PRELIMINARY - FIRST READING
As we are existing in a sense world, depending upon the condition of the senses for our knowledge of the objective, it is perfectly proper that we exercise the power of our senses to the degree most beneficial for our welfare. And it is here on this sense plane that we find that if one or more of our senses are defective in any degree in the execution of their various offices, we lack the comprehension of things dependent upon them. It is very important, for this reason, that we correct all such defects, and it lies within our power to do so.
We hold that man has twelve senses, seven of which—Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, Touching, Feeling, and Intuition—are commonly known. The five intermediate senses —Transmission of Ideas, Telepathy, Spiritual Discernment, Clear-sight, and Realization—are less known, although we often come in contact with same one who enjoys the development, to a certain degree, of one or more of these higher senses, which we sometimes mistake for an extraordinary or supernatural gift, when in reality it is only the cropping out of a sense yet little understood. The perfection of a being, or its instrument, necessarily depends upon the degree of the evolution of the twelve senses. The development thereof depends directly upon,
- The accumulation of-Ga-Llama, the centralizing life principle.
- The capacity or power of Breath.
- The generation of electric force through the expanded action of the ganglia of the nervous system.
- The regulation of the circulation of the blood through the perfect action of the lungs.
- The rhythmical distribution of the blood throughout the body by the heart.
- The equalized development of the brain cells.
- The awakening of thought power through the shusumna, or the spinal cord.
- The expansion of magnetic circles through the vibratory actions of the sympathetic nerve centers or kundalini.
- The perfect assimilation of food after thorough digestion.
- The purification of the body through its own action.
- The generation of life fluids through the life-preserving functions.
- The conservation of energies, and the consciousness of the ALL in existence.
While taking into consideration all the important points regarding this sublime and wonderful study of the Breath, we shall also take up means whereby we can be aided in the establishment of perfect conditions in our bodily functions so as to enjoy life to its fullest extent. Every system has its methods for enabling its adherents to gain the greatest possible results, and in the Mazdaznan Philosophy we are taught certain postures as a means to an end. These rules and regulations are not the productions of modern times, and so do not necessitate experiment. They have been tested and tried in all ages, by kindred peoples, under various conditions, in all zones, and have proved by their results all for which they are intended. These exercises are a means to an end, the same as the knife and fork we use when partaking of our food. Breathings, and the positions in which we take them, serve as a means of gaining bliss unutterable. He who already enjoys a certain degree of light gets more light, and he who lacks knowledge comes to an understanding of the truth.
We ask of our friends and students nothing, no sacrifice, no humiliation—only resolution. This resolution must possess concentration upon the work before you, and the more you concentrate with determination of mind, faithful in the observation of the instructions given, religiously adhering to the duties involved, the more benefit you will receive, and the greater will be the gain resulting from these concentration exercises—greater than you at first anticipated.
When weary and tired from the worry and troubles of a burdened existence, you throw your body into a state of relaxation and breathe out, "My God, I am tired of this world and its burdens," and with the next indrawn breath you drink in a volume of sweet air, gently sighing, "I am All in All," you immediately feel relief in your fainting heart. Hope is renewed—you feel once more revived, restored to a nobler consciousness of your being. Again you have strength to take up the battle of life, and the longer you breathe in this state of relaxation, the more you feel that after all life is worth living. No doubt you have experienced this for yourself at various times.
There are times when we feel like giving up, and then again times when we feel encouraged, and this encouragement is due to the inspiration received while in a state of relaxation, although we have not been conscious of it. Nature, itself, puts us into that condition, otherwise we could not keep up with our experiences. If we are giving out, we must also take in, to replenish the fountains of life. The man who keeps cool and remains self-centered, whatever may befall him, is the man who naturally breathes fuller, deeper, more rhythmically, regularly. It comes natural to him, because he was conceived under more favorable Breath currents, although the mother was unconscious of it. The man who breathes rapidly loses his head, as it were, and is under a constant tension, fails in the pursuits of life, constantly finds fault with the conditions and environments of the times, not stopping for a moment to realize that man is the creator of his own success or failure.
