Q: I’ve spoken to you before about what happens to consciousness in sleep, and I wanted to ask you – I can’t remember – why do we sleep? It is not just the body replenishing itself.
John: It is the ebb and flow of awareness arising. The moment that it moves, then there’s mind, and if it hasn’t come through the surface then that manifests itself in the way of dreams. Once it breaks the surface then there is a clear wakefulness, and as high as it rises, it must return to its source. So every time you go to sleep, you are going through the cycle. Your whole system is always going through this rhythm leaving you with the resonance, the touch within, the knowing within, that there is something, way back, there is something that tells you of the resonance of the truth of that.
Once we label wakefulness and sleep then we lose a lot of that resonance. When the labels are removed, when you focus on it without labels, then the resonance quickly comes back and something begins to move, and something begins to touch, and it’s not necessarily explainable within your mind but there is something so profound in the knowing of it.
In wakefulness, there’s the coming up and the manifestation of awareness. It is like a wave of water that has its own energy or its own personality and then the wave, too, returns, and it loses everything that it was. Whatever individuality there was, it’s gone. And then it comes back again.
It’s everywhere in nature. We are to be the same: that when awareness comes up, we let it come up, and we let it express itself without agenda, without intention, without purpose, without identity, letting it cleanly be what it really is, without any control on it, turning it into something that is our way. Letting it manifest itself, not out of convenience, but letting whatever it is that we know is real that arises from within be whatever it is, and letting that come through the personality.
As soon as the flow begins to turn and it begins to go back, there is an awareness of a losing, a dying; something is passing away. Instead of holding on to that form using mind and emotion and will, and continuing to be what was there, once it has come up then the pattern is left behind. You can assume that pattern and continue to be that pattern, or as it diminishes you let yourself match that diminishing, that dying, that receding, and letting it return to its source. You do it with sleep all the time.
Each day that you wake up you can assume your patterns, because those patterns of something that has arisen before, manifested itself and then returned back is still there, and you can assume that pattern and live that pattern out, or you can arise new each day and newly die, each day, when you go to sleep: letting it all be over, letting it all really go, as it does in sleep.
Q: But we’re going to sleep, we’re matching the rhythm of being, that breath of being, that pulse.
John: When you are responding to your being in going to sleep that is a very different going to sleep because then, as you match your being when you’re going to sleep, you are being re-familiarized with the depth of your being.
When you go to sleep in tightness you are matching your patterns as you fall asleep, so then you are losing the natural rhythm of what takes place within your being in falling asleep. You are not matching your being, so you fall asleep in your patterns and you come back up in your patterns. The opportunity was lost.
When you go to sleep matching your being you become reacquainted with the resonance of the depth of being as you pass from the waking state down into deep sleep. It is like passing through your being into the source. If you are not identified with your patterns in that, then there’s a new resonance with your being – all the depth of your being – every time you go to sleep. It is like being washed.
When you match your being when you are going to sleep then you are being washed. When you come back up, waking up again, there is not just a freshness in having slept but there is a different kind of freshness in having been washed through all the depths of your being and then coming up again. There is a different kind of freshness. It is a freshness of being, just because you went to sleep in it. When you become acquainted with that, then going to sleep is one of the most awesome times of the day. You become acquainted with knowing how to pass through the depths of being. Then, each time there is a depth of the experience of being, most of it you will not be able to comprehend but it is a new journey into the source every time you go to sleep.
Q: How are dreams a part of that rhythm? What is the dream? What is happening there?
John: You’re still there, but not quite there anymore.
As long as there is something that arises out of the absolute, then there is mind. For there to be awareness, there is mind, but there are different kinds of mind. There is clean, clear mind, which is pure awareness, and then there is the patterned mind: the mind that has collected everything that it has ever perceived or been aware of, and it keeps it as a residue; it keeps it as a story, and part of it is completely legitimate, otherwise you would have to totally relearn everything from scratch every time you wake up. So there could be no natural progression of mind: everything that you would have learned the previous day is gone. So it does remain for you to live like the steps of awareness that move up. What we are not meant to do is to attach to that, as if identifying with that, within, makes you safe.
