This feeling can come even from a sleeping person, because sleep is not always deep. It wavers – becoming very deep, then coming up and becoming very shallow. Sleep is never on one plane: there are fluctuations in sleep. Even in ordinary sleep there are fluctuations. You are not on the same plane through the whole night. Sometimes you go very deep – so deep that you cannot remember anything about it later on. If you have slept very deeply, then in the morning you say, “I have not dreamed anything.” You have dreamed, but the sleep was so deep that you cannot remember. Now there are implements that can show that you have dreamed. You deny it because no memory is there – you were so deep, the distance was so much from your conscious memory, that the mind could not get anything from the dream. Sometimes sleep is very shallow, just on the border. Then you can remember your dream. Ordinarily we always remember only morning dreams – just before we are coming out of the sleep – because the sleep is very shallow, and the gap is very little.
Ordinary sleep is a fluctuation between so many levels, so many planes. Sometimes you are just wavering between waking and sleep. You can hear something from the outside when you are wavering, when the fluctuations are just on the border. You have gone to sleep, you hear something – someone is talking about something. Something is understood, something is lost, and you can hear. But when you are fast asleep, in a deep sleep, then someone is talking and you cannot hear. There is no question of interpretation. There is no question of meaning, you cannot hear.
Just the same happens in the metaphysical sleep I am talking about, as in this ordinary sleep. Sometimes you are just on the borderline – very near to Buddha. Then you can understand something of what Buddha is talking about, what he is saying. You can understand something – but of course it will never be exactly as it is said. But at least you have something, you have a glimpse of the truth.
So, a person who is on his border of metaphysical sleep will want to be initiated. He can hear something, he can understand something, he sees something. Everything is as if it is in a mist, but still he feels something. So he can approach a person who is awakened and surrender himself – this much can be done by a sleepy person. This much can be done so that he can surrender. This surrendering means that he understands that something quite different from his sleep is happening. Somewhere he feels it. He cannot know it correctly, but he feels it.
Whenever a buddha passes by, those who are on the borderline of sleep feel, “Something has happened to this man.” He behaves differently: he speaks differently, he lives differently, he walks differently. “Something has happened to this man.” Those who are on the borderline can feel it – but they are asleep. And this borderline is not permanent: they may again go into a deep sleep. But even a word can pull them out. So before they fall down into deeper unconsciousness they can surrender to the awakened one.
This is initiation from the side of the initiated. He says, “I cannot do anything myself. I am helpless. And I know that if I do not surrender in this moment, I may go again into deep sleep. Then it will be impossible to surrender.” So there are moments which cannot be lost. And one who loses those moments may not be able to get them again for centuries – for lifetimes – because it is not in one’s hands to come to the borderline.
Sometimes it happens for many reasons beyond your control. You cannot control your sleep. Sometimes it happens that a buddha is passing – you can surrender, but only if you are on the border.
There is a very meaningful story in Buddha’s life: