Moses parted the Red Sea and brought God's chosen people away from physical danger was a miracle. And so was five breads and two fishes. Miracles had been the norm of spiritual seekers in the old days, both East and West. The faithfuls would be saved by miracles, if everything else failed; and in those days, more often than not, things did fail, whether by an incurable disease or by a authoritarian ruler!
Not so nowadays. Those sick people who beg for miracles and not seeking medical help, we call them superstitious; those fugitives who waiting the Red Sea to part to escape from the chasing Interpol guys would be considered pathological (well, an easy job for the authority who loves it!). Not the least, we have the Jasmin revolution now. Again, it is same in the East and the West; if the old East/West concept still applies.
But in the past the belief in miracles did help some people to become spiritual and become good men. And the system had been "approved" by intelligent and kind-heart spiritual leaders, who certainly didn't consider themselves being spreader of superstition; and they were not! As Carl Jung said, miracles were for those who didn't understand the concept or logic behind a religion. Those who did have nothing to do with miracles. Past and present.
One interesting phenomenon is that there persist nowadays one stream of Taoist practice that still use miracle as the an important part of their belief systems. I'm talking about MouShan School (茅山宗)。 In Hong Kong, there are various branches of the School located at more fringy areas of the city. Although some of the schools also teach some martial art techniques, the distinguishing part (NOT the core part though) of the teaching is a "miracle" practice called "spiritual combat or miracle chop" (ShenDa: 神打), the gist of which is the calling upon of some spiritual figure (including spiritual figures taken from fictions!) to be "at-one-with" the practitioner so that he or she can withstand knife chops (well, not exceedingly sharp knife and with full-blade parallel chops)!
Essentially it is a "miracle belief" system through which a practitioner/faithful believes in the spiritual power of his or her Spirit-of-Worship. Needless to say, as a Taoist belief system, the Moushan school upholds a high moral discipline (which the students/practitioners/disciples/believers are expected to follow) as taught by various Taoist morality texts, including the famous Tao Te Ching.
Below is a picture of a lady practitioner demonstrating "miracle chop" - please observe her hand doing a Mudra (手印), her focused eyes/mind in meditative mode with a relaxed body.
|A lady practitioner demonstrating "Miracle Chop - 神打"|