If your breathing capacity is very small and your ailments many, you must remember that it will be necessary for you to pay more attention to fuller breathing, besides doing the exercises given in this course, as the exercises are a means to an end for the attainment of higher developments. When it pains you to take long, full breaths, you prove thereby the lack of lung development, and you will have to make it a point to breath more fully oftener during the day, and even such physical breathing cannot be done properly unless you allow your body to be perfectly free from all pressure. The garments must be loose, very loose, so that the chest and diaphragm can expand easily to their utmost, while the abdomen inflates of its own accord. Use no effort, no strain. Breathe out first, then breathe in fully and regularly as you feel able to do so. Breathe when walking or sitting, whenyou eat or drink, when you work or play—breathe, breathe, breathe. The more you breathe, the better for your physical conditions, the sooner you will normalize the circulation of the blood, and the more thorough will be its oxygenation. You will purify the blood and give the system an opportunity of bringing into action, organs with farther-reaching powers, thus removing effete matter and sluggish conditions, and the continuation of a proper and deeper breathing will remove all distressing feelings. Be persistent; take a few minutes of ordinary breathing at least every hour of the day and thus gradually accustom your system to deeper inhalations. Muscular chest expansion alone does not prove large Breath capacity. The freedom and ease with which Breath is taken insures its depth.
Physical culture without the observation of proper breathing during the various motions and positions is of no material value, for although you develop certain muscles, which development is done at the expense of other portions of the body, it is necessary that you continue these physical exercises, or the body will drop back again into its former condition. The same is true of massage. Unless you keep it up, the results are not permanent. Continuous breathing will not only keep the blood in proper circulation, but will also act upon the muscles by means of the nervous system, upon which the strength of the muscles depends, and will keep them in their proper places, ready with the required power for intended actions and results. The athlete, in spite of all his muscular development, has complicated organic troubles, and is neither the brainiest nor the best example of endurance. It is not the strength of muscles alone that raises weights and performs feats of endurance, but the life force that has been imparted to them through the power of Breath. The trouble in this world lies not in the world itself, in its objective existence, but in us as we in our own fancies create and perpetuate its reflex-existence.
We love to flee to the mountains because of the freer action with which we unite our forces with those of mother nature, which draws us alluringly to her bosom. We love to wander by the river side, there in perfect solitude to draw into our starving nature the sweet breezes of life-giving air currents. We love to stand by the seashore and gaze over the calm or troubled waters of the deep, and enjoy the playing of the winds about us. And how deeply we breathe this refreshingair, as if it were the best of sparkling wine! But it is not necessary for us to wander far and wide to find this wonderful restorer. The same power is in our immediate vicinity, if we but know how to attract it to us. It is to this end that the call of the Blessed One becomes more intelligent to our ears: "Come and take of this water of life freely, and he who heareth, come." Why linger, why stay? That which thou seekest is near thee. The golden age of which poets sing is NOW. The paradise of which prophets spoke is here. The mysteries of life that puzzled philosophers in all the ages past are solved. The kingdom of peace and joy, where sickness, sin, sorrow, poverty, inharmony, separation, and war, are meaningless, that kingdom for which saviors have bled and died, has at last been realized. You are not even to believe this, for belief alone will drag you down to the depths of perdition. The consciousness of life, and the realization and solution of the problem of life which gives life eternal, depends upon knowledge, and "This is life eternal, to KNOW God."
This subject of Breath is too serious, too important, to be treated superficially. We shall make it our object to define every step thereof in a manner comprehensive even to a child, for a study is of no consequence unless it can be made plain. Then why waste time in the learning of definitions and tasks when the understanding of the problem of life is dependent upon the development of one's own comprehensive powers or abilities?
A perfectly tuned musical instrument will send forth perfect tones. The operator may not understand the multiplicity of the tones or the number required to make the music harmonious, but if the keys themselves are properly tuned he can always learn to operate them—some sooner than others— but they all will learn. The melodies are all in the operator, as the sounds are all in the instrument, and if both can be united into harmonious action, the result will be perfect, divine. There is but one harmony, as there is but one sound. All tones emerge from, and merge into, the basic sound. Harmony is music, yet music may not all be harmonious. The instrument may be perfect, and hold all that constitutes all variations of sound or tone, but if one or two of the keys are out of tune or do not possess the tone for which they have been designed, the melodies expressed upon that instrument by the operator will be inharmonious. What must be done, then? Blame the operator, the melodies, compositions, improvises, the manufacturer or maker of the instrument, or the material of which the instrument is composed? Certainly not. Just tune up the keys, and all will be well.
