Living Without Choice

joejo's picture

No votes yet

I think the core of Spirituality consists in 'Living Without Choice'. This is not the opposite of Choice as we saw in previous blog that No-choice is also a Choice. It is necessary to understand Choice if one is to live without choice. Study of choice requires care and attention and love for Truth. One has to honest and not demand any shortcuts.

Further to what was said in the previous blog it is evident that the process of Choice making at any given instant is also required to be understood. Choice arises as a response to a stimulus from an object which could be physical or mental. More appropriately an incomplete response to a stimulus is perceived as Choice. So the preposition is that Choice arises from 'Ignorance' and at psychological level is felt as Choice which requires 'decision making' and the result is an 'incomplete response' in the sense that it leaves a psychological residue or 'imprint' which colours future action.

Let us take the first part which is that Choice arises out of Ignorance. If one could see the problem or situation which requires a decision making would the right course of action be a matter of choice. If I am thirsty or hungry and there is water or food available it would require no choice to be made. But what beverage to have or what to eat is not a physical requirement alone and hence the Choice. Therefore, it can be concluded that bodily wants could be satisfied in a manner which does not involve the Dilemma of Choice. Hence Choice arises as a result of two or more options that one considers psychologically to arrive at a decision and it has nothing to do with the question of Body or Physical world. If one could see clearly through the confusion created in our psyche as a result of our being second hand entities as a result of propaganda and conditioning would there be a problem of Choice.

Now let us come to core of Choice which is decision making and requires psyche to function sanely and in an orderly manner. The factors that seem the most difficult to resolve at this level are the questions of Pleasure, Fear and Sorrow. My take on this is a little different. We do not have a clean slate (psyche) to resolve these perennial problems and without a psyche which is not burdened by problems even the study of choice is not possible leave alone resolving it. Does it leave us in a catch 22 situation? I think this is very much the case. There must be a way out or else we seem to be doomed and it has to be outside the psyche which as we have seen cannot help us. Therefore no experience can help us for it is or becomes part of psyche even if it is of the Transcendental variety.
This has to be thoroughly understood in a practical manner through hit and trial and our best efforts. Understanding the nature of psyche resolves various contradictions and by something which is described as grace one could "See" in an instant the Whole structure of psyche which is based on Two seemingly contradictory forces. These two forces are necessary for us to grasp a situation fully. The two fold process is the seeing of the False and followed by seeing of the Truth on which this false is based which forms the Essence in a particular case.

Let me conclude this with an example. I go on a family outing to a shop where I find that all have chosen something which they would like to buy and it has been paid for but I have yet not decided whether I must buy the shirt that has caught my fancy and I almost seem paralysed. My children and wife are quick to point out how miserly I am and this piques me for haven't I got them what they chose. At last I am forced to admit it to myself for I know they love me and its almost a pattern. So the cause of Dilemma is my being miserly and this was no brainer. Having resolved the first part I need to have an insight into my miserliness which is a result of my conditioning and even this is not difficult to see. Yet if I could only arrive at the basis of miserliness which had to be my essence which is definite and beyond categorisation as good or bad I would have solved the problem of Choice.