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Dreamless Sleep

Our consciousness vanishes in dreamless sleep every night. It’s such a familiar experience that we pay no attention to the annihilation of our sentience. I imagine we experience death as the dreamless sleep from which we never awake to notice that time has passed and the world has gone on without our awareness.

All the earth is a grave and nothing escapes it,
nothing is so perfect that it does not descend to its tomb.
Rivers, rivulets, fountains and waters flow,
but never return to their joyful beginnings;
anxiously they hasten on the vast realms of the rain god.
As they widen their banks, they also fashion the sad urn of their burial.

Filled are the bowels of the earth
with pestilential dust once flesh and bone,
once animate bodies of man who sat upon thrones,
decided cases, presided in council, commanded armies,
conquered provinces, possessed treasure, destroyed temples,
exulted in their pride, majesty, fortune, praise and power.

Vanished are these glories, just as the fearful smoke vanishes
that belches forth from the infernal fires of Popocatepetl.
Nothing recalls them but the written pate.

(A poem purportedly written by Nezahualcoyotl, King of Texcoco)

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