An Essay in Eight Parts by John Rose:
Lecture on Moods – Columbus, Ohio 1979
“One of the things which contributes strongly to a state of mind is the mood.” A state of mind may solidify out of long periods of convictions inspired by what may have been non-logical moods.
It is important to continually take new approaches to how we view ourselves and the world. We need to keep in mind that “Psychology should be a study of the mind, not the body. We should constantly observe through introspection, our mental states and their origins rather than their effects on society. Study cause, not just effect.” Methods for doing so may have no grounds in current scientific terms, since science is based on observation of the physical. Prime examples of this are found in the Zen practices employing direct mind techniques for communicating with others and viewing the inner self directly. The concepts of homeopathy and gestalt psychology are mentioned here. These two things have in common a holistic approach which takes into account the total organism, or the totality of symptoms. Along this line of thinking, when looking at the common denominators of a whole group of healers, it was found that the majority were celibate. or sexually conserving. Looking more closely. “Gestalt psychology favors placing or fixing the diagnostic attention on patterns of thinking, or gestalten, rather than on individual reflexes.” It is important to note here the great value of knowing the influence of a state of mind. “A state of mind is a gestalt. And if you want to understand states of mind, you must observe moods. Moods are important. They can lift us to the highest human experience or reduce us to murder and suicide… The greatest enemy that man has, is his own mind.” It is worth paying close attention to detail here.
In observing our moods, we benefit most by viewing them from a detached position. This way, we are not devastated by our darker moods. “Pleasant moods indicate correct direction… Unpleasant moods are signals to review our aims.” A very important point here that can evade comprehension is: “even unpleasant moods may be the result of tremendously pleasant experiences, wherein the depression results from an intuitive recognition that the sensuosity is a sliding board that sweeps us irrevocably into a mental trap in which the sensuosity is blunted or jaded, and in which the vision of simple serenity is never attainable.”
We can only study a mood after it has passed. Its analysis has to involve some image of its origin accompanied by a plan for avoiding it in the future. Moods themselves don’t cause an event, but they trigger a state of mind which in turn brings a return to the mood. “In the search for sources of states of mind, I think there are factors that transcend mere environment and heredity.” You can look at family members raised in the same environment, with the same heredity, and yet they will be entirely different from one another. You may have two siblings, one a priest, the other a convict.
Psychology still has a limited understanding of behavior. Even though family members may be vastly different from one another, their behavior is still more predictable because of close familiarity. There may be a better understanding of states of mind and even some shared states of mind. This also holds true in close community settings where common behavior and values separate them from outsiders or other communities.
“If you really want to know a person, you have to step inside his head. You cannot do it mechanically.” Everyone is different, and there are many intricate layers to a person; so the intuitive approach is best for knowing someone with any depth. This process is known as rapport, a direct mind-to -mind communication.
Regarding moods, there are things that might be helpful in grasping this largely intangible source. A study of ones dreams is a good starting point. “The subject matter of a dream is not as important as the feel of a dream.” Although you can only really study your own dreams, you can look at and compare characteristics to the dreams of others. “Some dreams bring us memories from the past. Some may be prophetic. Some may involve conversations with living or deceased people.” It is a good practice to keep a record of our dreams for comparison and reference. Much of what we record will be feelings even though it may be difficult to put them into words. “It is difficult to record feelings. Feelings must be felt.” As you practice this you will see patterns emerge along with categories of words.
There seem to be three dominant moods in dreams. They are fear, seduction, and nostalgia which are ingrained or programmed into all people. “The understanding of the effects of moods and combinations of moods will bring us closer to an understanding of the non-somatic mind, and affects…seriously…the life of the body.”
Formal psychology is a rather young science, little more than a hundred years old, and while it has excelled in biochemistry, still cannot define sanity or the mind. “I think that it may be a good idea to look for our understanding of the mind in the mind itself. We cannot choke it out of the body.” There are conditions within our mind generated by moods, some of which are day to day things, and some are at the base of a pathological condition. Moods can also manifest themselves in dreams. It is here that moods can be examined through the studies of our dreams. Often moods will combine themselves to create various scenarios. Delirium for example is a fear mood, and guilt is a combination of fear and nostalgia. Studying our dreams and associative moods can be a very valuable means of learning facets of the often subtle workings of our mind. “I maintain that the nostalgic mood becomes the language of the soul. It is the inner man trying to get through the earth-man’s paradigm, to communicate with him.”
