Mastery of mind and emotion

One of our spiritual aims is mastery. This does not mean mastery over others or trying to make others into slaves for our ego wishes. Instead, this is mastery over oneself. What is termed a 'Master' in spiritual traditions is someone who has self-mastery and also a mastery in spiritual expression. This person will have mastery in expressing love, wisdom, creativity, and beauty. But before one can gain mastery in self-expression, one has to first gain self-mastery in oneself.

Self-mastery is being able to restrain and direct one's physical, sexual, emotional, and mental energies; rather than passively allowing one's patterns, habits, or compulsions to rule. Mastery means to hold power, to contain power, and to intentionally make use of power. To develop self-mastery and control over our usual habits and compulsions, we need to use the power of will. We need will to restrain or transform outworn habits, and we need will to intentionally direct our energies in a positive ways.

Some spiritual teachings suggest that power is bad, or will is bad, because it is assumed that to be spiritual is to be passive and without any self-will. This is false. Power can be either good or bad, depending on how it is used. Power is good if used well, yet bad if it is misused. An assertive will can be good, but not good if misused. So even though power can be misused, this does not mean that power and will should be completely abandoned. We just need to make good use of the power in our capacity and of the self-will that we have.

The real spiritual path is to take more charge of life and to actually make clear decisions, rather than be passive recipients to other people's ego or to one's own subconscious habits. So the true spiritual people are strong in will, rather than weak; yet they use their will and power with wisdom and love.

Mastery of mind

Self-mastery of mind is able to hold the mind in repose, in quietude, and in serenity. Thoughts can either be held in suspension or slowed down enough to consciously work with them. One can observe thoughts, analyze thoughts, and even create thoughts; because one is now in charge of one's own mind. And by being a conscious director of mind, one is now able to bring mind and thought into alignment with Higher Purpose. One is able to realize Higher Purposes by a mastered ability to be receptively open to higher Intuition as coming from the Mind and Will of God. So in summary, mastery in mind is a dual-ability – to be in active control over thought and thought-creation, yet also receptive to higher Intuitions (receptive to Divine Mind and Will).

The master of mind is also a master of thought. This means, first, that one has the power and self-control to, at anytime, relax and still the mind in quiet contemplation or even achieve conscious emptiness of mind. Second, one has the power to focus mental attention and contemplation on a chosen idea or theme, in order to understand this better. And in doing this, one is not merely repeating in thought one's automatic associations. Mental association is easy – it can be useful to the process of understanding, but it's not all that is needed and one can easily go in circles of mental repetitive associations.

True understanding also requires continual delving into deeper meanings of an idea or theme; which demands an inquisitive mind searching for the truth. So in order to really understand things, one needs to sincerely and intentionally search into deeper meanings and deeper truths, rather than automatically circle through one's repetitive mental associations. This delving into deeper meanings requires intention, mental focus, and perseverance. It requires a definite 'power of mind', or 'mastery of mind'.

Another power of mind is discernment – discerning the value of what comes into mind or else what is held in mind, and then a discernment of what to accept as true or worthy. Discernment is related to the mental power of intelligence, since one would hope that intelligence is making the discernment, and not mere emotion, habit, or simply following what one has been told is true. Intelligent discernment is also used to delve into deeper and more profound meanings.

A further power of mind is to create new thought-ideas. This is an ability to take a certain idea or theme, then make further ideas from this. But what is generally most useful is to make more practical ideas from more abstract ideas. The more abstract an idea is, the more general and less specific it is; while a more practical idea is more specific and closer to being useable in life. Also, the more abstract an idea is, the less tangible it is; while practical and specific ideas are more tangible.

The disciple of spiritual mind creates thought-ideas as an act of service, as a help for the world, as these new ideas enter the shared world mind for others to realize, and these can also become solutions to world problems. The disciple of mind receives and assimilates into understanding higher abstract ideas, usually about spiritual principles or metaphysical laws, then is able to reformulate these abstract ideas into more concrete, specifically practical ideas that can help the world become more harmonious and aligned with spiritual principles.

