Number Six

– Sleeper, Awaken! –

Greetings from the Heretic Ranch! I am the Cowboy Heretic and I will be your docent as we trek through the corridors of mirth and mayhem, the objective and the subjective, the profound and the pointless.

It is not without good reason that one of the most common terms used to describe Enlightenment is Awakening. Sleep contains us. Sleep controls us. Sleep deceives us. Sleep enslaves us. It is the liberated being that has dissolved the bonds of Sleep.

The Sleep of which I speak is not the state we enter each time we return to our beds. That act of physical hibernation serves to revitalize the body and is a beneficial and necessary component of good health. The Sleep that holds us hostage is insidious and more akin to an ambulatory coma. There is movement, there is even a modicum of autonomic organic function, but there is no volitional Life. The body functions, but the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual faculties perform at a sub-maximal level that is analogous to the workings of the reptilian brain. Don’t dare, however, to mention to one of these narcoleptics that they Sleep, for they will stridently deny (sometimes to the point of violent rage) that they are anything other than completely awake. Those who are in Sleep seldom recognize themselves as such, in much the same way the eye cannot see the eye.

One may ask, “How is it possible that we Sleep when our technology, our feats of engineering, our explorations, even our entertainments give evidence to the contrary? To assume that these examples prove anything about the state of the essential human condition is to presuppose that accomplishment in the realm of the Third Dimension is the stick by which one is to measure Awareness. Humanity is much greater than the sum total of its mundane achievements, no matter how great those achievements might be.

“Sleep” is that state of spiritually cognitive dissociation experienced by the majority of humanity. Sleep is the anesthetic of the soul, an agent employed by the ego to maintain the status quo. Sleep is a defense mechanism, a means to numb the pain of daily existence. The subconscious recognition that there is more to life than Sleep is evidenced in the restless longing experienced by those who begin to feel the inner stirrings of the need to Awaken.

As we leave our childhood (for most around the time of puberty), Sleep is a self-learned response to the dawning realization that the world around us is insane and not at all what we experienced as children. The Sleep is a self-induced spiritual morphine drip. And like an addictive narcotic, the more life is lived, the more powerful the Sleep must become to maintain an acceptable level of comfort.

The comparison of spiritual Sleep to the physical variety is not without merit. When we go to bed at night, our brain “disconnects” from our body so as to stop the body from acting out what is experienced in the dreamtime. This dual-purpose neural “circuit breaker” keeps the body in a state of rest and protects the sleeper from any self-inflicted harm. In like manner, Sleep is a mental and emotional circuit breaker that acts to protect the spirit, in effect disconnecting the spirit from the overload of life’s daily distress. Unfortunately, while serving the admirable purpose of protecting the spirit from harm, the Sleep also isolates the spirit from the beauty of Life. The Sleep comes into existence as a filter, then over time transforms into an all but impenetrable wall.

On some level the Self recognizes early on that it is cocooned by the blanket of Sleep and responds by synthesizing a pseudo-life within the blanket, an approximation of what It supposes life should be. But like a structural engineer that is asked to erect a building using raw materials scattered everywhere in disarray, without tools and without any blueprints as a guide, the Self fashions a construct which is a pathetic copy of other pathetic copies it sees all around. It is something, but it is not Life.

Though stifling by its nature and hypnotic in its illusion, the Sleep is not omnipresent. At some point every person will experience glimpses through the veil and have at least a rudimentary understanding that the world which they have fabricated for themselves is a sham and as insubstantial as smoke. When this occurs one of three things will happen as a result. The first (and most common) response is that the spirit will entrench itself deeper within the walls of Sleep in an all out effort to keep the illusion intact and the experience of reality at bay. For those who do not choose automatically to retreat further into the arms of Morpheus, the ensuing war of Sleep against the Will-To-Life can result negatively in emotional or physical breakdown, or positively in the acceptance of the hero’s challenge to Awaken.

Spiritual inertia is identical to that manifested in the physical world: That which is at rest tends to remain at rest, while that which is in motion tends to remain in motion. If one wishes to Awaken, it is imperative that the stagnation of Sleep be transmuted into the ebb and flow of the ever-Aware spirit. This transmutation is seldom realized instantaneously. It (Awakening) is a process that demands attention and an effort greater than the effort expended to create and subsequently maintain the Sleep it seeks to eradicate.

When we recognize that we are in a dream it is then that we possess the first and most powerful tool needed for the achievement of Awakening. The dream is not the enemy; the foe is the Slumber within the dream. The challenge is to remain aware so as to learn to control the dream, in the process moving from the coarsest degree of Awareness to an Awareness most refined. Understand that the dream and Sleep are not inseparable. Though coexisting, one is not dependent upon the other. The dream is mandatory; the state of oblivion that is Sleep is not.

Billy Flying Red Horse

Published in: on January 29, 2009 at 1:48 am  Leave a Comment  

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