi or paranormal, to refer to any perceptual sensitivity or behavioral output which goes beyond our current understanding of what is normally, humanly possible. Numerous women and men of past and present have realized, through unusually deep states of concentration, meditation, or devotion, an exceptionally refined level of consciousness. This sublime state is characterized by freedom from distractions, an amazing degree of concentration and attention-span, physical and psychological harmlessness (call it purity or goodness), maximum harnessing of "bioenergy," and, in many cases, a radical breakthrough or return to the transcendental, formless principle of Pure Awareness or Spirit (the "no-thingness," "singularity," or "implicate order," if one wishes to couch this in the language of physics).

This deep spiritual transformation can naturally and spontaneously give rise to awesome powers of healing, clairvoyance, telepathy, precognition, levitation, transfiguration, bi-location, control of the elements, creation of people's dreams, and so on. Instances of such occurrences in the cross-cultural hagiographical literature number into the many, many thousands.[2] These include cases—such as the repeated, much-witnessed levitations of St. Joseph of Copertino, Italy (1603-1663)—where the people involved (in Joseph's case, many churchmen and Joseph himself), did not want such phenomena to occur lest they be construed as diabolical phenomena, and yet still these paranormal psi events occurred! Such cases, incidentally, constitute an unusually sound kind of historical evidence for the existence of psi phenomena, whereas we can rightly be somewhat suspicious of "wonders" reported by overly-zealous devotees who want such things to happen.

Further internal evidence for the existence of these supernormal powers consists in the countless warnings rampant in spiritual teaching literature urging us not to be fascinated with these powers and not to exploit them for selfish purposes. I have found such caveats in mystical lineages of all the major sacred traditions—Hindu, Buddhist, Jaina, Taoist, Sufi, Christian and Jewish. Why would such strong warnings be given worldwide about non-existent, impossible attainments? Do mothers repeatedly warn their children not to play with golden unicorns? Of course not; but mothers do warn their children against playing with fire, a real part of our experience. So also, the sages know that the paranormal abilities are a latent aspect of our experience, and warn us not to get fascinated by them should these powers start arising in our lives.

Yet another kind of evidence for the authenticity of miraculous happenings is that identical powers (e.g., telepathy, bi-location, levitation) are reported worldwide in cultures that were not exposed to each other because of significant spatial or temporal distances. Are the wide-ranging accounts of these powers merely fantasies emerging from the collective unconscious or, more simply and realistically, accurate descriptions of rarefied human functioning?

Some minds will recoil from accepting the existence of the paranormal simply because it is an extremely rare occurrence within conventional society. But this should not stop us from accepting the authenticity of psi phenomena. Remember that, in the fairly recent past, meteors and kangaroos were declared by many scientific "experts" of the day in Europe and America to be nonexistent, and discoverers of and believers in these phenomena were ridiculed and ignored! Similarly, the entire topic of the paranormal has been dismissed in our day by pseudo-skeptical groups such as CSICOP—Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal—which are neither scientific nor truly skeptical in their approach to the paranormal, but are irrationally, fanatically closed-minded. While CSICOP and other similar groups have done everyone a great service by exposing a number of hoaxes and instances of gullibility and fuzzy thinking, they tend to be very guilty of throwing many babies out with the bathwater by ignoring sound evidence and not trying to replicate impressive controlled studies on psi. Moreover, they have engaged in extensive propaganda to persuade academics, scientists and mainstream media personnel that "not a shred of evidence exists to support the existence of the paranormal." (Interested readers may peruse the exposé literature by Hansen, Truzzi, Clark, et al., showing the grossly unscientific, even dangerously cultic nature of CSICOP and similar groups.[3])

