"The pneuma [Cool Breeze or Wind of Spirit]* is the peculiar power ... of eternal life." Robert Kysar"Only against this background of the activity of the Spirit as the creator of all life can we rightly understand on the one hand its work in the ecstatics of human conscious life, and on the other hand its role in the bringing forth of the new life of resurrection of the dead. Conversely, the same Spirit of God who is given to believers in a wholly specific way, namely, so as to dwell in them (Rom 5:9; 1 Cor 3:16), is none other than the creator of all life in the whole range of natural occurrence and also in the new creation of the resurrection of the dead. Only when we see its imparting to believers in this comprehensive context can we judge what the event of the outpouring of the Spirit means in truth." (Varkey 2011 Kindle 5785)
Invisible Ruach or Pneuma manifesting and interacting with Resurrection participants in Russia on August 1, 2008. The Greek word pneuma, often translated "spirit," properly means "Wind", as when Jesus said, "The pneuma blows where it will" John 3:8. The word "Pneumatology" comes from two Greek words which mean "Wind, air, spirit" and "Word" - combining to mean "The study of the Holy Spirit."
"Johannine pneumatology [Cool Breeze or Wind of Spirit] as primarily a function of christology. The recent work of F. Porsch contributes significantly to the efforts of those who hold this position. He discovers through his study that the notion of the Spirit is 'christologically concentrated.' The Spirit enables one to recognize Jesus as the God-sent revealer, to execute an awakening, and to deepen and strengthen faith. Characteristic of Johannine pneumatology is that the concept of Spirit is associated with word. The word of Jesus is Spirit (6:63), and hence the 'word-event' is pneumatic event, and pneumatic event is word event. The pneuma [Cool Breeze or Wind of Spirit] is the peculiar power by which the word becomes the words of eternal life...
Pneumatology as a primarily function of the eschatology. Those who connect pneumatology with Johannine eschatology stress more the role it plays in the gospel's system of present eschatology. G. Locher argues that the Spirit makes the past as well as the future present for the believers (578). J. Blank maintains that Johannine realized eschatology is possible only because of a peculiar and strong view of the Spirit (Krisis 215)"
*[Cool Breeze or Wind of Spirit] emphasis ours
"The fascinating concepts of the Spirit and the Paraclete have provoked much concern among those interested in the religious thought of the Fourth Gospel (cf. e.g., Brown, Commentary—Gospel 2:1135-36, 'Paraclete in the Fourth' 113-14, and 'Paraclete in the Light' 158ff.). What we might summarize as two contexts enables us to comprehend the general concept of the Spirit. First, for some Johannine pneumatology is primarily a function of the christology and of the testimony themes of the gospel. In this case, the Spirit is closely associated with the question of the birth of faith just discussed. Second, for others, however, the pneumatology is primarily a function of the eschatology of the gospel.
Johannine pneumatology as primarily a function of christology. The recent work of F. Porsch contributes significantly to the efforts of those who hold this position. He discovers through his study that the notion of the Spirit is 'christologically concentrated.' The Spirit enables one to recognize Jesus as the God-sent revealer, to execute an awakening, and to deepen and strengthen faith. Characteristic of Johannine pneumatology is that the concept of Spirit is associated with word. The word of Jesus is Spirit (6:63), and hence the 'word-event' is pneumatic event, and pneumatic event is word event. The pneuma is the peculiar power by which the word becomes the words of eternal life. The Fourth Gospel is supremely, then, a 'pneumatic gospel.' It always presents the Spirit as another 'form of appearance' ('Erscheinungsform') or designation for the presence of Christ. The Spirit is above all the power of the word (Porsch, 405-7).
J. M. Boice seems to agree with much of Porsch's analysis, because he understands that, throughout John, it is the Spirit that makes possible the witness of the apostles to revelation. The Spirit also supplies the 'internal witness' that, in turn, makes the embracing of revelation an option. The Spirit is part of the fourth evangelist's understanding of how the kerygma is received and affirmed (120-22, 143-45). H. Schlier, too, believes John's author holds that the truth of revelation is grasped and affirmed by person's only by means of the Spirit ('Heilige'). In a comparable manner, de La Potterie thinks that the Spirit is a necessary ingredient in the Johannine scheme of salvation. It is the Spirit who interprets the revelation which otherwise remains obscure and mysterious ('Paraclet' 96, and 'Parole et Esprit').
Pneumatology as a primarily function of the eschatology. Those who connect pneumatology with Johannine eschatology stress more the role it plays in the gospel's system of present eschatology. G. Locher argues that the Spirit makes the past as well as the future present for the believers (578). J. Blank maintains that Johannine realized eschatology is possible only because of a peculiar and strong view of the Spirit (Krisis 215)...
