Friday, June 10, 2011

Bonnitta Roy - In the Presence of Choice

Over at Beams and Struts, the excellent integral group blog, Bonnitta Roy has an interesting article up that I highly recommend. She begins by asking us to consider the death of Osama bin Laden stripped of all it's conceptual, interpretive, or idealistic elaborations. She has a deeper idea in mind about how we can related to the world.

I want to post just one small section - but please go read the whole article.

In the Presence of Choice

Written by Bonnitta Roy


The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead said that reality arises through a series of moments which feel into the past moment as they feel for(ward) the next moment. This process of feeling traces of existence from past actualities to future possibilities is the fulfillment of both karma and choice – the same as Kierkegaards “balancing act between possibility and necessity.” For Whitehead, the action in-between was nothing at all like the tight wire between the physicists’ cause and effect. Rather, Whitehead thought of this feeling-process—which he called “prehension” – as incredibly sensitive, provocative, and loving; and he construed it as the long, long moment of possibility, freedom and choice, in the timeless space of becoming, before the actual occasion is concretized into being. Rearranged this way, all cause becomes some agent’s choice – and the spaciousness in between is the choice-field each agent roams.

If you look at your life, at the small, non-important pieces that go unnoticed, unlike the overdone “death of bin Laden” thing, what are the elaborations you add to, let’s say “going to work.” Do you say “I have to go to work today, even though I don’t want to” ? Or do you say, “I choose to go to work, because… even though today is painful in this respect.”

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