My odd article “Against Santa Claus” is flawed, horrendously flawed. I think. (Let me never be dogmatic or unchanging in my thinking. I have been wrong too many times, often due to staking out such immovable opinions.) Miracles are not the drawing close of the divine to the human. There is no God but man (or a man. Choose your scripture.) This seems to be as close as we get. The holy is within the ordinary.
As I incensed my little chapel this morning, I was drawn to sit in zazen and seek the holy, which is Nothing. As Aleister Crowley long ago pointed out, our methods are techniques made to produce specific effects. Incense and meditation are practically guaranteed to evoke the holy. A Pure Vision, as far as I can tell, is the Holy evoked within the ordinary. No miracles, no siddhis. Just a quiet gaze at the ground.
Evidence is against the miraculous. To assert otherwise is to lie. No one has yet brought to me a miracle, a magical power or a siddhi that can stand up to the demand for evidence. The argument usually follows that faith demands a lack of evidence. This seems to be a misunderstanding of faith. Hebrews 11:1 defines Christian faith: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” But what sort of conviction can we have apart from evidence? What assurance do we have in a mere belief that flies in the face of all of history? At best they are irrational positions. Hebrews doesn’t demand such foolishness. My spiritual experience leads me to my convictions. And my convictions lead me to my spiritual experience. There is a virtuous circle here, indeed. But that is not a denial of experience. Rather, we interpret our experience. And experience our interpretations.
Santa Claus is still a lie. But the bigger lie is the one that teaches children to wish harder rather than to work smarter to achieve their ends.
Life is miraculous. Don’t turn the depths of creation into a lie.