Last week I had to take a trip to Los Angeles for a day, and that required waking up earlier than usual. Interestingly, as is often the case on days where I have an important reason to be up at a specific time, I awoke on my own a few minutes before the alarm, which I had set the night before to awaken me at the earlier time.
As I wrote in a blog post back in 2015 about "The eight pieces of brocade 八段錦," I purchased a book when I was in my early twenties, entitled The Kung Fu Exercise Book by Michael Minick (1974) which alleges that one of the indications of a healthy sleep pattern is the ability "to awaken at a present time simply by visualizing the hour to get up immediately before going to sleep" (19).
This assertion always surprised me, because it seems so unlikely. How can anyone assert that such an ability, which does not even really seem possible, should be considered a basic indicator of good health, while the inability to wake up at a preset time envisioned before going to bed "indicates a basic health problem that needs attention," as the text goes on to assert?
And yet, as I related in the first blog post linked above, shortly after adding the "Silk Reeling Exercises" contained in that book to my daily routine, I was surprised to wake up exactly two minutes before my alarm went off very early in the morning, before dawn, while out in the field for a protracted period of time as part of a "Robin Sage" detail during my days as a lieutenant in the 82nd Airborne Division.
The ability to wake oneself up at a preset time indicates that the subconscious mind remains active even when our conscious mind goes to sleep (and we become "unconscious"). I believe that our subconscious mind has levels of awareness and ability that we would find incredible: literally unbelievable. The ability to wake oneself up is only a tiny example of the awareness and capability that the subconscious has but which we, caught up primarily in our conscious mind and limiting ourselves to its awareness and ability, do not believe that it can do.
The fact that incorporating disciplines such as the ancient "Silk Reeling Exercises" into one's daily routine can enable us to be able to awaken without an alarm at a specific time indicates that such ancient disciplines are designed to help us become more in tune and in harmony with our subconscious, and to help us unleash its amazing capabilities.
Indeed, I also believe that the very reason these exercises are called "Silk Reeling Exercises" has to do with the "reeling-in" or "winding and tightening" of our body's amazing self-aware fascia network, which we can actually learn to do -- even though, once again, our conscious mind is not generally even aware of the existence of our fascia network or of our ability to actually control it. Our subconscious mind, however, is most definitely aware of information received by our incredible body systems and is absorbing all that information, even if our conscious mind does not avail itself of this awareness.
Practices such as the "Silk Reeling Exercises" and other ancient disciplines (including meditation, certain internal arts, Yoga, and other arts passed down through the millennia in some cultures) can enable us to become more attuned to and integrated with this aspect of our nature, which too often is sadly neglected.
Above is a video showing one version of the "Eight Pieces of Brocade" exercises, similar to those related in that now out-of-print 1974 book that first introduced me to this type of exercise. There are many other variations which you can find in books and videos. The Kung Fu Exercise Book recommends performing these movements either in the morning before to eating breakfast, or in the afternoon or early evening prior to eating dinner (46 - 47).
Having now studied the ancient myths for several years with regard to the evidence that they are based on the stars and are thus not about someone else who lived thousands of years ago but rather about each and every man and woman, I am convinced that one of the messages they are trying to impart to us has to do with the power of the subconscious, which has a level of awareness which goes far beyond anything that the conventional paradigm of "science" and "physics" would say is possible (see for instance some of the examples discussed in this recent blog post).
Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the ancient myths depict the gods as speaking to us through the subconscious, and thus teaching that this aspect of our mind is in fact connected to the Infinite Realm in some way.
Every single one of us has a subconscious. Of that, at least, there is no doubt; on that point there is no controversy. I would highly recommend exploring some of the ancient practices that are designed (in part) to help us to reconnect with it, such as daily meditation, or daily exercises such as the "Eight Pieces of Brocade."