“Ordinary” life has its rules. I define as “Ordinary” the life that is “manifest” and characterized by a physical-material “insentient” (Prakrti) expression, a non-physical-material “sentient” (Purusa) expression and a force that joins the both of them together that I call “Ahankara”.
In fact, when a human being leaves this life (honestly, I cannot exclude other kinds of existence) the proof of what I said appears clearly.
Every time I am present at a death, it seems to me even too evident that the departure of the “sentient” part can be the cause of the deactivation of the physical-material component, but, in that occasion, as a scholar, I always and immediately ask to myself: what is the possible reason of the ended cooperation of the “sentient” and “non-sentient” two parts? And why, in this case, the two parts untie themselves?
This last question always represented to me the implicit admission of the existence of a third force that I called “Ahamkara”, universal force that is into the whole manifest universe. On a physical-material level, for example on the Earth, it is called force of gravity whereas, on a non-material level, it causes the ego.
I don’t want to talk at length about these ancient thrilling intuitions of the Indian Masters, even because the main purpose of my work is to talk about the specific forces that are active in the human body, and about the respiratory act that is an evident manifestation of it.
These observations are mainly for explaining what I mean when I talk about “ordinary life”, when I talk about the breathing, instead, it shows itself, as everybody knows, into its three forms: breathing in, abstention from breathing and breathing out.
When we are born, or when we start to manage our existence by ourselves, after the cut of the umbilical cord, the first one of these three functions that appears is the breathing in. Naturally, it’s no coincidence: I never believed in chance even before that Indian wisdom took every doubt away from me. In nature everything seems to answer to the laws of existence and the manifestation is a well-ordered action (karma).
So, I can say, and it’s no coincidence, that life begins with a breathing in and ends with a breathing out and it can also be considered as a collection of breathings: every day, as lot of people knows, we breath, depending on our state and on outside conditions, from 15.000 to 20.000 times.
The disciples of some interesting oriental disciplines even believe that, at birth, a certain number of breathings is given to us. They also practice promoting and using a more conscious breathing, deeper and slower (that is supposed to lengthen life). The consciousness, then, allows to grasp the living and spiritual meaning of this act and of every single phase of it.
The meditation on breathing brought me to understand, for example, that the breathing in is tightly connected to the force of survival, the same one that supports life by feeding it: to breathe in, in fact, is expression of assimilating in physical and psychological way. This energy, in our being, takes on the responsibility for its structure, for the protection (related not only to the immune defences but also to the mucus and the lubricating substances).
Called “kapha” by the ones that practice the Indian Ayurveda medicine, it is strongly connected with the sense of taste, of smell and of pleasure “in general”. The important functions of existence are tightly connected to the sense of pleasure: to breathe in, to drink, to eat, to make love, all of these actions give pleasure. Through sexuality, in fact, life holds itself up, reproduces and extends.
Of course a healthy life follows from the consciousness that, transforming itself into knowledge, it lets pursue the right things and not only the things that we like. The attachment to pleasure, for example to the pleasure of drinking, as everyone knows, brings to dependency and to alcoholism. And it’s like this for any other aspect of pleasure.
The breathing in represents the force that, for sustenance, brings the external “life” to us, for giving it to the “transformation” that has the aim of adapting it to our needs of survival.
The result of the breathing in, through the blood, reaches the cells, where, through oxidation, it becomes useful and adaptable. With the word “transformation” I want to refer not only to this process, but to every process that has the aim of digesting something that, coming from outside (for example food, emotions), after it’s been transformed, goes to take part of the personal existence and constitution.
In the discipline that I practise, this process is called “Pitta”, and it has, in the abstention from breathing, its main expression. The work of “transforming” is given to the element Fire, main component of this agent (Dosa), in fact, if we could indicate the percentage of presence, we would say that it is the 70% out of the total, while the water is only the 30%.
Therefore, to understand the way we work, it is enough to think about when we see a good apple: Kapha gives the desire of eating it, we take it and start to chew it with pleasure, it is still apple in the mouth, in the oesophagus, but, when it reaches the stomach, it suffers that process of transformation that we usually call digestion, and, in three or four hours, a part of this apple flows into our body as plasma, becoming an integral part of ourselves.
From a scientific (and not only scientific) point of view, this is very interesting, especially in relation with the emotional level: the reader do not forget in any case that, as it is in the tradition of this medical discipline, the psychosomatic constitution of the human being.
For a deeper and easier understanding of this aspect, I say, when I have lessons with my scholars, they listen to my words through the sense of hearing, but they can understand and learn the things I say, until they become integral part of their knowledge, through a kind of Pitta in the head called “Sadaka Pitta”.
Going back to the process of assimilating the apple, I state that only a part of it, the one that is useful, goes to take a part of the individual constitution, beginning to flow into the plasma, the useless or harmful part take the way of elimination. This is one of the jobs (the main one is the movement in general) of the third force that we go to discover and that, in our discipline, is called “Vata”. The elimination, as everybody knows, happens through the breathing out, the perspiration, the urine, the excrements, etc.
In conclusion, I wish that, through this few lines, I make my readers able to understand that the health depends on the democratic management of these three forces. The presence of “fanatics” in the “Dosa” (Kapha, Pitta, Vata) causes the increase of the illness.
The “Dosa”, if proposed using the terms of the modern physics, can nearly correspond to the inertia (Kapha), the energy (Pitta) and the movement (Vata).
Into respiratory act they can also meet the breathing in, the abstention from the breathing and the breathing out.