Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Moods and mental statuses.

This wonderful painting was briefly on at number 1 on reddit today. Fascinating isn't it ? One could very easily figure out the mental state, the problem or the mood the painter was on at the time of drawing. Few other details as well : one he is smoking is definitely not tobacco, not only it;s bit too long to be a regular cigarette but the expression on his face.. my god! tobacco is certainly not capable of generating such a mood on it's own alone!

Poor fellow seems like suffering a lot from his loss, the female figure suggests most probably his ex partner is no more (either dead or has left him, either way the same result!) the smoker seems to getting consoled by whatever he is smoking....

Anyway, back to our subject. Moods and Mental statuses. Do you really think the fellow in the picture is actually getting any consolation with the aid of what he is smoking ? I would say that he is reliving in his past memories. Since he can not live in those exact memories at present, this reliving can not be generating happy thoughts as we can so clearly see from the fantastic painting.

Why do we tend to relive in past moments and suffer ? what is a mood and what is a mental state ? I think a mood is exactly nothing more than reliving in a past experience either good or bad. When our mind want to indulge in a happy thought we could think about a past happy moment (or an implication of that) and we could be happy. Reverse is also true. When we get angry we know exactly what kind of a mood we should be having don't we ? that too comes from past experience, we know exactly how to enjoy and act up an angry mood. All our related past thoughts, experiences, memories come to us in a flash and "help" us relive in that mood.

As for the past, whether it is happy or sad or angry or whatever, it has already gone. it's no more! just a mirage, a never accessible, never real phantom! So what's the point ?

In a philosophical sense, most of our emotions, perceptions, moods are conveyed to us by our past memories, memory paths or thinking patterns we have been trained to exercise. In other words we are kind of hard wired to react in certain ways to certain situations. Good thing is, if we can be empowered with that knowledge, that is to be aware of this little trick our minds are playing on us (and we fall prey to it most of times it does that to us), then we can have a way out! It shows that all moods and mental statuses are in the end nothing more than our own choices. There is no such state as happy, or sad or angry. They all are decisions, choices!

It is us who want to relive in them, cherish and sink into them, surrendering our present thoughts to the old, set thinking patterns. If we wanted to we might just as well decide to relive in another different past state instead, or how about live in the present ? Easily said than done.. isn't it ?

One problem is that we are not always aware that we actually decide to relive in a past moment, we feel like it automatically happened to us, that we got sad, or we got angry for a reason. While it can be true that the direct cause for our happiness sadness or anger can be visible, immediate and very real but we are here analyzing the corresponding mental reaction to that cause. Mental reaction has a large part of a decision making, it is we who decide (or let it happen) what mental state we are going to adopt to that situation. For instance, should we let it pass as a joke or an insult ? It is that mental reaction which is going to then decide our mental state.

Yet, it's a fascinating thought. If only we could very aware of each small little changes happen in our mind... if we can instantly understand when our mind is trying to indulge in a past sad memory ? if we can quickly know our mind is going to indulge in anger as soon as it started to trying that.... aha. what a bliss that would be. If that was the case, we could break free from all mental agony, we stay open to what our mind suggest us, then we choose only what we want. we don;t let mind to control our moods and take us anywhere it want to take us. We get a grip on life. We let go of past feelings good or bad because they are just that. past feelings. If we just could let go of those mental tides, we could may be able to float in calmer soothing peaceful lake instead of being among tidal waves of mental emotions.

I think as in everything, here too training can do us wonders.

I think a trained mind can achieve that. At least the process of that training will bring us some lasting wisdom and peace..... I wish.

What do you think ?