The zodiac of waking extends from cancer through libra to capricorn; the zodiac of sleeping from capricorn through aries to cancer.
|Vol. 6||NOVEMBER 1907||No. 2|
|Copyright 1907 by H. W. PERCIVAL|
SLEEP is such a common thing that we seldom or never consider what a wonderful phenomenon it is nor the mysterious part it plays in our existence. We spend about one-third of our lives in sleep. If we have lived sixty years we have spent twenty years of that period in sleep. As children we spent more than one-third of the twenty-four hours in sleep, and, as infants, have slept during more than half of our days.
Everything in every department and kingdom of nature sleeps, and nothing that is under the laws of nature can do without sleep. Nature herself sleeps. Worlds, men, plants and minerals, alike require sleep in order that their activities may go on. The period of sleep is the time nature rests herself from the activities in her waking. In the time of sleep nature repairs the damage done to her organisms by the fierce rush, and the wear and tear of life.
We are ungrateful to sleep for the great benefits which we derive therefrom. We often regret the time we spend in sleep as though it were wasted; whereas, were it not for sleep, we should not only be unable to carry on our affairs in life, but we should lose the great benefits which we get from that invisible realm with which we are so little acquainted.
If we studied sleep more, instead of deprecating the time lost, or tolerating it as a necessary evil, we should come into a more intimate relationship with this invisible world than that in which we now stand, and what we should learn from it would explain many of the mysteries of this physical life.
The periodicity of sleeping and waking is symbolical of life and the after-death states. The waking life of a day is a symbol of one life on earth. Awaking from the night’s sleep and preparing for the day’s work is analogous to one’s childhood and preparation for the work of life. Then come the interests, duties and responsibilities of home life, business life, citizenship and statesmanship, and then old age. After that comes the long sleep of what we now call death, but which is in reality the rest and preparation for another life’s work, even as sleep prepares us for the coming day. In deep sleep we remember nothing of the day’s life, the cares of the body, and not until we come back to waking life are these cares taken up again. We are as dead to the world when we are in deep sleep as though the body were in the grave or turned to ashes.
That which connects us from day to day is the form of the body, on which are impressed the memories of the previous day. So that after sleep we find these pictures or memories awaiting us on the threshold of life, and recognizing them as our own we continue our picture building. The difference between death and sleep in relation to this world is that we find the body awaiting us on our return to the world after sleep, whereas after death we find a new body which we must train and develop instead of having one ready for our immediate use.
Atoms, molecules, cells, organs and an organized body, each must have its period of rest and sleep in order that the entire organization may continue as such. Each must have its period of rest according to its function.
Everything in the universe is conscious, but each thing is conscious on its own plane, and according to the degree of its functions. The human body as a whole has a conscious principle which coordinates, supports and penetrates the organs and parts of the body. Each organ of the body has a conscious principle which holds and includes its cells. Each cell has a conscious principle which holds in form the molecules within its sphere. Each molecule has a conscious principle which attracts the atoms from their elements and keeps them in focus. Each atom has a conscious principle which is the spirit of the element to which it belongs. But an atom is conscious as an atom only when it functions as an atom on the plane of atoms according to the kind of atom it is, and in the atomic element to which it belongs. For instance, the plane of the conscious principle of an atom of carbon is the conscious principle of the elements, but the particular kind of conscious principle of the element is carbon, and the degree of it as a conscious elemental principle is according to its functional activity as an element of carbon. So have all the elements each its own conscious principle which is the spirit of the element. So long as the atom remains in its element it is guided entirely by the conscious principle in the element to which it belongs, but when it enters into combination with atoms of other elements, it is controlled by a combining conscious principle different from itself, yet as an atom of carbon it performs the function of carbon.
