Reaction vs Response

Acharya Prashant: Vineet says, if mind is brain plus intelligence, which of these is in present moment, and he has used a word reaction.

Vineet, we will have to understand the difference between ‘reaction’ and ‘response’, right?

Ammonia and chlorine react with each other because they are configured to react with each other. Do they have an option to not to react? Given the right conditions of temperature and pressure, they are bound to react. In that sense, all reaction is slavery.
Do you see why I am calling reaction as slavery ? It is because they are bound to react, you cannot help it. There is no free will involved. You are conditioned to react. Given what you are, you will react.

It is as if there is a push button. You push it and this fan starts rotating. Mechanical, absolutely mechanical, conditioned. That is what the brain is, it is conditioned to react and it can only react. It can do nothing else but react because it has no understanding, no free will.

Intelligence does not react. It understands and responds.

‘Response’ is totally different from ‘Reaction’. Reaction is predictable. You know, that if you do this , that will happen. Reaction is cause and effect. All cause and effect imply time because cause and effect must be separated by time. That is what ‘reaction’ is.

‘Response’ is an entirely different thing. Response is not determined by past. Response is not predictable either. In response, you understand. You completely understand .You do not deal with images. You are not imagining. You are really understanding and then from that understanding what emerges is called ‘response’. It is totally different. It is always in the Present moment. It is the function of intelligence.


~ Excerpts from a Samvaad Session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Reaction vs Response

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