This is Your Brain on the Holy Spirit

Often I feel a little robotic and awkward.  But sometimes I can break free.

I remember wanting to be a dancer as a small child.  I danced everywhere until I was about 7.  Then somewhere I got the idea (maybe from my grandmother who gave up dancing when she became a Christian?) that dancing was inappropriate for non-heathens.  My body grew rigid and tense.  As a preteen, I went with another church group to a Christian rock concert.  Everyone else was dancing or swaying.  I felt stiff and rusty.  I couldn’t move gracefully and people pointed out to me several times since that my dancing was likely to hurt someone.

Then in Mexico, I joined Pentecostal churches.  I learned to let go.  I could feel the Holy Spirit moving through me and suddenly I could dance!  But only in church.  Proof for me that this was the Holy Spirit.  I felt like I had a different body (graceful) and a different brain (quiet) while I ‘let go’ and ‘let god’ move through me.  But it happened with other things too, not church related.

I almost always feel this way when I play sports, now that I’m not around my highschool sexist slut-shaming gym teacher.  Its how I am able to enjoy sex.   I feel this way sometimes when I paint.  My front brain fades and I zone into emotions, colours and shapes and when I wake up, I’m looking at something completely different than my usual style.

This is exactly how I learned to speak in tongues.  My first attempts to speak in the unknown languages were unsuccessful until I learned to shut down most of my brain.  I had to forcibly suppress thought and fade my frontal cortex into nothingness.   Apparently, I am not the only one to notice this downregulating of prefrontal cortex brain activity:

” Newberg, the director for the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, discovered that activity the frontal lobes decreased, including activity in the brain’s primary language processing centers: “Our finding of decreased activity in the frontal lobes during the practice of speaking in tongues is fascinating because these subjects truly believe that the spirit of God is moving through them and controlling them to speak. Our brain imaging research shows us that these subjects are not in control of the usual language centers during this activity, which is consistent with their description of a lack of intentional control while speaking in tongues.” ” http://brainblogger.com/2010/02/07/speaking-in-tongues-a-neural-snapshot/

That is my Holy Spirit- shutting down my rational brain and letting my limbic system take over.

btw- sometimes I still speak in tongues if I’m nervous about something.  Its one of many tricks I have of entering the ‘nothing box’ of not constantly thinking.

3 thoughts on “This is Your Brain on the Holy Spirit

  1. Donna says:

    Glad you’ve learned to convert the experience into something therapeutic!

  2. TWF says:

    That’s pretty cool that you have managed to use tongues as a tool. 🙂 Sounds like it’s a shortcut to a type of meditation.

  3. prairienymph says:

    Apparently ‘real’ meditation (like that practiced by Buddhists) does something different to the brain than speaking in tongues. Mostly I speak in tongues as a way to laugh at myself. Its still amusing.

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