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Illusion of choice

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Illusion of choice
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Answer
12/25/13 11:55 PM
I'm not sure where to post this but since it has to do more with philosophy than anything I'm posting it here.

Since there is no true separate self, meaning the mind and body are essentially just a big Goldberg effect taking place at every moment, doesn't that mean choice is also an illusion?

I understand the implications of relinquishing the illusion of choice (if there is one), a.k.a., pre-stream entry, but I can't help but notice it seems as though if there is no separate self, then doesn't that mean things just happen? The mind creates this illusion of things happening to 'it' but there is no 'it', just thousands of little parts doing what naturally happens if put in that sequence. Much like if one were to set up a bunch of dominoes; eventually they will seem to be moving on their own but they're not.
The body/mind seems to be moving on it's own but it isn't.

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/26/13 1:33 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
I'm not sure where to post this but since it has to do more with philosophy than anything I'm posting it here.

Since there is no true separate self, meaning the mind and body are essentially just a big Goldberg effect taking place at every moment, doesn't that mean choice is also an illusion?

I understand the implications of relinquishing the illusion of choice (if there is one), a.k.a., pre-stream entry, but I can't help but notice it seems as though if there is no separate self, then doesn't that mean things just happen? The mind creates this illusion of things happening to 'it' but there is no 'it', just thousands of little parts doing what naturally happens if put in that sequence. Much like if one were to set up a bunch of dominoes; eventually they will seem to be moving on their own but they're not.
The body/mind seems to be moving on it's own but it isn't.


Knowledge of cause and effect. Keep doing what conditioning or re-conditioning triggers. Keep investigating that which still gives the impression of someone making the decisions. Let it mature completely as an insight.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/mahasi/progress.html#ch4.2
Nick

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/26/13 9:49 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Hmmm… ok. Got it. Thanks for the guidance as always emoticon

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/26/13 4:24 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
The mind creates this illusion of things happening to 'it' but there is no 'it', just thousands of little parts doing what naturally happens if put in that sequence. Much like if one were to set up a bunch of dominoes; eventually they will seem to be moving on their own but they're not.


Hey Travis,

I think this is an important insight. If you take the broader perspective suggested by Nik, cause and effect, then you can expand your insight like this: Not only the separate self that is free to chose its actions is an illusion, because actions are conditioned, but also your ability to see this clearly is conditioned, brought about by specific causes (your practice), just as the fact that there are a lot of people who won't agree with you on this is caused by certain conditions, and so on...
This part is often missed: Cause and effect apply to everything, even to views about cause and effect! Therefore, Dropping the view of absolute self and adopting instead the view of absolute not-self (or no-self) is a fallacy. The important thing is to see that selfing happens when certain conditions are in place, just as selfing ceases, or diminishes in intensity, whenever other conditions are present.

Best wishes emoticon
Christian

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/26/13 5:09 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
When the Theravada's talk about there being no choice, the mean heart, digestion and death and so forth. There are obviously others aspects to personality and conditioning and how they are in construction in each new existential now, that talk about the dilemma's around choice. In part how much choice do we have, not that much. I reached the choice realisation, that choice was really about the choice to react or not react, or failing that to realise that one can't not react and to not react and then act on that. in some ways, there are very few choices, we must eat what we can afford or we must get a better job to eat better food. In part there are causal relationships with sex too depending on whether your monogamous or poly, self-centered or co-operative. I chose not to be happy, because I care about others suffering, because I care I develop some compassion, on the way towards this I can get angry because I care. Where other people may chose to see that other peoples suffering is their choice and their creation and therefore not real to some or full extent. Could I chose not to care, could they chose to care? Maybe I care because I have experienced enough suffering to empathise with other peoples suffering? So I didn't chose to care? There are so many factors that contribute to an out come! But What I know now, is that I can be aware in this moment and chose to react or to not react! This is the choice to be enlightened or to not be enlightened. There are so many little thoughts in the unconscious, held beliefs and outside opinions co-constructed in the process of choice. But still we have to eat, shit and cannot chose not to die.