Modern psychology is largely based on sensory information, but how then can we explain hallucinations or suggestion as a result of hypnosis? A little research and observation will show that “we perceive with the mind not the senses.” The senses do come into play as we have physical organs or receptors. Next the mind takes over and interprets sensory data. That is, the mind projects the images back on our environment. It is important to remember that “the mind is capable of projecting a false image before our physical eyes.” There are two types of visions worth noting here. True inner vision as opposed to erratic sensory vision. J. J. Van Der Leuw’s CONQUEST OF ILLUSION, and Plato’s story of the man in the cave from his REPUBLIC are two good resources for further study of the nature of our perception. Hypnosis also proves that our somatic, or brain mind can be fooled just as our senses can misinterpret incoming sensory data. “The key to understanding this is the understanding of moods. The hypnotist creates a mood, and amplifies it until the subject acts.” The hypnotic conditioners are rarely the stage hypnotists one envisions. “There are people and organizations, whose main purpose is to condition people on a massive scale…the clergy, the politicians, the field of behavior-psychologists,…and a sea of bumbling counselors… Just turn on the television… Watch for the process of first creating a mood…or all three at once, nostalgia,fear, and acquisitiveness.”
The process of illusion incorporates three stages of perception. First, the percept is perceived by one of the sensory organs, then the somatic mind projects the suggested vision on our sensory world. “We would never know this third trick, projection, if we did not possess an anterior faculty,-anterior and superior to the somatic mind. This faculty or mind, I call the Process Observer.” Not all moods stem from the above mentioned sources. “There are basic moods for all mankind…it is possible that even animals manifest moods…We have many moods in common with animals…It seems that the mood that results from a beautiful day is common to all life forms capable of showing expression…We dread the darkness of oblivion and the smothering blackness of the grave.” At some point along the way we may come to realize that this day to day life is illusory and rather dark and drab. On the other hand, dreams present an entirely different realm, and if they are not nightmares may offer profound revelations while we are free of our day to day activities. “Nature or some mechanism or some programming of the mind causes us to forget our dreams more quickly than our daytime mental experiences.”
Moods can bring us exaltation, or they can go so far as to kill us. Where drugs are involved, moods can be greatly distorted which is very dangerous. “Moods are easy to enter, but difficult to get rid of…You cannot talk yourself out of a deep depression which is the same as a state of mind…Some people try to drink themselves out of it, or knock it out with pills, but when the alcohol or drug wears off, they return to a still deeper depression. You cannot divest yourself of a mood while you are in it…Once you are caught in a mood that persists, it is like being abandoned in the middle of the ocean and knowing that you have to swim.”
Rose examines the nostalgic mood. “It can be a very pleasant mood, or somewhat lethal when it is found in combination with a black mood of fear.” This sort of mood can be influenced by such things as music, colors, smells, or any number of sensory memories. The media is quite aware of this and uses nostalgia to sell products, seducing us and preying on our vulnerability while in a nostalgic mood. “The nostalgic mood is unreal, and yet it grips us relentlessly. Whether it is a dream or a moving picture that instigates it. We see nostalgic dreams, and say to ourselves, why cannot we live that way?… Life, however is never that way because the drama only shows one fractional side of life. The crude elements of life are left out of the drama. Our childhood as reviewed thirty years later seems to have been idyllic. After a while, miserable memories associated with that same period of childhood will resurrect themselves, and then we may realize that we long for a chance to turn back the clock more than anything else.” We can only be fooled by the nostalgic mood for so long as we maintain our awareness of the passing of time and growing older.
“Through our nostalgic mood it is possible that something in our inner mind is trying to communicate something to us.” It is only when nostalgia is used against us by the media, society, etc… that we rebel against an otherwise pleasant mood. Our intuition still has an idea that nostalgia opens us to another layer of our being, and may not be altogether illusory. We are often attracted to novels or movies because of nostalgia and the attributes they represent: traits we find desirable in our own lives. “Down deep inside ourselves we yearn for permanent peace, enviable virginity, and love without lust or penalty… I am sure that nostalgia is responsible for ninety five percent of all human behavior. The other five percent is split up between reactions to fear and seduction.” A small percentage of the population are able to abuse the nostalgic mood to seduce masses of people to sacrifice themselves in war, among other things, leading them to believe it is for a noble good. “The sad part of this civilization is that the majority of the people are trying to live like pollyanna, but it does not work.” Most everyone would like a life free of conflict. “The whole archetypal memory of man is strained with centuries of slaughter.” Nostalgia gives us a world of peace, and its attributes are found in most every religion, but at the same time are written off as unrealistic.
Rose returns to the subject of dreams at this point, and how people in our dreams, whether living or deceased, often appear quite different than in waking life: especially those who are deceased, and communication more often than not is of a direct mind sort. There may occasionally be a direct statement made, but it is rare. We may come to understand someone we never understood before in a whole new light as the result of a dream. “It is the possibility that nostalgic dreams are a vehicle wherein we apprehend spiritual or absolute verities.”
