Chapter 8: Beyond the Rhythms of the Mind to Being
And all drunkards are trying to reach this blissfulness, but they miss; because the blissfulness is possible only if you go into this third state fully alert - passive, but alert. A drunkard reaches into it, but he is unconscious; by the time he reaches he is unconscious. The state is there but he cannot enjoy it, he cannot delight in it, he cannot grow through it. The appeal all over the world of all sorts of intoxicants is because of the appeal of the theta. But you have chosen a wrong means if you are trying to reach it through chemicals. One should reach it just by slowing down the activity of the mind and remaining fully alert.
Then there is the fourth state; it is called “delta.” The activity falls lower still: from zero to four cycles per second. The mind is almost nonfunctioning. There are moments when it touches the zero point, absolutely still. This is where you go in deep sleep, when even dreams have stopped; and this is what Hindus, Patanjali, Buddhists, have called samadhi. Patanjali, in fact, defines samadhi as deep sleep with awareness - with only one condition: that awareness should be there.
In the West, much research has been done lately about these four states. They think it is impossible to be aware in the fourth, because they think it is contradictory - to be aware and fast asleep. It is not. And one man, a very exceptional yogi, has proved it now scientifically. His name is Swami Ram. In 1970, in an American lab, in Menninger Institute, he told the researchers that he would go into the fourth state of mind willfully. They said, “That is impossible, because the fourth comes only when you are fast asleep and the will cannot function and you are not aware.” But the swami said, “I will do it.” The researchers were unwilling to believe, they were suspicious, but they tried.
The swami started meditating. By and by, within a few minutes, he was almost asleep. The EEG records which were tracing the waves of his mind showed that he was in the fourth state, the mind activity had almost ceased. Still, the researchers didn’t believe because, he may have fallen asleep, that is not the point: the point is whether he is aware. Then the swami came back from his meditation, and he reported all the conversation that was going on around him - better than those who were fully alert.
For the first time in a scientific lab, Krishna’s famous sentence has been proved. Krishna says in the Gita:
“Ya nisha sarva bhutayam tasyam jagrati samyam
That which is a deep sleep to all, even there the yogi is awake.”
For the first time, it has been proved as a scientific theory. It is possible to be fast asleep and aware, because sleep happens in the body, sleep happens in the mind, but the witnessing soul is never asleep. Once you have become unidentified with the bodymind mechanism, once you have become capable of watching what goes on in the body, in the mind, you cannot fall asleep: the body will go to sleep, you will remain alert. Somewhere deep within you a center will remain perfectly aware.