Chapter 3: From Accidental to Essential
Let me tell you one anecdote. I have heard a very beautiful Jewish story - it is tremendously significant.
It is about a man who was always sleepy, and always ready to sleep - everywhere. At the biggest mass meetings, at all the concerts, at every important convention, he could be seen sitting asleep..
You must have known that man because you are that. And you must have come across that man many, many times, because how can you avoid him? It is you.
.And he slept in every conceivable and inconceivable pose. He slept with his elbows in the air and his hands behind his head. He slept standing up, leaning against himself so that he should not fall down. He slept in the theater, in the streets, in the synagogue. Wherever he went, his eyes would drip with sleep..
Had he been a Hindu he could have even slept standing on his head in shirshasana. I have seen Hindus sleeping that way. Many yogis become efficient in sleeping standing on their head. It is difficult, arduous, it needs great practice - but it happens.
.Neighbors used to say that he had already slept through several big fires. And once, during a really big fire, he was carried out of his bed, still asleep, and put down on the sidewalk. In this way he slept for several hours until a patrol came along and took him away.
It was said that when he was standing under the wedding canopy and reciting the vows - “Thou art to me.” - he fell asleep at the word “sanctified” - try to remember him! - and they had to beat him over the head with brass pestles for several hours to wake him up. And he slowly said the next word and again fell asleep..
Remember your own wedding ceremony. Remember your honeymoon. Remember your marriage. Have you ever been awake? Have you ever missed any opportunity where you could have fallen asleep? You have always fallen asleep. We mention all this so that you may believe the following story about our hero.
.Once, when he went to sleep, he slept and slept and slept. But in his sleep it seemed to him that he heard thunder in the streets and his bed was shaking somewhat. So he thought in his sleep that it was raining outside, and as a result his sleep became still more delicious. He wrapped himself up in his quilt and in its warmth.
Do you remember how many times you have interpreted things through your sleep? Do you remember sometimes you have fixed the alarm clock, and when it goes off you start dreaming that you are in the church and the bells are ringing? A trick of the mind to avoid the alarm, to avoid the disturbance that the alarm is creating.