King Yoga Breathing – The Imitation of God
Breathing out and breathing in
We breathe automatically – without thinking. It is an action governed by the subconscious. When we perform yoga breathing, we are taking this action from the realms of the subconscious to the conscious. We make ourselves consciously aware that we are breathing, and then control the way we do this.
This can be compared to our Divinity. We are all Divine all the time. We don’t have to think about it for it to be true. We are God right now and always, albeit in an extremely limited form, incomparable to the full greatness of the Absolute – but we are God nevertheless. In spiritual development we take this unconscious fact and make ourselves conscious of it. We think about it, and then, hopefully, control our actions accordingly.
In the beginning, all was God – perfect and unmanifest. For some reason unknown and unknowable to mortal man, God chose to create the universe out of itself (Note 1). This is called the great out-breathing of creation – when the perfection of God became “wrapped up” in matter etc. This is what we are. The great in-breathing of creation is when these limited, individualized aspects of God, realize that they are God, and go back to that state of perfection.
When we perform yoga breathing we are virtually imitating this process. Rather than just breathing without thinking, we are, like God, choosing to breathe out and then in, conscious of what is happening. By acting like God in this way, we become more aware of our own Divinity.
When we perform yoga breathing, we should think about this. This is a great motivator – a great inspiration – and a great truth. Just like the son of a woodcutter will imitate his father by cutting small bits of wood, we – the children of God – can imitate our Father, the Creator, by breathing consciously. And just as the son of the woodcutter will feel happy and proud to copy his father, we too can feel a sense of spiritual happiness, and even spiritual pride (in the right way), to copy our Divine Father. This is our destiny, it is what we are born to do, it is what experience is driving us towards – and we can feel joyful that we have realized this and are putting it into action.
Prana – realizer of potential
Prana is the universal life force. It is what brings potential into manifestation. As such – prana is life.
When we breathe we are not only taking in air, but taking in prana. By consciously visualizing prana, as white light, filling the air we breathe, and therefore filling ourselves when we breathe it in, we are charging ourselves up with this life force. This will potentize our spiritual development – because it will speed up the realization of our inner potential; it will make us realize and manifest our Divinity more quickly.
God is the creator of light. We are all like bright lights of God, but this light is hidden by layers of ignorance and limitation we have imposed upon ourselves through the wrong use of our free will. Correct use of prana removes this ignorance and limitation – so we can shine as the Divine beings that we really are.
Contact Your Higher Self through Yoga
Dr. George King’s booklet Contact Your Higher Self through Yoga teaches a simple system of yoga breathing comprised of six different breathing techniques. Dr. King did not invent these breathings, but he did put them together in this form.
Contact Your Higher Self through Yoga means just that – this booklet teaches you to contact your Higher Self through yoga.
In this blogpost I am going to share with you a few ideas about how this happens. I must stress that although I have practiced these breathings for a number of years, I have by no means mastered them, or anything like it. As such, these ideas are simply my own opinions – which hopefully will be interesting and helpful – but should not be taken blindly as fact.
The First Breathing
The first breathing is about making the breath deep and even – the in-breath the same length as the out-breath. This imitates the action of God in the creation and dissolution of the universe, as discussed above.
If it is true that we are “made in God’s image”, this doesn’t mean that God has two arms and two legs – obviously. God is not a man, or a woman, or anything else – God is all. But, in a very limited way, we are in a sense a microcosmic version of God. We are miniature replicas of certain aspects of God – covered in cloaks of ignorance.
The microcosmic breath of man is a copy of the macrocosmic breath of God. By focusing on this in the action of breath, we focus on our oneness with God. We are, as the Master Jesus puts it in The Twelve Blessings, taking a step closer to becoming “Conscious Gods” (Note 2).
All but the last of the breathings has an affirmation to go with it. The first affirmation is:
“I am now purifying my mind and body.”
It is very easy to repeat this in our minds without really meaning it, or even believing it. This is of course wrong.
The simple action of controlled breathing purifies the mind, and the affirmation empowers this.
What is a pure mind?
“Pure” does not mean innocent here – too late for that as far as most of us are concerned!
The literal dictionary definition of “pure” is “without flaw”. A pure mind is a mind which can do what a mind is meant to do – think clearly. This may sound basic, and not even very spiritual, but is in fact an extremely rare virtue which is at the very core of what enlightenment really is.
A truly spiritual person will cut right to the heart of a problem and solve it. You might say that some materialistic, or even evil, people can do this as well, which is true, but such people only think clearly up to a point. This is because materialism and evil are fundamentally flawed approaches to life, which, ultimately, by the law of karma, are always doomed to failure, without any exception.
One aspect of thinking clearly is the absence of emotionalism. This does not mean that the spiritual person is unfeeling – quite the reverse in fact, spiritual people will develop deeper feelings than materialistic people. But this feeling is balanced and controlled. Not repressed – but controlled.
