Heraclitus says that bards, sycophants or mystagogues "behave like people asleep when they are awake, looking towards their personal world, while people who are awake only have one single world, which is common to all of them". If this quote had been seen by Constantin Noica while he was writing his beautiful Mathesis, he would have doubtlessly commented on it and used it to make his point. Constantin Noica in Mathesis is trying to defend the "geometric type of culture" against the "historical type of culture". Or, as Heraclitus would put it, the culture of the people who are awake against those cultures, so varied and impenetrable, of the people who are asleep. The culture of the people who are awake – they share the same one and only, universal reality, they are extroverted people, who look outside, they see the same light, the same things and have the same law. And, distinct from this singular, universal culture, of a geometric type, there is the other one: the plurality of the historical type of cultures, creation of introvert people, who look inside ("towards their inner world" as Heraclitus puts it), isolated, impenetrable organisms, dominated by their powerful organic life (theirs and only theirs: "authentic") feeling and judging reality through oneiric criteria. It is true that "the sleep" is characteristic of any historical type of culture. "The sleep" is the symbol of isolation, of the coincidence with the great organic processes. That is the moment when one gets in touch with the fountains of life, when historical forms are "created" (organic change, fermentation, yeasting). "Sleep" is not unconsciousness in this case; rather solitary meditation, introversion, going back to the organic life. And it is not a mere coincidence that Lucian Blaga, the theoretician of Romanian philosophical style, the man who best and most wrote about the polyvalence of the historical type of cultures in Romania, named his most outstanding book Praise to Sleep. In his drama and poetry, sleep is of the utmost importance; "sleep" signifies going back to the primordial organic unity, to the paradisiacal state of unconscious creation. "Sleep" is almost like a prenatal, embryonic state when life wasn't separated from consciousness, when there was no liberty, no sin nor drama. "The sleepless bird" (from Avram Iancu), "the big sick bird" (from The Watershed) are symbols of leaving the embryonic state, losing the paradisiacal consciousness, breaking the organic continuity. "The sleepless bird" looks outside, it searches the space, it can foresee the important historical events. It is for this reason the poet uses it in the birth of Avram Iancu's revolutionary unction. Other historical type of cultures have the same concept of sleep – as a creative ecstatic state. For instance, Chinese Taoists considered sleep, hibernation and ecstasy as original experiences, with a "close circuit", in which life doesn't scatter, doesn't fade away and is not projected outside. In fact, "sleep" is ridiculed only in Europe, only certain European peoples consider it a symbol of laziness, of stupidity and intellectual sterility. In other cultures, sleep is regarded as a state of perfect meditation, of autonomy and creation. Heraclitus' irony against sleep is – if we are to trust a certain Luigi Valli in Il linguaggio segreto di Dante – to be found with the sect "I Fedeli d'Amore". In their secret language, to sleep means to be in the wrong, far away from the truth, which is the belonging to the Roman-Catholic church. Vita nuova means to leave sleep (and death) behind through the virtues of love. From Dante onwards, the symbolism of sleep as a lack and an error has dominated the whole Western culture. The original conception – with such strange correspondences in Oriental cultures – which Lucian Blaga poetized in Praise to Sleep, is even more valuable to us. It is completely the opposite of the occidental one – "awake people with just one, common world".

by Mircea Eliade (1907-1986)