Self-Mastery: How to Master your Emotions and the Delusions they Create

Very few things have a greater impact on our life and cause us to traverse the extremes of pain and joy more than emotions. Yet at the very same time, very few things are harder to truly manage and bring under the control of our will. This is because emotions produce an intense inner stimulation and work almost exclusively by way of the subconscious mind, which means they operate automatically without our direct awareness of them. We’re usually in the midst of a full blown emotional response before we actually even realize it. When we receive an emotional charge from someone or something, it instantly alters our state of mind causing us to go unconscious in the most basic sense, and instantly engage in the reality as a form of illusion that’s inherent in the emotion. As a full blown reality is created out of an instant change in our state, we simultaneously go into what are purely reactive, unconscious behaviors based on the illusion we’re consumed in. In the ultimate sense, all behavior is emotionally driven and comes in a natural and automatic (unaware) fashion based on our state of mind.

One of the easiest ways to really become aware of the nature of emotions and the effect they produce is through self-reflection as observing in yourself what’s actually happening when you either internally produce or receive an emotional charge from something. One of the most persistent and solid illusions that most still hold to be true is that others “cause us” to feel and be the way we are without us being able to control it. The illusion is created out of the idea that they “made me feel that way”, or “they caused me to be this way”. We imagine that our own reactions and internal experiences are something caused “in us” by another, because it happens at the unconscious level as a natural and automatic process. We can only begin working with it intentionally by becoming aware of what ordinarily operates in and through us without our direct awareness of it.

Emotions are the impulse of the unconscious mind that operates the entire material world as a primary form of instinct. Emotions are always attached to memories and the meaning and behavioral dynamic acted out through the experience that formed the memory. As an event happens to or around us, we form an emotional response to it, and the emotion provides the meaning it has in terms of how it makes us feel internally, which becomes the perceptual lens we look through to create our experience of it by how we interpret it, and how we behave and interact as a result, producing our memory of it. Memories and the emotional state that accompanies and produces them have whole realities inherent in them and behavioral dynamics as both a set of behaviors we automatically display, and the type of dynamic or interaction it produces. One then acts to automatically stimulate the other. The emotion produces the same reality and meaning as the event of the memory, and events that are similar to the one of the memory produce the same emotional state. Both the memory and the associated emotion produce the same physiology and set of behaviors that actively create in the present more of the same ideas and realities of the past.

Clouded mind

As children we develop and function almost exclusively out of an unconscious state where we’re fully present in the reality of the moment, forming constant emotional responses to what’s going on around us, shaping how we feel inside. We have no ability to discern or discriminate or objectively interpret the events of our life in a meaningful way. We’re simply trained to whatever behavioral dynamics and values that are being played out as a group that’s all in the same or similar emotional state. We rely on our parents and authority figures to interpret things for us, explain to us what they mean and how we should feel about them based on what they mean.

As children we’re purely instinctual creatures shaped and controlled by others and our environment as our emotional, mental, and behavioral conditioning that produces and instills the pattern as relationship dynamics we live out of as adults for the rest of our life. We are completely programmed with memories, habitual emotional states, and tendencies by the time we become teenagers. This initial conditioning provides the foundation for how we develop and form our identity as teenagers when our self-conscious mind awakens and comes into play and we begin thinking for ourselves, problem solving through reasoning, and forming our own unique story through our ability to interpret things for ourselves. All of this comes out of our existing paradigm as the continued growth and expression of our formative conditioning, and simply develops the same idea and dynamics to a new means.

We consistently access what you could call our memory bank as the means for forming all interpretations of our present situation in an instantaneous manner. Through a dynamic chain-of-association we’re always associating current events to mean the same thing as past events, then forming the same type of response. As we “receive” an emotional charge of some kind, altering our state, we instantly reference and pull up a memory of the same nature (state) and kind, use that as our perceptual lens for making the present mean the same thing as the past, and forming a natural reaction of the same nature.

Emotional atmosphere

This is all done as a natural process of our subconscious mind and happens instantaneously without our direct awareness and produces automatic behaviors born out of an illusion of the past that requires no actual thought process, self-awareness, or intentional decision. This is a completely natural function of our lower, animal body and soul as the equivalent of instinct. Animals are driven to act instinctively in automatic ways through emotional impulses and memory that has whole behavioral patterns inherent in them. It operates without awareness of what’s actually happening or actual thought-process that forms the basis for making a decision born out of awareness and the realization it brings.

