You are just like a drop of water. If you know the drop of water totally, you have known all the oceans, past, present and future. In a single drop of water the whole nature of the ocean is present.
A man who is after knowledge continuously forgets himself and goes on accumulating information. He may come to know much, but still he will remain ignorant. So ignorance is not against knowledge; knowledge is not the antidote for ignorance. Then what is the antidote for ignorance? Yoga says: awareness; not knowledge, but knowing; not focusing yourself outside, but focusing on the very faculty of knowing.
When a child is in the mother’s womb, he is completely asleep. The first months in the mother’s womb are of deep sleep, what Yoga calls sushupti – sleep without any dreams. Then, by the end of the sixth or seventh month, the child starts a little dreaming. The sleep is disturbed; it is no more absolute. Something happens outside, a noise, and the child’s sleep is disturbed. Vibrations reach him, and in his deep sleep a distraction arrives and he starts dreaming. The first ripples of dream arise. Dreamless sleep is the first state of consciousness.
The second state is: sleep plus dream. In the second state sleep remains, but a new faculty starts functioning: the faculty of dreaming. Then, when the child is born a third faculty arises, what we ordinarily call the state of waking. It is not really the state of waking, but a new faculty starts functioning and that faculty is of thought. The child starts thinking.
The first state was dreamless sleep; the second state was sleep plus dreaming; the third state is sleep, plus dreaming, plus thinking; but sleep still remains. Sleep has not been completely broken. You remain asleep in your thinking also. Your thinking is nothing but another way of dreaming; the sleep is not disturbed. These are the ordinary states. Rarely does a man reach higher than this third stage of thinking. And that is the goal of Yoga: to reach a state of pure awareness, as pure as the first state is. The first state is of pure sleep, and the last state is of pure awakening, pure awareness. Once your awareness is as pure as your deep sleep, you have become a Buddha, you have attained, you have come home.
Patanjali says: samadhi, the ultimate state of awareness, is just like sleep, with one difference. It is as calm and quiet as sleep, as silent, undisturbed as sleep, as integrated and blissful as sleep, with one difference: it is fully alert. These are the points of evolution. Ordinarily, we remain at the third. Deep down sleep continues, on top of it a layer of dreaming, on top of it another layer of thinking – but the sleep is not broken. And you can observe it; it is not a theory. You can observe the facticity of it.