As the consciousness becomes purified through regular practice of Yoga, one finds that sleep becomes more active and more real. Dreams no longer seem to be phantasmagoric illusions but resemble what they actually are – excursions into the occult worlds. We possess one unbroken stream of consciousness, which during the day dwells in the physical world and at night interacts with the occult worlds and consequently, the experiences we have in dreams are inextricably tied to the events in the physical world. In this article, we explore a few ways to become more conscious in sleep.
This is Jyotipriya’s summary of Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri. Jyotipriya aka Dr Judith Tyberg (1902-1980) was the founder and director of the Sri Aurobindo Center of Los Angeles. Savitri is an epic poem in blank verse of about 24000 lines, which narrates the spiritual journey undertaken by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as part of their Integral Yoga. It details the varied occult worlds they witnessed, the states of consciousness they experienced, and the work of Supramental Transformation that they undertook in their life. Sri Aurobindo has rendered in accessible English verse many of the concepts found scattered across the numerous Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas.
Most people in the initial stages of the spiritual path attain what may be called a “passive calm”. The glow on their face lasts only as long as they are surrounded by kind and gentle people like themselves. Faced with a protracted conflict, they either shrink from it in revulsion or unexpectedly lose their composure in exasperation. One must strive to attain an “active calm” which doesn’t dissipate even in the midst of conflict. The ability to handle vicissitudes in the hustle and bustle of daily life has to be developed. It is in the darkest hour, when circumstances are the opposite of one’s spiritual ideals, that one must be able to survive solely by the power of the inner lamp.
As children, many of us are told to speak the truth as we see it but as we grow up, we realize that the forthright manner of asserting the truth can have undesirable consequences, as it may impede some higher ideals that need to be upheld or perhaps because there are conflicting ideals which may call for exercising discretion. In the spiritual path, one gradually becomes conscious that behind the objective affectation of truth stands a Higher Truth which needs to be understood and manifested in speech.