Anytime we’re reacting emotionally, we’re being controlled and determined by what we’re reacting to. We’re literally a puppet on a string being jerked around. We’re allowing ourselves to be violently tossed about from one shore to another in a stormy sea. The easiest way to control someone or produce a specific type of behavior is through their emotions. True leaders work through inspiration and vision to elicit group emotions to produce unified behavior as the reality of the vision.  All “states of mind” have realities inherent in them and all the natural behaviors and activities necessary to produce, maintain, and multiply more of that same state.

Fearful thinking and anxiety

What are Emotions?

Emotions can be thought of as a form of electrical charge or animating force that’s purely a product of the lower regions of the Astral Plane of material reality. Emotions are the “activating force” operating in the material world in an automatic fashion. Emotions are always coupled with thoughts and one will act to influence and produce the other as a form of back and forth movement between complementary parallel planes. Thoughts concentrated and imagined as realities stimulate a natural emotional response to our thoughts and the emotions becomes the animating force that produces the behavior and activities necessary to produce the thought as an experience of reality. Likewise, when we receive an emotional charge from someone outside of us, it serves to give rise to the same type of thought and reality of the emotion based on memory, forming how we perceive something through the reality it forms in our imagination, that becomes the basis for producing natural behaviors as the expression of it.

Cause and Effect – Action produces an Equal Reaction

We basically form emotions in two ways, either internally as the equivalent or life-force of our thoughts that serves to animate them and adapt them to the actual physical environment through which they’ll express in a creative fashion; or externally as an emotional charge produced by emotion being outwardly expressed by another and projected towards us, which “enters our body” as an electrical charge, stimulating and bringing into an active state that same or complementary emotion. We never really “get something externally from the outer world”, but it acts instead to merely awaken that same force in us, making it active and calling it forth into expression. Emotions are universal in nature and something that’s shared equally by all of humanity as well as the plant and animal kingdoms, who are all governed by the same subconscious mind, whereas thoughts are more individual in nature and are different for everyone experiencing the same emotion. This is because emotion operates without the need for thought as the animating force that shapes reality out of memory.

Thought is a human capacity and originates in the higher regions of the Astral Plane, and is what serves in place of animal, universal memory to first stimulate the appropriate emotion that animates the thought to produce a physical correspondence. In the human sense, thought is produced by personal memories as variations based on how they’re adapted and modified in relationship to the current event, and provide the subconscious with the memory as a metaphorical template that it uses to emotionally produce the reality of the thought-modified memory. So the same emotional charge will elicit a different memory as an illusion in each individual, but the behavior it produces in both will ideally act out the dynamic natural in the emotion. The only thing that’ll be different is their reason and association to previous life events.

Making our own universe

The Nature of Illusion and Reality

Because an emotional charge issues forth from the material plane and is always associated to memory, it operates to produce the reality of the memory as a kind of theme that becomes the perceptual lens for interpreting the present to mean the same thing as the past. This not only keeps us constantly living out of the past and creating more of the same type of experiences, but also produces an illusion out of the memory as an internal representation that it uses in place of the actual reality of the present moment. Just as we are conditioned to emotional states that become habitual and normal as our dominant state of mind and the ones we readily connect to and resonate with in others, we’re prone to living out of the illusions of emotional states throughout our life without ever realizing what we’re doing and why.

Our emotional states lock us into the memories of those states and they act as a generalized theme that forms our life story by how we interpret the events of our life to give them meaning. While there are many different emotions and memories, we have a natural tendency to only live out of a small handful of the ones we’re conditioned with, and the ones that came with significant emotional intensity. Emotional intensity acts as a “hook” that keeps us constantly engaged and living out of the memories they produced while we were kids and unable to cognitively make rational sense of things. As adults much of what we know intelligently we have trouble actually applying to our life because we’re still governed by our emotions and prone to being in what is primarily a constant reactive state and living out of an instant replay of the events of the past.

When we live out of emotions we’re like animals in an unconscious state governed by impulses and memories to produce instant realities and automatic behaviors. We haven’t learned how to control our own inner state, which is what produces the reaction. Once we become fully aware of what’s happening when we’re triggered emotionally, and how we act to produce our own internal response that results in an outward expression, we can learn the secrets to becoming fully conscious in our own life, staying awake and self-aware in situations we normally went unconscious in, and learn how to regulate our own emotional states at will.