Power of mind

One of our soul powers involves the power of mind. Remember that mind is one of the vehicles or tools of the soul. Understanding is a power of the mind. So is discernment. Detachment is another power of the mind. But let us now consider the power of thinking. When used well for spiritual and service purposes, thinking is a power of the soul, or a higher power of mind.

Acting as a soul, with spiritual purpose and intention, we can use thought as a tool to create finer degrees of self-being and a better world, and we can also change our current thought patterns into truer and higher thoughts. The first key in this is to gain control of our thinking, so that we can intentionally create finer thoughts and change any lesser patterns of thought. The second key is to become a creative artist with thought. Learn to create thought, like creating an enjoyable healthy meal or a beautiful lush garden.

Another power of mind, as made use by the soul conscious person, is the creative imagination. This is the use of our imagination for creative purposes. All kinds of creativity begin with the mind, for it is in mind that we first have a new or creative idea. All creativity begins with an idea, or perhaps a vision. No one is ever really certain where these ideas come from. Some may come from the world mind, and others may come from higher beings or higher planes. Some ideas suddenly show up from our own memory – an idea once stored away for later, or an idea we once read in a book.

Ideas range from being fairly abstract, vague, and general to being more definite, specific, and practical. Abstract and general ideas, if true, are important in our overall integral understanding of things, But then we need to use our creative thinking in order to make these abstract ideas into practical ideas and plans, or to translate general universal principles into the specifics of our own personal life. Therefore, one important use of our creative imagination is to imaginatively think how to make general ideas into specific and practical accomplishments, and to build spiritual principles into personal manifestation.

A three part progression can be understood as follows: general ideas can be made into specific useable thoughts, then these thoughts made into action. All of this involves an intelligent use of the creative imagination, which is to use imagination for a creative work – to create practical ideas (useable thoughts), plans, or manifestations.

Creative imagination is to be used intentionally. We can take an idea that we have, from wherever it came from, then use our creative imagination to make something of it. This is the way of the artist. It is to take an idea or understanding that is somewhat abstract and vague, then use creative imagination to make it into some kind of artform. It is to creatively make an idea into something artistic. We can also use creative imagination to understand spiritual-metaphysical principles and energies, by clothing these essences into analogies, metaphors, or inspiring visions. Then creatively translate this into manifestation and into world service.

Use the creative imagination to make enjoyable, productive, and positive thoughts. In other words, we can use our creative imagination to transform our mind – to transform any parts of our mind into a more beautiful and productive garden of thought, and we can also make new forms of beauty, enjoyment, love, and harmony in the mind. Realize that our mind is our 'reality' – this is a huge factor in how we experience life and the external world reality in which we live.

So the very quality of our experience, our life, depends on the garden of thoughts in our mind. This is an important realization. The next important realization is that we can intentionally and purposefully transform our own mind, just as we can transform or re-create a garden, by new creative thinking. Intentional creative thinking is like intentional creative gardening. Such is the potential power of thought to make a new reality for our self.

Free the mind from limitation and fixation, and any form of fanaticism. Free the mind with imagination. Let the mind be free and creatively make your own beautiful mental world. Everyone has a potential power of mind to create their mental reality. Awaken to this power. Use the creative imagination to make new understandings and new thoughtforms. Recreate the mind with imagination.

Next, we can use intentional visualization. This is an extension of creative imagination. It uses the powers of thought and creative imagination to produce an intentional image of attainment, either for oneself or the world or both. In other words, the practice of intentional visualization is an intentional act of creation – creating the future-to-be by mental visualization, imaginatively seeing what can be, as it should be, and as it will be. Using the power of will in combination with visualization is called 'intentional projection' (a metaphysical term). This will bring the full force of mental power to create the future. At this point, though, one needs to experimentally practice with it, in order to understand and make use of this; rather than merely thinking about it theoretically.

