Like so many spiritual ideas that actually lay the foundation for practice as the means of self-development, they tend to be misunderstood in the most fundamental way. This is also largely due to the fact that the spiritual and physical world exists in polarity of each other as a dynamic relationship of ideas going through a step-down process to become physical realities. The idea of “emotional cleansing” and purging yourself of all passions is one of the most misunderstood ideas that underlie the very foundation of all spiritual practices. Many see this as meaning that you should rid yourself of emotions in general and all forms of physical pleasure that we call passions as desire of some form. Passions in this sense, refer to strong desire for some form of physical pleasure and fulfillment that don’t take into account the physical, psychological or spiritual consequences of the actions involved.
What this idea is really referring to isn’t a purging that makes you emotionally void, and therefore dissociated, cut-off, and unable to experience pleasure, but is referring instead to “orientation”, and the intimate connection that exists between thought and emotion, and which one is acting to stimulate and produce the other. In our understanding of laws and how they operate to create and govern reality, we also realize that in order to create in both the physical and spiritual worlds, we have to always operate by way of laws. How we use laws to consistently create physical realities born out of the spiritual realm of archetypal principles, determines our ability to move freely between the two corresponding planes that actually act to directly reflect each other.
All reality from a purely psychological perspective has four basic components, as an idea that has a three-fold aspect > thought and the equivalent (matching) emotion, that produces behavior as the result of their combined expression. These four aspects are always connected and unified creating our perspective and perception, out of which we birth corresponding realities. Of these four aspects, thought and emotions form the “inner” component as the gradation between the invisible ideas that becomes the basis for the outer physical reality, based on how the idea is formed into and internal representation as an emotional thought-form.
Thought and emotion, can also be thought of as masculine and feminine elements that play off of each other and act to stimulate each other in a congruent manner, birthing an outer reality as the combination of the two (Father, Mother, and Child). If we are stimulated emotionally from an outside source, it produces automatic thoughts as the expression of that emotional state. Likewise, what we think about and form into visual images in our imagination stimulates an emotional reaction to our own thoughts. The thought coupled with the emotion, determines what type of idea we shape in our mind, which forms the pattern for how we behave.
Emotions are the currents of energy that run through the physical world that connect us to everyone and everything around us. All stimuli that come from an outer-external source are emotional in nature. While emotions are universal in nature and something we share not only with each other, but with animals and life in general, thoughts are personal creations that vary with every individual, and of course, only exist in the higher mind of humans. So while our thoughts are unique to us, emotions are universal and affect everyone in a similar manner, producing automatic thoughts that form our reaction (behavior). In the animal world, feelings and emotions direct the actions of animals in an automatic fashion as the behaviors inherent in the species. Emotions prompt animals to behave without a rational (or creative) thought process. They don’t associate individual thoughts to emotions creating imaginary realities that vary greatly between individuals, but simply perform predictable behaviors appropriate to the emotional stimulus. This is why animals are always sensing and in-tuned to the emotions of humans, because it indicates what behaviors they’re prone to. All behavior, in the most basic sense, is emotionally driven. You can predict someone’s behavior based on their emotional state.
As humans we are multidimensional beings, and have a physical aspect that we share with the animal kingdom and are receiving emotional information all the time, but we also attach thoughts to emotions, usually as memories of some sort created while in the same emotional state, and whatever emotions we’re being stimulated with determines what memories we reference, access and associate to our current situation, that produces our behavior. Emotions, when being received from our environment, control our thinking in a subliminal, yet very direct and pronounced way, that determine what ideas we run through our mind in response to them, how we create our internal experience of things by how we use the emotion as a means of interpreting everything. In this sense, like animals, our intellectual capacities are controlled and utilized through primal forces that enter into and “infect us”, literally possessing us by expressing “through us”, and shaping us according to our animalistic nature, or what we commonly refer to as our lower-self. When we are controlled by and live out of our emotional states (in a haphazard way), we create illusions in place of objective reality and keep ourselves “tuned too” the thoughts and perceptions equivalent to the emotions and the behaviors that result from them. Through this primary unconscious state of automatic illusion driven behavior, we create experiences that render direct consequences.
Emotions are what connect the purely energetic realm of thought to the physical realm of bio-chemistry, where our body’s chemistry is produced by our thoughts. Recognizing the laws operating through this dynamic relationship, we can realize that by changing the orientation of emotions producing thoughts, to thoughts producing emotions, we can learn how to regulate and determine our own experience of reality and our biochemistry. When we give our attention to certain ideas (principles), and think about those ideas, we produce the chemical equivalent of our thoughts as our emotional state, which connects us “through that state” to the same state in everyone and everything around us. When we think of beautiful thoughts, we become the chemical equivalent of those thoughts. Our thoughts determine our emotions and produce our perception, which becomes the reality we live out of.
