There is a lot of nonsense talked about choice. Like, for example, the fact that people have the free will to choose. Really? If they really had the free will to choose, then why are so many people unhappy? Why do they drink and smoke, when they know that it is bad for them?

Read any ancient literature and you would realise that this is a battle that humankind has been engaging in for many thousands of years.

That is how tough the battle is, because the human experience is inextricably linked with choice that isn’t based on free will. No, it is based on the tyranny of our past. Which is the most monstrous tyrant of all.

Given the ‘choice’ between the past (familiar) and the future (unfamiliar), the human being, in all probability, will ‘choose’ what is familiar – no matter how painful or destructive it is.

If it is familiar, he will likely think to himself, “No matter how bad it is, I can handle it.” Because he has ‘handled’ it so many times before. By contrast, he has never really handled the unfamiliar. Which makes it scary.

To go against this habitual way of behaving is possible, but it requires a great deal of determination, discipline and courage.

Once you have successfully overcome the demons of your past, then, and only then, do you have the free will to choose.

© Phillip A. Klein March 2008

Published in: on March 13, 2008 at 4:56 pm  Leave a Comment