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Sleepy Baby

B11. The Mystery of Sleep.

We live, move, act, enjoy or suffer as much during the state called sleep as when awake. We live then through and by those finer spiritual senses possessed by all of us in embryo, and of which the sight, hearing, touch and taste of the physical body are rougher correspondences.

But this portion of our lives is a blank to us when the physical senses resume their sway on awakening, because the physical memory is not capable of receiving and holding but the merest fragments of the scenes, events and occurrences of our lives while the body is unconsciousness. Such fragments, often incoherent, inconsistent and jumbled, we call dreams.

Our dreams are the dim tracings of a real life—the life realized through these other senses dimly and fragmentarily marked on the physical memory, or memory of what is realized through the physical senses.

In sleep, a chord of thought (the silver link) connects body and spirit, though the spirit may then go far from the body. By that chord your spirit, while your body sleeps, sends that body a current of life of good or evil quality according to the world of thought you live in.

The death or loss of the body comes when this chord is broken. When the mind grows into that condition that it is always receiving of new ideas and truth, that chord becomes stronger and stronger and cannot be broken. We shall then become “as wells of water springing into everlasting life.”

We live then two lives quite distinct and separate from each other. The remembrance of each is blotted from the other. The spirit’s life during sleep is quite forgotten when awake. On the other hand, our every day’s life and existence is unknown to our every night’s sleep existence. We are in substance two individuals every twenty‑four hours, one having but the vaguest knowledge or acquaintance with the other. We live daily in two worlds close together as regards space, but widely separated by the gulf of unconsciousness.

We have a material memory which will not write down our spiritual existence. We have also a spiritual memory which will not write down our physical or day’s existence. One of our lives is a life in physical things with the physical body. The other is a life of spiritual things with the spiritual body and senses.

This spiritual body exists at the same time as the physical body. It exists also after the loss of the physical body. It existed before the birth of our present physical body.

You are by day and night, sleeping and waking, as two persons who are strangers to each other, yet each having the same spirit. You are as one person having two distinct lives, and two distinct sets of senses for each of those lives. Your spirit by day uses its body as a person who puts on a rough garment to go down in a mine. It does not use this body in the other existence, and yet it thinks it does, for in that existence the spiritual being, through ignorance, thinks itself a physical being, and therefore judges and reasons entirely from its physical senses. But in the higher development of our beings we shall also judge and reason through the finer and far more powerful spiritual senses, whose action is very different and has far greater range than the inferior senses confined to the limitations of the physical body.

Columbus discovered a new physical world. But within and of everyone of us there lies half a world, half a life, half an existence, first to be discovered, next cultivated, improved and literally brought out of darkness.

As our minds or spirits grows in this or some other physical existence, these two worlds or existences for each and all of us are to be united so that we shall live in and be conscious of both.

Demand a prayer is certain to bring more knowledge to us of life’s mysteries, and knowledge will give our spirits more power. “Prayer without ceasing” (that is, a persistent desire to know the truth) will show by degrees these great powers lying in us in embryo, and what a different thing is life from what we hold it at present.

Then we shall be conscious of both lives and also happily conscious. But such consciousness at present would result in little or no happiness, because the tendency now is, through ignorance, to stray into a world during sleep similar in care, worry, anger and uncontrolled mind, as so many live in during physical consciousness. Happily for us we being back to the waking or physical memory little remembrance of it. If we did, life might be doubled in misery.

But we do often bring back to the physical world the injurious results of our straying into a lower spiritual world during sleep. Two hours of sleep when your spirit goes to the purer domain of spiritual life will refresh the body far more than ten hours passed in the lower.

Sleep is a condition of unconscious rest and recuperation for the physical senses, but not for our other, the spiritual senses and being. The eye that sees in dreams is not the physical but the spiritual eye—an eye which can see as far as a thought can go; an eye, so to speak, at the end of a thought. The ear which hears in dreams is the spiritual ear; an ear whose power is not confined to a certain limited space.

The physical senses of touch, taste, sight and hearing can only maintain their highest vigor for say ten or twelve hours out of the twenty‑four. Keep the body awake for two or three days and all physical sense becomes impaired and blunted.

Our physical senses during the condition called sleep are fed and recuperated from that world or realm of spirit to which we may belong. Our minds or spirits during sleep go into and live in our respective worlds of spirit.

From such realms they gather and return to the body with the quality of that world’s thought or element. Such thought may give the body strength or weakness, health or disease. In proportion as our minds are elevated and pure, full of desire to do right and justice, of desire for more and more power to do good to ourselves and all others; of desire for more and more faith in the grand possibilities of existence; faith, also, in the possibility of a physical life, not only free from pain and disease, but one increasing ever in strength, vigor and rejuvenation, will the spirit bring to its body more and more of vigor, health and rejuvenation.

But if the mind is low and narrow, full of jealous and envious thought, believing only in the material world its body sees and feels, and therefore believing that its whole being must decay and die, then such a spirit brings back from its peculiar world during its body sleep only the elements of decay, death and weakness.

