inspired by ‘The Garden of Forking Paths’ by Jorge Luis Borges (which I haven’t actually read, but learned a little about this morning)
Frozen with Foresight by Karin Taylor
I had been giving the idea of foresight some thought, when I challenged myself with the idea, what if you had access to every foresight?
It didn’t take me long to realise, that with foresight I just might freeze. Yes, instead of what I’d originally thought, that with foresight, all things would be made well, all decisions could be forged with clarity and a great impending certainty of good outcomes, etc, it became uncomfortably clear that foresight may not be such a good thing!
In light of political, environmental and caring for humanity decisions, I will make an exception of course, however, it is somewhat important I feel, to retain the lack of too much ability to have every foresight in operation at personal decision-making time, because this removes the possibility for me, that there is hope in chance, that there are possibilities besides those that foresight might afford us. I am guessing that, even if the foresight I could have, were exceedingly accurate, that it would still serve to freeze and overwhelm me, to know too much. The anxiety would surely swamp any ability I had to perform the tasks ahead. I am better off not knowing.
So what then, do I make of hindsight? Well, this pondering relative to my earlier thinking on the value of foresight, afforded me a most unlikely, new and fresh reserve of understanding. That hindsight is only useful some of the time. I had given it a great deal more latitude and thought hindsight was useful all the time, but I realise now, that it is not so. It is not always helpful when looking at a new situation, because no situation is exactly the same, and the variation of outcomes could be far greater than any amount of hindsight could afford one.
In conclusion, after weighing up the value of both foresight and hindsight, I find both to be lacking because at a fundamental level, each relies on personality which influences our impressions and perceptions, predisposition to certain filters we use depending on environmental and emotional factors, previous experience, spiritual understandings, cultural nuances, etc. Therefore, I would think that foresight and hindsight, although somewhat useful as a way of steering our thoughts must be aligned with enough factual evidence (which is sometimes hard to find or accumulate) in order for it to be of any real assistance in the act of decision-making.
In light of this, I imagine that to have foresight could be very challenging, especially in one prone to indecision or procrastination in the first place. An answer that is given, a known outcome, can sometimes prevent completion of the task or decision, because it is exactly that……known. I think that I prefer the latter, hindsight. Liking that idea moreso, having had a chance to err. Having had a chance to make amends. Having had a chance to make conclusions after the fact. How strange. It is not at all how I thought this processing would end.
I prefer hindsight to foresight…..certainly not what I thought I would conclude!