‘Life on earth begins and ends with a breath. It is worth taking the time to reflect on the function of respiration, to realize that it is at the root of life and also to practice it so that it may do its work more efficiently.
One way of reaching a better understanding of the phenomenon of respiration is to compare it to the process of nutrition. What do you do when you eat? Before sending your food down to the stomach to be digested, you chew it. If you swallow it without chewing it sufficiently your organism cannot assimilate it completely. This why it is recommended to chew your food for a long time, until it is almost liquid and disappears in your mouth.
You should also not leave the table feeling completely satisfied; it is better to have a slight sensation of hunger. Why? So as to leave some work for the etheric body to do. Your etheric body is motivated to look for other, more subtle nourishment on a higher level and in a few moments, not only will you no longer feel hungry, but you will feel full of new energy, both physical and psychic.
But let’s get back to the analogies between nutrition and respiration. The two processes are governed by the same laws. Just as it is bad to swallow your food without chewing it, it is bad, also, to breathe so rapidly that the air does not have time to expand your lungs and fill them right down to the bottom. Why? In order to ‘chew’ it. Yes, your lungs are capable of ‘chewing’ air, just as your mouth chews food.
Deep breathing is a magnificent exercise which you should practise regularly, for it renews one’s energies. If you don’t send the air down to the bottom of your lungs, you can only extract the coarsest, least subtle particles from it. The function of the upper lobes is quite different from that of the lower lobes. Science will discover all these things in the future. The way in which the cells in the lower part of the lungs absorb air is different from the way of those in the upper parts.
If you want to get the greatest possible benefit from the air you breathe you have to compress it and hold it in your lungs. While your lungs are holding the air under compression, it is prevented from escaping and is forced to circulate through the tiny channels that nature opens for it. Until the air has given up all its blessings we must not let it go. This is the secret of all plenitude.
Similarly, when you attend the sunrise in the morning. The sun pours tremendous quantities of energy into nature for the benefit of the creatures that absorb it, and this energy is present in the air in a form that Hindus call prâna. The best time of day in which to absorb the subtlest and most powerful element from the prâna is in the few minutes just before the sun rises. This is when it is present in greatest abundance. So, go and watch the sun rising: it is so soft and gentle… one feels almost as though one could drink it and it is only with the greatest effort that one can tear oneself away: it hurts to have to leave it and go back to one’s everyday activities!
Our role is not to condense or materialize energy; it is already sufficiently condensed. Our role is, rather, to set it free, to release it. The great Initiates, who know this law of the disintegration of matter, are capable of disintegrating a few thousandths of a milligram of the matter of their brain and, with the resulting energy, of working miracles. They effect this disintegration by means of thought; it is a secret that has been in their possession for thousands of years. They apply the principles of nuclear fission to their own brain which consists of a type of matter that contains inexhaustible wealth…’
To be continued…