We understand that SELF enlivens the inert body. So in presence of SELF the body functions. Does work. Does action. But what happens to SELF when we are sleeping? Does it sleep? This sounds as a pretty dumb question. But I did not have answer, rather I did not even have the thought of the question.
The impact of presence of SELF on our body is – consciousness or awareness. From this consciousness or awareness results the actions of the body. The atman or self acts as a detached witness or observer all through the three states of consciousness that the body opts for – state of waking, state of dream and state of sleep. In the waking state our consciousness makes us aware of the external world, in the dream state, it makes us aware of the projected dream world and in the deep sleep state we become oblivious of both. In all three states it is the consciousness which makes us aware, thereby revealing itself as eternal knowledge.
All through these three states our SELF remains detached. And this is why when every aspect of our understanding is recognized through thoughts – SELF is recognised through the SELF itself. A note on this earlier can be found in an earlier blog