The Short Cut to Regeneration Through Fasting/Chapter 8
The Psychology of the Breath
The life of the body is the blood, and the life of the blood is the breath. “It is the breath of the Almighty which gives us Life.”
There are many who seek to be one with all higher laws and who at the same time fail to connect with the first important law,–conscious breathing.
We all breathe involuntarily as well as voluntarily,–if it depended on our own consciousness to establish the rhythm of normal breathing, we would pass out very quickly. When we see the flagrant violations of nature’s law of breath we cannot help wondering at the long suffering endurance of the defrauded body and the marvelous compensation nature laboriously makes.
We do not sin away our day of grace all at once. Disease of body, mind and soul is not a thing of a moment’s birth, but is the inevitable reaction of a long violation of the natural adjustments of true being.
The overloaded vital centers, on all planes, stagger on under the increasing strain thrown on them through ignorance and actual spiritual stagnation.
It has taken centuries to know that the direct road to excretion and nutrition is through the physical breath. It is a new light on the secrets of the self to find that there are two avenues of sustenance by which the race man feeds himself, on through food and the other through breathing. Until man knows how to awaken the nutrition centers with his breath and make the breath-call the stimulus to which his cells respond with their immediate release of vital energy, he must take the old man's method and waken them through food particles brought to their nuclei from food passed into his stomach.
With normal lungs we breathe naturally a certain number of breaths a moment, with definite inspiratory and expiratory rhythm. This air, coming from without, is laden with the new substance which is to be taken into the blood current through the exchange made in the blood-vessels of the lungs. The lungs release, in expiration, all the finer waste products of the body, they pass out in the form of carbon dioxide gas and are replaced by oxygen in the inspiratory act.
Inhalation and expiration are the tidal waves of the physical body and the tide rises, falls, falls and rises, just as regularly as the tide of the sea in its long, rhythmical roll.
When we shorten the beat between, or when our expiration and inspiration halt the normal pulse beat of our body, we gather debris so dense that after a while we have no space for incoming breath and no strength to empty our already overcharged physical spaces.
The blood is the carrier of life to the physical body and it is breath, not food, that keeps the blood flowing in our veins. It is breath not food, that purifies the blood streams and keeps new, fresh, red, oxygenated blood going the rounds of the human tide. The rise and fall of the body forms the suction power which sends it onward laden with its life giving force.
There is always a certain amount of residual air in the lungskeeps them inflated and gives the individual a chance to call for more breath in emergencies, also a chance to let out more breath if the need is great.
The residual breath is often a source of disease and nearly always takes a part in the inharmony of the body. There are many who never really change the residual air in their lungs; this air remains like a stagnate pool over which the fresh air only passes in ineffectual ripples, while it creams over with the fetid, unexpelled carbon dioxide gas,–it becomes so completely saturated with gas that it is sometimes more gas than air and then we have the fetid breath, the coated tongue, the yellow biliousness, the “taste in the mouth” and all the things which have, in the past, been laid at the door of the intestinal tract but which really have their origin in the lungs.
The glutton, with his distended stomach full of food, does not take a normal breath–he can not; the drunkard cannot breathe enough for elimination, while the sick, puny invalid, to whom every effort is painful turns wearily away from the physical effort which enforced breathing entails. There are not ten persons out of twelve whom one can command to breathe the true vibratory breath, who can do it for ten minutes without giddiness, nausea or even a complete fainting collapse.
This residual air is, in our new understanding, the seat of all conquest and the source of all limitation. It must be emptied thoroughly if it has lost the normal law of exchange; there is no use trying to breathe on an already over-inflated lung space, it must be emptied consciously to the very last bit of breath which can be expelled, then inhalation will be easy and will bring results.
There are many persons who breathe and breathe, but do not get results in their flesh, simply because the normal exchange is not made within the pulmonary vessels; the cells in the passing blood stream in the lungs are so saturated with the narcotic of the carbon gas that they do not release in time to catch the oxygen as it enters, this is why long, deep respirations,–holding the inspired breath–imperative in most cases. The new oxygenated breath, held long enough, will force the sluggish cells to release; and with the next exhalation, the gas in the blood.
Twenty-five per cent more oxygen in the blood current will cure a headache, set indigestion at rest, prevent colds or weariness and give new inspiration and feeling to mind and body.
The union of conscious breathing and fasting makes the very quickest exchange possible. When one fasts his respirations quicken naturally, because the muscles becoming weak demand more subjective force, and anything that calls for more energy in the blood will quicken the breath and, through this, the flow of the blood.
Through increased circulation there comes elimination, and through elimination there comes release of all congested parts; then from this, arises new nutrition, power and health.
With the new elixir of oxygenated air flowing into the blood as it passes through the ductless glands, and the minute occult centers of the brain and spinal cord, all the very fine activity of the body is reestablished. The kinetic fluid of the body is released and new vital life force immerses every cell of every tissue.
Cosmic Breath is inexhaustible–it is always waiting to pour into our blood stream. The ignorant multitude simply passes by all these gifts. We forget that our nostrils are open for the Breath of Life. To breathe is to give the body a chance for more life,–life that is full of exhilaration and strength.