CHAPTER II – “BREATH IS Life”
………….Life IS ab’SOLutely de’pendent-upon the act of Breathing… “Breath IS Life”. Differ-as-They-may upon de’tails of theory and terminology, The Oriental and The Occidental agree-upon these funda’mental principles.
………….To Breathe IS to Live – and… With no Breath, there IS no Life. Not-only Are The Higher Animals de’pendent-upon Breath for Life and Health, but even The Lower fORms of Animal-Life must Breathe to Live – and Plant-Life IS, like-wise, de’pendent-upon The Air for con’tinued ex’IS-tence.
………….The Infant draws-in a long deep breath, re’tains it for a moment to ex’tract from it, it’s Life-giving pro’perties, and then ex’hales it in a long wail… And lo! It’s Life upon Earth has Be’gun. The Old Man gives a faint gasp, ceases to breathe, and Life IS over. From the first faint breath of The Infant, to the last gasp of The Dying Man, it IS one long stORy of con’tinued breathing. Life IS but a series of breaths.
………….Breathing may Be con’sidered the most im’pORtant of All the functions of The Body. For, in-deed, All the other functions de’pend-upon it. Man may ex’IS-t for some Time sans eating – a shorter time sans drinking… But, sans breathing… His ex’IS-tence may Be measured by a few minutes. And not-only IS Man de’pendent-upon Breath for Life, but He IS largely de’pendent-upon Correct Habits of breathing for con’tinued Vitality and Free’dom from dis-ease. An intelligent con’trol of Our Breathing Power WILL lengthen Our Days upon The Earth, by giving Us in’creased Vitality and Powers of re’sistance. And, on-the-other-hand, un-intelligent and care-less breathing tends to shorten Our Days, by de’creasing Our Vitality and laying us open to dis-ease.
………….Man, in His “n’ORmal” state, had no need of in’struction in breathing. Like The Lower Animal and The Child, He breathed naturally and pro’perly – as Nature in’tended Him to do. But “civilization” has changed Him in this and other re’spects. He has con’tracted im’pro’per methods and attitudes of Walking, Standing, and Sitting – which have robbed Him of His Birth-Right of Natural and “correct” breathing. He has paid a high price for “civilization”. The Savage, to’day, breathes Naturally, un’less He has Been contaminated by the habits of “civilized” Man.
………….The percentage of “civilized” Men Who breathe correctly IS quite small, and the re’sult IS shown in con’tracted Chests and stooping Shoulders. And the terrible in’crease in dis-eases of the respiratory ORgans – including that dread monster, “Consumption”, a.k.a., “The White Scourge”. Eminent authORities have stated that one generation of Correct Breathers would re-generate The Race, and dis-ease would Be so rare as-to-Be looked-upon as a curiosity. Whether looked-at from the stand-point of The Oriental or Occidental, the connection be’tween Correct Breathing and Health IS readily seen and ex’plained.
………….The Occidental Teachings show that The Physical Health de’pends, very-materially, upon Correct Breathing. The Oriental teachers not-only ad’mit that Their Occidental Brothers Are correct, but say that, in-addition-to the Physical benefit de’rived from correct habits of breathing, Man’s Mental Power, Happiness, Self-con’trol, “Clear-Sighted-ness”, MOR’als, and even His Spiritual Growth shall in’crease by a Comprehension, Knowing – and practice of – “The Science Of Breath”.
………….Whole schools of Oriental Philo-Sophy have Been founded-upon This Science. And This Know-ledge, when grasped by The Western Races – and, by Them, put into practical use (which IS Their strong point) WILL wORk wonders among Them. The Theory Of The East, wedded-to The Practice Of The West, WILL pro’duce wORthy off’spring.
………….This wORk WILL take-up The Yogi “Science Of Breath” – which in’cludes, not-only All that IS Known to The Western Physiologist and Hygienist, but The Occult Side of the sub’ject as-well. It not-only points-out The Way to Physical Health, a’long-the-lines-of what Western Scientists have termed, “Deep Breathing” (and the like) – but also goes-into the lesser-Known phases of the sub’ject, showing how The Hindu Yogi con’trols His Body, in’creasing His Mental Capacity, and de’veloping The Spiritual side of His Nature by “The Science Of Breath”.
………….The Yogi Practices exercises by-which He a’tains con’trol of His Body, and IS en’abled to send, to any ORgan or Body-Part, an in’creased flow of Vital FORce or “Prana” – there-by strengthening and in’Vigorating that Body-Part or ORgan. He Knows ALL that His Western Scientific Brother Knows a’bout The Physiological Effect of Correct Breathing. But He also Knows that The Air con’tains mORe than merely Oxygen, Hydrogen, and Nitrogen… That some’thing mORe IS accomplished, than the mere Oxygenating of The Blood.
………….He Knows some’thing a’bout “Prana” – of-which His Western Brother IS ignorant. He IS fully a’ware of the Nature and Manner of handling That Great Principle Of Energy, and IS fully in’fORmed as-to It’s effect upon The Human Body and MIND. He Knows that by Rhythmical Breathing, One may bring His Self into Harmonious Vibration with Nature, and aid in the un-fold-ment of His latent Powers. He Knows that, by con’trolled breathing, He may not-only cure dis-ease in His Body and MIND – and that of Others as-well – but also practically do-away-with “Fear”, “Worry”, and the baser e-motions.
………….To teach these things IS the object of this wORk. We WILL give, in a few chapters, con’cise ex’planations and in’structions, which could Be ex’tended into volumes. We hope to a’waken The MINDs of The Western WORld to the value of The Yogi “Science Of Breath”