The Soul’s Breath of Life
© 2008 June Johnson

Consider this quote from the Reverend Florence Becker, a founder of the Golden Gate Spiritualist Church of San Francisco:

“God is to be found within oneself by means of introspection, and attained by Application.”

Introspection is a receptive breathing in of the lessons the Soul aspires to learn and Application is a breathing out of gifts from the Soul to promote health and harmony. Consistent spiritual aspiration creates a rhythmic pattern of spiritual receptivity and action. This Rhythm is our “Soul’s Breath of Life.”

The Reverend Florence Becker remarked that the demonstration of Spirit is lost to many of us, for finding it requires that we be in tune with our Soul, with the Rhythm and Harmony of the Universe.

She said, “The 7th Faculty of Rhythm, Interpretation and Application . . . puts you in tune with the Rhythm and Harmony of the Universe.”

When the spiritual Faculty of Rhythm is in operation, it so permeates our being that even when we’re not consciously aware of it, we’re attuned to a spiritual vibration which “causes impulses and sounds” which are “diligently applied to affix, attach, and join all disconnected elements,” for its Rhythm is inseparable from a spiritual Interpretation and its purposeful spiritual Application.

The development of the Faculty of Rhythm requires:

  1. Ripening our perception beyond the illusion of the senses
  2. Opening a passageway to inner guidance through spiritual practice
  3. Practice in using our imagination

First: Ripening our perception beyond the illusion of the senses.

The Reverend Florence Becker taught:

“Nature and spirit are two aspects of one eternal truth, not opposed to each other.”

“Nature is the spirit made visible and tangible. The seen is the expressed form and the unseen, the meaning.” Both spiritual truth and the truth of creation are everlasting and eternal. The difference is that spiritual truth is changeless and the truth of creation is subject to change.

Our brains are specifically designed to recognize the changing physical world through our senses. According to a recent scientific study featured on PBS radio, our brains are “wired to greet change with a rush of excitement and pleasure.”

As we focus on the senses, the brain creates a convincing illusion that the changing visible world is more real and more wonderful than the all-potential reality of the unseen Infinite Intelligence which created it. Our senses are simply not designed to perceive the truth of the changeless and eternal. The Reverend Florence Becker said:

“The entry way from our senses to the home of our soul is our imagination.”

She added:

“The reality of matter endures only when it maintains life and consciousness through the upward movement of evolution.”

Gary Zukov, in his book The Seat of the Soul, tells us we evolve through the decisions we make and the actions we take upon the earth. He says, “If you choose unconsciously, you evolve unconsciously. If you choose consciously, you evolve consciously.”

In his book, World of the Senses and the World of the Spirit, Rudolf Steiner wrote that when we confront the reality of the world of the senses everything that we see behind it makes itself known to us as proceeding from either a process of sprouting life or of death and decay. And what lies behind this world of arising and passing away is Ruling Wisdom. He writes:

Wherever wisdom rules, it does really rule and the effects of its working find actual expression. When [Ruling Wisdom] withdraws from reality, then begins the dying process; where it flows into reality, there you find a coming into existence, there you find budding, sprouting life.

Steiner also stated:

He alone can hope to come to a true judgment of a matter who applies all his care and thought to making himself riper and riper to receive the right judgments from the revelations which will then stream into him, because he has grown ripe to receive them.

In a recent manuscript draft, the Reverend Miriam Bostwick writes, “Spiritual awareness is not possible without daily application of the spiritual principles or laws.” She reminds us that “Repetition is indispensable to rhythm...” and that by quieting our minds we slowly become aware of dimensions “in which we are moving” of which we had not been consciously aware.

Years earlier, the Reverend Florence Becker noted that intuitive perception is the invisible link through which the individual communicates with the universal or cosmos, and in this way the spiritual faculties come into being, “the senses become educated and the ego ripens.” She stated:

“When the senses meet with vibration from the faculties, they become quiet.”

Second: Opening a passageway to inner guidance through spiritual practice.

Gary Zukov writes, “a personality that is limited in its perception to the five senses is not aware of its soul, and therefore, cannot recognize the influences of its soul. . . .”

“Intuition is the voice of the nonphysical world.”

Intuition provides a direct link with information that the five senses cannot provide. As we process the knowledge we acquire though our intuition, we align ourselves, step by step with our soul. The multisensory human does not need to rely solely upon his or her own perceptions and interpretations of events for guidance, because he or she is in conscious communication with other, more advanced intelligences. Zukov continues:

When you choose consciously to move toward the energy of your soul, you invite that guidance. When you ask the Universe to bless you in your effort to align yourself with your soul, you open a passageway between yourself and your guides and Teachers.

This “authentic power,” as Gary Zukov calls it, ”is built step by step, choice by choice. It cannot be mediated or prayed into being. It must be earned.”

