Chapter 16.  Yogi Spiritual Breathing.

The Yogis not only bring about desired mental qualities and properties by will- power coupled with rhythmic breathing, but they also develop spiritual faculties, or rather aid in their unfoldment, in the same way. The Oriental philosophies teach that man has many faculties which are at present in a dormant state, but which will become unfolded as the race progresses. They also teach that man, by the proper effort of the will, aided by favourable conditions, may aid in the unfoldment of these spiritual faculties, and develop them much sooner than in the ordinary process of evolution. In other words, one may even now develop spiritual powers of consciousness which will not become the common property of the race until after long ages of gradual development under the law of evolution. In all of the exercises directed toward this end, rhythmic breathing plays an important part. There is of course no mystic property in the breath itself which produces such wonderful results, but the rhythm produced by the Yogi breath is such as to bring the whole system, including the brain, under perfect control, and in perfect harmony, and by this means, the most perfect condition is obtained for the unfoldment of these latent faculties.

In this work we cannot go deeply, into the philosophy of the East regarding spiritual development, because this subject would require volumes to cover it, and then again the subject is too abstruse to interest the average reader. There are also other reasons, well known to occultists, why this knowledge should not be spread broadcast at this time. Rest assured, dear student, that when the time comes for you to take the next step, the way will be opened out before you. "When the chela (student) is ready, the guru (master) appears." In this chapter we will give you directions for the development of two phases of spiritual consciousness, i.e., (1) the consciousness of the identity of the Soul, and (2) the consciousness of the connection of the Soul with the Universal Life. Both of the exercises given below are simple, and consist of mental images firmly held, accompanied with rhythmic breathing. The student must not expect too much at the start, but must make haste slowly, and be content to develop as does the flower, from seed to blossom.


The real Self is not the body or even the mind of man. These things are but a part of his personality, the lesser self. The real Self is the Ego, whose manifestation is in individuality. The real Self is independent of the body, which it inhabits, and is even independent of the mechanism of the mind, which it uses as an instrument. The real Self is a drop from the Divine Ocean, and is eternal and indestructible. It cannot die or be annihilated, and no matter what becomes of the body, the real Self still exists. It is the Soul. Do not think of your Soul as a thing apart from you, for YOU are the Soul, and the body is the unreal and transitory part of you which is changing in material every day, and which you will some day discard. You may develop the faculties so that they will be conscious of the reality of the Soul, and its independence of the body. The Yogi plan for such development is by meditation upon the real Self or Soul, accompanied by rhythmic breathing. The following exercise is the simplest form.


Place your body in a relaxed, reclining position. Breathe rhythmically, and meditate upon the real Self, thinking of yourself as an entity independent of the body, although inhabiting it and being able to leave it at will. Think of yourself, not as the body, but as a spirit, and of your body as but a shell, useful and comfortable but not a part of the real You. Think of yourself as an independent being, using the body only as a convenience. While meditating, ignore the body entirely, and you will find that you will often become almost entirely unconscious of it, and will seem to be out of the body to which you may return when you are through with the exercise.

This is the gist of the Yogi meditative breathing methods, and if persisted in will give one a wonderful sense of the reality of the Soul, and will make him seem almost independent of the body. The sense of immortality will often come with this increased consciousness, and the person will begin to show signs of spiritual development which will be noticeable to himself and others. But he must not allow himself to live too much in the upper regions, or to despise his body, for he is here on this plane for a purpose, and he must not neglect his opportunity to gain the experiences necessary to round him out, nor must he fail to respect his body, which is the Temple of the Spirit.


The Spirit in man, which is the highest manifestation of his Soul, is a drop in the ocean of Spirit, apparently separate and distinct, but yet really in touch with the ocean itself, and with every other drop in it. As man unfolds in spiritual consciousness he becomes more and more aware of his relation to the Universal Spirit, or Universal Mind as some term it. He feels at times as if he were almost in at-one-ment with it, and then again he loses the sense of contact and relationship. The Yogis seek to attain this state of Universal Consciousness by meditation and rhythmic breathing, and many have thus attained the highest degree of spiritual attainment possible to man in this stage of his existence. The student of this work will not need the higher instruction regarding adeptship at this time, as he has much to do and accomplish before he reaches that stage, but it may be well to initiate him into the elementary stages of the Yogi exercises for developing Universal Consciousness, and if he is in earnest he will discover means and methods whereby he may progress. The way is always opened to him who is ready to tread the path. The following exercise will be found to do much toward developing the Universal Consciousness in those who faithfully practice it.


Place your body in a reclining, relaxed position. Breathe rhythmically, and meditate upon your relationship with the Universal Mind of which you are but an atom. Think of yourself as being in touch with All, and at-one-ment with All. See All as One, and your Soul as a part of that One. Feel that you are receiving the vibrations from the great Universal Mind, and are partaking of its power and strength and wisdom. The two following lines of meditation may be followed.

