Mood Making – What it is and Why We Should Avoid it

“Sometimes people use language cunningly to give the impression of a rapid rise to a higher state of consciousness than what actually they’ve attained to. The expressions that will come from the mouths of such people in their moments of weakness will be the expressions of mood making.”

Thom Knoles

Most groups or communities have a few pretentious players within them; people who wear a mask or ‘put on a show’ to attract attention to themselves and to elevate their status.

While one might think that the “spiritual” arena might be beyond such behavior, regrettably that’s not the case.

In some circles they might be called “wannabees,” but Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had a special name for such people; mood makers.

While they are relatively easy to spot, in this episode Thom shares the signs to look for in a mood maker. 

If nothing else, this gives us an opportunity to check in on our own conduct and to ensure that we haven’t inadvertently become a mood maker ourselves.

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Episode Highlights


The Temptation of Mood Making



Faking It Till You Make It



Badges of Rank



A Big Blob on the Floor



Our Destiny Summed Up on the Floor of Whole Foods



God-given Parking Spaces



Simple, Natural, Innocent



Have a Proper Meal With Me



“I’m Eating Brahman.”



Be Adorable to Nature


Jai Guru Deva


Mood Making – What it is and Why We Should Avoid it

Jai Guru Deva. Welcome to the Vedic Worldview, my podcast. I’m Thom Knoles.

[00:53] The Temptation of Mood Making

Today I’d like to open a subject around a phrase that became a phrase of art that was used by my teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, when talking to meditators about their experiences. And the subject is all about not entering into a temptation to use cunning language to try to make oneself “holier than thou.”

And the phrase is the phrase mood making. Mood making. Mood making could be summed up as “fake it till you make it.” And we all know people who do mood making.

Sometimes, out of even the goodness of someone’s heart, they think to themselves, “Well, positive thinking is always a good thing, and so it’ll be good for me to lay claim to the best.”

Since there is that beautiful saying from Guru Dev, “You deserve the best. Never feel unworthy or not justified in having the best. I tell you this is your heritage, but you have to accept it. You have to expect it. You have to claim it. To do so is not demanding too much.” This was a quote attributed to Guru Dev by Maharishi about deserving the best.

[02:25] Faking It Till You Make It

And so sometimes meditators, and even people who don’t meditate, but we’re now going to talk about people practicing Vedic Meditation, use language cunningly to give the impression of a rapid rise to a higher state of consciousness than what actually they’ve attained to.

And the expressions that will come from the mouths of such people, in their moments of weakness, will be the expressions of mood making.

Mood making is faking it till you make it. Mood making is something that, when it’s done it strains the atmosphere. Mood making is something that is largely an observer-dependent phenomenon. That is to say, it amplifies if people know that somebody’s listening or someone’s watching.

[03:28] Badges of Rank

So, for example, one day, I was at a health food chain called Whole Foods, here in the United States, and I was in a particular part of the United States that is known to be filled with mood makers, at Santa Monica, California.

And, there in this particular chain, you can see the aisles filled with people who are, there’s a saying in America, that’s entered the common parlance of “wannabe,” someone who wants to be regarded as a highly spiritual person. Whether or not their knowledge or experience warrants that entitlement with which they move, they nonetheless want to wear the badges of rank.

And there was one such woman who was examining jars of honey in the same aisle in which I found myself.

And she had all of the badges of rank, imprinted on her, tattoos right across the shoulders, very carefully revealed by the shirt that she was wearing that said, “I am a Goddess.” And, I think, if I can remember accurately, a ring on every finger and including the two thumbs. Rings on every one of the toes, and multiple malas. And mala is a garland of beads. Multiple malas of sparkling crystals and all kinds of sacred beads and things.

[05:15] A Big Blob on the Floor

And the clothing and the whole announcement of the person was pretty much, “You’d better pay attention to me. I’m a serious person here, goddess,” and so on.

And when examining the honey, the honey jar slipped out of her hands, and it hit the floor the way a honey jar does, which is a very interesting thing. Because honey’s so sticky, the glass doesn’t shatter and go in all directions. It hits the floor, and all the glass, the broken glass, sticks to the honey.

And the honey is a big blob on the floor. And then it begins melding into the floor and graduates into the flatness of the floor, taking all the shards of glass with it.

And as this honey had just missed her highly-jeweled toes and hit the floors, she danced out of the way. And I looked over, and I said, “Gosh, maybe we should go get somebody who has all the equipment to clean this up.”

And she said, “That would be a good idea.” But she said, “I just want to stop for a moment and watch the honey melting into the floor.”

And I said, “Oh, alright.”

[06:28] Our Destiny Summed Up on the Floor of Whole Foods

She said, “Because isn’t it just like, the individuality when you’re trapped in your body. There’s the honey, the product of the bee trapped inside of this artificial glass jar, and the jar is now melting into the shape of the floor, going flatter and flatter. Isn’t this the destiny of all of us?” she said, looking very carefully and whispering to me with that powerful atmosphere of smoke-filled patchouli that was emanating from her.

And she said, “See, the honey’s just doing what we’re all going to be doing.”

