Seth Speaks, Session 532
Sleep, Dreams, And Consciousness
Persons vary in the amount of sleep they need, and no pill will ever allow them to dispense with sleep entirely, for too much work is done in that state. However, this could be done far more effectively with two, rather than one, sleep periods of lesser duration.
Two periods of three hours apiece would be quite sufficient for most people, if the proper suggestions were given before sleep – suggestions that would insure the body’s complete recuperation. In many cases ten hours sleep, for example, is actually disadvantageous, resulting in a sluggishness both of mind and body. In this case the spirit has simply been away from the body for too long a time, resulting in a loss of muscular flexibility.
As many light snacks would actually be much better than three large meals a day, so short naps rather than such an extended period would also be more effective. There would be other benefits. The conscious self would recall more of its dream adventures as a matter of course, and gradually these would be added to the totality of experience as the ego thinks of it.
As a result of more frequent, briefer sleep periods, there would also be higher peaks of conscious focus, and a more steady renewal of both physical and psychic activity. There would not be such a definite division between the various levels of the self. A more economical use of energy would result, and also a more effective use of nutrients. Consciousness as you know it would also become more flexible and mobile.
This would not lead to a blurring of consciousness or focus. Instead the greater flexibility would result in a perfection of conscious focus. The seeming great division between the waking and the sleeping self is largely a result of the division in function, the two being largely separated – a block of time being allotted to the one, and a larger block of time to the other. They are kept apart, then, because of your use of time.
Initially, your conscious life followed the light of day. Now with artificial light this need not be the case. There are opportunities here, then, to be gained from your technology that you are not presently taking advantage of. To sleep all day and work all night is hardly the answer; it is simply the inversion of your present habits. But it would be far more effective and efficient to divide the twenty-four-hour period in a different way.
There are many variations, in fact, that would be better than your present system. Ideally, sleeping five hours at a time, you gain the maximum benefit, and anything else over this time is not nearly as helpful. Those who require more sleep would then take, say, a two-hour nap. For others a four-hour block sleep session and two naps would be highly beneficial. With suggestions properly given, the body can recuperate in half the time now given to sleep. In any case it is much more bracing and efficient to have the physical body active rather than inactive for, say, eight to ten hours.
You have trained your consciousness to follow certain patterns that are not necessarily natural for it, and these patterns increase the sense of alienation between the waking and dreaming self. To some extent you drug the body with suggestion, so that it believes it must sleep away a certain amount of hours in one block. Animals sleep when they are tired, and awaken in a much more natural fashion.
You would retain a far greater memory of your subjective experiences, and your body would be healthier, if these sleeping patterns were changed. Six to eight hours of sleep in all would be sufficient with the nap patterns outlined. And even those who think they now need more sleep than this would find that they did not, if all the time was not spent in one block. The entire system, physical, mental, and psychic, would benefit.
The divisions between the self would not be nearly as severe. Physical and mental work would be easier, and the body itself would gain steady periods of refreshment and rest. Now, as a rule, it must wait, regardless of its condition, at least for some sixteen hours. For other reasons having to do with the chemical reactions during the dream state, bodily health would be improved; and this particular schedule would also be of help in schizophrenia, and generally aid persons with problems of depression, or those with mental instability.
Your sense of time would also be less rigorous and rigid. Creative abilities would be quickened, and the great problem of insomnia that exists for many people would be largely conquered – for what they fear is often the long period of time in which consciousness, as they think of it, seems to be extinguished.
Small meals or snacks would then be taken upon rising. This method of eating and sleeping would greatly help various metabolic difficulties, and also aid in the development of spiritual and psychic ability. For many reasons, physical activity at night has a different effect upon the body than physical activity during the day, and ideally, both effects are necessary.
At certain times during the night the negative ions in the air are much stronger, or numerous, than in the daytime, for example; and activity during this time, particularly a walk or outside activity, would be highly beneficial from a health standpoint.
Now the period just before dawn often represents a crisis point for persons severely ill. Consciousness has been away from the body for too long a period, and such a returning consciousness then has difficulty dealing with the sick body mechanism. The practice in hospitals of giving drugs to patients so that they will sleep entirely throughout the night is detrimental for this reason. In many cases it is too great a strain on the part of the returning consciousness to take over again the ailing mechanism.
Such medications also prevent certain necessary dream cycles that can help the body recuperate, and the consciousness then becomes highly disoriented. Some of the divisions between different portions of the self, therefore, are not basically necessary but are the result of custom and convenience.
