Tuesday, January 7, 2014
The essence of choice, part III
When things happen accidentally, randomly, no real choice is exercised. Entropic circumstance — the tendency of everything to run down to the lowest possible level of energy, or goodness — gradually drags all action down to the lowest level. This begins with destructive action — which undoes that which creates the good — and gradually (or precipitously) moves all the way down to no action whatsoever, which is the state things end up in once destructive action has had its way with them.
This is also the way of selfish impulses. They are unconscious, self-serving, consumed with inner considering (an obsession with one's own interests and no one else's) and essentially destructive, up until they lose the capacity to act because they have dismantled the structures they relied on. Ergo, to choose selfishness is equivalent to a failure to choose, since both end up serving the same end.
Unselfish impulses, which all go in the direction of consciousness, begin with an implied awareness of where one is and one's relationship to other things. One understands that one is part of an order, and that the order has an inherent or essential goodness. This is what real understanding consists of — above all, an awareness that one is in relationship with everything else. The loss of this understanding results in unbridled egoism and all of its destructive power. To attain this understanding is to begin to participate — or at least have the potential of participating — in an act of creation, an action that goes against the natural tendency towards entropy. But this can only be accomplished by acting in relationship; just as entropy tears things apart and breaks them down to their constituent, inactive components, relationship brings things together and gives them the opportunity to act according to the creative forces of emergence and agency, each of which contributes to a constructive force in this universe.
There are those who choose the way of destruction. I suppose this is natural and lawful, but it is contrary to the natural impulse that ought to arise in mankind. Given a universe of choice, we must make an effort to choose the good, or become the victims of our own destructive impulses. This is a constant battle, because the destructive or entropic impulses are powerful and easy to go with. It's always more difficult to say no, always more difficult to try and build something worthwhile than it is to tear it down.
But above all, the question of choice is essential here. We are placed here; we must choose. And an attitude which professes indifference, inaction, or the active support of destructive forces is not good enough.
The purpose of consciousness and intention is to choose in such a way as to support an ascending movement.