Friday, November 20, 2009

The Holy Breath

Several recent discussions seemed focus on the "Holy Breath". As mentioned before, I feel that the translation "Holy Spirit" is probably inaccurate and that "Holy Breath" is more accurate, with one passage in the second to the last chapter of the Gospel according to Saint John being only translatable as "breath". If you take all the passages which are normally translated as "spirit" and use the more accurate and more literal word "breath", then a pattern unfolds and which relates to a meditation method that Jesus most likely did when he converted his physical body into a light body on the Mount of Transfiguration. Christianity did not follow this understanding and separated praying from breathing. If you take one of the old Trinitarian formulas for prayer that early Christianity had, and substitute "breath" for "spirit" (and using the early word for God called "Abwoon" in the Aramaic), you get "In Christ, to Abwoon, through the breath." There has been one group of Christians who have kept the association of prayer with breathing. These are the Hesychasts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. It seems that one of them Saint Seraphim did convert his physical body into a light body like Jesus did and therefore validating what Jesus was trying to demonstrate what was possible through breathing prayer.

When John the Baptist predicts the come of Jesus, he says, "I baptize with water, but one will be coming who will baptize with breath and with fire". This passage is interesting, because Christianity has not had a baptism of breath or of fire. The word "baptize" means to "immerse". This is partly why Protestants rejected the Catholic practice of Christening, of pouring water on the head of an infant, and returned to the fuller baptism by complete immersion in water. Yet it is not realistic to totally immerse someone in fire. During the time of Jesus, there was no science of energy like we have in our time. The word "fire" would be the word that they would choose to represent the feeling of tingling energy moving through our body. My sense is that John the Baptist is referring to Kundalini Breath of Fire and not two more baptisms. He is referring to use pranayama breathing to immerse the body in a tingling energy sensation. In one Sikh Kundalini tradition, this process would take about 40 days of practice for 2.5 hours a day. They took the biblical idea of tithing, of giving 10 percent of one's income to the church, and decided to give ten percent of one day to God (10 percent of 24 hours is about 2.5 hours). The breath of fire would rise up the spine, move from chakra to chakra, open the seven seals mentioned in the Book of Revelation, and clearing out the karma embedded in each chakra along the way. The last chakra would be called the Crown Chakra a few inches above the head, where the energy projects out from the soft spot at the top of the head. According to an old Christian tradition, this soft spot was still open in Adam in the Garden of Eden and allowed "free speech" with God. The Corinthian Church, which Saint Paul found challenging to spiritually guide, is admonished to keep pressing on until they "receive the crown", while the Ephesian Church is admonished the "keep the crown" that they had already attained. These passages indicate some process that one church had mastered and another church had not.

In the Epistle to the Galatians, and in many other places in the New Testament, the Greek language uses the aorist tense, something that English does not have. The closest tense that we have to the aorist tense is the progressive tense. This tense changes the meaning of many key passages, because it shows salvation to be a process rather than a one time born again experience. Even Jesus taught for his disciples to "die daily," implying that one needs to be reborn daily. When translated properly, a Galatian passage goes, "Keep on surrendering into the Holy Breath and you will keep on being saved." In Thessalonians, there is a verse that goes "pray continuously in the breath". Another verse in the NT says, "Pray without ceasing". While a person might go a little crazy if prayer means mentally talking to God all the time, it is possible and necessary to always breathe.

What seems to be indicated is to do the Kundalini Breath of Fire for 40 days, opening up all the chakras and having an enlightenment experience, and then using what I would call the Kundalini Breath of Water afterwards to sustain the energy flow that has been activated. Saint Paul talks about, "My conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Breath". If you breathe in the manner that is mentioned, it will stir up all the resolved karma held in our subconscious minds and require us to repent of past negative behavior and to forgive those who have hurt us. In the Gospel according to Saint John, the Holy Breath "brings all things to remembrance". Many of the teachings of Jesus are meant to be remembered or illuminated in the Holy Breath. When we are in the breathing process, many of the teachings make sense. Ego death is linked with a final exhale which Jesus does on the Cross and which ends the sense of separateness (the veil in the temple) which defines the ego state.

The disciples in the first two chapters of the Book of Acts are admonished to "tarry in Jerusalem" until they are "endowed with power from on high". The Holy Breath comes with tongues of flame which descend into the Crown Chakra. At this point, Jesus is able to initiate people from his Light Body and empower their spiritual life. The key point is that the Holy Breath anoints or enlivens us into having a spiritual life that we can feel as literal energy moving through our bodies. Saint Paul shares that the "breath gives life". He talked also, "If the same breath that raised Christ from the dead dwell in you, it will quicken your mortal bodies." He talked also of "this mortal shall put on immortality" and how not all flesh is the same but differs in glory (energy). In most theologies, the spirit is already immortal and so cannot put on immortality, but the body is mortal and perishable is meant to become immortal and imperishable. This is why Saint Paul talks about if the dead are not raised, then "our faith is in vain". In most modern Christian theologies, the bodily resurrection is not really crucial. The atonement for sins on the Cross is the big event and the resurrection is not crucial. At best it is just a miracle to prove that the first has been done, but raising someone from the dead does not prove that this person paid for the sins of the world. But it seems that regenerating and transforming a perishable body into an imperishable one was integral part of the message. Saint Paul even mentions Jesus appearing to 500 witnesses in First Corinthians chapter 15 and insists that he had met Jesus bodily as well. In the Epistle to the Romans, he talks of Jesus being "the first fruits of those raised from the dead" indicating that we are meant to undergo the same mutation or evolution as he did.

I am kind of sweeping through a lot of passages when I share all this, but I wanted to give an overview. I think some of the above passages would make more sense if one had some experience with breathing prayer. Saint Paul talked about the Bible being a "dark mirror", but when one turns to the breath the veil is taken away, beholding in a clear mirror, and moving from glory to glory (different energy levels). What this means is that words can only take you so far, but breathing prayer will awaken you. Jesus shared to "watch and pray", meaning that the prayer is one with awareness. The prophecy normally associated with the rapture, where "one will be taken and one will be left behind" to me refers to the ego state disappearing and the silent witness coming forward. Sometime I would like to go into how these historical prophecies refer more to an inner transformational process when kundalini moves up the spine and goes through seven chakras.

The 40 day process mentioned above is very powerful and would require someone to get some training and guidance with a good teacher. I think this is why there is no "how to breathe" manual clearly stated in the New Testament. The tingling sensations and inner fire can become powerful enough to melt snow around a naked body on a mountain peak in Tibet during subzero weather. It requires some care and respect for the energies invoked. Even the ritual of the Lord's supper in its original form was very powerful, so powerful that Saint Paul mentions that some of the Corinthians were sick because they "failed to discern the body of the Lord" in the sacrament. The early church required two years of training before attending a ritual. The modern mass is not so powerful. If you do not pay attention in the right way that you not will become sick. Kundalini stirs up all the past life karmas that we have stored in our subconscious mind and lifts them up to be healed. It is a fairly serious process that requires skill parallel to learning how to drive a car. Driving can be very enjoyable, but you can also crash. Kundalini can be very healing, but it can also fry a person who is not respecting the process in the right way. I do not think Kundalini Breathing is dangerous, just as driving a car can be safe if you are reasonably cautious and follow all the rules. If you practice now and then you will not get into any trouble, but if you go for a 40 intensive deep retreat it is important to have some training and initiation into this process.

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