And I said, “I think actually I’ll go and get somebody, the janitor, and I might, I, I’ll let you continue contemplating the honey. I think there are children running around here with bare feet; after all, it’s Santa Monica. And, it’s probably important to get this cleaned up.”

And sure enough, I went and got a janitor and came back. There was a bucket and a mop and everything. And there she was making sure that as many people as possible could see the mood making that was going on.

[07:42] God-given Parking Spaces

And now, this is an extreme example to prove a point. We cannot make it by faking it, and I know from years of experience that when we go into this thing of trying to give an impression, mostly to others, but sometimes to our own self, that we might know a little bit more than somebody else does, and in a sense, the word would be “lording it over someone.”

Or even in ourselves sitting and trying to think, “Oh, Thom said, the great Vedic pronouncement Ahaṁ Brahmāsmi, I am Totality. And so, even though, I might be feeling pretty average, I need a parking place at the movies, and there don’t seem to be many parking places around so I’m just going to start Ahaṁ Brahmāsmi, I’m Totality. Ahaṁ Brahmāsmi. Ahaṁ Brahmāsmi, I’m Totality. Get me a parking place.” Or ” I’m a goddess” or “I’m a god and, you know, parking place.”

This is stepping beyond the reach of what one is actually innocently experiencing.

[09:08] Simple, Natural, Innocent

What it is that is attractive, adorable, is simplicity and naturalness and innocence. Spontaneous, simple, natural, innocent. Not trying to capture the language of enlightenment and attribute it to oneself or making announcements, having signs up everywhere. I’m a goddess. You’re a goddess.

You walk into such a person’s house, and just about everywhere you look, there’s some statement up on the wall, letting you know how you should be thinking or giving you the impression that they think that way, and maybe you don’t.

 This is all under the heading of mood making. And we want to catch ourselves when we start doing mood making. We want to catch ourselves and actually go into a different mode.

What is the cure from mood making? We need to get out of that self-centered mentality and innocently see if we can feel what it feels like to be the other people who are around us.

 “To what extent do I have the ability to feel what it feels like to be the other people around me, to feel what the genuine need of the time is? To what extent do I have that versus to what extent am I attempting to convince others that I’ve got the full picture here, and you better come to me because look at my tattoo across my shoulders, doesn’t it say I am a goddess? And after all, you didn’t see me panic about the honey jar hitting the ground and melting into the ground. All you heard was a cosmic commentary.”

We are far more impressed by somebody who is just simple, natural, and innocent.

[11:05] Have a Proper Meal With Me

One great story from my time with my Maharishi. I was in India with him, and in India, from time to time, these wandering saints, reclusive people who have renounced the world, who live in the forest and so on, and many of them are good beginners.

And one of these good beginners, a young man came once to visit Maharishi. He’d heard that this great Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the great seer, was there in attendance at his ashram and Maharishi sent a message out to this young man, “Come in out of the forest and have a proper meal with me.”

And the young man hadn’t eaten for some time except leaves and roots and things like that that he could find in the forest. In he came looking emaciated, and I was in Maharshi’s service at the time, helping out, and the young man sat down at the table.

In India, very often, the tables are arranged in such a way that you’re sitting on the floor, and the table is at about knee height. And so you sit on the floor and then Indians like to eat with their hand, with their right hand.

[12:20] “I’m Eating Brahman.”

And instead of just smelling the food and tasting the food, they like to touch the food as well and feel what it feels like. And, so they enjoy eating with their hand.

And there was Maharishi eating with his hand this simple food, rice and some vegetables that had been prepared by the cook.

And the young man was very clearly very, very hungry. And he was, wolfing the food into his mouth. And then he caught himself, and he had particles of rice all stuck in his beard and everything. And he looked up at Maharishi, and he said to Maharishi, “I’m eating Brahman.” That means I’m eating Totality.

He says, “I’m eating Brahman. What are you eating?”

Maharishi kept eating. And he looked at him, and he said, “I’m eating rice.” And to me, that was really, that said it all. Maharishi clearly was in Unity Consciousness, where everything within the reach of his perceptual capability was extended big Self.

He found himself one with everything. But he didn’t have to talk about it all the time. The young man who was still practicing, and who was in a relatively limited consciousness state by all evidence, wanted to say, ” I’m eating Brahman. What are you eating?” And hoping for some answer that would verify his own statement.

He was surprised to hear Maharishi say, “I’m eating rice.” I’m eating rice is the simple, natural, honest truth of it. If I’m experiencing it to be part of my extended Totality, that’s my own business. I don’t have to talk to you about that. He didn’t speak those words. This is my commentary.

[14:17] Be Adorable to Nature

So mood making is something which, if we get tempted into doing it, we need to know that most people can see through it. And it makes people feel uncomfortable because there’s a gap between what they’re feeling about your vibration and the truth about what you’re actually experiencing.

And mood making relies upon other people having good manners and letting you get away with it. And it strains the collective environment quite considerably so it’s best to let go of any kind of tendency to do mood making.

Just simple, natural, innocent, that’s adorable to Nature. Simple, natural, innocent is adorable, and we’d like to be adorable. So it’s best if we’re just spontaneous and simple, natural and innocent and, with good manners, but not trying to show off.

Jai Guru Deva.

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