Sleep, Dreams, and Consciousness
Session 532, May 27th, 1970
The Eternal Validity of the Soul
Persons vary in the amount of sleep they need, and no pill will ever allow them to dispense with sleep entirely, for too much work is done in that state. However, this could be done far more effectively will two, rather than one, sleep periods of lesser duration.
To periods of three hours a piece would be quite sufficient for most people, if the proper suggestions for given before sleep---suggestions that would insure the body’s complete recuperation. In many cases 10 hours sleep, for example is actually disadvantageous, resulting in the sluggishness of both mind and body. In this case the Spirit has simply been away from the body for far too long a time, resulting in a loss of muscular flexibility.
As many light snacks would actually be much better than three large meals a day, so short naps rather than such an extended period would also be more effective. There would be other benefits. The conscious self would recall more of its dream adventures as a matter of course, and gradually these will be added to the totality of the experience as the ego thinks of it.
As a result of more frequent, briefer sleep periods, there would also be higher peaks of conscious focus, and a more steady renewal of both physical and psychic activity. There would not be such a definite division between the various areas or levels of the self. A more economical use of energy would result, and also a more effective use of nutrients. Consciousness as you know it will also become more flexible and mobile.
This would not lead to a blurring of consciousness or focus. Instead the greater flexibility and would result in a perfection of conscious of focus. The seeming great division between the waking and sleeping self is largely a result of the division in function, the two being largely separated---a block of time being allotted to the one, and a larger block of time to the other. They are kept apart, then, because of your use of time.
Initially, your conscious life followed the light of day. Now with artificial light this need not be the case. There are opportunities here, then, to be gained from your technology that you are not presently taking advantage of. To sleep all day and work all night is hardly the answer; it is simply the inversion of your present habits. But it would be far more effective and efficient to divide the 24-hour period in a different way.
There are many variations, in fact, that would be better than your present system. Ideally, sleeping five hours at a time, you gain the maximum benefit, and anything else over this time is not nearly as helpful. Those who require more sleep would then take, say, a two-hour nap. For others a four hour block sleep session and two naps would be highly beneficial. With suggestion properly given, the body can recuperate in half the time now given to sleep. In any case it is much more bracing and efficient to have the physical body active rather than inactive for, say, 8 to 10 hours
You have trained your consciousness to follow certain patterns that are not necessarily a natural for it, and these patterns increase the sense of alienation between the waking and dreaming self. To some extent you drug the body with suggestion, so that it believes it must sleep away a certain amount of hours in one block. Animals sleep when they’re tired and awaken in a much more natural fashion.
You would retain a far greater memory of your subjective experiences, and your body would be healthier, if these sleeping patterns were changed. Six to eight hours of sleep in all would be sufficient with the nap patterns outlined. And even those who think they now need more sleep than this would find that they did not, if all the time was not spent one block. The entire system, physical, mental, and psychic, would benefit.
The divisions between the self would not be nearly as severe. Physical and mental work would be easier, and the body itself would gain steady period’s of refreshment and rest. Now, as a rule, it must wait, regardless of its condition, and least for some 16 hours. For other reasons having to do with the chemical reactions during the dream state, bodily health would be improved; and this particular schedule would also be of help in schizophrenia, and generally aid persons with problems of depression, or those with mental instability.
Your sense of time would also be less rigorous and rigid. Creative abilities would be quickened, and the great problems of insomnia that exists for many people be largely conquered--for what they fear it is often a long period of time in which consciousness, as they think it seems to be extinguished.
Small meals or snacks would then be taken upon rising. This method of eating and sleeping would greatly help various metabolic difficulties, and also aid the development of spiritual and psychic ability. For many reasons, physical activity at night has a different affect upon the body than physical activity during the day, and ideally, both the effects are necessary.
At certain times during the night the negative ions in the air are much stronger, or numerous, than in the daytime, for example; and activity during this time, particularly a walk or outside activity, would be highly beneficial form a health standpoint.
Now the period just before dawn often represents a crisis point for persons severely ill. Consciousness has been away from the body for too long a period, and such a returning consciousness then has difficulty dealing with the sick body mechanism. The practices in hospitals of giving drugs to patients so that they will sleep entirely throughout the night is detrimental for this reason. In many cases it causes too great a strain on the part of the returning consciousness to take over again the healing mechanism.
