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Actions and Reactions - Mind Matters Most

Updated on August 4, 2017
A family member for nine years, this lovely animal was much loved and remains forever in our hearts.
A family member for nine years, this lovely animal was much loved and remains forever in our hearts.

Vipassana Meditation

Welcome to Actions and Reactions - Mind Matters Most.

The Hub below is simply a short extract from one of my books. This one is called, Where Are You - Me? and was written about my experiences in Vipassana Meditation. The Chapter 'Vipassana and Violence' talks a little of our actions and reactions and how it is the latter which generally get us into trouble. The emphasis here is that in leading a happy, productive and meaningful life Mind Matters Most - particularly our ability to keep it under our control.

Enjoy the read.

A reactive pattern is not formed by a single action but by repetition

A man or a woman does not become a violent criminal by a single action. Neither do they become that way by a single, conditioned reaction. It is once again a case of Mind Matters Most. By not being aware of their habitual thinking, their imaginings and daydreams they have, in many instances, conditioned themselves to react in socially unacceptable ways. What is a reaction except a thought which is intensified to the point that it manifests at the physical? If we have a small anger we keep it to ourselves. If it grows sufficiently large, we vocalize it by taking it out on someone verbally. We retort. We snap at them. And if it is too large to be alleviated by sarcasm, bluster, or yelling -or we are inadequate with words- then we strike. Anger in thought or anger in physical action is just a matter of intensity. It is a matter of degree.

Vipassana Meditation - not a requirement here

Here she is, no longer young, sunning herself on the front veranda of our former home.
Here she is, no longer young, sunning herself on the front veranda of our former home.

When we act we are coming from our real self

The choice is whether to act or to react. Even choosing not to act is deliberate and under the control of the experiencer. But if we react, as we almost always do when our emotions get the better of us, we have temporarily relinquished our control. When we react -unless it is a deliberately trained reaction, such as using the brake-pedal on our car- then we are working on "automatic.” We are not aware. We are not fully alert and attentive. Moreover, we are certainly not being objective. We have handed over our control to a reactive ego.

Actions and Reactions - Mind Matters Most. What is she thinking?

We couldn't resist.  Six months after the death of our last cat we bought this two-year old from the RSPCA.  She, too, went the way of all flesh - a stroke or heart attack at seven years of age.
We couldn't resist. Six months after the death of our last cat we bought this two-year old from the RSPCA. She, too, went the way of all flesh - a stroke or heart attack at seven years of age.

We are responsible for our reactions: we cultivated them

Moreover, at the time, we'd like to think that we're not responsible either. We're somewhat akin then, to the drunk who beats his child to death and then says he wasn't responsible because "the drink made me do it."

But we are as much responsible for our reactions as our actions. In our hearts we know this. We know, too, that it is reactions which get us into trouble. So it is our reactions we should change, modify, even eliminate, if need be. Certainly the reaction of anger should be so ameliorated that we can be in control of it at all times.

Don't let your ego rule your life

As a general rule we can say: reactions are nearly always bad; actions, on the other hand, are nearly always good. When we react to our emotions we are letting our ego rule. When we act from a viewpoint which is not dominated by emotion, then we're acting from our Real Self and, generally, acting wisely.

It is said that wisdom is love in action. So if we want to act wisely then we need at all times to keep our emotional reactions under control. This makes for hard going. It makes for a lifetime job. But a measure of control starts from the outset. The results are worth the effort.

I hope you enjoyed reading, Actions and Reactions - Mind Matters Most.

Comments

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  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    A very interesting hub. I wonder just how much better the whole world would be if we were all to train ourselves to 'act' rather than 'react'. Our emotions can be a positive thing but as your hub says, they can also do harm not only to others but to ourselves.

    Really interesting hub + voted up!

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