: profuse and often emotionally charged speech that mimics coherent speech but is usually unintelligible to the listener and that is uttered in some states of religious ecstasy and in some schizophrenic states
That's from Merriam-Webster on line. It pretty sums up the use of the word, but doesn't give much background. Here's the Wiki link:
for a more indepth discussion. Feel free to introduce me to any current literature on the subject.
The first time I Spoke In Tongues was at a townhouse apartment in Nashville, Tennessee back in my Messianic Jewish days...that's a subject for another discussion. I was in a rather bare upstairs bedroom and was told to pray for the gift of Tongues as my Controllers (Pardon my use of the term but I find no other word accurate when discussing Christians and their relationship with their 'priests' or 'pastors' or, worst of all, "ministers") laid hands on my head and prayed for me to received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
I prayed fervently...eyes so tight they bled tears, hands over my head, over and over for the Holy Spirit.
Let me make this point clear: nothing happened to me and nothing happens to anyone who prays and waits.
There is no magickal injection, no rush of ecstasy, no force from beyond yourself taking over your mind and mouth and causing you to spout out Tongues.
If you wait for a miracle...in spite of all the lies Christians tell in their literature...it will never come.
Eventually, when I was at my wits end with frustation and the certainty that somehow there was some evil in me that would not let me receive the Holy Spirit, my controllers sat down next to me, rubbing my back and consoling me, and explained:
"It is like this sometimes. People who ask God for the Holy Spirit always receive it, but you have to Make A Positive Confession...you have your rational mind in the way and it isn't letting the Tongues manifest."
"What can I do?" I asked, crying and upset and scared to death.
"You have to step around your mind, start talking baby-talk like you did when you hadn't yet learned a language...start babbling. Once you get your mouth moving, once you start making the noises, the Holy Spirit will come in to you and take over your babbling and change it into a true language...a Spirit language created for you and you alone to use when talking to and receiving messages from the Holy Spirit."
That was it. I started talking baby-talk, started babbling. And I kept it up...making Positive Confessions as I did. A Positive Confession is lying to yourself and others that a miracle has occured even though Satan still used your physical senses to argue against the idea. PCs are repeated to yourself when you begin to have doubt, but mostly they are used when speaking to others about your experiences.
Positive Confession is lying to people. Telling them that a miracle happened when all your sensory input is trying to tell you nothing happened.
Not to get into the whole story now, but I once had my vision healed. My eyesight without corrective lenses was 20/200...legally blind, I understand. But I had been prayed over by my Controller and God always answers our prayers even thought Satan can continue to try to 'steal our healing' by sending false information from our body to our eyes.
I took the Minnesota State Driving exam on two separate occasions. Each time I failed the vision test completely...was not even able to identify the top line with certainty...and still came out saying I had 20/20 vision because God had healed my eyesight.
How do you get to the point where you can not only lie to yourself, but lie to other people so easily?
Speaking In Tongues was first introduced into the Holiness churches. Holiness theology said there are two baptisms: the physical baptism in water of the flesh upon conversion and later a Baptism in Fire by the Holy Spirit. After this second baptism one became sinless, incapable of sinning. Any action you took...of any sort...theft, sodomy, rape, lying...after that wasn't a sin. The people who thought it was a sin only thought that way because they had not received the Holy Spirit Baptism and could not see the working of the Holy Spirit in actions that would appear, to the unitiated, to be sinful.
The problem faced by the Holiness Movement towards the end of the 19th and opening decade of the 20th centuries was there wasn't any way of pointing out when and to whom the Holy Spirit Baptism occured. This wasn't just a theological problem, it was a very practical problem. If a person claiming to have acheived Holiness sinned, should they be held accountable...how do you know if he wasn't just lying about his Holy Spirit Baptism of Fire? Worse yet, if you were the minister of a revival or a Holiness church, and someone came teaching things you didn't like, how could you silence them unless you could show their Baptism was false and they were not Holy but were still in sin?
Not to get in to the history of Holiness Pentecostalism, but the solution soon presented itself in the form of Tongues. Speaking in Tongues became the conversion moment separating those who had received Holy Spirit Baptism and were now Holy and those who had not.
When Speaking In Tongues busted out of the ghetto and the poor white trash holler trailer sorts during the late Fifties and Sixties and began calling itself the Charismatic Renewal the Holiness idea was soft-pedalled. It wasn't done away with altogether, mind you. Charismatics still claimed to have a direct line to God and all the various Gifts of the Spirit that made them superior to mere Christians.
It was this vanity that drove the Charismatic Movement and still does. The desire to be...and to be seen by others as...superior to other Christians wa always and is still the underlining motivation behind Charismatic/Pentecostalism.
As I was recovering from the abuse of the Movement...a process that is still going on today...I came to a theory. This was largely through the work of Flo Conway and Jim Sieglemen's book Snapping concerning rapid converstions but set in cult language. The idea is simple enough. The stronger the rational mind, the more resistance there is to irrationality. As the resistance builds...and if the person finds himself unable to break free of his Controllers...the strain, the stress becomes unbearable. You have to find a way of reconciling what you are being told...what you are being encouraged to believe and do...and the rational voice inside your head tell you "This is crazy."
Snapping is the term Conway and Siegleman came up with for what happens. You reach...are forced to poin...in which the rational mind snaps like a rubber band stretched too tightly. When the mind snaps then all the force you had put into resisting the foreign ideas snaps backward as well. It is the conversion syndrom writ large. What you once did not believe, you suddenly believe more stongly than anything you have ever believed in your life.
BTW, Conway and Siegleman had a bestseller with Snapping especially with the 'anti-cult' crowd, but their next book Holy Terror, dared to point out that Christianity used the same methodology in converting people, and led to their complete disavowal by Christianity.
Glossolalia is way of breaking down the rational mind. Rationality expresses itself in language. Yes, yes...I speak of Rationality rather than Science because one can be...most people are... Rational but not Scientists. The first steps...especially the Positive Confession claiming your voice is coming from the Holy Spirit when you know damned good and well that it is you, your mind that is causing those sounds...begins to build a wall in your mind. You have the rational mind on one side of this wall and God on the other. When events occur...begining with speaking in tongues and going on up to miracles that didn't happen and healings that left you no better...the Rational mind refuses to examine these things. The Rational Mind throws these things over the God Wall and doesn't not even begin to deal with them.
This is a Deliberate Dissassociative Event. A willed splitting, compartmentalization of the Mind.
More and more, the events in a person's life are declared demonic and thrown over the God wall. Soon, the rational mind atrophies to the point where it simply has nothing to do with the process at all.
The battle is not between Faith and Reason.
The battle is between Rationality and Madness.