In Sleep the Mind Rejuvenates Itself

The wood was asleep; the path through it was dark and winding. There was not a thing stirring; the long twilight was just disappearing and the silence of the night was covering the earth. the small gurgling stream, so insistent during the day, was conceding to the quietness of the coming night. Through the small opening among the leaves were the stars, brilliant and very close. Darkness of the night is as necessary as the light of day. The welcoming trees were withdrawn into themselves and distant; they were all around but they were aloof and unapproachable; they were asleep, not to be disturbed. In this quiet darkness, there was growth and flowering, gathering strength to meet the vibrant day; night and day were essential; both gave life, energy, to all living things. Only man dissipates it.

Sleep is very important, a sleep without too many dreams, without tossing about too much. In sleep many things happen both in the physical organism and in the brain (the mind is the brain; they are one, a unitary movement. To this whole structure sleep is absolutely essential. In sleep order, adjustment and deeper perceptions take place; the quieter the brain the deeper the insight. The brain needs security and order to function harmoniously, without any friction. Night provides it and during quiet sleep there are movements, states, which thought can never reach. Dreams are disturbance; they distort total perception. In sleep the mind rejuvenates itself.

But you might say dreams are necessary; if one doesn’t dream one might go mad; they are helpful, revealing. There are superficial dreams, without much meaning; there are dreams that are significant and there is also a dreamless state. Dreams are the expression in different forms and symbols of our daily life. If there is no harmony, no order in our daily life of relationship, then dreams are a continuance of that disorder. The brain during sleep tries to bring about order out of this confusing contradiction. In this constant struggle between order and disorder the brain is worn out. But it must have security and order to function at all, and so beliefs, ideologies and other neurotic concepts become necessary. Turning night into day is one of those neurotic habits; the inanities that go on in the modern world after nightfall are an escape from the daytime of routine and boredom.

The total awareness of disorder in relationship both private and public, personal and distant, an awareness of what is without any choice during conscious hours during the day, brings order out of disorder. Then the brain has no need to seek order during sleep. Then dreams are only superficial, without meaning. Order in the whole of consciousness, not merely at the conscious level, takes place when division between the observer and the observed ceases completely. What is, is transcended when the observer who is the past, who is time, comes to an end. The active present the what is, is not in the bondage of time as the observer is.

Only when the mind the brain and the organism during sleep has this total order, is there an awareness of that wordless state, that timeless movement. This is not some fanciful dream, an abstraction of escape. It is the very summation of meditation. That is, the brain is active, waking or sleeping, but the constant conflict between order and disorder wears down the brain. Order is the highest form of virtue, sensitivity, intelligence. When there is this great beauty of order, harmony, the brain is not endlessly active; certain parts of it have to carry the burden of memory but that is a very small part; the rest of the brain is free from the noise of experience. That freedom is the order, the harmony, of silence. This freedom and the noise of memory move together, intelligence is the action of this movement. Meditation is freedom from the known and yet operating in the field of the known. There is no “me’’ as the operator. In sleep or awake this meditation goes on.

The path came slowly out of the woods and from horizon to horizon the sky was filled with stars. In the fields not a thing moved.