A. With each inhalation, think of yourself as drawing in to yourself the strength and power of the Universal Mind. When exhaling think of yourself as passing out to others that same power, at the same time being filled with love for every living thing, and desiring that it be a partaker of the same blessings which you are now receiving. Let the Universal Power circulate through you.

B. Place your mind in a reverential state, and meditate upon the grandeur of the Universal Mind, and open yourself to the inflow of the Divine Wisdom, which will fill you with illuminating wisdom, and then let the same flow out from you to your brothers and sisters whom you love and would help. This exercise leaves with those who have practiced it a new found sense of strength, power and wisdom, and a feeling of spiritual exaltation and bliss. It must be practiced only in a serious, reverential mood, and must not be approached triflingly or lightly.


The exercises given in this chapter require the proper mental attitude and conditions, and the trifler and person of a non-serious nature, or one without a sense of spirituality and reverence, had better pass them by, as no results will be obtained by such persons, and besides it is a wilful trifling with things of a high order, which course never benefits those who pursue it. These exercises are for the few who can understand them, and the others will feel no attraction to try them.

During meditation let the mind dwell upon the ideas given in the exercise, until it becomes clear to the mind, and gradually manifests in real consciousness within you. The mind will gradually become passive and at rest, and the mental image will manifest clearly. Do not indulge in these exercises too often, and do not allow the blissful state produced to render you dissatisfied with the affairs of everyday life, as the latter are useful and necessary for you, and you must never shirk a lesson, however disagreeable to you it may be. Let the joy arising from the unfolding consciousness buoy you up and nerve you for the trials of life, and not make you dissatisfied and disgusted. All is good, and everything has its place. Many of the students who practice these exercises will in time wish to know more. Rest assured that when the time comes we will see that you do not seek in vain. Go on in courage and confidence, keeping your face toward the East, from whence comes the rising Sun.

Peace be unto you, and unto all men.



The Yogi philosophy comprises the teachings which have come down the centuries of thought, investigation, experiment and demonstration on the part of the advanced minds of the Yogi Masters of India, Chaldea. Persia, Egypt and Ancient Greece-down to the present time-from Master to Student-Guru to Chela. It is the oldest philosophy in the world, although to the western world it comes as a new message - a Message from the East.


There have been in all ages certain highly developed, advanced and exalted souls in the flesh, known as the Yogi Masters and Adepts, although many of the tales told concerning them are myths, or pure fiction originating in the minds of some modern sensational writers. The Master Yogis have passed from lower to higher planes of consciousness, thus gaining wisdom, power and qualities that seem almost miraculous to the man of the ordinary consciousness. A Hindu writer speaking of them has said: "To him who hath travelled far along The Path, sorrow ceases to trouble; fetters cease to bind, obstacles cease to hinder. Such a one is free. For him there is no more trouble or sorrow. For him there are no more unconscious rebirths. His old Karma is exhausted, and he creates no new Karma. His heart is freed from the desire for future life. No new longings arise within his soul. He is like a lamp which burneth from the oil of the Spirit, and not from the oil of the outer world. The Master Yogis are able to pass through material obstacles, walls, ramparts, etc.; he is able to throw his phantasmal appearance in many places at once. He acquires the power of hearing the sounds of the unseen world as distinctly as those of the phenomenal world, more distinctly in point of fact. Also by his power he is able to read the most secret thoughts of others, and to tell their characters." Such are the Yogi Masters.


The Western student is apt to be somewhat confused in his ideas regarding the Yogis and their philosophy and practice. Travelers to India have written great tales about the hordes of fakirs, mendicants and mountebanks who infest the great roads of India and the streets of its cities, and who impudently claim the title "Yogi."

The Western student is scarcely to be blamed for thinking of the typical Yogi as an emaciated, fanatical, dirty, ignorant Hindu, who either sits in a. fixed posture until his body becomes ossified, or else holds his arm up in the air until it becomes stiff and withered and for ever after remains in that position, or perhaps clenches his fist and holds it tight until his fingernails grow through the palm of his hands. That these people exist is true, but their claim to the title "Yogi" seems as absurd to the true Yogi as does the claim to the title "Doctor" on the part of the man who pares one's corns seem to the eminent surgeon, or as does the title of "Professor," as assumed by the street corner vendor of worm medicine, seem to the President of Harvard or Yale.


There have been for ages past in India and other Oriental countries Yogi Masters who devoted their time and attention to the development of Man, physically, mentally and spiritually. The experience of generations of earnest seekers has been handed down for centuries from teacher to pupil, and gradually a definite Yoga science was built up. To these investigations and teachings was finally applied the term "Yogi," from the Sanscrit word "Yug," meaning "to join."