Contemporary parapsychologists and "subtle-energy" investigators looking into paranormal psi phenomena have in fact amassed a huge amount of evidence indicating that ESP (Extra-Sensory-Perception), PK (Psychokinesis) and spiritual healing do occur. For instance, a colossal, incontrovertible database of the anomalous, clearly demonstrating the reality of PK and precognitive remote-vision among ordinary individuals, was generated over the 1980s and 1990s by Robert Jahn and Brenda Dunne with their Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) project. Dr. Stan Krippner edited a multi-volume work on diverse aspects of psi well-documented by various researchers. William Braud and Marilyn Schlitz have rigorously demonstrated for over two decades the effects of conscious mental intent upon biological systems at a distance. A double-blind study by Dr. Randolph Byrd indicated the power of distant spiritual healing, and, beyond this single study, Dr. Daniel Benor examined over 100 studies in peer-reviewed science journals validating healing prayer.[4]

Dr. Raffaello Cortesini from 1983 to 2002 was president of the Vatican's Consulta Medica in Rome, the one man ultimately responsible for studying every potential miracle that comes before the congregation's medical board when examining "intercessory" miracles (ostensibly performed by God through saintly people no-longer-in-the-body whose causes for beatification or canonization are being processed by the Roman Catholic Church). Cortesini examined the evidence for, and personally witnessed a number of, these miracles. This eminent physician, one of the world's leading organ-transplant surgeons, and someone who must necessarily take an extremely rigorous and skeptical approach to the field lest the Catholic Church be embarrassed by fraudulent cases, told longtime Newsweek religion reporter Kenneth Woodward,

"There is skepticism about miracles, I know, even in the Catholic Church. I myself, if I did not do these consultations, would never believe what I read. You don't understand how fantastic, how incredible—and how well-documented—these cases are. They are more incredible than historical romances. Science fiction is nothing by comparison."

Kenneth Woodward comments,

"Cortesini plans to write a book on the inexplicable healings he has studied and judged. I hope he does. He knows that scientists, of all professionals, are not expected to believe in miracles... But he and the other doctors on the medical board are in a privileged position; they are regularly exposed to data which defy scientific explanation, yet as physicians and medical scientists, they work in a world which relies on the rigorous application of scientific methods. Their experience, their intelligence, and their testimony have to be respected. To say that they believe in miracles because they are Roman Catholics is probably true. It is also beside the point. To assert that miracles cannot occur is no more rational—and no less an act of faith—than to assert that they can and do happen.[5]

Given the massive evidence, therefore, when one hears in these pages [of Women of Power and Grace] of miracle-working holy women, one need not immediately recoil in disbelief or derision, but keep an open heart-mind, and remember that life is, on every level—physically, biologically, psychologically and spiritually—quite mysterious. The full account of how and why things are the way they are has not yet come in. Many physicists and cosmologists today openly speak of how our universe must contain at least several other dimensions beyond our known four dimensions of space-time.

Michio Kaku, author of a graduate-school text on Superstring Theory and books for the laity, states that a being with access to just one more spatial dimension "would have almost God-like powers. Imagine being able to walk through walls.... Imagine being able to disappear or reappear at will. ... You wouldn't need an airplane to visit far-away places, you could just vanish and rematerialize where you wanted.... Imagine having x-ray eyes. You would be able to see accidents—and prevent them!—happening from a distance.... Imagine being able to reach into an object without peeling it or cutting it. You would be hailed as a master surgeon, with the ability to repair the internal organs of patients without ever cutting the skin, thereby greatly reducing pain and the risk of infection. You would simply reach into the person's body, passing directly through the skin, and perform the delicate operation.... No secrets could be kept from us. ... We would truly be miracle workers.... For a four-dimensional being, these feats would be child's play."[6]

On a more prosaic level, in the United States 200 years ago, or in so-called "primitive" cultures in today's world, phones, fax machines, computers and the Internet would be considered quite miraculous. Yet in the USA and other countries these things are now quite ordinary.

So also in the higher levels of psyche and spirit. Certain spiritual adepts are using (or are "being an instrument for") a science of consciousness that allows them to clairvoyantly know events at a distance or in the past or future, achieve PK effects at a distance, bi-locate their bodily form at remote places, heal bodies and souls, levitate, influence people's dreams, and so on, according to "the Divine Will." That such wonders have occurred, and still do occur, should be no real surprise.

