Where Does Mind Reside In Deep Sleep?Where do memories, beliefs, fears, and desires remain when I am in deep sleep?
Thank you very much for your wonderful responses to our questions!
This question is regarding the projection and withdrawl of the Conciousness described in the page 133 of your book. The way I undersatnd is as follows.
When Conciousness withdraws the Mind-Body-World it takes the shape of deep sleep. (For the purpose of this discussion let’s assume that all my Memories, Beliefs, Fears, and Desires also to be part of my Mind).
No trace of the Mind-Body-World remains after the withdrawl (in Deep Sleep). When the Conciousness projects again the Mind-Body-World reappears. My experience is that the same Mind-Body-World reappear.
The persistence of the Body and the World is understandable because, even though they vanish for me in deep sleep, they continue to exist in other people’s experience.
However, the Mind, which seems to be a private experience also persists. This means that, all my Memories, Beliefs, Fears, and Desires remain somewhere. Where do they remain when I am in deep sleep.
Rajah: When Consciousness withdraws the Mind-Body-World it takes the shape of deep sleep.
Rupert: Yes, but outside the body, mind and world there are no shapes, so we we could simply say it takes no shape at all, that is, it simply remains itself, containing all possible shapes within itself, like the TV screen that is switched off and yet remains itself, as it always is, containing all possible images in potential within it.
Rajah: No trace of the Mind-Body-World remains after the withdrawal (in Deep Sleep). When the Consciousness projects again the Mind-Body-World reappears.
Rupert: So far so good!
Rajah: My experience is that the same Mind-Body-World reappear. The persistence of the Body and the World is understandable because, even though they vanish for me in deep sleep, they continue to exist in other people’s experience.
Rupert: Our world vanishes absolutely when we fall asleep. All our thoughts, sensations and perceptions are private. We think we all view the same world but in fact all we view is our own private perception. The world that is considered to exist independent of perception and of which each of our perceptions is considered to be a single, partial view, has never been experienced. There is no evidence for its existence.
Other peoples’ experience proves only their experience. They prove neither your experience nor the existence of a world outside or independent of experience.
See clearly that when the mind, body and world appear, they appear simply as the current thought, sensation and perception.
Every thought, sensation and perception, is only the colouring of Consciousness, just as whatever image appears on the TV screen is only the colouring of the screen.
Although appearances change, just as the images on a screen change, their substance, Consciousness, always remains as it is.
And just as there is no continuity between the images that appear on the screen, other than the screen itself, so there is no continuity between the appearances of the mind, body and world, other than the Consciousness out of which they are made.
Just as the screen remains throughout all the images that appear on it, so Consciousness or Knowing remains throughout all appearances of the mind, body and world.
The felt continuity of the mind, body and world does not reside in anything objective, because all apparent objects are intermittent.
Our experience of the apparent continuity of the mind, body and world is in fact the experience of the ever-presentness of Consciousness. It is a reflection of the ever-presentness of Consciousness in the mind.
However, because we have overlooked the presence of Consciousness, we have to account for its ever-presentness somewhere and, as a result, project it onto the mind, body and world.
The ever-presentness of Consciousness appears as continuity in time and permanence in space.
As a result we think that the mind, body and world are continuous and that Consciousness is intermittent. It is precisely the opposite. Consciousness is ever-present and the the mind, body and world are intermittent.
Take as an example the last image of your bedroom before falling asleep and let us call that image A. Now take the first image of your bedroom that appears in the morning and let us call it image B. And let us call the thought that says that the bedroom you see in the morning is the same bedroom that was seen the previous night, thought C.
Our experience is that when A is present, B is not, and when B is present, A is not.
So, in fact, thought C imagines a connection between an existing image, B, and a non-existent image, A.
What is the relationship between something that exists and something that does not?
There is none. It is simply a belief that connects the two appearances. It is this belief that creates the apparent continuity of A and B, that is, the apparent continuity of the bedroom while you were asleep and, as a result, posits a solid, permanent world that persists when it is not being experienced.
A similar belief about the apparent connection between sensations creates the concept of a continuous body and likewise a similar belief in relation to all the thoughts and images creates the apparent mind.
But in each case, the world, body and mind that are imagined to exist independent of Consciousness, are never actually experienced.
From a higher point of view, even the above is not true. There are never any objects, such as the bedroom, in the first place. There is only one ‘thing,’ Consciousness. (The bedroom is only made of perceiving and perceiving is only made of Consciousness) How can there be continuity between non-existent objects? There is just one ever-present homogeneous, substantial Presence.
What is the connection between the current image of the bedroom that appears in the film and an image of the bedroom that appears in the same film two minutes later? Only the screen. Nothing else connects them. But there are not even two independent images of the bedroom in the first place because all they are made out of is the screen. Their only reality is the screen.
Take your stand as this Presence and see that you never go anywhere or do anything. You are just eternally yourself, always in the same placeless place, being coloured by the image of a bedroom, being coloured by the images of a dream, being coloured by the blankness of deep sleep, being coloured by the image of a bedroom, being coloured by…...and on and on, always yourself, always changing, never changing.
Why do we give attention to the mind, body and world? Because we consider them to be real. However, the more deeply we explore our experience the more obvious it becomes that Consciousness is the reality of the mind, the body and the world.
As this becomes clearer, we naturally give more and more attention to this Consciousness, not out of effort or discipline, but simply because it is natural to give our attention to that which is real in our experience.
At a certain point there is a shift and we find our self naturally taking our stand as this Presence. That is, Consciousness rests in its own being and is less and less inclined to go out of itself as an apparent entity in search of happiness in an apparent world.
What is being said here is not a proof that there is no such independent mind, body or world, but it completely destroys the apparent proof that there is such a mind, body or world, and leaves us open to another possibility.
This all all the mind can do…to undo the false evidence that it has manufactured in the first place, and to turn itself towards the unknown direction of Presence. From here, it is Presence that absorbs the mind rather than the mind that apprehends Presence.
This is why in the parable of the Prodigal Son, once the son has turned round, it is the father (Consciousness) that comes running to meet the son (mind) not the other way round.
And what does the father do? He places on the son the purple robe of love. That is, he absorbs the son into himself. He restores the son to his original birthright. He reveals to him his true nature, his identity with his father.
Rajah: However, the Mind, which seems to be a private experience also persists.
Rupert: It is the other way round. The mind is a private experience and it seems to persist! Only one thought appears at a time. There is never a connection between the current thought and any other thought, because any other thought is non-existent when the current thought is present.
It is only a thought which connects an apparent string of thoughts together and imagines, as a result, the continuity of mind. There is no such continuity. That is our simple experience. The only continuity is of Consciousness, but this is not a continuity in time, because time is simply the thought about time. The continuity of Consciousness is its Ever-Presence, Eternity.
Rajah: This means that, all my Memories, Beliefs, Fears, and Desires remain somewhere. Where do they remain when I am in deep sleep.
Rupert: They remain as that which they always are, Consciousness.
Thoughts, sensations and perceptions are not like objects that appear in space (relatively speaking). If we think of them that way it is impossible to consider the possibility that they may not exist if they are not experienced.
They are more like images on a screen where their only substance, when they appear, is the screen. When the appearance goes, their substance remains. In other words, they remain what they always were, Consciousness.
Therefore all things are eternally present. Nothing ever disappears!
We never lose a friend.
“That which is never ceases to be. That which is not never comes into existence.” (Parmenides)
With kind regards,