Moon influences emotions

Self-Reflection and Realization

Awareness and a practical understanding are always the prerequisite to conscious creation. We can only work with what we’re aware of and understand “as” its happening. Through self-reflection of our internal state we can gain an awareness that will also allow us to recognize it as it’s happening in the moment when it’s taking place, so we can transform it through a conscious act. Once we bring our reactive states under control and are no longer affected by the emotions of others, and can use our mind in a way that intentionally produces desired emotions at will. We can begin using emotions intentionally to govern ourselves and influence and direct the behaviors of others.

Start off with a situation or behavior that produced a distinct emotional charge in you, but not one that was super intense or highly personal, and recall the situation in exactly the same way you experienced it. Remember what behavior was being outwardly displayed and how it was expressed that sent an emotional charge surging through you. Allow yourself to notice what was said, the tone and attitude in which it was said, and the behavior of the other person as or while it was being said. Recall the nature of the stimulus, its intensity, and where it entered your body (chest, stomach, gut, sexual organs, etc.). As it entered and stimulated an area in your body how did it feel? Describe the feeling it gave you in sensory terms based on where it stimulated you. Was it a sinking feeling, a sharp jabbing feeling, or perhaps a burning sensation? Maybe a buzzy-giddy feeling, or gave you a slight queasy feeling? Describe it briefly in metaphorical terms of how it made you feel inside. Based on that feeling, notice what it awoke in you and made instantly active, and brought out in you as an actual emotional response. Sometimes it’s the same emotion, other times it’s a complementary or contradicting emotion, based on how you responded to that same idea in your family dynamic and formative conditioning.

Mind's eye

Notice what you associate to the feeling based on past experiences of the same emotion and stimulus. This usually comes as “that’s the same way my father used to talk to me that made me feel this same way”; or “that’s how my mother treated me”, or that’s the same thing my brother or friend made me feel, and so on. There’s an immediate association to a past event of a similar nature that caused you to feel the same way. Based on the memory you associate and access, you make the present situation “mean the same thing” as the past and you react in a like manner as the outward expression of the emotion and reality you first formed internally. This all takes place intuitively in an instantaneous manner. You’re not deliberately making the association by choosing it from an aware perspective, but it’s happening immediately and automatically. It feels as if you have no control over it and it’s happening “to you” by the other or the event itself.

While it does produce an instantaneous automatic reality and equivalent reaction, allow yourself to notice that it’s all being done “by you” at a level just below your actual awareness of the fact that you’re the one creating your own reaction. Notice that the other person or event isn’t “making you” react that way, but simply stimulates you in a way that’s causing you to create your own reaction. All experience comes this way through a constant interaction between the inner and outer world as cause and effect. All outer reaction causes an equal or greater inward reaction, which acts to produce an equivalent outer reaction, that becomes the stimulus to again produce and equivalent reaction, and so forth. It creates what we can think of as a “self-perpetuating state and reality” as a back and forth interaction that’s produced almost entirely from an unconscious state.

The illusion that’s formed out of the modified memory the emotion activates is what causes people to get caught up in explaining their right to react that way as a means of justifying and validating themselves. This response comes as a total investment in the illusion as being locked inside of it, unable to realize what’s truly happening and the fact that they’re actually choosing to remain unconscious in their own life and create themselves as determined by others and the natural events of their life. Through this awareness alone, we can choose to wake up in our life and begin working with emotions consciously and create our life from a fully aware and awake state.


Mental Technique for Keeping Emotions Outside of your Body

Naturally, visualization is the key component to not only creating your internal experience of things, but also as the means of “directing energy’. We say “energy flows where thoughts go”, which can also be stated as “whatever we imagine directs and organizes the magnetic forces of the material plane into the reality of our thoughts”. One of the easiest ways to begin outwardly preventing emotions being projected by others from entering your body is by creating a protective sphere as a material barrier of your mind. Imagine your mind as a clear, invisible sphere or bubble that extends a couple of feet from your body and completely surrounds and encapsulates your whole body. Nothing from the outside world can penetrate this sphere unless you let it. Its penetrability is based solely on your imagination and will.