Atoms are the indivisible particles of spirit-matter which enter into combination according to a conscious principle of design or form. The conscious principle of a molecule functions as design or form. This conscious principle of design or form attracts the atoms necessary to its design, and the atoms, each acting according to its own element or conscious principle, obey the law of attraction and each enters into the combination and design, directed and held in focus by the conscious principle of the molecule. This is the dominating influence throughout the mineral kingdom, which is the last step from the invisible physical world to the visible physical world and the first step upward in the visible physical. The conscious principle of design or form would forever remain the same were it not for the conscious principle of life, the function of which is expansion, growth. The conscious principle of life rushes through the molecule and causes it to expand and grow, so the form and design of the molecule gradually develops into the design and form of the cell. The function of the conscious principle of the cell is life, expansion, growth. The conscious principle of an organ is desire. This desire groups the cells together, draws to itself all things that come under its influence and resists all change other than its own action. The function of the conscious principle of all organs is desire; each organ acts according to its own functioning conscious principle and resists the action of all other organs so that, as in the case of the atoms of different elements acting together under the conscious principle of the molecule which held them in form, there is now a coordinating conscious principle of the form of the body, which holds all the organs together in relation to each other. The coordinating conscious principle of the form of the body as a whole dominates the organs and compels them to act together, though each acts according to its own conscious principle. Each organ in turn holds the cells of which it is composed together, each of the cells performing its separate work in the organ. Each cell in turn dominates the molecules within itself; each molecule holds the atoms of which it is composed in focus, and each atom acts according to its guiding conscious principle, which is the element to which it belongs.
Thus we have a human animal body including all the kingdoms of nature: the elemental as represented by the atoms, the molecule standing as the mineral, the cells growing as the vegetable, the organ acting as an animal, each according to its nature. Each conscious principle is conscious of its function only. The atom is not conscious of the function of the molecule, the molecule is not conscious of the function of the cell, the cell is not aware of the function of the organ, and the organ does not comprehend the functions of the organization. So that we see all conscious principles acting properly each on its own plane.
The period of rest for an atom is the time when the conscious principle of a molecule ceases to function and liberates the atom. The period of rest for a molecule comes when the conscious principle of life is withdrawn and ceases to function and when life is withdrawn the molecule remains as it is. The period of rest for a cell arrives when the conscious principle of desire ceases its resistance. The period of rest of an organ is the time when the coordinating conscious principle of the body ceases its function and allows the organs each to act in its own way, and rest for the coordinating form of the body comes when the conscious principle of man is withdrawn from the control of the body and allows it to relax in all its parts.
Sleep is a certain definite function of the particular conscious principle which guides a being or thing in any kingdom of nature. Sleep is that state or condition of the conscious principle which, ceasing to function on its own plane by itself, prevents the faculties from acting.
Sleep is darkness. In man, sleep, or darkness, is that function of the mind which extends its influence to the other functions and faculties and prevents their conscious action.
When the mind which is the dominating conscious principle of the physical animal body is acting through or with that body, all the parts of the body, and it as a whole, respond to the thoughts of the mind, so that while the mind dominates, the faculties and the senses are kept in use and the entire retinue of servants in the body must respond. But the body can only respond for a time.
Sleep comes when the different departments of the body are wearied and tired of the day’s action and cannot respond to the faculties of the mind, and so that function of the mind which is sleep is induced. The reasoning principle then loses hold over its faculties. The faculties are unable to control the physical senses, the physical senses cease to hold the organs, and the body sinks into lassitude. When the conscious principle of the mind has ceased to operate through the faculties of the mind and withdrawn itself from their fields of action, sleep has taken place and the conscious principle is unaware of the sensuous world. In sleep the conscious principle of man may be quiescent and enveloped in dark ignorance or else may be acting on a plane superior to sensuous life.
The cause of the withdrawing of the conscious principle will be seen by a study of the physiology of sleep. Each molecule, cell, organ of the body and the body as a whole, performs each its own work; but each can only work for a certain period, and the period is determined by the duty of each. When the end of the period of work approaches it is unable to respond to the dominating influence above it, its inability to work notifies the dominating influence of its own inability and influences in turn the dominating conscious principle above it. Each acting according to its own nature, the atoms, molecules, cells and organs in the body of an animal, notifies the presiding coordinating conscious principle of the form of the body of the time for rest as prescribed by the nature of each, and then each dominating conscious principle withdraws its influence and allows the one below it to rest. This is what takes place in what is called natural sleep.
The conscious principle of man has its center in the head, though it extends throughout the body. While it remains in the head man is not asleep even though he may be unaware of surrounding objects, and the body be quite relaxed. The conscious principle of man must leave the head and sink into the body before sleep comes. One who remains rigid while sitting or reclining is not asleep. One who dreams, even though his body be quite relaxed, is not asleep. Sleep for the ordinary man is a complete forgetfulness of everything.
The first sign of the need of sleep is the inability to pay attention, then come yawning, listlessness or sluggishness of the body. The muscles relax, the eyelids close, the eyeballs turn up. This indicates that the conscious principle has given up control over the coordinating muscles of the body. The conscious principle of man then disconnects from its physical seat in the pituitary body, which is the governing center of the nervous system of the physical body, or else this center is so exhausted as to be unable to obey. Then if there is not something of absorbing interest for the mind, it leaves its governing seat in the pituitary body, and the nervous system relaxes completely.
