On Miracles, Personal Development and Hermann the Lame

Hermann der LahmeOne of the words that hast lost his traditional meaning for me and I emphasise “for me” is the word “miracle”, namely: an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency. If you do not believe in the divine origin of things, then it should be difficult to believe in miracles, let alone about working them. Nevertheless,  I will speak of “miracles” as those events very difficult to understand which escape from human logic and reason.

Around 1000 years ago, the average life expectancy ranged from 30 to 40 years old. Let’s say 40 was the age at which most people died. In other words, at 40 you were really old! That is why I am amazed at Hermann the Lame (1013-1054) who reached 41. I think we could consider this a miracle of the 11th century. How is it possible, in those times, that a person with a cleft palate, spina bifida and cerebral palsy could make it until his forties? Undoubtedly, because of the care and love of those around him, those who supported him. That is why it is so important to create a “supportive structure” when you embarked on a process of personal or professional development. Things are much easier with the support of those around you.

Hermannus der Lahme, his name in German, also known in Latin as Hermannus Contractus and in English as Hermann the Lame, was born to a noble family in the little town of Altshausen, in southwest Germany. His parents, when they saw all the physical problems their son was born with, they decided to send him to a benedictine abbey in Reichenau, a tiny island in Lake Constance. He lived and died there. But he was a really extraordinary person. He even became an abbot. He wrote about philosophy, mathematics, science and he even composed music. It is striking that someone with all his disabilities, who could hardly move, write and speak, however, he wrote books, researched, learnt four languages (German, Latin, Greek and Arabic) and composed beautiful music and even sang for many years. Is that a miracle?

The Miracle of the Century

The ensemble Ordo Virtutum recorded back in 2013 part of Hermannus Contractus music for the label Raumklang. And this CD is entitled “The Miracle of the Century”. This is a recording I cannot recommend enough. To the gang of three Otfrid von Weissenburg, Kassia and Notker Balbulus, I add now a fourth member: Hermannus. He was born a century after his three predecessors and he is, without a doubt, an example of that old saying: where there is a will, there is a way. And yes, with love you can go long, long ways.

Michael Thallium

Global & Greatness Coach
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