Descartes tells us that indecision is “a species of fear,” useful only when it delays our actions long enough for contemplation without causing us to squander our limited time to act, but I have to confess that I also find it wonderfully exciting. Lingering, even languishing, in indecision can be intoxicating and addicting.
But is the potential to do or not do really an expression of the freedom to indulge in both, or is it just a third independent state, a refuge for the cowards and apaths among us? Alas, I always run out of time before I reach a satisfying conclusion. The need to affirm myself, to identify a time, a position, a place, and claim it, can only be deferred for so long, and I’ll have to get out of bed at some point.
The specifics are often irrelevant; I tend to take the strongest positions and make the most final decisions on the easiest subjects. I display the intensity of my commitment to one decision or the other as proof of my existence, but the boring truth is that the majority of my decisions are arbitrary, instinctive, and habitual. Waiting, pausing, and delaying, even if I already know what decision I’ll eventually make, remind me that freedom isn’t the action of decision––being or doing––but the neutrality preceding it. I’ll meditate on that for eight more minutes.