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At the Feet of The Mother

The Subconscient and Sleep

The year 1933

The things already stored in the subconscient will be emptied one day — but what about future impressions? How is one to deal with them in advance so as to prevent them from entering?

If the subconscient is emptied, it would mean that you have got beyond the ordinary consciousness and the subconscient itself is prepared to be an instrument of the Truth.

If you are perfectly indifferent about it that is sufficient. The impressions that come up constantly from the subconscient are of things in which the mind (or the vital) was interested — e.g. family, relatives, friends, past surroundings or occupations etc.

Yesterday when I went to give my grammar book to Z, I found her standing in a graceful pose. The subconscient took the scene in and thought too much about it.

How do you say that the subconscient took it in? — you can hardly be aware yet of the movements of the subconscient. What you describe was a quite conscious vital movement.

I am quite unconscious of my nights. I do not remember any dreams even though there is a recollection of having seen something.

It does not matter much. The sleep consciousness can be effectively dealt with only when the waking mind has made a certain amount of progress.

In the book, Words of the Mother, I came across this passage: “In sleep many people fall into the grip of those subconscient regions and they open and swallow all that they have laboriously built up in their waking hours.” If the subconscient swallows up all the achievements of our waking life, done with so much labour, is it not imperative to be conscious of our nights as much as of our days?

At night when one sinks into the subconscient after being in a good state of consciousness we find that state gone and we have to labour to get it back again. On the other hand, if the sleep is of the better kind one may wake up in a good condition. Of course, it is better to be conscious in sleep, if one can.

How is it I get dreams even during my noon sleep?

All sleep is full of dreams. Why should night or day make any difference?

Yesterday I had quite a long sleep; and yet when I got up this morning I felt so tired, heavy and tamasic. It almost seemed as if I had not slept. Could it be due to my having read a novel before going to bed?

What is actually the connection between the reading and the sleep?

Obviously — it threw you into a tamasic consciousness and consequently the sleep was heavy in a gross subconsciousness and the fatigue was the result.

Simply it lowered your consciousness — and as you slept with a lowered consciousness, you went into the subconscient.

How to prevent or set right the loss of a good state which one suffers by a dull kind of sleep? Does the consciousness set it right automatically?

No — one has to concentrate a little till one gets it back.

Upon what is one to concentrate?

To concentrate the consciousness in itself simply, — as you tighten a belt. It has got relaxed and diffused, so you have lost what you gained. Or if you have not the habit of doing that concentrate in the memory of the Mother till the undiffused state comes back.

In what condition should one go to bed in order to prevent at least the outer influences caught during the day from entering into sleep?

In a state of concentration. But sleep is long and one goes through many changes and passes from one condition to another — so it is not sure. Still it gives the best chance for a conscious sleep.

Does one lose one’s gains in every dream or in some particular ones only?

Dreams have nothing to do with it. It is the sleep that lowers the consciousness — if it is an ordinary sleep.

How to recognise the things that come from outside and those from the subconscient?

You can recognise only when you feel conscious with a wider consciousness not limited by the body. You can then feel or inwardly see things coming, just as you feel or see in the physical consciousness.

What is the connection between the memory and the subconscient?

What is forgotten is there in the subconscient as an impression. When it comes up, one says, “I remember.”

Is our subconscient turned particularly towards Ignorance like the lower vital?

It is like the rest of the nature, only less conscious — it admits whatever comes into it.

It is only if the mind is silent that the subconscient can be empty. What has to be done is to get all the old ignorant unyogic stuff out of the subconscient.

The subconscient is the support of habitual action — it can support good habits as well as bad.

How to put a will even in the subconscient?

Just as you put a will anywhere else — in the vital, in the physical — it has only to be imposed on the consciousness and addressed through the consciousness to the subconscient part of the being.


The year 1934

The absence of sleep does not always have its effect immediately — but it accumulates and the physical subconsciently feels the strain and the full effect appears afterwards.

Formerly I could sleep for eight to nine hours, but now hardly for five!

Five hours is too little. Sometimes some tension in the consciousness comes which diminishes sleep, but it should not go too far.

Why does the tension come?

It comes because the physical is not able to meet the intensity of the concentration of force without tension.

How is it that the physical meets the intensity of the concentration by tension?

Tension is its way of realising the intensity — it stiffens and strains itself for the purpose.

At present my body demands a long sleep — eight hours at night and two in the afternoon! Should it be allowed? Is it not a kind of tamas?

It is a little too long, but perhaps the body needs it for a short time so as to recoup some past strain.

Eight hours at night is all right, the additional two hours is probably necessitated by the bad sleep you were having before. The body recoups itself in this way. That is why it is a mistake to take too little sleep — the body gets strained and has to recoup itself by abnormal sleep afterwards.

The body needs rest, if it is given the needed rest it can be taught to recover quietly — if forced it becomes tamasic.

To take some rest is necessary but then it would be for the sake of the Divine that one rests and not for the satisfaction of one’s ego.

Also because of the need of the body — because the body must be kept in good condition as an instrument, — for the sake of the Divine.

One can assimilate in sleep also. Remaining awake like that is not good, as in the end it strains the nerves and the system receives wrongly in an excited way or else gets too tired to receive.

If the body does not get rest sadhana is not possible.

During the state of quietude lots of subconscient impressions, thoughts etc. come up. Sometimes the mind considers them as foreign, sometimes it indulges them. Is there any reason for their rising up particularly when I am in quietness?

It very often happens when there is quietude but not the silence — they have to be rejected as foreign and so cleared out. If they are indulged, they get a new license.

It is not the impressions but the mechanical subconscient activity that has to cease. The subconscient has (with all the rest of the being) to become luminous and conscious.

In sleep one easily loses the consciousness of the day, because of the lapse of the physical being into the subconscient. You have to get the power to reestablish it when you wake.

Sometimes the sadhana continues during the sleep with experiences and visions, while sometimes there are only vital and subconscient dreams. In such a case how to make the sleep-state conscious and prolong the sadhana to the night also?

It can only be by degrees that the sleep consciousness will entirely throw off the lower forms [of dreams].

If the sleep becomes conscious even for a time, the experiences and sadhana itself can go on in the sleep-state and not only in the waking condition.

During a recent night I thought there were no dreams. But today I remember to have had a dream that night about Harin and another about a rose. This proves that dreams were playing on and I was unconscious of their existence!

There are perhaps only a few minutes of sleep in the night without dreams.


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There is nothing sentimental in the true weeping that comes from the soul. All that you feel now is the blossoming of the psychic being in you and the growth of a real bhakti.