Before we start to go deep into what self-remembering is. It is a must, it is an absolute requirement that we should understand the unconsciousness in which you live – the sleep.
Ordinarily, you think you are perfectly awake – that’s a misconception. Only a Buddha, a Baal Shem, a Moses, a Mahavira, are awake. You are completely asleep. I can hear your snoring right now! You are fast asleep. Just because you can open your eyes, don’t claim that you are awake. Just that is not enough for being awake.
For example, a man is in a coma, he breathes, but because he breathes can you say that he is alive? He is almost vegetating. Just by breathing nobody is alive, and just by opening your eyes you are not awake. Even a drunkard walking on the street moves with open eyes. Can you say that he is awake? He is not awake at all, because awareness is an inner quality of consciousness. It has nothing to do with closed or open eyes.
Krishna in the Gita says, “When the whole world is fast asleep, then too the yogi is awake – Ya nisha sarvabhutayam tasyam jagrati samyami.”
When the whole world is under dark sleep, when the whole world has its night, the yogi is still awake. That doesn’t mean that the yogi never sleeps – no. He sleeps, but only his eyes are closed. His body sleeps, he is alert and aware. Deep down a current of self-remembering runs. He is fast asleep as far as the body is concerned, but the witnessing self remains alert – like an inner light it goes on burning.
One who remembers is not asleep even when he is fast asleep, and one who does not know how to remember oneself is not awake even while the eyes are open. You are moving in the market, doing your job, your work, coming back home, fighting, loving, hating, eating, sleeping, doing all sorts of things – but the whole thing is happening as if you are a robot. Everything is mechanical, you are not doing it. You are not alert when you are doing it; it is just happening and you are behaving like a mechanism.
Watch any mood. Somebody insults and you are angry – is there a gap between the insult and the anger? Is there a gap where you meditate, whether to be angry or not, whether it is worth it to be angry or not? Or maybe what the man is saying is right and it is not an insult but simply a statement of fact – do you give a little time to think about the whole situation or do you simply react? You react. There is not a gap, no interval.
Insult, anger – they happen as if somebody puts on the light; switch on, switch off, and the light has no freedom. It is not possible when you switch on, the bulb cannot say that “Right now I am not in the mood. I will have a little rest,” or, “You can go on switching on. I don’t feel like being lit now.” No, the light cannot say anything. You switch on, it has to be on; you switch off, it has to go off.