Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Never Sleep

From the point of view of Consciousness, there is no experience of a dark, blank nothingness. Rather, there is only the ‘experience’ of itself, which means only the presence …of itself. This is neither deep, dark, blank, or asleep. It [is] dimensionless, present, luminous, alive and awake.
Consciousness is not the opposite of un-consciousness. For Consciousness there is no ‘off.’ It is always ‘on.’ ...What is considered to be deep sleep from the point of view of the waking mind is ‘wide-awakeness’ for Consciousness.
Now, with that as background, we can look more closely at the question as to whether identification remains at a subtler level in deep sleep.
Rupert Spira, interview

I think most people have had the experience of waking up the morning (or maybe days) after a disaster, a death, and for a moment you’ve forgotten. You’re simply there awake, until that first thought arises and with it the pain that sleep momentarily erased returns. Apparently, there are other versions of this story.

Recently, I’ve noticed the transition from being deep sleep to lying there in bed awake with a clarity that’s usually not there. What I notice is a buzz (and no thoughts), a luminescence (and no thoughts), and then fear (and still no thoughts), except its rather intense fear and thus physically uncomfortable. My mind quickly presents a list of reasons. This week they’re financial.

But, the process is kind of strange when you think about it. Why would I wake up gripped by fear for which there is no reason? (I here equate reason with a label, or a thought.) I think identification, attachment to beliefs, must remain deep inside me. My body must be listening to unspoken fears. How else could the sensation arise?

Thankfully, not all mornings are like this. Sometimes I notice that, “Oh, I was asleep.” And with that thought comes the understanding of Consciousness as presence, alive and awake: Even though I was asleep, I was awake all night. It was this experience that actually first attracted me to the video, I Never Sleep

And so, as the fear hit me this morning, I was reminded onceagain of the images. Rupert Spira so artistically presents the transition from deep sleep into waking. It doesn’t help my belly wake up any easier, but it’s something nice to share. It’s not your usual Advaita lecture.


4 comments:

Beth said...

This was fascinating, and quite beautiful. You probably won't be surprised to know that I've always been interested in those liminal places between sleep and waking, before thoughts and just as I become aware of them. It seems to me that fear is actually a thought, arising from thoughts, before we think realize and identify them...though it certainly is retained as a memory in the body...I'll have to think more about this!

Pat Bralley said...

Hi Beth,
One thing that interests me here is that fear is a "feeling" ie a bodily sensation or combination of sensations. However, our mind's reaction to the sensation(s) - the thoughts - is what makes fear so miserable and crippling. If I can let go of the thoughts, which ususally are pretty irrational, and just be with the sensation - then a fear reaction of 10/10 turns out to be not that bad, certainly preferable to a toothache or herniated disc.

joel said...

This being awake while sleeping is talked about in many of the ancient texts and of course MMY said it was a sign of an advanced realization.
Maybe the next step is to realize that the emotion of fear is arising and dissolving in the no thing that you are. Awareness is always there and you are that.

Love
Joel

joel said...

This being awake while sleeping is talked about in many of the ancient texts and of course MMY said it was a sign of an advanced realization.
Maybe the next step is to realize that the emotion of fear is arising and dissolving in the no thing that you are. Awareness is always there and you are that. it's a mater of seeing through the sense of a personal "I"

Love
Joel