Most people cannot even remotely imagine the idea that a human being can live a complete life in this world without the play of the emotions and passions of the heart. Love and hatred, fear and bravery, and the other dualities of emotion are the tapetry that weaves the human individual life into something that provides the meaning to their existence. To suggest, therefore, that these emotional swings should be brought to equality and that someone can transcend the emotions without giving up the central meaning of their lives, is a difficult concept for most.
Those who recognize a higher spiritual calling can accept the idea, but generally this has led to either a form of stoic acceptance or an ascetic suppression of the emotional attachments and responses, a dulling of the sensitivity and responsiveness of the heart, as a method of overcoming the bondage of the emotional life.
Sri Aurobindo distinguishes the normal view of emotions and a deeper understanding based on yogic psychology: “…the assailing touch of grief, wrath, hatred, fear, inequality of love, trouble of joy, pain of sorrow fall away from the equal heart, and leave it a thing large, calm, equal, luminous, divine. These things are not incumbent on the essential nature of our being, but the creations of the present make of our outward active mental and vital nature and its transactions with its surroundings. The ego-sense which induces us to act as separate beings who make their isolated claim and experience the test of the values of the universe, is responsible for these aberrations. When we live in unity with the Divine in ourselves and the spirit of the universe, these imperfections fall away from us and disappear in the calm and equal strength and delight of the inner spiritual existence.”
What is sought is a new poise of the emotional being that centers itself on the Divine presence: “Always that is within us and transforms the outward touches before they reach it by a passage through a subliminal psychic soul in us which is the hidden instrument of its delight of being. By equality of the heart we get away from the troubled desire-soul on the surface, open the gates of this profounder being, bring out its responses and impose their true divine values on all that solicits our emotional being. A free, happy, equal and all-embracing heart of spiritual feeling is the outcome of this perfection.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 11, The Perfection of Equality, pp. 676-677