Initiation not to be Attained through Breathing Exercises

LETTER NO. 45 - AUGUST, 1914

It is with considerable reluctance that I again take up the question of breathing exercises and their effects upon the body, but stern necessity compels me to sound anew the warning against the false and dangerous teachings which are promulgated by people who are either ignorant or unscrupulous in their desire for profit. Breathing exercises are absolutely contrary to the teachings of the Rosicrucian Fellowship, for under our teachings spiritual results may only be attained by spiritual methods and not by physical exercises. Unfortunately the great desire of students to attain quickly makes many an easy prey to such people. One of our very promising students is now in an insane asylum because he listened to the promises of a charlatan who offered to initiate him for the sum of twenty-five dollars.

I have just learned that in one of the Fellowship centers a man who has not been affiliated with Headquarters is charging various sums for horoscopes, contrary to our teachings. We annually return from Headquarters many dollars to people who send to us asking for delineations and character reading as well as predictions, because we uphold the principle that a spiritual science may not be prostituted for gold however much we need money; and it grieves us very much to find out that such people, who admit that they know these practices to be contrary to the principles of the Rosicrucian Fellowship, are placed upon the platform of study centers, and stand before the people as teachers an exponents, of the Rosicrucian teachings. This same person has also copied from Hindu books costing but a few cents, breathing exercises which he sells to unsuspecting victims for a dollar.

Now I ask you, dear friends, will you not take this from me, one who has gone the way and knows by experience that there is no express train to the Temple of Initiation. The road is slow and steep and rugged; it must be walked step by step, though th feet bleed, and the heart also with sorrow and suffering. The soul body--the golden wedding garment--which alone is the password by which we can enter, is made by the good deeds done day by day with patient perseverance in well-doing, and by no other method. Breathing exercises cannot take the place of good deeds. Can you not understand that? I know what I am talking about, because in the very earliest stage of my endeavor in spiritual directions, I also found these Hindu breathing exercises. I tried them for two days, and my vital body was partly lifted out of the physical; it then occurred to me that I was in a dangerous condition, and I stopped. But it took me two weeks to recover, during which I felt as if I could not get my feet on the ground, as if I were walking on air; and during those two weeks I suffered greatly. Others may not have the persistence to recover that I did, and may go to the insane asylum. Therefore it is a very dangerous thing to try. There may of course be others on whom they have no effect. But it is very, very dangerous to meddle with fire, and you should not try it. on the other hand, if you will day by day try to serve in the vineyard of Christ, and endeavor to do deeds of mercy, then the golden wedding garment, the soul body, will surely be woven, which one day will admit you to the Temple.