The dream state is when you are beginning to come out of the deep sleep, or when you are beginning to come out of the source, then the moment there’s a movement of awareness, there is the existence of mind. Then there is the play of mind. Within that play of mind there’s mental sensation and it plays upon the entire nervous system, so you can experience something for real, and it is – just not in this existence. It is real because it’s based on something that is really there.
Sometimes what it is based on that is really there is just patterning, so within that semi-aware state where you’re not aware of this existence but you are aware of existence within, dreaming, then your patterns can throw you around. Whatever energy you have put into your patterns, they can unwind or wind up within that awareness. When the awareness that is there is matching your being, then in that dream state there will be experiences of being. Then there is a nourishment of being. Then there is clear, profound, knowing of truth within your dreams.
When you are dreaming there is the existence of mind or the existence of awareness – just not present in this existence. But it’s still really present. When there’s a matching the being, when you’re living within this existence matching the being so you are being in existence, then inasmuch as you are being in existence, that follows through the same.
When there is an existence of mind that is present within sleep, that’s like cruising through different aspects of being, accessing different dimensions that are becoming nearer and nearer to you because of your ripening within your awareness in this existence, when you are fully awake. Those dimensions that are coming closer and closer to you because you’re becoming finer and finer; when they begin to near, then
within the existence of mind during sleep, that already comes through, so you begin to move through those dimensions that you are not yet moving through while you are fully present in this existence. Having moved through that with a mindful awareness during sleep, there is a resonance of it that stays in your body while you are fully awake. So you end up acquiring something, knowing something, and you don’t know where it comes from: there is something new there. Something is starting to come together within that wasn’t there before. The time of acquaintance with much of this is when there’s a presence of mind in the midst of sleep.
There is endless complexity to the rhythm of wakefulness and sleep: the mental cycles, the emotional cycles, the physical cycles, and it all has the most amazing design of being, a design that you could never comprehend until you actually integrate it and live it. And there is no end to how much there is that can be integrated and lived. There is no arrival; there is no exhausting it. The most that the speediest integration of reality throughout a whole lifetime can possibly achieve is just the beginning. Because it is infinite, you cannot get past the beginning.
There is as much to explore of being while you are fully awake in this existence as there is to explore of being as you go to sleep, and they are not the same. When you go to sleep, you can just simply fall asleep – a patterned going to sleep which is sort of dead. Or when you go to sleep, as you are falling asleep, you can let go of anything to do with an internal structuring, letting everything within come apart in any way that it would, falling asleep within an openness and a softness that has no limit. It is a falling asleep inside of the awareness of a tender openness, falling asleep inside of the awareness of a tender softness.
You might have a nightmare because of coming so close to losing so much control, that when you pass out of this existence into an existence of mind that is within sleep, then all the fears that you came so dangerously close to of losing all control, within, can manifest within the mind to save you, to wake you up to what you could have lost while you were asleep.
Or it could go the other way. Then you would be soaking in various depths of being
as you are passing through the entire being in returning to the source. Then, going to sleep each time is like an entirely new way of letting yourself get completely lost in your being: lost without control, lost without return, letting yourself be utterly lost within your being as you are returning to the source.
Or, if you fall asleep in your patterns, you fall asleep all wrapped up with identity, with concern, being wrapped up with thought and feeling, and still returning to the source. But as you are passing through your being in returning to the source, you are insulated with all that wrapping. You are insulated from all of the various depths of being, returning to the source safe from being affected by your being. Then, when you go to sleep and wake up and go through your day and go back to sleep, instead of it being a life-giving cycle, a living, vibrant rhythm, it is just an oldness that circulates and circulates and circulates, and there is painfully nothing new. It is just dreadful. Then, when you go to sleep it is not even a break because you fall asleep wrapped up in your patterns, and the moment you fall asleep until you wake up, it is like the very next second, you wake up and you are all wrapped up in exactly the same patterns.
Go to sleep lying down inside of the littlest bit that you know so that the most tender knowing within you is, to you, like a hot tub. You just slip into this hot tub, and while you are in it you go to sleep – a very different sleep. Then you become wonderfully addicted to falling asleep. You become wonderfully addicted to living. What you become most wonderfully addicted to is being your being while you are awake and while you return to the source, as you fall asleep.