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AMERICA NOW: The Consequences of Our Choices.

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PROPADEUTIC

It perhaps seems a mere truism to say that we must accept the consequences of our choices, but it needs to be said again and again because people tend to frequently deny the consequences of their choices when those consequences are undesirable. And by deny I don't merely mean that the consequences are seen and then responsibility for them rejected; I mean the consequences are very often not even registered in consciousness. The consequences are not even perceived as being such. So accepting consequences implies a certain depth of consciousness itself to begin with; that is, one must actively cultivate consciousness to even be able to accept consequences for choices.

And in reality, who could ever claim to see to the very bottom of the accumulation of the consequences of their choices? But this limitation of human perception and ethical response is not generally acknowledged along with the crucial need to do whatever one can to expand it because doing so makes life too demanding for the ordinary condition of consciousness and its limited ethical capacity as defined by our culture. People talk big and live small. It's called being 'reasonable' or 'practical'. And this evasion comes in many different philosophical and political (dis)guises.

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And what does accepting the consequences of our choices actually mean? There is a very common attitude that a single person is a very small affair that can't really impact much beyond its own immediate environment and so it can't be reasonably expected to take responsibility for much that goes on in the wider world either. And this attitude encourages a person to think and feel small thereby severely limiting the chances of that consciousness growth without which a relatively accurate perception of the consequences of one's choices can even develop. But if it does develop then what actually happens? What does accepting responsibility for choices mean?

First if all it means that you cultivate consciousness enough that you have a chance of even perceiving the consequences of your choices. Then once you perceive consequences you are big enough to allow changes in yourself to take place on whatever level is required for real responsibility to occur. And this is not necessary only when consequences are undesirable. Desirable consequences usually need to be taken further in their development and this can be just as demanding as changing course because your choices resulted in undesirable consequences. It is a continuing process of learning and growing and avoiding vain clinging to a place of comfortable identity or self-image. It means being brave enough to walk consciously into the seemingly boundless wilderness of consequences without slipping into the fecklessness of either idealistic fantasy or cowardly denial.

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