To be and stay in a completely neutral state of mind, would to me indicate to refrain from any emotion. Nothing that is said or done can 'touch' you. You can then clearly respond in a manner you see fit.
But emotion is a big part of being human. Obvious solution is to (learn to) control your emotions, that much is clear. ALso the hardest part, I guess.
What is your view on this?
I get your point and how you relate it to emotions. However I don't have it as that myself.
For me it is maintaining a state of being, a responsibility if you like. Following the lines of non-disturbance, non-control and non-opposition. Against nothing. You could even equate it with purpose.
The purpose to be and do in accordance with selfless spirit.
Emotions on the other hand tend to lead us and we think they are our master. I see them as all versions of love, all part of our true nature. They should compliment, join and assist the neutral state.
So here's the difference according to me. Our true nature is thus loving emotions including unconditional love, compassion, kindness, empathy etc. As we spiritually lose our true selves we thus develope negative emotions, un-natural (though called normal) and negative in their expression even destructive, antipathetic to you as your true self.
None of us like negative emotions in truth, be they anger, hostility, hopelessness, et al. These by the way include Apathy, the emotion of 'given up completely'
Neutral, active neutrality, non-resistance given to these emotions even in ourselves can shift the emotions and thus allow positive ones in. To me another discipline extant in the practice of Aikido.
So in my explanation I am saying the effort to control, get rid of, fight, even emotions you don't like or want is resistance and thus gives them more power. Thus we suffer by our own resistance and then as usual blame. In this case we blame the emotion and excuse ourselves saying I did it because I was angry etc. When you non-resist anothers negative emotions hands on then their emotion has nothing to fix on, to attack, to upset. Thus it dissipates and thus you help the other as well as self.
Non-active or passive neutrality now that I would say is not actually neutrality but more some kind of low emotion, a don't care attitude, a dark or cold state of being. As I said earlier an apathetic emotion.
Hope that answers without being too confusing.
Such is my view. G.