What I saw in this jungle hermitage of The Andavar reminded me of an ancient attempt to banish sleep by Syrian holy men who seated themselves at the top of a 300-foot obelisk which was planted in front of the celebrated temple of Emesa. There, on this lofty perch, the fakir rang a handbell so frequently through twenty-one days and nights that he hoped to evade sleep. It reminded me, too, of what Ramana Maharshi once told me about yogis who, with the same object in view, had themselves tied to a ladder planted upright so that they could not fall into a sleep-inducing recumbent position. In the Maharishee's opinion, these forms of asceticism were extreme and violent attempts to force a premature evolution.
-- Notebooks Category 19: The Reign of Relativity > Chapter 3: The States of Consciousness > # 106