He makes an important note that not all that is valid is logical. “Man longs for peace, permanence, and freedom from change. But these conclusions or any moods that speak for them are blown away by the daily exigencies of the nightmare of life. The ideal is wonderful, but we had better be pragmatic… it may never materialize.” Even so, we are deluded by all, from the government to the media, and led to believe that all must be lovable harmless creatures except for the carefully chosen bad guy. In reality it is not all that simple. The policeman isn’t always the upstanding citizen he is portrayed as on the television. We let so many things come to pass, and do nothing because of our nostalgic wishful thinking. On another note, a man may build an honest empire and in a fearful mood put a bullet through his head. “A perfectly happy man or woman may become a victim of a mood and a resulting state of mind which in turn is fatal. In fact it may be the happy people who are plunged the most deeply into depression, because they have not become accustomed to living an unhappy life.” People often end up in situations where their environment leads to their demise or a fear state of mind. “A caged animal must develop a reflex to kill.”
Regarding the fear mood, Rose states. “We have to look for a less than lethal solution. First we have to become an observer of our self. This will enable us to get something besides a selfish or self-sympathetic view of reactions… The step to take now is to summon a degree of anger against fear,… but all the while knowing that the anger is your message to the fear-mood that threatens to become an entity more deadly than a virus, – you can conserve your sanity, and be on the alert for other moods which in combination with fear may be suicidal… The same method of introspection should be applied to the seduction-mood… And when we become the Observer instead of the actor, we will be less likely to generate a seduction state of mind which in time may kill us.”
It is good to study dreams and daydreams, but do not get wrapped up in them. As the Observer, we must remain detached and not afraid to be critical. Even this method will not always be accurate, as we may not always recognize all the facets of the mood we are dealing with. Some influences may be glandular, others environmental or hereditary, even archetypal memory or body chemistry. It is easy to get caught up in infatuation which can confuse us to the point of making destructive decisions, squandering our energy through sex, etc. This is why we have to maintain a third party Observer point of view.
At this point Rose presents a summary of some of the moods and their functions. “Moods are subtle mental patterns which lead to states of mind. Moods are also a form of language for communicating about experiences, wisdom, or feelings. They are the language of two people deep in rapport. They are also the language for communicating nonverbal psychic experiences.” Spoken language fails to communicate things that fall outside the domain of the relative mundane world, so moods may open the door for direct mind communication, just as a painting may convey a message, but there may be no words to describe it. Many of the arts are a vessel for conveying the otherwise inexpressible. “The artist or creator never becomes involved in psychological analysis. He goes directly to your mind with his magic. The moods created by art and music are generally nostalgic moods.”
We have seen how one way projection of moods takes place. How can we accomplish a two way communication? Perhaps it can happen by accident in dreams and visions, but in order to work with some sort of control in this realm, “we must study the nature of moods more deeply.” We may need to alter our state of being, “which means we must become less body-oriented, and function more from impersonal intelligence.” This is difficult though, as our personality tends to get in our way, and color the outcome. It may be necessary to change even our mundane state of being in order to establish a more direct form of communication. “We must be realistic if we are to find the Real. Our earth-language may well be the pit talk of vipers. By earth-language I mean all of our theological and social understandings.”
The lecture moves on to a question and answer section between Rose and the audience. Here are a few highlights. The questioner asks, Why can’t you just remove a mood or just change the environment and change the mood? The answer is that you can’t change it while you are in it. It has to work itself through. “You can’t remove that man’s mood by any type of argument, he will have to run through it…He can change after he wakes up and can watch it enough to diffuse it enough that its influence is lessened. You can change a mood but not while it is on you. This is a heavily emphasized point. You also have to learn not to get back into the situation again. If a mood is misread, then one easily slips back into an old mood and old patterns…A majority of people who get themselves into deep moods, require somebody else to pull them out…It is very important for you to be aware…that the states of mind are the most profound influences on man…A mood is a profound feeling with conviction…There is the difference between a perception and a mood. The perception is the billboard.” The billboard acting as a catalyst that triggers a mood. “The mood is a whole state of mind that is awakened by the billboard.”
Regarding a question about intuition, Rose responds: “Intuition is present in the very young, but it is lost to seduction…This is one of the reasons why I make a loud noise for morality, especially in regard to little children…What some consider education may even be destruction…The child, when it is first born, and for a period of time, (provided it hasn’t been born into too rude an atmosphere), lives in a different plane,- has a direct mind perception, and as the child gets older it drops this by virtue of seduction.” After awhile the child is seduced into this world, first by parents, then school, society, etc… and he loses the direct mind ability to relative language. Some cultures allow children to maintain this inborn wisdom, but it is rare and often impossible without completely shutting the child off to the outside world, which has repercussions as well.
A questioner asks the difference between waking moods and moods in the dream state. Rose doesn’t separate them too much as they tend to overlap with each other. “The mood is subject to the influence of the setting and the physical position. When a man is walking, he is more logical, he becomes pragmatic. When he is sitting down he becomes receptive, and when he is in the yogi posture he may even have visions, he may even have great mental revelations. But it is when he is horizontal that the ordinary layman has contact with the direct mind…I maintain that when the person leans too far, something in the soul brings it back, and the only language that the soul can do it through is through a mood.”
