Health and Breath Culture - Second Reading


WHATEVER our pursuits, whatever our aim in life, one thing is certain, that to succeed in our under-takings we must necessarily be in a condition to ably meet the demands of our efforts, and must be in posses­sion of that power which gives us assurance of success. To be able to live, we must necessarily have love of life. Love is the fundamental principle of Life, and Wisdom its constant companion. By love and the exercise of wisdom, life becomes complete and worth living, for life is as we make it ; its condi­tions as we make them.

As it is with the flower, the tree, the grain, so it is with man. You may place the seed in the soil, you may water it and keep the soil loose, that is all you can do for it. The rest must be left to the seed itself. If the life germ is conscious in the same, and the conditions in nature harmonious to its kind, it will sprout, grow and prosper. And here we are. Beings of a higher order, as we claim. But is our claim justified; do we prove it? This is a question that is best answered by the individual for his own self. We cannot depend upon others to answer for us. We have to answer all questions to our own satisfaction. As there is but one way whereby the seed may be able to germinate and continue to grow, and that it by putting it into the soil, the fish by being left in the water and man to live upon the earth, so there is but one way whereby man may gain salvation, the state of perfection, satisfaction, joy, a state of perfect harmony with nature --- health.

(spoken by Elevenlabs Matthew)

Yet health is not our aim in life, it is not our highest ideal. It is one of the attributes of existence and is insepar­able from life. Where it is not manifested, life has not begun in its true form; it is just about to take on form and we are merely vegetating. Health is a necessity for the continuance physical existence, and a means whereby to gain the knowledge of the gloriousness of existence.

If we set out to gain health, we do not undertake any­thing great, for the animal is seldom ill and gives no thought to health or sin. As man in a diseased state has not yet risen above the animal, lie must place himself on an equal basis with his fellow creatures before he can rise higher. From the animals about, us we are to learn the lessons of true existence. They serve us as pictures of health; as mirrors, wherein we may see our own deficiencies, as object lessons to leave off and conquer all that would be apt to disfigure our image of the higher type of life. Before man can rise above the ani­mal, he must not only enjoy perfect health, but also be able to control his passions, and every part of his body must be in harmony with his thought. Then he will rise higher and higher in the realms of his true nature, where he will learn to know that even the elements about him are for his use, that they are his, his very outcome, part of his being and although remaining separate from them, still under his control.

"What must I do to be saved, to be well?" forces its way to our minds as it begins to dawn upon us that we still occupy that plane where we are being governed instead of governing, and find ourselves controlled where we ought to control, as slaves groping in conditions of servitude and battling with environments of darkness, when we ought to enjoy the light of freedom and the joy of the ever-acting thought --- Mazda.

To be well, then, is our first idea because we feel that without such a condition we cannot climb the mountain tops to gaze at the marvelous beauty and grandeur of this world's sublimity. When we begin to feel our weakness, we also feel the desire stronger to become saved, to become well. We become determined to get well and regain our health. We desire to prolong our life when once we begin to feel the sweetness of well-being. Youthfulness is ever before our vision, and laughter of happiness reaches our ears. We feel to shout for joy and to be merry. Our faces light up, those wrinkles disappear, the skin becomes smooth, the hair returns to its natural color, blemishes disappear from out of sight, the voice becomes clear and sweet, the eyes shine bright as the morning star, our limbs become swift and grace­ful. Everything changes, and it seems as if heaven and earth had become new. Such are our blessings if we follow out the instructions as we receive them from mother nature who speaks to us in a language plain and simple if we will but fol­low her bidding and return to her bosom, for she it is who will care for you and me, and she is in no wise partial, but gives in abundance, as her creative energies and powers have no end. Through daily practice and consciously breathing in of Ga-Llma, the centralizing life principle which builds up the tissues of manifested existence, we attain these blessings  A disciple enjoys this perfection of life because of the observations of nature's law and obedience thereto. It is our object in these lessons to call attention to our sense condition, not because we have no sense, but because we are only too apt in the eager pursuit after knowledge to drift from our real course into paths that will keep us in darkness rather than turn us to the light.

