‘The same thing occurs in the formation of every substance necessary for the organism. The parts composing these substances must be combined in strict proportions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
‘When you breathe in the ordinary way, you breathe mechanically. The organism, without you, takes from the air the quantity of substances that it needs. The lungs are so constructed that they are accustomed to work with a definite amount of air. But if you increase the amount of air, the composition of what passes through the lungs is changed, and the further inner processes of mixing and balancing must also inevitably be changed.
‘Without the knowledge of the fundamental laws of breathing in all particulars, the practice of artificial breathing must inevitably lead, very slowly but none the less surely, to self-destruction.
‘You should bear in mind that besides substances necessary for the organism, the air contains others which are unnecessary and even harmful.
‘Well then, artificial breathing, that is to say, a forced modification of natural breathing, facilitates the penetration into the organism of these numerous substances in the air which are harmful to life, and at the same time upsets the quantitative and qualitative balance of the useful substances.
‘Artificial breathing also disturbs the proportion between the amount of food obtained from the air and the amount obtained from all our other foods. Hence, on increasing or diminishing the intake of air, you must correspondingly increase or diminish the amount of other kinds of food; and to maintain the correct proportion you must have a full understanding of your organism.
‘But do you know yourself so well? Do you know, for example, that the stomach needs food not only for nourishment but also because it is accustomed to taking in a certain quantity of food? We eat chiefly to gratify our taste and to obtain the accustomed sensation of pressure which the stomach experiences when it contains this particular quantity of food. In the walls of the stomach there branch out what-are-called wandering nerves which, beginning to function when there is not a certain pressure, give rise to the sensation we call hunger. Thus, we have different hungers: a so called bodily or physical hunger, and, if it may be so expressed, a nervous or psychic hunger.