05 February 2009

Sleeping mind, waking mind, enlightenment.

Hi Ed, You said that you allow for crazy questions. Here's one that has been plaguing me for a over a decade. It would be nice to be rid of it. Here it is. While literally awake, Consciousness, Bliss, etc. are accessible. All of this however, seems to totally disappear when I am in a deep, dreamless sleep. Let me qualify.

When I am waking up from this dreamless sleep, I look at what I am rising from, still half in the sleep, and it seems that there is nothing there, the absence of even a flickering light of Awareness. Instead, there seems to be only a kind of dark blankness and I become afraid that this is what death truly is. Years ago when I was under anesthesia, I woke with the profound sense that what I was rising from is what death really is, a literal and absolute dead blankness.

If Awareness is always here and truly eternal, why would there not be some taste of Consciousness when I look at the deep sleep "state" while still half in it? Now I realize that Consciousness is not a "thing" to be remembered. That is why I emphasize being between the waking and sleep states when considering this issue. The egoic self feels afraid that formless awareness may after all, just be a product of the waking brain, of the unconscious mind and this perpetuates a fear of death that I would like to be free of.

Advaita writings talk all of the time about deep dreamless sleep as that of pure Consciousness. How do they know? If this nagging concern were to abate, I would have a quieter mind. No one I have ever talked to has been able to address this question. Is this going to be one of those unanswerable questions that are free?



Not one in 10,000 get this as the central problem, know, illusion.

Listen carefully.

This is what I first wrote when I lost identification with the body and I saw waking consciousness--I Am--come and go:

I am That who is aware of the coming and going of I Am, of consciousness.

I am even before this knowledge.

I have no attibutes, I am before and beyond all attributes, knowing and not knowing.

I am and the world are little things compared to me.

Your problem is you still identify with waking consciousness and the body. Waking consciousness is trivial.

You are That who is aware of being, and then of not-being.

You are That who is aware of being, and then of not-being.

You are That who is aware of being, and then of not-being.

Being and Not Being arise in you. You are That who is aware of their coming and going.

As such, you are That who is beyond both.

This is the liberation.

At this point, just feel the dark emptiness and see what happens. It is only the sleep state in the background. It comes and goes. You are the witness of it coming and going. It is not you; it is a percept. But, when you know it, it has a welcoming nature.

The knowledge that you are not that which comes and goes is the first liberation. What you are is unknowable as an object. You are it, the witness of all. This is the beginning of your real practice after the disidentification with the body.

Next is to tease out all the extraneous added on stuff and find the Fundamental without adulteration. As of now, just take the position of the witness of the coming and going and recognize you are even beyond the knowledge that you are beyond consciousness.

Also, read closely what “Advaita writers” are actually saying. Conscious sleep means only that the thinking mind is not working. Nothing more. The mind does not work in deep sleep. So, what they mean is having no mental workings while awake. This is what they mean by waking sleep.

You have projected a meaning into what they say that they did not mean. But it is their screw up because they are not clear.

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