From Guest Author Dennis:

Recently, I had an insight that has helped me have a much clearer, healthier understanding of the “choicelessness” in “choiceless-choice” and how the Homo-spiritus way of living that it leads to is delightfully a lot like Tetris.

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I make a living as a Software Engineer as part of a large team. About a week ago, I felt unusually strongly that it was important to update our software to solve a kind of problem that may arise down the road. I felt intuitively compelled strongly enough that I decided I would take a good chunk of my time over the weekend to implement a good solution. At the time, my best answer for why I felt so strongly compelled was that it was right thing to do and not doing it then would open the door to some shitty potentials (“bad code”) in the near future.

The undeniable, strong impulse felt like what I would call a “choiceless-choice”. I invested the time, got the solution done and was quite happy with the result.

A week later, it turned out that the solution I had come up with ended up being the ideal and elegant solution for yet ANOTHER kind of problem that someone else ended up having to solve. A week previously when I had felt the strong impulse, I was completely oblivious and unaware that what I was doing was going to be an ideal solution to this new kind of issue that came up a week later. Had I known a week previously what I knew now, it would have been UTTERLY OBVIOUS to my human brain that choosing to do what I did was absolutely the right and timely thing to do. Shit, I would have even done it sooner!

So it now dawns on me; The “choiceless” bit of “choiceless-choice” is not about denying or sidelining my minds ability to make an informed choice. Rather, it’s simply an acknowledgment that when the information that the brain would need to clearly make that informed choice exists FORWARD IN TIME or is PRESENTLY UNKNOWN, the brain can’t interact with it in the linear choice-making way it’s used to. The brain hasn’t the ability to use knowledge that exists forward in time to make its choices today. “Choiceless-choice” then is simply what this kind of “choosing” seems to feel like from the perspective of a brain that does not have a time machine. It feels like a “I need to do this … now” disconnected from the clarity of informed choice that would seem to need to precede feeling that way. The information that would make it OBVIOUS to my brain that this is the right choice to make is not yet available to it in time.

Therefore, I see now that “choiceless-choice” is simply the result of experiencing within the framework of time the clarity of a choosing that would have had to take into account information and knowledge that exists in the future or is presently not in conscious awareness. The inpulse we call “choiceless-choice” is the “love-child” of the part of me that experiences in linear-time, and the part of me that is not bound to linear-time.

“Choiceless-choice” then is clearly not a shrinking of my capacity to make choices. In fact, it is a grand expansion of my ability to make choices!

And now then I also realize that the Homo-spiritus living that “choiceless-choice” leads to is a lot like playing Tetris.

When you play Tetris, blocks of different shapes, sizes and orientations fall from the top of the screen and you stack them in such as way as to get a horizontal line-clear. A line-clear is when the blocks fit together horizontally without gaps so that one or more horizontal complete lines are filled and clear off the screen.

The line-clear is the opportunity to see WHILE LOOKING BACK IN TIME how the choices you made in the past fit together perfectly. However you have to play the game forward in time without certainty about which block comes next or fixating on which line(s) you will get to clear next. Requiring certainty on the next block or fixating on the specific line you want to clear next makes for a grumpy Tetris player thats unlikely to get very good.

Homo-spiritus living is a lot like being a great Tetris player. You get very good at acting on the next block in increasingly “choicelessy-choice-feeling” ways and the human in you gets the delight of experiencing in-time the line-clear when it happens, illuminating the tapestry your “choiceless-choices” were building. As we get better at it, we even get more comfortable going longer without a line-clear just to have that magically delightful experience of seeing 4 previously seemingly disconnected lines clear all together when that one block that perfectly brings them into wholeness together falls into place! In Tetris, as in life, the experience of those multiple line-clears is very rewarding.

Keeping this in mind makes watching this really awesome documentary on the worlds best Tetris players going after the holy-grail of Tetris achievement that much more interesting to watch. Give it a watch here!

Veronica Writes:
If you want to see a record game, here is a YouTube. Even if you don’t watch the entire thing, check out the last couple of minutes! Wow!