Beate Caspari-Rosen, MD
(1910 - 1995)
In the Arms of Morpheus
Sleep is as essential to life as wakefulness. Everyone, man and beast,
needs a certain amount of sleep and forgetfulness to live through the
stress of wakefulness. There are numerous studies on sleep and there
are clinics to teach the insomniac how to fall and stay asleep, however
none of these studies can explain how we fall asleep and the moment
eludes us when the transition from being awake to losing consciousness
occurs. Helpful hints abound for the insomniac: count sheep is one,
but by the time thousands of sheep have jumped over whatever it is
you imagine they bound over, the insomniac is still awake.
I have an
Indian friend who was taught by his guru to fall asleep. He would say
to me: "Would you mind if I take a short nap?" and then he would fold
his arms on the table, put his head down and sleep. He explained to me that you
empty your brain of all thought in order to lose consciousness. I am a bad sleeper
even if I take some sleep medication. I try to empty my brain of all thoughts
and images but I do not succeed. Ideas and thought flit about and cannot be stopped.
Eventually I do fall asleep but images follow me and I have vivid dreams, some
so enjoyable I do not want to wake but some are nightmares
I cannot escape from.
I do not like to analyze these dreams in a Freudian
manner. Mostly they originate from a life experience; I am always young
and full of life. I can get up from a chair easily and walk miles without
tiring. At least in my unconscious condition I can still enjoy life.