I have been pretty sick this morning, with not much energy for anything deep, so I decided to do the movie equivalent of comfort food, which meant watching an episode of Cosmos.
Up until my mid-twenties, when I got a crash course in the topic, I was somewhat of a mood junkie. I was hooked on the sense of magic, awe, wonder, beauty, love created in me through books, movies, music, art, theater, the Universe Story, conversations with friends about the big questions, being in love, having picnics in beautiful places, imagining my life in the future.
So now, watching this episode of Cosmos, the same mood comes up as it did when I was a kid watching it for the first time, walking out in the yard afterwards, looking up at the black night sky, filled with stars and galaxies, knowing that I – this tiny little human – was made up of star dust. That I was a way for the universe to feel, touch, taste, smell, know itself.
I can dip into that mood, feel it from the inside for a while, but I know too well how it is made to get fully absorbed into it.
Instead, I bring attention to the sensation aspect of the mood, and see that it is just made up of simple sensations and a thought.
It is disappointing, in a way. Those moods were such an important part of my life, enriched and guided my life in so many ways. It almost feels like a betrayal to see more clearly what is really going on. That they are just sensations and thoughts creating a gestalt, a feeling, a mood.
But there is also no going back. I know too well the mechanisms now. I see it too clearly as it happens.
And this seeing has its own magic. It is not a magic of moods, just the magic of seeing a little more clearly what is happening. Seeing how the sense fields combine with thoughts to create gestalts. How those gestalts seem very real and substantial when attention is absorbed on the inside of them. How everything arising in each sense field is awareness itself. Nothing appearing as something.
There is no going back, and not any real desire to do so. But I also understand Maezumi Roshi when he said I’d rather be deluded.