As an emotion is projected towards you imagine that it hits the surface of the outer sphere, and spreads out over the surface forming a clear mental image of the reality inherent in the emotion itself, much like watching a form of virtual scene or small clip in a movie. As you sense the emotion as a mental impression that’s outside of you and not penetrating or affecting either your mental or physical state, you can gain awareness of the mental state of the person projecting it without having to take it on. In this way, you can form an understanding of it from an objective and neutral perspective of “witnessing”. As you witness it without taking it in and producing a reaction of the same nature, you act as a mirror to reflect it back to the person expressing it and act as a neutralizing force that doesn’t amplify or multiply it. This is one of the most basic forms of true compassion that allows you to see the nature of the illusions produced by another as they are without modifying them through a mental editing process of blending with them and taking them on yourself. This process will allow you to stay in tuned with and understand the emotional states and expressions of others, without being subject to them yourself.

perception colored with emotion

Sublimation – Transforming Negative Emotions to Positive Ones

The idea of sublimation in psychology means “the diversion of the energy of a biological impulse from its immediate goal to one of a more acceptable social, moral, or aesthetic nature” as a form of purification or refinement. This process of transforming emotions from one state to another is a bit more difficult, and can take a fair amount of practice in order to master in a consistent fashion. The rewards however are far more impacting, because it produces a natural state of forgiveness through the process itself. The basic idea here is to transform what we could call “negative emotions”, ones that would be harmful somehow when expressed, into “positive emotions” that can be diverted and expressed in a more beneficial way.

I came across this idea in a completely natural way through awareness of my own tendencies and employing the means necessary to let go of negative judgments and form a sense of compassion in their place. I had to deal with a woman in a business situation who was very hostile and volatile in her attitude towards me, or anyone who was deemed a problem or challenged her authority in anyway. In preparing to deal with her, I ran all kinds of scenarios through my mind of what position I would take on, what I would use in a defensive manner to gain leverage and demonstrate my point, and so on, mostly due to the fact that I was dreading the encounter. I then decided I wasn’t going to take a defensive attitude and simply point out the facts involved, which were all in my favor. As I negotiated with her she showed up exactly as I thought she would, but I was able to lead her to an agreeable conclusion based on legalities.

After the experience was over with, I noticed that I continued thinking about it with a feeling of anxiety and a strong dislike for her. The feelings were filling me with negativity, which I didn’t like, so I decided to “forgive her” for being the way she was. In order to do this, I looked at her life from what I imagined to be her own perspective, and why she came to behave the way she did. I saw that being a woman and not having very good self-esteem and self-control, she felt like she had to be aggressive in order to demonstrate authority and not be taken advantage of by those trying to get her to feel sorry for them and make exceptions to the company policies. That she felt that she had to be that way in order to appear strong. Once I looked at her from this perspective, I could understand her attitude in a whole new way, and I realized she wasn’t a mean person in essence, but more in acquired behaviors meant to defend herself from being overcome by others. In this light, I felt a total acceptance, and almost a form of love as compassion for her. From this state, I could not only not hold anything against her and be cordial with her in passing, but I was also able to forget all about her. The memory of our encounter no longer controlled my attention and I simply quit thinking about her all together.

Shaman inner worlds

The sublimation of emotion is the process of changing our perspective and how we’re looking at something as the means of changing how we feel about it. We change the emotion that’s produced as a response to our own thoughts about it. We refrain from expressing a negative emotion, which would cause harm to us and others through what it created as an event, and we work internally instead to transform our own perspective and attitude in order to produce a more favorable emotional response to our own thoughts, and divert the expression into a positive one that creates in a more healthy and beneficial manner. By taking an attitude of understanding someone or something from their own perspective instead of from ours, and relinquishing judgment of them, we’re able to transform our own thoughts and the emotional response to our own thoughts.

We prevent the forces generated by the external stimulus from producing an immediate reaction that’s unwanted, and direct it instead into a more remote reaction where it can be discharged harmlessly in a different manner. In this way, an immediate reaction of resentment or anger can be transmuted through compassion, and overtly expressed as charity. Through this practice we divert or channel energies into more appropriate planes and transmute what is ultimately harmful and destructive into a consciously creative and life affirming expression. We transmute a negative expression into a positive one that when expressed in a more appropriate way utilizes it for healing purposes for both us and the other person. Whatever emotions we hold and give life to inside of us as our “state” becomes how we feel and express and what we create for ourselves and others as a result.

