Christianity’s Unwanted Secret
Another impulse more embedded in Western culture, but perhaps less accepted today, is that begun by the early Christians. This is very definitely an example of a group of people permitting the self-regulatory action to express itself consciously. It is what we call Pentecostalism, and from the point of view of homeostasis, is in may ways similar to Shaktipat. The guru, Jesus, was the means of stimulating the release, or giving ‘grace’. Because we are acquainted with the dogmas and belief structure of Christianity in some measure, we can more readily see how a natural process, self regulation, can become deified and surrounded by religious symbols and ritual. Just as the views of Buddhism and shamanism edited what aspects of the unconscious were permissible, (i.e. in Vipassana it is not acceptable to go into ‘trance’ or be ‘possessed’. In shamanism it is thought ineffective if one only sits and remains aware of the flow of arising images) so in the Pentecostal approach, what is allowed must in some way link with Christ, God or biblical statements. Nevertheless, the ‘drunkenness’, speaking in ‘tongues’, the flow of cosmic energy — holy ghost — are all akin to Shaktipat and modern homeostasis.
Pentecostal Christianity speaks of gifts of the spirit. These are listed as the gift of: the word of wisdom; the word of knowledge; faith healing; the working of miracles; prophecy; the discerning of spirits; diverse kinds of tongues; and interpretation of tongues.
Most of these are easily recognizable descriptions of faculties of the unconscious. The unconscious is constantly scanning information and considering the highest probable outcome — thus prophecy. Access to universal aspects of consciousness allow the gaining of insights which might also account for prophecy, wisdom and words of knowledge. Speaking in tongues is a common way in which the unconscious expresses its feelings and insights. It is a level three expression in Van Rhijn/Caldwell’s levels of consciousness. When the ‘tongues’ are considered as symbolic expression they transform into meaningful words, just as dream symbols do. My experiments with such phenomena convincingly show the common link between these often considered unrelated phenomena and homeostasis.
Discerning of spirits means the ability to look into a human heart and see what is hidden there. Considering how much we can learn subliminally through body language and verbal cues, this is another straightforward unconscious faculty. But imagine a group of people all ‘worshipping’ as is described of Pentecost, when the disciples were taken to be drunk. (Acts 1:12 to 2:13) There were 120 gathered in a room, men and women being equals — “All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” Considering present day Pentecostalism and other forms of homeostasis, this large group would include people who would be shouting in tongues, others would be crying, moving their bodies, discerning spirits, and generally creating a bedlam of noise. Any newcomer to the group, not having had explained what was being attempted — that each be open to the Spirit and be moved by it — might think the people were crazy or drunk.