The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 30

States of the human being in deep sleep.

The states of the human beings in deep sleep, in trances and after death are generally psychic, but some at times go beyond the psychic atmosphere, which is the limit within which the happenings are psychic. A doer which passes beyond is conscious in parts of its mental atmosphere.

One can be conscious in deep sleep of what he is not conscious of while awake, but only when he has in the waking state thought of matters connected with those trans-psychic or mental states. When he is again in his waking state, he may or may not be conscious of what he was conscious of in the trans-psychic states. If he brings back any information of which he became conscious, it is translated into terms of the waking state. If he is not conscious in his waking state of the things of which he was conscious in the trans-psychic states, he will at least have a mental impression.

When one is in deep sleep the doer-in-the-body is disconnected from the four senses and their nerve ramifications in the outer brain and from the pituitary body; it sinks back through the ventricles into the cerebellum and passes down as far as the cervical vertebrae and is not in touch with the involuntary nervous system. If the doer contacts any organ below the cerebellum it may possibly be conscious in its mental atmosphere and of the life world, but this is an unusual condition.

While in deep sleep the doer cannot see, hear, taste, smell or touch anything; he may feel, but that kind of feeling is so different from the feeling of sensations, that it cannot be understood as feeling pain or pleasure. That which is or may be active in deep sleep is the doer of the Triune Self, not merely the embodied doer portion. Any subject of thought dealt with is transmitted to the doer, such as abstract subjects connected with physical life, like mathematics or any of the sciences, or with emotional life like probity or courage.

The doer is beyond any stage where it could see clairvoyantly; it is not on the form plane. The effect of its being conscious is that it comprehends without hindrance. It can understand the nature, properties, qualities and value of physical things, as well as the nature of desires, anger or any of the forces that move in physical life.

However, there are limits to what can be comprehended in this state. The doer cannot comprehend its own ultimate nature or what the Intelligence is. Thinking goes on without interference. Cognition is direct, because the Light of the Intelligence centers towards the subject, which thus becomes the focus of the Light. In the waking state, thinking is a process of comparing, sorting out and judging, and the diffused Light which is transmitted through the pituitary body, has to be focused by the thinking.

There are certain states in which the doer may be conscious in the mental atmosphere. What is active in such states is the doer of the Triune Self. The embodied portion of the doer is disconnected from the breath-form and the involuntary nervous system; circulation and breathing sometimes stop, and the body appears to be dead. While the doer portion may still be in the body if so disconnected, it is as if it were not there.

Trances in which the doer in the body is conscious merely in the psychic atmosphere and the form world and experiences only psychic exaltation, are not here dealt with. Saints and religious persons may have such trances. Mystics, especially those who feel that they are in union with God, are usually in such a psychic trance. The test of whether they were in the life world is, whether they learned something definite that they can express clearly. A feeling of exaltation does not amount to that.

It is possible for some persons to put themselves into a state where they are conscious in their mental atmosphere and of the life world. Then their feeling-mind or desire-mind is active and they can learn the things mentioned above as the kind of information that may be obtained in deep sleep, subject to the same limitations that exist in deep sleep.

Mental states may come about naturally, that is, without any effort for that purpose. In these cases they are the result of previous actions, such as unsuccessful efforts to understand problems of the natural sciences or of philosophy. Sometimes the brain offers an obstruction. These efforts, if enough work has been done, lead to a condition where accumulated desire shuts off physical interferences. Such states are rare. Still rarer are states where the doer is intentionally conscious in its mental atmosphere. These states result only from definite efforts to get into such a state, like mental exercises to control the desires and regulate the thinking.

A person who goes into a trance usually gets only into his psychic atmosphere; in that state he is conscious of things on the form plane of the physical world; usually he is conscious only of things in the lower states there. The colors, sights, sounds and feelings there overwhelm him. He supposes that these experiences are of an exalted, divine variety. The people to whom he tells about them think so too. Clairvoyance is considered to be “spiritual vision,” vibrations the key to everything, colors to indicate “spiritual” distinctions and to be the last word in wisdom, spooks to be Masters of Wisdom, lights, stars and fireworks to be signs from God, beautiful figures to be saints, emotions on the form plane to be heavenly joys, ecstasy to be union with God.

The reason people exaggerate psychic conditions in this way is that these conditions represent the highest states they can conceive; that time and dimensions are different from physical time and the dimension on the physical plane, which are the iron limitations within which they ordinarily move; that their standards of reality are inapplicable; that they have no standard by which to judge their new experiences. Therefore, any experience beyond the tangible world is deemed supernal and usually supreme. Further, self-conceit aids in magnifying the importance of values in psychic trances, so that they are believed to be mental and even noetic. But the lights and colors seen are not the Light of the Intelligence, nor are they perceived by the Light of the Intelligence. The lights seen in the usual visions and trances are the sparkle, flash or glow of desire on matter of the astral state or of the form plane. Even though it be the desire of a moral person, it is still desire.

Trance states are states of nature. All that is performed or heard or seen in a trance state is of appearances, phenomena, illusion, glamour of nature, perceived through the senses concerning objects of nature. Intentional active thinking on a subject is by the Conscious Light; that prevents trance.

In a mental state no lights, colors, persons or scenes are witnessed. A mental state is a condition of insight, understanding, without emotion. It may give exhilaration, but no emotion. It is possible that in a mental state the seer is conscious of the processes by which he reaches to insight. The processes consist in focusing the diffused Light of the Intelligence by thinking. In the waking state he does this by the effort to think, but in a mental state, as in deep sleep, the processes are done without that effort. But all such mental states are connected with nature and would come from the effort to think while awake.