If forgetfulness of everything comes then one may be said to be asleep, but if a semi-conscious state exists, or dream of any kind appears, then sleep has not come, for the conscious principle of the mind is still in the head and is taken up with the subjective senses instead of the objective, which is only one remove towards sleep.
In dream the conscious principle is in touch with the nerve currents that affect the eye, ear, nose, and mouth, and dreams of things connected with these senses. If some part of the body is affected, diseased, or injured, or work is imposed on it, it may hold the attention of the conscious principle and cause a dream. If, for instance, there is a pain in the foot, it will affect its corresponding centers in the brain, and these may throw exaggerated pictures before the conscious principle of the mind relative to the part affected; or if food is eaten which a stomach cannot make use of, such for instance as a Welsh rarebit, the brain will be affected and all manner of incongruous pictures may be suggested to the mind. Each sense has a definite organ in the head, and the conscious principle is in contact with these centers through the nerves leading to them, and by an etheric relationship. If any of these organs are acted upon, they hold the attention of the conscious principle, and sleep will not come. When one dreams, the conscious principle is in the head, or has retreated to that part of the spinal cord which is in the cervical vertebrae. So long as one dreams the ordinary dream, the conscious principle is no farther than the spinal cord at the upper cervical vertebrae. As the conscious principle descends from the first of the cervical vertebrae, it ceases to dream; finally the world and the senses disappear and sleep prevails.
As soon as the conscious principle of man has removed from the physical plane, the magnetic currents of the earth and surrounding influences begin their work of repair of the tissues and parts of the body. With the muscles relaxed, and the body at ease and in the correct position for sleep, the electrical and magnetic currents readjust and restore the body and its organs to a balanced condition.
There is a science of sleep, which is knowledge of the laws controlling the body in its relation to the mind. Those who refuse to comply with the law of sleep pay the penalties by ill health, disease, insanity, or even death. Nature prescribes the time for sleep, and this time is observed by all her creatures except man. But man often ignores this law as he does others, while he attempts to follow his pleasure. The harmonious relation between body and mind is brought about by normal sleep. Normal sleep comes from the natural fatigue of body and is brought about by the correct position for sleep and the state of the mind previous to sleep. Each cell and organ of the body, as well as the body itself, is polarized. Some bodies are very positive in their disposition, others are negative. It is according to the organization of the body as to which position is the best for sleep.
Each person, therefore, must, instead of following any set rules, discover the position which is best for his head to lie in and which side of the body to lie upon. Each person should know these matters for himself by experience through consulting and inquiring of the body itself. These matters should not be taken as a hobby, and made a fad of, but looked at in a reasonable manner and dealt with as any problem should be: To be accepted if experience warrants, and rejected if unreasonable, or if the contrary is proven.
Usually, well adjusted bodies are polarized so that the head should point to the north, and the feet to the south, but experience has shown that people, equally as healthy, have slept best with the head pointing in any of the other three directions.
During sleep the body involuntarily changes its position to accommodate itself to its surroundings and to the magnetic currents which prevail. Usually, it is not well for a person to go to sleep lying on the back, as such position leaves the body open to many injurious influences, yet there are people who sleep well only when lying on their backs. Again it is said that it is not well to sleep on the left side because there is then a pressure on the heart interfering with the circulating of the blood, yet many prefer to sleep on the left side and find no disadvantage accruing therefrom. Anaemic persons whose vessel walls have lost their normal tone, often have pain in the back on awakening in the morning. This is frequently due to sleeping on the back. The body, therefore, should be impressed with the idea to move or adjust itself during the night to the position which will afford it the greatest ease and comfort.
Two life currents have to do particularly with the phenomena of waking and sleeping. These are the solar and lunar currents. Man breathes through one nostril at a time. For about two hours the solar current comes with the breath which flows through the right nostril for about two hours; then there is a period of balance of a few minutes and the breath changes, then the lunar current guides the breath which passes through the left nostril. These currents through the breath continue to alternate throughout life. They have an influence on sleep. If on retiring the breath comes and goes through the left nostril, it will be found that the position which is most conducive to sleep is to lie on the right side, because it will allow the lunar breath to flow uninterruptedly through the left nostril. But if, instead, one should lie on the left side, it will be found that this changes the current; the breath ceases to flow through the left nostril and instead flows through the right nostril. The transfer of currents will be found to take place immediately the position is changed. If one cannot sleep let him change his position in bed, but let him consult his body as to how it wishes to lie.
