We are all familar with the reality of falling asleep every night. All of humanity shares this experience without exception. However, even with all the new scientific discoveries and new technologies , scientists and doctors still don't understand sleep very well. Where do we go when we sleep? What is the nature and reality of dreams? Where is our consciousness in dreamless sleep?These are still questions that remain a mystery.
Let's now look at another kind of sleep that is even more difficult to understand. I'm talking about spiritual sleep. What is spiritual sleep? It is a metaphor used in many spiritual traditions for humanities lack of conscious awareness regarding the nature and experience of reality. Even while we are awake physically our minds are usually drifting and dreaming somewhere else. We are not present in the here and now. There is a screen of thoughts , labels , and mental noise that obscure and cloud up are ability to see things as they are. We view reality through a filter of past and future mind projection which blocks our clear perception of the world and more importantly our own essential nature at the core of our being. Another name for this is being spiritually unconscious. Most often we react and relate to our reality with mechanical and conditioned responses that are unconscious mental patterns we have learned from childhood on. Some of these patterns are part of a colective unconsciousness shared by most humans which of course we are unaware of. This is why most eastern spiritual traditions describe the spiritual path as an awakening of conscious awareness from the slumber of spiritual unconsciousness. The word buddha means "awake" or "awakened one". It means they have realized their own basic essential inner nature of full consciousness or buddha nature, and can see reality as it is. The Buddha called it "suchness" .
Of the two kinds of sleep, understanding and awakening from the spiritual slumber has meaning for all of us. This is the essential mission of all religion and spirituality. When we die the need for physical sleep will end . The real question is whether we will be spiritually awake or will continue to let our consciousness remain fast asleep without recognizing and awakening to who we are.