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D. H. Lawrence

Sleep and Dreams

Fantasia of the Unconscious: Chapter XIV

Published on: Monday 1 October 2007

D. H. Lawrence, Fantasia of the Unconscious, Thomas Seltzer, Inc., New York, 1922.


This is going rather far, for a book—nay, a booklet—on the child consciousness. But it can’t be helped. Child-consciousness it is. And we have to roll away the stone of a scientific cosmos from the tomb-mouth of that imprisoned consciousness.

Now, dear reader, let us see where we are. First of all, we are ourselves—which is the refrain of all my chants. We are ourselves. We are living individuals. And as living individuals we are the one, pure clue to our own cosmos. To which cosmos living individuals have always been the clue, since time began, and will always be the clue, while time lasts.

I know it is not so fireworky as the sudden evolving of life, somewhere, somewhen and somehow, out of force and matter with a pop. But that pop never popped, dear reader. The boot was on the other leg. And I wish I could mix a few more metaphors, like pops and legs and boots, just to annoy you.

Life never evolved, or evoluted, out of force and matter, dear reader. There is no such thing as evolution, anyhow. There is only development. Man was man in the very first plasm-speck which was his own individual origin, and is still his own individual origin. As for the origin, I don’t know much about it. I only know there is but one origin, and that is the individual soul. The individual soul originated everything, and has itself no origin. So that time is a matter of living experience, nothing else, and eternity is just a mental trick. Of course every living speck, amoeba or newt, has its own individual soul.

And we sit on our own globe, dear reader, here individually located. Our own individual being is our own single reality. But the single reality of the individual being is dynamically and directly polarized to the earth’s center, which is the aggregate negative center of all terrestrial existence. In short, the center which in life we thrust away from, and towards which we fall, in death. For, our individual existence being positive, we must have a negative pole to thrust away from. And when our positive individual existence breaks, and we fall into death, our wonderful individual gravitation-center succumbs to the earth’s gravitation-center.

So there we are, individuals, single, life-born, life-living, yet all the while poised and polarized to the aggregate center of our substantial death, our earth’s quick, powerful center-clue.

There may be other individuals, alive, and having other worlds under their feet, polarized to their own globe’s center. But the very sacredness of my own individuality prevents my pronouncing about them, lest I, in attributing qualities to them, transgress against the pure individuality which is theirs, beyond me.

If, however, there be truly other people, with their own world under their feet, then I think it is fair to say that we all have our infinite identity in the sun. That in the rush and swirl of death we pass through fiery ways to the same sun. And from the sun, can the spores of souls pass to the various worlds? And to the worlds of the cosmos seed across space, through the wild beams of the sun? Is there seed of Mars in my veins? And is astrology not altogether nonsense?

But if the sun is the center of our infinite oneing in death with all the other after-death souls of the cosmos: and in that great central station of travel, the sun, we meet and mingle and change trains for the stars: then ought we to assume that the moon is likewise a meeting-place of dead souls? The moon surely is a meeting-place of cold, dead, angry souls. But from our own globe only.

The moon is the center of our terrestrial individuality in the cosmos. She is the declaration of our existence in separateness. Save for the intense white recoil of the moon, the earth would stagger towards the sun. The moon holds us to our own cosmic individuality, as a world individual in space. She is the fierce center of retraction, of frictional withdrawal into separateness. She it is who sullenly stands with her back to us, and refuses to meet and mingle. She it is who burns white with the intense friction of her withdrawal into separation, that cold, proud white fire of furious, almost malignant apartness, the struggle into fierce, frictional separation. Her white fire is the frictional fire of the last strange, intense watery matter, as this matter fights its way out of combination and out of combustion with the sun-stuff. To the pure polarity of the moon fly the essential waters of our universe. Which essential waters, at the moon’s clue, are only an intense invisible energy, a polarity of the moon.

