The choices we make day after day and year after year inherently cause us to be responsible for the content, quality and outcome of our lives.
As a result, the understanding of what choice is and what it means to choose intelligently, becomes the cornerstone of our existence.
As defined in the dictionary, choice is “the act of choosing or selection” with its roots in old French, choisir which means to perceive, to choose. Choose is similarly defined as “to select from a number of possibilities” and has origins in Greek and Latin that mean to taste and to enjoy, possibly alluding to the essential part our senses play in how we perceive these possibilities.
So to clarify what choice is, we can say it is the act of selection from a number of possibilities we perceive. Further, our perception of what these possibilities are comes through our senses including sight, sound, touch, smell, taste and possibly a sixth sense of how we feel emotionally.
Clearly, the choices we have available to us are dependent on the choices we are aware of, either with our physical body or our emotional body.
This may be where we run into trouble.
It has been estimated that our brains can process 400 billion bits of information per second, but we are only aware of 2,000 bits per second. In other words our brains can only effectively process 1 percent of the information it takes in through our senses; what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and perhaps what we feel.
So for purposes of this discussion, our perception of reality, what we think is real and true at any given moment in time is constructed out of only 2,000 bits of information we are aware of. Never mind the other 399,999,998,000 bits of information floating around that we can’t see because our brains are too busy processing!
So what does this imply about the choices we make? If I reduced the ratio of information we are aware of to what is actually out there and used it as a metaphor for choice, we could say that for every 2 choices we perceive there are actually 400 million more choices available to us that we do not even know exist!
With those kinds of odds, do you think we ever really had a chance to make an intelligent and aware choice about anything in our lives? Could it be that humankind has been living with an extreme case of limited vision for ages, perhaps since the beginning of time?
Before we make another choice again to do, say or even judge anything, we need to ask ourselves this: Am I really seeing all the choices? Do I have the capacity to see the bigger picture? And if not, then how can I make a choice about what I want for my life based on any kind of dependable truth or substance?
It is quite a sobering thought to realize the limited reality we have all been living in.
Is it possible to broaden our vision? It is possible to see more?
That is the subject of my next blog.