One of the curious aspects of being human is the sense of free will. This sense varies over a large range, depending on our life experiences and stage of development. But there is always some value of choice.
Higher beings live a life in service to the whole and can easily fulfill desires. Choice isn’t prominent then. Animals experience life more instinctively so again, choice isn’t prominent.
Humans sit in a range that can vary quite a bit. Some experience little choice and may feel life is fated or even feel trapped. Others celebrate their self-determination or get overwhelmed by choices. And others sit somewhere in the middle, sometimes feeling choice, other times obligation.
This range of experience is only perceptual, based on how in control or self-determined we feel.
Fascinating though; this perception of choice allows us to evolve more quickly. We can choose to step up our game, adopt better practices, and so on. But it also allows us to fall further. Movies like Star Wars illustrate this.
Sometimes, a sense of choice is a detriment. For example, if we’re trying to establish a new habit like regular exercise, we want to reinforce automatic routine. We want to shift from the conscious choosing mind to the subconscious automatic habit-mind. We need to take choice out of the equation. Otherwise we can choose not to and break the developing habit. Just do it, don’t think about it.
The subconscious habit mind runs programs and is much faster. It’s good to place as much as we can of our daily routine into habits so it’s automated (assuming we’re culturing good habits). This frees up the slower conscious mind for more important tasks.
If we don’t, we’ll spend the day making the same decisions over and over. And if more challenging circumstances arise, we fall into overwhelm.
Yet the ego likes to feel in control. It wants to have a choice and can balk if it feels constrained. But is feeling in control because of choice? Or a story we’re telling ourselves that actually constrains us? Without those stories, we gain freedom from restriction.
If we have a taste of the witness or observer consciousness, we experience a detachment from the body-mind and their actions. Then we notice that the ego had been claiming doership after the fact. The impulse arose, and we acted. Meanwhile the ego tells the mind “I did that.” Much of it was just a story.
This doesn’t mean we don’t have choice. Only that the ego’s is claiming a much larger territory than it has. It tries to give an illusion of being in charge so we’re kept under its thumb. Once we see through this delusion, its game is soon over.
True choice is cosmic. It is the flow of our attention, imbibed with intelligence, guiding us through life. From ourselves to ourselves.
The subconscious habits turn out to be our support team of devata or subtle beings who create the appearance of the world and our life. They support our vehicle for experience in the world and the unfolding of our life. We can support them with our attention and gratitude. That will improve their ability to support us and we’ll all have a much smoother and happier time of it.
We discover that what sets things in motion and what chooses are the same thing, our cosmic nature. Overlaid on that is the dynamics of action, playing in its own field. We operate on all levels. It is only for us to clear the fog and shadows so we can see what is unfolding and align ourselves with our deeper nature.