There are things we can intrust to others. There are those who can do certain things with as much accuracy as if we did them ourselves. There is one thing we cannot intrust to the care of others, and that is the Temple of The Living God. A good Baby Grand piano may be purchased for fifteen hundred dollars, an AEolian for 'twenty-five hundred dollars, and when you are tired of either you can exchange them for something else or buy another. The money required for such luxuries may be obtained by work, and work may be had by creating it. This instrument of ours was not made by hands, and in case it is inharmonious in action, cannot be adjusted or repaired by man with his limited knowledge. God alone has the wisdom and power to do all things, and that God is individualized in you. There is no teacher great enough to advise us, no instructor experienced enough to guide us, no physician learned enough to aid us.
This instrument of ours, this body, is the most complicated and most delicate of mechanisms, and no one can be intrusted with it but the one to whom it belongs. Since it is your body, it is for you to become acquainted with its operations. Anatomy, the geography of the body, gives no knowledge of the body other than the terms by which to designate the parts. The study of science will not put your body aright. It must be tuned up by yourself, that harmony may be expressed through it. But how? What is to be done? Breathe. Breathe into your being that which constitutes life. Breathe Ga-Llama, the centralizing life principle which is the essence of your being, the principle in which you live, move and have your existence.
Ga-Llama, the inspiration of sages, adepts, philosophers, saviors!
Ga-Llama, the invigorator, inspirer, promulgator, restorer, redeemer!
Ga-Llama, which opens the portals of the mind and sends forth the light of wisdom which gives life eternal.
With every indrawn breath, be conscious of yourself, of Ga-Llama which builds up the tissues of a collective existence. It is within you basically; around you externally. Thoughtlessly you breathe it out into the universe; thoughtfully you draw it into the individual. This water of life is the Breath, the spirit, the essence of life, without which there is no knowledge of your being or existence. To enable you to partake of Ga-Llama, you must necessarily attract it unto you as you would attract God if you desire to be in His presence. Without this innermost desire to attract it, you never receive it, although it is ever near, and you have the basic principle of the same within the bosom of your being. You are unconscious of it because you are not recognizing its presence. You know and feel its presence only when you concentrate upon it and feel the desire of attaining it. You have felt its magic touch faintly in the past, but know not perhaps whence it came, nor what it meant.
The comprehension of all things, whether they be of a religious nature, philosophic, scientific, or otherwise, depends upon the understanding or the degree of development of brain functions, which reveals a sense condition correspondingly. The first thing you owe to yourself is to tune up the instrument, the body, by such means as will insure immediate results beneficial to your being.
Before we take up exercises as taught by the Mazdaznan system for the attainment of higher attributes corresponding with the Supreme in Space, Time and Causation, or the Zarvan Akarana of the philosophy, we must learn to pay some attention to our material breath or breathing, regulating the same to the degree necessary to normalize the condition of the blood.
If suffering from colds, catarrh, lung affections, general debility and nervousness, take a cold water sponge bath or a wet towel rub every morning, all over the body. Then take a large bath towel and dry the skin thoroughly, allowing no moisture to remain on the skin. Rub quickly and vigorously and then finish rubbing the skin with your own hands, until the skin feels smooth, velvety and oily. Dress your feet with silk, fine linen or very fine muslin cloths and then put your stockings on over them. Before expanding the lungs, go out in the early morning or ventilate your room thoroughly, always remembering that even during the cold season you are to keep your bed-room window partly open, but your bed placed so that no draught strikes your body. Stand perfectly erect, with head thrown well back, the chest raised and thrown for jrard, while the shoulder blades are held back and down, with hands open as if ready to grasp objects too lowfor them to reach. Keep the muscles of the face perfectly relaxed and your mouth closed.
