It is ordinarily not possible for a person to experience waking and dream at one and the same time. In the awake state he does ordinary things; but he does them with definiteness and full knowledge. In dreams, he may perform extraordinary things; but he does them with faint knowledge. Rarely, as in advanced persons, the wake and the dream are experienced simultaneously; and the extraordinary achievements of the astral body are clear and definite. In the same way, it is possible for very advanced persons to experience waking and sleep at one and the same time. If both are combined, a person can consciously experience in the awake state the unconditioned and unalloyed happiness of sound sleep.
Saints can help men to combine the awake state with the dream state on the one hand and with sleep on the other hand. The combinations can be effected also by yogic processes. But the state of full self-forgetfulness and complete bliss is a gift from a spiritual Master. The man who can combine dreaming and wakefulness is a bit more advanced than one who cannot combine these two states. But he is as much in the realm of imagination as the person of ordinary calibre.
But the man who can combine waking with sleeping attains the Truth and becomes the Truth. For him, the world does not exist; all that exists is God and nothing else. If you ask such a person, "Where were you?", he would truthfully answer, "I always was everywhere, am everywhere and shall always be every-where. " He knows himself to be other than his body and knows himself to be the Truth, which is everywhere. Therefore, from the point of view of his highest experience, he will, with unshakable certainty, affirm that he is and always was everywhere. It cannot even occur to him that he was in the garden, because he is not even conscious of his body. This knowledge and experience is very rare. But it is nevertheless the last truth of life.
As soon as the Self comes out of a tiny point, it descends in illusion and starts its journey in the world. Even advanced yogis, with all their supernatural powers, remain under the sway of illusion. They are bewildered and enraptured by the inner planes and become the victims of illusions.They are like ordinary persons, conscious of the shadow or reflection of the Self and not of the Self. But as soon as they disentangle themselves from the allurements of the planes, they return to and enter the initial tiny point from which the soul emerged on its long journey. At this stage, the yogi experiences that the whole universe is coming out of himself. But as he succeeds in going beyond this point (often called the "Om" point) he becomes completely unconscious of the whole universe. For him, there are no forms, but only the Eternal Reality; and there are no fleeting joys or sorrows, but only the abiding bliss. This is the Truth or the import of sleeping wakefulness or waking sleep.
The process of getting bound and then unbound is charged with immense significance. The soul gets mixed up with the body and then gets caught up in it. The soul is like a parrot and the body is like a cage. When the parrot was outside the cage it was free. But it did not quite appreciate and enjoy freedom. When it goes through encagement it appreciates through agonizing bondage exactly what freedom is. And when it is set free again it really enjoys its freedom. The same thing happens to the soul when, through the grace of the Master, it is freed from the limiting nightmare that it is its own perishable body.
The soul is really God. To those, who are still caught up in the illusion that it is the body or the mind, this seems unthinkable. How can a person, who, for example, may be reclining in an easy chair, be regarded as being the same as a universal and almighty divine being? The soul cannot realize its own infinity as long as it is under the sway of ignorance. But nevertheless its being the same as God, is all the same, an irreversible fact. Just as the soul during deep sleep exists (though it does not in its usual way know itself as existing) the soul in reality is the same as God, though it is not conscious of this during the period of ignorance. The eyes of a person see many things, but not themselves, except in a reflection. In the same way, the soul is ordinarily conscious of the whole world, but not of itself (except through the illusory identification with the perishable body).