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/26/13 6:44 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Christian, thanks for the advice. I started to realized this later in the day. You both have helped a lot.

Neem Nyima; I tend to disagree a bit with your post. Being what Christian said earlier. There is no such thing as choice, it's a set of causes and conditions. Which include reaction.

I reached the choice realisation, that choice was really about the choice to react or not react, or failing that to realise that one can't not react and to not react and then act on that. in some ways, there are very few choices, we must eat what we can afford or we must get a better job to eat better food.


This line indicates that there is some truth to choice and, of course respectfully, I disagree. Perhaps you can expand a bit on why you feel this way. I appreciate a good debate. All ideas are welcome emoticon

Thanks for replying to the post.

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/27/13 4:43 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
howdy travis,
if you are sufing the standing wave of this moment and viewing it through the lens of the aggregates you can manouver over to the cusp of perception and volition. there you can react in the customary way, in a different way or not react at all.

that, to me is choice. that to me is where karma is sewn together.

i cannot choose that this body be immortal but MAYBE that the next one not arise due to the de-patterning seems plausible. but i can't say for sure.

happy new year

tom

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/27/13 5:19 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
howdy travis,
if you are sufing the standing wave of this moment and viewing it through the lens of the aggregates you can manouver over to the cusp of perception and volition. there you can react in the customary way, in a different way or not react at all.

that, to me is choice. that to me is where karma is sewn together.

i cannot choose that this body be immortal but MAYBE that the next one not arise due to the de-patterning seems plausible. but i can't say for sure.

happy new year

tom


You just acted as a possible trigger in the sequence of events that possibly have led to Travis seemingly making a decision to explore what you advised in your post. And my bringing attention to it in this post again may act as a reinforcement for the seemingly independent (?) decision of Travis to then explore that standing wave in more detail. Links in a chain.

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/27/13 7:00 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:

You just acted as a possible trigger in the sequence of events that possibly have led to Travis seemingly making a decision to explore what you advised in your post. And my bringing attention to it in this post again may act as a reinforcement for the seemingly independent (?) decision of Travis to then explore that standing wave in more detail. Links in a chain.


yeah..my man...it is seemingly so. somewhere in here lurks the link between a conventional and transcendent viewpoint. who surfs?

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/27/13 7:12 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Greetings

Neem Nyima; I tend to disagree a bit with your post. Being what Christian said earlier. There is no such thing as choice, it's a set of causes and conditions. Which include reaction.

I reached the choice realisation, that choice was really about the choice to react or not react, or failing that to realise that one can't not react and to not react and then act on that. in some ways, there are very few choices, we must eat what we can afford or we must get a better job to eat better food.

This line indicates that there is some truth to choice and, of course respectfully, I disagree. Perhaps you can expand a bit on why you feel this way. I appreciate a good debate. All ideas are welcome emoticon


Merely a few passing thoughts, on how choice is traditionally viewed, within Theravada, or at least how i think they might think it. It seems you are way past that anyway. Sometimes I play devils advocate, when people tell me we have choice, and I talk about the lack of choice and the biological robotic nature of having to eat,shit, breed and die. And how so much of what we do is actually based around these urges. I can get what you say, as a metaphor maybe life is like a flickering picture screen, and maybe the compulsive urges of life are too, not only are they like a dream but also like a story that can't be changed. And whether i walk down this street or that street. Love this person or that person based on all the associated conditions of forming attachment. Neither of those choices are really significant, even if the are preformed as random acts, as a challenge to our choicelessness because that is in affect also a reaction to conditions and therefore with out choice.

Well there is something to that, no? Or maybe you could phrase the argument better, or add some significant point, or contest a point?

But the question remains is there any choice, because we know the choice is limited? But where does the choice remain in this!? I'd ask you to balance out the other side of this. To make a altruistic gesture of connection, that isn't nihilistic or fatalistic, that isn't based on nature and survival concerns? If you can make that choice, maybe there is a choice?

Its a bit like choosing to make meaning from an existentialist, position. But that's very metaphorical. because they believe in choice but not meaning.

