Saturday, January 27, 2007

Psychologist studies speaking in tongues

Regarding “speaking in tongues,” I like Phillip’s translation: “speaking in ecstatic language.” A more phenomonological description however, would be “the ecstatic experience resulting from an inner speaking.” The first “speaking in ecstatic language,” is the behavior observed from without. The second, “the ecstatic experience” is viewed from within.

In other words, it is not tongues that is the ecstatic experience, it is ecstatic states produced by the speech.

In studying humans, psychologists took two approaches: describe behavior from outside the person or describe from within. The first, the easy one, was called Behaviorism. The second proved more difficult and was called Phenomonology, i.e., “the study of the phenomena.” (Phenomonolgy proved difficult because it is hard to describe an experience you are having without turning yourself into an external observer of your self.)

Shifting then from outside the person to inside, what then is it like to have an ecstatic state produced by a strange source from within?

As a trained phenomnologist, I will turn my awareness inward. Using my awareness like a flashlight, I come upon sounds that seem like speech. Not wanting to destroy the experience, I will try not to become an outside observer of myself. Instead, I must enter and abandon myself to the experience.

Later, I can leave the phenomonological approach and return to the external Behavioral approach. Studying myself externally, I discover that I have been led into all the other experiences described by the New Testament disciples.

After the ecstatic experience, I become more in love with the Word of God, both written and in Jesus of Nazareth. I discover myself growing in the ability to perform miracles.

Thus, by approaching myself phenomonologically, I live the ecstatic experience. Then, studying myself behaviorally, I get to evaluate the benefits and compare them with those of the original Biblical writers.

Ah!. It is great to be a psychologist! Spirit Filled Life: THE ZAPPED PSYCHOLOGIST