After a refreshing sleep, the poles of all the cells of the body point in the same direction. This allows the electrical and magnetic currents to flow through the cells evenly. But as the day wears away the thoughts change the direction of the poles of the cells, and by night there is no regularity of the cells, for they point in every direction. This change of the polarity obstructs the flow of the life currents, and while the mind retains its governing seat in the center of the nervous system, the pituitary body, this nervous system prevents the body from relaxing and allowing the magnetic currents to polarize the cells. Sleep is therefore necessary to restore the cells to their correct position. In disease the cells are, in a part or the whole of the body, contrary to each other.
He who desires to sleep well should not retire immediately after he has argued a question, or engaged in an interesting conversation, or entered into dispute, nor when the mind is agitated, annoyed, or occupied with something of absorbing interest, because then the mind will be so engaged that it will at first refuse to let go of the subject and will consequently prevent the organs and parts of the body from relaxing and finding rest. Another reason is that after the mind has carried the subject for a time, it is very difficult to get away from it, and so many hours of the night may be spent in trying but failing to “go to sleep.” If the mind is too much taken up with a subject, some other subject of thought of a contrary nature should be introduced, or a book read until the attention is taken from the absorbing topic.
After retiring, if one has not already determined on the best position in bed, he should lie on the right side in the most easy and comfortable position, relaxing every muscle and letting each part of the body fall in the most natural position. The body should not be exposed to cold, nor overheated, but should be kept at a comfortable temperature. Then one should feel kindly in his heart and extend the feeling throughout the body. All parts of the body will respond and thrill with generous warmth and feeling. If the conscious principle does not then naturally sink back into sleep, several experiments may be tried to induce sleep.
One of the most common methods used to induce sleep is that of counting. If this is tried one should count slowly and pronounce each number mentally so as to understand its consecutive value. This has the effect of wearying the brain by its monotony. By the time one hundred and twenty-five is reached sleep will have ensued. Another method and one which should be more effective for strong willed as well as very negative persons, is to attempt to look upward. The eyelids should be closed and the eyes turned upward so as to focus about one inch above and behind the root of the nose. If one is able to do this properly, sleep usually comes within a few minutes, and often within thirty seconds. The effect produced by turning the eyes upward is to disconnect the psychic organism from the physical organism. As soon as the attention is turned to the psychic nature the physical is lost sight of. Then dream or sleep ensues. But the best way and the easiest is to have confidence in one’s ability to sleep and to throw off disturbing influences; by this confidence and with kindly feeling in the heart sleep follows shortly.
There are certain physical phenomena which almost invariably accompany sleep. Respiration is decreased, and instead of breathing from the abdominal region, man breathes from the thoracic region. The pulse slackens and the cardiac action becomes slower. In many instances it has been found that there are variations in the size of the body during sleep. Some parts of the body increase in size, while other parts decrease. The surface vessels of the body enlarge, while the brain vessels become smaller. The brain becomes pale and contracts during sleep, but on the return of the conscious principle, it assumes a more rosy hue or ruddy color. The skin is more active in sleep than in the waking state, which is the chief reason why the air in bedrooms becomes impure more rapidly than during the waking hours; but while the skin is gorged with blood, the internal organs are in a state of anaemia.
The reason for the variation of size in parts of the body is, that when the conscious principle retires from the brain, the action of the brain slackens, the circulation of the blood decreases, and, as the working organ of the conscious principle, the brain is then at rest. Not so with the periphery of the body. The cause of this is that inasmuch as the guardian of the body, the conscious principle, has retired and its active organs remain at rest, the coordinating conscious principle of the form of the body takes charge and protects the body against the many dangers to which it is exposed during sleep.
Owing to these many dangers the skin has an increased circulation which makes it more sensitive to influences than during the waking state. In the waking state the motor nerves and voluntary muscles have charge of the body, but when the conscious principle of man has retired, and the system of the motor nerves which control the voluntary muscles and movements of the body has been relaxed, the involuntary nerves and muscles of the body come into play. This is why the body in bed is moved from one position to another, without the aid of the conscious principle of man. The involuntary muscles move the body only as impelled by natural laws and to accommodate the body to these laws.
