That is why a few thinkers go to the extent of saying – and their statement is correct ninety-nine times out of a hundred – they say that nothing like consciousness exists; your consciousness is only the echo within of the presence of other things.
This third state of sleeping, becoming unconscious, discloses great mysteries. The first revelation is that we are in the great illusion that we already have consciousness. We have no consciousness. That is why sleep will immediately take over when you are unoccupied. It seems very difficult to remain awake while unoccupied. If you are not busy sleep will immediately start descending on you, so it is necessary to be busy. There is another side to it too: when you become too busy, sleep will not come in spite of your best efforts. It is night, you are lying on your bed, but your thoughts keep rushing everywhere nonstop and sleep does not come, because when your thoughts go on rushing about you have to be alert, you cannot sleep; the object is present, although it is not of the outside world.
If someone is playing the drums close to you, you cannot sleep. Why is that? Because that beat of the drum keeps your consciousness alert, it doesn’t allow you to sleep. But even if there are no drums being played and you are lying with your eyes closed, many thoughts will be rushing through your mind, fantasies will be going on in your mind, then also sleep will not come. Even if you are thinking about sleep, trying to sleep, you cannot. When you are thinking about how you can make yourself fall asleep, what you can do in order to fall asleep, sleep will not happen, because you will remain conscious as long as there is an object. And then, as soon as the object disappears, you will immediately drown in unconsciousness.
So your consciousness is dependent on objects, you are not its master. If we understand it rightly, then deep down this is the bondage. We can remain awake if someone or something keeps us awake; if nothing keeps us awake, we immediately fall asleep. That is why man invents new sensations every day, otherwise life becomes boring
The same wife! – and life begins to lose its excitement; so the husband wants to find a new woman. The same house! – and life begins to lose excitement; so another house is needed. Only one type of food! – life begins to lose excitement; so every day one wants something new and different to eat. This desire for change is to keep ourselves awake, otherwise we will go to sleep – if there is no change we will fall asleep. Hence all methods to induce sleep use only one technique.