THE INNER SLUMBER
Stone: Blue Sapphire
The Mantra: Om Nidra Stambana
In the Bible is written that after leaving the Garden of Eden Adam
“fell into a deep sleep”, and then nowhere else said
that he ever woke up.
a) The issue is introduced by noting that Adam represents humanity,
and indeed it could be not more obvious that
as a whole humanity has not yet woken up.
Rainer Maria Rilke agrees:
Since those wondrous days of Creation God sleeps,
and we are His sleep.
Of course it is not the whole Divine who sleeps
but only the part of Him who descended
in the Manifestation through us.
This part also dreams, and each of us
is one of His dreams.
Meditate on it.
Unfortunately this means that
most of us “live” and die…
before waking up.
When I consider this carefully, I find not a single property which with certainty
separates the waking state from the dream. How can you
be certain that your whole life is not a dream?
How can you be certain that your whole life is not a dream?
Whether you like it or not.
Just less incoherent than the ones that we have while our body sleeps.
Ramana Maharshi agrees:
Except that the wakeful state is long and the dream state is short
there is no difference between the two.
All the activities of the dream state appear, for the time being, just as real as the activities of the wakeful state seem to be while awake. Only, during the dream state, the mind assumes another form or a different bodily sheath.
And so does Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev:
So sleep is just a more relaxed state of wakefulness,or wakefulness is a more agitated state of sleep.
Shams of Tabriz asks:
While all evidence is telling you that one day the sun will set, why are you letting yourself be distracted by sensuality; why are you sleeping in ignorance?
Where you brought here to sleep?
Gurdjeff answers such questions with a basic truth that most have a strong resistance to accept:
The main characteristic of the being of modern man, which explains
all that he lacks, is sleep. Modern man lives in sleep,
is born in sleep, dies in sleep.
The Buddha agrees:
Man is asleep. Man is born asleep.
And so does Ouspensky:
Another illusion is that we are awake.
When we realize that we are asleep we will see that all history is made by people
who are asleep. Sleeping people fight, make laws;
sleeping people obey or disobey them.
How does this make you feel?
Most people pas their whole life without ever realizing that
it is in a state of inner slumber that they get an education, a job, marry,
have children, even do Yoga or teach “spirituality”
without ever emerging from it.
Instead of feeling bad about it,
concentrate all your awareness and energy
in waking up.
Please note that
one can read this whole text, any spiritual book, without ever emerging
from one’s state of inner slumber.
b) The essential is to be AWAKE,
and until we are nothing we can do really matters
unless it helps us to awaken.
To live in a state of inner slumber is so close to being inwardly dead that it hardly makes any difference at all, and even many who to some extent are on the Path
remain unaware of being still caught in the tight net
of their deep slumber.
Ravidass put it thus:
A mighty king on his throne sleeps and in his dream a beggar becomes:
seeing his kingdom vanish he greatly mourns:
such is our condition.
Is this also your condition?
If yes, what will you DO about it?
Nisargadatta Maharaj adds that:
We are only dreaming.
True waking and true sleeping only the Jinani knows.
We dream that we are awake,we dream that we are asleep.
The three states are only varieties of the dream states.
Treating everything as a dream liberates.
As long as you give reality to dreams,
you are their slave.
Please don’t ignore this just because it is so unpleasant to realize.
Do something about it instead.
Most are so lost in their inner slumber that it is almost impossible to relate to them in any meaningful way: they may hear what we say, but the inflexible, conditioned programs from the past in their minds will make so that either ignore it if it doesn’t correspond with them or misinterpret it in all sorts of ways.
They are so deeply inwardly asleep that only the most extreme tragedies
or shocks of life can momentarily shake them up a little
from the hypnotic trance of their life.
But, alas, then they very soon fall right back into it.
The way that Rumi put it is:
A sleeper sleeps while his bedclothes drink in
the river water. The sleeper dreams of running around
looking for water and pointing in the dream
to mirages, “Water! There! There!”
it is that There! which keeps him asleep.
c) Most people are like the spectators of a film so involved with its story
that that only when the word “THE END” appears upon the screen,
realize it was just a movie.
They write books, make up countless theories, attempt to achieve this or that, start a revolution, care for their family or whatever else they identify themselves with
without ever emerging from their state
of deep inner slumber.
The text called The Eighteen Siddhis agrees:
We are dreaming with our eyes open.
To which extent are you dreaming with your eyes open?
Rumi, who is usually compassionate, spoke quite harshly about it:
If you aren’t completely naked and keep wrapping
your colorful robe of words around you,
go on sleeping your sleep.
What prevents you from being inwardly completely naked?
