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Rationality or Reaction?

Posted By: Randy GageOctober 19, 2011

Here's a question for you.  Do you believe that  you respond to most situations with rational thought or a pre-programmed reaction?

Is there an area or two that you have a “blind spot” and might not be using rationality and critical thought?  Is there more than one area?

I mean an area that when your beliefs get challenged, you may react in a pre-programmed way without being aware of it.  Specifically that you may have some deeply programmed beliefs in your subconscious mind that you aren’t really aware of.  And if those beliefs are challenged, you react instinctively and emotionally, as if it is a personal attack – instead of giving a well thought out and reasoned response.

Working with people I find four areas of blind spots that cause them the most issues.  These are their subconscious beliefs about:

1)      Parenting

2)      Religion

3)      Money

4)      Government

So how do you stack up in these four areas?  How much of what you do is conscious thought, versus how much in kneejerk reaction?  Please share your thoughts, and we’ll explore it deeper in the next post.

-RG

 

25 comments on “Rationality or Reaction?”

  1. Whether I like it or not, it's naturally pre-programmed reaction, 95% of which we simply do not have control over. Willpower is an exhaustible resource, and so you have to carefully control your media sources and who you spend the most time with. You can't choose who your parents are and you probably didn't have much choice as to which country you lived, which religious institution you attended (if any), which news programs your parents watched, etc. It can be retrained over time, but like a drug addict who falls off the wagon, your inner tendencies tend to be shaped by the early years of your life as being proven by new insights in epigenetics and neuroscience. You have to be careful of controlling triggers (former drinkers could never go to a bar, or hang out with certain friends again)

    1. By the way, do you really believe that "95% of which we simply do not have control over"? Hmmmmm...my belief is the one ultimate freedom all humans have is our choice in how we respond to anything, our choice of perspective. If you relinguish this control, you are relegated to victim status.

  2. RG, I'm good in most all departments. I've improved in the money department, but still react at times as I leave some poverty-conscious naggings behind.

    I am more and more aware of these reactions, which I feel is the blessing of blessings for I am able to respond instead of reacting in future similar situations.

    The programming runs deep but much silence and reprogramming helps me to unearth these lower energies.

    Ryan

  3. Unfortunately 95% of what we do is unconscious reactions to the world as much as we would like to think that we are rational, critical thinkers it just happens. The awesome thing is that we can change those unconscious decisions by doing as you have stated here which is first to be aware. Then you need to change your associations and the tapes that play when they come along.

    Thank you Randy. Great Reminder and a great Post!

  4. Great post. The masses are on "automatic" all day long, most not even realizing it. That's why Henry Ford said, "Thinking is the hardest thing one has to do; that's why so few are engaged in it." From my view Ford was referring to "deliberate" thinking versus just being on automatic all day.

  5. I subscribe to reason.com and one post today was how Ron Paul would get rid of the deficit and part of the way was eliminating the ministries of education, housing, commerce, energy and interior..
    At first you think whoa... that's always been government run.. but then you think, why should government be in any of that... makes you think...

  6. I have gotten better at controlling my knee jerk reactions and pausing before I respond in anyway. I think the time I most often fail at controlling my knee jerk reaction is when I am tired or feeling overwhelmed.

  7. I guess our reaction is always pre-ordered. Even thinking and to challenging our own believes is a pre-ordered reaction and we do not think before doing that.

    But that is the result of positive programming. Programming that usually people do on themselves.

    So the only way to success is reprogramming our subconscious mind.

    Thanks RG

  8. I'm not easily threatened or offended by other's ideas about anything (as long as they're are not harming others physically), but I do find I'm more eager to share my way of thinking than I am to ask questions and listen to the other person's ideas and how they draw their conclusions. This is something I've been trying to work on this year and hope to get much better at with practice.

  9. As a parent I must admit there are times when I am just reactionary. Most times though I am rational. In the area of religion I believe I make rational well thought out decisions. As it relates to government I believe it's more knee jerk that well thought out. Some people believe the government always knows what's best for them and therefore should not be questioned. I'm beginning to get better control over my money. In the past most of my spending was just impulsive spending. I am becoming better at doing things because I've thought them through.