There are only three great energies in the universal life, which is always individual and which yet sways all the physical forces as well as the vital energy; and then the two great dynamisms of the sun and the moon. To the dynamism of the sun belong heat, expansion-force, and all that range. To the dynamism of the moon the essential watery forces: not just gravitation, but electricity, magnetism, radium-energy, and so on.

The moon likewise is the pole of our night activities, as the sun is the pole of our day activities. Remember that the sun and moon are but great self-abandons which individual life has thrown out, to the right hand and to the left. When individual life dies, it flings itself on the right hand to the sun, on the left hand to the moon, in the dual polarity, and sinks to earth. When any man dies, his soul divides in death; as in life, in the first germ, it was united from two germs. It divides into two dark germs, flung asunder: the sun-germ and the moon-germ. Then the material body sinks to earth. And so we have the cosmic universe such as we know it.

What is the exact relationship between us and the death-realm of the afterwards we shall never know. But this relation is none the less active every moment of our lives. There is a pure polarity between life and death, between the living and the dead, between each living individual and the outer cosmos. Between each living individual and the earth’s center passes a never-ceasing circuit of magnetism. It is a circuit which in man travels up the right side, and down the left side of the body, to the earth’s center. It never ceases. But while we are awake it is entirely under the control and spell of the total consciousness, the individual consciousness, the soul, or self. When we sleep, however, then this individual consciousness of the soul is suspended for the time, and we lie completely within the circuit of the earth’s magnetism, or gravitation, or both: the circuit of the earth’s centrality. It is this circuit which is busy in all our tissue removing or arranging the dead body of our past day. For each time we lie down to sleep we have within us a body of death which dies with the day that is spent. And this body of death is removed or laid in line by the activities of the earth-circuit, the great active death-circuit, while we sleep.

As we sleep the current sweeps its own way through us, as the streets of a city are swept and flushed at night. It sweeps through our nerves and our blood, sweeping away the ash of our day’s spent consciousness towards one form or other of excretion. This earth-current actively sweeping through us is really the death-activity busy in the service of life. It behooves us to know nothing of it. And as it sweeps it stimulates in the primary centers of consciousness vibrations which flash images upon the mind. Usually, in deep sleep, these images pass unrecorded; but as we pass towards the twilight of dawn and wakefulness, we begin to retain some impression, some record of the dream-images. Usually also the images that are accidentally swept into the mind in sleep are as disconnected and as unmeaning as the pieces of paper which the street cleaners sweep into a bin from the city gutters at night. We should not think of taking all these papers, piecing them together, and making a marvelous book of them, prophetic of the future and pregnant with the past. We should not do so, although every rag of printed paper swept from the gutter would have some connection with the past day’s event. But its significance, the significance of the words printed upon it is so small, that we relegate it into the limbo of the accidental and meaningless. There is no vital connection between the many torn bits of paper—only an accidental connection. Each bit of paper has reference to some actual event: a bus-ticket, an envelope, a tract, a pastry-shop bag, a newspaper, a hand-bill. But take them all together, bus-ticket, torn envelope, tract, paper-bag, piece of newspaper and hand-bill, and they have no individual sequence, they belong more to the mechanical arrangements than to the vital consequence of our existence. And the same with most dreams. They are the heterogeneous odds and ends of images swept together accidentally by the besom of the night-current, and it is beneath our dignity to attach any real importance to them. It is always beneath our dignity to go degrading the integrity of the individual soul by cringing and scraping among the rag-tag of accident and of the inferior, mechanic coincidence and automatic event. Only those events are significant which derive from or apply to the soul in its full integrity. To go kow-towing before the facts of change, as gamblers and fortune-readers and fatalists do, is merely a perverting of the soul’s proud integral priority, a rearing up of idiotic idols and fetishes.

Most dreams are purely insignificant, and it is the sign of a weak and paltry nature to pay any attention to them whatever. Only occasionally they matter. And this is only when something threatens us from the outer mechanical, or accidental death-world. When anything threatens us from the world of death, then a dream may become so vivid that it arouses the actual soul. And when a dream is so intense that it arouses the soul—then we must attend to it.

