Once upon a time there was a man named gotama siddharta. There is a certain amount of conjecture whether he was really a ‘man’ at all, in the sense of being human, or some kind of mutation, or quasi-divine being. The words of the buddha himself seem to indicate his essential humanity, but after the fact there was a certain move to deify him, or course.
“The” buddha belongs to a group of enlightened beings which certain historico-philosophs might call the axial sages. They appeared around the world in a period of about 1500 years. That might seem like a long time to modern minds, but given the accelerating trend of history, things moved a lot slower then. Give or take 1500 years is still a pretty good marker for radical evolutionary change.
Anyway, once we account for certain changes in social teachings and regional perspectives, we might acertain that all these axial sages were talking about the same thing. siddharta, mohammed, jesus, krishna, zoroaster… They were all speaking about the evolution of consciousness. They were are describing that evolution in much the same way with varying degrees of technical sophistication. The amazing thing about this was that these sages all proposed that man might take the reigns of his own development, that he might move away from the whims of fate and genetic accident, and ascend to the realisation of the infinite.
In tribal cultures the shaman is not self-elected, he is chosen by the spirits. One might say they become that way by accident. An accidental evolution with huge social consequences. From the fertile soil of these accidental revalations and the societies they produced, sprang bold new mutations, self elected seekers of the infinite.
We are not chosen, we choose.