Inhale the air through the nostrils only. Inhale as long as you possibly can, but without effort, or any strain on any part of the body. When feeling any distress in the sides or the chest, itself, remember that it is the result of insufficient relaxation. Just correct the position of your chest and set the spinal column more erect, its weight resting on the end of the column, with knees a trifle bent. After having filled the lungs to their utmost capacity, raise up your arms in a circular motion, and as high up as you can with ease, at the same time move your tongue as if masticating, smack your lips, and swallow the saliva which has accumulated in the mouth. Just before exhaling, bring your arms down and, throwing them behind, begin to exhale slowly. Empty your lungs as much as possible and repeat this exercise seven or more times. Once having gone through this exercise perfectly, you will gladly make it a point to follow it regularly, for the benefits derived from it will be beyond even your most sanguine expectations.
Try to avoid the eating of breakfast. If needs be, eat a little fruit or drink some Barley Wisdom or any grain drink that you happen to like, although you are to get rid of the disease called appetite as quickly as possible if you desire to get and keep well. First work for several hours before eating anything and you will be the better for it. Make it a point to become busy as soon as you arise and do not sit down to rest until you have been on your feet for at least two hours, and after having been busily engaged here and there in pursuits exercising the body. Always keep busy doing something. Let your work be of use, irrespective as to its financial results or personal gain. When not engaged in manual labor, attend to the cultivation of the mind. Take walks in the open air and keep your eyes and ears open to everything with which your senses come in contact. Weigh, everything coming under your observation carefully and thoughtfully. Do not jump at conclusions, but think, reflect and become wise. Above all things, do not allow yourself to be given to criticism or to criticise, as all such symptoms are the effects of a deep-rooted disease. Never enter into controversy, whatever the nature of the subject, whether economic, political, philosophic, scientific, social or religious. Inviting discussion or to be carried away by it shows a drifting condition and aposition of uncertainty, resulting in disaster and untold troubles to mind, body, soul and spirit. Remain self-centered, and endeavor to have a happy feeling and a cheerful disposition by singing or humming a tune or whistling some melody which you like.
While at work keep your mind upon the thing before you and do not allow your mind to drift about. Keep your attention concentrated. Put into your work the noblest, purest and best ideas, thereby reflecting upon yourself what is your just reward. However busily engaged, stop for a few moments out of every hour to empty your lungs and to take a few well-drawn breaths. It will help you on your way, and place your organs in a position for better action. However impure the air itself may be, do not forget that as long as you will direct your organic action you will be able to even convert the stagnant air to health fulness, as action itself plays the more important part in breathing, all else being additional, yet secondary. We shall in this wise gradually perceive the need of more rhythmic breathing and take up Breath Culture more seriously, thereby entering a field which unfolds to us a realm of thought heretofore entirely unknown to our minds and yet within our beings, merely awaiting its opportunities to unfold. We are now ready to take up our first exercise with the object in view of establishing the Individual Breath.
Yet before taking up the exercise proper, it will be well to state that the work is not to be likened to what is called physical culture, although the latter has taken from it certain positions and material, but lacks the most important part of it all—concentration and the application of Breath power corresponding with the position taken. Physical culture is good in its own place, and would that you all were placed in a position where you could exercise your unused muscles with a good saw over a block of wood for a few hours each day. Sickness would not then be known among those loaded down with riches. Physical culture is for that unfortunate class of people. Athletics are good for those whose occupations are confining, and who have not sufficient opportunity of moving about. But something more is needed to cover the whole ground, whereby all may receive equal benefits from the performing of this work. You are to breathe, and concentrate upon Breath, thus keeping your mind functions steadied.
It has been stated that you have twelve senses, and thatupon the degree to which these senses are developed, your knowledge depends. The sense of sight plays a very important part in the formation of ideas and judgment. According to the appearance of a thing to the sense of vision, you arrive at conclusions. It is but reasonable to presume that a defective sight is lacking in its comprehension of things objective to the degree of sight lacking.
