I was driving down the interstate this morning and began to thing about control. Within all the rush hour traffic, I realized that the only control I really had was the space in front of me, that space between myself and the car in front of me.
Sure, I was controlling the steering wheel, how fast to drive, and even what lane to travel in, but any true freedom was restricted by the flow of traffic. Any rational decisions I made were limited to maintaining a safe distance and to maintain speed. Once I chose to get on the interstate, I relinquished most of my control to follow along that path until I chose to exit.
Further more, how much control did I really have over the space in front of my car? If I maintain a reasonable, safe distance, then at any time, a car in the next lane could easily cut over in front of me. I would have to react to the situation. More loss of control. Control becomes an illusion. Actually, I would have the freedom to choose among several options, like ride his bumper, flip him off, or back off to a safe distance. Only one option is a logical choice; therefore, control becomes very restricted in this situation.
The point is, we have the freedom to choose a path. But once a path has been chosen, that path sets up a sequence of events that must occur. We loose most of our control while on that path; until, at least, we reach the next decision or exit point. Some paths have easy exits at many points. Some paths are more restrictive and offer few exit points. And some exit points, maybe the only exit point from some paths, could be very unpleasant.
Now, why we choose a certain path is for another discussion.