We all have perfect bodies, but some have not yet been sufficiently trained to see the good there is within us; others have forgotten their earthly tabernacles to such a degree as to forget their duty towards it, and have lost themselves in regions whence it is hard to return. We hold that we are apt to become too imaginative, not too spiritual, although we oft-times think we are spiritual when we deal with things that have a spiritual appearance, but in reality we are only forcing ourselves to become imaginative. In the primitive state of our evolution we are all imaginative, as this particular function is our guide until we can make use of our senses more properly. Still, after we have grown to better sense condi­tions instead of continuing in that path of everlasting evolution and development, we are apt to mistake the imaginative tendency for spirituality, and before we are aware of it, we dabble in things foreign to common sense and reason.

Since we possess more imagination than is necessary for beings on the planes of eternal progression, and since the overdevelopment of the functions of imagination are a hindrance in the perfect execution of the higher senses, it becomes our object to equalize our brain functions to a normal condition, whereby we may be able to see and hear things in their real presentation. It is a mistake to think we are spiritual beings just as much as to imagine we are material beings. Those dealing with the one-sidedness of existence only, make assertions too narrow. Undeveloped brain capacity results in unbalanced brain functions.

We are children of nature and it is our duty to develop all that is within us. It is all well and right to know all about heaven and hell and all about mind, and all about being well and good. Still the most important of all is to know all about this life, as the next life will take care of itself, as this one should. We should know more about ourselves, more about the beauties of this life; then, if ever, we will be able to appreciate an after-life. The Blessed Master, Jesus, said to his disciples who were anxious to hear him unfold the spiritual life, that the things of this earth life even they could not understand, so how would they be able to comprehend were he to tell them of a life to come.

The beauty of life lies in the mastering of one's own peculiarities. We are not to do away with this thing and that thing. We are to learn to understand ourselves. In learn­ing to know ourselves, we shall learn this great lesson of life that we have similarities, although there are no two alike, and we will learn to hear with and to know others better. As long as we attempt to poke our noses into other people's business, and think we know them, we only expose our own ignorance.

We are all peculiar. Do away with that peculiarity which characterizes us, and you do away with the greater part of what makes us worth manifesting. An organist once familiar with his organ will not part with it even were he to get a better salary to play upon another. It takes him years sometimes to familiarize himself with the peculiarities of his instrument. As soon as he learns to master it then you will hear him tell you that his is the best organ. You will also learn that he will be the only one able to master it and to a stranger it may seem a very odd, peculiar instrument, while the organist can bring forth the sweetest of inspiring and ele­vating music. And as that instrument grows nearer and dearer to his heart, so should our own body be loved more and more as we set out to know and conquer its peculiarities that we may use them harmoniously. We shall then understand that there was really nothing to give up but much to win.

We are not yet living beyond the clouds, nor are we below the earth, or in the earth, but upon the earth, and for that reason we must become acquainted with the things that con­cern us here and now. How strange we should want to know something about Mars! How strange for us to worry about the moon, its geography, its inhabitants! And yet how little we know about our own planet, our own people, and still less about our own selves, and how to live to be happy, to be contented and of the greatest possible good to ourselves and others. And why should this be? We talk about the wrongs of others, we blame things we cannot comprehend on the Creator, on the lawmakers, and never think for a moment that we are the ones who cause it all.

After we have failed to fathom the philosophy of life we want to get rich, and that becomes our foremost desire. We then start out in our strife for fame and fortune, and no means are too low or unreasonable to help us gain our point. We even stoop to the lowest step of animalism to study out schemes whereby to get the best of our fellowmen, so as to gain our end. We are even willing to learn methods of acquiring an ability and proficiency for taking advantage of our brother and sister, and call this bare-faced humbugging a science. It is sad, indeed, to get down so low, but such are the ways of our development, and long and dreary is the path of experimenting, for the shorter road is by the application of experiences.

In the first lesson it was our object to pay particular attention to the steadying of the eyeballs by looking intently at a given spot so as to strengthen the muscles of the eye, and to steady the accommodative muscle which plays such an important part in our vision. The steadier the vibrations --- the clearer the sight and formation of ideas, for we have been determined to gain a proper posture and learn to breathe more rhythmically. We are also to understand that we must empty our Lungs completely in all our breathing exercises  We are all more or less in the habit of shortening the exhalation which does not empty the lungs sufficiently to keep up proper circulation. As the circulation suffers, the nervous system becomes affected and we no longer accumu­late the required life energy or electric force for the continua­tion of the life forces.