The next powers of mind to consider are three-fold, as all three of these are interrelated. These are receptivity, discernment, and understanding. The mind is able to receive information and wisdom from many sources: from other people, from books or media, from one's own soul, from God and from inner spiritual teachers. Lumping all these into one term, let us simply say that we can receive from wisdom. Though acknowledging that not all one might receive is wisdom, since it's also possible to receive false ideas or nonsense.

Now in order to receive, we need to be open-minded. In meditation, one needs to also be empty of thought, which then leads to open-mindedness and to receiving wisdom. So one of the most important practices and abilities is to clear the mind of thought, so to become an empty mind able to receive. When the mind is empty, a spacial vacuum is created, which then has a great power for receiving. Also, thought is like talking, so only when we are empty of thought is our mind truly silent and then able to really listen. Thus, with practice, acquire the mental ability to be empty of thought and truly be in silence, in order to be truly open-minded and receptive to inward wisdom.

This then brings us to the important mental power of discernment, the knowing between true and false. This will be a necessary complement to receptivity, because we would not want to be merely receptive to whatever or to anything. Basically, the key to discernment is trust personal experience and allowing one's heart to discern. Reasoning and logic is important to use, but this has to at least be combined with heart knowing and experience. The ultimate knower of truth, in us, must be our heart and our natural sense of what is true, and without logical mind to derail or criticize our heart-knowing. Ultimately, let the heart discern, because in our heart is our soul, and our soul has spiritual knowing.

Mastery of one's emotional energies

Mastery of one's emotional energies is not an easy task. Everyone has some mastery – at least some degree of emotional self-control and some amount of emotional integration but for most of us this could be improved. Emotional self-control is one's ability to gain self-awareness of one's emotional drama and not just passively allow immature emotions to rage or be rampant. Emotional integration is a working harmony between our various emotions, rather than having disconnected or conflicting emotions. Self-control is when the mind can stand above the emotions and restrain them if they need to be reigned in.

Self-control of the emotions is needed sometimes, for practical purposes; but there are other times when it is healthier to just allow one's emotions to run free. There are times to work at self-control and to focus on the higher emotions, yet there are other times when it's alright to just let the emotions be as they are. Self-control is kind of like a parent-child relationship. The mind tends to be like a parent over the emotions, which is needed at times; but the emotions, as like children, sometimes need to run free and just be, without any thought or authority telling them how to behave. Sometimes, just let yourself emotionally be whatever you feel. Afterall, some emotions or emotional qualities are quite sweet and enjoyable. Some emotions might feel to be in need of more exploration, more understanding, more self-processing; and so these might need more time to let be and to experience.

The best way to deal with emotional energies is to not fight with them. First accept whatever emotions become present. Then simply practice non-attachment and letting go of any negative or problem emotions. If one does not become attached to an emotion and not hold on to it, then its energy will dissolve more quickly. But if one starts a fight with it, or creates an inner struggle to get rid of it, then more energy is given to what is best to leave alone and allowed to naturally dissipate on its own. This same principle can also be applied to interpersonal emotional dynamics, the emotions between others and our self. So getting into an emotional fight with oneself is not really useful; not anymore useful than getting into emotional fights with other people. It is better and more useful to practice non-attachment and continually let it go.

Well ok, stay in the emotions that feel good or that are interesting, but let go of those emotional dramas and energies that don't feel good, interesting or useful. Pick out the good stuff and let the rest go. No sense holding on to everything or anything. This is in our power. This is our choice, this power to swim in the emotions of our choosing but release any troubling or painful emotions. Mastery of emotions means a power of choice and a power to let go whatever, whenever.

