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In this article we will continue our discussion of human life and important aspects of human life.  We will take two articles to investigate the fascinating and important aspects of sleep and human consciousness related to sleep then we will spend four articles on the nature of dreams.


The 24-Hour Period

“You often have freedoms that you do not use – a 24-hour period that you use quite arbitrarily, one that is already sectioned for you by society – but only if you allow it to be.

It can be used in whatever way you wish.

Initially, your conscious life followed the light of day.

Now with artificial light this need not be the case.

There are opportunities here to be gained from your technology that you are not presently taking advantage of.

To sleep all day and work all night is hardly the answer; it is simply the inversion of your present habits.

But it would be far more effective and efficient to divide the twenty-four-hour period in a different way.”1



Assimilating & Unifying Inner Knowledge

“There are ways of assimilating your inner knowledge, your contrasting values of light and darkness, good and bad, youth and old age, and of using such criteria to enrich your own experience in a most practical fashion.

In so doing you will enhance not only yourself and your society, but the world at large.

You will also recognize the state of grace in which you must exist.

An attempt must be made to correlate seemingly diverse aspects of experience, to combine ideas of light and dark, consciousness and unconsciousness, and so forth, not only in private but mass experience.”2



The Division of the Conscious & Unconscious Minds

“The long period of continuous waking conscious activity is to some extent at variance with your natural inclinations.

It cuts you off from the spontaneous give-and-take of conscious and unconscious material, and of itself necessitates certain changes that then make your prolonged sleep period necessary.

The body is denied the frequent rests it requires.

Conscious stimuli is over-applied, making assimilation difficult and placing a strain upon the mind-body relationship.

The division between the two aspects of experience begins to take on the characteristics of completely diverse behavior.

The unconscious becomes more and more unfamiliar to consciousness.

Those beliefs build up about it, and the symbolism involved is exaggerated.

The unknown seems to be threatening and degenerate.

The color black assumes strong tendencies in its connection with evil – something to be avoided.

Self-annihilation seems to be a threat ever-present in the dream or sleep state.

At the same time all of those flamboyant, creative, spontaneous, emotional surges that emerge normally from the unconscious become feared and projected outward upon enemies, other races and creeds.

The inner dreaming portions of the personality seem strange to you not only because of a basic difference of focus, but because you clearly devote opposite portions of a twenty-four hour cycle to these areas of the self.

You separate them as much as possible.

In doing so you divide your intuitive, creative, and psychic abilities quite neatly from your physical manipulative, objective abilities.”3



Waking & Sleeping States

“Great distinctions are made between your waking and sleeping states.

They are neatly divided, with little effort really made to relate the two.

The seeming great division between the waking and the sleeping self is largely a result of the division in function, the two being largely separated — a block of time being allotted to the one, and a larger block of time to the other.

They are kept apart, then, because of your use of time.

Many of you will not find it practical to alter your sleeping hours because of work commitments.

Some of you will be able to do so, however and those of you who are really interested in this endeavor can at least achieve some variation, on occasion, that will allow you to connect your sleeping and waking activities with far greater effectiveness.”4



Sleep Time

“Persons vary in the amount of sleep they need, and no pill will ever allow them to dispense with sleep entirely, for too much work is done in that state.

It makes no difference how many hours of sleep you think you need.

You would be much better off sleeping in several shorter periods, and you would actually then require less time.

The largest sleep unit should be at night.

But the efficiency of sleep is lessened and disadvantages set in after six to eight hours of physical inactivity.

Rest and recuperation could be done far more effectively with two, rather than one, sleep periods of lesser duration.

Two periods of three hours apiece would be quite sufficient for most people, if the proper suggestions were given before sleep – suggestions that would insure the body’s complete recuperation.

With suggestion properly given, the body can recuperate in half the time now given to sleep.

Those of you who are able will discover that a somewhat altered arrangement will work greatly to your advantage.

I suggest a six-hour sleeping block of time at one session, and no more.

If you still feel the need for a greater amount of rest, then a two-hour-at-the-most nap can be added.

Many will find that a five-hour steady sleeping period is quite sufficient, with a nap as required—A four hour block is ideal, however, reinforced by whatever nap feels natural.