Our object will now be to turn our attention to the sense of hearing. It is necessary that we possess good hearing as very many unpleasant occurrences in life are due to our mis­understandings from our incorrect hearing, and because we hear things differently from what they were originally intended. It is an established fact that there is no being but what loves the truth and never intends to tell or hear a false­-hood but because of deficiency in the senses and the undeveloped condition of brain functions, things are heard and repeated that were never said or heard.

As our sense of sight depends upon the position of our spinal column and its erectness, so our sense of hearing de­pends upon the condition of our feet, their care, their activity. You know from experience better than we can explain that whenever you get your feet wet or damp so as to chill your body, your hearing becomes at once defective. You know from experience that however cold the winter days and how lightly clad otherwise, if your stockings are dry and of warm material your whole body keeps warm, but as soon as your stockings become damp, whether from perspiration or other­wise, no matter if clad in furs, your body becomes chilled and your temperature is near the freezing point. You also know that from a cold, caused by the neglect of your feet, came those peculiar noises in your ears not found in Wagner's com­positions. You also attribute your defects of hearing to this or that trouble, which should be traced to colds. Yet, after all, the feet, which are as important a factor in our mani­fested life as the very best part of our body, are shamefully neglected. And yet we love to make the pretense of being proud of our feet. Were we proud of our feet in truth we would be more lenient and merciful to them, for to them we owe our ability to move about. Still, it cannot be said of us as it is of the Chinese women, who from their youth are tor­tured daily by having their feet placed into molds too small for them so as to stunt them in their growth, that the proof of nobility lies in the smallness of the foot. Poor little innocent children must go through this torture as a mark of advanced civilization. We ought to be thankful that we have not been raised in a country where our feet must have a taste of such hideous customs.

But perhaps we are too hasty in sympathizing with our Chinese friends. How do we stand in this matter? Chinese become accustomed to this torture because they begin it at an early age, but we take it up from pride after we are grown and find that the size of our feet does not suit us. Although we ought to wear a number six, we are determined to press our foot into a number five, and then we complain about the manufacturers when the shoes hurt us and cause bunions, corns, etc., on our lovely feet. We like to deceive ourselves and subject ourselves to the influence of hypnotic suggestions, for on entering a shoe department and facing the ever accom­modating clerk we love to hear him say, "I am afraid I have not a shoe small enough for your delicate looking foot." He knows you wear a good five, and you know that an extra size would be welcome, yet you love this suggestion of flattery. He will not ask you for your number if be is, quick and bright, but declare you need a number "two-and-a-half." Still he is not so "daffy" as not to know his business. He will always get you a good number six; he will smooth the uppers before your eyes very gently so as not to reveal to you its enormous dimensions. After putting it on your foot, he will, of course, and he knew it before he put it on you, that it was just half a size too large. He will beg pardon, saying that a num­ber two will be better, and with that he gets a smaller six. It fits you excellently, and they will be easy, so easy. And you will be proud of the fact that your feet are getting smaller in size every day, while the shoes are being made larger to suit the feet belonging to this peculiar age of unbalanced brain conditions.

The orientals are very proud of their feet and hands, as a rule, and take excellent care of them, particularly their feet, and for that reason are very quick and sharp in their comprehension, and their sense of hearing is very acute. By caring for our feet, we keep the mass of nerve centers in those particular regions in harmonious action thus keeping an equilibrium with the nerve centers of the general system. When the nerve centers of the feet are impaired in any way, we notice this fact in our ears and nasal region. You know from experience that when your big toe feels cold and chilled, that the moment you move it upward it affects your nasal organ and you begin to sneeze. You also know that in case of a severe cold, affecting the hearing, the moment you rub your toes vigorously after previously drying them perfectly, you at once hear better.

From time immemorial feet were tenderly cared for, and it became a religious institution to bathe them daily, to cleanse and rub them, and even perfume them. If you desire good hearing, and care to aid your nasal organ at the same time to some degree, bathe your feet often, they will then become more flexible, and will even stand half a size smaller shoes.

