For every human being, life begins with a breath. Birth is the moment when a child takes its first breath. He opens his little mouth, he cries out, and everyone rejoices thinking: “Praise God, he is alive! “It is thanks to the first breath that the lungs fill with air and begin to work. And then, when years and years later they say that someone has taken his last breath, or that he has exhaled forever, then everyone understands that he has died. The breath is the beginning and the end. Life begins with an inhalation and ends with an exhalation.
All the mystery of life is contained within breathing. But life is not in the air itself, nor in the act of breathing. Life comes from a higher element than air and for which air is sustenance: fire. Yes, life is in fire, and the function of air is to sustain fire. Life is in the heart, it is like a fire contained in the heart, and the lungs are like a pair of bellows that continuously sustain the fire. The origin, the primary cause of life is therefore fire; and the air, which is its brother, sustains and vivifies it. With the last breath the fire is extinguished, the last sigh extinguishes the fire.
Collection Synopsis n°2 III – 5 p. 200