Following on from the previous post, the words choice and choose (from Old English cēosan ) are by modern standards, magical words. They are left over from the ages of witchcraft, sorcery and magic, tattered remnants of which still obtrude themselves into our language, our culture and even our laws.
There is, deep inside all of us, a very ancient homunculus, a Magical Me who still casts a spell over the whole universe, setting aside the iron laws of cause and effect. Because amongst other magical attributes, Magical Me is supposed to choose - an event without a cause because it began with Magical Me.
I chose this. I choose to believe. I chose to act. I choose.
Although we now know that something else must always cause us to choose this or reject that, the word has not yet lost its old, magical meaning.
Yet that little word choose, with its ancient meaning, gives the game away. It shows how even in the twenty-first century, we still ascribe reality to Magical Me, that delightful, deluded place where we initiate events with no other cause but ourselves. It’s where the buck supposedly stops, where personal responsibility resides. It sits behind our criminal law, our moral absolutes, our political crusades. Even today it still inserts its medieval certainties into supposedly modern minds. Yet the iron laws of cause and effect know nothing of Magical Me.