Had this third force or entity, which was dormant in the seed and is now manifested in the form of a tree, been only in the seed, then it would never have been able to manifest itself as a tree. Or if it was only the tree, then how could it have been in the seed? No, it is in both; it is both. This life-force is the third element.
So, wakefulness and unconsciousness are two states. The element that travels between the two is attention, awareness. That is the third force – life energy. So the more wakeful you are, the more aware you are; the less wakeful you are, the more asleep.
A rock is a sleeping universal consciousness – completely asleep, absolutely in seed-form, with no sprouting anywhere. Man is not yet a tree, but he is a broken seed – some sprouts are there. He has not yet become a tree, but he is no longer like a rock either. He is on a journey somewhere in between. Man is on a journey – or it would be even better to say that man is a journey, or a halting place on a journey; a seed on the way to becoming a tree, which in the middle somewhere has become a sprout. Man is just like that: a sprout, a seed that has sprouted.
What we ordinarily call being awake is only the sprouting stage, a blurry middle stage. What we call being awake is still a very sleepy state. The “wakeful state” in which we go about our daily routine is not very different from the state of somnambulism. In a dreamlike state, a man gets up, goes to the kitchen and drinks a glass of water, or sits at his table and writes a letter, and then goes back to sleep. He remembers nothing of this in the morning; he did it all as if in a dream. His eyes were open, he followed the right path, opened the door without difficulty, wrote the letter, but still he was asleep. Except for a tiny little corner, his entire mind was asleep, and hence could not register his actions in its memory. So the man is at a loss in the morning to explain what happened at night.
What we call being awake is a state similar to somnambulism. If I ask what you did on January 1, twenty years ago, you will be at a loss what to say. You may simply reply, “There was indeed a first of January then, and I must have done something on that day, but I have no idea exactly what.” You will be surprised to know, however, that if you were hypnotized and asked the same question you could easily give a detailed account of that very day.
What occurred on that day was recorded in some corner of your mind, a tiny, discreet corner of which even the whole mind is not aware. It was recorded and stored. Similarly, the memories of our past lives are also stored there. The rest of the mind is not aware of them. In previous lives some other part in us was awake, and it did its work. Now that same part is inactive, asleep; some other part is awake, active. The part which is awake in this life has no knowledge of the immense amount of work already accomplished by another part in a previous life. It is ignorant of the fact that a seed had already sprouted in the previous life and subsequently died. It has no idea at all that such an attempt was already made once before. As a matter of fact, infinite attempts have been made before.