Intent

This post has been inspired by the words of a fellow writer [Lake Superior Spirit] who has been writing about some subtle teaching on the topic of “intent”. We all recognise, I am sure, the common use of that word, meaning an often half-baked decision to achieve some goal: a decision that may or may not even be remembered, let alone completed. Even though the word is often used that way, we also see that there’s very little “intent” in such a case. At the same time, we all recognise that the word can also be used to depict the attention that can be placed into the making and execution of a careful plan. An attention that must also see the proper consequences of achieving the goal, and those of failing to do so. It is, of course, not unusual for the English language to use one word for two concepts with such different meanings, but I suggest that we use the word as if the required attention will follow, but we say it from a mode or train of thought that lacks the ability to make such a commitment, because it lacks active attention itself.

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Who Chooses Your Agenda?

With a question like that, it’s extremely tempting to say “I do”. As an answer, it satisfies our assumption that we control the expression of our being and, of course, it very quickly dismisses the question. But is it true? Is it even partly true? Or is our agenda simply a sort of “weather vane”, whose direction is determined purely by external influences? Our default view of ourselves is that our “I” stands between the external world and a carefully managed, internal model of the world and our place within it. Our “I” – we believe – filters the influences that impact upon us, determines their significance, adjusts the model if necessary and chooses an appropriate reaction. But I suggest that this view is both incomplete and fundamentally inaccurate.

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