Why can’t you let go of your colorful robe of words?
Or would you rather keep it?
Don’t be deceived.
Rumi adds that:
Those unable to feel this Love like a river drawing them, unable to drink the dawn like pure spring water or as their supper the sunset swallow,
those refusing to change –
let them sleep.
To which extent can you feel this Love like a river drawing YOU?
Can you drink the dawn like pure spring water?
Are you also sometimes refusing to change?
No, the real reason is unlikely to be the one which first came to your mind.
d) The difference between the states in which we are dreaming
and the one in which we are “awake” and doing things in the world
is that in the latter is less incoherent and we are aware of the unreality of the former,
but after the Great Liberation we will see our so called “waking state”
just like now we see our night dreams.
Leonardo Da Vinci had the real experience of it:
I woke up, and saw the rest of the world
Nisargadatta Maharaj goes to the core of the issue:
If you are still dreaming it is because you have not really
understood that you are dreaming.
This is the essence of bondage – the mixing of the real with the unreal.
In your present state, only the sense “I am” refers to reality;
the “what” and the “how I am” are illusions imposed
by destiny, or accident.
When sleeping we have dreams that we experience as if they were real
and only upon waking recognize that they were not, but while dreaming we fail to see their inconsistencies
In our normal “waking state” the same thing happens: we fail to see
the unreality of our lives because we are not yet aware
of who we really are.
Wu Hsin reminds us that:
Sleeping is far more comfortable than the work required for waking oneself up.
Most seekers of so-called truth gladly settle for improvements
to their existing fictions.
Are you SURE that you NEVER do something like that?
Badakhshani speaks from his own experience:
Becoming water, as a mirage myself I saw as a speck of foam
into an ocean turning; as awareness gained I that all
is but forgetfulness I saw, then as I woke up
I FOUND MYSELF ASLEEP.
Paracelsus adds that:
We are angels that still sleep the heavy
sleep of the flesh…
Man must wake up, open his eyes to the truth if he
doesn’t want to run the risk to cross life
like an unconscious brute.
There could be no greater loss.
e) The so called “waking state” is not so different from the state of sleep
but is more like a somnambulism or a hypnotic trance
than any real wakefulness.
While “awake” we dream of being separate human beings in a body,
but after the Great Awakening we will know that it was just a dream
and realize that we are luminous souls, rays of the Divine,
temporarily inhabiting a body.
As Nisargadatta Maharaj said,
Just as the dream state is untrue, the waking state is also an appearance.
Both happen spontaneously.
Our talk is also taking place in a dream.
But in those who are ready this type of “talk”
can trigger the beginning of the process
The Yoga Vashista agrees:
Know life as a long sleep, and the world with myself and thyself,
are the imaginations of its dream;
we see many other persons in this sleepy dream,
none of whom is real.
Speaking of the so called “ordinary man” Poonja adds:
Man wants to awaken, but doesn’t want
to abandon the dream.
Do you really want to abandon the dream?
Are you ready to abandon it?
If yes, to which extent?
If not, why not?
Don’t be deceived.
Heraclitus offers these comforting words::
Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps
make something of the world.
The Veil IS inner slumber.
The inner equivalent of the Inner Slumber in a video game is, for example,
a swamp in which your avatar, the personage that you are playing as, keeps getting stuck, unable to move, or a gate guarded by enemies too strong for you…
until you find the right way to defeat them.
The Inner slumber is also a kind of death.
As Og Mandino noted,
Most humans, in varying degrees,
are already dead.
In one way or another they have lost their dreams,
their ambitions, their desire for a better life.
They have surrendered their fight for self-esteem and they have compromised their great potential. They have settled for a life of mediocrity, days of despair and nights of tears. They are no more than living deaths confined to cemeteries of their choice.
Yet they need not remain in that state.
They can be resurrected from their sorry condition. They can each
perform the greatest miracle in the world. They can each
come back from the dead…
The Devil’s Advocate:
Are you under the illusion that you will ever be able to awake?
How many have you met so far who ever managed it?
Yes, you heard of some.
How do you know that they were not either pretending it, or just taking in their sleep!
There can be nothing worse than living in a state of inner slumber
because then we will come to the end of our life
without having ever really lived.
Words of Power:
May everyone fully realize that by remaining inwardly asleep
nothing they can do is ever quite real.
“Whoever remains deeply asleep surely behaves
like a buffalo in front of its butcher.”
“You have chosen a sleep in which you have had bad dreams,
but the sleep is not real and God calls you to Awake.”
A Course in Miracles
Won’t you answer His call?
