Examination of the three states proves that I am a changeless Principle (Existence). 

Here, waking, dream and sleep are examined, as everyday experiences that show a self from which they are known. 

In the waking state, the self is identified with a body in an outside world, where the body’s senses are assumed to know outside objects. 

But in the dream state, all bodies and all objects seen are imagined in the mind. Dreamed objects are experienced by a dream self – which is not an outside body, but has been imagined in the mind. This shows that the self which knows experience cannot be an outside body, as it is assumed to be in the waking world. Considering the dream state more carefully, it too depends upon assumed belief. In the experience of a dream, self is identified with a conceiving mind, where thoughts and feelings are assumed to know the dreamt-up things that they conceive. But, in the state of deep sleep, we have an experience where no thoughts and feelings are conceived and nothing that’s perceived appears. 

In the experience of deep sleep, there is no name or quality or form – neither conceived by mind, nor perceived by any sense. At first, from this lack of appearances, it seems that deep sleep is a state of blank emptiness, where there is nothing to know anything. No mind or body there appears; and yet it is a state that we somehow enter and experience every day, when waking body falls asleep and dreaming mind has come to rest. If this state of rest is taken seriously, as an experience in itself, it raises a profound question. How is it experienced, when all activities of body and of mind have disappeared? The question points to a self which experiences deep sleep, a self that somehow goes on knowing when all changing actions of perception, thought and feeling have disappeared. That self is utterly distinct from mind and body, for it stays knowing when they disappear. Its knowing is no changing act of either mind or body; for it remains when all changing acts have come to rest, in an experience where they are utterly dissolved. So it is changeless in itself – found shining by itself, in depth of sleep.

 –        Krishna Menon

Remember, to know Yourself, return to the silence before words.

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