Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.acadun.com
6th November 2013
What does response mean?
If knowledge were dependable, and it is, then response would be a synonym for reaction because knowledge reveals that response could either be written or verbal and so too could a reaction be. Knowledge further indicates that response is a reaction to something - for example, applause to music, and so too is reaction a response to behaviour. Man, therefore, thinks that response and reaction are the same, but they are not.
Quantitatively and qualitatively response and reaction appear to be synonymous, if knowledge is taken into consideration. But if wisdom is taken into consideration, response and reaction are not synonymous.
The wise understood that the world is an illusory manifestation of light and sound. They also understood that the world is timeless, meaning absence of time, cause and effect. They came to be known as the sages or the enlightened.
An enlightened realises that everything that happens is known with certainty only after it has happened and never before. He realises that no matter how knowledgeable he is, knowledge can never inform him with certainty what will happen or when anything will precisely happen, before it actually happens.
Similarly, an enlightened realises that what anyone speaks, including himself, is known with certainty only after it is spoken and never before. He realises, no matter how knowledgeable he is, that knowledge can never inform him with certainty what will be spoken by anyone, including himself, or when it will be precisely spoken, before it is actually spoken.
Likewise, an enlightened realises that he knows his thoughts with certainty only after they happen and never before. He realises, no matter how knowledgeable he is, that knowledge can never inform him with certainty what thoughts he will have or when he will precisely have them, before they actually happen.
The enlightened understands that man cannot be the doer, speaker or thinker, and that doing, speaking and thinking all happen to him, and he does not make them happen. He realises that the knowledgeable believe that man is the doer, speaker and thinker.
The enlightened realises that the knowledgeable are right as far as their understanding goes. Therefore, the enlightened responds to every situation he is in. He neither interprets nor judges the actions, words and thoughts of which his knowledge informs him.
So what does response mean? Response is without interpretation or judgment. It is devoid of any reference to the past, future, cause or effect.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar.
German Translator’s Note:
No matter what happens to us, the ego wants to do something with it in order to get something, because the ego believes in the reality of experiences. The future plays the most important role for every thought, word uttered and action seemingly done by the ego. And the future is supposed to be moulded and changed based on the experiences of the past. Knowledge, which is the past, is therefore the basis for the reactions of the ego. However, the ego is not aware that reaction happens as well as the stimulus. No matter what happens, the enlightened watches what life provides as a gift for him, because he has understood that experience is illusory. The timeless Now and the thoughtless Here is the spontaneous origin of his thoughts, words and actions. This all, he is aware of, unfolds spontaneously and is a constant, illusory flow. Trust, which is devoid of time, cause and effect, is the basis for the responses of the enlightened being. Grateful we are to the enlightened for revealing "response" to humanity.
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany
Dutch translator’s Note:
Reaction refers to cause and effect. This is the knowledge we have of our daily life. In this knowledge there seems to be no difference between reaction and response. The enlightened understands that we can never know what will be done, spoken of thought. He understands that everything in live happens as a flow of transforming energy and not as a logical effect of doing, speaking or thinking. This understanding is the transformation of reaction into response, and judging and interpreting suddenly disappear.
Paula, the Netherlands