“Good night sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” is a popular children’s nursery rhyme. This saying offers us an opportunity to consider what is experienced when we listen to a conditioned mind. Thoughts and emotions become bugs that hatch and flourish rapidly when the mind dominates our existence.
Imagine a large number of small insects moving around in your mind and distracting you from truly experiencing the actuality of now. This nuisance of the mind can start with a single thought or emotion and develop into a persistent swarm of mind bugs that gnaw away at our conscious, aware state of being. The onslaught of these mind bugs manifests outward from the mind and unfold as a reality that we perceive as being “real”. This manipulation or restriction occurs, regardless if the mind is conscious or unconscious. What did I just write? Yes, I am suggesting that a conscious or unconscious conditioned mind can disorient the self (the one that sees) by swarming over the moment as it occurs. We generally use a “conscious” state of being to describe awareness or even enlightenment.
Although this is theoretically a true statement, the mind is not something that is aware or not aware, thus it does not matter if it is conscious or unconscious…such as during sleep. The mind process is, at the most, a functional mechanism that can offer a portal to what is beyond the mind. Please do not misunderstand; a state of consciousness or unconsciousness is a necessary existence factor. But the mind is only a diving board useful in obtaining a higher level of understanding in association with what is beyond the mind. It is difficult to recognize anything that is beyond thoughts when the mind dominates universal conscious space. Mind bugs can also dominate a state of unconsciousness; whether this happens during sleep or a state of awakened unconsciousness.
Mind Bugs be Gone!
This is why we often wake up after a dream and are utterly perplexed by the activities of the brain. There are also other topics such as lucid dreams, sleepwalking etc that relate to the mind and consciousness vs. unconsciousness. We can sum up the above conversation by stating that consciousness is not just part of the brain but something other than the brain.
It is spiritually beneficial to realize that mind and form consciousness are not life and universal consciousness. There is no distinction between form and universal consciousness, although again it is the mind that demands duality.
We could also say that the mind and form consciousness are stepping stones that allow the universe to experience itself. However this is a by-product of a developed mind and not necessarily its intended purpose. The thought and emotion bugs of the mind often prohibit the realization and acceptance of universal life consciousness. We are, spiritually speaking, damned if we do and damned if we don’t when considering the mind and consciousness on the level of life-form. But there is something beyond the mind, somewhere over the rainbow. That is our true home.
P.S. Here are two links from Psychology Today that discuss consciousness and the mind.