If we have any doubts about the existence of such things, let us investigate for ourselves. And, of course, the very best way to investigate is by the participant-observer methodology, following in the footsteps of these great souls, undergoing the type of heartexpansion, "attentional-retraining" and total purification of awareness they themselves have undergone, so that we might directly determine whether or not such wonders are possible. For instance, that ancient Theravada Buddhist encyclopedia on meditation, the Visuddhi-magga, or Path of Purification, and texts like Patañjali's Yoga Sutras list a whole array of supranormal powers (Pali: iddhis, Sanskrit: siddhis), and even give the specific "recipes" of instruction for how to develop them as tools to help sentient beings.[7] Yet this purification and the concentration processes involved are so extraordinarily sublime and demanding that most individuals would undoubtedly prefer to wallow in their mediocrity and not undergo such a major change in the way they perceive and behave.

But short of such commitment and transformation on our part, any summary judgments of rejection and dismissal we might make concerning the paranormal phenomena would simply be premature and irrelevant, signs of inexcusable laziness, willful ignorance, and "bad science."


1 A large number of books on physics and cosmology give expression to this wonder over the emergence of a world; moreover, some of the authors make occasional or frequent references to God, Consciousness, or cosmologies and theologies of sacred traditions. The following works (listed in rough chronological order, emphasizing more recent works) are good reading, most of them for the non-specialist (note: I have updated this list for the new edition of this book, keeping only a few old "classics," some of them quite dated and obsolete in certain aspects).

Fritjoj Capra, The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics & Eastern Mysticism, Random House, 1975; Bernard Lovell, In the Center of Immensities, 1978, Astronomer by Chance, NY: Basic Books, 1990; David Bohm, Wholeness & the Implicate Order, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980, D. Bohm, B.J. Hiley & David Peat, The Undivided Universe, Routledge, 1993; Fred Hoyle, The Intelligent Universe, London: M. Joseph, 1983; John Gribbin & Martin Rees, Cosmic Coincidences: Dark Matter, Mankind, & Anthropic Cosmology, Bantam, 1990; Dennis Overbye, Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos, Harper Collins, 1991; Paul Davies, The Mind of God, Simon & Schuster, 1992, and (with John Gribbin), The Matter Myth, S&S, 1992; Theodore Roszak, The Voice of the Earth, S&S, 1992; Michael Talbot, Mysticism & the New Physics, Penguin rev. ed., 1992/1981, The Holographic Universe, HarperCollins, 1992; Brian Swimme & Thomas Berry, The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Eco-zoic Era: Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos, Harper Collins, 1993; Amit Goswami, The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World, L.A.: Tarcher, 1993; Nick Herbert, Elemental Mind: Human Consciousness & the New Physics, Dutton, 1993; John Marks Templeton (Ed.), Evidence of Purpose: Scientists Discover the Creator, La Vergne, TN: Continuum, 1994; Michio Kaku, Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps & the 10th Dimension, Oxford Univ., 1994, Beyond Einstein: The Cosmic Quest for the Theory of the Universe, Doubleday Anchor rev. ed., 1995; Keith Ward, God, Chance & Necessity, Oxford: Oneworld, 1996; Russell Stannard, Science & Wonders, London: Faber & Faber, 1996; Ervin Laszlo, The Whispering Pond: A Personal Guide to the Emerging Vision of Science, Element, rev. ed., 1999; Alan Guth, The Inflationary Universe: The Quest for a New Theory of Cosmic Origins, Reading, MA: Perseus, 1997; Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, & the Quest for the Ultimate Theory, W.W. Norton, 1999, The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, & the Texture of Reality, A. Knopf, 2003; Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God: How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, NY: Free Press, 2001 (has stunning findings from microbiology as well); John Barrow, The Book of Nothing: Vacuums, Voids, & the Latest Ideas about the Origins of the Universe, Pantheon, 2001, The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless & Endless, Pantheon, 2005; Ravi Ravindra, Science & the Sacred: Eternal Wisdom in a Changing World, Quest, 2002; Tim Maudlin, Quantum Non-Locality & Relativity: Metaphysical Intimations of Modern Physics, Blackwell, 2002; Robert Kirshner, The Extravagant Universe: Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, & the Accelerating Cosmos, Princeton Univ, 2004; Lisa Randall, Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions, Ecco, 2005 (argues for a testable "warped fifth dimension").

