“Far more than our abilities, it is our choices that show what we truly are.”
– Albus Dumbledore
To be called a heretic is an experience I have long savored and over the years I have had many opportunities to indulge my perverse enjoyment of being thus maligned. No matter what spiritual discipline I have learned and taught, there has always been someone close by to wag a finger in my general direction and tell me just how wrong I am, how I am corrupting the teachings. It must be said that, when the textbook definition of the word heretic is considered, I truly am one! A heretic is a person who holds controversial opinions, especially ones that publicly challenge officially accepted dogma. That’s me all over! It should therefore come as no surprise that I identify strongly with the Greek root of the word heretic. That root is hairetikos, which means “able to choose.”
In the final analysis, everything comes down to choice. The great motivational speakers all state that the quantity and severity of challenges we experience in our lives is of little importance. How we choose to perceive and respond to those challenges is what matters. Where others might choose to be victims of circumstance, it is the Spiritual Warrior who responds with life affirming choices (and actions) rather than reacting as though everything is beyond her control. It is the simple choice between being at the cause or at the effect.
Most every choice we make is a point of departure that will lead to an inevitable destination. The demand upon us to make choices is as incessant as it is unavoidable. To quote a line from lyricist Neil Peart, “[Even] if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.” To claim the power inherent in conscious choice is to simultaneously shoulder the burden of responsibility for the consequences of those choices. It is this burden of responsibility that so frightens the average person and the reason so many prefer to let others make their choices for them.
We do not live alone in this world and no matter how considered one might be with regards to choices made, it is certain that those choices can and will be effected by the choices of others, those we know and those we don’t. Is it not fair to ask that those who, as associates, friends, and coworkers, have the greatest access to (and, therefore, influence upon) us be at least as concerned with making conscious choices as are we? This should give a person all the more reason to be selective about the company one keeps.
It may seem that in trying to consider the myriad of possible outcomes each choice could bring one could be easily overwhelmed, even to the point of mental and/or physical apoplexy. This doesn’t have to be the case. Gentle persistence is generally the best course when learning a new skill. Learning how to make wise choices is no different. Be aware of your choices and don’t be afraid to follow your instincts.
All humans are possessed of a dual nature that is equally adept at expressing the utmost love or manifesting lurid villainy. What separates the killing fields from Elysian Fields is choice. Whether we determine to Love or to Fear, to act or react, create or destroy is a function of how we use Energy. It is our choices that send us down the infernal path and it is our choices that can redeem and Awaken us.
The meaning of Life is really quite simple: Life is about choice. Nothing has more influence on our lives and our happiness than the choices we make. We are here because we choose to be. Our life has the meaning we choose to give it. Whether we live in the awareness of our elemental nature as a part of the world we inhabit and our spiritual nature as the offspring of Creation, or as victims of circumstance who are out of balance and out of control can only be decided by the individual. Creation gives us sovereignty. It is we alone who abdicate that sovereignty. The Choice is ours.
There is so much darkness in the world, so very much pain that it often overshadows the Joy. This does not have to be. We are not condemned to the mire. Beauty is but a choice away.
©Billy Red Horse