Saturday, July 25, 2020

First and second sleep

It was once well recognized and accepted in human culture that instead of going to bed and sleeping through the night, human beings would sleep for a few hours, then get up and do a few things, driven either by necessity or inward awakening, and then go back to bed. This was called first and second sleep by some. In 1840, Charles Dickens wrote in Barnaby Rudge (1840):  
"He knew this, even in the horror with which he started from his first sleep, and threw up the window to dispel it by the presence of some object, beyond the room, which had not been, as it were, the witness of his dream."
You can read about it here: The point may be to help us toward finding a rich, more personal inner life. I can attribute much of my waking life creativity to being sleepless from about 2 AM until 3 or 3:30. It's a time in which the day just passed is done, sleep has begun to bring detachment from it, and the next day's wonders are fresh on the horizon. I learned the inlay technique that I've used on thousands of my small boxes by going to a lumber yard one day, becoming entranced with the variety of colors and textures of different species of woods, and then wondering in the middle of the night how I would use them in my work.

I think the larger portion of human creativity arrives to us through those times we are awake and unable to sleep. I do some of my best planning when we think I ought to be sleeping, but that is indeed the natural pattern of our human kind.

For that, we can make plans. Awaken and watch the wonders come. I thank my friend Grant Mallet, for helping me find a name for the phenomenon.

Make, fix, create and assist others in learning lifewise.

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