Darkness is more conducive to sleep because the nerves of the periphery of the body are not affected in darkness. Light acting on the nerves conveys impressions to the brain which might suggest many forms of dreams, and dreams are most frequently the result of some noise, or light acting on the body. Any noise, touch or external impression, at once brings about a change in size and temperature of the brain.
Sleep is also produced by narcotics. They do not bring about healthy sleep, as a narcotic or drug dulls the nerves and disconnects them from the conscious principle. Drugs should not be used except in extreme cases.
Sufficient sleep should be given the body. The number of hours cannot be set with exactitude. At times we feel more refreshed after a sleep of four or five hours than we do at other times from twice the number. The only rule that may be followed as to length of sleep is to retire at a reasonably early hour and sleep until the body wakes of itself. Lying awake in bed is seldom beneficial and often quite harmful. The best time for sleep, however, is the eight hours from ten in the evening to six in the morning. At about ten o’clock a magnetic current of the earth begins to play and lasts four hours. During this time, and especially in the first two hours, the body is most susceptible to the current and receives the greatest benefit therefrom. At two A. M. another current begins to play which charges the body with life. This current continues for about four hours, so that if sleep was begun at ten o’clock, by two all the cells and parts of the body would have been relaxed and bathed by the negative magnetic current; at two an electrical current will begin to stimulate and invigorate the body, and by six o’clock the cells of the body will have been so charged and invigorated as to prompt to action and call themselves to the attention of the conscious principle of the mind.
Sleeplessness and insomnia are unsanitary, because while the body remains in action and is governed and controlled by the voluntary nerves and muscles, nature cannot remove and eliminate the waste products, nor repair the damage done to the body by the wear of active life. This can only be done while the involuntary nerves and muscles have control of the body and are controlled by natural impulse.
Excessive sleep is as bad as not enough sleep. Those who indulge in excessive sleep are usually of dull and sluggish minds and people who are lazy, of little intellect, or gourmands who delight in sleeping and eating. The feeble minded are easily fatigued and any monotony will induce sleep. Those who indulge in too much sleep do themselves an injury, as excessive sleep is accompanied by the inactivity of the chief organs and tissues of the body. This leads to enfeeblement, and may lead to serious consequences. It causes a stop of the action of the gall bladder, and during stagnation of bile its liquid portions are absorbed. Excessive sleep, by enfeebling the tone of the alimentary canal, tends to develop constipation.
Though many suppose they dream during their entire period of sleep, such is very seldom the case, and if so, they awake fatigued and dissatisfied. With those who sleep well there are two periods of dreaming. The first is when the faculties of the mind and the senses are sinking into abeyance; this usually lasts from a few seconds to one hour. The second period is that of awaking, which is, under ordinary circumstances, from a few seconds to half an hour. The apparent length of the dream by no means indicates the actual time consumed, as time in dream differs widely from time as we know it in the waking state. Many have experienced dreams which in the dream took years or a life time or even ages to go through, where civilizations were seen to rise and fall, and the dreamer existed so intensely as to be beyond doubt, but on awaking he found that the years or ages had only been a few seconds or minutes after all.
The reason for the disproportion of the length of dreams with time as we know it, is due to the fact that we have educated our organs of perception to the habit of estimating distances and time. The conscious principle functioning in the supersensuous world perceives existence without limit, whereas our organs estimate time and distance by the circulating of the blood, and the circulating of the nervous fluid, as it has been used in relation to the external world. A dream is only the removal of the conscious principle from functioning through the outer physical organs on the physical plane to its function through the inner organs on the psychic plane. The process and passage may be observed by the conscious principle when the mind has learned how to dissociate itself from the organs and senses of the body.
The body as a whole is one, but it is made up of many bodies, each of which is of a state of matter different from that of the other. There is the atomic matter of which the entire body is built up, but grouped according to the principle of design. This is an invisible body. Then there is the molecular body, which is the astral design principle according to which the atoms are grouped and which gives form to the entire body. Then there is the life body, which is a psychic body pulsing through the molecular body. Still another is that of the desire body which is an invisible organic body that permeates all the foregoing bodies. In addition to these there is the mind body, which is as a light shining into and through all those already mentioned.
Now when the conscious principle or mind body is functioning through the senses in the physical world, like a body of light it turns its light on all the other bodies and shines through and stimulates them and the senses and organs to action. In that state man is said to be awake. When the light body of the mind has been turned on for a long period, all of the lower bodies are overcome by the light and are unable to respond. Up to this time they were polarized to the light body of the mind and now they become depolarized and the light body is turned on to the molecular psychic body which is the inner seat of the outer senses and contains the senses of the psychic plane. It is then that we dream and the dreams are of as many kinds as there are dispositions; and the dreams arising are from many causes.
