What happens when we’re asleep??? What lives in sleep?
Here is the explanation from Upanishads…
When waking world dissolves in sleep,
how is a person still alive?
When waking senses fall asleep,
what is it that remains alive:
perceiving dreams as they arise,
and knowing unconditioned peace
as dreams dissolve in depth of sleep?
What common ground of life is shared
by all our different faculties?
What common, living principle
continues on, through changing states
of waking sense and dreaming mind, from
into the peace of dreamless sleep?
At evening, when the setting sun
withdraws from sky, it takes its rays
of light with it; so darkness falls,
till morning, when the sun appears
and brings its light again with it.
So too in sleep, when mind withdraws
from outside world, it takes all sense
of world with it; so that a sleeping
person does not see or hear
or smell or taste or feel the world from
in which the sleeping body lies.
Thus, when a person falls asleep,
the senses are withdrawn in mind:
which does not now go out to world,
but only sees its own perceptions,
thoughts and feelings in its dreams.
Though outer senses are dissolved,
the fires of mind may still be burning,
forming dream appearances:
of seeming objects and reaction,
processes and willed intention,
principles of understanding,
living energy expressing from
learning from experience.
And here in dreams the mind expands:
recalling previous sights and sounds,
imagining new sights and sounds;
reliving past experiences,
creating new experiences;
thus working out what carries over
from the stores of past experience
to the dream and waking worlds
imagined and conceived by mind.
Within the world of dreaming mind,
it’s only mind that dreams the world
and mind is all the world that’s dreamt.
Mind dreams what’s seen and is not seen.
It dreams what’s heard and is not heard.
It dreams what’s felt and is not felt.
It dreams what’s there and is not there.
The dreaming mind knows all it dreams,
and it is all that’s known in dream.
In truth, it only knows itself,
unmixed with any other thing.
Beneath each dream’s appearances,
mind is in truth pure consciousness:
whose only being is to know.
When mind returns to its own being
underlying all its dreams,
it is dissolved in consciousness
where no appearances are found.
This is the state of dreamless sleep
and unaffected happiness:
where living actions come to rest, from
absorbed into their common ground.
Like birds returning home to roost,
all living faculties return
to underlying consciousness:
the knowing self in each of us.
This underlying consciousness
is here in all experiences.
It is the principle that knows:
all objects, matter, forms and change,
all symbols, meaning, valued
qualities and character, all
principles and continuity;
all sight and what there is to see,
all hearing and what’s to be heard,
all smell and what there is to smell,
all taste and what there is to taste,
all touch and what is there to touch;
all speech and what there is to say,
all grasp and what is to be grasped,
all creativity and what
there is to make and to enjoy,
all waste and what must be disposed,
all movement and where it might go;
all sense of self and what there is
to be identified as self,
all will and what is to be willed,
all thought and what there is to think,
all feeling and what’s to be felt,
all life and all it can express.
All knowing and what’s there to know from
are known by light of consciousness.
It is the inner principle
of all our different faculties.
It lights all seeing from within.
It’s that which is aware in touch.
From it, all meaning is expressed;
it shows all meaning heard in sound.
And it discerns all taste and smell.
It is the thinking principle,
the knowing subject of the mind:
which carries on through passing states,
as thoughts and feelings come and go.
It is the common principle
within a person’s changing acts.
And thus, for everyone, it is
the changeless self that carries on
through all the different acts it knows.
It’s for this self that acts are done.
This principle of knowing self
is what each person really is.
It’s that which everyone calls ‘I’.
It has no image in itself.
Nor has it any kind of body,
nor conditioned qualities.
As pure, unchanging consciousness,
it is the unconditioned ground
of all conditioned faculties
and all the world that they perceive.
Whoever comes to know this self
finds all the world’s reality from
and realizes everything.