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2. Where You Travel When You  Sleep.

There are senses of your body, and other senses of your spirit. Your spirit is an organization distinct from the body. It has eyes and ears, touch, taste, and smell. Its eyes can see ten thousand times farther than the eye of the body. Its other senses are infinitely superior. You are now using a very inferior set of senses. The eye of your body, compared with the eye of your spirit, is a mere peep‑hole. The senses of the body are relatively coarse as compared with those of the spirit. They are for use in a relatively coarser stratum of life.

Your spiritual senses have been so crippled from birth, through lack of exercise, that they are not in “working condition.” When you leave your body at night, you are as a person in a dazed or bewildered state. You see without seeing. You hear without hearing. You are as one stunned by a sudden shock or blow. Then the physical eye may see, but it leaves no distinct memory of what it sees. You may in such state have a remembrance of a crowd of faces around you—but that is all. In a condition somewhat resembling this does your spirit roam about on slipping away from its body. You are as an infant just let out of doors. You go where a vague whim or fancy carries you. You have left the physical senses of sight, hearing, and touch, in the body. You have now only a set of totally uneducated senses to guide you. You have been taught all your life to deny the very existence of these senses. To teach a child unbelief, say, in its hearing or eyesight, from its earliest consciousness, will result in injury to its sight. The child educates itself gradually to use the senses of its body correctly. An infant has no idea of distance. It reaches out for things far from it, imagining they are near enough to be touched. It will walk off a precipice if left to itself. It learns by painful experience not to touch hot coals or hot iron. It requires years to educate it to a proper use of the physical senses.

Your spirit has its own senses, which are not even recognized. They are left year after year without any exercise or training. You do not see, in what you call dreams, with the physical eye at all, or hear with the physical ear. You see with the spiritual eye; you hear with the spiritual ear.

You are literally lost on going to sleep, when you go into your spirit life. You then grope about like an infant with its untrained physical senses.

You are nightly, on passing out of the body, really in a spirit life; yet you are dead to this fact, because you are using the spiritual senses as you use the physical in the daytime. You are as one using a crutch, when you have two sound legs which need only practice to make you a good walker. Many people who are completely severed from their bodies are in precisely the same condition. You may go mostly when away from the body among these people. You may be attracted to them, because your spirit has in its uneducated state been so long in the habit of blindly groping among them. Your spirit has fallen into this habit just as it, when using the body, falls into ruts of habit, which are often extremely difficult to break off. You see men daily drifting around without aim or purpose, waiting, hoping for something to “turn up” to amuse them. A man without aim or purpose in life soon becomes inferior in intellect. Your spiritual self is in the same condition, from a similar cause. It is often surrounded by others out of the body without aim or purpose, and who know not what to do with themselves.

Sometimes the spiritual eye opens, and they see acquaintance or stranger, scene familiar or unfamiliar. But the recognition is not always a satisfactory one. You have been unconsciously taught not to believe in the reality of what you see in this state. Therefore you do not accept it as a reality, and what the mind in any condition persistently refuses to accept as a reality will not frame itself to be held by memory as one.

You will fix in your mind before going to sleep, so far as you can, your conception of yourself as a spirit—or, rather, as the unseen organization which during the day uses your body.

The last thought before going to sleep is the one most likely to remain with you on leaving the body. If persisted in, you will find it mingling itself with what you call your dreams. That is, it will be the first clew towards the recognition of your real self when you are away from your body.

Therefore, of going into a higher region of thought at night, you descend, through blindness and mere force of habit, into a lower one. You may be, while using the body, educated up to and enter into their higher realm of thought by day. Yet at night, being so educated in part in the school of physical sense, you cannot carry that education with you. You walk with the spiritual eye and ear, thinking these the physical eye and ear. All this results in a confusion which no language can fully express, because no similar condition in this life can be clearly realized or illustrated.

A thought is as real a thing as a telegraph‑wire. As persistently you fix on going to sleep this idea in your mind, that you are no longer using the body’s senses, you will after a time, in what you have called the dream, find yourself recalling this fact. You will find yourself saying, “This is as real as my body or day life. I am only in a different state of existence.”

