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(Shyam Sundar:) “Is the Yogi's sleep without dreams?

(Mother:) They are no longer dreams. They are visions and activities in worlds that are invisible for the physical consciousness.”[1]

(Student:) “In the invisible worlds, are things seen as in the physical world or as in dreams?

(Mother, 1951:) We have to agree on what dreams are! There are dreams where you see things so precisely, so concretely that the material world seems rather unreal in comparison. There are dreams like that where things are so intense, so precise, so concrete, so objective and leave you with such a vivid impression that the material world seems rather misty, not very clear, not very distinct. So, if it is a dream like that, yes. But if it is a dream where things clash incoherently, inconsistently with one another, no.
         The first step: you must be able to discern the various inner states of being and know for sure: this belongs to the vital, this belongs to the mind, this belongs to the psychic, this belongs to matter. And as I said earlier, there are subdegrees in all that. There is a material vital, a vital vital, a mental vital, a vital under the psychic influence. You must be able to classify things very clearly and not allow any mixtures, any vague confusions in yourself: “Oh, where does this movement come from? What is it?” — indistinct impressions. That is the first step.
         Second step: you learn to concentrate in one of these inner states. You choose the one which you feel to be the most alive, the most developed in yourself and you learn to concentrate there. And then you do the same exercises... I wonder whether you remember the exercises you used to do when you were very young in order to walk, to drink, to talk, to hear, to feel. You used to do many exercises. All children do exercises without knowing it, but they do them. So you have to do something on the same lines. You must build up senses and develop them, make them conscious, independent and precise in their perceptions. That is the second stage. It may take time, it may come quickly, it depends on the degree of development of your inner being.
         After that — this is only a beginning — after that, you must learn to isolate yourself from all the other parts of the being, to concentrate on the one where you want to have the experience and concentrate in such a way that you come into contact with the corresponding outer world. I don’t mean that it is an exteriorisation that leaves your body in a state of coma. No, a very intense concentration is enough, a power to isolate yourself from everything except the place where you are concentrating. And then you come into contact with the corresponding world. You must want that and little by little you learn how to do it. And there you have the exercise required to improve the senses you have gradually developed and give them a field of action. At first, you may be rather lost in this outer world, you won’t feel quite at ease. But little by little you will get used to it and start moving about there in the way that is appropriate to each of these worlds.
         But if you know beforehand what they are like — the mind is such a magnificent instrument of formation that it can build up a whole experience for you, and unfortunately, it will never be the genuine experience — it will be merely a mental construction. So, normally, when you want to instruct someone about these occult matters, you never tell him what is going to happen, in the beginning. The only thing is that if something happens to him, if he says, “This is what happened to me,” you tell him, “Yes, this is correct” or “No, that is not correct.” You can help him. But you don’t tell him beforehand, “You will go to such and such a place. It will be like that. You will have such and such an experience,” etc., for then all these things may happen only because of a well-built mental construction in which you move about with ease. In that case it is really a dream!”[2]

(Student:) “I saw X recently [in a dream]. Was it the real person?

(Mother, 1951:) What is a person? When you are in a body you always see the body and think it is the person. But in this body there is now the whole being, now part of the being, with the rest somewhere else. Sometimes it is one activity of the being that comes forward, sometimes another. Because you have a body which you continue to see, you think that the being you see is always the same, but that is not true. The centre of the being, the psychic being, rarely takes on the appearance of the manifested being. The psychic being has passed through innumerable bodies and even if it did keep an imprint of all these bodies, the result would be unrecognisable, wouldn’t it? Most often it is a thought of the person who has gone which assumes a form, either in your atmosphere or in your own thought. So a sort of emanation comes. It is there, and depending on your own condition you see it more or less clearly. But the form you give it is your own creation; it conforms to this person’s physical form as you know it. I don’t say this is an absolute rule, but nine times out of ten it is like that.”[3]

(Mother, 1951:) “As I told you, I have studied this subject of dreams in great depth. Unless you concentrate in a very special way you always dream of things you have experienced or felt or been aware of some time before; but you don’t dream of the things that belong to your present life. You may think of them, you may remember them, but you don’t dream of them. Except in a few very rare instances, a dream is the awakening of something recorded in the subconscious. This recording is made gradually; some kind of assimilation is needed before the thing can manifest of itself, and this assimilation may take time. You dream of things — and people — that you knew a very long time ago; when a very long time has elapsed, it is usually for some special reason. Some things come back at regular intervals and you have a kind of cycle of movements in your dream. If you can find a point at which things that are present have struck you at a previous time in your life, then you can see them both at the same time.
         Very few dreams have a meaning, an instructive value, but all dreams can show you what your present state of consciousness is and how things are combined in the subconscious, what the terrestrial influences are, what traces they leave and how they are combined. This is a very interesting subject of study.”[4]

(Huta:) “Mother, why can't I see wonderful dreams in my sleep?