But we may have the most appalling nightmare because we eat pancakes for supper. Here again, we are threatened with an arrest of the mechanical flow of the system. This arrest becomes so serious that it affects the great organs of the heart and lungs, and these organs affect the primary conscious-centers.

Now we shall see that this is the direct reverse of real living consciousness. In living consciousness the primary affective centers control the great organs. But when sleep is on us, the reverse takes place. The great organs, being obstructed in their spontaneous-automatism, at last with violence arouse the active conscious-centers. And these flash images to the brain.

These nightmare images are very frequently purely mechanical: as of falling terribly downwards, or being enclosed in vaults. And such images are pure physical transcripts. The image of falling, of flying, of trying to run and not being able to lift the feet, of having to creep through terribly small passages, these are direct transcripts from the physical phenomena of circulation and digestion. It is the directly transcribed image of the heart which, impeded in its action by the gases of indigestion, is switched out of its established circuit of earth-polarity, and is as if suspended over a void, or plunging into a void: step by step, falling downstairs, maybe, according to the strangulation of the heart beats. The same paralytic inability to lift the feet when one needs to run, in a dream, comes directly from the same impeded action of the heart, which is thrown off its balance by some material obstruction. Now the heart swings left and right in the pure circuit of the earth’s polarity. Hinder this swing, force the heart over to the left, by inflation of gas from the stomach or by dead pressure upon the blood and nerves from any obstruction, and you get the sensation of being unable to lift the feet from earth: a gasping sensation. Or force the heart to over-balance towards the right, and you get the sensation of flying or of falling. The heart telegraphs its distress to the mind, and wakes us. The wakeful soul at once begins to deal with the obstruction, which was too much for the mechanical night-circuits. The same holds good of dreams of imprisonment, or of creeping through narrow passages. They are direct transfers from the squeezing of the blood through constricted arteries or heart chambers.

Most dreams are stimulated from the blood into the nerves and the nerve-centers. And the heart is the transmission station. For the blood has a unity and a consciousness of its own. It has a deeper, elemental consciousness of the mechanical or material world. In the blood we have the body of our most elemental consciousness, our almost material consciousness. And during sleep this material consciousness transfers itself into the nerves and to the brain. The transfer in wakefulness results in a feeling of pain or discomfort—as when we have indigestion, which is pure blood-discomfort. But in sleep the transfer is made through the dream-images which are mechanical phenomena like mirages.

Nightmares which have purely mechanical images may terrify us, give us a great shock, but the shock does not enter our souls. We are surprised, in the morning, to find that the bristling horror of the night seems now just nothing—dwindled to nothing. And this is because what was a purely material obstruction in the physical flow, temporary only, is indeed a nothingness to the living, integral soul. We are subject to such accidents—if we will eat pancakes for supper. And that is the end of it.

But there are other dreams which linger and haunt the soul. These are true soul-dreams. As we know, life consists of reactions and interrelations from the great centers of primary consciousness. I may start a chain of connection from one center, which inevitably stimulates into activity the corresponding center. For example, I may develop a profound and passional love for my mother, in my days of adolescence. This starts, willy-nilly, the whole activity of adult love at the lower centers. But admission is made only of the upper, spiritual love, the love dynamically polarized at the upper centers. Nevertheless, whether the admission is made or not, once establish the circuit in the upper or spiritual centers of adult love, and you will get a corresponding activity in the lower, passional centers of adult love.

The activity at the lower center, however, is denied in the daytime. There is a repression.

Then the friction of the night-flow liberates the repressed psychic activity explosively. And then the image of the mother figures in passionate, disturbing, soul-rending dreams.