    Thanks for an insightful article Randy!!

  10. Randy, I would like to respond to this one. Before I do though, I would like to know if I am still banned. I have been writing. But, I don't really want to anymore unless I know you are okay with it.

    Annie

      1. Thanks, Randy.

        I'll respond to the post here, okay. I was going to write something about how I stopped doing that so much in part because of my experiences here on this sight. But, even though it is true, I'm not...

        For the first time this school year my son got in trouble. And, oohh bad for him the teacher saw me after school and told me. At first, I felt like I failed. Then I was embarrassed. Then I was angry. Then I was over it all, and I just wanted to give Nick a big hug because I know he felt bad he got in trouble.

        There are a lot of good answers to this post in the comments. So I would only add that sometimes it is about empathy. When we react we are only thinking about ourselves, when we get beyond that and see the other person and try to understand there perspective, it really makes a difference and makes us think.

        I would add relationships to that list of yours too.

        Oh, I would add knoweledge helps prevent knee jerk reactions also, the more you know... Ignorance can make us reactionaries as well.

  11. I have been studying a lot lately about how the subconscious mind is actually our preprogrammed hard drive.

    It is totally possible to reprogram ourselves via the subconscious mind.

    I may react in the parenting dept.

  12. I have a little tool that helps me to continue to grow, it's as simple as "A,B,C,D", and I thought I would share with others. As Randy mentioned, some sort of trigger or "Action", can result in my responding in some sort of negative way, a "Consequence" in other words. I used to think that certain actions had some prescribed, unchangeable, response by me. However, I've since learned there is a "Belief" in between the Action and Consequence. That belief actually determines my response. Thus in a few nanoseconds, my mind goes from Action -> Belief -> Consequence, A->B->C. In order to grow in the areas Randy has mentioned, I then explore the "Deeper Truth". This can take many forms and is often unique to the situation and my own personal beliefs. As I explore those "Deeper Truths", I can then begin to change my "Beliefs", such that I respond differently to the same action. (Hopefully in a more positive and constructive manner.) I usually take the time to write down the action, belief, consequence and then deeper truth as part of this simple "A,B,C,D" exercise.

  13. I think as a parent I react. Not sure if that is because my parents did that but I catch myself or at least try to when it comes to my quick reaction. My kids are my life and I want the best for them and at 9 and 6 I am not sure they realize that in some of the situations. I think we are moving too fast in life too. Work, school, sports, running everyone around and trying to find a balance and some sleep!!!

  14. See I'm wondering why some people on the deeper level seems to make better choices about direction to follow in a given moment.
    But to stay on topic my answer to your questions is only very few artistic persons (probably not even them) live without rational thinking in anything they do. In the areas of parenting, religion, money and goverment other people on our level would catch us if our language missed being logical coherent. To some on a much higher level it could well sound completely nonsense but it isn't. We must never stop questioning the rationale behind the reasoning. That is our only tool for developing our intellectual faculty each step of the way.
    I wonder what makes some people choose the better programming that serves one in long run. Some wise, I think, would state that it is the future you are living into that determines how you are being and acting in the moment. But again how come some make better choices about which future to live into?
    There are more questions here than answers I realise. In the back of my mind a term is rummaging: "Old Souls".

    Love and Respect - Pierre Leysssc, cph

  15. Hi Randy
    Responding versus reacting is a big problem for many people. I am working on getting better at it. You hit the nail on the head with those four issues being the biggie. As a childfree person, I have often observed the heated reactions of parents. Not to imply they do not love their children, but the defensiveness and judgment about people like me clearly are striking that part of them that is maybe not sure they made the best choice or that realizes the experience is not all it is cracked up to be. I actually recently wrote a book on being childfree that covers this topic as well as many others. I am secure in my choice about not having children and the judgments and assumptions do not really bother me and provided the other person is respectful, I have no problem conversing about the matter. As for the other issues, I really do not have strong feelings about religion or the government. I probably have some money issues, but I am working on that.

