About freedom of choice


Most people are on automatic pilot, and as such they have got, little or no choice. Being automatic is being asleep, things happen to them, they are mechanical, this is what Gurdjieff meant when he called them machines:
“Without self-knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.”
― G.I. Gurdjieff
“In order to awaken, first of all one must realize that one is in a state of sleep. And in order to realize that one is indeed in a state of sleep, one must recognize and fully understand the nature of the forces which operate to keep one in the state of sleep, or hypnosis. It is absurd to think that this can be done by seeking information from the very source which induces the hypnosis.
….One thing alone is certain, that man’s slavery grows and increases. Man is becoming a willing slave. He no longer needs chains. He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of it. And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man.”
― George Ivanovich Gurdjieff

And T.S. Eliot called the sleepy man: “Hollow man” in his famous poem by that name;

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

The last thing people will be willing to admit is that they have no freedom of choice, every person feels shure of his ability to fashion his life according to his will. And why is that conviction? Because if they are not satisfied from their life, they believe that they still have the choice to make it better.
The feeling of an ability to choose, gives another chance: “Until now I made mistakes, now that i am learning I will make better choices”.
The feeling of having a choice preserves in the person the feeling that the future is going to be better and there is no chance that they will do the same mistake again…
A person wants, at all times, to feel better, this is almost one of the strongest motivations in us, and if today it is not good, then with better choices – tomorrow will be good. This is, amongst other things, what allows us not to fall under the difficulties of life.
We would like to believe that even if now we do not have much choice, then with self-work, spiritual guidenss or consciousness development -our span of choice will be wider. We believe that if in the normal way of life we are mechanical and react from habit and impulse and therefore have little choice – then when we have a high consciousness we will have more freedom of choice – this is further away from the truth, for in a developed state of consciousness the person is fixed and crystalized. The higher you go in the pyramid of being conscious, the less is your ability to move freely. At the head of the pyramid you are again an automat…
The passage from being automatic in a low state –to being automatic in a high state – must go through being aware of the automatism in the low level, and then it is possible to become automatic in the high level.
In order to live one must be automatic, if one is aware all the time, then he is not alive, the awareness blocks the passage of life.
Indeed we don’t really have free choice, but there is a possibility for a temporary, partial awareness. But when you are aware you are not alive, because when you are aware you are busy in paying attention and not to allow for things to happen. To live is to be unconscious. If you are aware you stop the flow of life.
One is aware of the parts of his car only when something is wrong, when it is going ok you don’t try to be aware of it, but you are giving up to the driving itself.
Awareness is a temporary state, between unwanted consciousnesses to a wanted consciousness.
The person needs to pass from the mechanical unconscious through partial awareness – to a high unconscious.
The journey needs to be from a lower unconscious (narrow consciousness) to high unconscious (open and wide consciousness). In the first you are asleep, in the second you are awake. In the first nothing happens to you, in the second life happens to you.

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