Any way its your choice? or lack of choice to see if there is choice?

Funny words and thoughts, you got me to think, i enjoyed sharing. Thanks.

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/27/13 10:02 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
There is choice but it involves a complex set of causes and effects. Because it's complex and we use a self-concept that we can reify as a solid object, we get confused. There is no do-er that is choosing but there conceptually is a do-er. In order to communicate the choice you made to others you need to conceptualize yourself in order to use language. "I" chose this, and technically you as 5 aggregate being did choose something.

People can use their willpower to go against their habitual inclinations so that is available. When people say it's conditioned they have to make sure they understand that what they mean is dependent origination. You want to target the thinking habit that self-references constantly but not target all thinking.

There's nothing wrong with thinking about what is a good choice or not, but the problem is the self-referencing part that keeps looping over itself. It's this constant rating of yourself (which releases likeable or unlikeable chemicals) and narratives that habitually make choices for you but your pre-frontal cortex can assess whether it's a good idea or not. The limbic system is older than the prefrontal cortex so it can dominate a lot. Mindfulness helps to stop acting on impulse and helps you to then think clearer before making a choice. When the sense of self habit started to weaken everything was normal except for that habit that went into atrophy.

A good way to imagine this is imagining you were in the dark ages and what limitations to your knowledge there would be and how limited your choices would be because of it. If you lived in some enlightened future what kind of choices with new technology would be available that aren't now. So our choices have enormous cause and effect influences from habits/available technology/intelligence/amount of investigation of the options. What if you have lots of good options but because of addiction/habits and a lack of investigation you made a crappy choice? It's your fault if you had the intelligence but didn't use it but it's not your fault if you're ignorant of what's available. People still have to be held accountable because if you're ignorant you can always ask questions. Also punishment for bad choices creates a deterrent (in normal brains) so future choices are forced to see a negative option if the bad actions continue.

Practice includes all choices so you're not just sitting around doing nothing and being a vegetable. It's the feeling that there's no do-er in your skull but there is a brain and there still is thinking; and the weighing options still occurs. When you wait for the impulse to naturally dissipate the relief makes it easier to make difficult choices. What are difficult choices? The ones that are unpleasant.

The problem with the way people explain no-choice is that it sounds like nihilism or an attitude of "why bother with anything?" which is just a lazy cop-out. Feel free to improve yourself with your choices. There's of course a reason why you do it because you want the good results and that's the condition for making that choice. A wiser choice would be choosing things that have good long-term consequences.

Prefrontal Cortex

This brain region has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behavior. The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals.

The most typical psychological term for functions carried out by the prefrontal cortex area is executive function. Executive function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social "control" (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially unacceptable outcomes).


Procrastination example - Prefrontal cortex vs. Limbic system

The prefrontal cortex is a newer and weaker portion of the brain. It’s what allows you to integrate information and make decisions. “This is the part of the brain that really separates humans from animals, who are just controlled by stimulus,” says Pychyl. The prefrontal cortex, located immediately behind the forehead (where we tap when we’re trying to think, dammit, think), gets the job done. But there’s nothing automatic about its function. You must kick it into gear (“I have to sit down and write this book report!”). And the moment you’re not consciously engaged in a task, your limbic system takes over. You give in to what feels good—you procrastinate.

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/28/13 3:34 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
I agree with Richard.

Said another way: when practicing things related to training in Morality, meaning everything to do with things that are not insight practice: assume Free Will, assume choices, assume that choices will have consequences and take responsibility for those.

When practicing the concentration states: assume Free Will, assume choices, assume that you can stabilize your mind and attain to states as you choose them.

When practicing at the low to moderate end of insight practices: assume good technique, assume that effort pays off, assume that choosing to notice the Three Characteristics is helpful, or however you conceptualize your practices that I would put into the group of insight practices.

When at the high end of insight practices: notice that everything happens on its own, according to conditions, and always has, including all choices, including all questions about choices, including all sense of effort, all sense of Free Will, all sense of doing, all sense of knowing, all sense of every single thing, as this has always been how things are. Allow this knowledge to take over and pervade everything all the way through and without exception.

