Another pearl of wisdom from Captain Kirk
Moods are coalescences of affect evoked by evolving circumstances and their interpretation by conscious (thinking-reasoning left-brained) and subconscious (feeling-intuiting right-brained) states of mind. Reflected expressions of judgment rather than direct, opaque, and hard to detect, they nevertheless sway individual and herd behavior with the power of the moon’s gravity upon the tides. Moods involve an interplay between subjective psychodynamics experienced over time and outer sensed-perceived objective environment experienced in the moment. That is, interplay between contexts that are opposites in competition: one subjective mind-centered, the other objective body-centered.
Moods reflect the Logic, the character, of emotions and associated thoughts rooted in the values that move their subjects. The primary considerations drawn from context -- the stakes, benefits and costs, inputs -- that control decisions and determine outputs, the acts of behavior. Primary considerations like performance-productivity, pleasure-gratification, worthiness-validation, acceptance-belonging, euphoria-excitement, satisfaction-contentment, hopefulness-anticipation, health-wellbeing vs. listlessness-inertia, pain-loss, grief-loneliness, abandonment-worthlessness, wistfulness-nostalgia, disorientation-confusion, insecurity-vulnerability.
If music is the language of feeling and poetry is the language of Intuition, then mood may be the language of the subconscious. Mood may be an emotional echo, a memory of the loss of Free Will, of identity to captivity, reverberating through the Child’s many illusory “lives.” As if calls from the Child unconscious, echoes of the Big Bang, while it awaits Awakening through Forgiveness, release from self-imposed captivity, and a return Home. A self-deluded Child with a split mind, ambivalent and confused, whose response to its fortunes in an unreal dream world colors the response of its individual projections with moods ranging from euphoria to confusion to despair.
If the Child is profoundly unhappy, then moods, whatever their cast, may be weighed down by a sense of unhappiness, disappointment, or loss from the echo of an unknown but persistent source. It could explain Captain Kirk’s remark, in a Star Trek film, that the inhabitants of our planet are “haunted.”
The species humanity is driven by mass psychosis
Moods sway judgment with perceptions and senses inflected by the mysticism of affect. A sip of Talisker single-malt scotch whisky can instantly overwhelm sense of the present with the atmospherics of a sepia-colored past. Moods affecting groups – communities and whole societies -- can drive mob psychology on a massive scale. Can produce the mass euphoria of patriotic nationalism, like the eruption of patriotism in Britannia after the ruler of the waves annihilated Phillip II’s Spanish armada in 1588. Like the eruption of Teutonic patriotism when Kaiser Wilhelm I blundered into the genesis of two World Wars in 1914.
The species humanity is driven by mass affect. By the emotional dynamics not of individuals but of groups, by herds, and therefore detached from Logic. From Reason and all the other functions of intelligence, of Mind, and therefore from Reality. The species humanity is driven by mass psychosis.
Herd mentality is unstoppable
It's driven by group psychology ruled by the all-consuming lust for survival, dominance, and the “triumph of the will.” Driven to its ultimate end – self-destruction – by the passion and force of corrupted “love.” By “liberty” unhinged from Order, from the discipline of Judgment. Limbic animal-instinct feelings of individuals -- fear, anger-rage, hatred -- overwhelmed and corrupted by the psychology of their groups -- species, nations, tribes, religions, and whatever else differentiates them -- convert into genocidal rage and mob psychology. Into the disastrous, tragic corruption of mood by competing, conflicting, warring groups.
Groups inevitably weaponize themselves into military forces, into armies, no matter what their founding moral principles, their missions, or core values. The 16th century Pope Julius II, descendant of the Prince of Peace, the embodiment of Christianity, lead armies against Italian city-states. All groups are potential weapons subject to group affect-mood that translates into situations that mandate war against competing groups. This is the dynamic, the emotional mechanics, the mood-affect of war. Corrupted feelings translated by corrupted perceptions of mind from harmony and peace into disharmony and conflict.