A really spiritual person will not be the victim of their feelings – angry one minute, ecstatic the next; or greedy, jealous, self-piteous etc. The advanced person determines what their feelings should be, in order to bring about the greatest good, or, if they do not determine them, then they are at least capable of detaching from their feelings to the extent that is necessary in order to do some act of greater good.
In this way, the spiritual person will instinctively “look on the bright side” – not in an idiotic way, but in a practical way. They will see a negative as a negative, but try to see what positive thing can be made to come out of such a negative.
With wisdom, emotionalism will naturally fade away, because the wise person sees life for what it really is. This being the case, uncontrolled desire becomes an absurdity.
The Second and Third Breathings
The affirmation for both these breathings is:
“I am now filling my mind and body with the mighty power of God.”
Again, it is easy to repeat this without really meaning it – but when we do mean it, it is incredibly powerful. The “power of God” is often thought of as some vague, mythical, theoretical, inaccessible, heavenly thing – but here it is, right here, right now, every time we do these breathings and think these thoughts.
In fact, the power of God is of course everywhere all the time, but, again, in this exercise we are becoming conscious of this. With consciousness of the power of God, we become wielders of this great power – in a sense becoming miniature Gods ourselves.
These two breathings are virtually opposites, in that in the second breathing the breath is held within the body, and in the third, the breath is held with the lungs empty.
Holding the breath in the body is fairly easy to understand – we are keeping the power within ourselves. The act of holding the breath is also an imitation of the still “body” of God, containing all life (prana) and all potential within in it. This represents God as Creator – the Father of all life.
Holding the breath outside of the body is less obvious. What we are doing is creating a vacuum – and since nature abhors a vacuum, this causes prana to flow into us. It does this through the chakras (psychic centres).
This too is an imitation of God – but in the opposite way. It is a copy of the great still void, made by God, into which all things flow, bringing manifestation. As such this represents the Divinity of manifestation – the Divine Mother.
Dr. King’s book Realize Your Inner Potential, co-authored with Richard Lawrence, contains not only the breathing exercises and affirmations as given in Contact Your Higher Self through Yoga, but also a more advanced set of these breathings with visualizations specifically to encourage the correct rise of kundalini – the mystical force at the base of the spine.
The second breathing involves gazing at a light a few inches in front of the forehead. The third breathing gives us the option of gazing at an equilateral triangle, which should be “as blue as mid-summer sky”, in the same position.
This, I believe is extremely interesting. None of these things are random. The light could be compared to the Sun, which, as we know from the Master Jesus, again in The Twelve Blessings, is “…the God of your Bible”, and “…the Brahma of the Hindu scripts”; “…the nearest thing to God in your concept of manifestation” (Note 3). As such, it is, as far as we are concerned, virtually God the Father.
The blue triangle is the colour of the sky – i.e. when we look up, the colour of that which is not the Sun. The equilateral triangle, as discussed in the commentary on The Seventh Freedom, representing – creation, preservation and transmutation, is a symbol for manifestation. It is also a very holy symbol for wisdom. This is because this understanding of manifestation, as represented by the triangle, is an extremely elevated aspect of wisdom.
So the visualizations here, are in fact, in perfect harmony with the action of the breathing exercises. The second breathing is male, full, the creator – God the Father. The third breathing is female, empty, that which maintains manifestation – the Divine Mother.
As such, these two breathings are perfectly balanced: first the realization of God, but then the realization that God is all; even manifestation is Divine – which is a subtler, and potentially more demanding, realization to arrive at.
The Fourth and Fifth Breathings
These are also a pair of virtual opposites, but in a very different way. The Fourth Breathing is loud and vigorous except when the breath is actually held. The Fifth Breathing also involves a noise on the in-breath, but is silent on the outbreath, and is an altogether gentler, slower practice.
The Fourth involves visualization of the white light in front of the forehead while the breath is held. The Fifth does include visualization of the white light in front of the forehead, but it is relatively brief, since the breath is not held. In other words, the Fifth Breathing acknowledges God the Creator, but is, like manifestation itself, ever-moving, and does not imitate the stillness of God – the unmanifest.
The Fifth also involves “sipping” – vibrating the moisture on the tip of the tongue on the in-breath. This introduces the element of water – a female element. Again we see the pattern of a “male” breathing, followed by a “female” breathing – each balancing the other.
The affirmation of the Fourth Breathing is:
“I am Divine Spirit. I am now mastering my mind and body.”
Notice that “I am Divine Spirit” comes first. It has to – in order to define the “I” that is mastering the mind and body. If “I” were not defined in this spiritual way, the affirmation could be misused to gain power without a spiritual framework to govern the use of that power. After all, the most evil intelligences on Earth have obtained a degree of “mastery” over their minds and bodies – perhaps greater mastery in many respects than some Spiritual Masters. But they do not realize their Divinity, which is all the difference. As such their “progress” can only go so far, before karma sends them back.