The weight of the body must not fall upon the heels, but equally distributed over the balls of the feet. Although it may seem awkward at first, you will soon learn to balance the body, your walk will become easier, you will have a more graceful carriage and best of all you will not tire walking. Walking then becomes a pleasure, and although our object is not to declare war on the transportation corporations, yet we will prefer walking upon many occasions and feel the better for it. From day to day we will lengthen our walks until we feel we can climb mountains and hills and walk over plains with rejoicing and thanksgiving, always remembering that Breath is Life.

In summer the feet ought to be well aired, and if possible it should be our aim to return to the old custom of wearing sandals during the warm season. Feet ought to be bathed frequently and we should select such persons as are har­monious to our magnetic forces to dry our feet and perfume them. We should also go barefooted. Walking through the dew-laden grass in the early summer mornings is exceedingly beneficial, especially to those of electric temperaments. This allows the earth currents to carry away with them effete mat­ter, which, if not eliminated from the body will cause inhar­monious conditions to arise, and many times serious results of a nervous nature follow. Wading in a stream with sandy bottom, during the day, is also of much benefit. The feet should always be thoroughly dried before putting on the stockings and shoes. It might be well to speak here of the material best suited for covering the feet. Silk stockings will prevent contraction of colds, and development of many nervous disorders, while cotton is the worst enemy to the feet, especially where part wool or other fabrics are used as wear­ing apparel. Wool is next in comparison to silk, and should always be worn in preference to cotton when silk cannot be obtained, but should be used only by people of a rheumatic and gouty nature. It is still better to wear linen stockings or wrap the feet in linen cloths before putting on the stock­ings. Take care of your feet that they may lead you into the path of knowledge and understanding.

Paying attention to the little things in life and their accurate execution will lead us to the understanding and consequent control of our nature. We are too narrow in our conclusions, too hasty in our judgment. And this is mostly due to our nervous state, which nervous condition is accentu­ated as we allow ourselves to be wafted about by the winds of time, carrying us from place to place without sufficient time to think and to reflect as to the outcome of such uncontrolled actions. We are anxious to do great things and yet forget that the enormous structures before us are the result of many small stones or bricks carefully placed one on top of the other, reaching into heights above and covering space below, a struc­ture useful as well as grand to behold. We are too impatient, and the consequence of such a state of mind is failure to reach the goal in our lifetime.

We desire to be great, to be famous, to be rich, to be a power among men and many other things equal in sum and substance. How many are there who are great and have retained their greatness? "Except ye become as little chil­dren, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." It is the little one only, the innocent, the pure, the gentle, that stands out before us as an example worthy to pattern after. The greatness lies not in the personality of the man or the woman, but in the quality of the work done. That is it which bears fruit. That it is that shall still the hunger and the thirst of the weary wanderer in these valleys of uncertainties. They do not make themselves great by being remembered by name, it is the deed that perpetuates itself throughout all ages in the evolution of time, that must stand out before our sight and remind us of our own capabilities. We are to learn to adapt ourselves to the conditions we have our existence in, for thereby we arrive at the knowledge and understanding of the means whereby to liberate ourselves from everything not consistent with our individual growth through evolution, as we as individuals reach out towards higher attainments.

We need to be more practical rather than theoretical. Theories lie at the foundation of our evolution forcing us from sphere to sphere, merely as unconscious entities await­ing the hour of command, to place us into position, whereby we shall realize our existence. We are full of theories. We are a mass of theoretic conglomerations, a composition of mixtures, and it should be our object to make something out of all this, yet without any waste to even the smallest par­ticle, or any extravagance. And here it is where we get into difficulties and perplexities that are liable to prove disastrous to our undertakings unless we proceed with care, ease and contemplation. This problem of life is a stupendous ques­tion, which to fathom and solve will require steadiness and ability. It is for this very reason that our body and its organic construction should be equal to such an enormous demand, lest we go to pieces, as it were, long before we are able to find a way out of all this mystery.

In our great effort to gain and to win, we must come to a point where we recognize this one fact that no two things can occupy the same space at the same time. To be enabled to hold our own, we must necessarily learn to pay attention to our own position and take to things most conducive to our individual welfare, thereby reflecting to others, examples worthy to be patterned after. Our object must be to control all things for our good.