Sleep is not always rest. The disturbed, anxious, fretting or angry mind on the body’s losing its consciousness goes (if no prayer or demand for peace and power intervene) to a realm of disturbance. It brings to the body on waking the element of disturbance. Hence, during the waking hours, disturbance and anxiety predominate.

Similarly, the mind dwelling on disease, goes in sleep to the lower realm of disease. It brings only the thought and element of disease to the body.

Let your mind, then, before going to sleep, be on the thought of health. If the body is in any way ailing, say in thought: “It is only the instrument I use that is ailing. What I think, I am. My spirit and spiritual body is well. Therefore it must during sleep send this physical body health.”

Say this to yourself every night, and if immediate relief does not come, remember that you may have a lifetime of error in thought to contend with; that your growth out of this must be gradual, and that the good results from such growth, though gradual, must be sure and lasting.

Our unknown life during sleep is of more importance than our known waking physical life. For it is the life of the spirit, and of the spiritual senses so far as they are developed.

Your real self is not your body, but that invisible force whose only evidence is your daily, hourly thought. Your body is relatively but a thing of yesterday. Your thoughts are your body’s foundation. What you think is as the spring which feeds your well of life.

Your spirit feeds your body during sleep with its peculiar beliefs or opinions. If you believe firmly and without a doubt or question that your body must in time weaken, decay and show all the signs of old age, your spirit will surely bring the body the thought elements of weakness and decay. If you will in your waking hours even but entertain the idea that the decay of the body after a certain time of the physical life is not an absolute necessity—that because this decay always has been (so far as you are aware), is no proof that it always must be for the race— that a demand on retiring for increase of health, of increasing vigor of mind and body will bring in time such results to you— that a demand or prayer for faith to believe this will in time bring proofs to increase such faith, then such order of thought as persisted in will gradually turn your spirit during the body’s unconsciousness from groping about in that lower spiritual realm of positive belief in decay, weakness, disease and death where our race is now wandering. Such thought will gradually turn your mind into the spiritual realm of strength, vigor and youth eternal, and the spirit’s effect on the body will in time be not a transient but a permanent good—one which comes to stay.

Your body is always changing its physical elements. It is not the same body you had ten, twenty, thirty or more years ago. Because yours is not the same mind you had ten, twenty, thirty or more years ago. As your mind changes, so your body changes. As you grow continually into new truths, new elements from the spiritual will come to renew the body.

Your belief, be it what it may, materializes itself in your body. Believe implicitly in the absolute necessity of disease and decay, and your blood and flesh will become a material expression of disease and decay. Do but entertain the idea that disease and decay are not absolute necessities, and in a relatively little time your flesh and blood will have changed to an extent for the better, and as your belief grows (as it must) it will ever be changing for the better.

You do literally wear your predominant order of thought in your flesh. As your spirit acts on your body it sends the elements it has absorbed from its peculiar sphere all over your body, and these elements materialize or crystallize themselves out of unseen into seen element of flesh in a manner analogous to that in which metal dissolved and invisible in a clear solution is attracted and becomes visible in the slip of copper, lead or zinc placed in such solution, or as a tree materializes leaf and fruit from unseen elements in the air about it.

But if from year to year yo live in any rut of error, you add to the body an element or materialization of error in the physical. That, in other words, is sin. The proofs of sin are always decay, disease, death and physical or mental pain.

Be the spirit as crude or on as low a realm of thought as it may, yet its tendency is always upward. It brings to the body in its sleep existence a little of the more refined and powerful thought element, mixed often with a great deal of the relatively lower element of weakness. The person whose body lives till the age of eighty or ninety has a stronger spirit than the person whose body dies, say at thirty. The stronger spirit is ever demanding strength, though, perhaps, hardly conscious that it does so. That demand is in its mind when the body goes to sleep. That demand works while the body is asleep. It brings a certain amount of life to the body, but life which thus far in the history of our race has been largely adulterated with error and false belief.

But as the strong spirit does so prolong its physical life, or in other words, holds its body, then with more knowledge the spirit will grow stronger and hold a vigorous physical life much longer.

The principal error and eventual destroyer of the body’s life in the case of the person aged eighty or ninety has been that persons thought that the body must die at or near that age. The thought and opinion of all about that persons seconds such idea and pushes the force of “must” in the wrong direction. “Must” is most powerful either as a destroyer or rebuilder.

After entertaining for a time the idea that decay is not an absolute necessity, proofs will come to you of its truth. True, you may have periods of prostration and weakness. Those are efforts of the new spirit or thought brought you to throw off the old elements which have so long cumbered you. But the general tendency from year to year will be toward better health and increase of vigor. Such has been my experience. It is now five years since I began entering on what I may call a relatively intelligent realization and experience of this order of thought. My health was never so good. I am fifty‑five years of age, and my body seems almost made over anew.

