Sleep: Sore labour's bath, balm of hurt minds

Sleep: Sore labours bath, balm of hurt minds

You will not believe how closely, how deeply, we are connected to sleep. How a person will live his life depends totally on how he sleeps.

You will not believe how closely, how deeply, we are connected to sleep. How a person will live his life depends totally on how he sleeps. If he does not sleep well, his entire life will be chaos: all his relationships will become entangled; everything will become poisonous, filled with rage.

If on the contrary a person sleeps deeply, there will be freshness in his life — peace and joy will continuously flow in his life. Underlying his relationships, his love, everything else, there will be serenity.

But if he loses sleep, all his relationships will go haywire. He will have a messed-up life with his family, with his teachers and his students — all of them. Sleep brings us to a point in our unconscious where we are immersed in godliness — although not for too long.

Even the healthiest person only reaches to his deeper level for 10 minutes of his nightly 'eight hours' sleep. For these 10 minutes, he is completely lost, drowned in sleep, that not even a dream exists

Sleep is not total as long as one is dreaming — one keeps moving between the states of sleep and wakefulness. Dreaming is a state in which one is half-asleep and half-awake.

To be in a dream means that even though your eyes are closed, you are not asleep; external influences are still affecting you. The people you met during the day, you are still with them at night, in your dreams.

Dreams occupy the middle state between sleep and wakefulness. And there are many people who have lost sleep, they merely remain in the dreaming state, without ever reaching the state of sleep. And that you don't remember in the morning that you dreamt all night, is beside the point.

Much research on sleep is being carried out in America. Some 10 big laboratories have been experimenting on thousands of people for about eight to 10 years.

Every year, millions of dollars are being spent on tranquilisers in America. Ten big laboratories are conducting research on thousands of people, who are being paid to undergo nights of rather uncomfortable, painful sleep. All kinds of electrodes and thousands of wires are attached to people's bodies, and they are examined from all angles to find out what is happening inside them.

Dreams can be scanned through machines. Nerves in the brain remain active during our dreaming state, but as the dream stops, the nerves cease to be active as well, and the machine indicates a gap has occurred. The gap shows that at that time the man was neither dreaming nor thinking — he was lost somewhere.

You sleep every day, yet you have no idea what sleep is. A man sleeps all through his life and yet nothing changes — he knows nothing about sleep. The reason you don't know anything about sleep is that when sleep is there, you are not.

Remember, you are only as long as sleep is not. And so, you come to know only as much as the machine knows. Just as in the face of the gap, the machine stops and is unable to reach where the man has been transported; you cannot reach there either because you are no more than a machine as well.

The interesting thing is that once a person enters meditation, enters that emptiness where deep sleep takes him; he never remains unconscious — even when he is asleep.

— Abridged from 'And Now And Here', Osho Times International, courtesy: Osho International Foundation

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