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54Pentecostalism and Shamanism in Asia and Beyond An Inter-disciplinary AnalysisAlena Govorounova“To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.”Isaac Newton, Third Law of Motion, Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica“The unlike is joined together, and from differences results the most beautiful harmony, and all things take place by strife.” Heraclitus of Ephesus, On NatureErich Neumann suggests in The Origins and History of Con-sciousnessthat human consciousness is subjected to the constant process of centroversion and differentiation (Neumann 1973, 261). This tendency of human thought—to constantly strive toward polarities and reorganize itself again as a holistic mode—seems to pertain to all layers of human cog-nitive architecture, from archetypal pre-reflective self-awareness to highly analytical interpretative supra-consciousness. It is reflected in the evolution of cultures and civilizations and it seems to be the driving force behind his-*Alena Govorounova is a Research Associate at the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture. The quotations from the Bible are from the niv (New International Version, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984).
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alena govorounova| 55torical changes in the intellectual climate and scientific paradigm shifts (see Kuhn 1962). As Friedrich Nietzsche (1999 [1888]; 1966 [1886]) once ironi-cally observed, we are doomed to think in opposites and controversies, we are trapped in categorical dualisms of “good and evil,” we are conditioned by contrast-based human language, where each unit of meaning is defined against what it is not. We are carried away in the endless play of différance1in search for identity and meaning and we need the Other to define who we are. We conceptualize reality in binary oppositions2of self/other, subject/object, center/margins; we are cognitively wired to centralize certain ele-ments of the system and marginalize others. Binary oppositions are categor-ically inseparable, for there is no self without other and no center without margins. However, as Nietzsche shrewdly warned us, dualisms are poten-tially reversible, essentially unsteady and easily alterable.3Once we reaffirm the intrinsic value of the previously marginalized ideas, movements, and social groups, they start gravitating towards the center, undermine the sig-nificance of the previously centralized elements, and establish new power relations and regimes of truth;4history repeats itself. The perpetual process of centroversion and differentiation is traceable in the evolution of religions and spiritual traditions. Religious consciousness is subjected to the same cognitive mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion, cen-tralizing and decentralizing. Religious doctrines and canons are constantly shrinking or expanding, overlapping and dissociating; religious “truths” are bouncing off one another in the quest for meaning and authentication. The 1.
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