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Generating Nerve-Force

By reference to the first paragraph of Chapter IV, you will see that I have separated the physical phase of mental magnetism into two coordinated manifestations, the first of which i.e., the generation within the nervous system of a plenteous supply of nerve-force, I shall now describe.

The word “generation,” in this connection, only imperfectly conveys the idea of the actual process of acquiring nerve-force within the nervous system, for the process is one of “absorption” and “distribution,” rather than one of “generation.” But as the latter term conveys a simpler picture of the process, I have thought well to use it in this connection, particularly as many of the old occult writers have used it, in this sense, before my time.

This process of nerve-force generation may be said to consist of two distinct, yet coordinated phases, viz.: (1) the absorption of an extra amount of nerve-force from the atmosphere, by special forms of breathing; and (2) the distribution of the same to the great centers of the nervous system which act as reservoirs of nerve-force. I shall now proceed to consider these two respective phases, in their proper order.

The first phase of nerve-force generation consists of the absorption of an extra supply of nerve-force from the atmosphere, by means of special forms of breathing. All persons constantly absorb nerve-force from the atmosphere, in the ordinary process of breathing, the amount differing with the individual, or rather, with his habits of breathing. You will have noticed that the vigorous, strong individual, nearly always breathes fully – that is, deeply and regularly – while the weak person will breathe only partially and irregularly. There is a very close connection between full, regular breathing and general physical health and strength, but I shall not touch upon this phase of the subject here, for it forms no part of this special instruction. I merely drop a hint, which the wise will take advantage of.

Without wishing to lead you into the subtleties of Oriental psychology, with its complicated forms of breathing for psychic and spiritual development, etc., I must call your attention, at this point, to the philosophy underlying some of the Oriental breathing practices, for the same is based on the soundest scientific principals. The Oriental philosophy teaches that each mental and physical state of the individual is represented by a special rhythm of breath, the rhythm and condition always being found together. The mental or physical condition will invariably manifest the particular rhythm of breath, which belongs to it; and, likewise (and this is one of the occult secrets) the deliberate assumption of a particular rhythm of breath will speedily result in the manifestation of the appropriate physical or mental condition.

You have but to consider the subject for a moment, to see that when you are frightened or angry, you breathe with a different rhythm than when you are calm and peaceful. Each emotion, up and down the scale, has its own appropriate rhythm of breath, which invariably manifests at the same time. Moreover, different physical conditions like wise manifest in coordinated breath-rhythms. Keep a close watch on yourself, and those around you, and you will soon see that the above statements of facts are strictly correct. You will wonder why you never noticed the phenomena before.

A little less known, even, is the correlated fact that the deliberate assumption or “acting out” of the particular breath –rhythm related to a particular emotion, will result in a speedy experiencing of the emotion itself. This also may be tested out on yourself.

You will find that a few moments’ anger-breath or fear-breath (if well acted out, or assumed faithfully) will result in you soon experiencing a feeling of anger or fear, as the case may be. Likewise, you will find that the deliberate assumption, on your part, of the breath-rhythm of peace, calm, self-control, will be sufficient to induce that particular state of feeling in you. There is a big hint in this last sentence, by the way, for that is exactly what the Oriental sages do to induce and maintain the mental state of philosophic calm for which they are noted. In this connection, let us remind you that when you are endeavouring to control your temper, and to maintain your pose, under extreme provocation, you will find that you instinctively strive to control your breath-rhythm, which shows a marked tendency to fly off into a state of rapid panting and gasping. And, so long as you can maintain your steady controlled rhythm of breath, you will maintain your poise and self-control.

Well, to make a long story short – to get right down to the gist of the subject of the absorption of nerve-force through controlled breath-rhythm – let me say to you (1) that there is a breath-rhythm which nature uses to restore nerve force to the depleted system, after a great demand upon it in the direction of either a strong mental or emotional strain, or after a severe physical strain; and (2) that a deliberate assumption or “acting out” of this particular breath-rhythm will result in your being able to quickly absorb a greatly increased supply of nerve-force for the purpose of use in personal magnetism – to render you full of physical magnetism, in fact. Do you catch this point? If not, reread the above paragraph, several times, until you fully grasp the importance of the statements therein contained – for they comprise exactly on e-half of the philosophy of nerve-force generation – and much more besides if you are able to grasp it.

You naturally ask, at this point: “What is this particular breath-rhythm which nature uses to aid us in recuperating, and which nature uses to aid using recuperating, and which may be assumed with such wonderful result?” Very well, let me answer you by asking you another question, namely: “How do you breathe when you begin to recuperate just after a sever emotional, mental or physical strain, when the characteristic first panting breath quiets down?” If you will consider carefully, you will answer that you generally begin by one or two long drawn out sighing breaths, followed by a period of calm, deliberate, slow, deep breaths. You may not have noticed it, but these last calm, deep breaths are marked by a slow but regular rhythm – as regular, indeed, as the slow swing of the pendulum of a large clock, or the accompanying “tick” thereof. You will find that this slow, regular rhythmic breath continues for some little time, until you feel refreshed and reinvigorated, when the breath will drop into the normal “everyday” rhythm, and the task is over.

