Lower levels are 'sleep' relative to higher


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Sleep, spiritual" (search under Inner Life/Teachings)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.1": detail "Section 186a - 187a"
It is amazing that man considers his life to consist in outer sensations and bodily pleasures, whereas the life of outer sensations, thus that of the body, is mere shadow, and consequently a sleep, compared to the life of inner sensation, that is, of the earthly mind, where fantasy and mental imagery as well as passions reside. Then again, some consider life to consist solely in passions, whereas this is but a sleep compared to the life of a more inward faculty, which must be properly human—and yet which is nothing but a kind of sleep in us relative to our innermost life, or that of our soul. But this in turn is nothing but a sleep relative to Very Life itself, which is of God the Messiah, Who is Life.
 So all things down to the very least in us are nothing but shadow and sleep. It is known that human life is sleep. Thus there are levels of sleep, just as there are levels of angels and spirits in heaven; but it is a wonder that people consider the densest sleep to be life, where there is mere darkness, as in the sensations and pleasures of the body. Therefore they do not know that the life which is thought to be life arises from a succession of more inward lives, and that into the innermost life, and then from this into all a person's faculties, comes life solely from God the Messiah.