Our minds have the marvelous capacity of drawing to themselves this life and power. Once so drawn and it remains for eternity. When you see a live tree, think or ask for the life of that tree and you will get it. When you see a flower, ask for its beauty. When you see the ocean, ask for its force. When you see anything alive that is healthful, symmetrical and well proportioned, ask for that health, symmetry and proportion. God or the Supreme Power enters into all these. They are parts of that Power. That Power or Spirit is nowhere outside of the visible or invisible universe. That Power moves and acts in countless ways. It is in every shade of light and color cast on sea and sky.

While the physical senses are active by day, they can, if so directed, draw of these things. No business need be so absorbing but that a second can be so employed. That second draws some force to you.

During sleep the physical senses do not so draw. Yet the strength so drawn during the waking hours remains. It is then a help to your spirit to push its way farther into the world unseen of the physical eye and gather of the best of that world.

Each day the mind being so directed adds to that strength. The higher the spirit is so pushed upward the finer and more powerful is the element absorbed by the spirit to feed the body and recuperate with more and more power the physical senses.

So body and spirit mutually act, react, and feed each other. The body is as the root of the tree. The spirit as its leaves and branches. The root draws from the earth element and force to sustain trunk, branch, leaf, blossom and fruit. Leaf and branch draws from the air an element or spirit without which trunk and root will die.

Your spirit rightly directed draws like leaf and twig element from above necessary for the body’s waking existence. The body, as the root, by the help of this finer element draws from below a sustaining force for the spirit, and your other or spiritual existence.

Man relied more and more on material helps and less on spiritual. This cut his physical life short. It gave the Spirit of Infinite Good less and less opportunity to “strive with man,” or, in other words, act on him, spiritualize him and place him above all harm and pain from physical causes.

If you suffer from sleeplessness, it will be a help to you to say to yourself early in the day: “I am going to sleep to‑night; I must sleep; I demand of the Supreme Power help to sleep.”

Then you are making the spiritual conditions during the physical life of that day to draw to you elements of rest at night. When so you set your mind early in the day, you have the day’s rising tide of spiritual force to assist you. For all things in nature and the natural and healthy order of life are stronger when the earth is turning toward the sun than when it is turning away from it.

Try this from day to day. Do not be discouraged if at first it does not succeed.

Try not to carry your business to bed with you. Think of rest and sleep when you retire. Some active minds so soon as their heads touch the pillow commence working, planning, fancying, speculating, wandering or worrying more vigorously than ever. An hour so spent actually makes the flesh ache through weariness. This comes of habit unconsciously acquired. The mind has become inverted, turned in the direction directly opposite from the natural way. It insists on living then in the physical, when it should be in the spiritual. It goes then into the same realm of restlessness when the body does become unconscious and feeds the body only with the elements of restlessness and weariness.

If possible change your room when you suffer from a succession of sleepless nights; change if you can temporarily your place of residence. Change often breaks the “spell” of sleeplessness. A “spell” is a web of thought woven about you and connected with the material things about you, so that when your sight or touch senses the walls, the furniture, or other articles in a room, you have sent you directly the same monotonous, unvarying set of ideas which are associated with these things. Change of physical surroundings may break this web or “spell.”

If you awake at a certain hour, say one or four o’clock, for several nights in succession, don’t let the idea fasten on you that you must the next night wake at that hour. Reverse this action of your mind and current of thought. Say, “I must sleep through the time.” Don’t let that miserable idea that your sleep must be so broken rule you. Make up your mind that you will rule it and that your real self, your spirit, shall rule your body.

If there is another person in the house who is similarly wakeful, and with whom you are in any degree of sympathy, you are liable to awake as they do through the action of their mind on yours. In such case you must either remove from their immediate presence or induce them to set their mind in the same current as yours.

Set your mind on having restful elements about you. A cat sleeping in your room or in your house two‑thirds of the time is a far better aid in bringing you restful element than a nervous, restless person who must ever be moving for mere sake of moving.

Besides, the animal absorbs from you restless or sickly element and carries it off. For this reason it is healthful to have young, vigorous, harmless animals about you, but not animals or birds that are caged and deprived of liberty. The free animal kindly treated absorbs elements from you that you are continually throwing off, and which but for them you might to your hurt absorb back again. The element they so absorb from you does them no harm.

If you have fallen into the unhealthful habit of taking narcotics, or any drug, to induce sleep, and cannot immediately break off, say in mind every time you take them: “I demand of the Supreme Power that I may be rid of the necessity of taking this artificial help as soon as possible. I demand that this drug, though it be a rotten reed to lean upon, shall help to push my spirit upward into the realms of pure and powerful thought. I demand, also, to be freed from the injurious idea that I cannot break off this habit, or that this help, imperfect as it is, cannot be made for a time a help, instead of an injury.

A drug does you far more injury when you only thought on taking it is, in substance, this: “I expect this will ruin my health, but I must have it,” than when you set your mind in the condition we endeavor to indicate above.

Q's note:

Have a good night.  Sweet dreams, my Darling...


Image Credit:


Passport (n.d.). [Image]. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from


Mulford, P. (1886-1887). The mystery of sleep. Your forces and how to use them (pp.389-400). Hollister, Missouri: YOGeBooks by Roger L. Cole. doi: 2015:01:16:10:43:09

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