The Freudians point to this as evidence of a repressed incest desire. The Freudians are too simple. It is always wrong to accept a dream-meaning at its face value. Sleep is the time when we are given over to the automatic processes of the inanimate universe. Let us not forget this. Dreams are automatic in their nature. The psyche possesses remarkably few dynamic images. In the case of the boy who dreams of his mother, we have the aroused but unattached sex plunging in sleep, causing a sort of obstruction. We have the image of the mother, the dynamic emotional image. And the automatism of the dream-process immediately unites the sex-sensation to the great stock image, and produces an incest dream. But does this prove a repressed incest desire? On the contrary.

The truth is, every man has, the moment he awakes, a hatred of his dream, and a great desire to be free of the dream, free of the persistent mother-image or sister-image of the dream. It is a ghoul, it haunts his dreams, this image, with its hateful conclusions. And yet he cannot get free. As long as a man lives he may, in his dreams of passion or conflict, be haunted by the mother-image or sister-image, even when he knows that the cause of the disturbing dream is the wife. But even though the actual subject of the dream is the wife, still, over and over again, for years, the dream-process will persist in substituting the mother-image. It haunts and terrifies a man.

Why does the dream-process act so? For two reasons. First, the reason of simple automatic continuance. The mother-image was the first great emotional image to be introduced in the psyche. The dream-process mechanically reproduces its stock image the moment the intense sympathy-emotion is aroused. Again, the mother-image refers only to the upper plane. But the dream-process is mechanical in its logic. Because the mother-image refers to the great dynamic stress of the upper plane, therefore it refers to the great dynamic stress of the lower. This is a piece of sheer automatic logic. The living soul is not automatic, and automatic logic does not apply to it.

But for our second reason for the image. In becoming the object of great emotional stress for her son, the mother also becomes an object of poignancy, of anguish, of arrest, to her son. She arrests him from finding his proper fulfillment on the sensual plane. Now it is almost always the object of arrest which becomes impressed, as it were, upon the psyche. A man very rarely has an image of a person with whom he is livingly, vitally connected. He only has dream-images of the persons who, in some way, oppose his life-flow and his soul’s freedom, and so become impressed upon his plasm as objects of resistance. Once a man is dynamically caught on the upper plane by mother or sister, then the dream-image of mother or sister will persist until the dynamic rapport between himself and his mother or sister is finally broken. And the dream-image from the upper plane will be automatically applied to the disturbance of the lower plane.

Because—and this is very important—the dream-process loves its own automatism. It would force everything to an automatic-logical conclusion in the psyche. But the living, wakeful psyche is so flexible and sensitive, it has a horror of automatism. While the soul really lives, its deepest dread is perhaps the dread of automatism. For automatism in life is a forestalling of the death process.

The living soul has its great fear. The living soul fears the automatically logical conclusion of incest. Hence the sleep-process invariably draws this conclusion. The dream-process, fiendishly, plays a triumph of automatism over us. But the dream-conclusion is almost invariably just the reverse of the soul’s desire, in any distress-dream. Popular dream-telling understood this, and pronounced that you must read dreams backwards. Dream of a wedding, and it means a funeral. Wish your friend well, and fear his death, and you will dream of his funeral. Every desire has its corresponding fear that the desire shall not be fulfilled. It is fear which forms an arrest-point in the psyche, hence an image. So the dream automatically produces the fear-image as the desire-image. If you secretly wished your enemy dead, and feared he might flourish, the dream would present you with his wedding.

Of course this rule of inversion is too simple to hold good in all cases. Yet it is one of the most general rules for dreams, and applies most often to desire-and-fear dreams of a psychic nature.

So that an incest-dream would not prove an incest-desire in the living psyche. Rather the contrary, a living fear of the automatic conclusion: the soul’s just dread of automatism. And though this may sound like casuistry, I believe it does explain a good deal of the dream-trick.—That which is lovely to the automatic process is hateful to the spontaneous soul. The wakeful living soul fears automatism as it fears death: death being automatic.