Could you get a start in the right direction toward the upper and superior regions of thought,—could you ascend through the current of dark and crude thought, which everywhere surrounds you,—you would find yourself in a land of beauty, sunshine, and flowers; of grand scenery and fairy landscape. You would associate there with the people you most wish to see, and to whom you in spirit belong. You would repose in a luxurious languor, yet still be able to note scenes of indescribable charm by the eye. You would be conscious of life, and still be at rest. You would drink in life with every breath. You would return with this life to your body in the morning. Your night of bliss would be both as a rest in thought and a healthy stimulation to your life in the body. Your spiritual senses would open in this elevated thought‑atmosphere. You would be freed from what is now a nightly slavery. Your connection with the higher regions of thought would become permanent, and you could attain the power of returning to them at any time to refresh yourself when overcome by the cruder thought which now surrounds you.

Every low place of resort, every saloon filled with hangers‑on more or less under the influence of stimulant, every and any place, no matter what its conventional character, if it be a place of deceit, of trickery in trade, is an actual spring of low thought. This thought flows from it, as real, though unseen, as water from a spring. In any great city all these are as so many thousands of springs of filthy thought‑element, near together. It is not a live, rapid current. It is more like a slowly moving bed of filthy ooze, in which you are mired and slowly borne along. Every tattling, gossiping, scandal‑mongering group of people is an additional spring of such thought. So is every family where disorder, sour looks, cross words, and peevishness or petulance reign. Good society, as well as that called inferior in the social scale, can contribute to this inferior thought‑current. The purest spirit cannot live in this thought‑current without being unfavorably affected by it. It requires continual outlay of force to resist it. You become mixed and entangled in it, blinded by its obscurity, weighed down by the burthen it brings. 

Low thought runs to the lowest places, as does any thing heavy, crude, and coarse. Trade, commerce, and manufacture unfortunately demand cities to be built on low levels, either at the seaside or river‑bank. In the coming higher civilizations, the making of the most perfect men and women, and the discovery and making of real and permanent pleasures, will be the chief pursuit. Cities will then be built on hills or mountains, so that all the cruder emanations, seen and unseen, shall readily drain away.

With so much of this injurious unseen element around you, you may see an additional necessity for forming groups of people who are naturally aspiring and more pure, who shall frequently come together, and by conversation and silent communion generate a current of purer thought. The more of this they make through such co‑operation, the more power is given each individual of the group to keep himself, whether in the body by day or out of it at night, from being unfavorably affected, and perhaps overwhelmed, by these prevailing destructive tides. You are then forming a chain of connection with the higher, purer, and more powerful region of thought. The more you earnestly seek to form such connection, the stronger will be the chain. You do not realize the strength of these “powers of darkness” all around you, or the odds against you in trying to stem this dark tide alone.

The thought brought to and made by a very few persons, who are so alive to its benefits, is of a value you cannot overestimate. It is the more powerful thought. It is in part the thought and, with the thought, the force of wise, powerful, and beneficent spirits who will be attracted to your group, and who come with every desire to aid you. It will clear your brain, make stronger your body, drive out disease, and give you new ideas and plans for every kind of legitimate business. You do not now realize how much you are kept from success and on a lower level of life through unconsciously absorbing and being swayed or partly blinded or confused by the low thought‑current around you. You accept conditions in life as a necessity, which, were your intellects keener and sharper, you could avoid. You may absorb timidity from others. You may so absorb inertia and lack of energy. Your periods of lack of confidence and indecision may be results of absorption of this lower element. You may not know how blind you are, and what a different man or woman you might be did you see more clearly what could injure and what could benefit you. Your generation of the more powerful thought, through meeting in a concert of pure motive, inquiry for truth, and desire to benefit others as well as yourselves, would clear your intellect, increase your energy, lead you away from errors and stumbling‑blocks, improve your health, and build you up into a force which would bring to you every material good thing.

Q's note:

In this beautiful piece of writing, the author did not give the answer to the title "Where you travel when you sleep."  The answer, however, is found in the highlighted sentences in the "You travel when you sleep.")




Image Credit:


Goway (n.d.). [Image]. Retrieved June 30, 2021, from



Mulford, P. (1886-1887). Where you travel when you sleep. Your forces and how to use them (pp.15-23). Hollister, Missouri: YOGeBooks by Roger L. Cole. doi: 2015:01:16:10:43:09

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