(Mother:) Do you think I see pleasant dreams? All the time during the night I see the desires of beings, their imaginations, impurities and things like that.
         I organise their beings rightly. I spend my whole night like that.”[5]

(Chitra Sen:) “Another activity [the Mother] often took up was dreams. She would ask us, “What did you dream last night?” We narrated our dreams. Sometimes we would have some interesting dreams which we would ourselves go and tell Her. And She would explain the dream. Why was it important? She would say and She has told us this repeatedly that sleep is generally falling into the subconscient but awareness has to come even into that part. “As you are trying to be conscious during daytime, your night must be equally conscious. And the first step of doing that is to remember one's dreams.” It is a long process. “But once you can remember your dreams, slowly you get control over your nights. And then you can move about freely and do what is wanted.”[6]

(Mother, 1962:) “You never met him [Sri Aurobindo], did you?

(Satprem:) Yes, I had a darshan.

Ah, you saw him!

I also had an experience the first year I stayed here (although I didn't know it was an experience)....


One night during my first year here, he came and placed his hand over my heart, and in my dream I wept and wept and wept.... Afterwards I told myself, “What a strange imagination!” I took it for imagination!

Oh, mon petit, how wonderful!

He put his hand on my heart and I wept. I wept in my dream, just as hard as I could.

It's psychic, the psychic contact.
         Oh, then ... it's not going to be so difficult.
         Good ... good.”[7]

(Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga:) “In the dream-state itself there are an infinite series of depths; from the lighter recall is easy and the world of the physical senses is at the doors, though for the moment shut out; in the deeper it becomes remote and less able to break in upon the inner absorption, the mind has entered into secure depths of trance. There is a complete difference between Samadhi and normal sleep, between the dream-state of Yoga and the physical state of dream. The latter belongs to the physical mind; in the former the mind proper and subtle is at work liberated from the immixture of the physical mentality. The dreams of the physical mind are an incoherent jumble made up partly of responses to vague touches from the physical world round which the lower mind-faculties disconnected from the will and reason, the buddhi, weave a web of wandering phantasy, partly of disordered associations from the brain-memory, partly of reflections from the soul travelling on the mental plane, reflections which are, ordinarily, received without intelligence or coordination, wildly distorted in the reception and mixed up confusedly with the other dream elements, with brain-memories and fantastic responses to any sensory touch from the physical world. In the Yogic dream-state, on the other hand, the mind is in clear possession of itself, though not of the physical world, works coherently and is able to use either its ordinary will and intelligence with a concentrated power or else the higher will and intelligence of the more exalted planes of mind. It withdraws from experience of the outer world, it puts its seals upon the physical senses and their doors of communication with material things; but everything that is proper to itself, thought, reasoning, reflection, vision, it can continue to execute with an increased purity and power of sovereign concentration free from the distractions and unsteadiness of the waking mind. It can use too its will and produce upon itself or upon its environment mental, moral and even physical effects which may continue and have their after consequences on the waking state subsequent to the cessation of the trance.”[8]

(Sri Aurobindo, Savitri:)
“At the summons of her body’s voiceless call
Her strong far-winging spirit travelled back,
Back to the yoke of ignorance and fate,
Back to the labour and stress of mortal days,
Lighting a pathway through strange symbol dreams
Across the ebbing of the seas of sleep. (Savitri, p.9)

(Mother to Huta:) This is the description of how the Consciousness works its way back, bringing back remembrance, waking the faculties – more conscious by night than by day, because the inner being is more active. As the body goes to sleep, the inner being wakes up and, with it, comes the memory of the past.
         For those who are more developed in the inner being than in the body, those who came down upon earth fully conscious and had their consciousness veiled and dulled by the contact with Matter, sleep is often a revelation. Because the body is asleep, inactive, the inner consciousness is more free, and in contact with what it knows more directly.
         So all those who have come down upon earth fully developed and fully conscious, at night when the body rests, remember what they were and what they can do. In fact, they actually continue to do their work at night when their body is immobile. They continue their activity and they do what they came to do upon earth, even before the body knows and can help in the work.”[9]

(Shyam Sunder on a meeting with Mother, 9 March 1973:) “Some persons at Aspiration are getting bad dreams indicating destruction at that place. Mother gave a blessings packet.
         She wanted to give as many packets as there were dreamers, but I did not know the number.”[10]

  1. En Route (On the Path): The Mother's Correspondence with Shyam Sundar, p.118
  2. Words of the Mother – III, p.320
  3. Ibid., p.326
  4. Ibid.
  5. Huta, Mother You said so..., p.84
  6. Remembering the Mother with Gratitude, p.9, “The Eternal Flame”
  7. Mother's Agenda 1962, 25 July 1962
  8. The Synthesis of Yoga, p.521, “Samadhi”
  9. About Savitri, Volume 1
  10. Shyam Sunder Jhunjhunwala, Down Memory Lane, p.280

See also