  16. Great post Randy! Unfortunately 95% of what we do is unconscious reactions. The awesome thing is that we can change those unconscious decisions by doing as you have stated here which is first "to be aware". I feel that I am blessed at this point because now I am able to respond instead of react! Thanks for sharing this very important information! Look forward to the next post Randy!

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  • 25 comments on “Rationality or Reaction?”

    1. Whether I like it or not, it's naturally pre-programmed reaction, 95% of which we simply do not have control over. Willpower is an exhaustible resource, and so you have to carefully control your media sources and who you spend the most time with. You can't choose who your parents are and you probably didn't have much choice as to which country you lived, which religious institution you attended (if any), which news programs your parents watched, etc. It can be retrained over time, but like a drug addict who falls off the wagon, your inner tendencies tend to be shaped by the early years of your life as being proven by new insights in epigenetics and neuroscience. You have to be careful of controlling triggers (former drinkers could never go to a bar, or hang out with certain friends again)

      1. By the way, do you really believe that "95% of which we simply do not have control over"? Hmmmmm...my belief is the one ultimate freedom all humans have is our choice in how we respond to anything, our choice of perspective. If you relinguish this control, you are relegated to victim status.

    2. RG, I'm good in most all departments. I've improved in the money department, but still react at times as I leave some poverty-conscious naggings behind.

      I am more and more aware of these reactions, which I feel is the blessing of blessings for I am able to respond instead of reacting in future similar situations.

      The programming runs deep but much silence and reprogramming helps me to unearth these lower energies.

      Ryan

    3. Unfortunately 95% of what we do is unconscious reactions to the world as much as we would like to think that we are rational, critical thinkers it just happens. The awesome thing is that we can change those unconscious decisions by doing as you have stated here which is first to be aware. Then you need to change your associations and the tapes that play when they come along.

      Thank you Randy. Great Reminder and a great Post!

    4. Great post. The masses are on "automatic" all day long, most not even realizing it. That's why Henry Ford said, "Thinking is the hardest thing one has to do; that's why so few are engaged in it." From my view Ford was referring to "deliberate" thinking versus just being on automatic all day.

    5. I subscribe to reason.com and one post today was how Ron Paul would get rid of the deficit and part of the way was eliminating the ministries of education, housing, commerce, energy and interior..
      At first you think whoa... that's always been government run.. but then you think, why should government be in any of that... makes you think...

    6. I have gotten better at controlling my knee jerk reactions and pausing before I respond in anyway. I think the time I most often fail at controlling my knee jerk reaction is when I am tired or feeling overwhelmed.

    7. I guess our reaction is always pre-ordered. Even thinking and to challenging our own believes is a pre-ordered reaction and we do not think before doing that.

      But that is the result of positive programming. Programming that usually people do on themselves.

      So the only way to success is reprogramming our subconscious mind.

      Thanks RG

    8. I'm not easily threatened or offended by other's ideas about anything (as long as they're are not harming others physically), but I do find I'm more eager to share my way of thinking than I am to ask questions and listen to the other person's ideas and how they draw their conclusions. This is something I've been trying to work on this year and hope to get much better at with practice.

    9. As a parent I must admit there are times when I am just reactionary. Most times though I am rational. In the area of religion I believe I make rational well thought out decisions. As it relates to government I believe it's more knee jerk that well thought out. Some people believe the government always knows what's best for them and therefore should not be questioned. I'm beginning to get better control over my money. In the past most of my spending was just impulsive spending. I am becoming better at doing things because I've thought them through.

      Thanks for an insightful article Randy!!

    10. Randy, I would like to respond to this one. Before I do though, I would like to know if I am still banned. I have been writing. But, I don't really want to anymore unless I know you are okay with it.

