Waking and Sleeping
Close your eyes. What do you "see"? Do you "see" the space of your surroundings, energies, the presence of others, etc. despite closed eyes? Good, you are a rare awake individual.
Or do you "see" something other than your surroundings, like mental images, or blackness, or nothing? Then you are normal.
Go to bed and put the body to sleep. What do you see and experience? Can you perceive the room? Can you see through the walls and ceiling? Do you dream lucidly as an entertainment, or not dream at all because you are awake even as the body snores beneath you? If so you are a rare awake individual.
Or when you sleep are you mostly unconscious? Is that unconsciousness riddled with disjointed, irrational dreams and anxious nightmares? Then you are normal.
Close your eyes again. Ignore the body and the sense of touch in its skin. How much 3-dimensional space do you perceive and fill with awareness? Can you "be" the space of the room, or more, easily? If so congratulations, you are a rare awake individual.
Or are you merely an inch or two in diameter? The inside of your head and little more maybe? Then you are normal.
The problem with normal is that it is asleep. Technically this is a condition of being below Death as a Being. Normal people are in the condition of having little consciousness of their own. Instead they use their bodies. They use their bodies' senses in order to be aware of the world, their bodies' brains in order to think, and their bodies' consciousness in order to be awake. Shut those off and they are blind, stupid and obliterated. Their life is a tragic dependence on an animal life form, and their physical death is a literal nightmare from which there is no relief except reincarnation.
Some of these normal people are in worse shape than others. A few have enough conscious control over their dreaming that they can direct their between-lives experience into something pleasant. Most merely go along for the ride -- wherever their automatic mental machinery takes them. Some of those are in such bad shape that they cannot be reborn. These may exist as hungry ghosts, yearning for bodies they are unable to enter. Others live an eternal nightmare, a hell of their own making which exists only in their raving imaginations. These are the criminally insane, collapsed to nearly a single point of space. I do not know of anything which may be done to help such people.
But I am not completely awake.
Perhaps someone very awake can help them.
The other end of the spectrum is happier. The rare awake individual can retain full consciousness after the body dies; and can deliberately reincarnate or not as a free decision. The automatic between-lives experience (called the Bardo by the Tibetan Buddhists, who have studied it intently) either does not appear, or is laughed at by the awake person as a silly hallucination.
A person who is awake is conscious of existing in more planes than just the physical, and of being a far greater self than that personality which is attached to a piece of meat. An awake person will be aware of being a living nothingness in a world of somethings. A person who is awake is aware of being aware of the future, and can change that future at will. An awake person may be aware of being everyone else, and even of being God. Part of being awake is awareness of source. The viewpoint occupying a space inside the physical universe is not really the Self and source, though it often believes it is THE Self and THE source. The real Self is a higher self only manifesting inside the physical universe as a construction made of matter and energies and space and time. A person who is awake is aware of being that higher self.
A person who is asleep is only aware of the physical universe, and cannot see the physical universe from outside its limits of matter and energies and space and the flow of time. A person who is asleep is like a housefly glued atop a piece of sticky candy in a factory, a little ride down the conveyor belt, and then a quick, automatic wrapping and darkness. Not my idea of a fun ride.
My advice to anyone reading this is to do everything possible to wake up.