Mastery of desires is even more difficult. Desires are a special kind of emotions and are the most powerful of all. It is difficult to let go of desires since they are what we like. It's difficult to give up or let go of something enjoyed or pleasurable. Of course though, there is no need to do this anyways. Most desires and enjoyments are just fine keep. But some desires could be let go of – for example, desires that are too unrealistic, meaning that as long as these remain as desires one will be disappointed at their unfulfillment.

Fundamentally, there are two most basic kinds of desires – those which lead to healthy enjoyments and those which lead to unhealthy enjoyments or un-useful pleasures. To discern the difference, one has to employ the rational mind and also spiritual intuition, because desire in itself cannot really make these wise discernments. Then as well, there are desires or enjoyments that are overindulgent and basically un-useful, or even perhaps unhealthy. So, some desires might be better if eliminated or at least lowered in their self-importance, due to either unrealism or un-usefulness.

Also, a master of desires will be able to practice detachment and even dispassion about any particular desires. This means that one is able and willing to let it go, if necessary, or if something more important presents itself. This also means that one is disattached to the outcome of any desire; meaning that one can hold a desire and enjoy the outcome if fulfilled, but one is emotionally undisturbed if it is unfulfilled or distracted by someone. This is the more mature attitude of desires, as held by a master of desires.

Developing emotional detachment is especially important (and practical) in relation with others; because our emotional energies will very often react, either defensively or aggressively, whenever the actions or words of others seems threatening to our own desires, hopes, or plans. This is simply known as 'reacting to others', and most often this reaction does nothing to help matters and, in fact, usually makes things worse. Thus, detachment (or non-reaction) is what we need to develop.

This does not mean to simply not express oneself. When emotionally upset or disturbed, due to our reaction to others, it is often good to discuss this honestly with the other person, though without blaming them and without screaming out our reaction. So if one can discuss their emotions, yet with detachment and non-reaction, then this can be useful. However, there really is no need to discuss every little self-reaction to other people, nor every little emotional complaint we might have; for most of the time we should simply let go of our little petty reactions that are usually based on us not getting our way.

Also, detachment does not mean that one is uncaring or unconcerned about the issues and relations of life. Detachment is not an unconcern about things. It is, rather, a dis-attachment from our little self-ego desires and reactions. One can certainly care about others and be concerned about the world, but with reactional detachment. That is, one can hold emotional concern for others and the world, yet simultaneously practice emotional reactional detachment – in regards to outcomes and to how others act or respond to us.

Next, mastery of emotions also involves building and engaging in more positive emotions. This means to encourage and strengthen more positive, spiritual or loving emotions in oneself. Bring forth from oneself a higher quality of emotion and express higher forms of emotion. So the goal is not to be simply un-emotional, nor to be emotionally unexpressive. Rather, the goal is have a spiritually higher and more enjoyable emotional life – full of love, joy, and many other positive emotions.

In other words, as a master of our emotional energies, we can develop a positive, loving, and joyful emotional self-reality – whereby our emotional experience and our emotional expression is simply dependent on how we make it. But we need to first take responsibility for our emotions and our emotional life. Then we need to realize our own power to bring forth our truly loving soul-emotions, while also re-creating (or trans-forming) whatever emotions or reactions cause problems in our life. Build the positive and let go of anything else.

So as we realize that we can make a more positive emotional life for our self, then we can begin to re-create our emotional body, adding in more light and love, while letting go of any discovered disturbances and disharmonies. The process of letting go of whatever is not ultimately positive is very important. The process of building the positive can happen along with this letting go, but it cannot occur without it. We need to let go of un-useful emotional energies in order to make room for positive energies in our emotional body So one cannot build a positive emotional life without also letting go of the non-positive.

One very helpful self-practice is emotional clearing. More detailed instructions for this practice are elsewhere, but the basics are as follows. Close the eyes. Just observe the breath and how one now is emotionally. Just be aware of the emotional energies or feelings, while at the same time using the breath to consciously relax. Take deep and slow breaths, then release emotional energies while releasing the breath. Especially relax – physically, emotionally, and mentally – on each out breath. Soon begin to also use visualization to inwardly see emotional energies relax, release, and let go. See and let these emotional energies dissolve during each out breath.