2 The leading wonder-workers one encounters upon study of the literature of the sacred traditions include the following adepts [note: for this online web version, I have taken out diacritical marks]: Siddhartha Gautama (c563-486) and the many perfected saints/arhats who were his contemporaries, as mentioned in the Pali Canon literature, and many adepts since then in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, including the recent arhat, Taungpulu Sayadaw of Burma (d.1986); the mahasiddhas of the Indian, Tibetan and Japanese tantric Buddhist traditions (Padmasambhava [8th century], Tilopa [988-1069], Milarepa [1040-1123], Kukai [774-835], et al.); and many Ch'an and Zen Buddhist masters, including illustrious 20th-century Chinese Buddhist leaders, Hsu-yun (1840-1959) and Hsuan-hua (1910-95). Old Taoist masters such as Chang Tao-ling (34-156 CE), Chang Chueh (d.184), Ancestor Lu Tung-pin (9th-10th century) and many others living as hermits in the mountains of China down to the present are esteemed for their powers. A number of contemporary charismatic Chinese ch'i-kung/qigong leaders, such as the late Ma Litang of Beijing, Hou Shu-Ying, and Dr. Yan Xin (whose abilities have been scientifically tested at Qunghua University), and many others have demonstrated supernormal powers and healing abilities. In the Hindu traditions of Vedanta and Yoga, one finds numerous legends of miracle-workers; in the last 130 years, one finds ample evidence of supernormal abilities and events in the lives of many Indian spiritual leaders, including Sai Baba of Shirdi (d.1918), Swami Samartha (the Akkalkot Maharaj, d.1878), Neem Karoli Baba Maharajji (d. 1973), Ramana Maharsi (1879-1950), Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982), Mata Amritanandamayi (b.1953), Shyama Mataji (1916-99), Dadaji (Amiya Roy Chowdhury, 1910-1992), Shivabalayogi Maharaj (1935-94), et al. In Japan one finds wonder-working adepts in the martial arts and new religions, such as Morihei Uyeshiba (1883-1969), founder of Aikido, Masaharu Taniguchi (1893-1985), founder of Seicho-No-Ie, and Kotama Okada Sukuinushisama (1901-74), founder of Mahikari. Miraculous powers are attributed to many shamans and medicine folk of indigenous cultures around the world, like the Mazatec holy woman Maria Sabina (1888-1985) and Don Jose Matsuwa (1880-1990) of the Huichol tradition, both in Mexico, Rolling Thunder of the Shoshone tradition, Godfrey Chips of the Lakota Sioux, and Josephina Sison and Lucy Santos-Reyes (b. c.1956) of the Philipines. Great miracle workers are to be found among the prophets of ancient Judaism, and more recently in the Hasidic traditions of mystical Judaism, for instance, in the person and circle of Rabbi Israel, the Ba'al Shem Tov (1698-1760), and his many successors. Among Muslim Sufis are illustrious thaumaturges, such as Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (1078-1166), Jalal al-Din Rumi (d.1273), Shaikh Al-Alawi (1869-1934), and Hazrat Babajan (c.1790-1931). Among Christians one finds hundreds of saints associated with miracles, starting, of course, with Jesus/Yeshua and his disciples, followed by such holy souls as Antony the Great (c.251-356) and the many wonder-working desert fathers and mothers, and, in Europe, saintly adepts Martin of Tours (c.315-397), Benedict (c.480-550), Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), Francis of Paola (c.1436-1507), Teresa of Avila (1515-82), John of the Cross (1542-91), Philip Neri (1515-1595), John Baptist Vianney (1786-1859), John Bosco (1815-1888), Paul of Moll (1824-1896), Gemma Galgani (1878-1903), Brother Andre of Montreal (1845-1937), Solanus Casey of Detroit (1870-1957), Therese Neumann (1898-1962), Padre Pio (1887-1968), Maria Esperanza of Betania, Venezuela (1928-2004), Natuzza Evolo of Calabria (b.1924), and, in Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Sergius of Radonezh (1314-1392), Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833), Pelagia Serebrenikova (1809-1884), Arsenios of Paros (1800-77), John Maximovitch of San Francisco (1896-1966), and Myrna Nazzour of Damascus (b.1964), of Catholic-Orthodox parents.