It seems to me these are the first two dream-principles, and the two most important: the principle of automatism and the principle of inversion. They will not resolve everything for us, but they will help a great deal. We have to be very wary of giving way to dreams. It is really a sin against ourselves to prostitute the living spontaneous soul to the tyranny of dreams, or of chance, or fortune or luck, or any of the processes of the automatic sphere.

Then consider other dynamic dreams. First, the dream-image generally. Any significant dream-image is usually an image or a symbol of some arrest or scotch in the living spontaneous psyche. There is another principle. But if the image is a symbol, then the only safe way to ex plain the symbol is to proceed from the quality of emotion connected with the symbol.

For example, a man has a persistent passionate fear-dream about horses. He suddenly finds himself among great, physical horses, which may suddenly go wild. Their great bodies surge madly round him, they rear above him, threatening to destroy him. At any minute he may be trampled down.

Now a psychoanalyst will probably tell you off-hand that this is a father-complex dream. Certain symbols seem to be put into complex catalogues. But it is all too arbitrary.

Examining the emotional reference we find that the feeling is sensual, there is a great impression of the powerful, almost beautiful physical bodies of the horses, the nearness, the rounded haunches, the rearing. Is the dynamic passion in a horse the danger-passion? It is a great sensual reaction at the sacral ganglion, a reaction of intense, sensual, dominant volition. The horse which rears and kicks and neighs madly acts from the intensely powerful sacral ganglion. But this intense activity from the sacral ganglion is male: the sacral ganglion is at its highest intensity in the male. So that the horse-dream refers to some arrest in the deepest sensual activity in the male. The horse is presented as an object of terror, which means that to the man’s automatic dream-soul, which loves automatism, the great sensual male activity is the greatest menace. The automatic pseudo-soul, which has got the sensual nature repressed, would like to keep it repressed. Whereas the greatest desire of the living spontaneous soul is that this very male sensual nature, represented as a menace, shall be actually accomplished in life. The spontaneous self is secretly yearning for the liberation and fulfillment of the deepest and most powerful sensual nature. There may be an element of father-complex. The horse may also refer to the powerful sensual being in the father. The dream may mean a love of the dreamer for the sensual male who is his father. But it has nothing to do with incest. The love is probably a just love.

The bull-dream is a curious reversal. In the bull the centers of power are in the breast and shoulders. The horns of the head are symbols of this vast power in the upper self. The woman’s fear of the bull is a great terror of the dynamic upper centers in man. The bull’s horns, instead of being phallic, represent the enormous potency of the upper centers. A woman whose most positive dynamism is in the breast and shoulders is fascinated by the bull. Her dream-fear of the bull and his horns which may run into her may be reversed to a significance of desire for connection, not from the centers of the lower, sensual self, but from the intense physical centers of the upper body: the phallus polarized from the upper centers, and directed towards the great breast center of the woman. Her wakeful fear is terror of the great breast-and-shoulder, upper rage and power of man, which may pierce her defenseless lower self. The terror and the desire are near together—and go with an admiration of the slender, abstracted bull loins.

Other dream-fears, or strong dream-impressions, may be almost imageless. They may be a great terror, for example, of a purely geometric figure—a figure from pure geometry, or an example of pure mathematics. Or they may have no image, but only a sensation of smell, or of color, or of sound.

These are the dream-fears of the soul which is falling out of human integrity into the purely mechanical mode. If we idealize ourselves sufficiently, the spontaneous centers do at last work only, or almost only, in the mechanical mode. They have no dynamic relation with another being. They cannot have. Their whole power of dynamic relationship is quenched. They act now in reference purely to the mechanical world, of force and matter, sensation and law. So that in dream-activity sensation or abstraction, abstract law or calculation occurs as the predominant or exclusive image. In the dream there may be a sensation of admiration or delight. The waking sensation is fear. Because the soul fears above all things its fall from individual integrity into the mechanic activity of the outer world, which is the automatic death-world.

