Rudolf Steiner: "Thoughts that formerly had floated more or less abstractly within pure thinking have been transformed into substantial forces that are alive in our consciousness: what once was pure thought is now Inspiration. We have developed Imagination, and pure thinking has become Inspiration. Following this path further, we become able to keep apart what we have gained following two paths that must be sharply differentiated: on the one hand, what we have obtained as Inspiration from pure thinking — the life that at a lower level is thinking, and then becomes a thinking raised to Inspiration — and on the other hand what we experience as conditions of equilibrium, movement, and life. Now we can bring these modes of experience together. We can unite the inner with the outer. The fusion of Imagination and Inspiration brings us in turn to Intuition. What have we accomplished now? Well, I would like to answer this question by approaching it from another side. First of all I must draw attention to the steps taken by the Oriental who wishes to rise further after having schooled himself by means of the mantras, after having lived within the language, within the word. He now learns not only to live in the rhythms of language but also in a certain way to experience breathing consciously, in a certain way to experience breathing artificially by altering it in the most varied ways. For him this is the next highest step — but again not something that can be taken over directly by the West. What does the Eastern student of yoga attain by surrendering himself to conscious, regulated, varied breathing? Oh, he experiences something quite extraordinary when he inhales. When inhaling he experiences a quality of air that is not found when we experience air as a purely physical substance but only when we unite ourselves with the air and thus comprehend it spiritually. As he breathes in, a genuine student of yoga experiences something that works formatively upon his whole being, that works spiritually; something that does not expend itself in the life between birth and death, but, entering into us through the spirituality of the outer air, engenders in us something that passes with us through the portal of death. To experience the breathing process consciously means taking part in something that persists when we have laid aside the physical body. For to experience the breathing process consciously is to experience the reaction of our inner being to inhalation. In experiencing this we experience something that preceded birth in our existence as soul-spirit — or let us say preceded our conception — something that had already cooperated in shaping us as embryos and then continued to work within our organism in childhood. To grasp the breathing process consciously means to comprehend ourselves beyond birth and death. The advance from an experience of the aphorism and the word to an experience of the breathing process represented a further penetration into an inspired comprehension of the eternal in man. We Westerners must experience much the same thing — but in a different sphere.