Corrupted emotional moods lead to corrupted illogical contexts that then shape, define, and demand corrupted action. Andrew Carnegie tried to use his unparalleled wealth and personal influence with world leaders to prevent WWI. He failed because Kaiser Wilhelm and the others were locked into madness. Into an insane response to context driven by group affect-mood. By herd mentality. Once group mob psychology starts it’s unstoppable. Driven by limbic body-brain, animal-instinct emotions. Devoid of self-awareness. Captive to self-delusion: to the Child’s shadow code arbitrary-lawless rule of mindless action.
The cure for insanity is sanity
Chronically disturbed moods rooted in self-delusion, the Child’s misidentity with its shadow-reflection -- the source of all psychosis, detachment from Reality -- aren’t found in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. They are susceptible neither to diagnosis nor “treatment” by body-brain-centered psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, pharmaceuticals, or psychedelics. Nor are they accessible to medical science, neuroscience, or genetics / molecular biology.
They are accessible to the vision of Logic from Intuition and its spontaneous insights from the Memory of the Child. They are accessible not to body-brain but to mind. They are “treatable” by release from the captivity of self-delusion and by the restoration of Consciousness. They are “treatable” by Awakening through Forgiveness. By the replacement of insanity – the dualism of two contradictory “realities” – with the sanity of non-dualism. With Understanding that there can be only one Reality, and it is manifestly not the mass of contradictions, the temporary apparition, the ambiguity that is material objects. That is bodies and the bizarre physics of their inhospitable “home,” the violent, chaotic, pointless, and ultimately inscrutable universe of spacetime-matter.
All “mental illness” is detachment from Reality
Not long ago, in psychiatry’s era of Freudian psychoanalysis, patients sought relief from discord within by un-hiding and un-suppressing physical and emotional urges that lurked in their subconscious since infancy. While talking about their discomfort did some good, Freud’s body-brain-centered theory and its limited use of mind, to summon memories of infantile yearnings in this material world, ultimately didn’t yield results. Its focus on “psycho” held promise and the tools of “analysis” inspired. But their application -- their scope – did not. His female patient, whose “cure” initially advanced his career, relapsed and subsequently retracted her endorsement.
Psychiatry today relies on pharmacology to pair treatment with symptoms, with scant understanding of the causes of symptoms and the drugs’ effects and dangerous side-effects. Like physics that’s stumped by quantum gravity, psychology-psychiatry refuses to venture beyond bodies and brains. To explore the Logic of Mind and what it implies about “Reality” and the various ways that “mental illness” detaches from it. About the state of psychosis that describes all human “consciousness,” or what Carl Jung, who broke with Freud, described as the “collective unconscious.”
We are all psychiatric patients in a madhouse
Restoring Order to mind that eliminates contradictions and ambiguity produces Peace of mind. The simple, basic process of Logic that fits things together in harmony. That provides context whose occupants can navigate with confidence in coordinates that make sense without contradiction and ambiguity. That’s accessible through the spontaneous insights of Intuition. That’s all any psychiatric patient needs whose mind is assailed by opposites: the healing awareness of Understanding why and how this is happening. With Understanding that we are all patients in a madhouse, a mental ward shot through with contradictions and ambiguity. With help from pharmacology, yes, but not letting drugs substitute for mind.
Until the mental health profession understands that its scope needs to expand, to venture beyond the dualism of unreality, insane by definition because it’s a contradiction, it will continue to seek and not find. Diagnosis will continue to be off target, treatment will continue to be hit-or-miss, and the DSM will continue to be a fabrication, a convenience for the profession and the insurance industry but no source for getting it right.
The mindless beast at the gates of Democracy
Instinctive submission to arbitrary rule, to dominance by will substituting for reasoned judgment, for Free Choice, for Love’s affect and compassion – all perceived to be “weak,” – condemns and condemns itself by lack of self-awareness. It is the mindless beast, the enemy at the gates of Democracy today. A segment of the electorate indifferent to transgressions of any kind because it has become its own shadow-reflection: a herd, a beast out of control. The servant of “will:” mindless and unaware.
1 thought on “Call of the Mood”
Poignant as always. That last graph puts a needle-sharp point on it. Great post David!