From time to time, people ask about breathing during the Five Rites. Neither Colonel Bradford
(Major-General Sir Wilfred Maleson) nor Kelder (James Hilton) wrote anything at all about
breathing or breath control while practicing the Rites. This is a very strange omission. The Eye
of Revelation talks about diet, proper chewing techniques, butter massage of the scalp, sexual
abstinence -- a whole range of things -- but nothing at all about how to breathe when
performing the Five Rites.
Now, even stranger, there are breathing instructions for the Aum Rite, so its not as though
Colonel Bradford and Kelder just let breathing slide somehow (which wouldn't be likely,
anyway). It genuinely seemed possible to me that breath control during the Five Rites was
Most books about the Five Rites actually emphasize deep breathing and it is commonly
assumed by nearly everyone that some form of "yogic" breath control should be added to the
Rites to make them more effective.(1) But this is just an assumption. A popular assumption,
to be sure, but an assumption just the same. And just because an assumption is popular,
that doesn't make it true (the argumentum ad populum fallacy).
The Five Rites are for real. They work. Colonel Bradford has given us authentic information
passed down from some ancient wisdom culture. Exactly what that culture was is not known,
although the Bon (pronounced "boon") tradition of Kum Nye is a likely candidate. Given the
effectiveness of the Rites, shouldn't we at least consider the possibility that he didn't mention
breath control because there shouldn't be any? What if the Rites are more effective without
any form of breath control?
Sexual Energy and the Five Rites
According the Colonel Bradford, the Five Rites are all about sexual energy. The following
quotes are from the Eye of Revelation: The Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation (Booklocker, 2008):
The Five Rites are for the express purpose of restoring a man to manhood. That is, to
make him virile and keep him that way constantly. Whether or not he will make the come-
back in youthful appearance, as I have done in so short a time, depends on how he uses
his virility. (pp. 41-42)
The Colonel then informed them [class members] that in order to go further with the aid
of this Sixth Rite it would be necessary for them to lead a more or less continent
[celibate] life. (pp. 45-46)
When he [Colonel Bradford] had first told them about the Sixth Rite, the Colonel had
made it clear that the procreative energy would be lifted up, and that this lifting-up
process would cause not only the mind to be renewed but the entire body as well.... (p.
"In the average virile man," said the Colonel, "the life forces course downward, but in
order to become a Superman they must be turned upward. This we call 'The Newer Use
of the Reproductive Energy'." (p. 46)
"Now this Rite Number Six ... should only be practiced when one has an excess of
procreative energy...." (p. 47)
"Please understand that in order to perform Rite Number Six it is absolutely necessary
that a man have full masculine virility. He could'nt possibly raise up and transmute
procreative energy if there were little or none to transmute ... he should first practice the
other five Rites until he has full masculine power...." (p. 48)
"Again I say, let no man concern himself with the up-turning of the sex currents until he
is thoroughly satisfied in his own mind and heart that he truly desires to lead the life of
the MYSTIC ...." (p. 49)
So, with the written word Colonel Bradford makes it abundantly clear that the Five Rites deal
with sexual energy; and, he also makes it clear through his illustrations (I've always assumed
that it was Colonel Bradford who drew them).
When you look carefully at the figure for Rite 1, you will note that the figure actual appears
androgynous. There is simply not much, if any, of the male "package" visible. But when you
look at the other illustrations, you will note a progressive enlargement of that same package
through Rite 4. It goes from virtually non-existent in the illustration for Rite 1 to practically
bulging in Rite 4. No package is visible in Rite 5, however, because of the viewing angle --
chosen, I suspect, out of deference to polite society. The illustrations below show what I am
Through both text and illustrations, Colonel Bradford emphasizes the sexual energy aspect of
the Five Rites. So when advised that "the muscles should be tensed for a moment" at the top
of Rite 4, and at both the top and bottom of Rite 5, I have to wonder if these are simulated
orgasms. If so, it is likely that these "orgasms" may be necessary to really get the maximum
benefit from the Rites.
So, the subject matter is sex, or, to be a little more precise, sexual energy. The Five Rites are
about first generating, then utilizing sexual energy.
Sex and Breath Control
Not too many people practice regulated breathing during sex, quite the opposite. Deep
regulated breathing is calming and relaxing. Sexual tension, however, is just that, tension.
Tension does not induce calm and regulated breathing; nor does calm, regulated breathing
create sexual desire. To the contrary, during actual intercourse, if memory serves, one's
breathing is seldom smooth and regulated; rather, it is interspersed with gasps and grunts --
which is how I find I breathe naturally when doing the Rites, especially with Rites 4 and 5.
Oh, I know, there have to be some who regulate their breathing during intercourse (or at least
claim they do). But breath control is not commonly used to create sexual energy. Were it
truly helpful, deep breathing for sexual arousal and performance would have become common
millenniums ago. It would at least be making Viagra sales more flaccid.
There are some, of course, who will argue that Tantric Yoga offers regulated breathing for the
governance of sexual energy. It is beyond the scope of this article to deal with Tantra other
than to say that it is not entirely clear whether Tantra lost it's original teachings (see, Max
Freedom Long's Huna Code in Religions.) Tantra notwithstanding, breath control is very rare
For all we know, adding special breathing techniques to the Rites may be a bit like adding a
mustache to the "Mona Lisa." While no one can know for sure right now, it may be that
Colonel Bradford never mentioned breath control because, as with sex, there really shouldn't
This is not to say that deep breathing doesn't help generate and regulate that life force we
term mana or prana. I know that it does. Right now, I am thinking that sexual energy is not
mana or prana. It is something else entirely. Deep breathing during the Five Rites may
undermine your practice because, rather than generating the sexual energy needed for
rejuvenation, you will be generating mana or prana which has other uses. Colonel Bradford
may have not mentioned deep breathing because it would be counter productive to the Five
1. The Harbor Press editions of the Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth went so far as to make up
quotes from Kelder emphasizing deep breathing.
2. I support Carolinda Witt's T5T program even though it may not fully comport with my own theories: she
introduces breath control to the Five Rites. This needs to be explained. I republished the 1946 edition of
the Eye of Revelation to not only preserve this very important monograph, but also to help others research
the Rites for themselves and offer their theories. I want to subject the Five Rites to the "gauntlet of
truth." I want more people to research the Rites and offer their own theories. I just hope they
demonstrate Ms. Witt's intellectual integrity when she clearly acknowledges the changes she has made to
the Rites and explains why she made the changes. Time may prove her correct, and only time will tell.
|May 23, 2010 - Age 66 -
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