The attribution of the title, 'spirit of truth,' to the paraclete constitutes another problem. What did the fourth evangelist intend by this title? Boice understands that the title identifies the Spirit-Paraclete with God and Christ, as well as denoting the function of this figure as the one who delivers the truth to humans. Porsch thinks that the unity of word and Spirit enlightens the tile. 'The spirit of truth' is the forensic description of the word empowered by the Spirit. For Muller, the title gives expression to the peculiarly Johannine notion of the Spirit arising as it does from the dualism and christology of John's gospel. Locher contends that it is simply a functional designation for the work of the Spirit. The Spirit leads people from ignorance to truth.
About the function of the Spirit-Paraclete there is little significant disagreement. Most often it is said that the paraclete functions in two realms—among the disciples and in the world. In the first realm, the paraclete is the interpreter of the revelation in Christ and the one who enables persons to appropriate the revelation. De La Potterie speaks of this function as the 'interiorization and spiritualization' of the witness of Christ, and Schlier holds that the Spirit is the continuation of the revelatory work begun in Christ. In the second realm, Brown and De La Potterie understand the function in a negative way—the indictment of the opponents of Christ and the revelation. Schlier, however, suggests a more positive function for the Paraclete, namely, the illumination of the situation of the world and its alienation from its Creator."
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John: Charting the Fourth Gospel
Baylor University Press, 2005, pages 133-5
"The term pneumatology comes from two Greek words, namely, pneuma meaning 'wind,' 'breath,' or 'spirit' (used of the Holy Spirit) and logos meaning 'word,' 'matter,' or 'thing.' As it is used in Christian systematic theology, 'pneumatology' refers to the study of the biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Generally this includes such topics as the personality of the Spirit, the deity of the Spirit, and the work of the Spirit throughout Scripture."
Greg Herrick, Pneumatology: The Holy Spirit
(www.bible.org Web Jan. 6, 2012)
"While the origin of the English word soul is obscure, the word almost certainly had its origin in a word which meant 'breath' or 'wind' or 'ir', or something like that. The word spirit—generally a synonym for soul—comes from the Latin spiritus, and clearly meant 'breath' originally. Spiritual and respiratory both derive from the same root!
Moreover, if we check in the Greek and Hebrew bibles to see which words are translated as 'soul', etc., in the King James Version, we will find many whose literal meaning is 'breath' or 'wind'. For example, the Hebrew word neshamah (literally meaning 'breath') is twice rendered as 'spirit', once as 'soul'. The Hebrew-Aramaic word ruach (lit., 'wind') is rendered 240 times as 'spirit', six times as 'mind.' The word nephesh (lit., 'breath') is rendered 'soul' 428 times) 'mind' 15 times, 'ghost' twice, and 'life' 119 times. Turning to the Greek Bible, we find pneuma (lit., 'breath') rendered as 'ghost' 91 times (including the rendering 'Holy Ghost'), 292 times as 'spirit'. The reader will recognize the same root in the word pneumonia, a word referring to a disease of the organs of breath. And finally, in this somewhat pedantic parade of words, we may note the important word psyche. As expected, its literal meaning is 'breath.' As we might have guessed, it is rendered as 'soul' 58 times, 'mind' three times, and life' 40 times."
Frank R. Zindler, The Probing Mind, February 1985
Note; Throughout the Old Testament, the Hebrew word 'ruach' was used for the 'Holy Spirit' or 'Holy Ghost'. Ruach can mean wind, breath, spirit or mind. In Genesis, God 'breathed the breath of life into Adam'. In Aramaic, the language that Jesus (Yeshua) spoke, the Judeans had an equivalent word, pronounced 'Rukh'. In the New Testament Christian gospels, the Greek word 'pneuma' was used. 'Pneuma' also refers to 'wind', 'breath' or 'spirit'. This Greek root gives rise to modern usage of terms like 'pneumatic' (air-powered), 'pneumonia' (lung disease), and 'pneumatology' (study of spiritual or paranormal beings or activities).
"The pneumatological activity [Cool Breeze or Wind of Spirit] ... of the Paraclete ... may most helpfully be considered in terms of the salvific working of the hidden Spirit."- Michael Welker
"This self-effacing character of the Spirit's presence finds a kind of verbal reinforcement in scripture due to an ambiguity present in both Hebrew and Greek, where the words ruach and pneuma carry a semantic width that encompasses the range of English words: "Wind," "Breath," "spirit."In the Priestly account of creation, are we to translate Genesis 1:2b as saying that"The spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters"or would it be better rendered," a wind of God swept over the face of the waters"? When Jesus says to Nicodemus," The wind blows where it chooses and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8), the Greek of the Gospel contains a kind of theological pun in its double use of pneuma.