And this is our danger to-day. We tend, through deliberate idealism or deliberate material purpose, to destroy the soul in its first nature of spontaneous, integral being, and to substitute the second nature, the automatic nature of the mechanical universe. For this purpose we stay up late at night, and we rise late in the morning.

To stay up late into the night is always bad. Let us be as ideal as we may, when the sun goes down the natural mode of life changes in us. The mind changes its activity. As the soul gradually goes passive, before yielding up its sway, the mind falls into its second phase of activity. It collects the results of the spent day into consciousness, lays down the honey of quiet thought, or the bitter-sweet honey of the gathered flower. It is the consciousness of that which is past. Evening is our time to read history and tragedy and romance—all of which are the utterance of that which is past, that which is over, that which is finished, is concluded: either sweetly concluded, or bitterly. Evening is the time for this.

But evening is the time also for revelry, for drink, for passion. Alcohol enters the blood and acts as the sun’s rays act. It inflames into life, it liberates into energy and consciousness. But by a process of combustion. That life of the day which we have not lived, by means of sun-born alcohol we can now flare into sensation, consciousness, energy and passion, and live it out. It is a liberation from the laws of idealism, a release from the restriction of control and fear. It is the blood bursting into consciousness. But naturally the course of the liberated consciousness may be in either direction: sharper mental action, greater fervor of spiritual emotion, or deeper sensuality. Nowadays the last is becoming much more unusual.

The active mind-consciousness of the night is a form of retrospection, or else it is a form of impulsive exclamation, direct from the blood, and unbalanced. Because the active physical consciousness of the night is the blood-consciousness, the most elemental form of consciousness. Vision is perhaps our highest form of dynamic upper consciousness. But our deepest lower consciousness is blood-consciousness.

And the dynamic lower centers are swayed from the blood. When the blood rouses into its night intensity, it naturally kindles first the lowest dynamic centers. It transfers its voice and its fire to the great hypogastric plexus, which governs, with the help of the sacral ganglion, the flow of urine through us, but which also voices the deep swaying of the blood in sex passion. Sex is our deepest form of consciousness. It is utterly non-ideal, non-mental. It is pure blood-consciousness. It is the basic consciousness of the blood, the nearest thing in us to pure material consciousness. It is the consciousness of the night, when the soul is almost asleep.

The blood-consciousness is the first and last knowledge of the living soul: the depths. It is the soul acting in part only, speaking with its first hoarse half-voice. And blood-consciousness cannot operate purely until the soul has put off all its manifold degrees and forms of upper consciousness. As the self falls back into quiescence, it draws itself from the brain, from the great nerve-centers, into the blood, where at last it will sleep. But as it draws and folds itself livingly in the blood, at the dark and powerful hour, it sends out its great call. For even the blood is alone and in part, and needs an answer. Like the waters of the Red Sea, the blood is divided in a dual polarity between the sexes. As the night falls and the consciousness sinks deeper, suddenly the blood is heard hoarsely calling. Suddenly the deep centers of the sexual consciousness rouse to their spontaneous activity. Suddenly there is a deep circuit established between me and the woman. Suddenly the sea of blood which is me heaves and rushes towards the sea of blood which is her. There is a moment of pure frictional crisis and contact of blood. And then all the blood in me ebbs back into its ways, transmuted, changed. And this is the profound basis of my renewal, my deep blood renewal.

And this has nothing to do with pretty faces or white skin or rosy breasts or any of the rest of the trappings of sexual love. These trappings belong to the day. Neither eyes nor hands nor mouth have anything to do with the final massive and dark collision of the blood in the sex crisis, when the strange flash of electric transmutation passes through the blood of the man and the blood of the woman. They fall apart and sleep in their transmutation.

But even in its profoundest, and most elemental movements, the soul is still individual. Even in its most material consciousness, it is still integral and individual. You would think the great blood-stream of mankind was one and homogeneous. And it is indeed more nearly one, more near to homogeneity than anything else within us. The blood-stream of mankind is almost homogeneous.

