Writings

How does a penis in a train relate to Freedom of choice?


Scrolling through my Facebook page to get some inspiration, something to write about. My eyes and fingers are conducting their own unconscious dance pausing on anything that catches my attention. 'Guy gets his erect penis stuck in some train doors', hmm...'This popular beverage increases your risk for stroke and heart attack!', mm..no. 'Tragic story, basket ball player's death blamed on chewing gum'...don't even go there...Ok Here we go: 8 TED talks on how we make choices. I choose to see only the first one and I am now hoping to find out why I made that choice.
How does a penis in a train relate to Freedom of choice?
Let's see: Barry Schwartz speaking about the paradox of choice, interesting. He is investigating this: (What we believe to be)Freedom=Maximum choice=Welfare of the being. He is speaking about the wide variety of choice that is available to the western modern at least slightly affluent man, and how it makes us paralyzed. He is making the argument that because these days, and once again only in selected countries and cultures, freedom of choice ranges from having 250 something different salad dressings to choose from in the super market all the way to the potential ability to choose gender, we have become more miserable because of choice. He argues that the rate of expectation has significantly increased which means that we feel disappointed more often. Also, that we because of all the choices out there become more prone to self doubt, a 'What if I made the wrong choice', kind of questioning that can potentially drive us crazy.

I agree it's not easy it's definitely a pickle that is not going to lessen as we keep both growing and progressing as a species, but perhaps we could look at it from another angle. Maybe this could be a collectively created scenario which by it's open nature, hints or suggests a necessity for us to evolve towards intelligence. A quality much needed when trying to manouvre through all this jungle of possibilities.

Most of us humans were raised to obey, through centuries of having circumstance, environment and guys stronger than us kind of make the choice for us, it became something that came quite natural to the majority of the species. But now with the defaming of religion and government alike, there are all of a sudden so many sources claiming to be right, good and awesome that we get confused. We are not used to it. So we become miserable in the process. If nobody is telling you what is right, are you supposed to figure that out by yourself? Does this mean that you are 100% responsible for your convictions and your doubts? The mind, conditioned for centuries to rely on outside source for the answer to what is right and wrong, for what is healthy and what is not, becomes paralyzed and obsessed by nagging worry that it has to figure it out all by itself.

In this scenario, it is really not very surprising that Yoga has become so big, ancient wisdom coupled with a foreign, new formula promising a way out of misery. But alas, once again we are faced with choice, do we follow this tradition or that one? Should we have a guru, chant or only meditate, and if we meditate what brings us faster results, this version or that one... There is simply no escape to choice. Not even in the holy scriptures.

So what can we do? Well, one remedy is to not take ourselves and our choices so seriously. To understand that there is no right or wrong choice, there is only outcome, and how we feel about that outcome is totally up to us. So, we actually have the freedom to choose if we want to become paralyzed by choice or not. The equation: Freedom=maximum choice chould maybe instead read: Freedom= The ability to change your mind.
Cause' life, although it may seem to happen around you, is always experienced inside of you, in that center of operations which is your mind, and there, ultimately you are the boss. You may not feel like it all the time or maybe not at all, but that is the truth. Freedom of choice, resides within and yes, it's a hell of a responsibility, but then again we have the choice, for the sake of our own sanity, to not take it so seriously.

I scroll through Facebook again. There's a lot of stuff out there, a lot to digest, but just the fact that I can see a Japanese guy get his erect penis stuck in a train door, reenacted for my viewing pleasure or not, I think is pretty great.

 

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