Is awakening actually a choice on our part?
The more likely case is that we're free not to want to awaken, up to a point.
Well, either we're free to choose or we're not. There are good arguments on both sides.
There are certainly plenty of theories and arguments. Why not a blend? Why not say we're free to choose from among a limited but pre-determined set of choices or courses of action? And what is the choice but to get out of the way?
Sounds like a forced marriage between determinism and free will.
Maybe so. And maybe this limited freedom to choose is only available to us at given times, making the situation even more restrictive.
So is there more choice available as one begins to tread the path to awakening or not?
Well, aren't we all treading that path one way or another, unconsciously or not? But as we begin to be aware of awakening's approaches there is likely less and less choice for us. What would we want to choose but that which furthers this awakening process? And ultimately, if there is no experience of a separate self, there are no reference points left to choose from. Then the final choice has been made, eliminating the need for further freedoms and choosings.