I often wonder whether all the yogis who have achieved such an extraordinary degree of control over their physical bodies take as much care of the spiritual dimension.
Do they work at controlling their feelings? Sometimes they cannot even find their way about in their own inner life. The physical body is important, to be sure; without it we could achieve nothing on this earth, but in my opinion we are doing all we need to do for the physical body by being vegetarians, doing the few exercises of breathing and gymnastics that you all know, and living a pure, well-balanced life.
First learn to breathe, love, think and act correctly – science will come later
The thing that matters most is to know the spiritual laws and apply them by living as we should, to have a genuine understanding of the universe, the hierarchies and human beings, and to attain perfect mastery of oneself.
Before you go off and experiment with all kinds of dangerous knowledge, you must begin by learning to nourish yourself properly, by learning to breathe and love and think and act. Science will come to you later and, when it comes, it will be immense, infinite. The thing that matters most is to know how to live properly so as to become stronger.
An illustration – the man whose floor collapsed from all his books
Unfortunately, many human beings prefer to collect masses of useless information. They are like the man who had such a passion for books that he had a special coat made with huge pockets and he would go out and buy all the books he could and bring them home in his pockets.
He piled up all these books in his one little room until one fine day the floor gave way and collapsed onto the head of the man below. You see, the poor fellow had spent his life studying but there was one thing he had neglected to study and that was how many tons of books his floor would hold before it collapsed.
First reinforce the floor
This happens very often: people spend years amassing information and then the floor collapses. What do I mean by the floor? The nervous system. Yes, this is something people forget about; they think that it will take any amount of strain, but it won’t.
Not unless you reinforce it. If it is properly reinforced you can pile up all the books you want. So now you understand why I tell you that you must begin by learning to eat properly, to breathe properly, to sleep and behave properly: these things are the ‘floor’.
An illustration from nature – a marrow
Once it is really strong you can pile the whole universe on it without causing it to collapse. If you want an example in nature, look at a melon or a vegetable marrow and you will understand this law of consolidation. If you see a marrow hanging on the vine, you will see that its stem, which begins by being very slender and fragile, becomes gradually thicker and tougher until it can bear the weight of a huge fruit without breaking.
But many people, instead of reinforcing their nervous system, spend their time piling up heavy burdens until eventually everything breaks down and collapses within them.
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
Sèvres, 17 January, 1971
Complete Works, Volume 17, Know Thyself – Jnana Yoga Volume 1
Chapter 8, The Higher Self