Such medications also prevent certain necessary dream cycles that can help the body recuperate, and the consciousness then becomes highly disorientated. Some of the divisions between different portions of the self, therefore, are not basically a necessary but are the results of custom and convenience.
In earlier periods of time, even though there were no electric lights for example, sleep was not long and continuous at night, for sleeping quarters were not as secure. The caveman, for example, while sleeping was on the alert for predators. The mysterious aspects of the natural night in outside surroundings kept him partially alert. He awakened often and surveyed the nearby land and his own place of shelter.
He did not sleep in long blocks as you do. His sleeping periods were instead for two or three hours, stretched through the night time from dusk to dawn, but alternated by periods of high wakefulness and alert activity. He also crept out to seek food when he hoped his predators were sleeping.
This resulted in a mobility of consciousness that indeed insured his physical survival, and those intuitions that appeared to him in the dream state were remembered and taken advantage of in the waking state.
Now, many diseases are simply caused by this division of yours and this long period bodily inactivity, and this extended focus of attention in either waking or dreaming reality. Your normal consciousness can benefit by excursions and rest in those other fields of activity that are entered when you sleep, and the so-called sleeping consciousness will also benefit by frequent excursions in the waking state.
Now: I bring up these matters here because such changes in habitual patterns would definitely result in greater understanding of the nature of the self. The inner dreaming portions of the personality seem strange to you not only because of a basic difference of focus, but because you clearly devote opposite portions of a 24 hour cycle to these areas of the self.
You separate them as much as possible. In doing so you divide your intuitive, creative, and psychic abilities quite neatly from your physical, and manipulative, objective abilities. It makes no difference how many hours of sleep you think you need. You would be much better off sleeping in several shorter periods, and you would actually then require less time. The largest sleep unit should be at night. But again, the efficiency of the sleep is lessened and disadvantages set in after six to eight hours of physical inactivity.
The functions of hormones and chemicals, and of adrenal processes in particular, would function with greater effectiveness with these alternating periods of activities as I have mentioned. The wear and tear upon the body would be minimized, while at the same time all regenerative powers would be used to the maximum. Both those with high and low metabolism would benefit.
The psychic centers would be activated more frequently, and the entire identity of the personality would be better strengthened and maintained. The resulting mobility and flexibility of consciousness would cause an added dividend in increased conscious concentration, and fatigue levels would always remain below danger points. A greater equalization, both physical and mental, would result.
Now such schedules could be adapted quite easily. Those who work the American working hours, for example, could sleep between four to six hours an evening, according to individual variations, and nap after supper. I want to make it plain, however, that anything over a six to eight hour continuous sleeping period, works against you, and a ten hour period for example can be quite disadvantageous. On awakening often then you do not feel rested, but drained of energy. You have not been minding the store.
If you not understand that in periods of sleep your consciousness actually does leave your body, then what I have said will be meaningless. Now your consciousness does return at times, to check upon the physical mechanisms, and the simple consciousness of the atom and cell--the body consciousness-is always with the body, so it is not vacant. But the largely creative of portions of the self do leave the body and for large periods of time when you sleep.
Some cases a strong neurotic behavior result from your present sleeping habits. Sleepwalking to some degree is also connected here. Consciousness wants to return to the body, but it has been hypnotized into the idea that the body must not awaken . Excess nervous energy takes over, and rouses the muscles to activity, because the body knows it has been inactive for too long and otherwise severe muscle cramps would result.
The same applies to your eating habits. By turn you over stuff and then starve the tissues. This has definite effects upon the nature of your consciousness, your creativity, your degree of concentration. All along these lines, for example, you do literally starve your bodies that night, and add to the aging of your bodies by denying them food throughout those long hours. All this reflects upon the strength and nature of your consciousness.
Your food should be divided within the 24-hour period, and not just during the times of wakefulness—that is, if the sleep patterns were changed as I suggest, you would also be eating during some night hours. You would eat far less at any given “mealtime,” however. Small amounts of food much more frequently taken would be much more beneficial than your present practice in physical, mental and psychic terms.
