So I would like to take our thoughts a little further. The question I was perplexed with this morning was ‘What to do?’
It’s a problem of maximisation. i.e. choosing the best course of actions that leads to the most desired set of outcomes. Shall I sit or stand, walk or talk, take the job or not, move to a different country or not, have a drink or not etc…
I was frustrated. Infinite numbers of choice, neither knowing what I want or the course of action to take. An infinite dilemma, circles of confusion.
It then occured to me that my very own self consciousness had led to the dilemma. If I was not conscious of being a separate entity in the universe then how could I choose. There needs to be the ‘I’ in ‘I choose’. That ‘I’ is created by self consciousness.
Thus we can imagine animals making choices without any concept that ‘they’ are infact making the choice. Even the mighty Sun burns without choice, it has to burn.
Then it now occurs to me that the ‘problem’ of choice is the only problem we have. For there is no other problem! All other problems are the resultants of our choice ‘to have them’ for we have to choose them.
At first this doesn’t seem true. But then on closer inspection we see it just has to be!
‘Ok Ok’ I here you say, as you intellectualise to find exception. ‘What if you are slapped. You have no choice but to feel pain.’, or, ‘What if you default on your mortage payments, you have no choice but to loose your house’ etc…
Very true. But in every case you have a choice, and your only problem is to choose. You can choose to cry, to get angry, to seek help, to ignore the situation etc… infinite choice.
ok, ‘to live I must breathe!’ No, you have a choice. kill yourself, then you stop breathing too.
It is only when we rob ourselves of the choice. When we feel that we have to do something that we loose the only one thing we have, that is our choice.
That’s a very large part for why many of us resent our parents. When we are super young, they make all the choices for us. We learn how to live and behave from them. As we grow older, we resent the control they wish to exert upon us, because they are robbing us of our choices. As we grow even older we start to resent them even more as we realise that we are like them, like them in the way they behave and think, and we realise this is because of what they taught us, we never had the choice and we hate them more.
Another example. You’re walking down the street when a friend of yours bumps into you with his absolutely gorgeous partner, great life and great job. After the brief interruption you carry on walking minding your business. Yet the thought remains, they have ‘it’ and ‘I don’t’ and thus I will be ‘upset’.
The problem with this scenario is not that you don’t have the great partner, job or life. They problem is that you robbed yourself of choice. You have a rule inside your head. ‘if I don’t have what I want, or if someone else has what I want, then be unhappy’
Now you don’t have a choice, you must be unhappy, and isn’t that tragic! You have given away the only thing you had, your choice.
At any given time I bet you would ‘choose’ to be happy.