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Chapter V. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds

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latter is able to have intuitional experiences, even though it has divested itself of all previous inner and outer experiences. The experiences of intuition are, however, subtle, delicate and intimate, in comparison with which the physical body, at its present stage of development, is coarse. For this reason, it offers a positive hindrance to the success of any exercises for attaining intuition. Nevertheless, should these be pursued with energy and perseverance, and with the requisite inner calm, they will ultimately overcome those powerful hindrances of the physical body. The occult student will become aware of this when he notices how, by degrees, particular actions of his physical body which hitherto had taken place without his own volition, now come under his control. He will also become aware that for a brief time he will feel the need, for instance, of so regulating his breathing (or some similar act) as to bring it into a kind of harmonious accord with whatever is being enacted within his soul, be it exercises or other forms of inner concentration. The ideal development would be that no exercises should be done by means of the physical body but that everything which has to take place within it should result only as a consequence of exercises for intuition. As, however, the physical body offers such powerful impediments, the training may permit of some alleviations. These consist in exercises which affect the physical body; yet everything in this domain that has not been directly imparted by the teacher, or those having knowledge and experience of these things, is fraught with danger. Such exercises, for instance, include a certain regulated process of breathing to be carried out for a very short space of time. These regulations of the breathing correspond in quite a definite way to particular laws of the psycho-spiritual world. Breathing is a physical process, and when this act is so carried out as to be the expression of a psycho-spiritual law, physical existence receives the direct stamp, as it were, of spirituality, and the physical matter is transformed.

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