What would it be like with the lungs of the world? As in large, so in small. The jungles on the planet also act as lung vesicles: releasing oxygen and breathing in carbon dioxide. This is contrary to the function of the human lungs, and therefore a perfect system to maintain the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide on earth, to preserve the pure air.
But every minute soccer fields full of trees are being cut down on earth. The balance is increasingly disturbed. And also everything else that mankind does, like letting cars drive, flying airplanes, letting ocean giants sail and factories break out their waste in the air, contributes to the disturbance. Now that the crisis has cleared the air a little, people are noticing how polluted it had become. They can ‘breathe’ again, because the planet can ‘breathe’ again. Some of the balance has returned.
Our field of existence is focused on conservation, and is subject to laws of balance. Those laws therefore also take care of the necessary correction, you might say. Humanity on the planet has generally contracted an infection. The purpose of an infection is to tackle and eliminate danger. As radically as possible. Mankind generally understands this. Health takes precedence over the economy, no matter how dramatic the impact will be in economic terms.
At the same time, it is clear that the balance on earth has long been disturbed on all fronts. The biological, organic, geological, spatial and atmospheric foundations have long been affected.
And now there’s a shock going through the world. A feeling that a time of change has come, yes, must come. Almost forty years ago, an article in Pentagram magazine about The Disturbed Balance included the following words:
What does it mean now that in our field of life the balance is disturbed? A situation has arisen in which the field of existence no longer organically fulfils its original purpose. (…) Man has lost the memory of his destiny. He no longer knows the plan of his present field of existence. The equilibrium, which was present to a certain extent in this time and space bound order, has been affected by man himself.
What is needed now, is called true knowledge (gnosis), in order to come to the understanding to which this field of life serves man – as an expression of a God-created entity. The disturbed equilibrium could be defined as an expression of all those forces and powers which developed and maintained the deviation from the foundations of dialectic nature.
Man, collectively and individually responsible for these powers and forces, at a certain moment looks in a mirror and sees such an exceptional monster looming before him that he refuses to accept the ghost as a reality and flees in transformation. (…) The well-meaning group limits itself to the consequences of faulty life behaviour. However, the causes of the rapid changes are deeper. A reaction of only life reform is then a primitive reaction. (…) 
The time of change has come. J. van Rijckenborgh says about this:
Mankind has reached the nadir of materiality, the absolute nadir of the world. Matter will therefore not become denser, not more compact. And with it go the times of the end and the turn upwards. This upheaval will be expressed in what one might call a spiritualisation of matter. Not spiritualisation in the sense of glorification, but as a thinning of matter. In fact, we believe that this thinning of matter has already begun to some extent. This thinning will mean a process of dissolution of matter, or, in other words, what the Book of Revelation calls ‘the fall of Babylon’. Matter, all its material institutions, and everything that exists out of and through matter, will not be able to sustain itself as it is at present. For the atomic state of the earth is going to change completely.
That is why it is obvious that the rock-hard materialistic man, who has focused all his hope and striving on matter, will not be able to keep it. As a result of the changing atomic structure and quality of our earth, there will soon be a dividing line through the whole of mankind.
(…) Due to the actual state of affairs at the moment, the large group capable of reacting to the changes will be able to come to a mature understanding. Supported by this insight, many will be able to become aware of the true purpose of their humanity. From this insight they will be able to free themselves from the oppressive matter, to break through to the path that leads to spirit-soul life.
A miraculous prediction, this getting thinner, if you look at what our daily practice has become. No more taking the car to work, but working and going to school without moving, with connections via electricity. No longer dragging ocean giants full of containers filled with stuff, or floating giga-hotels across the world’s seas, but unpacking, and back to our own immediate surroundings for food and relaxation. No longer vacuuming the earth by stripping it of coal, oil, gas and trees, but generating electricity with wind and sun. It seems to be the very beginning of that thinning, a prediction that in its realisation may still be many centuries ahead of reality.
And then back to that breath. Esoterically there is much more that we breathe in, at the same time as the air. Etheric and astral substance is inhaled along with it, of a quality comparable to that of polluted air.
The so polluted astral substance of our life field is nothing else than originally pure, divine astral substance, brought and held in lower vibration and filled with countless ungodly life phenomena..
But mankind is not left alone on its journey through time. Changing influences create new possibilities. Due to the strong electromagnetic charge of Uranus, we now breathe in a new luminosity, the fiery breath of new life. Human beings have to respond to this. If they adjust themselves to this higher astral light force, then this breathing enables a new attitude to life, because it influences blood, nerve fluids, spinal fire, internal secretion and all of consciousness. This breathing then perseveres, in an inner balance, brings real change. By falling back into old habits of life, the new light force loses much of its original ability and becomes polluted again. Only a continuing circulation of that inhaled light force in the system can bring about and maintain a change of consciousness. Mankind is on its way there, however long it may take. A joyful prospect, in the midst of all the chaos.
 The Disturbed Balance, Pentagram 1982 no 10
 J. van Rijckenborgh, The alchemical wedding of Christian Rosycross, part 2, closing words, Rosycross Press, Haarlem 1969
 J. van Rijckenborgh, The Universal Remedy. ch. 5, Rosycross Press, Haarlem 1978