In nature, there are two extremes, two principal factors, working and operating in two directions entirely opposite to each other, and when carried away by the one, the result will ultimately be the same as if carried away by the other. We are to polarize these two extremes in one common end. To be enabled to do so, we must continue to be attentive to the many little items of our bodily welfare before we can get to understand how to master the greater things that mark our higher nature. Even our walking, standing, sitting, lying down, bending, stooping, reaching, in short, every position of the body has some bearing upon our functional arrangement and affects our mind to more or less degree. We have mentioned before that the body is perfect as much as an instru­ment can be perfect, but it needs tuning up. As far as our soul, spirit, and the Supreme within us are concerned, we can unfold or develop their states no further than we can the material that constitutes the body, but as the latter is being made more harmonious by the attention brought to bear upon it by our developing sense of how to direct it, to that same degree, the mind, soul and spirit shall manifest themselves.

The instrument we use to execute our knowledge of music upon is considered perfect as far as material and construction go when it leaves the manufacturing establishment, and yet it has to be tested and properly tuned before it is ex­hibited. We know as we strike the keyboard that it is such an instrument, for everything required to make it such is there, viz., the case, the sounding board, the strings, the pegs, the hammers, the keys, in fact, every detail to make it worthy of the name --- instrument. But of what value would this instrument be to us, were it not tuned? What an injustice to the artist and his talent for music and to music, itself, were we to ask him to sit down before an instrument out of tune and render a grand selection in perfect harmony with the perfection of sound. To judge the artist's ability according to such an instrument would be next to idiocy. And yet we do this day after day, judging things by their appearances instead of coolly and discriminately considering the circum­stances --- the material at hand. If there be but one key out of tune, the piece rendered will suffer. Tune that key and all will be well. Supposing we were to get five-cent muslin, common house paints and common, ordinary brushes and invite an artist of renown to come and paint us a landscape superior to anything ever produced. Do you suppose such a demand consistent with the law of possibilities? The artiste can only accomplish things according to the kind of material at command. You cannot saw wood with a blunt saw, and to chop wood quickly, a sharp ax is necessary. It would not matter how entirely your mind might be concentrated on chopping wood should the ax be dull. The work would only proceed accordingly. Yes, it is the commonplace things which need our attention and due consideration. If we will only get our tools in order, it will save us a great deal of trouble and unpleasantness, many trials, troubles and temptations, which are all results of inattention. Whatever we undertake should be first well considered and afterward well done. To be conscious of well-doing, the body must needs be equal to mind force and the latter correspondingly con­scious to the operations of the soul and spirit. A mind which depends upon the concentration of the intelligences of the energies composing our collective body, once conscious of its functional needs, and tranquil upon all occasions, well­-centered and concentrated, and with perfect control of will, directing everything for its own individual good and at all times polarized, enjoys a state of perfect health and understands rhythmic breathing. Since all life becomes conscious of existence through the breath, this breath when properly directed will accomplish everything that our mind may desire. Trough rhythmic breathing, the mainspring of life --- the lungs --- determine a more normal circulation and purification of the blood by oxygenation, thereby securing better heart action. When concentrating upon the breath and its central­izing life principle, or "Ga-Llama," following the current of inhalation and exhalation in our thought, we receive benefits at once.

When breathing properly, and thus keeping the nerve centers in harmonic action, generating electric nerve fluids, the vibrations of the brain centers become raised, thereby increasing intellectual power and insuring better memory. This done, the bodily functions, intelligently controlled, have no need of specially devised gymnastics, physical movements, athletic exercise, etc., for the reason that a normally bal­anced individual is bodily, mentally, and spiritually active, and with the twelve senses fully developed, engages in work of a useful as well as beneficial nature, economizing the natural forces and resources of life. There is no disease but what can be healed and cured by the simplest means. All that is required is the individual's own desire, prompted by will and expressed by rhythmic breathing. Once we are able to do this, the mind by virtue of the intelligences inherent, unfolds the path to be pursued as to right living, fasting and dieting, the observation of which unfolds to us realms of thought utterly unknown to ordinary minds.

Mazdaznan culture points out the way in the simplest terms and the pupil carries out the instructions for self heal­ing and cure, thereby remaining non-obligatory and learns to become acquainted with all the means necessary for future emergencies. Mazdaznan culture holds that it is not educa­tion that we need so much but that we merely need to be reminded of our own latent forces and learn how to properly direct them. We possess all power in heaven and on earth, but to demonstrate such power we must be able to use the tools requisite for such manifestation.