The cause of nightmare is sometimes due to the inability of the digestive apparatus to function, and the tendency to throw exaggerated pictures on the brain, which are seen by the conscious principle of the mind; nightmares may be caused by a cessation of the circulation of the blood or of the nervous system or a disconnection of the motor nerves from the sensory nerves. This disconnection may be caused by the stretching of the nerves or by dislocating them. Another cause is an incubus which takes possession of the body. This is not a dream produced by indigestion or disordered fancy, but it is of a serious nature, and precaution should be taken against it, else mediumship may be the result, if not insanity, and it is known that such nightmare has sometimes resulted in death.
Somnambulists often apparently use all of the senses and faculties of ordinary waking life, and at times may show an acuteness not seen in the waking life of the somnambulist. A somnambulist may arise from his bed, dress, saddle his horse and ride furiously over places where in his waking state he would not attempt to go; or he may safely climb over precipices or along dizzy heights where it would be madness for him to venture if awake; or he may write letters and engage in conversation, and yet after awaking be totally unaware of what has taken place. The cause of somnambulism is due usually to the control by the coordinating conscious principle of the form of the body by which the involuntary nerves and muscles are moved, without the interference of the conscious principle of the mind. This somnambulistic action is only an effect. The cause of it is due to certain processes of thought which have taken place before, either in the mind of the actor or been suggested by the mind of another.
Somnambulism is a form of hypnosis, usually the carrying out of certain thoughts which have been impressed on the form principle of the body, as when one thinks intently of an action or thing he impresses these thoughts on the design or form principle of his physical body. Now when one has so impressed his form principle and has retired for the night, his conscious principle withdraws from its governing seat and centre in the brain and the voluntary nerves and muscles are relaxed. Then it is that the involuntary nerves and muscles take charge. If these are sufficiently impelled by the impressions received from the thinking principle while in the waking state, they automatically obey these thoughts or impressions as surely as the hypnotized subject obeys his operator. So that the wild feats performed by the somnambulist are often the carrying out of some day dream implanted on the form body during the waking state, showing that the somnambulist is a subject of self hypnosis.
But this self hypnosis is not always the result of a day dream, or wild fancy, or thought of waking life only. At times the conscious principle is in one of the deep dream states and transfers the impressions of that deep dream state to the coordinating conscious principle of the form body. Then, if this body acts on the impressions so received, the phenomena of somnambulism are exhibited in some of the most complicated and difficult performances, such as those requiring mental operation in mathematical calculations. These are two of the causes of somnambulism, but there are many other causes, such as that of dual personality, obsession, or of obeying the dictates of another’s will who through hypnotism may direct the body of the somnambulist in its automatic action.
Hypnosis is a form of sleep brought about by the will of one acting on the mind of another. The same phenomena which transpire in natural sleep are produced artificially by the hypnotist. There are many methods followed by hypnotists, but the results are the same. In hypnosis the operator causes a weariness of the eyelids, general lassitude, and by suggestion, or by a dominating will he forces the conscious principle of the subject to withdraw from the seat and centre in the brain, and thus are control of the involuntary nerves and muscles of the body surrendered, and the conscious principle is disconnected from its psychic centres and the centres of sensation, and falls into deep sleep. Then the operator takes the place of the other’s mind and dictates the movements of the form principle of the body which controls the involuntary movements. This form principle responds readily to the thought of the operator if the subject is a good one, and the operator’s mind is to that automaton of a body what its own conscious principle of the mind was.
The hypnotized subject may exhibit all the phenomena of somnambulism and may even be made to perform more wonderful feats of endurance because the hypnotist may invent such feats as he pleases for the subject to perform, whereas, the movements of the somnambulist depend on previous thought, whatever that might have been. One should never under any circumstance or condition submit to be hypnotized, as it tends to render him and his body the plaything of any influence.
It is possible for one to benefit from self-hypnosis if it is done intelligently. By commanding the body to perform certain operations it will be brought more thoroughly under the influence of one’s own reason, and it will be easier for the reasoning principle to direct one’s actions in life and of the body if the body is so trained as to respond to the reasoning principle at all times. One of such operations is waking in the morning at the time which the mind ordered the body to awake before retiring, and that as soon as awake to arise and immediately bathe and dress. This can be carried farther by directing the body to perform certain duties at certain times of the day. The field for such experiments is large and the body is made more susceptible if these orders are first given at night before sleep.
