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The picture in this post is of the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, NM. I was there a year ago and was quite fascinated with the legend that is told about the creation of this staircase. You can read it here: http://www.lorettochapel.com/staircase.html
It turns out that at least part of this legend is not true…the part about it not having any means of support. You can read about that here: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/ghosts/loretto.asp
That still leaves the part about where this carpenter came from, how he came to have lumber that was not native to the area, why there was no bill or record of him buying the lumber from anyone etc. Of course there could be all sorts of reasons for all of this. Be that as it may, I think it is a great legend that points to perhaps the work of the numinous in our world, as well as our need to believe that there are forces beyond our usual awareness that work on our behalf.
Beyond all that however, I think there is something else to be seen in a story like this and that is the power of belief and its effect in our lives. It is pretty easy to imagine two factions presenting their side of the story as to why they believe this legend to be true or not. And it is equally as easy to imagine neither of them budging from their position no matter what! The reason for this is that certain basic beliefs and assumptions that form the foundation for our worldview/perspective are formed early in life and are assumed to be ultimate truths and are not ever taken out into the light of day and checked for accuracy. People are not generally open to having their foundation shaken. A staunch entrenchment in basic beliefs results and this does not allow for new information to be absorbed or considered so that perspectives can be updated.
We see this operating in the world all the time in discussions, debates or arguments particularly those involving religion or politics. But we also see them in our day to day interchanges with those around us. This kind of mindset that does not allow for change takes its toll on our time, energy, prosperity, health, relationships,and the political policies that effects us all.
If we are to evolve both in our lives and in the world, we need to each consider what we can do to move beyond a state where ego, competition and being right are more important than taking a moment to consider that we may not know everything about any particular topic. We can open our minds, listen to each other and look for win win resolutions to issues rather than a polarized black or white answer. It begins with each of us. And surprisingly, it can turn out to be highly freeing, more fun, less contentious, healthier and more enjoyable for us as individuals, for our relationships and for our society.
As for the numinous, I suspect it is there, moving in all our lives in ways that maybe we cannot even imagine. If we allow for it, listen, look and feel for its presence and intend to engage it, then we will see its workings in all sorts of magical ways. After All, what is life without a little magic?
If you care to dive deeper into the topic of beliefs and worldview, Deepok Chopra has written a book about beliefs and worldviews with a scientist, Leonard Mlodinow, you can take a look at it here, http://http://www.amazon.com/War-Worldviews-Science-Vs-Spirituality/dp/0307886883/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318522840&sr=1-3