Yoga is divided into several branches, ranging from that which teaches the control of the body, to that which teaches the highest spiritual development. Men are of varying temperaments, and the course that which will best suit one will not be adapted to the requirements of another. One will seek progress and development in one direction, and another in a different way, and a third by a still different course. The Yogi Philosophy teaches that the way that seems to appeal the most to a man's general temperament and disposition is the one best adapted to his use at the present time. They divide the Path of Attainment into three paths leading up to the great main road. They call these three paths:

1. Raja Yoga;

2. Karma Yoga;

3. Gnani Yoga;

Each of these forms of Yoga being a path leading to the Great Road, and each being traveled by those who may prefer it - but all lead to the same place. We will now give a brief description of each of the three paths, which together are known to the Yogis as "The Threefold Path."


Each branch of Yoga is but a path leading toward the one end- unfoldment, development, and growth. He who wishes first to develop, control and strengthen his physical body so as to render it a fit instrument of the Higher Self, follows the path of "Hatha Yoga." He who would develop his will-power and mental faculties, unfolding the inner senses, and latent powers, follows the path of "Raja Yoga." He who wishes to develop by "knowing" - by studying the fundamental principles and the wonderful truths underlying Life, follows the path of "Gnani Yoga." And he who wishes to grow into a union with the One Life by the influence of Love, he follows the path of "Bhakti Yoga." But it must not be supposed that the student must ally himself to only a single one of these paths to power. In fact, very few do. The majority prefer to gain a rounded knowledge and acquaint themselves with the principles of the several branches, learning something of each, giving preference of course to those branches that appeal to them more strongly, this attraction being the indication of need, or requirement, and, therefore, being the hand pointing out the path.

It is well for everyone to know something of "Hatha Yoga," in order that the body may be purified, strengthened and kept in health in order to become a more fitting instrument of the Higher Self. It is well that each one should know something of "Raja Yoga," that he may understand the training and control of the mind, and the use of the Will. It is well that everyone should learn the Wisdom of "Gnani Yoga," that he may realise the wonderful truths underlying life - the Science of Being, the scientific and intellectual knowing of the great questions regarding life and what lies back of life - the Riddle of the Universe. And it is well that everyone should know something of "Bhakti Yoga," that he may understand the great teachings regarding the love underlying all life. The man best calculated to make general advancement along occult lines, is one who avoids running to extremes in any one of the branches of the subject, but who, while in the main following his own inclination toward certain forms of "Yoga," still keeps up a general acquaintance with the several phases of the great philosophy.

In the end, man must develop on all his many sides, and why not keep in touch with all sides while we journey along. By following this course we avoid onesidedness; fanaticism; narrowness; shortsightedness and bigotry.


Our books are intended only for those who feel an earnest attraction towards the higher teachings. They are for earnest students, inspired by the highest motives. Those for whom these teachings are intended will feel attracted to them. If you feel attracted toward these works, we will be glad to have you study them. If not we will feel just as kindly toward you, and will send you our best wishes for the hastening of the day when you will be ready for the advanced teachings. The matter is one entirely for the guidance of your Higher Self-let it decide for you. To those to whom a glimpse of the Inner Life has been given, the Yogi Philosophy will prove a treasury of the rarest jewels, and each time he studies it he will see new gems. To many it will be the first revelation of that which they have been all their lives blindly seeking. To many it will be the first bit of spiritual bread given to satisfy the hunger of the soul. To many it will be the first cup of water from the spring of life, given to quench the thirst which has consumed them. Those for whom this teaching is intended will recognise its message, and after it they will never be the same as before it came to them. As the poet has said "Where I pass all my children know me," and so will the Children of the Light recognise the teaching as for them. As for the others, we can only say that they will in time be ready for this great message. Some will be able to understand much of the teaching from the first, while others will see but dimly even the first steps. The student, however, will find that when he has firmly planted his foot on one of these steps, he will find the one just ahead becoming dimly illuminated, so as to give him confidence to take the next step. Let none be discouraged: the fact that this teaching attracts you will in time unfold its meaning. Study it over and over often, and you will find veil after veil lifted, though veil upon veil still remains between you and That Beyond. Peace be to you.


We advise interested beginners to study first our "Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy" which give a general outline of the entire subject. The beginner will also do well to study "Hatha Yogi" in order to render his physical body healthy and sound and thus give the Spirit a worthy Temple in which to manifest. "Science of Breath "may also be studied to advantage by the beginners.

As the student proceeds and develops in understanding he may take up the study of "Our Advanced Course, then "Raja Yogi" and "Gnani Yoga" as his interest and desires dictate. Our little manual "Light on the Path" and "Illumined Way" will fit in well at this stage.

We will be glad to furnish inquirers with advice regarding the books they need, if they will ask us for the same. Each student of this subject, however, finds himself attracted to the books he needs - this is the Law. As the Teachers have written: "Know, O disciple, that those who have passed through the silence, and felt its peace, and retained its strength, they long that you shall pass through it also. Therefore, in the Hall of Learning, when he is capable of entering there, the disciple will always find his master." And so, the inclination toward the required book comes in due time.