Each of us has a divine counterpart unfallen who can reach a hand down to us to awaken us. This other personality is the authentic waking self; the one we have now is asleep and minor. We are in fact asleep, and in the hands of a dangerous magician disguised as a good god, the deranged creator deity”. PKD
After quoting this from Philip K Dick on a previous post I started thinking about our predicament with ‘sleep’. Of course when happily dreaming, it is very difficult to realise that you are asleep!
Certainly Gurdjieff was very blunt about it! He stated that man is asleep.
He did not mean this metaphorically, or just as a matter of different degrees. He saw this as a cold statement of fact.
He pointed out that what we think of as our waking lives, is spent in a state of deep sleep.
He saw ‘awakening’ as an entirely different state of being; As different as we, in our every-day awareness, perceive sleeping and waking to be.
We get a taste of this different state during those brief spontaneous moments, when our automatic thoughts and cultural programming suddenly, without warning become quiet.
Ouspensky, who systematised Gurdjieff’s idea’s called this spontaneous moment ‘self remembering’.
It is only from within this moment of self remembering that we can verify for ourselves that it is indeed a different state and also that our previous state was akin to being asleep.
This realisation cannot be made when not ‘self-remembering’, when living in the realm of automated and habitual thought; In fact from this viewpoint, the whole idea seems absurd.
Gurdjieff rather brutally stated that man can do nothing! He can dream he is doing! Or even dream that he is awakening! But all is proceeding from the automated, habitual stream of thought that we think of as ourselves.
Imagine two people asleep at night. One dreams they have power and riches, they are on top of the world. The other dreams that they live in the wilderness, struggling against the elements to survive. It would seem folly to talk about who is in the best dream. They are both just dreams.
The only acts with transformative power are to either awaken from the dream fully, or, if still quite attached and rather fond of it, to become more lucid within it.