In earlier periods of time, even though there were no electric lights for example, sleep was not long and continuous at night, for sleeping quarters were not as secure. The caveman, for example, while sleeping was on the alert for predators. The mysterious aspects of the natural night in outside surroundings kept him partially alert. He awakened often, and surveyed the nearby land and his own place of shelter.
He did not sleep in long blocks as you do. His sleeping periods were instead for two or three hours, stretched through the nighttime from dusk to dawn, but alternated by periods of high wakefulness and alert activity. He also crept out to seek food when he hoped his predators were sleeping.
This resulted in a mobility of consciousness that indeed insured his physical survival, and those intuitions that appeared to him in the dream state were remembered and taken advantage of in the waking state.
Now, many diseases are simply caused by this division of yours and this long period of bodily inactivity, and this extended focus of attention in either waking or dreaming reality. Your normal consciousness can benefit by excursions and rest in those other fields of actuality that are entered when you sleep, and the so-called sleeping consciousness will also benefit by frequent excursions into the waking state.
Now: I bring up these matters here because such changes in habitual patterns would definitely result in greater understanding of the nature of the self. The inner dreaming portions of the personality seem strange to you not only because of a basic difference of focus, but because you clearly devote opposite portions of a twenty-four hour cycle to these areas of the self.
You separate them as much as possible. In doing so you divide your intuitive, creative, and psychic abilities quite neatly from your physical, manipulative, objective abilities. It makes no difference how many hours of sleep you think you need. You would be much better off sleeping in several shorter periods, and you would actually then require less time. The largest sleep unit should be at night. But again, the efficiency of sleep is lessened and disadvantages set in after six to eight hours of physical inactivity.
The functions of hormones and chemicals, and adrenal processes in particular, would function with far greater effectiveness with these alternating periods of activities as I have mentioned. The wear and tear upon the body would be minimized, while at the same time all regenerative powers would be used to the maximum. Both those with a high and low metabolism would benefit.
The psychic centers would be activated more frequently, and the entire identity of the personality would be better strengthened and maintained. The resulting mobility and flexibility of consciousness would cause an added dividend in increased conscious concentration, and fatigue levels would always remain below danger points. A greater equalization, both physical and mental, would result.
Now such schedules could be adopted quite easily. Those who work the American working hours, for example, could sleep between four to six hours an evening, according to individual variations, and nap after supper. I want to make it plain, however, that anything over a six to eight hour continuous sleeping period works against you, and a ten-hour period for example can be quite disadvantageous. On awakening often then you do not feel rested, but drained of energy. You have not been minding the store.
If you do not understand that in periods of sleep your consciousness actually does leave your body, then what I have said will be meaningless. Now your consciousness does return at times, to check upon the physical mechanisms, and the simple consciousness of atom and cell – the body consciousness – is always with the body, so it is not vacant. But the largely creative portions of the self do leave the body, and for large periods of time when you sleep.
Some cases of strong neurotic behavior result from your present sleeping habits. Sleepwalking to some degree is also connected here. Consciousness wants to return to the body but it has been hypnotized into the idea that the body must not awaken. Excess nervous energy takes over, and rouses the muscles to activity, because the body knows it has been inactive for too long and otherwise severe muscular cramps would result.
The same applies to your eating habits. By turn you overstuff and then starve the tissues. This has definite effects upon the nature of your consciousness, your creativity, your degree of consciousness. Along these lines, for example, you do literally starve your bodies at night, and add to the aging of your bodies by denying them food throughout those long hours. All of this reflects upon the strength and nature of your consciousness.
Your food should be divided within the twenty-four hour period, and not just during the times of wakefulness – that is, if the sleep patterns were changed as I suggest, you would also be eating during some night hours. You would eat far less at any given “mealtime”, however. Small amounts of food much more frequently taken would be much more beneficial than your present practice in physical, mental, and psychic terms.
Changing the sleep patterns would automatically change the eating patterns. You would find you were a much more united identity. You would become aware of your clairvoyant and telepathic abilities, for example, to a far greater degree, and you would not feel the deep separation that you now feel between the dreaming and waking self. To a large degree this sense of alienation would vanish.
Your enjoyment of nature would also increase, for as a rule you are largely unacquainted with the nighttime. You could take much better advantage of the intuitional knowledge that occurs in the dream state, and the cycle of your moods would not swing so definitely as it often does. You would feel much safer and more secure in all areas of existence.
The problems of senility would also be reduced, for stimuli would not be minimized for so long a time. And consciousness, with a greater flexibility, would know more of its own sense of joy.