30 QUESTION: If our soul is taught during sleep, why do we not remember in an awakened state what our soul has learned?
ANSWER: There are many good reasons for that. In the first place, the reasons are the same that operate when the memory of your previous incarnation is taken away from one incarnation to the other, or the memory of the soul’s existence in the spiritual worlds between incarnations is blotted out. If knowledge of the existence of spirits, the vast worlds that exist beyond your Earth sphere, and the fact of reincarnation were so easily accessible, you could not possibly fulfill your life. It would be too easy.
The highest treasure of knowledge must be fought for and paid for with the price of self-development and victories over the lower self. No matter how much you have read about the subject, you will never be convinced if you have not gained divine enlightenment. Divine enlightenment is something you have to work for. You have to pay the price and deserve it, for it is the highest gift.
If knowledge of your past lives and the beyond were just put into your lap either by retention of memory or other means, there would be no fight, and therefore no development. It may also be a hindrance to know certain factors of your previous lives. As long as you are not ripe for it – and this can only happen through development – it may be harmful for you to know certain things.
During your sleep, when your spirit is in the Spirit World, you often have insight into your previous incarnations, into the reasons for this present life, and about what you are supposed to accomplish. Painful knowledge might be connected with it which you cannot use constructively at this time; it may depress you and hold you back from your development.
God has given you the opportunity to start on a clean slate, without any burden. According to your merits on this Earth sphere, you will receive instruction, guidance and advice in the Spirit World when your body is asleep and your spirit is free; this knowledge remains in your unconscious and can affect you indirectly when you are awake, even though you do not know why you react in a certain way, why you make certain decisions, and so on.
Consciously, you have to fight for everything – for knowledge, as well as for spiritual development. By fighting, of course, I mean fighting your lower self. Also, if someone is already developed to a certain extent, during the hours of sleep, he or she may fulfill tasks with other spirits who are out of the body, or with other human beings who are also sleeping. This helps others and therefore the entire Plan of Salvation. But there must not be clear remembering unless the circumstances are exceptional. This may happen too.
50 QUESTION: When a person is sleeping, does the soul stay with the body or does it leave temporarily for revitalization?
ANSWER: It leaves temporarily. There are various subtle bodies that leave the physical body in different states of unconsciousness. Usually in sleep, the feeling-body is removed from the physical body, sometimes more, sometimes less. It produces the pictures that you translate into symbols in a dream.
If the feeling-body remained during sleep in the physical body, sleep would not be profound; it would be disturbed sleep. But during deep sleep, your feeling-body or soul is out of the physical body. That is the physical rest. The feeling-body can expand nearer or farther. Is that clear?
QUESTION: Yes. Does one have to be sound asleep for relaxation or does a light sleep suffice?
ANSWER: The sounder the sleep, the more relaxation. You know that when you wake up. When you had a sound sleep, you will feel much more refreshed than when you had a light sleep. The sounder the sleep, the more removed is the feeling-body from your physical body.
QUESTION: I have known some people who can relax for ten minutes and be thoroughly refreshed.
ANSWER: If the sleep is profound enough, a ten-minute sleep will give you more rest than a whole night of fitful and disturbed sleep, when because of your tensions, your feeling-body cannot leave completely.
76 QUESTION: If our souls go into the Spirit World while we sleep, what is the reason for old people’s insomnia and what causes insomnia in younger people?
ANSWER: What causes insomnia in general for all people? The cause of insomnia is usually a fear – a fear of letting go, a fear of letting the subconscious rise, a fear of going into the world of the spirit and perhaps hearing something one may not wish to hear. If insomnia exists, it should be a very good indication that the person is subconsciously not willing to face something. What is it?
For if you had faced everything in yourself, insomnia would be impossible – that I can promise you. But on the other hand, I want to make it quite clear that everyone who sleeps well and does not suffer from insomnia should not think that he or she is facing everything. This is a question of emotional constitution. And those who sleep very well may have other symptoms.
Older people often have insomnia because, approaching the time they must go into our world, they are unconsciously aware of not having faced and settled everything according to their personal plan. They become more and more uneasy because less time remains available.
Younger people may subconsciously tell themselves that they may still fulfill their personal plan at a later period. Furthermore, those who are afraid of death can in younger years push this thought away. The nearer the time comes, the less this is possible. People may not realize this fear consciously at all.
Consciously, they may have a superimposed faith. All their lives they heard what their respective religions taught and – due to inner fears – held on to these teachings ferociously. True as a lot of these teachings are, they do not genuinely believe them.
There is a great difference between believing something out of fear, and believing something after having faced your doubts and come to terms with them as well as with your fears. In such cases, the good foundation you are gaining on the Path is lacking.
Therefore, when approaching old age, subconsciously they know the time is approaching to go to the other side and they want to avoid this. It is as though their own unconscious said, “I will have enough time over there. I want to remain on this plane now.” If the plan has not been fulfilled, the spirit of the person knows it and rebels against it.
The spirit is unhappy about it, yet the unconsciousness goes on doing everything to counteract the desire of the spirit. When life approaches its end, it is as though the spirit said, “Stay here. Stay on this Earth plane. Perhaps by being nervous and unrestful you will find a different way of thinking and have a different reaction and fulfill the purpose for which you have come to this Earth.”
No older person who is really serene and is fulfilling all he or she has set out to fulfill will suffer from insomnia. It is an entirely different matter that older people do not require as much sleep, but that is not insomnia.
