The state of sleep
All esoteric traditions teach that from birth to death, man lives his life in a state of psychological sleep. In this state a man reacts automatically to each impression that enters him, without self-awareness and he is closed off from his Real Self.
Ibn Arabi (13th c. Andalusian Sufi mystic and philosopher) :
The vanishing of remembrance is the essence of sleep.
Aristotle (4th c. BC Greek philosopher):
Sleep is an inactivity of the soul.
Happiness is a virtuous activity of the soul.
Gurdjieff (20th c. Fourth Way spiritual teacher):
Man lives his life in sleep, and in sleep he dies.
Nasrudin (13th c. Sufi): Mankind is asleep; the wakefulness
of the average man is almost useless to anyone.
Shakespeare, The Tempest:
This is a strange repose, to be asleep
With eyes wide open; standing, speaking, moving,
And yet so fast asleep.
Montaigne (16th c. French writer):
Life is a dream; we sleeping wake and waking sleep.
Roger Hodgson (20th c. pop musican):
Dreamer, you`re nothing but a dreamer.
When a man ascends in the degrees of knowledge,
he will come to know that he is a dreamer
in the state of ordinary wakefulness
and that the situation in which he dwells is a dream.
English language nursery rhyme:
Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.
Rumi (13th c. Sufi mystic and poet):
This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real.
The Prajna-Paramita Diamond Sutra (Buddhist text) :
The phenomena of life are like dreams,
illusions, bubbles, or shadows;
Like drops of dew,
or flashes of lightning,
and thus they ought to be contemplated.
'Life is a dream' a play by Pedro Calderon de la Barca
(17th c. Spanish writer):
What is life? An illusion,
A shadow, a fiction,
And the greatest profit is small;
For all of life is a dream,
And dreams, are nothing but dreams.
Man asleep — Jacob's Ladder by Jacques Stella (France, 1596-1657)
Petrarch (14th c. Italian poet): Life is a dream,
and all that happens to us in life is like unto a dream.
Oh! May we awaken before death overtakes us!
Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth
(18th c. English poet):
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar.
Lalla (14th c. Indian mystic):
Who is awake and who asleep?
The mind is what sleeps.
What recognizes itself as God, is awake.
William Blake (18th c. English poet and painter):
Awake! awake, O sleeper of the land of shadows, wake!
I am in you and you in me, mutual in love divine:
I am not a God afar off, I am a brother and friend;
Within your bosoms I reside, and you reside in me.
Upanishads (Hindu text):
Awake, arise! Strive for the Highest, and be in the Light!
Egyptian Texts, Book of Opening the Mouth:
Awake happily in peace.
The Bible, Ephesians 5:14 :
Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead.
Monk Callistus, Philokalia (Greek Orthodox Christian text):
Sleep of the mind is akin to real death.
Leonardo da Vinci :
O thou that sleepest, what is sleep?
Sleep resembles death.
Ah, why then dost thou not work in such wise
that after death you become
an image of immortality,
rather than during life make thyself
like the hapless dead by sleeping!
-- Liu Yiming (18th Taoist master,Cultivating the Tao):
Students who do not understand the principles of life and death
will think that having the breath of inspiration and expiration
means living, and being deprived of it means dying.
Alas! When I say “live” I mean living with our true body;
and when I say “die” I mean dying with the your illusory body.
Egyptian Pyramid Texts: When the deceased comes
to the field of life, to the birthplace of Ra, the daughter of
Anubis refreshes the heart
of the Great God, on the day of awakening.
Walt Whitman (19th c. American poet): Now, for a moment,
I know what I am for, I awake.
The Tibetan book of the Dead: Your immortal, infinite
spiritual awareness begins to awaken, clear and empty.
Buddha : This most subtle awakening comes
about through moment-to-moment attentiveness.
Chuang- Tzu (4th c. BCE Taoist philosopher): Only after
a great awakening can we understand that all of this is a great dream.
Meanwhile, fools everywhere think they are wide awake.
Zoroaster (The founder of Zoroastrianism):
Call for the wisdom that will keep thee awake.
John Keats (19th c. English poet) :
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest.
Shakespeare, Henry VIII: I know myself now,
and I feel within me a peace above all earthly dignities.