As one does this, one will discover that these emotional energies (which we have been holding onto) are very real, very tangibly felt energies. This is not something just done in the imagination or as a mental exercise. When this emotional clearing is really done, one will feel the energies to be very real. The experience is very tangibly felt. Often, those emotional energies being released will feel heavy, sticky, chaotic, and unnerving. They will feel almost too heavy to release and almost stick to let go of. But if we are willing to let them go and able to relax enough to let them go, then we will actually feel them being released on the out-breath and out from our bottom. Let those energies return back to the Earth, like compost.

There is no need in this practice to discern between what is a good emotion or a not-so good emotion. It does not matter. The aim is to simply release and dissolve all emotional tensions, worries, and unrelaxed energies. Empty everything. Let everything go, any and all emotional energies. Then, when sufficiently at peace, in repose and relaxed, just go into the heart and bask in the sunlight of the heart. For here in the heart are the deeper soul energies of love, and from here in our heart can come bring forth higher, positive emotional energies.

Freedom from attractions and illusions

Objective observation destroys conditioned sleep and opens new possibilities of interacting in the world. When we wake up to how thoughts control our attention and condition our responses in the world, then we can begin to do something useful about this. The world around us is often flashing a barrage of thoughts and energies to us, like neon advertising signs, and we in turn are often shooting our attention here and there, like an automatic machine gun. Our inner energies are trapped in the attention given to all of this. Attention becomes conditioned, attached and trapped. We attach thoughts and feelings to the things and people we encounter. And their thoughts and feelings attach to us.

So we are trapped in a world of attraction. We could say that this is the world of illusion, because it is not real from the Divine perspective of who we truly are, but is an unconsciously created reality of thought-form and static energy.

This illusive world is attractive to us, because of our attachment to thoughts and feelings, and our loneliness to interact with the world, but it is not real interaction, for it merely exists temporarily in the mind. Once we have come to what is truly real in ourself, then we can find the true being of another and interact in a much more fulfilling way. In order to come into what is real in ourself, rather than mere passing-attractions, we need to become free from the world around us, free from conditioned thought-energy interactions. This freedom is attained by a struggle with conditioning and attachment. It requires us to be awake to one’s being and intention, to take back our energies of attraction to the world around, and concentrate this energy within our being-consciousness, which strengthens and builds being, soul inside.

Out of this freedom and from this strength of inner being, we can then truly serve and help the world around us. We can direct our attention, our thought and our sensitivity with the intention to serve life through our radiance of conscious love. We can truly recognize the love and being of another, beyond thought and reaction, truly seeing and interacting with another in the heart of being.

When we are awake people around us begin to awaken, when we are free people around become free, and we can interact together at the deeper level of being beyond the world of mere attraction and conditioned reaction. When we are free within we have something real to give, which is the real power, love and consciousness of the soul.

We also have the ability to transform thought, which helps the world, by sacrificing the useless and negative thought in our mind. This sacrifice is a loving recognition of higher thought and the release of energy that is trapped in conditioned thought. This release redeems the thought back to the source and provides the world mind with energy for strengthening the higher thought. Giving up useless worry, fear, hate and guilt provides a higher energy, through this transformation, for the world, as well as ourself. We actually redeem the thoughts back to their origin, which is ultimately love.

Thought seeks to be alive in us, mostly out of the fear of death. Much of thought is in pain, in loneliness, in fear, and we can redeem this suffering through loving sacrifice as we awaken the thought to the higher purpose and love of life. In a sense we teach our thoughts about love, about truth, about good, and give loving recognition to them by listening to them, by understanding them, until they know they are loved and can willingly sacrifice themselves for the greater good of life. Once thought or emotion is in us we cannot just kill it, because it will fight back or hide itself in other disguises. We do need to fully understand our thoughts and emotions, for they have a place in us at this time. But we do not need to be attached to them or feed their reality through our agreement. The understanding we give to them brings the light of truth and finally dissolves them into their greater source.

