Never Too Late To Choose

Or How Would I Know If I Really Wrote This?

And Does It Matter That I Don’t Mind?

Today might be the day we redeem the suffering of our existence. Today we might crest this wave, reach the cusp. Today we might facetime with the singularity of spacetime. We won’t know until later. We may not know until we are far off this plane. Have we already boarded the next one? I don’t know. There’s a lot I miss.

But to be conscious is a precious gift. And to be mindful is to find gratitude in being beyond the grief and suffering of living and dying.

You’ve got Bereitschaftspotential

When we map the fireworks sparking in our heads to the figments flashing through our minds, we see our choices being made before we make them. Neuroscientists have observed that an unconscious cerebral initative precedes a conscious decision to move by about half a second. This may come as a shock.

We have been dogmatized to claim certain inalienable rights and freedoms. We have been led to believe that our choices are our own, that my choice is mine, and yours is yours. Free will has seen some debate over the years, and that debate is far from over. And whether or not we align with neuroscience’s latest findings, we need not stop believing in free will. You see, it may be that our beliefs are no more voluntary than our decisions. Indeed their recipes are quite similar. Believing may not make a lick of difference to what is or is not.

Dusterminism or Dustermination?

Let’s examine what matters, or what’s matter: take stardust, for example. Take each infinitesimal particle you could call your own and peer back into the eons of travel and near collisions it has endured since the Big Bang to end up under my illusion of control. Do the same for every particle that has a possibility of colliding with one of thine in the next moment. Interpolate their trajectories, velocities, atrocities, bombasticities in the here and how. Squint to see their quantum uncertainty. Examine the chromosomes they comprise where the algorithms lie encoded that dictate my form and function, genes shaped by ancient evolutionary pressures coupled with chance mutations, that in turn shape you and determine your drives and abilities and opportunities to react. Then sit back and observe the way things go on, always as they would have been. No choice has been made another way.

Can I Be a Witness?

But we want to believe we can change for the better. We want to believe we can choose happy, so we try. Then we blink or we sigh, stand or sit. We leap or we swerve, or scroll, tap, or type. But that was going to happen, wasn’t it? We only think we chose to act.

I might tweet in defense of my, like, stable genius. I might spout in dignity about pandemic injustice we endure under flags, as genders, as races. I might cut a finger chopping an onion, cut you off on the freeway, cut the final take of the day, or cut the cheese, and then nod. This has happened, yes. I am witness, yes. I am. But who is the one to applaud, to thank, to blame, avenge, or bandage?

Before these tries, behind the eyes, decisions were made, and now come to pass in disguise as freely willed choices. How can I put this most simply? Would it help us to know that our will is not free? We still would be as we are and do as we will do. Helplessly hoping, our impact will be eternal, our timing will be perfect.

It’s never too late for immortality.