There is something truly wonderful about the whole field happening on its own, that undivided naturalness, that directness, that clarity, that deliciousness, like when a Thai massage therapist moves our limbs for us, it feels good. When everything is like that, that feels even better. It is not that pain doesn't occur, as it does, but knowing directly and totally that the whole field always just did itself really is mighty fine.

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/28/13 7:28 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
I agree with Richard.

Said another way: when practicing things related to training in Morality, meaning everything to do with things that are not insight practice: assume Free Will, assume choices, assume that choices will have consequences and take responsibility for those.

When practicing the concentration states: assume Free Will, assume choices, assume that you can stabilize your mind and attain to states as you choose them.

When practicing at the low to moderate end of insight practices: assume good technique, assume that effort pays off, assume that choosing to notice the Three Characteristics is helpful, or however you conceptualize your practices that I would put into the group of insight practices.

When at the high end of insight practices: notice that everything happens on its own, according to conditions, and always has, including all choices, including all questions about choices, including all sense of effort, all sense of Free Will, all sense of doing, all sense of knowing, all sense of every single thing, as this has always been how things are. Allow this knowledge to take over and pervade everything all the way through and without exception.

There is something truly wonderful about the whole field happening on its own, that undivided naturalness, that directness, that clarity, that deliciousness, like when a Thai massage therapist moves our limbs for us, it feels good. When everything is like that, that feels even better. It is not that pain doesn't occur, as it does, but knowing directly and totally that the whole field always just did itself really is mighty fine.


I also agree,
Choose the option to assume that it is possible to choose this option of having free choice or to reject it.
This one might call pragmatic practical, opportunism.

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/28/13 10:13 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Richard, Johan and Daniel,

This is why I stated 'I understand the implications of this truth (if it is true)'. One could assume no responsibility in anything/everything and not do anything! So, like Daniel has said, I could definitely see how in the beginning of insight practices one should assume control or direct responsibility, but later on as the practice develops one will begin to see how things just happen on their own.

Just an interesting insight I had. I'm glad it sparked so much response emoticon

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/28/13 2:59 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Richard, Johan and Daniel,

This is why I stated 'I understand the implications of this truth (if it is true)'. One could assume no responsibility in anything/everything and not do anything! So, like Daniel has said, I could definitely see how in the beginning of insight practices one should assume control or direct responsibility, but later on as the practice develops one will begin to see how things just happen on their own.

Just an interesting insight I had. I'm glad it sparked so much response emoticon

Hi Travis,
Just a little more musing about this choice thing.
It might be better to first ask one self the question
Given circumstances ie. desire for maintaining/ changing of a certain life style:
Do I have a clear 'picture' of what the context is that I live in?
Are there any particular persons that might/can/will interfere with the way how I conduct my business
(Whatever that business may be)?
Obviously such a question could be countered by asking the question:
Can I at all freely evaluate/ponder/consider contemplate my current situation?
Iow. Do I have free choice to do that?
Now there are possibly numerous arguments that could dispute this freedom.
Ie. if one were to believe in a primal event such as a Big Bang then there is some logic to the assumption
that since this is event is complex chain of mini events that eventually led to the very thought
" Do I have free choice to do that?' Iow. Is predestined.
So whatever my response will be to that question is also predetermined.
Therefor I think in thinking over this free choice thing,, only exists if one is willing to accept it as a gift that comes part and parcel with creation.
Responsibly for choices yet to make as such entails the assumption of an entity (oneself) capable of extrapolation
consequences that ones own action or non action may entail.
It can be said that this is not a small thing.
It is not a small thing because in all fairness ,who actually has this ability and also is as well
actually pragmatically applying this in s/his day to day affairs?
I personally challenge anyone who answers this question in the affirmative
If it were to read:
Are you realy ready AND capable to live with that kind of responsibility ?
The one who would answer that with "Yes I am " ,
I bow to respectfully ;)

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/28/13 4:23 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:


When practicing the concentration state...etc...



So, perhaps this is a fairly common temporal sequence?

