The sun, low in the morning sky, begins to illuminate a cold and crisp morning. The dew of evening having turned, through a subtle process of change, to a frozen form upon all the grass and low-lying objects – man-made or otherwise. With each passing minute again a subtle change reversing towards the other end of the spectrum; night becomes day, day becomes warmth, frozen becomes liquid movement. In this, an absence of what feels like direct choice – a process exacting each day, fluctuating with the seasons, though typically consistent and seemingly bereft of individual expression in the matter (they are plants after all; and non-complex and/or nonexistent is their thought).
We, as human beings, however, experience a process each day all together similar, and just as powerful, often seemingly absent from registering on our developed and conscious minds – I speak of the process of choice and the power it contains for highly intelligent life forms, like humans.
To choose – “selecting from a number of possibilities; to prefer or decide; to want, desire.” These are our actions each and every day, many times a day, moment after moment. And yet, is there recognition in the immense power that results from our actions of choice?
My body stirs; it is earlier than I would have anticipated, though late enough that the early morning light begins to shape the surroundings – what were once dark forms without defined edges now are shapes and objects familiar to my conscious mind. It has been a cold night in the van and I am grateful for down sleeping bags and covers in which to cocoon myself for warmth. My choice would be to sleep a little longer, not intensely wishing to arise at this early and chilly hour, though my body communicates another wish – to awaken and commence a bodily processes of elimination. In this, an action based on a choice – to choose from the possibilities and commit to an action; verbs in motion. And, do I even realize how my choice informs the moments throughout my day?
I have heard a spin on the popular phrase the grass is greener that incorporates a perspective on choice: it goes the grass is greener where you water it; meaning to me that a choice exists – it is there for our use, should we acknowledge it. Call it another layer, something that, as we evolve in this life and beyond, we experience because there is no other way to view it without incorporating a new, sequentially elevated experience. Like riding a bike, once we learn something and begin to develop consciousness and understanding around it, we no longer see it from the basis of limited information (i.e., the child that has no concept of how to ride a bike vs., the child that has learned). We now, whether we acknowledge it or not, have come into the presence of new information that we can no longer disregard as foreign – a piece of the unknown becomes known, and we expand and evolve our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
A long-winded way of getting back at choice: this seemingly inconsequential and sometimes disconnected exercise carried out both through conscious and unconscious actions – some resembling practiced responses, others knee-jerk reactions. And to see both the former and the latter as derivatives of choice is to acknowledge the immense power in choosing. Imagine a life where choice is intentional; where such is practiced to exact a higher expectation result of all humanity – what could the world be like then?
The sun continues its rise in the sky, higher with each passing moment, though not necessarily perceptible to my immediate detection. With this ascension, the roof begins to drip – condensation that was once frozen now becoming liquid. Should that condensation have a choice in what form it chooses – frozen, liquid, or gaseous – would the world all together be different, or the same, knowing that there exists a reliance “downstream” from this?
Do actions of a higher consciousness, a greater system of understanding built around choices designed for a higher purpose than the individual parts or beneficiaries, have an impact on those, such as us humans, in our ability to be and evolve? In other words, if all things earthly had choice (plants, animals, inanimate objects, etc.), would we also experience the freedom to choose? Is there order within choice?
So many questions – perhaps too many to grasp with one hand, or even two; though, a perplexing question with perhaps greater clarity than we choose to acknowledge – and my hope would be to engage in consciously choosing and actively engaging in intentionality. It is not that we all are impeccable in our choices, quite far from it; but that we all are capable of impeccability in our decisions – even though we may never reach this ideal before death claims our physical bodies and minds. And that is higher understanding in action.
To a bright day: aware of choices that exercise themselves around us every moment and the power we have in choosing our responses and controlling our reactions – for the greater purpose of all kind, human and otherwise.