"Clearsight" is your invocation, that you may see clearly, is your prayer. Not a prayer of words, but of action through the promptings of the spirit. This exercise then is to perfect the sense of sight so as to enable you to discern truth from error, light from darkness, wealth from poverty. Perhaps, you think you can discern the latter, although you may not the former. Don't allow unbalanced brain functions to get the better erf you. It is a matter of false conception, misconstruction, wrong imagination, illusion, that the one rolling in wealth is the one to be envied. It is misery to him, he is a slave to it, he is the poorest of the poor. But this shall be shown more fully later on. As you get clearer sight, you will know it all for yourselves. Now to work, for time is precious, and life in form existence is short, even at four hundred and seventy-five years, which is the promise to all living within this cycle, which is the shortest one of all, because of its rapidity in action, it being the day of judgment, and were it not for the mercy of the Hidden One in all things that Time has been shortened, existence of manifestation would cease to perpetuate.
Wonderful things are to be told you, things that will set to marveling even the wisest, who, according to the scriptures, will be made fools through their own folly, while those who keep apace with Time shall be wise, for unto them all things will be made plain through their own acquired ability, because they choose to follow when they hear the Voice (the basic principle of sound), which is the manifestation of their being.
Take a seat upon a chair, with feet resting firmly upon the floor. Sit as far back in the chair as your body will allow without your shoulders touching the back of the chair. Throw out your chest, raising it just a trifle, at the same time drawing in the abdominal region. Shoulders are thrown gently back and drooping just a little; hands resting upon lower limbs, elbows touching the hip bone, thumbs thrown out in form of a V, fingers drawn out without directly touching each other. Feet are separated, toes about five to seven inches apart, heels only one or two inches, thus forming the letter V.
Lips are closed, teeth separated, tongue resting upon lower part of mouth, tip of tongue touching lower teeth and gently curved under, and perfectly flattened and relaxed. Chin is drawn in sufficiently to show an independent air. The whole position is perfectly erect, with all the muscles relaxed, but spinal column firm. The position must be so taken that the back of the body is always turned toward the light.
Select some object of a dull nature which will have no tendency to suggest or induce drifting thought currents. A penny may be chosen if desired. Place the object four to seven feet from you in a position level with your eyes. Look at it steadily, but do not allow the eyelids to droop. In this position you will notice that ideas of a drifting nature no longer have a hold upon your mind, and you are in the right position to concentrate, as the whole secret of success in the un-foldment of knowledge lies in the ability to concentrate. If the chair proves too high, place a book under the feet that they may be raised to the desired position. If the chair proves too low, place a book on the seat of the chair and sit upon it. As soon as correct position is determined, everything is in readiness to proceed.
Empty the lungs, first by exhaling all the air you possibly can with perfect ease, but use no effort or strain. Everything in this work is to be done easily, gracefully and with perfect tranquillity. Now inhale through the nostrils only, slowly, gently, fully, and with perfect rhythm for seven seconds. Begin by filling the upper lobes of the lungs as much as the position taken will allow naturally and without effort, then the remainder of the respiratory organs even to the utmost. In the exhalation observe the same rule, controlling the action of the lungs so as to prevent spasms, unevenness, or rapidity—all must be done in perfect waves and circles.
While inhaling this Breath of life, with eyes steadily centered upon the object before you, concentrate your mind functions upon the Breath itself, following the current of Breath mentally as it enters the nostrils, along the air tubes into the lungs, and as it expands the chest and diaphragmatic region. Then as you exhale follow the reverse current.
During this process of breathing think of Ga-Llama, the centralizing life principle, convinced in your own mind that it is for the purpose of building up cellular tissues throughout the entire system, thereby insuring a foundation for the regenerative or child life. Breathe with the knowledge that Breath is the life principle, and that the object of breathing is to reach perfect consciousness. The exercise alone without the concentration, will only partly do the work, and the result will be according. The concentration without the exercise will only assure mental gratification for the time being, but will not produce anything of a lasting nature.
To be clear upon this subject before entering upon the execution of the exercise given, it will be well to understand that breathing is for the purpose of keeping the blood in circulation. The office of the heart is simply to distribute the blood, but its purification and circulation is left to the action of the lungs. The physical breath simply retains the oxygen necessary for the purification of the blood, thus relieving it of carbon and aiding in the furtherance of circulation. When the body, the physical manifestation, meets with any obstacles, it is principally because of the inactivity of the respiratory organs, and breathing must be resorted to as the only true means of relief.