3 See George P. Hansen's important exposé paper, "CSICOP and the Skeptics: An Overview," in The J. of the American Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 86, Jan., 1992, pp. 19-63. See also Dennis Rawlins' exposé of CSICOP in Fate, 34 (10), 67-98; astronomer Rawlins was hounded out of CSICOP by its founder, Paul Kurtz, when, in the only scientific research study ever done by CSICOP (!?), Rawlins brought in results showing the validity of the astrological "Mars effect" on athletic performance—results Kurtz did not want to accept. See also Jerome Clark, "Censoring the Paranormal," Omni, Feb. 1987. Founding CSICOP member Marcello Truzzi, who left CSICOP because of its irrational fanaticism, clarifies the matter of true skepticism and warns against the rampant pseudo-skepticism: "Over the years I have decried the misuse of the term 'skeptic' when used to refer to all critics of anomaly claims.... Since 'skepticism' properly refers to doubt rather than denial—nonbelief rather than belief—critics who take the negative rather than an agnostic position but still call themselves 'skeptics' are actually pseudo-skeptics and have, I believe, gained a false advantage by usurping that label. In science, the burden of proof falls upon the claimant; and the more extraordinary a claim, the heavier is the burden of proof demanded. The true skeptic takes an agnostic position, one that says the claim is not proved rather than disproved.... Since the true skeptic does not assert a claim, he has no burden to prove anything.... But if a critic asserts that there is evidence for disproof, that he has a negative hypothesis (e.g., the conjecture that a seeming psi result was actually due to artifact [a common charge by CSICOP and other pseudo-skeptics]), he is making a claim and therefore also has to bear a burden of proof. Sometimes such negative claims by critics are also quite extraordinary (e.g., that a UFO was actually a giant plasma or that someone in a psi experiment was cued via an abnormal ability to hear a high pitch others with normal ears would fail to notice), in which case the negative claimant also may have to bear a heavier burden of proof than might normally be expected.... In far too many instances, the critic who makes a merely plausible argument for an artifact closes the door on future research when proper science demands that his hypothesis of an artifact should also be tested. Alas, most critics seem happy to sit in their armchairs producing post hoc counter-explanations.... Both critics and proponents need to learn to think of adjudication in science as more like that found in the courts, imperfect and with varying degrees of proof and evidence." [Marcello Truzzi, "Skeptics and Pseudo-skeptics," editorial for the August 1987 issue of Zetetic Scholar, Dept. of Sociology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI 48197.]

