There is a place that exists only in our minds, or at least I believe it does. A place where decisions are made. A place free from influence, other than the influence we exert. You may not recognize that place, but it does exist. It is the place where morality and or ethics dwell.
I can not point to that place, or even define it, if I were asked too. It is a place built on a past, a vision of a future, and a present, that allows us to stampede through our daily routines in hopes of what, absolution perhaps? But absolving oneself implies an understanding of oneself, and I am not sure that is possible because of the complexity we bestow on ourselves as individuals. And yet, we believe ourselves to be simplistic by nature.
The implications of choice are also an unknown, as they are based on a concept of knowledge. We all know, there are far more things we know nothing about, than things we do. Throw emotional radicalism into the mix, and we find ourselves adrift in a boat of our own making and following a map we have conjured in an effort to find a place, we only want to exist.
We find ourselves in this zone where nothing and everything exists simultaneously. A place where there are more answers than questions. A place where, we are God. And you come to this conceptual place, with the knowledge that you may have ten years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds to live, and then you are gone. Not simply no longer here, the here we know, but there, a there we don’t.
We are left with a decision. Not a decision much different than decisions we make every day, but different in that we have forced ourselves to make the decisions in this new light of our existence.
We all function on automatic pilot for the most part. We are not cognizant of the majority of our lives, our daily actions, because they are programmed and choreographed by time and instinct. Rarely do we consciously choose what we do, because we do not make the time to decide. Life flies by at an accelerated pace that would require us anchor at some unknown place, and for us to think purposely about what we do, not just reflexively react to circumstances.
We have, lets pretend, been anchored, and time continues to race past, but we are in a position where we have the ability to simply observe. We do not have to participate, because we have chosen not too. We have decided to examine our world, our choices, in a time of our own making, and decide what we want to do, and what we need to do.
This of course is the time when morality and ethics jump out from nowhere and set up a barricade to those choices. We have been making choices that we are not cognizant of, and do not hold ourselves responsible for, since the age of reason. And yet we now find ourselves having to play a game. Let’s say a game like tennis or ping pong. A game with a net woven of ethics and morality. To make a decision is this place, where we are now anchored, we recognize each time we cross over the net, we are forced to make a decision.
Games are a competition; we play an opponent. The object of course in most circumstances, is to win. We keep score. Each serve receives a response and that response is marked on our board.
Similar to life we choose, except now we are forced to explain our choices as we sail over the net. The score is automatically tallied by a score keeper. We can and have chosen our own score keeper in the past, so lets continue that aspect of our existence with a familiarity we are comfortable with.
Each time we pass over the net, decisions are made, the score tallied on our board for all to see. To play a game similar to tennis, we need an opponent, or it is just a routine matter of hitting the ball, our metaphor, against a wall, and it being returned without us having to have made a decision. Under present circumstances, there is no net, no competitor, no score. So for the sake of expediency we chose to play ourselves.
Each time a decision is made, it is made by us as the server, and us as the recipient of the serve. Keeping score is no small task, because although we have assigned that to an unknown entity that we have been told not only to trust, but also believe to be fair. We are to be judged on our decisions based on our choices, despite the complications inherent in morality and ethics. We have previously determined morality and ethics are based on a history that we have assumed, by simply existing in an environment we neither chose, nor wished necessarily to participate in.
We have been playing this game now for an indeterminate amount of time, as we are not aware of a beginning or an end. All we know according to the rules, is that we are in the game and we must do the best we can if we wish to win. We are allowed to make up our own rules, but we are reminded by our unknown score keeper, that our volleys must pass over the net of morality and ethics before they can be returned for examination.
But examination by who? The score keeper, ourselves? We look at the scoreboard and see we are neither winning nor losing; the score is tied. Even though we are sure we are winning, the score keeper says we are tied. We have given the scorekeeper our confidence, so we can not now in our uncertainty claim favoritism.
We have been unable to this point to decide which of us playing, is steadfast or susceptible to doubt. For doubt is the one thing that leaves us locked in time, with no decision possible, as the ball has turned to indecision, and is headed for the net.
Time, we know from the nature of a clock, is running out, even though we observe one of the hands is missing. We ask the referee for a time out, so we can reconsider our strategy. Our request is denied. The game must continue although we know, because of the nature of the clock, that the game will end, stop. Today, tomorrow, ten years, months, weeks, days hours, seconds from now…and then the lights go out, the clock no longer functions as intended.
But, is it because we no longer see the clock, or has the clock been moved. We watch our tallied score disappear not knowing whether we won, or we won, or we lost or we lost.
I find myself looking at the clock that buzzes like a deranged dinosaur from my... I pull the covers over my head, knowing I am in the box seats watching a past, consumed by a future in the presence of time, and knowing there is nothing I can do about it, but hope.