This process of emotional transformation purifies the mind and soul by removing unwanted and harmful emotions from being expressed in an automatic manner, and creating negative karma as a result. By transmuting it to a different state we purify ourselves by returning it to its proper state, where it can be released in a positive and productive manner, purifying our soul of toxic and destructive tendencies. This is one of the most basic processes of self-purification that not only transforms the emotions themselves, but the thoughts associated with them and automatically produced by them. This is one of the most basic ways we learn how to use our mind and will to redirect our thoughts and emotions, preventing discharges that are negative in nature and ultimately destructive to our own soul evolution.

flames of emotion

Using Laws of a Higher Plane to Transform the Lower Plane

Thought as awareness and diligent practice to keep emotions from infecting and affecting us, or transforming them to positive emotions through the two processes stated above, teaches us the self-control necessary to begin working with the forces of the material plane through the complementary laws of a higher plane. Thoughts exist on a higher plane that’s void of emotions, where they’re not determined or controlled by emotions, and is actually what works to provide the material form as a neutral shell for “drawing in” and directing emotion. From this state we remain calm and unaffected by the emotional states of others and the material world, and we can act in any situation by responding in a way that neutralizes the emotion being expressed by not taking it on, and then responding in a deliberate way by introducing thoughts and ideas that subtlety moves them into a more positive and productive emotional state.

Emotion is the motivating and animating energy of the material plane, and can be led and directed by thought and will, but only when the individual’s thoughts and will are not being controlled by it. We can only exercise direct influence and control over what doesn’t act to control us. We can work to transcend the laws of the lower plane by evolving ourselves to a higher plane and operating out of the complementary Laws of that plane that govern and direct the forces of the lower plane. But we can only do this by understanding the laws of the lower plane and making ourselves neutral to them. When we can see the true reality involved as a primary unconscious state, and through that awareness and exercise of will, we can transcend them and work by way of the laws of the higher plane where thought and intellect serve to produce and direct the emotional, magnetic forces of the lower, dense and unconscious material plane governed by emotional impulses and instinct, we can use clear unadulterated thought to direct and manipulate those forces.

The first step to self-mastery and ascension to higher planes of awareness, is to become fully self-aware while in the lower planes and realize the nature of the laws operating to create reality, and use that knowledge by bringing it into an active practice in your daily life as the means of nullifying and neutralizing yourself to it, by systematically employing the complementary laws of the higher plane that governs and produces the activity of the lower plane.

walking between worlds

Within the Astral Plane of formation and creation, we have higher and lower regions that are complementary and work together to produce material reality through their marriage. This is equivalent to the “Formative World” of the Four Worlds of Esoteric Sciences, and in its descending motion moves from the higher regions of the same plane as thought and intellect, which is what organizes and produces form, to the lower regions of emotion which is what animates and brings life to the form as a living entity. Thought produces the idea that’s acted out emotionally to produce an experience of it.

As humans we’re bestowed with higher capacities of the mind that are creative in nature, and we have the ability to awaken and become self-aware while in an unconscious animal body driven exclusively by instinct. Through our awakening into self-awareness by exercising our higher capacities of choice and will, we can become aware of the laws operating in an unconscious manner, and begin working with them in a fully conscious and intentional manner. In order to transcend the lower planes of the material world, where we live like animals in an unconscious state controlled by our emotions and memories of the past, we have to become aware while in unconscious processes, and through the awareness rise above them by no longer being a part of or willingly participating in them, and therefore no longer determined or governed by them.

The key to transcending the lower planes is to bring what’s operating in our life in an unconscious, automatic (natural) fashion, into a conscious and aware state of self-realization. What differentiates us from the animal kingdom is our ability to become self-aware and in that awareness realize that we are not native to the lower animal planes, and begin exercising our ability instead to be self-directed and self-determined. As long as our identity is attached to and formed out of the unconscious state of the material world, we are determined by it and allow it to shape us in response to it as unconscious, powerless beings, who take on the role of “king of the beasts” instead of the one who creates the beast. As long as we’re invested in the emotional illusions of the material world and participate in it from an unconscious state, we remain bonded to it and never transcend it to the higher planes of our true origin. At this point in our evolution we are “in this world, but not of it”.

Dr. Linda Gadbois

Transpersonal Psychologist, Mind-Body Medicine Consultant, and Spiritual Teacher

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