At this point there is some discussion of the soul of man. Some valid questions are asked, and Rose responds. “I believe that the soul of man is God…We are not the soul of man. We are the shadows in the cave of Plato…I know I haven’t argued or played games with myself. Very reluctantly,- I do not use the word God because I am afraid that my definition will lead people to believe a certain thing…Also about when I talk about the soul of man.”
It seems that moods are the way of touching the eternal. People can have totally different experiences and yet be of one mind. You can know something beyond a shadow of a doubt, but you can’t force it. “We have a little exercise that we do in the esoteric group, to facilitate this. It is called a rapport session, in which you sit down and read the mind of the other person. And the more you do this, the more of a brotherhood that you attain, because there are no arguments, you understand. This is the whole thing.”
In the mundane life, there must be a certain degree of prejudice, otherwise we would starve. We would not be able to kill to eat if we didn’t have this. “We cannot control that which is part of the plan.”
Getting back to analysis of Realization, Rose remarks. “There is no realization of God by verbal, logical analysis,-that the only way you are going to realize it is through the mind itself…Don’t look at the pictures on the wall. Try to turn around and go back through the projector. There is where the creation came from…Everything that is in front of us…are shadows in the cave of Plato. But when you go back through yourself and find the common language then you also find that there is nobody out there but you.” You soon realize that there is no way to verbalize the Absolute. How can you describe that which both does and doesn’t exist, including you the describer? Logical explanation only takes you as far as the grave. “Now, if there is something else, how do you find it, and if you find it, how do you define it? In terms of the body which doesn’t exist?”
It is important, as stated often in this lecture, to look at dreams. We may find the language of nostalgia there that may give us clues about us that current psychology is missing. There is a beauty and eternality in Nostalgia. “You don’t go back and recapture, for all eternity, the beauty that existed between any two people-you can’t have it twenty four hours a day, but at the same time unselfish union with a beautiful friend is there forever. Even though you follow it up by bad memories, or destruction of the relationship.”
“There is a mood that you go through that occurs shortly before you reach your Realization…and that mood is of…something deep in your own nature with possibly some outside help…Some people call it spiritual help, people from the other side or God…meaning the universal spirit of man…and then there is an internal urge and this outside help helps to bring about this realization and it occurs through a mood, the mood is one of hopelessness and death, despair. This is logic,-logic says that you are nothing but mud and you face that, you face it with your whole being, you know that this is it, and you go through the death experience.”
A questioner returns the topic to nostalgia and the media. Rose responds: “I don’t mind the nostalgia-element, but I don’t want them to use it selling cigarettes and other things…and this I resist because it is not the universal language, it is an imitation of the universal language.” We are led to believe something to be true when it is not, and yet we still want to believe. We become confused as we fall back time and time again into these imitations of reality. “Most young people-until they are clear out of college, spend the better part of their time guessing what to do to be in conformity with the rest of society because the moods of society change so rapidly. So if you watch people’s actions you will see them going through this, especially young people pretending.”
Back to the subject of dreams. “A lot of dreams are prophetic dreams or reactionary dreams. Prophetic dreams are neither fearful nor seductive, they just seem to be…maybe an intelligence is trying to communicate with us.”
Although it may seem like there are multiple thoughts going on in our mind at once, there can only be one at a time, like the shutter of a camera taking a string of pictures in rapid succession. This may be the case in dreams as well, and may even spill over into waking life where a dream image may linger upon waking. It could be dreams are as real as daily life. “Later you realize, after a bit of introspection, that the biggest part of what happens to you during the day is unreal. It is created, it is colored, to a point where our little reality is endangered…I am inclined to believe that when you meet a person in a dream, the thing that attracts you about that person is that person’s Self, that is their real Self, despite their external personality.” In daily life there are a lot of superimposed factors but, “in a dream you are going directly to a person.”
In closing the final statements in this lecture on moods, in particular, the nostalgic mood, Rose says, “there are certain things as I said that I named the different things that are conducive to nostalgia, certain colors, certain musical instruments, words, certain pictures.” Even archetypal memory may be nostalgic. Times have changed and we have moved from nostalgia into seduction. “There is a new theme out, it is seduction, and acquisition.
Closing this lecture a questioner asks a question relating not to the topic of moods, but to enlightenment: A question that although not related to moods directly, is a key statement to those on a path to Self Realization. “First of all there is no knowledge, there is no knowledge. The second thing is when you are everything there is nowhere to go, there is no expansion. See this is one of the misnomers of course. The theory of mind-expansion is valid up to this point,-up to the point of final death or final realization.”