Joseph Campbell in "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" explains a formula for our lives. Based on Hindu
philosophies it divides our lives into three parts:
"The first plane is that of waking experience
: cognitive of the hard, gross, facts of an outer universe
, illuminated by the light of the sun
, and common to all.
The second plane is that of dream
experience : cognitive of the fluid, subtle forms of a private
interior world, self-luminous and of one substance with the dreamer.
The third plane is that of deep sleep
: dreamless, profoundly blissful
Throughout the waking experience one encounters the world, in the dream state, all is digested
and in deep sleep, all is enjoyed. The three states parallel the holy syllable AUM
represents waking consciousness, U
dream consciousness, M
deep sleep. The silence surrounding the syllable is the unknown: it is called simply "The Fourth." The syllable itself is God as creator-preserver-destroyer, but the silence is God Eternal, absolutely uninvolved in all the opening-and-closings of the round."