Discover more from Numinous Quest
Active and Reactive
There is a distinction that is found in Nietzsche, Spinoza, Fromm, Frankl. It is that between active and reactive. It is something like a way of being.
The reactive personality has given up its freedom of choice and has become a plaything of chance. It re-acts to conditions outside of it; it has forsaken its positive orientation towards the world. This orientation is connected with a number of issues: freedom from is an indication of reaction while freedom for is an indication of action.
The person who is active, has an orientation that is future based. The person who reacts one that is past-based. Thus an active personality is a novelist. A re-active a determinist. The active personality is creative. The re-active personality is adaptive.
Thus, the one creates the conditions under which it will experience growth, while the other adapts to the condition under which it won’t feel pain or discomfort. The active personality has imagination, it predicts things because it makes the future. The re-active personality has memory and calculation. It can predict things because it believes that the future will resemble the past.