Sometimes, figuring out what counts as a choice is the tricky part.
When I learn something new that resonates with me, I find it difficult not to allow the NRE* to spill over into every aspect of my life regardless of where I initially plan to apply it. Take the concept of Words Mean Things – I primarily chose to incorporate it into my religious practice because it fits with ma’at and heka…and from there it was easy enough to adhere to at work, and with my family, and in my leisure time. It’s what I sometimes call a “slippery slope principle”; it’s more difficult to limit the application of Words Mean Things than to stand back while it infiltrates every nook and cranny, and there’s no doubt I’m benefiting from its incursion. Yet, I didn’t choose to allow it out of its box in the first place.
Of course, I also didn’t choose to stop it. Why would I, when it works so well? In fact, I don’t think I ever stopped to think about whether I made an active choice on Words Mean Things until I started writing this post (and rewriting it, and rewriting it), and now I’m noticing some things:
- I didn’t actively choose to allow Words Mean Things to run amok all over my life, but I also didn’t choose to stop it.
- Not choosing to stop it means I did make a choice on the subject, albeit a passive one.
- Passive choices are still choices, and therefore still count as action. (I think)
As I said before, it’s tricky. There’s a line between not choosing and passive choosing, but I’m not exactly sure where it is. I’m also not sure that one can’t be retconned into the other – refusing to make a choice about something that happens anyway can look like a passive choice after the fact. Does this matter? Well, in the grand scheme of things I think it must, if only because I tie such importance to action and to being required to make a choice in situations. I know if I’ve made a choice, and I have to live with the consequences of my action (or inaction)…so I guess the only thing I can really do is be conscious of when I wale, and how I wale, and whether I’ve waled at all.
This is turning into one of those philosophical posts with more questions than answers. Must be time to stop writing now.
*New Relationship Energy