In such circumstances, there are not the great artificial divisions created between the two states of consciousness.

The conscious mind is better able to remember and assimilate its dreaming experience, and in dreams the self can use its waking experience more efficiently.

Often in the aged you find such frameworks coming into being naturally, but those who awaken spontaneously after four hours consider themselves insomniacs because of their beliefs, and so cannot utilize their experience properly.

Both the conscious and unconscious would operate far more effectively, however, under an abbreviated sleeping program, and for those involved in “creative” endeavors this kind of schedule would bring greater intuition and applied knowledge.”5



Alterations in Sleep Habits

“You have trained your consciousness to follow certain patterns that are not necessarily natural for it, and these patterns increase the sense of alienation between the waking and dreaming self.

To some extent you drug the body with suggestion, so that it believes it must sleep away a certain amount of hours in one block.

The long sleep period to which you are accustomed then does become necessary. A vicious circle then is formed.

Animals sleep when they are tired, and awaken in a much more natural fashion.

You would retain a far greater memory of your subjective experiences, and your body would be healthier, if these sleeping patterns were changed.

Six to eight hours of sleep in all would be sufficient with the nap patterns outlined.

And even those who think they now need more sleep than this would find that they did not, if all the time was not spent in one block.

The entire system, physical, mental, and psychic, would benefit.

Those of you who cannot practically make any alterations in sleeping habits can still obtain some benefits by changing your beliefs in the areas discussed, learning to recall your dreams and resting briefly when you can, and immediately afterward recording those impressions that you retain.

Now such schedules could be adopted quite easily.

Those who work the American working hours, for example, could sleep between four to six hours an evening, according to individual variations, and nap after supper.

I want to make it plain, however, that anything over a six to eight-hour continuous sleeping period works against you, and a ten-hour period for example can be quite disadvantageous.

On awakening often then you do not feel rested, but drained of energy.

You have not been minding the store.”6



Night-time Advantages

“For many reasons, physical activity at night has a different effect upon the body than physical activity during the day, and ideally, both effects are necessary.

At certain times during the night the negative ions in the air are much stronger, or numerous, than in the daytime, for example; an activity during this time, particularly a walk or outside activity, would be highly beneficial from a health standpoint.”7



Early Humanity & Sleep

“In earlier periods of time, even though there were no electric lights for example, sleep was not long and continuous at night, for sleeping quarters were not as secure.

The caveman, for example, while sleeping was on the alert for predators.

The mysterious aspects of the natural night in outside surroundings kept him partially alert.

He awakened often, and surveyed the nearby land and his own place of shelter.

He did not sleep in long blocks as you do.

His sleeping periods were instead for two or three hours, stretched through the night-time from dusk to dawn, but alternated by periods of high wakefulness and alert activity.

He also crept out to seek food when he hoped his predators were sleeping.

This resulted in a mobility of consciousness that indeed insured his physical survival, and those intuitions that appeared to him in the dream state were remembered and taken advantage of in the waking state.”8



Sleep Patterns

“You did not simply come upon your sleep patterns.

They are not the result of your technology or industrial habits.

Instead they are a part of those beliefs that caused you to develop your technological, industrial society.

They emerged as you began to categorize experience more and more, to see yourselves as separate from the spring or fountainhead of your own psychological reality.

In natural circumstances the animals, while sleeping at night, are still partially alert against predators and danger.

There is within the innate characteristics of the mammalian brain, then, a balance in which complete physical relaxation can occur in sleep, while consciousness is maintained in a “partially suspended, passive-yet-alert” manner.

That state allows conscious participation and interpretation of “unconscious” dream activity.

The condition gives the body its refreshment, yet it does not lie inert for such long periods of time.

Individuals following such natural behavior would feel much greater stability in themselves.

Within the general patterns I have mentioned, each will, of course, find his or her own particular rhythm, and some experimentation might be necessary until you learn the maximum balance.

But the flow of vitality would be heightened.

It is true that the patterns will have their own flow at certain points in your life.

Following your own rhythm, longer or shorter periods will naturally ensue.