4 Some of the more impressive works from the field of parapsychology include the landmark book by Robert Jahn and Brenda Dunne, Margins of Reality: The Role of Consciousness in the Physical World, NY: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1987, detailing their meticulous, incontrovertible research with the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research program, which generated a massive database. D.L. Radin and R.D. Nelson, "Consciousness-Related Effects in Random Physical Systems," Foundations of Physics 19 (1989); 1499-1514, performed a meta-analysis of 832 PK (psychokinesis) studies by 68 investigators, and concluded the results are robust and repeatable. A multi-volume compiling of parapsychological evidence for the paranormal is Stanley Krippner (Ed.), Advances in Parapsychological Research (6 volumes), Vols. 1-3, NY: Plenum Press, 1977, 1978, 1982; Vols. 4-6, NY: McFarland, Jefferson, 1984, 1987, 1990. See Dean Radin, The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena, HarperSF, 1997; R.S. Broughton, Parapsychology: The Controversial Science, Ballantine, 1991; William Braud, Distant Mental Influence: Its Contributions to Science, Healing, and Human Interactions, Hampton Roads, 2003; Etzel Cardena, Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence, American Psychological Assn., 2000; Michael Murphy, The Future of the Body: Explorations into the Further Evolution of Human Nature, L.A.: Tarcher, 1993. Parapsychology research organizations and professional societies include 1) Parapsychology Sources of Information Center (2 Plane Tree Ln, Dix Hills, NY 11746, Rhea White, Dir.), which issues a highly useful journal, Exceptional Human Experience (EHE), formerly Parapsychology Abstracts International; 2) Society for Scientific Exploration (Stanford Univ., ERL 306; Stanford, CA 94305-4055, and its Journal of Scientific Exploration, a peer-reviewed, new science forum; 3) Society for Psychical Research (1 Adam & Eve Mews, Kensington, London W8 6UG), the oldest such group, founded in 1882; 4) the American Society for Psychical Research (5 West 73rd St., NY 10023); 5) the Academy of Religion and Psychical Research (P.O. Box 614, Bloomfield, CT 06002); and many others.

Randolph Byrd's classic study of remote spiritual healing is "Positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer in a coronary care population," Southern Medical Journal, 81, 7 (1988), pp. 826-829. See also massive overview work by leading researcher Daniel Benor, M.D. (www.wholistichealingresearch.com), Consciousness, Bioenergy & Healing: Self-Healing & Energy Medicine for the 21st Century, Medford, NJ: Wholistic Healing Pub., 2004; Spiritual Healing: Scientific Validation of a Healing Revolution, Vision Pub., 2000; and Larry Dossey, M.D., Healing Beyond the Body: Medicine & the Infinite Reach of the Mind, Shambhala, 2001; Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing, HarperSF, 2000; etc. See the journal and newsletter of International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine (ISSSEEM), featuring the rigorous scientific experiments and observations of researchers Braud, Schlitz, Grad, Wirth, Becker, Green, et al., and overview work by Benor, all of which show the existence of and uses for subtle energies for healing, PK and ESP.

Within Catholicism, two classic works address the miraculous: see the afore-mentioned Fr. Herbert Thurston, The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism, London: Burns Oates, 1952; Montague Summers' same-name title, The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism, London: Rider, 1950. Doctors at the healing shrine at Lourdes, France, and doctors around healing ministers like Kathryn Kuhlman, Agnes Sanford, Olga Worrall, and spiritual movements like Christian Science know that all sorts of utterly inexplicable healings occur—from cancers to club feet—and among believers, babies and skeptics. See Dr. H.R. Casdorph, The Miracles, Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1976; Robert Peel, Spiritual Healing in a Scientific Age, Harper & Row, 1987; Ruth Cranston and the Medical Bureau of Lourdes, The Miracle of Lourdes, Doubleday, rev. ed., 1988.

5 Kenneth Woodward, Making Saints: How the Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes a Saint, Who Doesn't, and Why, Simon & Schuster, 1990, pp. 200-1.

6 See Michio Kaku, Hyperspace, op. cit., Anchor Books ed., 1995, pp. 45-6.

7 A translation of Visuddhimagga (by Buddhaghosa, 5th cent. CE) is Bhikkhu Nyanamoli (Tr.), The Path of Purification, Shambhala, 1976. Many translations of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras exist, with commentaries; two of the better ones: Georg Feurstein, The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali: A New Translation & Commentary, Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, rev. ed., 1991; I.K. Taimni, The Science of Yoga, Wheaton, IL: Theosophical/Quest, 4th ed., 1975. Many other scriptures and commentaries and, of course, the biographical and autobiographical works on saints worldwide, include mention of and/or description of the paranormal or miraculous.