Mental and Emotional Hygiene in Daily Living
In this day and age, a lot of importance is placed on physical hygiene, but very little on mental and emotional ones. In schools and universities there is very little information (or not at all) on how to deal with ones own thoughts and emotions, and even that information is scarce and insufficient. At homes, parents raise their children based on their own values, with very little knowledge of the thought and emotion culture. Unfortunately then, the lack of this information has created the world where no importance is placed on being mindful of what is taking place within ourselves. The exceptions to this are people from different spiritual traditions who are trying to take control over their inner processes, and in this way work on their mental and emotional hygiene.
Without this type of hygiene sufficiently maintained, we are causing more harm than we would when neglecting physical hygiene. When we allow our thoughts and emotions to run rampant, we are contributing to the imbalance in everyday interactions, in our surrounding, in the actions we take etc. When we allow the subconscious states such as anger, jealousy or lust to manifest without control, how is this then affecting our surroundings and those around us, and how is it affecting our own inner world?
When we go outside to do our daily chores, we tend to take care that we are clean and more or less orderly, though within us the thoughts and emotions continue from the disorder from which they came. We think that this is fine because thoughts and emotions are only experienced by ourselves and that nobody else can see them, but this is not so. We might have noticed at certain times when we have negative or low emotions, how random people (such as a shop clerk) that we deal with during our daily chores interact with us in a different way than when we are excited or elated. The reason for this is because our thoughts and emotions are not only within us, but they expand outwards and can cause the same type of emotions and thoughts to manifest in those around us. We pick up on each others thoughts and emotions not only during interactions, but even when nothing is spoken and when no bodily movements are made. The thoughts and emotions being energetic in their nature, we also leave this energetic charge wherever we go. If our inner states are of low vibration, it is this charge that we will leave in all the places that we go to. It is because of this that we have responsibility to take care of our emotional and mental hygiene; because in the same way how our bad physical hygiene is polluting the space around us and everywhere we go, so too are our emotions and thoughts polluting us, our surroundings, and people that we come in contact with.
There is a popular view that says how we should cultivate positive thoughts and emotions and reject negative ones, but the problem is that both the positive and negative emotions come from the same place within us, with exception of high inner states such as love and compassion. The vibration of the positive and the negative thoughts and emotions might differ, but in their core their energy is low and continue to create disharmony, particularly the energy of emotions that most people experience throughout the day. Someone who is just starting out on the spiritual journey might find it beneficial in the beginning to counter the negative thoughts with positive ones, but eventually there should come an understanding that there is a greater force behind both a thought and an emotion that can be used for our spiritual advancement and for purifying them .
When it comes to putting this to practice, there are several ways on how the emotional and mental hygiene can be maintained. In the Gnostic teachings of Samael, there is an array of practices with the purpose of inner purification that ultimately result in complete control over ones own thinking and emotional processes. These are practices such as self-remembrance, self-observation, transmutation of the creative energies, dissolution of the egos and consequent freeing up of conditioned essence/consciousness. And then there are also important meditative practices, such as transformative and transcendental meditatiton, visualization and concentration, and many more. One part of these practices focuses the mind in certain directions that results in having less uncontrolled thoughts and emotions and more control over the mind. However, it is the transformational type of practices that will bring about the most lasting changes in our interior. The latter involve continuous self-observation and work on oneself, ultimately providing with a concrete purification of the subconscious mind and with keeping the mental and emotional hygiene on a high level.
HDP, August 2020.