The Grand Sleep

“We are asleep…Our lives are like a dream. In the better hours, we are awake enough to realize that we are dreaming. We are mostly in deep sleep. I cannot wake by myself! I try. The dreaming body moves, but my real body does not move, unfortunately this is how it is.” *
Common sense says, that in order to understand why we live, we should first try to understand who we are, to know ourselves. However, it is not so simple to know ourselves, from the simple reason that WE ARE ASLEEP, we are not free, even though we imagine that we are awake and free to do. We imagine that we build, create, move, do – but we mock ourselves. We are lost in a day dream, trapped in a fantasionic reaction. We remain asleep by telling ourselves that we are awake, that we know what we are doing, that all is moving towards greater control and mastership. We simply cheat ourselves, all the time. Professor Jacob Needleman writes that “The modern man has no idea how common is self deception, where only one part out of the three is the dominant.” John Shirley writes in “The shadows of ideas” that our lives are full with illusions, especially the illusion that our lives are under our navigation, that we are free to choose. It is amazing, adds Shirley, how little we at all feel ourselves, even physically. We live in our bodies, but hardly sense what goes through it. At the same degree it is amazing to know that a large part of the emotion and instinct movement in us isn’t tangible to us at all. We are motivated by unconscious impulses. The main forces behind the way we live our lives, are not in contact with our consciousness. We don’t even know what is the main feature of our personality. But is there something else in us? A kind of inner core? Something alive and knowing? Or is it all an unconscious dump of instincts and mechanical reactions? Is there a central principle in us? A kind of pearl within this shell of our lives? Very few humans have succeeded to awake this inner core and to be authentic and growing with it, few have succeeded to wake up, we live in a world of sleepers. As Gurdjieff said: “The human can be born, but in order to be born he first needs to die, and in order to die he must first wake up.
* (Ludvig Witngshtein, 9.4.1917, from a letter to Paul Angleman, “Ludwig Vitgnshtein- letters and meetings” 1970)

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