In systematic, concentrated breathing, you not only breathe in oxygen for the purification and furtherance of the circulation of the blood, but you also take into your being Ga-Llama, the centralizing life principle, although unconscious of it because of the inability to discover its presence by the aid of any instrument. Like the atomic theory, which has never been proved, Ga-Llama serves as a term to explain the inexplicable. Yet Ga-Llama is a reality, because its existence can be proved by mental perception, spiritual understanding and the senses.
Ga-Llama is not a new term. It has been used to designate the life principle as discovered by the ancients as far back as 142,000 years ago, and more. It has been recognized that there is a principle by which can be established the consciousness of sense conditions whereby the hidden, the unknown, the incomprehensible, the mysterious, the marvelous, the wonderful, can be made known and simplified to the senses when brought down to this plane.
Ga-Llama is not the Logos of the Greek, or the spirit of the modern philosopher. This Ga-Llama is the very foundation of your existence, and fills all Zarvan Akarana. You breathe it, yet in your inability to understand and comprehend its presence, you may not always keep it, but lose it, because of the rapidity with which it is partaken, and when lacking the power of attraction. As soon as you become conscious of it and feel the desire to draw it unto you, you become filled with it, and through its accumulating presence get into harmony with the universe which unfolds your individuality to infinity. With every indrawn breath you take on new life. With every expiration you return that force to the universe, that you may pay a tribute of thanks to the Eternal One.
As you follow out these instructions you will more fully understand why at present you possess only the Mother Breath, which Breath, being limited, decrees the time of earth life in accordance with the capacity of Breath entertained by the mother at time of conception. Thus it is that a person apparently in perfect health may be called to Abraham's bosom whether prepared or not to meet the Great Gatherer beyond the mystic portals. As soon as that Mother Breath comes to an end, the last sigh has escaped. The Mother Breath also decides the conditions and environments of existence, and you only free yourself from this ban of slavery by establishing your Individual Breath, and to this end you take up this work.
To make this exercise plainer, so that no one may err, your attention is called to the fact that the Individual Breath requires the inhalation of seven seconds, and the exhalation of an equal period. The Mother Breath in its highest phase is of three seconds, and if of a lesser period it looks very sad for existence in this land. You are to be able to inhale for seven seconds, and to exhale for seven seconds. This exercise is to be taken, as described above, for three minutes at atime, three times a day—three minutes in the morning, three minutes at noon, and three minutes before sunset, making nine minutes assigned to the exercise for the whole day. Surely these minutes cannot be used for a better purpose than to create for yourselves a new body and better conditions to govern it. Do not take it for a half hour after meals.
You are to gradually learn to enable yourself to inhale for seven seconds and to exhale for seven seconds. To do this, begin by inhaling for a period of four seconds, allowing one second of rest for a change to the reverse current, then exhale for a period of four seconds, emptying the lungs thoroughly. Do not use force, or breathe rapidly. To avoid counting the time, make use of some well-known melody. Think it mentally, first more rapidly, then later on, lengthen the time until you cover the space of seven seconds for each inhalation and each exhalation; then rest one second before repeating.
Remember that all other ideas are to be banished from your mind. Keep your mind centered upon breathing only. No matter how excited, nervous, tired or dull your mind may be, as soon as you take up this exercise you will feel fully satisfied with its results. The nervous system will be calmed because of the generation of electric force; the mind relieved because of the tranquil state secured through concentration. The body will feel more exhilarated because of the more normal circulation of the blood.
In all breathing exercises it will be necessary to remember that you prepare for the exercise proper by completely emptying the lungs. This is accomplished better by taking a prelude Breath. Begin by breathing short breaths. One breath in; one breath out. In, out; in, out; in, out, six or more times; and then when you have emptied the lungs with a long out, you are ready to inhale according to the instructions for the exercise. Whenever short of breath, take a prelude breath and then a few full breaths, and you will always feel relieved and happier.
Thus day by day you will lay a foundation that will insure perfect health, long life, clear mind, expanded brain capacity, all of which will make life worth living.
Unto this end let all things prosper.