Changing the patterns would automatically change the eating patterns. You would find you were a much more united identity. You would become aware of your clairvoyance and telepathic abilities, for example, to a far greater degree, and you would not feel the deep separation that you now feel between the dreaming and the waking self. To a larger degree this sense of alienation would vanish.
Your enjoyment of nature would also increase, for as a rule you are largely unacquainted with the nighttime. You take much better advantage of the intuition own knowledge that occurs in the dream state, and the cycle of your moods would not swing so definitely as it often does. You would feel much safer and more secure in all areas of existence.
The problems of senility would also be reduced, for stimuli would not be minimized for so long time. And consciousness, with a greater flexibility, with know more of its own sense of joy.
Your own periods of creative work would also be more effective and efficient if you follow the advice given here.
Session 533, June 1, 1970,
9:20 P.M. Monday
Now: It is well known that fluctuations of consciousness and alertness exist in the sleep state. Some periods of dream activity do indeed supersede those of some waking States. But there are also fluctuations in normal waking consciousness, rhythms of intense activity followed by a much less active periods of consciousness.
Some waking states, of course, come very close to sleep states. These blend one into the other so that the rhythm often goes unnoticed. These graduations of consciousness are accompanied by changes in the physical organism. In the more sluggish periods of waking consciousness there is a lack concentration, a cutting off of stimuli to varying degrees, an increase in accidents, and generally a lower body tone.
Because of your habits of an extended sleep period, followed by an extended waking period , you do not take advantage of these rhythms of consciousness. The high peaks are also to some extent smothered, or even go unnoticed. The sharp contrasts and the high efficiency of the natural waking consciousness is barely utilized.
Now I am giving all this material here because it will help you understand and use your present abilities. You are asking too much of normal waking consciousness, smoothing out the valleys and peaks of its activity, demanding in some cases that it go full blast ahead when it is actually at a minimal period, deny yourself the great mobility of consciousness that is possible.
The suggestions given earlier in this chapter, concerning sleeping habits, will result in a naturally use of rhythms. The peaks will be a experienced more frequently, concentration will be increased, problems seen more clearly, and learning capacity is better utilized.
Now: This extended period, given to waking consciousness without rest periods, builds up chemicals in the blood that are discharged in sleep. But in the meantime they make the body sluggish and retard conscious concentration. The long period sleep to which you are accustomed then does become necessary. A vicious circle then is formed. This forces over stimulation during the night, increasing the bodies work, making it performed continuously over an extended time physical purifications that ideally would be taken care of in briefer periods of rest. The Ego feels threatened by the extended “ leave of absence “ it must take, becomes wary of sleep, and sets up barriers against the dream state. Many of these are highly artificial.
A seeming duality is the result and a mistrust on one part of the self toward the other. Much creative material of quite practical value is lost the process. The procedures mentioned would allow much greater access to such information, and the waking self would be more refreshed. The symbolism in dreams will appear with greater clarity, not, for example, be lost through the many hours you now give to sleep.
Muscular strength would benefit. The blood would be cleansed more effectively than when the body lies prone for such a long time. Most of all, there would be far—if you will excuse me—better communication between the subject of layers of the self, and increased the sense of security, and, particularly with children an earlier kindling of creative abilities.
A clear, uncluttered, bright, and powerful consciousness needs frequent rest periods if its efficiency is to be maintained, and if it is to correctly interpret reality. Otherwise it distorts what is perceived.
Rest or sleep cures—very extended sleep periods—have been helpful for therapy in some cases, not because extended sleep is itself beneficial, but because so many toxins had built up that such extended periods were required. Learning processes are definitely hampered through your present habits, for there are certain periods when consciousness is attuned to learning, and if you try to force learning during unrecognized minimal periods. Creative and psychic abilities are thrust into the background simply because of this artificial division. Dualities result that affect all of your activities.
In some cases you literally force yourself to sleep when the consciousness could be at one of its maximum points. This is, incidentally in the pre-dawn period. In certain afternoon hours consciousness is lowered, and needs refreshment that is instead denied.
If the stages of waking consciousness were examined as sleep stages are presently being examined, for example, you would find a much greater range of activity than is suspected. Certain transition stages are completely ignored. In many cases it could be said that consciousness does indeed flicker, and varies in intensities. It is not like a steady beam of light, for instance.
Now I will end our dictation. My heartiest regards to you both.
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