Your consciousness as you think of it will be expanded through such practices.”9



Effectiveness of Shorter Sleep Periods

“There is a give-and-take chemical reaction, or rather chemical rhythms of reactions that are far more effective in the shorter sleep periods.

In some cases you literally force yourselves to sleep when your consciousness could be at one of its maximum points. This is, incidentally, in the predawn period.

In certain afternoon hours consciousness is lowered, and needs refreshment that is instead denied.

Many of you sleep through periods that should be those of your greatest creativity and alertness, in which the conscious and unconscious are most beautifully focused and at one.

The conscious mind is often drugged with sleep just when it could be deriving its greatest benefits from the unconscious, and be able to poise most meaningfully in the reality that you know.

In these instances the beauty and illumination of your dream state can be clear in the conscious mind, and used to enrich your physical life.

Contrasts in your experience will appear to you in their united clarity.

The divisions between the self would not be nearly as severe.

Physical and mental work would be easier, and the body itself would gain steady periods of refreshment and rest.

Now, as a rule, it must wait, regardless of its condition, at least for some sixteen hours.

For other reasons having to do with the chemical reactions during the dream state bodily health would be improved; and this particular schedule would also be of help in schizophrenia, and generally aid persons with problems of depression, or those with mental instability.

Your sense of time would also be less rigorous and rigid.

Creative abilities would be quickened, and the great problem of insomnia that exists for many people would be largely conquered — for what they fear is often the long period of time in which consciousness, as they think of it, seems to be extinguished.

You would find you were a much more united identity.

You would become aware of your clairvoyant and telepathic abilities, for example, to a far greater degree, and you would not feel the deep separation that you now feel between the dreaming and waking self.

To a large degree this sense of alienation would vanish.

Your enjoyment of nature would also increase, for as a rule you are largely unacquainted with the nighttime.

You could take much better advantage of the intuitional knowledge that occurs in the dream state, and the cycle of your moods would not swing so definitely as it often does.

You would feel much safer and more secure in all areas of existence.

The problems of senility would also be reduced, for stimuli would not be minimized for so long a time.

And consciousness, with a greater flexibility, would know more of its own sense of joy.

Your own periods of creative work would also be more effective and efficient if you followed the advice given here.

The procedures mentioned would allow much greater access to such information, and the waking self would be more refreshed.

The symbolism in dreams would appear with greater clarity, not, for example, be lost through the many hours you now give to sleep.

Muscular strength would benefit.

The blood would be cleansed more effectively than when the body lies prone for such a time.

Most of all, there would be far better communication between the subjective layers of the self, an increased sense of security, and, particularly with children, an earlier kindling of creative abilities.

A clear, uncluttered, bright, and powerful consciousness needs frequent rest periods if its efficiency is to be maintained, and if it is to correctly interpret reality. Otherwise it distorts what is perceived.”10



Nutrition & Health Related to Sleep

“In many cases, eight or ten hours sleep, for example, is actually disadvantageous, resulting in a sluggishness both of mind and body.

In this case the spirit has simply been away from the body for too long a time, resulting in a loss of muscular flexibility.

This extended period, given to waking consciousness without rest periods, builds up chemicals in the blood that are discharged in sleep.

But in the meantime they make the body sluggish and retard conscious concentration.

This forces over-stimulation during the night, increasing the body’s work, making it perform continuously over an extended time physical purifications that ideally would be taken care of in briefer periods of rest.

As many light snacks would actually be much better than three large meals a day, so short naps rather than such an extended period would also be more effective.

The ego feels threatened by the extended “leave of absence” it must take, becomes wary of sleep, and sets up barriers against the dream state.

With an altered sleep pattern, the conscious self would recall more of its dream adventures as a matter of course, and gradually these would be added to the totality of experience as the ego thinks of it.

With your habits the body is literally starved from nutrition for long periods at night then often overfed during the day.

By turn you over-stuff and then starve the tissues.

This has definite effects upon the nature of your consciousness, your creativity, and your degree of concentration.

Along these lines, for example, you do literally starve your bodies at night, and add to the aging of your bodies by denying them food throughout those long hours.

All of this reflects upon the strength and nature of your consciousness.

