3.5.1 The abilities and characteristics of the body which can be developed: The ability to sense, receptiveness, the ability to focus as well as attentiveness.

3.5.1    The abilities and characteristics of the body which can be developed:
The ability to sense, receptiveness, the ability to focus as well as attentiveness

Ability to sense

The ability to sense is based on the nervous system’s activity of the physical body. Moreover through the Perceptible Breath, parts of the body can be experienced (perceived) which do not have any nerves. For example, the liver can be perceived given a certain “quality of breath”  although it does not possess any nerves.

It has been scientifically proven that nerves which are either never or only seldom used conduct badly. However, if they are once more activated  (which can only occur through practical exercises) the ability to sense rapidly increases. Furthermore nerves which are often recipients of impulses form on their endings increasingly finer fibers. Through those we can


produce connections to the levels of the subtle –physical. The ability to sense is also the founding stone of the work with the body and through the body – and it is the “position” at which the work with the Perceptible Breath cannot be differentiated from the work on the physical body in the sense that Mother’s search intended it.

Sri Aurobindo in ‘Letters on Yoga Volume 1’: ”The physical nerves are part of the material body but they are extended into the subtle body and there is a connection between the two. Yes, there are nerves in the subtle body.”


In the Perceptible Breath we consciously differentiate between this ability and that of concentrating. Whereas the ability to collect comes into being through excluding everything which lies outside of its middle-point, and thus has a certain quality of selectivity in its character, focusing means a process which includes all aspects of an occurrence which

  stands at the center of focus. With that it is possible to collect on/in the entire physical body so that it becomes more conscious of sensations on all levels right down to the cells as total organisms. Furthermore the term concentrating Is used more in connection with thinking, whereas focusing refers to the body.


The receptiveness of the physical body is a characteristic which exists and comes into being in interaction and cooperation with the breathing, focusing and perceiving. And there exists here too a mutual dependence: the larger the permeability, the more the breathing can flow whereby in turn the ability to sense increases. The circulation in a part of the


body intensifies if this becomes more permeable for the breathing – one of the healing effects of breath work. Parts of the body which had had up till then been impermeable, after they are made permeable through breathing, are sensed and felt more powerfully than before.

Evolution of the Divine living within people Transformation of the physical body and the Perceptible Breath Experiences, Insights and Visions on the basis of the work of Sri Aurobindo, Mirra Alfassa and Ilse Middendorf
First published in the Internet On the 15th August 2001 a revised version is expected to be released in March 2019
Helge Langguth

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Helge Langguth
Heilpraktiker – Atemtherapeut
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