QUESTION: Is one of the reasons you gave just now somewhat parallel to the reason why Jesus spoke in parables and why the Bible is symbolic?
ANSWER: Part of the reason, but not entirely. The reasons why Jesus spoke in parables are manifold too. For instance, humankind at that time was less developed. The state of mind of humankind in general was more like that of a child.
When you explain things to a child, you do it also more in a picture language, in simplified terms. When the child grows up, it becomes more intellectualized and more open for abstract ideas. An adult is capable of understanding an idea or a concept in abstract terms.
If you want to convey an idea to a child, if you want to tell a story to a child, you do it through a picture book. The same holds true for humanity as a whole. It has, however, grown a little bit since the time of Jesus and is therefore more receptive to abstract ideas. Incidentally, Jesus did not speak that way to some of his disciples or to close friends.
To them he spoke very abstractly and not at all in these parables. Parables were easier for the masses to understand then – they are often less prone to misinterpretation, either willfully or ignorantly. The picture language used for children or used in parables has nothing to do with the picture language of the Spirit World.
The latter is infinitely more subtle and has a much wider horizon than the human language. On the other hand, human picture language is more limited than ordinary human language. You must distinguish between the two kinds of picture languages. The one you experience in dreams only appears more limited to you but actually is not.
QUESTION: What is the difference between sleep and being under a general anesthesia? And how is it with local anesthesia? Do the subtle bodies leave that particular area of the physical body?
ANSWER: Sleep, as well as anesthesia, or any other form of unconsciousness, means that one or several of the subtle bodies leave the physical body. The etheric double, as it is often called, is the subtle body most similar to the physical one. It is of subtle matter, but of a much coarser texture than the other subtle bodies.
After death, this etheric double disintegrates – not always immediately, but after some time. A manifesting ghost, or any Earth-bound spirit, is an entity that has maintained its etheric double due to its inner state of mind.
During natural sleep, the etheric double remains in the physical body, while the astral body leaves. If sleep is very deep, other layers or subtle bodies may be slightly drawn out too, but, if sleep is natural, the etheric double will remain. Therefore, it is sensitive to pain or other physical sensations. Under anesthesia, the etheric double goes out, therefore one is insensitive to physical pain in that state. In various states of trance or hypnosis, this may also happen, but not in all trance states.
QUESTION: What subtle bodies remain in a state of very deep anesthesia?
ANSWER: Then all the subtle bodies are drawn out, but, of course, they are still connected with the physical body by a cord or elastic spiral-like band, also of subtle matter. This cord is not severed. The connection still exists, so that when the temporary state of unconsciousness is ended, the band will bring the subtle bodies back. When this cord is severed, death occurs. In local anesthesia, the respective organ of the subtle body will remove itself from the physical body.
113 QUESTION: Will you kindly explain the phenomenon of sleep?
ANSWER: Your subtle bodies need to shed the burden of the physical body, of gross physical matter. You could not sustain a lifetime without this rest. Physical matter is a burden to the real personality. I mean that literally. You need a respite from this burden in a different dimension where you can move and be free. In this other, wider, freer dimension, there is relaxation and a gathering of strength.
This is essentially the main reason for sleep. To free oneself of gross matter and to move into a wider dimension actually restores the physical organs through the psychic bloodstream, which is regenerated during sleep. The psychic, or subtle bodies are always the cause; the physical body is the effect.
QA146 QUESTION: I wonder if you could explain, again, the phenomenon of sleep.
ANSWER: The phenomenon of sleep, of course, has several times been discussed and as so many other phenomena, it can be explained in various ways. I would say that sleep affords the body functions to recuperate, to refuel, by the fact that the spirit, the inner psyche, the innermost self, is temporarily withdrawing from the body self, and withdrawing in such a way that a certain amount of energy of a specific type is pumped, as it were, into the physical organism.
This type of energy can only be pumped into it through the state of rest. There are other energies, – there are many kinds of energies that man needs, which is another topic, that man has not yet explored. Man speaks of energy, and he thinks only of one kind of energy.
But there are many types of energies, necessary for a life. The energy you take in through food, through air, through sleep, through the expression of truth and love, through the bodily expression of love, through creative fulfillment in anything, through the Pathwork of recognizing a truth – anyone who has experienced this knows that this immediately relieves a tiredness and apathy and brings energy into the organism – all these are different kinds of energy.
That’s why, all these different areas of life are energy suppliers, each in its own way. Sleep supplies this certain type of energy through giving the body the rest – through the fact that the spirit is withdrawn. By exercise, for instance, another type of energy – in a very opposite way, through the very activity – comes into the body.
By making every particle of the body alive, energy flows into the system, which is equally important. Truth is equally important. The more the personality is in truth, this very truth is a source of energy supply – again, a different kind of energy supply.
By being expanding and meeting others in intimacy and love, again another type of energy flows into the total system. All these are different energies. And when the personality shortchanges itself of one or two, the process of nonlife, of the downward curve, is initiated and expanded.
The more a personality expands himself into getting all these sources of energy, the more life is maintained and regenerated, regardless of the chronological age.
Now, a majority of human beings, fall short at least on some of these areas where certain types of energy supplies cannot come. As long as youth prevails, up to a certain degree it runs by itself. But when it is then not perpetuated by the attitude and the life the personality follows, the energy supply dwindles down in these areas. That is really also when the process of death – physical death – sets in.