Taking seriously this veiled presence of the Spirit, expressed in the hidden character of pneumatological action, by no means implies a denial of more manifest activity also. The kind of bivalent working that Kathryn Tanner discusses in her chapter is surely just what one would expect of a divine Person, in contrast to the uniformity of action associated with a mere force such as gravity, unvarying in its characteristics...
According to this understanding, the sanctifying work of the Spirit is a continuing activity that awaits its final completion in the creation of the community of the redeemed, a consummation that will manifest fully only at the eschaton. Of the Persons of the Trinity, we can appropriate most specifically to the Spirit the title of deus absconditus, the hidden God.
We have acknowledged that a veiling of pneumatological activity is not the only thing to be said about the work of the Paraclete, yet recognition of a degree of reticence in the nature of the Spirit's presence does offer opportunities for the theological understanding of a number of puzzling aspects of the human encounter with divine reality. There is the important and pressing problem posed by the need to understand how the apparently clashing cognitive claims made by the different world faith traditions can be reconciled with the evident presence of authentic spiritual experience within all of them. I have suggested elsewhere that this phenomenon may most helpfully be considered in terms of the salvific working of the hidden Spirit."
Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit: pneumatology and Pentecostalism
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006, page 170-1
"The subject and the scope of this study are the role(s) of the Spirit-Paraclete in John 16:4b-15. The methodology applied is socio-rhetorical criticism as developed by Vernon K. Robbins. The fourth Gospel is called the 'spiritual Gospel.' Its pneumatic connotations are not only related to its presentation of Christ but also to its frequent references to the Spirit and its cognates. Jesus' Spirit-Paraclete teaching in his Farewell Discourse is a prominent example of this. Its pneumatological content is, however, problematic. This is demonstrated by the various attempts of Johannine scholars. In addition, methodologies, goals and the scope of these studies vary. It was observed that if scholars suggest a role for the Spirit-Paraclete, they usually use 'either-or' language, pointing out one role while excluding other possible roles from their conclusions or merely list explicitly mentioned functions of the Spirit-Paraclete. This study is a response to this present situation. It deals with the last two Spirit-Paraclete sayings of Jesus in his farewell address to determine the role(s) of the Spirit-Paraclete, applying the comprehensive reading model which has not been applied to this text before. The hypothesis was that if a more comprehensive methodology is applied to the narrative, a more comprehensive understanding of the text would be gained. We applied multidisciplinary socio-rhetorical criticism which takes into account narrative-rhetorical, intertextual, social-cultural, ideological and sacred aspects of the text while not neglecting contexts in which the story took place, was recorded and is interpreted. Findings were that the roles of the Spirit-Paraclete go beyond mere theological and spiritual significance to touch sociological and psychological aspects of human experience. Thus, the roles of the Spirit-Paraclete are multidimensional. These roles are also integrated with each other. Together they support and point to one major role of the Spirit-Paraclete, which does not, however, downplay [her] other roles. The central role of the Spirit-Paraclete in John 16:4b-15 is to be the divine presence who forms a performing community of the disciples called the people of the Spirit."
The role(s) of the Spirit-Paraclete in John 16:4b-15
Tuppurainen and Riku Pekka, UNISA, University of South Africa
COOL BREEZE (WIND) AND BEING BORN OF THE SPIRIT
Jesus and Nicodemus
1. Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;
2. this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."
3. Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
4. Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"
5. Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7. "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
8. "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
"Experience of the Spirit is of great importance to believers, and this is natural, if the Spirit is the source of new, eschatological life. However, experience of the Spirit must also take its place within a larger context. For every present encounter with the Spirit is one instant in a long history of pneumatic activity. Forgetting this point results in an overblown evaluation of the significance of experiences of the Spirit. It also results in those experiences losing much of their meaning. The Spirit encountered today is the same Spirit that spoke through the prophets, empowered Jesus and the apostles, and will someday bring about the complete transformation of all things. It is the eschatological Spirit. To experience the Spirit is to be drawn up into this pneumatic movement. Therefore, any experience of the Spirit must take its meaning from this larger historical context." (Beck 2007, 237)
Cool Breeze (Wind) experiences of those born of the Spirit
Judith Coney is a lecturer in the Department of Study of Religions at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She published her book in 1999 prior to this website and refrained from mentioning the eschatological significance of the "cool breeze" experiences felt by hundreds of thousands since the 1970's till date.