This affirmation is also a paradox. Divine Spirit is that part of ourselves which is not manifest – it is above that. That which is not manifest does not act. Action is motion, and motion is one of the seven dimensions of creation – note that: of creation, i.e. it is manifest. In this way, Divine Spirit does not master anything, or indeed move or act in any way. And yet – although Divine Spirit does not act, it is the cause of action. It does nothing, and yet without it nothing is done, because it is the cause of everything.
Hence in this very holy affirmation, we are imprinting in our conscious minds the fact that in essence we are that pure “Godness” – still, and yet the cause of all movement. This realization in itself results in the mastery of the mind and the body. If we fully understood and knew the first sentence in this affirmation, we would not need the second one, because it is a part of it. But such is the nature of affirmation – not to decree what should be, but to affirm what is.
Think of God itself – God knows it is God, and God is master of all things. Again, we see ourselves as microcosmic copies of the Divine macrocosm.
The affirmation for the Fifth Breathing fits absolutely perfectly as the opposite balance to that of the Fourth. It is:
“I am one with the Light of God which never fails.”
The Light of God is not Divine Spirit. Divine Spirit is not light – it is so great that it is above even light. Light is an aspect of manifestation. Divine Spirit is above manifestation – it is not manifest. It is the source of light – but it is not light. (Note 4)
Nothing purer than the Light of God exists in all manifestation; there is nothing closer than the Light of God to Divine Spirit. Ultimately all of manifestation is the Light of God – but some parts of that light are brighter than others, some being extremely dim, wrapped up in the veils of ignorance.
In this affirmation we are affirming our oneness with the Divinity of manifestation itself – the Divine Mother, once again. We are indeed one with the Light of God, because that is what we are – we are parts of manifestation coming from the Divine Source, with Divine Spirit at our core.
Again, this is a statement of fact, not a desire. It is “I am one with the Light of God”, not “Please may I be one with the Light of God”. It is literally true – now and always – that we are one with the Light of God. It cannot be otherwise.
The Light of God cannot fail. This works on at least three levels:
- All is God, and therefore all takes place within the dimension of Divine Will, therefore failure, in its most absolute sense, cannot exist, because God cannot fail and God is all. God’s plan for creation is perfect in every minute detail.
- No act of goodness (i.e. the Light of God) can ever be a failure in a true spiritual sense. It may be insufficient to bring about a specific result, but if that is the case, it is not goodness that has failed, but the lack of goodness that has prevented success. Goodness is success.
- By conscious knowledge of our oneness with all manifestation, and conscious knowledge of the Divinity of that self-same manifestation, we virtually become like God – albeit still in human form. With that, comes the power of God, in proportion to our realization. The more of the power of God we have, the less likely failure becomes.
The Sixth Breathing
There is no affirmation here. This is the imitation of God before manifestation began and after manifestation is over – the stage before the beginning and the stage after the end (Note 5). The stage before the beginning was before sound, before thought, before movement of any kind. Before even light. This is absolute stillness and complete silence. This is our heritage and our destiny.
The mudra – hand sign – used in this breathing is a very ancient one well known in serious yoga practice. The fingers block the ears, eyes, nose and mouth. This blocks the sense organs, symbolically, and to some extent literally. (Touch is symbolically blocked by the limitation of the movement of the hands and fingers.)
Our experience of manifestation takes place through the senses. With the senses cut off, we are, as it were, taking ourselves out of manifestation – back to pure Godness. Obviously we cannot actually leave manifestation, but this is as close as we can get at this stage in evolution.
The mind can now be pure in the highest sense. No longer does it reflect the sense objects it perceives, it has nothing to perceive but itself, and as it does so it begins to see the essence of that self: God.
During this practice we can see, and fix our concentration on, a light in the head, as it were. It is as though rather than worshipfully gazing at God as something outside of ourselves, we are now truly realizing that we are God.
We are the source of Light, just as God is the source of Light – and of all things – because we are God.
Note 1: We learn in the Seventh Freedom that we will begin to know the “why” of creation when we become interplanetary.
Note 2: See the words of the Master Jesus in the Ninth Blessing.
Note 3: See the words of the Master Jesus after the Eighth Blessing.
Note 4: See the blogpost entitled ‘How to overcome spiritual aloneness – a three-point plan’ for a more in-depth explanation of the Light of God.
Note 5: See the Twelfth Blessing.
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About the author
Mark Bennett is the co-author of two books, both of which he wrote with international bestselling author Richard Lawrence, namely Prayer Energy and Gods, Guides and Guardian Angels, which was voted “best book on spirituality 2007” by readers of Kindred Spirit magazine. He is the youngest International Director of The Aetherius Society, whose teachings he chose as his spiritual path at an early age.
All the blogposts written for aetherius.org are written by experienced Aetherius Society personnel and approach themes relating to the teachings, practices and ideals of the Society. However, they also contain personal opinions, insights and interpretations that are not necessarily representative of the Society as a whole, or all of its Members as individuals.