The nature of existence is many layered, and requires a certain willingness to question in order to grasp anything of its complexity. Truth is like a gem, with as many facets as there are perspectives. Most people are too fixated on their own truths, their own ideas of what is real and right, to step back far enough to see the entire jewel. Each person on our planet has a unique idea of how the world works, which sets their limitations for what they believe is possible. These beliefs are often based on the opinions and observations of others, usually those that are admired, respected, trusted, or simply present for long enough for their thoughts to take root. In this way, what we normally consider to be the “self” is simply a reflection of the people we know and the experiences we have had; this is the foundation of the Golden Rule, which is integral to most every faith.
By becoming aware of this natural process, we find that we need no longer be bound by the restrictive belief patterns of others, and realize how large of an impact we really can have on the people around us.
In Taoism, all of the universe is presented as a singular, ever-changing entity, in which all of existence comes together to make up the Tao; what some would call God. This compliments the ideas above very well, and only expands upon the power each of us holds; if one accepts this thought, then each of us is quite literally a manifestation of the divine, and in fact are fully a part of a divine whole. Modern science also gives us a similar view, suggesting that there exists a universal energy field, of which we are all a part, in which our thoughts and emotions actually effect the world around us (as ultimately all matter is merely energy). These findings contradict one of the longest held scientific views, in which the world can be observed directly without effecting it. It has now been found that quantum particles react differently when an observer is present, with no other contact being had. From here, we can begin to see some of the layers of our existence unfold. Within the causal body, there is a part of us that is always observing, always collecting new information, at once an audience member and an actor dawning the mask of our given persona. This is our essence, the aspect of ourselves that exists in the eternal Here and Now, and it binds all of us who have ever lived together, for while our personae may hold different opinions and beliefs, all of us share in the miraculous experience of being alive.
By being aware of this deep connection with the divine, it has been shown that we can actually influence the physical world around us through concentration, prayer, meditation, intense feeling, or other such means of declaring our intentions. Again, our only lasting limitations for the life we live come from our belief patterns; you can never do more than you truly believe is possible.
This suggests to me that some of those who have been said to have performed miracles (Jesus, Buddha, Thoth, Mithra, the Kabbalists, Rosicrucian's, etc) may have been people who understood these principles to such a heightened degree that they actually were able to perform such feats. Given that most spiritual traditions have similar views of ethics and morality, could it not be that the spiritual masters all describe the same truth, but examine different levels of reality? Our beliefs effect reality, whether or not we are cognizant of that fact. If we have a choice as to what becomes real, then a bigger question emerges; do we have a responsibility to ourselves and to the ones we love to choose the best realities we are able to?