“When we look *with* the ‘I’ we dream. When we look
*for* the ‘I’ we awaken.” Mooji
Are you looking for the “I”?
These words of Mère keep coming back to my mind again and again:
“When you see them, oh! it’s … suffocating. When you’re in contact with that.
Really, you wonder how anyone can breathe in such an atmosphere.
And yet people CONSTANTLY live in that atmosphere!”
From the Poems:
In the trancelike slumber of his life
of hallucinating clarity a flash
like a sunray dissolving an thick mist,
or from a high mountain peak
into a muddy swamp below gazing
all he ever been he can now see:
countless lives, strivings, sorrows,
joys and deaths, the conflicting emotions
and uncontrollable cravings
that thorough the prison of his days
in vicious circles drove him:
a prisoner is he, has always been, by old,
weary nightmares from the past tormented
about wingless birds, loveless hearts, plastic flowers
that he cannot even quite remember
but keep obsessing him;
…within us our prison abides, invisible barriers
of mindflesh the hardest to break down;
everywhere No Entry signs and locked up gates,
while in some vague beyond our Liberation
eludes us still…
Question/Ko’han 1 to 3:
Are you aware that you are not yet quite inwardly awake?
What prevents you to?
Yes, but there are other more important reasons.
How does the awareness of your inner slumber makes you feel?
Question/Ko’han 4 and 5:
As already mentioned, the mystery schools affirm that
after Creation God rested, perhaps even slept,
and WE are His sleep.
Of course God is always awake.
But then what does it really mean that we are His sleep?
What does it imply?
Question/Ko’han 6 and 7:
The Prophet Muhammad said that
People are asleep, and when they die,
In which sense they awake when they die?
Don’t you wish to awake BEFORE you physically die?
It is entirely possible.
If you want it more than anything else, that is.
The last word warns that:
Indeed you are not as deeply asleep as most “ordinary” people, who care very little about such things at best and usually nothing at all,
but if you were already inwardly awake you would not need
to read anything at all.
1) Consider these words of Osho, who here sounds just like Gurdjeff:
Man ordinarily exists in a state of sleep.
He is not alert, he is not aware of what he is doing; he is not even aware of who he is. He is not conscious of from where he has come and to where he is going. He is an utterly deep, deep slumber.
Man ordinarily is a robot. He lives apparently awake,
but not really.
He walks, he talks, he acts, but it is all as if in sleep – not conscious of what he is doing, not conscious of what he is saying, not conscious of all that surrounds him.
He moves surrounded by a dark cloud
2) Consider also this passage in which Jeanne de Salzmann epitomized the situation most are in with her own personal experience of it:
I think…that I am moving in the direction in which I want to go and I think I can ‘do’, but in reality I am being lead, moved by forces of which I know nothing. Everything in me takes place, everything happens.
The strings are pulled without my knowing anything. I do not see
that I am like a puppet, like a machine set in motion
by external influences …
Most of the time I act without knowing it and I realize only after I said this or did that.
It is as if my life took place without my conscious
participation. It occurs while I sleep.
Occasionally jolts or shocks awake me for a while. In the midst of an outburst of anger, a great sorrow or a danger suddenly I open my eyes,
“What? Am I am, now, who is living this situation?” But after the shock
I go back to my sleep, and it can be a long time
before another shock awakens me.
3) Meditate on this passage of the Yoga Vashista:
The experience of the waking state is a long dream
dominated by the feeling of “I” and “Mine”
The dreaming during our days is of the same nature as night dreams, in which the dreamt objects appear to be real; but it is upon the waking from the one, as upon the death of the day dreamer, thatboth these visions are found to vanish in empty air.
There is no difference whatever between the dreaming and waking states; in dream we see
a false city appearing to view, so in waking you behold the unreal world,
looking like a reality before you.
1) These verses from The Quest:
….alas, indeed at times we forget:
for ages having slept, out of habit,
in the games in our slumber learnt indulge still
sometimes the very same sleepwalkers play,
by this terrible, lethal need overwhelmed
into absence awhile to rest, be lost in things,
but never at ease, subliminally aware that
but a kind of inner death truly is…
2) These words of Patanjeli:
They are so sleepy that if you limit yourself to talk they will listen,
but at the same time will not hear anything.
They listen, but do not hear.
Even they listen, they will interpret your words in their own way: the will color them with their own conceptions. They are so sleepy that must be shaken by real-life situations, only then something can penetrate into their heavy, dull, thick, insensitive and unintelligent heads.
While in my deep sleep still all my dreams
fully real I believed and cared about,
at each apparent gain rejoicing –
how could I possibly have been so dumb?