The two modes of living, Responsive and Reactive, are the foundation of human nature. We have no choice about the vital aims they serve – avoiding harms, approaching rewards, and attaching to others – nor about the brain’s capacity to be in either mode. Our only choice is which mode we’re in.
Happily, the Responsive mode is the resting state, the default, of body and mind. It’s what you return to when you’re not rattled. In the language of systems theory, the Responsive mode is the most fundamental “strange attractor” in the dynamic processes of your brain. Therefore, this mode is your underlying nature – not the Reactive one. You don’t have to scratch and claw your way to the mountaintop; if whatever is disturbing you comes to an end, you’ll soon come home to the lovely sunny meadow that has always been here – even if was hidden by the fogs and shadows of a troubled body or mind. Your deepest nature is peace not hatred, happiness not greed, love not heartache, and wisdom not confusion.