- Could you be overthinking it? I find the concept of choice as simple to comprehend as it is direct of application. For instance: I often do things for no reason, really. Not reasoned-out and not thought through. Impulse. Something caught my eye or mind and I decided to embark. As I go, my main purpose (arbitrarily taken up) guides and drives me towards my destination, but many little details I may fill in and decide along the way. Wherever there’s room for leeway, I keep plenty of play in my purpose-assumed leash. Then I reach my object, my goal, and I realize it. Then I wash my hands.
Maybe there was a reason. Maybe I had to go to the bathroom, and that’s why I went to the bathroom! Simple enough, if so – but wait. Maybe there were deeper, underlying subconscious reasons why I’d want to go to the bathroom. Perhaps ulterior motives.
If so, I welcome ’elm along for the ride! Whatever other reasons may have been unbeknownst to me “in the mix,” present but not consciously consulted, are welcome. There’s really nothing complex about choice.
In any moment I am a burly and variegated passel and array of drives and urges, instincts and intuitions, and often enough aims. I lean on the strongest (which I’ve examined at leisure in disciplined overthinking anyway, putting it in order) two or three causes which align in the same direction, and I go.
Or I don’t go. Maybe I just chalk it down for later: “go later.”
What’s so hard to comprehend?
I’m an inveterate over thinker myself. That’s a big part of why I can choose in the moment without thinking: I’ve got a lot of reasoned-out, worked-through values, drives aligned and trained for the best, easy to snap-to and bring to bear in aimed intent. The more you’ve thought-through prior, the less you need to think-through in the moment.
What I’ve learned by overthinking specific decisions after-the-fact though is, you can pretty much “discover” as many factors in a given decision as you continue to tease out. And some of them, buried deep, may emerge looking suspiciously like your real secret motive – which you were unaware of at the time! “Is that how my choice turned out so unexpectedly well for me?” Clever, clever. “The subconscious intends all” – that’s what I say in those cases. Realistically, though, the deeper I go and the more I dissect, tease out and illuminate, the less likely it begins to seem to me that the new causes I find were really in effect. Or had any real force in the choice-making process. Because I’m pretty well self-examined, and usually the forces that propel me to decision are two or three big ones, of which I am well and fully-aware.
And the choice is usually easy. And the process of choice is easy. And the concept of choice is simple. It’s just that there’s really no bottom to the mind. You can go as deep as you want to turning up and examining new, undisclosed factors. This isn’t the complexity of choice, though. Not really.
It’s the fecund prolificacy of imagination. We have all of us a conscious experience of awareness and choice. Both are innately simple and direct. Yet because both are in our minds, we can complicate either as much as we want. We can complicate them beyond comprehension, if we want. We will come up with so many things we can’t say aren’t part of it. But in the moment of choice, we generally find we choose for reasons that are smack-ass explicable, and even easy to say. Maybe not terribly well-reasoned reasons. Maybe nothing thoroughly worked-out, understood to a granularity passing quantum mechanics.
But there’s nothing about choice that innately has to be. Choice can be as simple and comprehensible or as complicated beyond comprehension as you want.
It’s your choice.
We don’t speak here of the bio electrochemical operation of choice, its causes and functions. That truly would be incomprehensible, inasmuch as there’s still so much untested, theorized, so much yet to tease out! It’s incomprehensible for the simplest reason of all: because the facts aren’t yet all in. But that’s not what we’re speaking of, here.
We speak of the concept of choice. Now, that isn’t remotely so obscure. As concepts go, it’s extraordinarily straightforward.
It is difficult until you learn enough about this marvelous universe and our Special place within it as humans. Ignorance makes comprehension all but impossible!
We are complex beings in a very complex universe but have been taught at a kindergarten level that is hideously incomplete.
Overly-simplistic teaching leads to deeper ignorance than not teaching at all! Simplifying concepts to the bare bones is laudable if enough of the needed detail is retained; but that is not a reality in present-day teaching. Remember Einstein’s dictum:
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
Societies have been ignoring that, and over-simplifying for years, so that even our universities teach more nonsense than Truth; heck, they teach that there is no Truth!
It takes time and effort and a lot of skepticism about what you think you have learned, and are learning, to start to comprehend!
It’s not complicated… you complicate it with fear of risk.
We all have absolutely freedom of choice, but never freedom from consequence: It just shows up as a result.
When your acceptations and your expectations are aligned we feel harmony of risk to risk.
The more distant apart our acceptations and expectations of the risk to risk be feared… the greater the stress we feel.
Stress in physics is defined as the experience of “pulling apart”.
Harmony is the feeling of bond to be committed to experience harmony by taking all necessary steps, skipping none, going over every barrier & around every obstacle, to achieve our desire.
How do we known to what we are said committed to experience? By the results.
Being committed is not the same as to claim a commitment is not compelling of accepting consequence where once committed you agree to be subject to consequence be what it may of result.
The old adage… “No risk no gain”… we can fear both risk and gain a paradox of being human. The burden of failure be believed or success can be a burden once achieved.