WE will now deal with the first steps in health in Yoga practice, and how to bring into the physical body the qualities of the finer atmospheres and their atoms.
Few students realise how difficult are Yoga practices, for though they seem simple at first few have the vitality and patience to continue till they attain results. If the youth of today expended in Yoga practice half the energy used to become successful athletes, they would become master minds.
It is to our regret that the seekers we frequently meet lack that physical stamina possessed by the average college athlete. For the body must be fit and alert to respond to any call, as it is a store-house of strength that will later be necessary for his development.
The first law is bodily poise, to learn to sit and stand erect; for as the spinal column is similar to a magician’s wand, each vertebra must be held in its proper place, and no bone should press upon the nerve channels to hinder their nourishment. One should learn to stand upon the balls of the feet, having only a pressure of a pound and a half on each heel. It will be a little hard at first to acquire this habit, but later you will feel a sense of well-being. Any qualified osteopath will correct any vertebrae out of alignment, and before the student begins these practices he should have a working knowledge of anatomy.
The student should know that from the first moment he takes these steps he will come under the observation of the Elder Brothers, and though he may feel he is alone he will never be permitted to go too far either in good or evil; for balance is needed and the student will later realise that weakness is sometimes worse than wickedness. It is people who do things in life that count. White and black magicians enjoy opposing one another; for they respect the other’s vital qualities, and are stimulated by such. Cranks, who should be avoided, do not possess these strong qualities. When we speak of cranks, we mean those unstable idealists who carry rational theories to irrational lengths.
A ninety-two-year old Yogi, who was as vital as a youth, once visited this country and was questioned regarding certain statements he made by a well-known lecturer on occult subjects. The Yogi quietly told him to sit down, but the lecturer, full of energy and argument, continued. The Yogi placed a finger on the man’s body and the lecturer promptly collapsed. He was a long time recovering from the shock; when he did so the Yogi, smiling sweetly, said, “Real strength comes from gentleness.” To this day he cannot explain what happened to him.
We know that “as above so below,” and the strength in the physical body has its counterpart in the mind-body, and just as the Japanese received secret teachings from the Hatchet men of China—the militant Hatha Yoga adepts, now called Ju-Jitsu, the art of overcoming one’s enemy by softness—so is there a Ju-Jitsu on the mental plane. The Elder Brothers use this secret knowledge to protect students in moments of emergency; for the Secret Enemy will attack mentally as well as physically.
Students are often watched and protected if they possess qualities that, when developed, will produce great genius in the arts and sciences. In the early days of the Klondyke two students were sent two years before the rush to live over the Klondyke Pass with medical supplies in order to protect the body of a young miner, among others, whose possibilities for the future were carefully watched. We ourselves have been sent into strange countries and places for similar purposes. We are never commanded to do this or even told what we are to do; only later does the reason for such action dawn upon us.
The moment you begin these studies you will become a magnet and attract people, some of whom will talk about their. Such are usually selfish and weak, and form a floating population of worthless materials who do not flow with the tide of humanity’s endeavour, but drift along, entering those movements that will give them the incense and perfume of self-praise as well as borrowed bread and butter. These are not genuine seekers, but vagabonds who prey upon the sympathy of the serious student. But the sincere student is welcomed with open arms, no matter what his race, caste, colour, or position in life. Sometimes the seeker who seems most backward and may not be able to harmonise himself with others or possess social qualifications, will suddenly receive an illumination that will place him in the position to lead the rest. These people—who invariably have fine bodies in their youth—sometimes become the headstones of the corner.
It is well for the student to have some trade, profession, or art by which he can support himself no matter in what country he happens to be.
Our bodies take on the nature of our environment, and the air we breathe affects its fitness. We breathe with vigour when fit, and easily throw out our destructive properties from our lungs; for weak breathing will ultimately produce disease. Later we will unconsciously breathe in harmony with the rhythmic impulse of Nature.
The body should be exercised daily in order to have a flexibility of spine and feel the healthy glow of life. But do not go to extremes in these things. Do not shock the system by too hot or by too cold water, though it is advisable to accustom the body in time to cold water, and rub it with vigour. Accustom the body to sun baths, but wrap a damp towel round the head; for the base of the skull should be kept cool, as the sun’s rays are destructive as well as curative, and there is a reservoir of vital energy at the base that supplies the nerves with vital fluid.
The student should not rely upon the back of the chair to support his spine, neither should he lounge nor sit cross-legged in his practices as in the East, for the Western body is not adapted for this posture.
When exercising do not cast the shadows of worry or anxiety over the atoms within you; for the body being of a gaseous nature is easily penetrated by them and reacts upon those workers who look after it.