Purity of mind and heart

An important part of a spiritual path is purity, which is also an aspect of self-mastery. This could involve any or all of the personality bodies; such as the physical, emotions, or mental body. Having a pure, clean, and healthy physical body is pretty obvious spiritual aim. But let us begin with the mind and heart. Purity of mind means a clear, uncluttered, and peaceful mind. The same can be said for the heart. Purity of mind results in our ability to clearly receive higher Intuitions, higher spiritual Impressions, and higher cosmic energies. We can then learn and also understand higher spiritual principles and ideas. We can then receive and learn from higher Teachers. And we can then more directly receive from God, understanding the Divine Will and Wisdom.

A pure, clear, uncluttered heart brings love and other higher emotions. Why? Because purity and clarity in one's emotional body, and especially in one's heart, will result in a clearer receptivity of Divine Love and also of the love expressed by others. Love coming from the natural world can also then be received. A clear and pure emotional body, without clutter of emotional troubles or reactions, will also result in a serene emotional experience, with the heart open and ready to receive. Thus, a clearer emotional body makes possible a clearer receptivity to higher emotional energies; just as a clear mind makes possible a clearer receptivity to higher spiritual thoughts or ideas.

A pure, clear, and uncluttered heart brings love also because the essence of the heart is love. So when the heart is clear, its essence is realized. The essence of love shines through the clear and pure heart, and thus love is spontaneously realized (uncovered). As well, when the mind is clear and pure, the essence of mind can then shine through, which is peace, and so peace is then spontaneously realized (uncovered). To summarize, the heart's essence of love shines through when the heart is pure, clear, and uncluttered; and the mind's essence of peace shines through when the mind is pure, clear, and uncluttered.

In some Buddhist teachings the heart and mind are considered to be interrelated. A pure heart is an open heart, which is its natural state when uncluttered and clear. Likewise, a pure mind is an open mind, which is its natural state when uncluttered and clear. The natural state of mind and heart is simply to be open, expansive, uncontracted, and non-judgmental. Clear your heart and mind to see if this is true. Test it out.

Then, one can also discover that an open, expansive, uncontracted, and non-judgmental mind or heart is what love is. Love welcomes and allows in. This is the loving heart. So everyone can enter into my heart of love when my heart is naturally open, which is its pure and clear state. This the Buddhist ideal of heart and mind, to be clear and free of everything, to be uncluttered, so that heart and mind are simply open, receptive and accepting to what is, which is what love is. This relaxed openness is the natural, loving state of heart and mind. Or in other words, the loving heart is relaxed in its openness.

But then as it might be worried, what about negative energies or negative people? Would we want anyone or any energy to enter in our pure and clear heart? If one has made a clean and pure house, would one want to welcome everyone in, even those with dirty shoes? So doesn't the pure and clear heart need some kind of boundary or protection? Here are some answers to those concerns.

Everyone can enter in, but all dissolves into the pure loving essence. In other words, when the heart and mind are pure and clear, all beings and all levels of energies can be received into one's heart, but everything then dissolves into its original spiritual essence, similar to how any material would dissolve into essence when entering into the pure fire of the sun. So, the purity and clarity of one's heart dissolves everything and anything back to its original spiritual essence.

Also with a pure and clear heart, nothing is held-to, kept, or 'taken on'. The moment anything enters the heart or mind, it is immediately allowed to move through, like a visitor, but nothing is held-to, nothing held on to. Therefore, whatever comes in, or whoever enters one's heart as a welcomed visitor, just remains for a temporary time, in order to present a certain teaching or experience, but then this simply drifts away because one easily allows it to go. In other words, the energies come in then go out freely, like pieces of dust drifting into an empty open jar with the wind, then just as easily drifting out with the wind.