A person to become free from the conditions and environ­ments of time must become acquainted with his own self suf­ficiently to have knowledge of his relation to nature and become proficient in understanding the control of laws pertain­ing to his welfare. We must acquaint ourselves with those simple regulations that govern our lives so as to enjoy health and happiness and by religious observation of the same, attain to higher and nobler understanding. A body that is full of governing intelligence will not draw upon the mind but control its organic action consciously thereby storing up reserved vitality for the furtherance of thought in its domain that it may bring forth grander aspirations.

The mind must be all comprehensive to enjoy concentrat­ive powers and a happy state. The body must have symmetry and easy carriage to be in perfect health. And as we pay some attention to the position and the carriage of the body, the intelligences of all our energies will vibrate a like state to the mind, while in return by virtue of the increase of power which it draws from the ocean of Love, the spirit forces the furtherance of intelligence.


Stand erect with arms to the sides of body, head up, chin drawn in sufficiently to show a spirit of independence, eyes steadily gazing upon spot before you, not more than seven feet away. Body must be in a perfectly relaxed condition, but spinal column must be firm and erect, as the spinal cord is the seat of the soul. The weight of body is to be balanced upon the balls of the feet. To succeed in doing this grace­fully allow the body to swing easily forward and back. No weight is to be allowed to rest upon the heels. Keep the mouth closed, teeth separated, the tip of tongue, resting against lower teeth, as in first exercise.

While inhaling, and following the currents of breath intuitively, gently raise the body and allow the weight to balance toward the tips of toes, inhaling slowly and harmoniously for seven seconds. Now lower the body to its former position, gradually exhaling and giving it that graceful swing so natural to a controlled body.

You are to remember when going through this exercise, if immediate results are to be expected therefrom, to clinch the hands tightly while inhaling. Do this thoroughly but gradually. Clinch fists tighter and tighter and tighter, yet without any effort, and be careful not to tense the mus­cles or to grind the teeth in the least. In exhaling, gradually relax your fists and allow the weight of body to rest upon the balls of the feet, and although heels touch the floor, no weight must he felt thereon.

To relax easily all you have to do is to empty your lungs thoroughly and allow your knees to bend forward about one­ tenth of an inch. This will bring your weight to the ball of the feet and make you feel lighter as well as limber. Do not exercise more than three minutes at a time and not more than twice a day to begin with. This exercise is best taken during waking hours­. Do not take the exercise immediately after meals. You may have the exercise follow the first exercise providing the latter has been practiced for at least two weeks, and the breath of seven seconds for the space of three minutes can be taken conveniently.

This exercise is to be made use of in your daily walking. After you have become accustomed to the balancing of the body forward and backward, take several steps while inhaling, then while taking a few more steps learn to retain breath for just a few seconds. You will soon find that after a little prac­tice this exercise will prove of inestimable value for the rea­son that it will aid in the re-establishment of the generation of electric currents in the foot region, upon which our hearing greatly depends.

In one of the village towns of ancient lore, it so happened that a little baby boy was taken seriously ill and vomited. One of the neighboring women who was present at the time, told the news to her aunt that afternoon, and remarked that what the baby threw up was as black as a raven. Aunty made a call on her way home on a distant relative, and brought her the news that she just heard of a certain baby that had vomited a black raven. This caused quite a stir among her relatives and many gathered in the evening to hear the story from the elderly aunt, who, in her fervor and excitement, related the incident of a child that had vomited three black ravens.

It would not be proper for you to pass judgment upon any­thing in the nature of hearsay, except to recognize the possi­bility of the truth being stretched as there is no ill intention on anybody's part to add anything to the original. When your sense of hearing will have reached the higher order of development, you will be able to understand things more fully and be less liable to relate things that would be apt to have the appearance of being deeply colored. You are to be careful not to pass any judgment upon your neighbor, and you shall enjoy the time when everybody around you will mind their own business, but if such be your desire you must first mind your own business and not wait for others to take the lead. You must lead, then the rest will follow.

Photo credits: © Brian Jackson -