Moods are everything at our level. Ponder a world where the shape and size of every object change from one moment to the next. Where the hues and colours shift from shade to shade. The very ground beneath your feet wobble and sway, not like the rolling waves of the ocean or the gentle flow of clouds, but as an unnatural, awkward and unpredictable frenzy through which none of your further steps can be relied upon. The landscape itself can blur to black in one moment and reappear with new surroundings which seem to hold no recollection of anything you may have earned prior.
While intentionally exaggerated into a description which borders on an obscene caricature, the idea is, plainly, that moods define the manner of our perception in a way which undermines our sensibilities and common sense. A man is trodden down as if he were the horse and the mood of the given moment were holding the reins. Of course, we are not accustomed to such a perspective nor do we find it naturally valid or worthy of applaud. We find more comfort in believing what everyone else finds natural to believe, which is that we are masters of our reality and governors of our fate. To ascribe to hostile thoughts such as these would be to consider ourselves boxed into the category of ‘negative’, pessimistic and fatalistic.
Yet let us explore the thoughts which exist in us right now and will always reappear later as regular visitors of our inner world. A close attention to their qualities reveals that they are grouped together by association and arrive in numbers, one following in succession after the other. There are thoughts, and groups of thoughts, which exist in one mood and others which live, quite irrespective and with no relation to the former, in another. It is as if the moods call upon the lands of our psychology different crowds and mobs who vary in taste from each other in the same fashion as one would expect when comparing the predilections and fashions of a nation of orientals from that of occidentals (or ‘westerners’, if you like).
We do not know ourselves nor, in actual fact, do we really care to. For to know oneself is to inevitably find that characteristics such as freedom, individuality and will or choice, are all far less in our possession or control than we are made to believe. There are circumstances which continually and regularly unfold in the midst of our daily lives and these have all long ago been recorded as patterns which we have developed accompanying reactions. These ready-made psychological responses allow us to automatically shift in character with the swaying moods that pulls and push our buttons, and call on us to react as any creature would to a change of climate and weather.
The cat is out of the bag when a man observes firsthand the dominating influence of moods. It may irk him and dawn on that particular moment a special form of unsound and unsettling emotion. Yet if we find ourselves curling up into a ball when we should instead be content to have dug up and discovered something new, then we fail to take advantage of what this knowledge can convey. The appropriate form of escalation is that a man, learning these details, can apply them in his life by responding ever more stoic, collected and dignified in the face of forces which try, with all their might, to make us believe that the world is changing and constantly in flux, when in fact it is only our perception that is at fault. We are made more free to disbelieve ourselves, and this delivers a new element of inner stability to our beck and call.