"The result, in all three settings [Royal Albert Hall, local meeting or private house], is that many people do feel a cool breeze. The coolness which is felt is usually associated with other sensations as well. Typically, the pupils of the eyes can be observed to dilate and the person will feel very relaxed and 'centred.' However, it is notable that, despite the very similar ways in which individuals 'get their realisation'—and even in the same setting—not everybody feels exactly the same thing. Sri Mataji teaches that the vibrations of kundalini can be felt as cool breeze on the palm of the hands and above the head. Sometimes breezes, in line with the teachings, are felt on the hands and head specifically. For others, the experience is more generalized:
The experience was extremely timeless, because I felt that it only lasted for about five minutes but somebody came behind me and said 'would you like a cup of tea' and I thought, 'this is silly, what's all this about tea?; But it turned out that it was about three quarters of an hour later. And I felt a strong cool breeze. I was actually told; you will probably feel some coolness or some nice feelings inside' but I felt coolness not just in my hands, where I was told it would be, but all over and I felt incredibly peaceful.
Generally, the feeling of coolness on 'realisation' seems to be discernible, but relatively weak. As with Kakar's description of his own 'realisation', many newcomers are left with the feeling that they felt something but they are not sure what:
Mataji grandly announced, 'He is realised' ... 'Sit in meditation for some time' she told me as I sat up. 'Do you feel a cool breeze on the top of your head and on your palms?' Indeed I did, though I could not distinguish the coolness due to kundalini from the gutsy breeze coming in from the sea. I felt well, though, calm and deeply relaxed. (Kakar 1984, 195-6)
A few, however, have an extremely strong experience. One such incident was described by one of the participating Sahaja Yogis:
He felt really cool, not just on his hands but all over. He said: 'This isn't a breeze, it's a wind'. We all felt it really strongly too. Then we picked up Mother's photograph and held it in front of him and he felt loads of vibrations coming from that. But I think the whole thing was so strong that it frightened him. He was very high and positive for two days, he brought us some flowers, and then he became wary and never came to [the ashram] again.
Others still, in contrast, do not feel much, if anything, on their first session. This lack of feeling on their part, however, may not be shared by the Sahaja Yogis 'working on them', who may remark enthusiastically about how cool the individual feels, and may also be at odds with the view of Sri Mataji herself. Here is the description of his initial contact with Sahaja Yoga by one such follower. He first went to a meeting at which Sri Mataji gave 'realisation' en masse, but felt nothing. Nevertheless, he was persuaded to go to a smaller workshop a few days later.
I really didn't feel anything there at all either but I was told by Mataji herself-she said 'Who hasn't felt it yet?' and I put my hand up with a few others. Mataji said 'Come forward' and then she said to me 'You've got it, you know'. And I said 'Have I?' and she said 'Yes, go through to that room and ask some Sahaja Yogis to work on you'. So that was my introduction to Sahaja Yoga.
It was only with repeated sessions that he developed the ability to feel a cool breeze. There are also those, a few, who may feel more calm, possibly as a result of sitting quietly for some time, but otherwise feel no different and never feel any sort of breeze. This is often explained by Sahaja Yogis as being because the chakras have been too badly damaged by negativity in the past (Rajasekharan and Venkatesan 1992, 98).
Kakar (1984, 208), a trained Freudian psychologist, having witnessed Sri Mataji's delivery of 'realisation' both en masse and on a one-to-one basis, concluded that much of this experience is built on suggestion and 'hypnotic induction':
Needless to add, because of the emotional pressures created in a group setting, the tendency to identify with the experience of other group members and the intense desire to please the leader, only a handful of people hold out against this mass suggestion. (ibid., 209)
Such a conclusion would undoubtedly be rejected by a Sahaja Yogi, convinced that they have experienced their Spirit through the grace of Sri Mataji. It is not within the remit of my present enquiry, however, to seek to establish the 'real cause' of a cool breeze felt by an individual, but to try chart the social dynamics involved. Just as Goodman commented, in relation to religious experience:
The religious practitioners argue for it, either because it is part of their dogma, or because, as they affirm, they have 'been there', they have experienced it. The hard scientists take the opposite position, again as a matter of conviction. As social scientists, our situation is a happier one: at least we can state that, without any doubt, the alternate reality is a social one. (Goodman 1988, 43)."
Judith Coney, Sahaja Yoga
RoutledgeCurzon, 1999, pp. 55-58
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