Civilisation’s great gift to humanity is constipation; we have become unnatural in our habits, causing pressure at the base of the rectum and many children are born with the lower intestine not held in its proper alignment.
The moment the physical body disposes of its waste a signal is sent to the different centres of the body to do likewise, and each nerve centre also responds. This occurs in the mental atmosphere as well. Remember that regular habits of this kind clarify the mind, and one should always keep this tract open and clean.
We should use common sense in our diet, and not favour one kind of food more than another. For this the student need only read some book upon dietetics; yet should not waste too much time about thinking what passes through his mouth, for the food crank generally makes himself most objectionable to his friends. We do not enter the kingdom of Heaven through the food that enters the mouth, as some occult fraternities would have us believe.
When united to theatom, the student will be told the kind of food best suited for the atomic workers within. This can be noticed in women who have certain cravings for food not in their normal diet before the birth of their children. This is because the incarnating is conscious of certain deficiencies needed for its physical structure. A child can often communicate with a Yogi before its birth and tell him what it needs for its physical nourishment, as well as the things it will need when incarnating. Yogis in the East will sometimes tell their brothers before death where they will incarnate, and they watch for his appearance. They will sometimes travel for long distances to see that the child is properly protected and give it early instruction.
If it is possible, one should live upon sun-enriched foods; though we should remember that in a war of commercial ferocity, where tiger-man fights tiger-man and it is a case of the survival of the fittest, the vegetarian stands little chance of survival if he has to build up his business from the beginning. What you feed your atoms upon you become. Rule your food and do not let it rule you.
Generally speaking, there are three types of man: physical, mental, and spiritual, and the gestures of each type are different, and the physical is most easy to read, especially when dominated by his Secret Enemy. They can also be distinguished by the hand-shake and posture. The face is also divided into three types.
Observation is the student’s second step in his training; for many important things that pass before us are unobserved, and when out of the body the student must try to remember what he has seen, and this is difficult; for if he will try to visualise the entrance to his front door he will be surprised to know how little he has observed. Those who have read Kipling’s book Kim will gain some idea as to how a student is trained after meeting his teacher.
In our trips out of the body the visions of the interior planes are more difficult to see than those of the physical; for the finer essences of Nature are more subtle. Our methods of reading—especially newspapers—in time impairs our powers to think about what we have read, and to remember it with precision.
This power to see with one’s third eye is not what is usually called a spiritual gift, and this can be developed in the same way that an athlete can develop his muscles. There are many centres seemingly atrophied from disuse within our bodies; these can be awakened to a normal condition by this Yoga practice.
We again remind the student that he must use common sense in these things, particularly in his food and sleep. A three months’ course in a gymnasium will prepare him for his plunge into his Yoga practice.
The physical type must keep his liver healthy, and if he does not feel well applications of hot and cold water by means of a pad of cloth should be alternately placed at the tip of the liver. The whole operation should not take longer than five minutes.
If the mental type needs a mental rest he should do the same to the upper third of his lungs.
If the spiritual type feels the need of vitality he should bathe his generative organs alternately in hot and cold bowls of water.
The spiritual type are most often obsessed by thoughts of sex, and those belonging to celibate religions have to control this; for the controlling of the sex nature builds up a reservoir of strength, and it is this strength that opens the door to the.
The occultist who has passed inward quickly recognises those religious teachers who possess such attributes, and often protects and aids them with his own protective force; for such men are frequently attacked by members of their own denomination.
The Eastern mind quickly recognises such qualities in a man and calls him a saint, but the Western mind has not yet arrived at this stage, though in future when the West has developed such men will also be given support and respect as in the East.
Although we have said that man can be classed into threemain types—physical, mental, and spiritual—they can all attain to the same source.
Before beginning your breathing exercises take a drink of water; for we should remember that the body will take as much water as we will give it. It is often thirsting for it, as otherwise it cannot clear itself of its impurities. We should drink fresh water between meals and keep a pitcher where we can see it.
We should also cleanse the nostrils by inhaling water. This will assist the actions of the atoms that we attract, and also strengthen the tissues and membranes. The water we take acts as a filter, and the positive atoms find it easier to communicate when the stomach is clean and full of water.
In your breathing you will quickly notice that you inhale in one side of the nostril at a time, and you will learn to change the current of your breathing from one side to the other as you wish.
There are many different types of atoms to attract and place in their proper position on the membranes—that plate the occultist calls the magnetic field—we attract one kind at a time, and the type we build with mostly are the Aspiring atoms. The passages in the nostril are known as the Sun and Moon passages; and the Aspiring atoms enter the right passage. Later, when we try to attract the atoms of the Lunar force we breathe through the left nostril.
