eThoughts : Freedom, Choice, and Enlightenment

(For more about choice, go to: Chapter 6: Choice Eventually Limits Choice of Renewal)

I once heard someone say that before enlightenment, they had all the choices in the world (not quite true as we’re unlikely to morph into an elephant) and after enlightenment, they had no choice at all (see the Jerry Stocking reference in: The Non-Ordinary Reference Pages of Renewal.).

Whether they’re enlightened or not is not really the point (are there degrees of enlightenment?). The idea is that once attention truly embraces beauty, it no longer has a real choice to do anything else. Why would it? Freedom is now immense.

The conflict concept (as in between one thing or another, like gods and devils) embraces the idea of choice all right. However, a choice between bad stuff and bad stuff is trouble and not much choice at all.

And the idea that we have the freedom to choose, but only one choice is correct, is also trouble and not much of a choice. How free are we if we’re given a choice, only one of which is correct?

Maybe we don’t need conflict.

The true challenge may not lie in choice, but in attention itself.

Attention is the great human appendage. It is the wondrous vehicle in which we all really ride.

We can focus on distant galaxies or tiny quanta.

We can shift attention, intensify it, diminish it, expand it, practice it.

We can define reality and re-define it.

Depending on the focus of our attention, we can create conflicts and war or peace or beauty.

The very same physical entity can be both magical and terrible, depending on how we construe our attention.

Maybe if we learn to traverse the landscape of attention, we will learn about the “doors of perception” (see Aldous Huxley). The ability to shift back and forth between the rooms of reality might teach us to not be so intimidated by reality (we’ll have to be careful of becoming ensconced in adult attention deficit disorder). Being less afraid might make us less susceptible to the tides of politics, or philosophy, or religion.

Maybe we’ll lose our fear of getting stuck in one thing or another.

Then, perhaps we’ll be less intimidated by duality and freer to dance and play.

Beautiful, if we get it.

You must be logged in to post a comment.