One way to practice is to follow the Reverend Florence Becker’s advice, given in The Science of Being, to begin daily practice with a “Cleansing Breath”; then repeat aloud the affirmation “The Spirit of Infinite Intelligence”; followed by a rhythmic breathing exercise she called “The Breath of Life”; before starting concentration and meditation on whatever quality one aspires to work on.

This discipline of regularly going within to find meaning, then finding ways to express spirit in daily life, gradually and step by step establishes a pattern.

Operation of the Faculty of Rhythm, Interpretation and Application represents a level of spiritual development in which the pattern of introspection and Application, through repetition after repetition, becomes so much a part of the entire consciousness that we and our Soul feel safe together.

According to the Reverend Florence Becker’s understanding, “When the Soul level is involved Application becomes inevitable and harmony and balance result.”

She said the Faculty of Rhythm “causes you to interpret, find meaning, decipher, define, expound, unfold, solve, [and] unravel all problems, all secrets, yes, even of the universe—for this faculty when used or employed puts you in tune with the Rhythm and Harmony of the Universe.”

Third: Practice in using our imagination, “the entry way from our senses to the home of our soul.”

Imagine you’ve been concentrating on the Faculty of Rhythm, Interpretation, and Application. Today, entering your meditation, your spirits are immediately lifted by receiving an invitation to visit Mother Nature at her home deep in a great woods. You are a person who appreciates nature. You’re eager to see her. As you enter the woods, you realize you’ve known her from earliest childhood. She is a beloved benefactor. After a heartwarming welcoming hug and cordial greetings, she invites you to go out into the woods to explore. It’s a beautiful warm day. Walking along a path through fallen leaves bordered by tall trees, you come to an inviting stream of clear water, deep and wide enough to swim in. Without thought, you remove your shoes, step into the stream in your shorts and T-shirt, and swim upstream to your left.

The water feels comfortably refreshing. After a few yards, you approach what looks like a cavern. Feeling a little uncertainty, you turn and swim back. As soon as you near Mother Nature’s house you feel renewed energy and courage. Now full of curiosity, you turn again and swim on into the darkness of the cavern. Not too far in, you can see a light farther ahead. You swim on through what proves to be a tunnel into open daylight. The aromatic scent of herbs and flowers wafts across the stream from the growth along the banks. Enjoying this fragrant delight while you swim a few more yards, you turn again and swim back through the natural tunnel toward the house. It’s a perfect day. You roll onto your back to view the balance of light and dark of sunlight filtering through the overhead canopy of tree leaves. You peacefully swim up and back in the stream five or six times. Each time, you feel renewed energy, swim a little farther, relaxing more, taking time for glimpses of the beauty of the woods. Swimming upstream once again, you become lost in a daydream and effortlessly swim farther than before.

A movement in the brush ahead momentarily startles you. A deer with reddish brown and tawny fur becomes visible through the surrounding brush on your right. When the head appears through the leaves, you tread water, holding as still as possible so as not to frighten this wild creature. The deer steps closer, the tip of its nose touching the edge of the stream. Gazing into its eyes you are glad you had the courage and stamina to reach this place. Unable to hold your gaze for long, and not wishing to impose, you gently turn in the water, swimming calmly and silently back toward your benefactor’s house. Unexpectedly, the deer follows along beside the stream, speaking a few words, haltingly, as if trying out a foreign language. You’re amazed, for you understand every word.

The deer continues to walk alongside the stream as you swim, accompanying you. When you reach the area of aromatic herbs and flowers just before the cavern, the deer changes into a human form which shows in its bearing every quality you most admire. You swim on into the dark cavern filled with wonder, realizing you have met your ideal self. On the far side of the tunnel, nearing your starting point, you feel open and welcoming as your ideal self enters the stream in the most gentle and agreeable way to swim along with you. You clearly love and accept one another. This is a person you’ll want to be with and work with from this time forward. Reaching Mother Nature’s house, the two of you step out of the stream onto the path, side by side.

As you sit down to put on your shoes, you realize this is your Soul which has come to join you. Communication’s grown easier. Walking toward the house, you know your Soul is answering the question which has formed in your heart. Not necessarily in words, but you’re being led to the answer.

When you reenter her house, Mother Nature is wonderfully pleased to see you together and welcomes you both with open arms. You recognize her as your true spiritual mother. You know you are welcome to meet here with your Soul at any time. She beams.

Having the Soul so close is both a joy and an obligation. Everything we do takes on deeper meaning, for the Soul’s perspective causes us to act with strong conviction to maintain an environment in which the Soul feels as at home as in the home of Mother Nature.

It is wonderful to know, when we have the will to practice, the choice to consciously ripen our spiritual understanding is available to us. Even if we take no action, the Reverend Florence Becker assured us:

Truth is. We gravitate toward this consciousness.”

June: Essays