When you find that you are breathing through the left passage in your practice, take up anything, a small roll of cloth or a book or paper, and place it under the left armpit. This brings pressure upon a certain nerve in the arm, and before long you should begin breathing through the right nostril and bring in the Aspiring atoms ofthe Solar force. If this does not bring results pressure on the bobtail nerve on the muscle of the calf of the left leg should succeed.
This alternate process should be done in order to carry out opposite results. Some time will be required before we can change the breath.
In the East you will see Initiate priests carrying umbrellas under the left armpits; they will not reveal the reason, but this breathing through the right nostril whilst walking will conserve our energy. The student should remember this when taking a long walking trip.
The student should also try to sleep on his left side with his head on his hand. This attitude will cause the breath to flow through the right nostril and produce the same result as when walking, and the life currents will restore the tired body more quickly. Middle-aged students will also notice that their digestive organs will function more easily.
The reason why Western bodies cannot adopt Eastern Yoga methods successfully is because we live in a Northern atmosphere, and the currents change as they approach the Equator.
In the first exercise sit erect with chin in and chest out, hands clasped with the thumbs crossing each other: the reason being that no obsessing force of a psychic nature can enter. Do this whenever practising. Aspire inwardly with the utmost purity of thought, and as you inhale think of the word “Aspire.” Do this six times with the mind centred upon the roots of the nose; for behind it lies the magnetic field that collects the Aspiring atoms.
In this exercise do not strain, but breathe naturally with an alert mind; for in your practice you must never allow your mind to become sleepy.
Repeat the same exercise, holding the breath for an instant whilst concentrating upon the magnetic field, then send the atoms collected there down to theatom in the heart.
By this method we call upon theatom to respond and the first time it does so the student may feel a slight pain in the heart. This exercise should be repeated daily at regular times, and in about two weeks he should feel a sensation of heat on the magnetic field. This is a process of building a bridge of communication between the inner and outer worlds by means of atomic substances.
When Aspiring send all your love to theatom and its workers, and listen for a response. When this occurs these atoms rejoice, for, as Initiates say, “There is joy in Heaven.” For now we begin to journey inwardly and place our feet upon the Path of realisation.
The response will not be in words or sounds, but a thought-emotion that we learn to translate into words. So with practice we shall in time bring through clear and definite instruction. As we have said elsewhere, our true information comes from within and not from without.
This exercise is all that is needed to deal with the Aspiring atom. Theatom collects them into its atmosphere, and distributes them through the bloodstream: a foreign invasion of atoms of a higher vibration than the vibration the body normally responds to, and these attune us to that higher wave-length of intelligence we call the Dayspring of Youth.
Whatever you do in your daily work put your aspiration into it until it becomes a habit. This will bring out your constructive powers.
When the workers within your body receive aid and instruction from the more advanced type of atom, they are immediately stimulated to a greater activity and take on themselves the characteristics of those more developed atoms who inspire them to seek closer union with their. Hence the physical body is no longer indolent, but receives a new life and vitality; for the atoms that respond go through a transforma-tion period.
The Aspiring atoms predominate in the human system and also in the seminal system, and assist in the building up of the procreative elements. If we can converse with these Aspiring atoms we can then send our thoughts into the groups and sections they are developing. And as we increase their energy by Aspiration breathing we bring into their sections our more advanced type of Aspiring atom, and this gives them happiness: for they gain a period of upliftment and, as this also increases their energy, our body benefits. This is reflected back into our minds, and for the first time we feel that they respect us.
This increase of energy causes the indolent atoms within our secondary system and physical body to respond also.
When we vibrate to the intelligence within the Silver Shield it sends to the Aspiring atoms an added appreciation of their efforts, and from that moment we feel an individual responsibility for their welfare.
After the first steps we begin to aspire for another kind of atom called the Transformation atoms, that bring about what we call “Rebirth,” for we are transmuted into another kind of substance. Though ere this happens we have to pass through our inner schools of instruction to which our Aspiring atoms have introduced us, and our progress depends upon our quickness in reviewing our past lives. This is a process similar to the embryo in the womb that draws upon its material from its past development.
The student will naturally want to know what is meant by school of instruction. We have six big centres in the body: atomic substances similar to star clusters called in the East the “Petals of the Lotus.” In time these centres will open to us and reveal intelligences that will re-experience us through our past lives. For the student cannot attain any great achievement without a knowledge of these inner universities and the forces within the Sun and the moon.
