Or Choice by Evolution of Consciousness?
By Joseph Mattioli
The majority of human beings are mostly convinced that they are the author of their thoughts, choices and therefore their destiny. No doubt human beings make choices but are those choices free choices or inevitable choices that are not free but limited to their context. If so, then by definition, the choice is not free choice, but an inevitable choice that is bound or enslaved by their present level of consciousness and the circumstances by which that event occurs.
Let’s examine this closer. When a five year old child, who is not hungry, is presented with a choice of his favorite flavored lollipop or a bowl of salad; which will he choose? Circumstances being such, greater than 99 out of a hundred will choose the lollipop. Of course, if the child is sick, he may choose to forgo either choice. Still, the choice is made and one makes the choice limited to his or her intellect, programming, desires, and surrounding circumstances.
With grown-ups, this process of choice becomes more complicated yet it is not much different. The particular choice one makes will be bound and limited to ones understanding or perception, desires, variable conditions, previous programming and tendencies. As consciousness evolves one hopefully makes better choices but in all cases those choices are still bound by ones imperfect programming, understanding and desires.
While life presents itself with a myriad of choices, most seem to take place automatically coming from the unconscious mind. The choices are greatly affected by ones in-born intelligence level, the family, group, society, and national programming by which one is brought up in. And, in addition, is modified by the millions of mini-events and variety of daily perceptions of experiences and external stimuli that present themselves to the discriminating mind. Choice then is based, for the most part in the mind and its outcome is inevitable based on all of the above which is uniquely different in each individual. Yet though the data upon which the choice is made is different in each individual at any given time, ones choice taken is really the only choice that one could make at that time.
Why is this seemingly linguistic slight of hand even important? Why is understanding the concept I am writing about important for one to understand in the context given? What does it matter whether one considers it free choice or just choice?
At the present level of understanding in this mind, it is very beneficial to have a clear understanding at what is being implied. Understanding and awareness is key to the evolution of consciousness. Understanding that choices are not free in the sense that one might think of them helps us to empathize with our fellow frail human beings whom are in the same boat. This truth helps us release our anger and un-forgiveness of others , who through ignorance oppose themselves and releases our compassion for them.
Cherie Carter-Scott said: “Anger makes you smaller while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.” Mahatma Gandhi said “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”
Jesus is recorded saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Emphasis is on ignorance because they know not what they do is a reason. One may think those suicide bombers, warmongers, liars, religious fanatics, those that are hateful and those that risk their lives for thrill or meaningless causes have free choice in the matter. Jesus didn’t think so. If they could be any different at any particular point in time by their personal choice then they would be. Their choices are a product of the evolution of their consciousness just as is yours. Any statement such as ‘they should have’ or ‘could have’ and the like are nothing more than hypothetical and have no existence in reality.
Even the Buddha would agree as this is the essence of his teachings based on the Pali Canon recognized by Buddhist scholars as the oldest record of what the Buddha actually taught:
Absolute changeless permanent reality, the unconditioned, itself alone is,
all else has always been, is, and always will be just a state of make-believe fiction,
a state of delusion worn like a costume with multiple fabricated viewpoints,
with each self-sustaining itself in a self-perpetuated state of self-ignorance,
until each decides to come to closure through self-enlightenment and self-awakening
His teachings point out that man operates in a make believe state of delusion worn like a costume with multiple fabricated viewpoints. This makes him incapable of free choice because his choice is determined by his attachments and ignorance. Through his endless variety of choices and circumstances, all founded in self-ignorance, one eventually through conscious evolution, stumbles upon the truth and begins a meaningful journey to self-enlightenment.
This of course is through no credit to oneself as it is an innate progression and destiny of all consciousness. (Though not spelled out in his teaching above, it is the present understanding as spoken by this mind) The self actualization by which ones true being embarks on the path to enlightenment is not by free choice but by consent of the will. All choices then are bound by the level of consciousness and understanding that exists at the time of choice. Only a fully enlightened or awakened being with full understanding of context would have free choice but then it disappears as choice. This is because choice itself is a non-existent reality.
This understanding may seem harsh, different than yours or difficult to understand. That is okay because even ones choice to believe what is written or not is bound by ones context of consciousness. Therefore, you have no free choice in the matter and only if you were predisposed to believe or your context has changed since you read this can you choose to believe what is written here.