Musician of the Month: John Moods | Cassandra Voices

Musician of the Month: John Moods


I go by the name of John Moods.

I would like to share with you a little journey through my current thoughts – a small piece of my ever-shifting consciousness.

Through my life’s journey I have come to realise that the source of my anxiety always stems from not knowing something. What I am, who I am, where I am and where I am going. Every bit of my identity that can be described with human language is a construct. I am here typing these words, my inner being looking out through the eyes of my head onto the screen. I am on a planet floating through the universe, and sometimes when I’m lucky I am able to know that I know very little.

Where does the mystery begin? Where does it end? I could say I know everything about an apple. I’m familiar with it. But it is also a sacred object, with an unimaginable design. It is a mysterious expression of cosmic creativity, made from the building blocks of the universe. The same cosmic code that constitutes you and me. Every time I start to think about anything, no matter how mundane, the deeper I go with it, I always reach the same place. Behind everything there’s a gigantic world of not knowing. Everything we know is just the tip of an iceberg.

I equally don’t know why I chose music over everything else. It just attracted me like a magnet. I never get tired of it. Recently I began to understand the magic of words a little better and I’m dabbling in poetry, which for the first time I am enjoying immensely. I am convinced that language (including this text) is utterly confusing and misleading. I believe poetry is the only true language as it simulates accurately the workings of the subconscious mind, and therefore it feels more true than the forest of symbols we usually operate within.

I have released one album of music so far called “The Essential John Moods”. I have written and recorded two more since then, but I feel I’m only now approaching deeper layers of songwriting. I am also certain that I’ll never get anywhere. At least nowhere close to a destination. I think of my life and my relationship with music as a creative odyssey.

Growing up middle class in Germany in the 1980s, the son of a judge and a Polish Homeopath, I have been slowly simmering in the soup of late twentieth century post-spiritual materialism like many my peers. My parents were a little into church, a little into Yoga, a little into science, but generally as confused in life as anyone else. Death was rarely mentioned, and if it was its presence was so heavy that one could almost feel the temperature drop in the room. There was no lightness to death, and I learned to regard it as something foreign; always avoiding the topic in conversation.

My parents were, and are, lovely people, but back then they just didn’t know what to teach me about life’s purpose. They wanted me to have good grades and do well in life, but spiritually they were just beginning their own journeys, and their messages were mixed or confused. I literally had no idea why I ought to do anything in life. For a while I moved through it cluelessly or mechanically. Definitely the relative wealth of my upbringing (never a lot of money but never existential scarcity) made it possible for me to float and feel depressed.

It was only through my own confrontation with this question of death in a non-intellectual, more holistic way and a great deal of suffering that I grew more in touch with the finite beauty of life and realized that the absence of death was like a severed limb, an absence ultimately rendering life meaningless.

And these were just my personal experiences. But of course I am just a part of the human family and this eventually led me to think about the state of consciousness of the world I grew up in, and live in today. So what is the consciousness of our current time? How are the majority of people dealing with the problem of not knowing? And why do we seem largely incapable of admitting how little we really know about life?

I always found it impressive to hear highly intelligent people such as Fritjof Capra, Albert Einstein, and Werner Heisenberg utter humble statements, outlining the limits of their knowledge. There is so much fear hidden behind human surety. When we can’t admit what we don’t know, we will never truly be able to accept the great unknown and flourish in it. Instead we will try to conquer it, label and name things and in the process pretend that we have already mastered it.

Never in human history has it been easier to look away from the sacred and the mysterious. Our bodies know it more than our intellects. Everything is always in flux and the creative expression of cosmic intelligence flows through us all. But it’s easy to be comfortable and distracted these days, as we are supplied with a constant steam of digital bread and circus by large corporations… Netflix, Facebook, endless TV shows, swipe right, double click to like. It has many shapes and names. It’s a complex web of distractions set up to turn us into mindless pleasure seekers and to direct our gaze away from the mystery.

So the question that I, along with many of my contemporaries, now ask ourselves, is how do we get away from a world where we dominate nature through a fear that expresses itself in short-term greed, selfishness, and which is devoid of a deeper meaning?

My personal and practical answers are: look at death; look at nature; listen to the silence; look at the limits of knowledge; try to find poetry and wonder again. Psychedelics are a wonderful pathway to the mystery. Spending more time wandering in the wild is always good. Look at what indigenous peoples have done for thousands of years sustainably, gently taking and giving back to nature. We need better ideas than those ascendant today. We require subversive joy in the face of immanent death and demise.

Thank you very much for reading, and I wish you a wonderful life!

Here’s a poem I recently wrote:

The Unspeakable

You’re a being of light and time
now the universe
is opening its mind
to let you in
to the other side
where the streets are empty
no cars
nothing left behind
let’s take a ride
morning’s broken
it was a long night
we’re standing in the doorway
of an old beginning
in a new design
and a new god to pray to
in a branded shrine
praying to the mundane
but keep finding the divine
even with a blind eye
you can see how it all combines
where beauty and disaster
how a storm sometimes can help your mind
to communicate with the undefined
the things you can never say even if you tried
what’s rotten and raw
what’s deep and macabre
what’s infinite slow
the words that don’t grow
what you cannot let go
the places inside
unspeakable things
unspeakable mind
how it grinds and grinds
the unstoppable device
even if you slow the ride
it’ll rapidly unwind
the machinery of time
when you’re the sensitive kind
likely to get undermined
it just hurts sometimes
to see humankind
scared and unaligned
afraid of the breathing of the night
a world of wrongs
turned into a world of rights
an animal so lost in sight
confusing darkness with the light
but maybe it will all clear up in time
and the storm will pass us by
another animal assigned
to read the signs
while the sun still shines
on more disaster, more design
more unspeakable words
of an unspeakable mind
a being of pure light
you’ll be.
An old beginning
in a new design.




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