The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 17


The fourth class of strictly psychic destiny relates to sleep and to other states where the doer-in-the-body is not in full control of the four senses; the thinker and knower are not concerned with the senses.

Going to sleep is the withdrawal of the doer from directing the breath-form. The breath-form is the automaton and obeys the orders of nature and of the doer. The breath-form is in the involuntary nervous system as a whole. The orders of nature are given through the four senses and their systems to the involuntary nervous system. Each nerve has a sensory and a motor part. The order is given by nature to the breath-form through the sensory part, and then the breath-form by means of the fourfold physical body makes the motor part carry out the order. This applies to all the involuntary functions of the body. In sleep the breath-form causes all involuntary functions to continue, but there is no conscious feeling, because the doer has withdrawn from contact with the breath-form.

If a cold draft blows upon the uncovered body of the sleeper, it irritates the skin and affects the circulation. The irritation is conveyed by the sensory nerves through their connections to a sensory nucleus in the front half of the pituitary body which is the seat of the breath-form. The breath-form, from that center, can make the motor nerves of the involuntary nervous system cause the body of the sleeper to turn away from the draft. The breath-form is not aware of the draft. The movement is not made with any intelligence, nor is it made because of feeling. It is simply an impulse to protect the body against the irritation. The impulse comes from nature, namely, from the circulatory system which registers like a thermometer the change in temperature, and the sensory nerves notify the breath-form which responds to the disturbance mechanically and automatically and turns the physical body. If the doer were present the irritation would be felt, the doer would at once see the cause and would by voluntary movements close the window or cover the body.

The time for sleep is announced to the doer when the senses lose their grip on their respective organs and the breath-form has difficulty in coordinating the four senses. This happens when atoms notify their molecules, the molecules notify their cells, the cells notify their organs, the organs notify their systems and their senses, and the systems and senses notify the breath-form that they need a rest for readjustment. Then the breath-form produces yawning, a feeling of tiredness or a feeling of being run down. This is an automatic notification that it is time for sleep and rest and becomes in the doer a feeling. The doer has the power to resist the feeling of sleepiness and to compel the breath-form, the systems, organs, cells, molecules and atoms to continue. It does this by commanding the general manager of the body, that is, the breath-form, and each governor in turn notifies the entities under him and in him. This shows the behavior of the breath-form, which will obey the commands of nature or of the doer, whichever is the more imperative.

When the doer has the feeling of approaching sleep, it withdraws more or less from its touch with the breath-form. The rear half of the pituitary body is the nervous governing center contacted by the I-ness of the knower, the front half is the seat of the breath-form. As long as the doer maintains its grip on the breath-form, there can be no sleep. As soon as the doer lets go, sleep comes.

Sleep is a loosening of the doer from the body. During sleep forces are at work to repair the damage sustained by the body during working hours while it was driven by the double commands of nature and the doer. The forces can repair only when there is no interference by the doer. Then electrical currents stimulate and magnetic waves bathe the atoms, molecules, cells, organs and systems; waste is removed, parts are properly related to each other and the systems are keyed up. And the doer should be away while bodily repairs are going on. The body, rested and refreshed, is ready for the senses to begin new activities. Sleep of the body has to do with nature alone.

When the doer withdraws, it lets go its contact with both nervous systems. Then it is out of touch with nature, because it is out of touch with the four senses. It cannot feel anything physical, and cannot see, hear, taste or smell. This is its condition in deep sleep. When the doer awakens it does not remember. All that it may bring back is an indistinct feeling of the nature of what it has gone through. The period of deep sleep may begin a few minutes after the doer has withdrawn from its touch with the pituitary body and continue until a few minutes before the awakening, or it may be intermittent during the night. As soon as the repairs in the physical structure are made and the body is thereby rested, the senses notify the breath-form of their readiness for activity. When the body is restored and refreshed the doer is attracted to it, reenters its stations in the body, returns to the waking state and suddenly or gradually becomes conscious of its feeling in the physical world and of the action of the senses on its feeling. This is the natural course of awakening. However, a shock, the name being called or a strong smell of some thing, may summon the doer back to the waking state suddenly.