We get many benefits from sleep, but there are also dangers.
There is the danger of a loss of vitality during sleep. This may become a very serious obstacle to those who endeavor to lead a spiritual life, but it must be met and overcome. When the chastity of the body has been maintained for a given period, that body becomes an object of attraction to many classes of entities and influences of the invisible world of the senses. These approach the body at night and in sleep act on the conscious coordinating principles of the form body, which controls the involuntary nerves and muscles of the physical. By acting on this form principle of the body, the organic centers are aroused and stimulated, and are followed by undesirable results. The loss of vitality can positively be stopped and the influences causing it prevented from approach. He who is conscious during the sleep of the body will, of course, keep all such influences and entities away, but he who is not thus conscious may also protect himself.
Vital losses are most often the result of one’s own thoughts during waking life, or the thoughts which enter his mind and to which he gives audience. These impress the coordinating form principle and, like the somnambulistic body, it automatically follows the bent of the thought impressed on it. Let him, therefore, who would protect himself in sleep preserve a pure mind in waking life. Instead of entertaining the thoughts which arise in his mind, or which might be suggested to him by others, let him bid them away, declining an audience and refusing to countenance them. This will be one of the best aids and induce healthful and beneficial sleep. The loss of vitality is sometimes due to other causes than one’s own thoughts or the thoughts of others. This can be prevented, though it takes time. Let one who is so afflicted charge his body to call to him for help when any danger approaches, and let him also charge his reasoning principle to command any unwelcome visitor to depart; and it must depart if the right command is given. If some alluring person appears in dream he should ask: “Who are you?” and “What do you want?” If these questions be asked forcibly, no entity can refuse to answer, and to make themselves and their purpose known. When these questions are asked the visitor, its beautiful form often gives place to a most hideous shape, which, angered at thus being compelled to show its true nature, snarls or shrieks and unwillingly disappears.
Having charged the mind with the above facts, and to further prevent a similar danger of sleep, one should on retiring have a kindly feeling in the heart and extend it through the whole body until the cells thrill with a pleasant warmth. Thus acting from the body, with the body as a center, let him imagine the surrounding atmosphere to be charged with a kindly thought of positive character, which radiates from him and fills every part of the room, as does the light which shines from an electric globe. This will be his own atmosphere, by which he is surrounded and in which he may sleep without further danger. The only danger then attending him will be the thoughts which are the children of his own mind. Of course, this condition is not attained at once. It is the result of continued effort: of discipline of the body, and discipline of the mind.
There is a zodiac of sleeping and there is a zodiac of waking. The zodiac of waking life is from cancer (♋︎) to capricorn (♑︎) by way of libra (♎︎ ). The zodiac of sleeping is from capricorn (♑︎) to cancer (♋︎) by way of aries (♈︎). Our zodiac of waking life begins at cancer (♋︎), breath, with the first indication of our being conscious. It is the first departure from the deep sleep state in the morning or after our daily rest. In this condition one is not usually conscious of forms or of any of the details of waking life. The only thing of which one is conscious is a state of restful being. With the normal man it is a very restful state. From thence, the thinking principle passes to a more conscious state, which is represented by the sign leo (♌︎), life. In this state colors or brilliant objects are seen and the flow and inrush of life is felt, but usually without any definiteness of form. As the mind resumes its relation to the physical condition it passes into the sign virgo (♍︎), form. It is in this state that most people dream on their return to waking life. Forms are here distinctly seen, old memories are reviewed, and impressions which impinge on the bodily senses cause pictures to be thrown on the ether of the brain; from its seat the mind views these impressions and suggestions of the senses and interprets them into all manner of dreams. From this dream state there is but a step to waking life, then the mind awakens to the sense of its body in the sign libra (♎︎ ), sex. In this sign it passes through all the activities of daily life. After awaking to its body in the sign of libra (♎︎ ), sex, its desires become manifest through the sign scorpio (♏︎), desire. These are connected with and acted on by the thoughts usual to waking life, in the sign sagittary (♐︎), thought, which continue through the day and up to the time the conscious principle of mind sinks back into itself and ceases to be aware of the world. This takes place at the sign capricorn (♑︎), individuality. Capricorn (♑︎) represents the state of deep sleep and is on the same plane as cancer (♋︎). But whereas capricorn (♑︎) represents the going into the deep sleep, cancer (♋︎) represents the coming out of it.
