When are we actually awake?

Although I have read A Mad Girl’s Love Song numerous times,the first stanza of this famous poem by Sylvia Plath still manages to leave me awestruck.

“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again. (I think I made you up inside my head.)”

Yesterday,while reading this poem again,I could not help but begin thinking about this dichotomy between ‘awake’ and ‘asleep’, where the former is associated with a state of being conscious about oneself and one’s surroundings,and the latter related to a state of being unconscious.Not to forget,of course,the liminal stage of the subconscious. But honestly,are these divisions actually so watertight as they are projected to be?
I mean,though we cannot remember anything in a deep dreamless sleep,during that time that vacuum,that dark nothing is all we see as the ‘real’. We don’t even for a moment think about the other ‘reality’ as it exists.Similarly,a dream during its entire duration also appears to be real and concrete,as if we are actually living it. And of course,when we are ‘awake’,our interaction with the world also appears to be real.And we tend to forget all our memories of deep sleep and dreams,just as we forget the ‘awake’ state while experiencing other states.
Truth,I feel,is that there is no ‘reality’ or a particular state of wakefulness.Whatever we experience,becomes for us,during that particular time,something concrete to be experienced. And we feel we are ‘awake’.


4 thoughts on “When are we actually awake?

    • Yes, it was the first work by Plath that I read. I really admire her ability to turn words into palpable emotions. One can never get tired of reading her works. I wish she had written more.

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