Experiencing the intensity of the Element
The Fourth Step of soul work presents us with a new pattern of interaction with the Elements, characterised by their condensing into individual organs or body parts.
Let us analyse carefully the method followed by Bardon. We see at work teaching characterised by a highly logical progression, where the previous practices form the basis for developing the following ones. In the case of astral formation, we started with a careful examination of the elemental characteristics of our nature (Step One), to then proceed to their rebalancing (Step Two) and their accumulation in the body, perceiving their quantitative effects through the experience of heat, cold, lightness and heaviness.
The practices of the Fourth Step’s soul present substantial differences from those of the previous Step; that is to say, the interaction with the Elements considers the subtle but still objective reality of the Element itself. Previously, we tried to elicit the sensory impression given by the practice of the Elements through imagination; now is the time to consider that the Element is an astral substance whose presence in our body is a sufficient condition to experience its effect. We will, therefore, gradually try to verify the arising of the sensation rather than arousing it with the help of the imagination.
Another point concerns the condensation of the Element. The difference with the accumulation of the previous exercises lies in the pressure exerted to compress the Element in a part of the body through the imagination. Accumulation fills the body to its maximum capacity; condensation is a compression of the accumulation into a smaller space.
This practice has contraindications. The pressure exerted on the organ through the condensation of the Element can cause discomfort; in that case, it is advisable to give the organ time to adapt by proceeding slowly; with practice, the organ will naturally get stronger. Also, due to their predominantly electrical nature, the heart and brain should be excluded from condensation exercises; the Elements are endowed with their particular electromagnetic charge, which, concentrated, would disturb the electrical balance of the organs mentioned above.
The exercise shouldn’t present significant execution difficulties, given that it takes up the dynamics of the accumulation of Vital Energy.
- Assume a relaxed position or your favourite āsana and close your eyes. Starting with the Fire, breathe the Element into the body through total breathing. Begin by accumulating the Element with seven inhalations, sensing its specific quality (warmth); exhale without any imagination.
- Once the accumulation is complete, direct your awareness towards the organ or body part of your choice; with the help of creative imagination, bring the Element to concentrate in the selected area; feel the presence of the Element and slowly build up the pressure in the organ. If you feel uncomfortable, stop condensing the Element.
- Maintain the condensation of the Element in the chosen organ or body part until you feel them adjust to the pressure. Then, release the Element back into the body, again with the help of the imagination; finally, with total breathing, return the Element to the universe, choosing between gradual release or explosive.
- Repeat the first three points using the remaining Elements (Air, Water, and Earth, in this order), always using seven inspirations. In subsequent sessions, experiment with other organs, paying particular attention to the hands (especially the fingers) and feet. Once familiar with the practice, you can increase the number of inhalations.