Breathe deep, breathe free.
Here are some metaphysical musings on breathing, which is so much in the news these days with COVID-19 and local pollen and allergies on people’s minds.
In a general sense, breathing represents the rhythm of receiving and giving. It represents the presence of taking in, giving out, exhaling, inhaling. Breathing has both a practical and a metaphorical place in our experience. Practically, we want sound, capacious lungs and deep breaths. Metaphorically, we need both the giving and receiving of love, goodness, and inspiration.
Love has always been an inspirer. It is the motive for great daring, high art, grand sacrifice, noble accomplishments. Love draws Spirit into our life. Spirit is the same word as wind, breath, and inspiration in the Greek and Hebrew languages. The inspired word of the Bible—the word breathed in, straight from divine Love— is more than just the meanings of words. It is the Word felt and understood. This Word makes us sufficient in our daily life. It guides us into eternal Life.
Life at its best is infused with the spirit of Love. This spirit animates, brings joy and energy, and empowers us to think and speak and act with freedom and enthusiasm. The Holy Spirit causes us to assimilate God’s warm intention for creation and make it our own. Spirit pours out love and inspiration through ideas that we can understand and that move us. The Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, brought a rushing mighty wind through Jerusalem, and still can today.
“We breathe love as heaven’s own healing air,” an old hymn by Horatio Bonar says. When we breathe it in, it inspires and lights our path. It wakes throngs of angels—loving, lively, pure-hearted intuitions from God that go out ahead of us on the path, guiding us on our daily rounds. They bring us into the place that is our very own. It is the place that divine Love has prepared for us in its own heart. This is a place we belong—not a physical place but a mental place, a heart space. It is a space where we feel safe and loved and wanted. It’s a place we can breathe deep and breathe free.
According to the 91st psalm, angels take charge of our progress. They provide us with clear guidance each step of the way. They are as present and natural as breath. They enable us to give and receive in balance. They uplift us and give us strength. With their help, we rise up over the rough places in life, the real or imaginary impediments, the impenetrable difficulties. Angels continually hold our hands and create love for each other and for God. They inspire receptivity to good.
Love is the healing air of heaven. This atmosphere of the divine realm felt on earth, is the fragrance of Love. Like a sweet-scented flower, it invites deep draughts of heaven’s healing air. It causes us naturally to drink in fresh inspiration with deep-drawn breaths. No ill wind or pollution can interfere with these inspirations—these angels. They are natural and have charge over all our ways, if we let them.
There is enough love for everyone, in heaven. This heaven is within us here and now, according to Jesus. It is that wide, undisturbed space where we receive with gratitude all that Spirit is continually sharing. Love is freely given from God and when our heart is eager and willing, we take it in. Then we can exhale that same generous love to all those around us.
When we let the giving and receiving of love be our life, we are more than mortals with regrets and wounds, bogged down with false beliefs that seem true. We aren’t congested with sorrows, or closed down by disappointments, or inured to want or woe. Our giving and receiving aren’t choked to a trickle or scarred and constrained; our channels to receive and give aren’t calloused or sealed up against help. We aren’t clogged with fear or materialism, unable to respond to God’s love and inspiration. We have an endless capacity to draw good toward us and send it forth again with blessing. Breathe deep and breathe free.
How good to be in a state of constant receptivity to divine Love. How good to acknowledge a generous ability to take in, receive, and accept the outpouring of divine Love.
And then, how good to exhale its fragrance on all those around us. “Love inspires, illumines, designates and leads the way,” according to Mary Baker Eddy. She also tells us that divine Love is supreme even in earthly realms. No power can withstand it. If we have made our bed in hell, Love is even there, ready to pour in a fresh healing balm of inspiration to purify our life’s stream. Divine Love is where we live, breathing it into the understanding and affections, exhaling to all in our path.
Divine Love, by its own definition, is always enough. It has enough inspiration to satisfy. We were made to receive and share it. We have it to give, only as we receive it from the source. Because the source of inspiration is infinite, we need not fear a lack of spirit or breath. Thank you God, for making every word of this a prayer and a power to keep us from fear and to be a healing presence for the world today.
¶ Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; he that gives breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, (Isaiah 42:5, 6)
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he gives to all life, and breath, and all things; …For in him we live, and move, and have our being; (Acts 17:24, 25, 28)