The sleeping zodiac is from capricorn (♑︎) to cancer (♋︎) by way of aries (♈︎). It represents the unmanifested universe of sleep, as the lower half of the zodiac represents the manifested universe of waking life. If one passes through this unmanifested state after he retires he is refreshed on awakening because it is in this deep sleep state, if it is passed through in an orderly manner, that he comes in contact with the higher attributes and faculties of the soul and receives instruction through them which enables him to take up the work on the coming day with renewed strength and cheerfulness, and which he executes with discrimination and firmness.
The zodiac of sleep is the noumenal state; the waking zodiac represents the phenomenal world. In the zodiac of sleep the personality cannot pass beyond the sign capricorn or deep sleep, else it would cease to be the personality. It remains in a state of lethargy until it awakens from it at cancer (♋︎). The individuality therefore receives the benefits from the zodiac of sleep when the personality is quiescent. The individuality then impresses on the personality all the benefits which it may receive.
One who would learn of the zodiac of waking and sleeping, we would refer to the diagrams often inserted in The Word. See The Word, Vol. 4, No. 6, March, 1907, and Vol. 5, No. 1, April, 1907. Figures 30 and 32 should be pondered over, as they will suggest the many kinds and degrees of waking and sleeping states through which each one passes, according to his fitness, circumstances and karma. In both those figures are represented four men, three of the men being contained within a larger man. Applied to the subject of this paper, these four men represent the four states which are passed through from waking to the deep sleep. The smallest and first man is the physical, standing in libra (♎︎ ), who is limited by his body to the plane of virgo–scorpio (♍︎–♏︎), form and desire, of the great zodiac. The second figure is the psychic man, within whom is contained the physical man. This psychic man represents the ordinary dream state. This ordinary dream state, as well as the psychic man, is limited to the signs leo–sagittary (♌︎–♐︎) of the spiritual man, and the signs cancer–capricorn (♋︎–♑︎) of the mental man, and it is in this sphere of the psychic world that the ordinary man functions in dream. In this state the linga sharira, which is the design or form body, is the body which is used and through which the dream is experienced. Those who have had experience in dreams recognize this state as one in which there is no brilliance or variety of color. Forms are seen and desires are felt, but colors are absent and the forms appear to be all of one hue, which is dull grey or ashy form. These dreams are usually suggested by the thoughts of the previous day or by the sensations of the body at the time. The real dream state, however, is symbolized by what we have, in the articles above referred to, called the mental man. The mental man in his mental zodiac contains the psychic and physical men in their respective zodiacs. The mental man in his zodiac extends to the plane of leo–sagittary (♌︎–♐︎), life–thought, of the great zodiac. This is on the plane of cancer–capricorn (♋︎–♑︎) of the spiritual zodiac, bounded by the middle of the spiritual man. It is this mental man who includes and limits all phases of dream life experienced by the ordinary man. Only under extraordinary conditions does one receive conscious communication from the spiritual man. This mental man is the true dream body. It is so indistinct in the ordinary man, and so undefined in his waking life, that it is difficult for him to function in it consciously and intelligently, but it is the body in which he passes the period of his heaven after death.
By a study of figures 30 and 32, it will be seen that the inverted right angle triangle applies to all the zodiacs, each according to its kind, but that the lines (♋︎–♎︎ ) and (♎︎ –♑︎) pass through all the zodiacs at the same relative signs. These lines show the contact of the waking life and its departure, the coming into the body and the leaving of it. The figures suggest much more than may be said of them.
He who would benefit from sleep—which benefit will react on his entire life—would do well to reserve from fifteen minutes to an hour for meditation before retiring. To the business man it may seem a waste of time to take an hour for meditation, to sit still for even fifteen minutes would be an extravagance, yet the same man would think fifteen minutes or an hour at the theatre too short a time to allow him an evening’s entertainment.
One may obtain experiences in meditation as far transcending those which he enjoys at the theatre, as the sun transcends in brilliance the murky light of an oil lamp. In meditating, be it five minutes or an hour, let one review and condemn his wrong actions of the day, and forbid such or other like actions on the morrow, but let him approve those things which have been well done. Then let him direct his body and its form principle as to self preservation for the night. Let him also consider what his mind is, and what he himself as a conscious principle is. But let him also determine and resolve to be conscious throughout his dreams, and in his sleep; and in all things let him determine to be conscious continuously, through his conscious principle, and thus through his conscious principle to find—Consciousness.