If for many years you have been breathing wrongly, shallow breathing, then your musculature becomes fixed – then it is not just a question of your will. It is as if somebody has not moved for years: legs have gone dead, the muscles have shrunk, blood flows no more. Suddenly the person decides one day to go for a long walk – it is beautiful, a sunset. But he cannot move; just by thinking it is not going to happen. Now much effort will be needed to bring those dead legs to life again.
The breathing passage has a certain musculature around it, and if you have been breathing wrongly – and almost everybody is – then the musculature has become fixed. Now it will take many years to change it by your own effort, and it will be an unnecessary waste of time. Through deep massage, particularly through Rolfing, those muscles relax and then you can start again. But after Rolfing, once you start breathing well don’t fall into the old habit again.
Everybody breathes wrongly because the whole society is based on very wrong conditions, notions, attitudes. For example, a small child is weeping and the mother says not to cry. What will the child do? – Because crying is coming, and the mother says not to cry. He will start holding his breath because that is the only way to stop it. If you hold your breath everything stops – crying, tears, everything. Then by and by that becomes a fixed thing – don’t be angry, don’t cry, don’t do this, don’t do that.
The child learns that if he breathes shallowly then he remains in control. If he breathes perfectly and totally as every child is born breathing, then he becomes wild. So he cripples himself.
Every child, boy or girl, starts playing with the genital organs because the feeling is pleasant. The child is completely unaware of the social taboos and nonsense, but if the mother or father or somebody sees you playing with your genitals, they tell you to stop it immediately. And such condemnation is in their eyes you become shocked, and you become afraid of breathing deeply, because if you breathe deeply it massages your genital organs from within. That becomes troublesome, so you don’t breathe deeply; just shallow breathing so you are cut off from the genital organs.
All societies that are sex-repressive are bound to be shallow-breathing societies. Only primitive people who don’t have any repressive attitude about sex breathe perfectly. Their breathing is beautiful, it is complete and whole. They breathe like animals, they breathe like children.
So many things are involved. First go through the Rolfing and then tell me.
Two weeks ago when I told you about my overeating problem, you suggested I chew my food at least forty times for each mouthful, and spend some time each day having food fantasies. Well, I have chewed the food very slowly, and at first I was very sad, but now that has gone and I think that food is not so much the problem.