As we’ve already encountered the inseparability of thought and action twice, it is not difficult to define the negativity or the positivity of actions. But, what should we observe as an action? Isn’t thought an action?
In this discussion, we will observe only physical actions and only thoughts, which lead to actions, as examples of actions.
Again, if we observe the result of our actions, we would notice that every action we make could be viewed as positive or negative. Although, some actions can be deemed either, depending on the point of view, we will only deal with those actions, which have an outcome that is without a question positive or without question negative.
Keep in mind that even the most explicit actions can be viewed as both, depending on the circumstances, but this article will not count in those obviously extreme conditions, for the purpose of better explaining the difference.
An action that is viewed negative in this respect would be the action, which leads to the degradation or harm of self or others. Here, we immediately encounter the third point at which the inseparability of thought and action is displayed.
Harming others is viewed as a negative action, but if done so for a positive purpose, for instance self-defense or defense of others, it can be positive. Simply put, they again depend on the nature and intention of the thought, which preceded them.
Therefore, a prime example of a negative action would be that action which is harming self or others, but which doesn’t have any positive side to its outcome.
But, to step away from extreme examples briefly, sometimes the symptoms of a negative action can be very mild and illusive. And to take things further, sometimes the absence of any action can be viewed as both positive and negative.
Here, we come across the connection between the thought, which precedes the action, and the actions outcome, which is presumably present in that preceding thought.
The thought once again takes lead here, as it is concluded that the thought must contain within not only the performance of the action and its nature, but also the potential and desired outcome and its nature as well.
Contrary to negative actions, positive actions taken as examples here are those, which have positive consequences for the self or others, but, we will also include those actions, which are produced seemingly without previous thought and appear as if they serve no purpose. An example of this are some automatic actions we do at certain times, which are not needed at the time, like ducking under a street sigh when there’s plenty of room, or closing your eyes automatically when something sudden happens but your eyes were not in danger.
These automatic actions, although seemingly with no purpose, are performed as a reflex and serve the purpose of protecting oneself from potential harm, no matter if it was eminent or not. They serve the purpose of self-protection, and are thus deemed positive, no matter the outcome.
Willing actions, which are deemed positive in this respect, are again those actions, which lead to positive consequences for one self or others.
A good example of those is medical care. When you treat someone medically, your own willing actions are aimed at preserving and restoring that person’s health, and are thus contributing to their positive outcome.