So with an purely open mind and heart, which does not cling to anything, miscellaneous thoughts and energies might come in, but nothing is held-to so everything just moves on, unless one sees something especially significant. It's kind of like creative brainstorming; a lot is thrown onto the table, but one has to see or feel what is truly important or useful. All else is allowed to simply drift on, without giving it any of one's energy.

Then, if there are some kinds of energy or circumstance that are difficult to let go of or dissolve back to essence, then this is what one needs to presently work on, that is, it's still in need of 'processing', or one might even think of it as karma not yet resolved.

So one can have an open, clear, receptive and allowing heart, but nothing in particular has to stick or get stuck, or be held, and much can be psychically dissolved back into essence, or just dissolved into love; or else one will have to make some internal effort to process-resolve what is still upsetting emotionally or what still worries the mind. For the goal is to be emotionally clear and free, as well as mentally clear and free. And once again, this is the path to love, because a clear and free mind/heart will be naturally open in love.

Clearing our mind and emotions

Our divine soul is natural in us. Our soul is our true nature. Our soul is the essence of who we are, authentically and most deeply. Our soul contains our most loving and spiritual qualities. Yet, our divine soul and these beautiful spiritual qualities do not come into our consciousness and experience, if our consciousness and experience is already filled with continuous unceasing thoughts and emotional reactive feelings; such as worries and plans, upsets and irritations. These thoughts and emotions hold us back from experiencing our deeper soul. They're the obstacles to soul experience, because they dominant and cloud over the potential qualities of our soul. They obscure and prevent our soul being revealed.

These automatic and sometimes turbulent thoughts and emotions are the obscurations clouding our soul knowing. And since these contents are filling the space of our consciousness, there is no room for our soul to be revealed. These repeating contents of our mind and emotions act like clouds covering over the sunlight of our soul. Yet this is not how mind and emotion need to be; for instead, our mind and emotions can be clear in order for our soul to be revealed. Our mind and emotions can become a receptive space for our soul, as well as an expressive medium for our soul.

Therefore, in order for our inner divine soul to be revealed and to be consciously experienced, we need to always work on clearing the clouds, our mental and emotional obscurations. Once there is clearing, then one's true soul (one's true beingness) will begin to emerge into conscious experience.

Here are three ways to clear the mind and emotions –

{Use the power of Light to clear mental & emotional contents}

Reclaiming control

Also needed, in complement with clearing, is a reclaiming of control over one's mental and emotional energies. If there is no degree of control, in relation to our mind and emotions, then our capacities for higher spiritual experience are diminished because of chaotic or automatic thoughts and emotions dominating our experience. We need to get back in control of our chariot, in order to lead it towards greater destinations, rather than be led all over the place by loose reactionary energies. The purpose of control is not to squelch freedom, but rather to make sure the inner soul is not merely drowned out and obscured by incessant thoughts and emotions. One is quieting down those louder thoughts and emotions, so that our inner soul can be heard or revealed. So this is not meant to be a control of mind's intuition and creativity, but rather to regain control over the present chaos of one's thoughts or emotions; because if we do not, then our true freedom is being impaired by this situation.

Also, self-control should also involve self-understanding and love. It is not simply bashing oneself with a hammer or a whip. Understand that whatever thoughts and emotions are going on, at the time, have some degree of validity and significance; or in other words, whatever is going on, emotionally or mentally, has its own reason - from its own perspective. The attitude of control is not to disrespect or completely ignore these reasons, but rather the act of control and clearing is a matter of practicality; that is, in order for our deeper soul and greater intuition to emerge, these ongoing present thoughts and emotions need to be cleared or let go of, at least for now. Yet we can still respect that our thoughts and emotions are processes – meaning that they are 'processing'. In other words, this content is present because it is still processing issues and emotions which are still unresolved, and thus still needing to be resolved. Yet the best way to resolve these issues is from the love and intuition of our inner soul.