Saturday, April 09, 2005

Deliberate Intent and Positive Wanting

One of the toughest questions you can pose to the average person is “What do you want in life?” Most will immediately rehearse a litany of things they don’t want. We commonly are very clear about what we don’t like and don’t want, what we are tired of, what we are angry with, what makes us sad or annoyed, and when asked what we want, we say we don’t want this that or the other thing. For example, a person will say I want to get out of my job, or I want to quit smoking, or I want to get over my relationship with so and so. Because of the law of attraction in this here universe of ours, we are able to attract both what we want and what we don’t want with equal facility.

It is very important to practice training your thoughts with positive formulations, because the negative formulations, in virtue of the law of attraction, attract to ourselves like magnets exactly what we just said we didn’t want! Take the example, I want to quit smoking. The emphasis is on the experience of smoking as the object of desire. Not many people who say that they want to quit smoking actually quit smoking. They are too busy wanting about smoking. Now, if on the other hand you say, “I want to experience my health to the fullest, I want to breath freely, I want to rejuvinate my lungs,” you will attract positively according to these positive formulations of thought, and smoking will become a thing of your past. There’s more to it than that, of course: you have to act on the intent, by continually choosing to do that which accords with what you want, and repeatedly formulating in a positive manner what you want, so that you can set the ball rolling to attract accordingly. Your deliberate intent to experience health to the fullest is like a ball magnet gathering heaps of iron filings as you set it rolling. The iron filings are the thoughts and activities which covibrate with your intent to experience health. The act of smoking simply doesn't stick to that particular magnet.

If you tell a child, “Don’t play with the electrical outlet!,” you have basically invested your energy in the child playing with the electrical outlet, and you will attract them to it with your attention. They will keep on playing with the electrical outlet. If instead, when seeing them playing with the electrical outlet, you say, “Come here Johnny, play with this toy I have here,” (or come help me put laundry in the washer, or whatever you come up with that you would indeed be pleased for Johnny to do), you will have told the child positively what you want him to do, and he will in all likelyhood oblige you.

We are now in the thick of a discussion of the second law to be mentioned on our triangle. The first was the law of attraction. The top right point of our upside down triangle we will now identify as the law of deliberate intent, or more summarily, "intention." It is in some sense an elaboration and a specification of the law of attraction: the law of deliberate intent represents that an intent deliberately made, or conscious wanting, is a cause which will generate an effect. The law of deliberate intent specifies that as surely as like attracts like, deliberate intent sets into motion the powers of manifestation in our universe. That which is deliberately intended accumulates to itself like thoughts, emotions, matter means and actions in a movement as a cause which will necessarily have its effect.

There are a couple of major caveats worth mentioning with respect to this "intention" business. First, be very careful what you express that you want or don’t want. There is a certain immensity of responsibility to engage consciously the laws of the universe. It is our responsibility to do so in the pursuit of self mastery. I believe it"s what Paul meant in scripture by the exhortation to pray constantly. We must take up this responsibility to consciously engage the laws of the universe, because our unconscious engagement of the laws of the universe has made a tremendous mess of things, and we daily bear the burden of all of that unconcious wanting. Second, conscious engagement of the law of attraction hardly assures something good will come of it, either! There is much, much more to it than that! After all, the Buddha was teaching that wanting, or desire, is the root of all suffering! Anybody with a little practice can develop the capacity to formulate their desires in a positive framework. That, however, lends no assurance that what is positively wanted represents a moral choice.

Some might imagine, from the perspective of the lower self, that what is being offered here is basically a magic lesson in how to become your own psychic Santa Claus. From an immature perspective, the power inherent in the law of deliberate intent may seem like the key to the universal goody box, wherefrom all of your basest desires may find there fulfillment. While it is true that you could take up knowledge of universal law and apply them to selfish and base ends, I strongly and vigorously recommend against this! Long suffering experience will demonstrate for you the danger of such an approach. It is critically important that our expressions of what we want arise from the most mature part of our being. Our wanting must be checked against certain standards, standards of goodness. Otherwise, we will be consciously generating trouble! When we express our wanting from our sense of lack, from our anger, from our sense of betrayal, from our fears, from our desire to control, from our narcissism, we essentially practice black magic, and will attract all of the painful repercussions of those desires, however positively expressed. Pandora's box is real!

Another dangerous assumption of the lower self is represented in the defense structure that believes that "because I want such and such, it is a good thing." As a national policy, this is the Monroe doctrine, historically, a policy which echoes loudly in current public strategies, and which has always had its personal adherents as well. It is the belief that what I think is going to be good for me, must be good for you as well. When such a false belief is active, a person may appear to hear you out, to listen to your point of view, but s/he will continue regardless of it on h/ir own charted course, and either roll over you or wait you out in the process of achieving h/ir ends, finding moral justification in the very fact that s/he wants what s/he wants. This kind of exersize of deliberate intent, either in personal relationships, or business relationships, or international relations, essentially grants a moral precedent to my wanting. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. The fact that you want something, the fact that you deliberately intend it, and hold it as a good to be pursued, the fact that you pour tremendous amounts of intelligence and energy and emotional strength into that which you want and deliberately intend, none of this has any bearing whatsoever on the moral status of your choice. In a nutshell, the fact that you want something doesn't make it good, regardless of your belief that it does! A whole lot of grief arises from this false belief, the belief that "if I want it, it must be good, and I will pursue it any cost, because the fact that I want it makes it right."

So far in this post I have laid out the law of deliberate intent, tied it in to the law of attraction, demonstrated the power of positive wanting, and then given some pretty heavy warnings about the dangers of the conscious or unconscious misapplication of this law. So where is a safe place to start with the conscious and responsible application of deliberate intent? Well, thankfully we have a very potent resource in a few phrases from what is commonly known as "The Lord's Prayer." Consider the following: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us while being in temptation, and deliver us from evil." For starters, the repetition of these phrases is a pretty safe bet for responsibly engaging the law of deliberate intent. These phrases represent a (potentially) conscious alignment of your petty time and place wanting with the intent of the source of all. Instead of coming up with a list of goodies for the great Santa Claus of the abundant universe, and suffering all the misery of setting into motion the "getting" of what you probably don't need, you can consciously intend and positively want that the will of the source of all be manifested on earth as a function of your conscious intent and alignment and desire. Let "our daily bread" mean all and only that which is necessary and important to sustain you in your alignment with the will-pleasure of the source of all. Let the specifics of your "daily bread" remain the prerogative of the source of all to determine, and trust that in setting your wanting, in corralling your deliberate intent just so, you will yourself have helped set in motion the process through which universal law will assure the exactly appropriate manifestations. This approach to the law of deliberate intent also guarantees that what you want is morally correct. Rather than going on the false assumption that "I want it, therefore it is good," you can take up a morally safe, guaranteed good "wanting" by consciously intending to want what is wanted by the source of all, from whom all good things come. For the philosophers reading this, I will justify my claim by stating that a priori, the will of the source of all is good, by definition, and it is always morally safe to seek refuge there. Some might mistake this approach as throwing off the mantle of responsibility for one's own will. I would say instead that the conscious intent to align one's will with the divine will is the ultimate act of autonomy, in so far as our origins and truth are divine, and we are not other than the source of all. Aligning your wanting with the divine willing is simply the proper internal organization of yourself for the moral life. It represents the intentional precedent of the higher self relative to the lower self, with the intent to transform the lower self and grow it up to the point where it no longer cares to repeat the false mantra that "I am other than you."


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