Gary Weber used to say that "thinking just stopped" one day in a hatha yoga pose. These days, however, he clarifies it as "my self-referential internal narrative" that stopped. He was on a panel in England with Tim Freke, and Tim said "I'm having a thought right now and I won't tell you what it is." What would a life without thinking be like? What were all those thoughts expressed by Ramana Maharshi and Yogananda? And all those thoughts in "A new Earth? So thinking keeps on keepin' on. But do you? Is intention really necessary for every thought? Don't thoughts sometimes just appear out of nowhere?
I think the discussion of intention is important, though. It takes a unique identified self to have intention. But is there "less intention" when we are just "going with the flow?"
Hey Andy, seems to me that the question refers back to the assumption in the underlined, as the holder of intent is always only an appearance.
But based on previous correspondence with you, I think I understand where your interest lies here.
Now this next is a mouthful, so please let me know if it's opaque to you: if we consider the form of the concept of intent cognizant of the emptiness of it, then the nature of the intender is still relevant, but doesn't put the discussion to rest.
In further caveat, I see a particular similarity between the notions of intent and ego, and as such, any discussion of intent is best approached with humility. I read "Emptiness Dancing" this past year and a specific paragraph comes to mind if you're interested. Seems to me that any such discussion would have to be had in the context of the delightful meme that we are all "innocent by reason of insanity".
So with that preface, I'd venture that the topic of intent is relevant to the question of self-honesty in the context of relationship.
This is of course a major digression away from Phil's topic, and my apologies to him for that.
I kind of think this is an old topic here. But I'm an old guy and forget old threads, etc...
The Key Master used to remind us that intention was important. For the last year or so, I've been returning to the validity of the separate self. Valid only by reference to Unity Consciousness/Brahman/Big Love/SatChitAnanda/Self etc. or the experience of being a nonlocal self. Even if "the holder of the intention" is an appearance in Pure Awareness, for most of us, it's been a pretty "real" appearance for a long time. If that "false self" is only really a social costume (albeit one with a compelling backstory), it's falsity is only discovered by an experience of non-mental or trans-mental awakening of sufficient conviction, however brief.
And after that experience, as I think Adya mentions in "Emptiness Dancing," there is a period of disorientation. Mine wasn't too rough, but I did take a few months to read many books and chat with a number of people to sort of get "grounded" (wrong word) or "settled" or "adjusted" again. My point here is that I made a list of "to do" things for today. I intend to plow through that list. As I do that, though, I can spend some time in stillness, rather than frantic pushing. If I do that, the order of things on the list might change, and something else might appear. And at the end of the day, I will look at the list, and make another one.
I intend to drive my car safely today. When I approach the end of my street I will intend to turn left and move my arms and the steering wheel to achieve that. Drivers have a jillion intentions all day long and the vast majority of them are to combine safety with the Big Intention of getting somewhere. Or so it seems.
Then there is The Witness. That entity is part of awakening. For me it seems like a "stepping back place," where I can go and observe "little me" bumping along. Its presence encourages some nondual writers to use the passive voice: "there was an intention to turn left." While I respect the deeper accuracy of that phrasing, it is so very pedantic. And it carries with it, in my opinion, a subtle reminder that the use of the singular personal pronoun "I" is suspect. "I" disagree. This whole post, and Eckhart's entire opus is a "little me" writing. The messages presented here and anywhere may or may not have their source in Higher Consciousness, but it is sure they will be keyboarded by a human being. Who intends to say something.
So what about "the Flow?" And an "autotelic" person?
from Wikipedia and referencing Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes people who are internally driven, and as such may exhibit a sense of purpose and curiosity, as autotelic. This determination is an exclusive difference from being externally driven, where things such as comfort, money, power, or fame are the motivating force.
"An autotelic person needs few material possessions and little entertainment, comfort, power, or fame because so much of what he or she does is already rewarding. Because such persons experience flow in work, in family life, when interacting with people, when eating, even when alone with nothing to do, they are less dependent on the external rewards that keep others motivated to go on with a life composed of routines. They are more autonomous and independent because they cannot be as easily manipulated with threats or rewards from the outside. At the same time, they are more involved with everything around them because they are fully immersed in the current of life."
The last quote is from his second book, "Finding Flow" (1997). ................