Higher knowledge as ideas form thoughts and emotions necessary to produce the behavior that makes it a reality as a personal creation. Higher knowledge can only be accessed through equivalent emotional states. The types of thoughts we’re capable of tuning into are based on our emotional state as our “frame of mind” or mood. The basic process of idea forming thoughts that are married to like emotions that form their physical expression through behaviors that we employ in an automatic fashion because of them, works in both directions. In the unconscious sense, we are given our emotions by our interactions with others and the events of our life, that stimulate automatic thought-processes that form an imaginary reality as the idea formed by the combination of the emotion shaping the thought into a conceptualized representation, that forms the inner reality that becomes the structuring mechanism for interpreting our outer reality to be the same. If we choose to reverse this process, and focus on an idea (as a principle) as higher knowledge, that we form into a visual image by thinking about it, that acts to stimulate the equivalent emotion in response to, and through that state form our behavior and how we interact that simultaneously creates our physical reality and what consequences we draw on ourselves by way of our actions.
So the idea of cleansing yourself of emotions and passions, means to become aware of how you’re being emotionally stimulated all the time, either by others or by your own thoughts, and by becoming aware of how you’re being infected by emotions, you can refrain from reacting, and consciously not let the emotions enter into you, and take hold, and not allow them to produce an affect in you as a result. We can remain unaffected by our physical surroundings, and instead concentrate on ideas that produce very positive emotions in response to them, that keep us tuned to more of the same type of thoughts, while simultaneously producing the nature of our behavior and how we create in the world. We can only access whatever thoughts match our emotional state. The one directly reflects the other as its equivalent.
Passions are a strong desire for something as the desire “for it” or as the means of uniting and becoming one with it. Whatever we feel passionate about, we love and feel strongly towards. Passion is a form of desire for what we love. Whenever we love something, we seek union with it. We seek it out with a desire to merge into the experience of it, and become one with it in body and soul. By developing a passion for something we magnetize ourselves to that idea. We seek out the experience of being with it. In uniting with it in thought and emotion that creates an inner experience of it as us, we identify with it, and shape ourselves in a very powerful way (connect strong emotion to an idea) to be like it through the experience of it. We form emotional attachments to what we love and whenever apart, the separation is felt as emotional pain that warrants suffering and grief.
Again, recognizing this as a natural law and learning to work with it and create by way of it, we know that it’s not about eliminating all passions, but rather forming a passion for the right thing. By developing a love for the Divine, and seeking union in body and soul with the Divine, we form a passion for union with God that magnetizes us to the higher planes. Through love (law of union) and desire (an emotional connection to what we love) we form union with our love, and form our identity out of the experience the union brings. We experience ourselves as our Divine nature, and develop a strong love for the spiritual realm, that causes us to naturally ascend into it. It creates a magnetic, gravitational field that moves us towards it with a sense of eagerness and anticipation.
So this idea as a spiritual practice that works according to the natural laws that govern the physical and spiritual world, are more about shifting our orientation from one where the physical realm employs the spiritual, to one where to spiritual connects to and produces the material. It’s shifting our center of gravity as our point of initiation that works in an intelligent manner with the law of cause and effect, placing the spiritual realm of ideas as principles in the position of cause, instead of effect. The only difference is how we orientate ourselves as the vessel through which the laws systematically operate. We are always creating ourselves by either being one and the same with the spiritual realm or one with the physical realm, and how we identify with our own experiences.
Like most spiritual practices it comes down to learning how to take control of our own natural processes that shape us by way of them. By learning how to control our own mind, instead of letting our mind control us. Spiritual practices which are the employment and practical utilization of universal laws, teach us how to discipline ourselves to refrain from emotional reactions that render us unconscious while producing behaviors that are creative in the most fundamental sense of “cause and effect” and render direct, and often immediate consequences. By developing a fundamental understanding of laws and how they work, we are provided with a “process for creating”. Not by acting against natural principles, but rather by re-orientating ourselves to work more efficiently by way of them!
Dr. Linda Gadbois
About the author:
Dr. Linda is a Spiritual Scientist and scholar of Hermetic Sciences and Ancient Wisdom traditions. She’s a professional educator and trainer for all areas of personal transformation, self-creation, mind development, and soul/spiritual evolution. She practices Integrative Medicine with a special emphasis on Psychology and Creative therapies. She conducts ongoing classes, Playshops, and Adventure Seminars, and is available for private or group training, mentoring, and speaking engagements.
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