top of page

The Illusion of Choice - The path to freedom.

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

In our western world, indeed the whole world, we are brought up to believe that in a free democratic society we can change things and create choices.

Life coaching, motivational classes, hypnosis and positive thought are the promoted methods to help us along our fearful and unsatisfied ways. Failure to achieve the things we desire, whether through need or want produces an unfortunate self-destructive streak among self-seeking students. Pressure of course comes from many directions and for some of us, especially among the wealthy and the successful often see failure as not an option. Drug abuse, bankruptcy and homelessness, for instance, not only affect the poor. The reality of checking ones disposed nature is overlooked in the main. In education, for example, those responsible for helping us to pursue the right course have no idea about what is good for us. Many are pushed into careers they will never succeed in hence the high fallout rates of university students. In my case, education at no time encouraged me to pursue the things I was good at. Instead, I was given a curriculum that concentrated on the things I was not particularly bright in, leaving me to wander through several career paths and ultimately failing to pursue the course I could really excel at.

There is a saying that you can’t make a silk purse from a sows ear, and it is equally true that you can’t make a race horse from a donkey. To make a choice means generally that something must be left behind. Even the sayings of Jesus give us options, leaving us in a position where we have to choose something - His way or another, the way of the world or the kingdom, born again or the grave digger’s life. The road walked with Him is a narrow one and entry into it is preceded with a fork in its path. Education in the social construct trains us to make choices. Those choices in every area of life should be easy if we adhere to the social path. For example, good education grades open up career choices. These open up areas of success, which in turn open up other choices and options for increased success. The outcome is a foregone conclusion if one follows the choice path.

However, when we fall into difficulty in making this seemingly simple task, the media companies which are under control of greater media disseminators, create merchandising campaigns to convince us that what is on offer is the best; Choose the best, it’s better for you! As an example: If we walk into a supermarket and are presented with a shelf of three different kinds of baked beans, we are duped into believing we have a choice of brands. In fact, if there are twenty types of baked beans on the market, we see straight away that we have indeed just been given a restricted choice of only three. It must therefore be clear to us that ultimately the matter of choice is not only restricted but relative. In other words if we always shop at the same store that’s all we will ever see.

Laws direct us into choice; you can’t do that if you don't have this, for example. The laws we make are governed by more laws. We even have laws on how to fight wars and laws that tell us our human rights. The lives we lead are governed by parameters that set us limitations. Through education we are taught to think like everyone else, thus our career paths often end up the same as someone else’s. We plan our lives according to the choices we make, according to the choices we have available. We even sit exams to make sure we have learned what the establishment has been teaching us. Then we are judged by our grades and accordingly find status in society. In this sense, we have no real freedom but only the freedom to choose what is on offer. But what happens when the education of citizens is incorrect and indeed if the law is incorrect? What rights do we have in a democracy to address and change laws? Well, we can go to our MPs who take our concerns to government, who by law have to hear what we have to say but not necessarily to do anything about it. When governments don’t do what the people want, the people will become uneasy and protests abound. Protests, however, are allowed because it makes us feel as if we have a say or have some power. We are watched and listened to but never seen or heard. Our banners and voices are carried off into the wind, helped along by the media who supposedly report the news chosen through publication limitations.

Each culture has a different form of protest, and some are allowed to protest according to their own rules of law, whilst others are not allowed to protest at all.

What would a