"The pneumatological activity [Cool Breeze or Wind] ... of the Paraclete ... may most helpfully be considered in terms of the salvific working of the hidden Spirit."
"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) 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
"This all-pervading power is the power of divine love. It thinks, it organises, it plans, it loves. It is the one which is the subtle of the ether, you can call it. It is the subtle of the matter. It is the subtle of your emotions. It is the subtle of your mental power. It is the subtle of your evolutionary power. But all integrated and coordinated in complete synchronisation. So efficient it is that you are amazed how it works.
Now you see these flowers, how beautiful they are. And they appear on the trees or on the shrubs where they are supposed to be... At the right time these flowers become the fruits. A mango tree will give you a mango; an apple tree gives you an apple. Who does this choice? Is this great power which is all-pervading.
But we have never felt its existence. We have taken it for granted that it exists and we don't want to know about it. We don't want to know why we have become human beings from amoeba. What is the purpose of this life? Why nature has taken so much trouble to make us human beings? There must be some purpose for it. We never think of the purpose and we lead a purposeless life. We are not here to just live like animals.
But we have to do something much more because why should we have this human body and this human awareness? This human awareness, when it reaches a state where it starts thinking why are we here, that time you become a seeker. But you have to know that you have to become the Spirit, which is a collective being within ourselves."
Founex, Switzerland—June 11, 1985
"Global unity of mankind can be achieved through this awakening that can occur within each human being, so that transformation takes place within us. By this process a person becomes moral, united, integrated and balanced. One actually gets the experience of the feeling of the all-pervading divine power as cool breeze (pneuma). 'Know thyself' is the main theme of all the scriptures. It becomes evident and one reaches the absolute understanding of oneself. Thus one becomes peaceful and joyous in life. One becomes collective as a drop falling into the ocean of compassion... Moreover, it is the last breakthrough of our evolution. This is the actualization of such transformation, which is taking place now, worldwide, and has been proved and experienced by hundreds of thousands in over 85 countries."
"The Cool Breeze coming out of your head, that's called as Chaitanya Lahari, that's called Cool Breeze of the Holy Ghost. When John the Baptist talked about baptism, he meant this. He didn't mean the way we do baptism, to just call somebody, put some water on the head, and say 'Oh, you're baptized. That's just a drama. Baptism is a living process."
Truth to be Achieved, Brighton, U.K.—7 October 1982
"When discussing eschatology, Moltmann never considers Christ as the agent for the fulfillment of the future, but rather the Spirit. It is the Spirit who brings about the kingdom of God as a historical reality." (Varkey 2011 Kindle 4742)
"Pannenberg argues that the New Testament statements about the Spirit and its work should be understood in the light of the Jewish view. In the Jewish understanding, ruah is described as a mysteriously invisible natural force which declares itself especially in the movement of the wind. This is the background of the statement in John that the pneuma is like the wind that blows where it wills, and we hear its sound but do not know where it comes and where it goes." (Varkey 2011 Kindle 12550)
"The Cool Breeze is all around us and we can start feeling in our hands when the Kundalini emerges from the top of the head if our Vishuddhi is alright. This is what Christ meant by 'to be born again' and not just to call some people and say 'Alright, now we have some baptism.'"
We don't have to suffer, Bedford, U.K.—8 October 1982
"The experience of the divine Spirit as an energy and vital power goes back to the Hebrew ruach concept. This experience of the Spirit does not release those who are touched by it from this earth and their own earthly bodies, so that their souls can soar into the realms of spirits. It fills them with a new vitality entirely and wholly, body and soul. We sense in ourselves the personal dynamic given to us, and then perceive it in everything else that lives." (Moltmann 2014 Kindle Locations 3647)
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