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Re: Breathing Exercises (Chuck)

Jul 02, 1996 05:50 PM
by Jim Meier

Hi Chuck --

I'm not sure but what you and I are not using the word "psychic" to mean
different things.  For examples,

>The difficulty is the assumption that there is something "special" about
>developing certain abilities and that is utter nonsense.  Psychic abilities
>are no more special than learning how to read.

That rather depends upon how one defines "certain abilities", doesn't it?
Are you saying that, for example, the development of certain abilities
described in Patanjali's Sutras, Book III such as the direct perception of
the knowledge of previous births (III.19) or the ability to see images in
the minds of others (III.20) is on a par with learning how to read?  I don't
think so.  But you are taking a thread on Pranayama back into the "psychism
is good, psychism is bad" context, and that's been beat around enough, don't
you agree?  It's all a matter of context within an individual timeline:
while EVERYONE will EVENTUALLY have to experience EVERYTHING, it's very easy
to get hung up on mysticism v. meditation or emotion v. intellect as
separative dualitites.  Pranayama is the science of energy manipulation, and
psychism is not the only possible outlet or effect.  

>The idea that somehow one must alter one's life to conform with somebody
>else's idea of spirituality before attempting to learn how to use that which
>one already has is nothing more than another of many attempts at social
>control of those abilities and can be safely rejected out of hand.
>Chuck the Heretic

Interesting use of the word "safely" there... while on the one hand I
absolutely agree with you about the "un-necessity of conforming to another's
idea of spirituality", it is still possible that we can save time (and maybe
learn a thing or two) from those who have gone before us.  In the case of
Pranayama, the folks who urge restraint seem (IMO) to carry more weight than
those who argue 
"Damn the torpedos!"  You also wrote of these abilities, "... to learn how
to use that which one already has.." and that also makes me think we're not
talking about the same thing.  Pranayama is generally considered in a
context of developing abilites that one does NOT already have, and so I'm
not sure quite what you mean in your paragraph above.

Psychism -- as I think the term should be used -- encompasses a whole lot
more than the simple astralism that HPB (and so many others) warned against.
But it isn't often easy to tell on theos-l what people mean when using the

But to get back to Doss' original question -- from your two posts: Are you
saying that breathing exercises do not carry any potential for abuse or for
"unexpected and deleterious effects"?  


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