0. The Non-choice of choice. ("I have free will and I have no choice about this.")
1. The choice of choice. ("I'll use my free will wisely.")
2. The choice of no-choice ("I choose to recognize my lack of free will.")
3. The Non-choice of no-choice. ("Free will? Huh? How would THAT work?")


aac

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/28/13 6:40 PM as a reply to anti anti camper.
Nice!

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/28/13 7:44 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
I'm not sure where to post this but since it has to do more with philosophy than anything I'm posting it here.

Since there is no true separate self, meaning the mind and body are essentially just a big Goldberg effect taking place at every moment, doesn't that mean choice is also an illusion?

I understand the implications of relinquishing the illusion of choice (if there is one), a.k.a., pre-stream entry, but I can't help but notice it seems as though if there is no separate self, then doesn't that mean things just happen? The mind creates this illusion of things happening to 'it' but there is no 'it', just thousands of little parts doing what naturally happens if put in that sequence. Much like if one were to set up a bunch of dominoes; eventually they will seem to be moving on their own but they're not.
The body/mind seems to be moving on it's own but it isn't.


Greetings !

Choices, Productive choices, without which our species would not survive. We have built bridges through our combined choices, we have chosen to provide food and shelter as a society and take care of our young. We have vast networks of food distribution, we travel long distances to provide this food, we work hard, by choice. We do this worldwide, we have built pyramid structures, and excavate the very bowels of earth itself. Indeed we have no illusion that we make choices. Is it not a choice when we defend ourselves and our young from invaders and savage beasts? We choose to stand together in this impersonal world and all the suffering it has to offer, floods, famines, tornadoes, bring it on! We choose because because we can choose. We outnumber you one million to one. We are the ants, and these are our choices.

Sound of marching fades to the distance,

Written by choice?

Psi Phi

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/28/13 8:36 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi Phi, thanks for the reply emoticon

Of course, at first glance these make look like conscious choices, but read a couple of posts before yours and you'll see the argument.

Was it your conscious choice to respond to this thread or was it the content and question that influenced your decision? If it was the latter, that would suggest you didn't have control. Once the thread was read, there was going to be a reply because of the causes and conditions that arose.

This is just one of many examples.

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/28/13 11:23 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Right! , and I was only writing from the ant's perspective, the ants do the same things we do, I was trying to fire a warning shot across the brow of the ego, mine included.

I would like to add that we have the capacity to train the mind and that this function can be very beneficial.
That is to say training the mind to incline/move towards/lean to certain directions and/or states of mind.

"Hey, ant"

Aardvark

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/29/13 5:39 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
There isn't chain of events, every choice is fundamentally indipendent. I set an idea(choose) that on tenth tail i can go home, so i start fliping the coin..when that 10th tail happen is non predictable, but it will happen eventually. The chain of events is self created illusion only true for the holder of that idea.

Also your question raises unlimited possible outcomes but we are holding the idea and when it is matched, insight(answer) happen seemingly out of nowhere. The answer is written(is already included) into your question.

If i consentrate on the no-self/self idea the answer already lies in there, waiting to be found, matched, noticed with the idea what i am holding. If i am expecting some revolutionary eyeopener answer then there will come that kind of answer what triggers that kind of energy burst eventually.
You could get insights out of thinking if black is black or red is red.

Samely you could consentrate on suffering. And you will see what is suffering, then you also can do it for non-suffering and will expreience/see what is it, but it is never the final or only answer.
Samely consentrate on what is to be limitless, deathless you will find out nirvana. What is to be balanced, etc..

Finally if you imagine you have a choice you will have these kind of experiences. If you imagine you have no choice you will have these kind of experiences.

Also what is to be non-affected with anything, you will see eventually, if you want and desire to experience it. I desired to see the highest states i got them pretty quickly.

there is no definete and final answer. We could stay in human realms forever if we wish but someday we will experience the opposite variant to that thinking and then yearn to advance.

