25 thousand times in an average lifetime, we do not fully take note of the shattering mysteries connected with falling asleep…
She used to remark it, almost casually, like it resulted from careful months of spiritual experimentation:
It requires bravery, true steadfast courage, to fall asleep on one’s back through the night.
I’d listen quiet, almost reverent, because I knew when her tone got that way, so altered from her usual joyful manner, I knew this was a privileged revealing of some potent found truth.
Only for the ears of someone intimately trusted.
Sometimes she’d expand a little, if my listening felt right, if I carried the warm interest, the silent openness.
We lie naked, defenseless, in the piercing gaze of the complex and populous cosmos. No guise, no thought conceals us in the slightest, from the penetrating alive perusal out of the periphery.
No sensory distraction impedes the purely moral quality of our knowing then, in the silent dark. Our hearing and seeing dissolves, becomes inner, then passes through a pinhole to infinity, and waits.
This waiting is courageous without warrant, nothing supports it, whatsoever, save the faith in what we are, though we know it not, against the infinite scrutiny of the stars.
When we seek sleep on our sides, or face in pillow, belly down, we are unconsciously avoiding this momentous encounter.
But face upwards, our human form uncrumpled, we dare the entire awareness of Beings varied and enormous, whose nature is to ours as ours are to some humble barely detectable insect.
The more we strive hard for wakefulness in their society, all the more only our innermost morality clothes us in the face of their solar winds.
. . . . .
And for years I let this work on me, recalled sometimes after months of forgetting…
On occasion I would mark something unusual, yet something easily passed by unnoticed (for this is the way things are when it comes to spiritual perception)…
That especially when feeling the onset of illness, or most vulnerable to less than optimal haleness, having fallen asleep sideways taking comfort in the bedclothes, I would awaken rearranged, mysteriously, in some different region of the bed, flat upon my back, fresh in the hopeful morning, renewed by something benevolent, something healing, from above.
[ Image : detail from Miro’s 1949 painting depicting his dream consciousness. link. ]
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It’s a mystery
that only a select few
perceive it to be
true, like nearly all things which confront us…
we see the butterfly, utterly transformed
and so take apart a chrysalis
and weigh and count the various molecular compounds therein
and conclude we now understand it
while remaining fast asleep
from the Tree of Dreams
into the awakening
it would seem
Hmm. I would say not exactly forbidden, no. More like guarded, veiled. A path exists, but it requires study, discipline, persistence, and surprisingly to some, moral refinements. The gate is unsealing gradually in our era.
Sometimes being flat on our backs, by choice or not, is the only time we must acknowledge there is something above us.. in so many ways