In a recent conversation we were having at Harlam, Harlin used the common phrase that we all hear so often, (Actually Harlam don’t think we hear it often enough!),
“Oh man I am on cloud nine”
as she was feeling all lovely and happy. Lamo then had a thought, (He probably shouldn’t be allowed to have so many!), he replied to her, “Well what are the other eight for then?”. Really when you stop to think about it, why is it that being on, “Cloud 9“, means you are so deliriously happy?
Does it mean that cloud number 1 would have you feeling all depressed? Then with the various states between depressed, (Cloud 1), to happy, (Cloud 9), being on all the rest of the clouds in-between? Making cloud five then relate neatly, (As it is smack in the middle), to that all too commonly heard answer, “Hmm, middle of the road”, people will so often give when they are asked that ever common question, “How are you feeling?”. We take that to mean that they are neither sad nor happy; that they are in some kind of neutral state of feeling. (Is there such a thing?).
We think though that an even scarier thought would be if there was a cloud ten or even more beyond that, where being on cloud ten might mean you are feeling absolutely bloody euphoric!
There were some thoughts on it’s origin, (Not by Harlam we should add.), that it was based on the US weather bureau’s definition of actual cloud types with the 9th being all light and fluffy. Another was that it represented the various stages of Buddhism on the path to enlightenment.
First there are actually eleven defined cloud types, (Well twelve if you include fog, no seriously look at the diagram!), not just nine.
Therefore we think perhaps this theory does not really hold water, (Like the actual clouds it relates to do of course!).
As for the Buddhism idea, again there are actually ten stages in the path to enlightenment with it being the 10th that is known as; The cloud of Dharma (Dharmamegha).
The 9th stage is actually, The good mind/The good intelligence (Sadhumati) so again it implies that there is no correlation as to Buddhism being where the “Being On Cloud 9” comes into being.
As an amusing little side note Lamo likes that in Albin Pollock’s directory of slang, The Underworld Speaks, from 1935 there is a definition; “Cloud eight, befuddled on account of drinking too much liquor.” A feeling that he can certainly confess to having quite frequently!
Thinking about it we have defined a more meaningful Harlam Scale introduced for these Emotional Levels of Feeling, (ELF). “The Harmood Scale”, (Harmood = Harmonious Mood), with the moods in a measure we call Harmod levels but described by importantly using imagery that shows how you feel on the inside to resulting in the expression to use.
We also realsied though that this new scale must also take into account our Reactionary State Feelings, (RSF), such as being ‘Angry‘ or ‘Pleased‘ about someone or a situation.
This we have also encompassed these into this one new scale, (Yes we will explain how this all works after the diagram, it’s pretty simple!).
First you do not use the full definition of mood units but you use the actual expression that is derived from the “Harmod Unit Description” plus the relevant suffix. (Oh come on its not that complicated, we have given you a table and everything!).
Therefore if it is in the negative feeling levels then this is ‘bad‘ which gives us the suffix of ‘ad‘ in how it is actually expressed in conversation. (The nearer to “A” the description starts with the worse the person is feeling.) If however is is a positive feeling then that is ‘good‘ which gives it an ‘ood‘ suffix instead! (And the nearer the “Z” the description the happier they are feeling.)
With the exception of that one special case of feeling, “Middle Of The Road“, then this is neither negative or positive so has the neutral suffix of, ‘oad‘!
We found also though that we need more words to describe the negative feelings in our table than for those describing your level of happiness! We wonder if this shows that societies around the world in general are now more unhappy than happy? Its like the Eskimo’s having something like 50 words for snow, or hundreds for Reindeer, as this is what they are surrounded by all the time in their lives. Our new scale has more for the negative feelings as these are now as common in our modern day society to us as snow to the Eskimo’s. In the same way it is therefore important that people understand exactly how bad your feeling as there is so much more of this.
We could not complete the scale without including those which we have called our ‘reactionary state feelings (RSF)’, by this we mean those such as being ‘Pissed Off‘, ‘Angry‘, ‘Pleased‘ or even ‘Incredibly Smug‘. Now these are not the same as how you are feeling within yourself, we think they relate much more to how you feel about someone else or a situation yet they should still should be part of this scale.
For these reactionary feelings, we can still use the same Harmod units only now we add an, ‘-otion‘ suffix. Thus if your are quietly fuming this is at the Empty Cup Harmod, making the expression, “I am Ecotion“. These are in the right hand side of the Harmood table shown above.
Now to wrap up, (Well we need to try and keep this shorter than a novel!), whilst everyone knows what someone means by saying, “I am on cloud9“, we think that this does not give a relevant feelings scale. There is no reference to the other 8 cloud levels, what they could mean and our research shows there is no origin for cloud9 that makes sense. Both cloud type and steps to Buddhism show no correlation.
We have therefore developed a new Harmood scale that is easy to show all levels of mood from ‘depressed’ to ‘delirious’. Think about it, first the suffix of the Harmod mood description word gives away whether it is a good or bad feeling, ‘good – ood‘ or ‘bad -ad‘. We also expanded this new scale to include those reactive emotions as well using an ‘Reaction State Feeling – otion‘ suffix to distinguish these. Lastly, although only for the English speaking world, there is an alphabetical reference to our scale as well. (How easy it becomes to understand someones emotional state using the Harmood scale.)
For the nearer to ‘A‘ the bad Harmod derived expression starts, well the worse it is. Conversely, the nearer to ‘Z‘ then the happier, more positive, that person is. We propose this as a much better way for people to express how they are feeling or have reacted to something, than using just the single term, “On Cloud 9”, as this has now meaning.
Please feel free to adopt it among your own friends and family communities and let us know what you think of the new Harmood scale.
(c) Harlin & Lamo The Lion 2018