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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Problems of Disciples and Mystics
Respirational Diseases of Mystics

There is little to say about this. It will constitute a major difficulty as the groups grow in strength and power. Just in so far as they are objective and not subjective so will this trouble increase. I refer to those diseases affecting the breathing apparatus which arise from group contact; I do not refer to the same difficulties which are brought by the individual to the group. Esoterically, the reason for this should be obvious. Mistakes in speech, idle talk and gossip, the effects of the leaders' words - all these will have a subjective result little grasped or realized by the average student and all these work out as physical effects - either good or bad. Owing to the newness of this theme and the lack of evidence to substantiate my statements, I can only call your attention to the latent possibilities and leave time to demonstrate the accuracy of my position. Curiously enough this whole subject of breathing - individual and group breathing - is evoking its own paralleling solution in the emphasis that is being laid in many esoteric groups upon breathing exercises, upon the sounding of the Aum (which is the breath of the soul when correctly sounded) and on the practice (under different formulas) of rhythm. These are all the unrecognized effort on the part of the group - instinctual in nature more than intelligently planned - to offset certain definitely sensed group dangers.

These practices can be beneficial if carefully carried out, but often induce their own peculiar problems. The sounding of the Aum, for instance, by the unprepared or by groups who are intrigued by the activity but who have no faintest idea of what they are doing, carries with it definite difficulties. However, the special difficulties of group work in the New Age can be offset by certain esoteric exercises and practices connected with the respiratory tract. More than this I [622] can not say for the new groups are in their infancy and group difficulties have not yet developed on a large scale nor are the future problems (incident to the occult and pronounced mystical nature of these groups) of so defined a nature that they can evoke understanding formulation.

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