      Annie

        1. Thanks, Randy.

          I'll respond to the post here, okay. I was going to write something about how I stopped doing that so much in part because of my experiences here on this sight. But, even though it is true, I'm not...

          For the first time this school year my son got in trouble. And, oohh bad for him the teacher saw me after school and told me. At first, I felt like I failed. Then I was embarrassed. Then I was angry. Then I was over it all, and I just wanted to give Nick a big hug because I know he felt bad he got in trouble.

          There are a lot of good answers to this post in the comments. So I would only add that sometimes it is about empathy. When we react we are only thinking about ourselves, when we get beyond that and see the other person and try to understand there perspective, it really makes a difference and makes us think.

          I would add relationships to that list of yours too.

          Oh, I would add knoweledge helps prevent knee jerk reactions also, the more you know... Ignorance can make us reactionaries as well.

    11. I have been studying a lot lately about how the subconscious mind is actually our preprogrammed hard drive.

      It is totally possible to reprogram ourselves via the subconscious mind.

      I may react in the parenting dept.

    12. I have a little tool that helps me to continue to grow, it's as simple as "A,B,C,D", and I thought I would share with others. As Randy mentioned, some sort of trigger or "Action", can result in my responding in some sort of negative way, a "Consequence" in other words. I used to think that certain actions had some prescribed, unchangeable, response by me. However, I've since learned there is a "Belief" in between the Action and Consequence. That belief actually determines my response. Thus in a few nanoseconds, my mind goes from Action -> Belief -> Consequence, A->B->C. In order to grow in the areas Randy has mentioned, I then explore the "Deeper Truth". This can take many forms and is often unique to the situation and my own personal beliefs. As I explore those "Deeper Truths", I can then begin to change my "Beliefs", such that I respond differently to the same action. (Hopefully in a more positive and constructive manner.) I usually take the time to write down the action, belief, consequence and then deeper truth as part of this simple "A,B,C,D" exercise.

    13. I think as a parent I react. Not sure if that is because my parents did that but I catch myself or at least try to when it comes to my quick reaction. My kids are my life and I want the best for them and at 9 and 6 I am not sure they realize that in some of the situations. I think we are moving too fast in life too. Work, school, sports, running everyone around and trying to find a balance and some sleep!!!

    14. See I'm wondering why some people on the deeper level seems to make better choices about direction to follow in a given moment.
      But to stay on topic my answer to your questions is only very few artistic persons (probably not even them) live without rational thinking in anything they do. In the areas of parenting, religion, money and goverment other people on our level would catch us if our language missed being logical coherent. To some on a much higher level it could well sound completely nonsense but it isn't. We must never stop questioning the rationale behind the reasoning. That is our only tool for developing our intellectual faculty each step of the way.
      I wonder what makes some people choose the better programming that serves one in long run. Some wise, I think, would state that it is the future you are living into that determines how you are being and acting in the moment. But again how come some make better choices about which future to live into?
      There are more questions here than answers I realise. In the back of my mind a term is rummaging: "Old Souls".

      Love and Respect - Pierre Leysssc, cph

    15. Hi Randy
      Responding versus reacting is a big problem for many people. I am working on getting better at it. You hit the nail on the head with those four issues being the biggie. As a childfree person, I have often observed the heated reactions of parents. Not to imply they do not love their children, but the defensiveness and judgment about people like me clearly are striking that part of them that is maybe not sure they made the best choice or that realizes the experience is not all it is cracked up to be. I actually recently wrote a book on being childfree that covers this topic as well as many others. I am secure in my choice about not having children and the judgments and assumptions do not really bother me and provided the other person is respectful, I have no problem conversing about the matter. As for the other issues, I really do not have strong feelings about religion or the government. I probably have some money issues, but I am working on that.

    16. Great post Randy! Unfortunately 95% of what we do is unconscious reactions. The awesome thing is that we can change those unconscious decisions by doing as you have stated here which is first "to be aware". I feel that I am blessed at this point because now I am able to respond instead of react! Thanks for sharing this very important information! Look forward to the next post Randy!

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