Your food should be divided within the twenty-four hour period and not just during the times of wakefulness — that is, if the sleep patterns were changed as I suggest, you would also be eating during some night hours.

You would eat far less at any given “mealtime,” however.

Small amounts of food much more frequently taken would be much more beneficial than your present practice in physical, mental, and psychic terms.

Important therapeutic information that is given in dreams, and meant to be recalled, is not remembered because your sleep habits plunge you into what you think of as unconsciousness far too long.

The body itself can be physically refreshed and rested in much less than eight hours, and after five hours the muscles themselves yearn for activity.

This need is also a signal to awaken so that unconscious material and dream information can be consciously assimilated.

As a result of more frequent, briefer sleep periods, there would also be higher peaks of conscious focus, and a more steady renewal of both physical and psychic activity.

There would not be such a definite division between the various areas or levels of the self.

A more economical use of energy would result, and also a more effective use of nutrients.

Consciousness as you know it would also become more flexible and mobile.

Small meals or snacks would then be taken upon rising.

This method of eating and sleeping would greatly help various metabolic difficulties, and also aid in the development of spiritual and psychic ability.

The functions of hormones and chemicals and of adrenal processes in particular, would function with far greater effectiveness with these alternating periods of activities as I have mentioned.

The wear and tear upon the body would be minimized, while at the same time all regenerative powers would be used to the maximum.

Both those with a high and low metabolism would benefit.

The psychic centers would be activated more frequently, and the entire identity of the personality would be better strengthened and maintained.

The resulting mobility and flexibility of consciousness would cause an added dividend in increased conscious concentration and fatigue levels would always remain below danger points.

A greater equalization, both physical and mental, would result.”11




“Some cases of strong neurotic behavior result from your present sleeping habits.

Sleepwalking to some degree is also connected here.

Consciousness wants to return to the body, but it has been hypnotized into the idea that the body must not awaken.

Excess nervous energy takes over, and rouses the muscles to activity, because the body knows it has been inactive for too long and otherwise severe muscular cramps would result.”12



Mind-Body Relationship in the Sleep State

“In the natural body-mind relationship the sleep state operates as a great connector, an interpreter, allowing the free flow of conscious and unconscious material.

In the kind of sleep patterns suggested, optimum conditions are set up.

Neurosis and psychosis simply would not occur under such conditions.

Under current conditions, individual psychological mechanisms are activated, sometimes, in terms of neurosis or other mental problems; these bring out into the open inner challenges of dilemmas that otherwise would be worked out more easily through an open give-and-take of conscious and unconscious reality.

And in the natural back-and-forth leeway of the system, exterior dilemmas or problems are worked out in the dream situation, and interior difficulty may also be solved symbolically through physical experience.”13



Sleep Cures for Illness

“Rest or sleep cures — very extended sleep periods — have been helpful for therapy in some cases, not because extended sleep is in itself beneficial, but because so many toxins had built up that such extended periods were required.”14



The Severely Ill, Medications & Sleep

“The period just before dawn often represents a crisis point for persons severely ill.

Consciousness has been away from the body for too long a period, and such a returning consciousness then has difficulty dealing with the sick body mechanism.

The practice in hospitals of giving drugs to patients so that they will sleep entirely throughout the night is detrimental for this reason.

In many cases it is too great a strain on the part of the returning consciousness to take over again the ailing mechanism.

Such medications also often prevent certain necessary dream cycles that can help the body recuperate, and the consciousness then becomes highly disoriented.

Some of the divisions between different portions of the self, therefore, are not basically necessary but are the result of custom and convenience.”15


  1. Roberts, Jane, Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1972
  2. Roberts, Jane, The Nature of Personal Reality, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1974
  3. ibid.
  4. Roberts, Jane, Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1972
  5. Roberts, Jane, The Nature of Personal Reality, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1974
  6. Roberts, Jane, Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1972
  7. ibid.
  8. ibid.
  9. Roberts, Jane, The Nature of Personal Reality, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1974
  10. Roberts, Jane, Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1972
  11. ibid.
  12. ibid.
  13. Roberts, Jane, The Nature of Personal Reality, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1974
  14. Roberts, Jane, Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1972
  15. ibid.


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