So sleep is the second stage, below the so-called waking stage, and then comes the third stage, dreaming. Most of the time in your sleep you are dreaming. If you sleep eight hours, then six hours you are dreaming. Just here and there, like small islands, you are asleep; otherwise it is continuous dreaming.
You don’t remember it, that’s why people think this seems too much – six hours of dreaming and only two hours of sleep. You remember only the last dreams when you are waking up, because only with your waking up your memory starts functioning; so it catches only the tail end of your dream world. You don’t remember all the dreams, but only the dreams that happen just before you are waking up – the morning dreams.
It was always understood in the East that these six hours of dreaming are as essential as those two hours of silent sleep. But for the first time in the West, within the last ten years, new research has proved the Eastern insight totally right. In fact, the new findings say that dreaming is even more essential than sleep, because in dreaming you are throwing out the rubbish of your mind.
The whole day the mind is collecting all kinds of words, all kinds of desires, ambitions – too much dust! It has to be thrown out. In the day you don’t have any time to throw it out; you are gathering more and more. So in the night when you are asleep the mind has a chance to clean itself up. Dreaming is a kind of spring cleaning. But it is an everyday business: again you will collect, again you will dream, again you will collect….
These are the states known to us. The fourth is not named in the East but is simply called “the fourth,” turiya. It is a number, it is not a word. No name is given to it so that you cannot interpret it, so that your mind cannot play with it and deceive you. What can the mind do, just listening to the number four? The mind simply feels paralyzed. Give any name with meaning, then the mind has a way – meaning is its way. But the number four has no meaning.
The fourth state is the real awakening. The fourth state has to be understood in reference to the other three states. It has something similar to the first, the so-called waking state. The so-called waking state is very thin, almost negligible, but it has some quality…. The fourth consists only of that quality; it is pure awakening. You are fully awake.
It also has some similarity to the second stage – the sleep. Sleep has silence, depth, peacefulness, relaxation, but in a very small measure – just as much as is needed for day-to-day affairs. But the fourth has its totality: total relaxation, total silence, abysmal depth.
It has also some quality of the dream. The dream takes you far away from yourself. You may go to the moon in the dream, you may go to some star in the dream, although you remain here, in your bed. In reality you don’t go anywhere, but in imagination – as long as you are dreaming – it looks absolutely real. You cannot think in a dream that it is a dream. If you can think in a dream that it is a dream, the dream will be broken – you are awake, and you cannot catch hold of the dream again.