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/29/13 1:24 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Maybe you can look at it somewhat less complicated.
It simply comes down to experimental verify. If one can do something or not.
If it happens so to be possible apparently so then this choice could be made
Iow. There was the ' freedom' to choose this option.
Ie. if I ask myself am I free to choose to raise my left arm and shout woogabooga
And indeed I find myself able to do that then i can I provisionally conclude that I made a free choice.
Of course there may be some quantum world were I did not pich that choice but hey who cares,
see what is possible and play with that.
Ie. experiment with how your senses work and to what degree you can have control over them.
I mean if I choose to position my eyes in such a way,
that a particular object comes into focus and next choose to move my head in such a way that this
particular object comes in the extreme right lower periphery of my vision, than obviously there must be some correlation
between the appearance of that object in my vision the way it appears and the movement of my head and/or eyes.
As such this is a fun way to choose to explore dependent origination.
And I find myself each time I set myself to that task to simply experiment,
indeed capable of noting various aspect of mentioned correlation.

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/29/13 2:59 PM as a reply to johan christiaan hellemons.
johan christiaan hellemons:
If I ask myself am I free to choose to raise my left arm and shout woogabooga
And indeed I find myself able to do that then i can I provisionally conclude that I made a free choice.


All "evidence" for free action ultimately comes down to (VERY high) correlation between two types of events:

1. I have the thought, "I'll raise my arm."

2. My arm raises.

Ignoring the fact that sometimes this correlation fails (IMPORTANT!), the fact that I didn't choose the initial thought (event 1) and ignoring Hume's classic critique of the very idea of causation, consider the important slogan used throughout science, logic, and statistics (e.g. randomized pharmaceutical trials):

"Correlation does not imply causation." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation )

For example, there could be a hidden "true" cause which causes BOTH events 1 and 2, rather than event 1 causing event 2. Here are some possible "true" causes: God, elves, undiscovered scientific theories, the robots that operate "The Matrix" in which we live, etc.

So the real task is to get a good look at the (assumed) "I" which causes event 1 and/or event 2.

aac

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
12/30/13 8:52 AM as a reply to anti anti camper.
anti anti camper:
johan christiaan hellemons:
If I ask myself am I free to choose to raise my left arm and shout woogabooga
And indeed I find myself able to do that then i can I provisionally conclude that I made a free choice.


All "evidence" for free action ultimately comes down to (VERY high) correlation between two types of events:

1. I have the thought, "I'll raise my arm."

2. My arm raises.

Ignoring the fact that sometimes this correlation fails (IMPORTANT!), the fact that I didn't choose the initial thought (event 1) and ignoring Hume's classic critique of the very idea of causation, consider the important slogan used throughout science, logic, and statistics (e.g. randomized pharmaceutical trials):

"Correlation does not imply causation." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation )

For example, there could be a hidden "true" cause which causes BOTH events 1 and 2, rather than event 1 causing event 2. Here are some possible "true" causes: God, elves, undiscovered scientific theories, the robots that operate "The Matrix" in which we live, etc.

So the real task is to get a good look at the (assumed) "I" which causes event 1 and/or event 2.

aac

As to:
[So the real task is to get a good look at the (assumed) "I" which causes event 1 and/or event 2.]
Sure but then of course you must also question whether if you have any choice in taking a good look
At "the (assumed) "I" which causes event 1 and/or event 2.'
Does not it then again becomes nessescairy to yet assume an I that is capable of doing this?
This kind of recursiveness I find not very satisfactory but ymd ;)
But then again if you find yourself doing that, perhaps indeed this is not something you have chosen.
Or have you?

Greetz
Jch

RE: Illusion of choice
Answer
1/3/14 2:40 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Eventually, habitual clinging will be met by dispassion. Right there in that moment a choice can be made (not to cling) resulting in unbinding and release. That’s just one example, but there a many illustrating that we have choice. The whole of the path to awakening is predicated on the ability to make a choice. It starts with adopting Right View, the first factor of the 8-fold path, which conditions all the other factors.

Habitual, unmindful, unexamined kamma is not choice. The examined kamma, conditioned by Right View, is a choice.


Is there a real choice when wisdom/discernment arises in place of ignorance? I think so.