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Chapter 2: Fast Asleep Even While Awake

Men are as forgetful and heedless
in their waking moments
of what is going on around them
as they are during their sleep.

Fools, although they hear,
are like the deaf;
to them the adage applies
that whenever they are present
they are absent.

One should not act or speak
as if he were asleep.

The waking have one world in common;
sleepers have each a private world of his own.

Whatever we see when awake is death,
when asleep, dreams.

Heraclitus touches the deepest problem of man: that is - fast asleep even while awake.

You sleep when you sleep, but you also sleep while you are awake. What is the meaning of it? - because this is what Buddha says, this is what Jesus says, this is what Heraclitus says. You look wide awake, but that is only appearance; deep within you the sleep continues.

Even right now you are dreaming within: a thousand and one thoughts continue and you are not conscious of what is happening, you are not aware of what you are doing, you are not aware of who you are. You move as people move in sleep.

You must have known somebody who moves, does this or that, in sleep, and then goes back to sleep again. There is a disease called somnambulism. Many people in the night get up from their beds; their eyes are open, they can move! They can move, they can find the door. They will go to the kitchen, they will eat something; they will come back and they will go to bed. And if you ask them in the morning, they don’t know anything about it. At the most, if they try to remember it they will see that they had a dream that night, that they woke up, they went into the kitchen. But it was a dream, at the most; even that is difficult to remember.

Many people have committed crimes; many murderers when in the court say that they don’t know, they don’t remember ever having done such a thing. It is not that they are deceiving the court - no. Now psychoanalysts have come to find that they are not deceiving, they are not being untrue; they are absolutely truthful. They did commit the murder - when they were fast asleep they did commit it - as if in a dream. This sleep is deeper than ordinary sleep. This sleep is like being drunk: you can move a little, you can do a little, you can be a little aware also - but drunk. You don’t know what is exactly happening. What have you done in your past? Can you exactly recollect it, why you did what you did? What happened to you? Were you alert when it was happening? You fall in love not knowing why; you become angry not knowing why. You find excuses, of course; you rationalize whatsoever you do - but rationalization is not awareness.

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