But it isn’t homogeneous. In the first place, it is dual in a perfect dark dynamic polarity, the sexual polarity. No getting away from the fact that the blood of woman is dynamically polarized in opposition, or in difference to the blood of man. The crisis of their contact in sex connection is the moment of establishment of a new flashing circuit throughout the whole sea: the dark, burning red waters of our under-world rocking in a new dynamic rhythm in each of us. And then in the second place, the blood of an individual is his own blood. That is, it is individual. And though we have a potential dynamic sexual connection, we men, with almost every woman, yet the great outstanding fact of the individuality even of the blood makes us need a corresponding individuality in the woman we are to embrace. The more individual the man or woman, the more unsatisfactory is a non-individual connection: promiscuity. The more individual, the more does our blood cry out for its own specific answer, an individual woman, blood-polarized with us.

We have made the mistake of idealism again. We have thought that the woman who thinks and talks as we do will be the blood-answer. And we force it to be so. To our disaster. The woman who thinks and talks as we do is almost sure to have no dynamic blood-polarity with us. The dynamic blood-polarity would make her different from me, and not like me in her thought mode. Blood-sympathy is so much deeper than thought-mode, that it may result in very different expression, verbally.

We have made the mistake of turning life inside out: of dragging the day-self into the night, and spreading the night-self over into the day. We have made love and sex a matter of seeing and hearing and of day-conscious manipulation.

We have made men and women come together on the grounds of this superficial likeness and commonalty—their mental, and upper sympathetic consciousness. And so we have forced the blood to submission. Which means we force it into disintegration.

We have too much light in the night, and too much sleep in the day. It is an evil thing for us to prolong as we do the mental, visual, ideal consciousness far into the night when the hour has come for this upper consciousness to fade, for the blood alone to know and to act. By provoking the reaction of the great blood-stress, the sex-reaction, from the upper, outer mental consciousness and mental lasciviousness of conscious purpose, we thereby destroy the very blood in our bodies. We prevent it from having its own dynamic sway. We prevent it from coming to its own dynamic crisis and connection, from finding its own fundamental being. No matter how we work our sex, from the upper or outer consciousness, we don’t achieve anything but the falsification and impoverishment of our own blood-life. We have no choice. Either we must withdraw from interference, or slowly deteriorate.

We have made a corresponding mistake in sleeping on into the day. Once the sun rises our constitution changes. Once the sun is well up our sleep—supposing our life fairly normal—is no longer truly sleep. When the sun comes up the centers of active dynamic upper consciousness begin to wake. The blood changes its vibration and even its chemical constitution. And then we too ought to wake. We do ourselves great damage by sleeping too long into the day. The half-hour’s sleep after midday meal is a readjustment. But the long hours of morning sleep are just a damage. We submit our now active centers of upper consciousness to the dominion of the blood-automatic flow. We chain ourselves down in our morning sleep. We transmute the morning’s blood-strength into false dreams and into an ever-increasing force of inertia. And naturally, in the same line of inertia we persist from bad to worse.

With the result that our chained-down, active nerve-centers are half-shattered before we arise. We never become newly day-conscious, because we have subjected our powerful centers of day-consciousness to be trampled and wasted into dreams and inertia by the heavy flow of the blood-automatism in the morning sleeps. Then we arise with a feeling of the monotony and automatism of life. There is no good, glad refreshing. We feel tired to start with. And so we protract our day-consciousness on into the night, when we do at last begin to come awake, and we tell ourselves we must sleep, sleep, sleep in the morning and the daytime. It is better to sleep only six hours than to prolong sleep on and on when the sun has risen. Every man and woman should be forced out of bed soon after the sun has risen: particularly the nervous ones. And forced into physical activity. Soon after dawn the vast majority of people should be hard at work. If not, they will soon be nervously diseased.

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