The Mood Pill and the Suicide Pill

Suppose for a moment you could feel good by taking a pill. It is a mood pill, and nothing else. It does not have any physical side effects, it just makes you feel good. Surely, it has to be beneficial.

Suppose you could choose another pill, which would also make you feel good, but kill you. It is a suicide pill. Unless you are eager to die, you would not consider it beneficial.

You spurn the suicide pill and take the mood pill daily, and you are always in a good mood. Does that mean you can always handle reality? No, it means that you don't know if you are handling reality or not. Even if your life is a total disaster, you are in a good mood. Even when you fail to take life-saving action, you are in a good mood.

In other words, the mood pill and the suicide pill are the same pill.

The physical side effects of "uppers" are trivial compared to the real side effect, which is loss of the ability to know how you are doing. Moods are the result of evaluations. A bad mood is the result of a thought: "I'm not handling things." If you kill the thought, the mood is its monument.

To see what emotions are, study yourself in the mirror when you feel angry. Your body is preparing to fight. Emotions are the link between evaluation and action. They are the result of thinking, and the prelude to doing. The irritability of a bad mood is the prelude to pinning blame. The lassitude of a bad mood is the prelude to blaming yourself.

So a bad mood is part of an inner conflict. If you ignore it, or medicate it, the conflict remains as a threat to your thinking ability and therefore to your life. To achieve certainty is to resolve inner conflicts that make you doubt reason. Instead of learning to ignore emotions, you learn to analyze them.

If you have trouble finding the cause of an emotion, try this: when you feel the emotion, study your face in a mirror, and imagine that you see that expression on the face of a character in a TV drama. What would the character be saying?

If bad moods are the result of not handling things, the way to get rid of them would be to learn how to handle things. You would learn to integrate observations into concepts, define them by essentials, compare them to standards, and analyze them for causes. You would learn the methods for turning raw information into certain knowledge.

You would find such activity more addictive than any pill.

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