When dealing in spiritual and/or metaphysical matters, especially for those just getting involved there appears a major dilemma. Part of us wants to feel as if we are part of something much greater than ourselves. Part of us wants to feel that we can tap into something special and part of us wants to belong. Finally, part of us just wants to understand.
There's a lot trapped up inside those words and sometimes all of the ideas get mixed in a jumble in our heads. In addition there is a very strong motif that runs through our culture (not just in the West, but in all places around the world) that glorifies super powers, whether it be the ability to travel through the air, or through time, etc. We find this in a lot of places in ways that we don't even really think about. But it's all over the place. For example, in the theaters now, we have Iron Man 3, and soon, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Man of Steel, etc. If we think that this desire is limited to Hollywood, we can jump into the past and look at the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali or read fiction such as Zanoni or many of the various works on alchemy or magic. You really can't get away from it.
Then there is the part where we ask about the role of powers in terms of spirituality. Are the two the same? Are they related? If so, how? How does being able to perform some feat relate to spirituality, if at all?
In general, I don't see any logical connection between the two.
There is one power, as an opinion that I do place a great deal of value in and that is insight. It is the one that is truly capable of bringing about positive change, not only for ourselves but for everyone around us. The rest of the so-called powers without the faculty of insight serve as a means of enslaving others, mentally or physically.
It may be appropriate to quote Nisargadatta Maharaj here:
Q: My knowledge is limited, my power negligible.
M: Being is the source of both. the self is beyond both knowledge and power. The observable is in the mind. The nature of the self is pure awareness, pure witnessing, unaffected by the presence or absence of knowledge or liking.
Have your being outside this body of birth and death and all your problems will be solved. They exist because you believe yourself born to die. Undeceive yourself and be free. You are not a person.
(last part of p 34 of I AM THAT)
Could it be that these powers are useful only so far as they bring others into the light? Looking at the bible, much of Jesus's credibility from his followers seems to come from his ability to perform magical feats.
Then again, the display of powers seems to create a mental backlash in many people- prompting the discarding of logic/reason for blind faith in something "wonderful." This being the antithesis of real truth. If these powers are the result of spiritual unfoldment (which seems fairly likely), then those spiritually unfolded individuals would, in light of the backlash these wonderful powers create, refrain from using said powers for the sake of others' natural development.
In which case, I see no reason for these powers... Maybe they exist to recreate the world once all are in the light.
Seth brings out a good point...
Could it be that these powers are useful only so far as they bring others into the light?
Jesus Christ is a wonderful example in the sense that even if someone possesses such powers it should be used only for service of humanity.