Well, this is exactly the breath-rhythm, which, if properly assumed and well “acted-out,” will result in drawing to you a greatly increased supply of nerve-force from the universal storehouse of the same, i.e., the atmosphere around you.

I ask you, student, to pause at his point, and reread the preceding paragraph. Consider it carefully, roll it over in our mind, until you fully grasp its tremendous significance, and fully make it your own thought. For in those few lines is condensed a statement of wonderful truth, which, if taken advantage of, will transform you into a very giant of physical magnetism. Do not proceed with this reading, until you have fully grasped the importance of the information just given you.

But do not imagine that you can jump at once into this great power. You must first gradually acquire the exact rhythm for yourself – for I can do no more than to indicate it to you. I cannot say, “Breathe in just so many seconds; hold the breath just so many; and then breathe out just so many,” and so on, as many teachers have done – some who should have known better, for that matter. For each person has his or her own particular breath-rhythm of this kind, the difference arising from mental or physical formation and characteristics.

The following is the rule – the only rule – in this matter: “Ascertain, first, the precise breath-rhythm which nature has given you for use in moments of recuperation after extreme mental, emotional or physical strain; and then, second, practice the same voluntarily by assuming, or acting out the mental and physical conditions producing it, until the rhythm becomes fixed in your memory, so that you can easily reproduce it, instinctively, when you wish.” Read this rule over until you thoroughly understand it.

You will find it somewhat difficult to assume or act out the conditions producing the rhythm, at first, unless you happen to be a natural or well-trained actor. But keep trying, until you master it. Practice will make perfect, in this as in everything else, remember. Mentally place yourself in the same vibrations as when you were under some great strain of mind, emotion or body, in the past; and you will find that the same will be followed by an acting-out of the period of recuperation, with its accompaniment of appropriate breath-rhythm. Each student will manage this in his, or her, own way, and will get the result, if persistent, persevering effort were made.

You will find that the first indication of the recuperating breath-rhythm will usually be a long drawn out sigh, followed by a moment of rest, which, in turn, is followed by an easy, though deep, slow, deliberate succession of in-breathing and out-breathing, in perfect rhythm, which will be accompanied by a feeling of increased strength and vitality, of mind and body – delighted to experience is the feeling of “relief” and fresh vigor, vitality and vim which results from this breath-rhythm.

In practicing this recuperative breath-rhythm for the purpose of resting, gaining strength, or increasing your store of nerve-force, do not fall into the too-common error of artificial rhythmic breathing. Do not make the mistake of trying to count the seconds of the breath; or to make the breaths extend neither over a particular time, nor to exactly match each other; or to retain the breath any special time; nor to count time between breaths; or anything of that kid. Forget all about the artificial standards, and give yourself up entirely to a peaceful, calm feeling of relief and recuperation, which nature will bestow upon you if you will create the right conditions for the manifesting of her power. Do not be artificial – trust nature to “run the thing” aright and leave everything in her hands.

Do not bother at this point, to wonder just how many times a day you must practice this exercise in order to gain physical magnetism and absorb nerve-force. That point will be covered in a latter chapter, in connection with the accompanying process of nerve-force distribution – the sole thing before you now is to learn how to produce this breath-rhythm, and to practice until you can produce it at
will, easily and naturally, without effort or strain – instinctively, in fact. Until you accomplish this, there is no use of your bothering yourself about the succeeding stages.

And, now a word about practicing this step. Do not overdo the thing – make hast slowly. It is a matter of growth and development with you, and you should not try to rush things too rapidly. Let nature proceed to make the process instinctive, and do not fall into the mistake of pulling up the roots of our plant in order to see whether it has grown overnight. It will grow. Never fear. You will know when you are on the right track, and will be aware of your progress, by reason of your increasing sense of vigor, vitality and vim.

Remember, finally, that the secret of the whole this is that you have discovered how nature recuperates the system in times of extreme necessity; and have then learned how to draw upon this sources of energy at will, thereby increasing the supply far above the ordinary. It is just as if you had discovered a bottle containing the elixir of energy which kind Mother Nature uses to recuperate you in times of need; and then you had learned that you could partake of the elixir, daily, or whenever you felt like it; and were consequently enabled to increase your energy and vitality far above the average. The comparison or figure of speech is not exaggerated – for in this secret you have indeed discovered the elixir of vitality, vigor and vim; that is, if you use it aright.


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