These schools record to him his evolution from his lower states to his highest attainments, and he will know two natures within him: one that unites him to good, and the other to evil.
In Eastern literature the schools are described in this manner: the lowest centres have but four petals, whilst the highest has a thousand, and is called “The Thousand Petalled Lotus.”
The student must not be afraid of contacting the evil as well as the good; for each centre is a store-house of wisdom, and he will study the evil he has done and the suffering he has had to undergo, and he will know what to avoid. He should also know that he can govern the influences of the planets when he can open these centres.
When we have acclimatised ourselves to the energy of the Transformation atoms we get a sense of being lifted out of darkness, as we are no longer resisting the intermittent streams of energy that flow into us, and we bring to birth the latent energies within the central nervous system and its branches about the spinal cord.
We have met very few who have been aware of this interior world without also being students of Yoga. And though we have met saint-like men, we have seldom found them the possessors of this science of spiritual unfoldment. We hope that this new knowledge will harmonise and bridge the void between science and religion.
In the West we find few fitted for this study, for it calls forth great fortitude, perseverance, and well-being towards others. The pupils we usually select are well grounded in the literature of the past, and are acquainted with teachings the more advanced students possess. Such men are found in every walk of life, imparting wisdom and instruction to the ignorant as well as to the scientific mind, and demonstrating the things about which they speak. It is useless to waste one’s time with a seeker who does not possess the courage and balance needed for the Brother’s work. It is also imperative that the moral character should be above suspicion; for the student has to demand the use of the Solar force in his work, and if he is immoral or sexually weak he will soon befoul himself with the lower substances of the world’s atmosphere.
The reader would assume from the above qualifications that we ask for Godlike men in order to make them Godlike. This is not so. No matter what the student’s past might have been, when he begins his Yoga practices and sincerely aspires to his, he begins with a new garment, and, if he succeeds, he will later discover within his inner universe a powerful atom known as the Advocate, who stands in the presence of the Reality and pleads our cause. If we are worthy much of our past evil karma will be forgiven us, and we shall be free from further incarnations to balance our past evil. Meeting this Advocate or Daemon is a great moment in the student’s life.
The higher atoms possess three qualities: virtue, wisdom, truth. When Yoga unites virtue and wisdom it brings to birth our torch of Truth. In other words, the balancing of the Solar and Lunar forces awakens that current known and sometimes called “The Flaming Sword of Justice,” and like the Aspiring atoms also bridges that void that separates us from our. In the East it is called “The Serpent Fire.” In scientific terms it can be analysed as static electricity, and once evoked passes up the central nervous system, increasing in velocity as it pierces each centre. We will write about this later.
Previously we said that the greatest wisdom we can record came from the moon; but beyond that is a wisdom that comes from the Sun behind the sun. It has power over the sun, moon, and stars, and this wisdom will show the student that he has celestial as well as terrestrial bodies.
In time the student will reduce the nature within him into its first element; for from this sacred fire spring all things. This essence of Nature—the fixed principle in all things—builds within him his divine inheritance and his lost treasure. When he has accomplished has purpose he will be filled with vigour and strength.
The way of the spirit is called the way of the, and each of us will come to a moment when we are to lose all or accept all. We seek union with this inner power; for there is a power stored within us for the use of future generations; this invisible ray is a sword, striking when least expected. Like “A thief in the night,” it will enter our atmosphere and create disease and disorder to all who reject its presence. For that reason we should prepare ourselves for its instruction.
In Yoga theatom directs us to those atomic intelligences that are to instruct us. After we have learned the process of communication between the inner and outer worlds we are then permitted to regain our knowledge by entering into any period of the past. Only later will it dawn on us that the atom knows best what is necessary for our development, as it works under the direction of a great atomic intelligence called the Architect, who places before it the plan it has to follow. We should remember that the atom is the Master Mason of the body.
Theatom is responsible for the work it has to do, and chooses its own kind of workmen, for whom he is also responsible as well as for the edifice.
The student will now understand why this intelligence rejoices when we bring to it superior atomic workmen of an aspiring nature.
Students who have regained their past knowledge often burn their fingers by researching into the lower recesses of their nature in order to gain powers and become magicians. When this occurs they soon humbly return to that source that will give them instruction best needed for their present development.
As the student passes deeper into the finer planes of his being this vibratory bridge will also link him to similar depths within his lower nature. This is a struggle for purity of thought, and his aspiring breathing, that in time becomes rhythmic, supports him at moments of peril. The physical body is the occultist’s support and foundation, and places him in a stronger position than the angels or demons: for he has the earth to spring from and their feet have no resistance for they dwell amid floating substances.
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