Intention, self and Self

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Intention, self and Self

Post by Sighclone » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:19 pm

So as not to utterly hijack Phil's thread, I've started another one. And thanks, tomtom for your comments in that thinking thread.
Sighclone wrote:
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?"

Andy

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). ................

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by ashley72 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:42 am

Andy wrote: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.

Andy,

Thank you for sharing your ruminations.

In respect to intention & self... i would say this.

If I was to give a machine the property of intention....an aim...a plan. This would require me to insert inside that machine a script for seeking a goal. Therefore, it would seem to me that goal-setting is at the heart of human intention.

If anyone has experienced the delight of 24 hour exposure to a newborn. They will know intimately, that a newborn, has very limited motor & cognitive skills from birth. A newborn, only seems to have a few rudimentary innate goals. To feed, to poo/wee & to sleep is about the full repertoire of a newborn.

But the newborn has the capability to learn and set goals. One of the first task it learns is to support its own neck. Then to sit, crawl and finally walk. It starts to verbalise sounds. All these learnt tasks use trial and error.... and most importantly feedback! Feedback is probably the most important quality in the cognitive arsenal for learning new skills.

It seems to me that the goal-setting & learning, in other words intention, is very much a regulated system of control & communication that uses feedback loops to continually adapt to the environment.
Machine learning is a scientific discipline that explores the construction and study of algorithms that can learn from data. Such algorithms operate by building a model based on inputs and using that to make predictions or decisions, rather than following only explicitly programmed instructions.
What I've found from studying machine learning from a completely mathematical standpoint... is that humans may have existing inside their biology, purely organically derived learning algorithms that foster the ability to set goals & learn. These simple algorithms use simple ideas of pattern detection by way of clustering, classification & finally category building.

The self-concept actually forms from these same algorithmic processes of clustering, classification and category building. A machine in theory could one day, have a self-concept not unlike the way humans have. It is also possible that the self-concept might have a top-down processing mode of execution not unlike volition, intention and free-will.
Last edited by ashley72 on Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by snowheight » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:01 am

Andy,

Linking the individual to flow in terms of intent is a great start to the discussion, yes. Resistance to the apparent thwarting of intent is always a call for self-honesty. This resistance can be noticed, and in the witnessing dissipate. Or not.

What happens after one of these experiences you referred to -- which is not to say that such an experience is necessary -- is a reorientation to the conditioning operative at the time, in a process that might be described as the informing of mind. This idea isn't my invention but I've found it a powerful and useful notion.

It is the result of that process that I was referring to with the notion of being cognizant of the emptiness of the concept of intent, and this Ayda quote and this poem describe what I mean, specifically, by that:

When you start to see the light that you really are, the light waking up in you, the radiance, you realize it has no intention to change you. The Truth is the only thing you'll ever run into that has no agenda. Everything else will have an agenda. Everything. That is why the Truth is so powerful. Give up your agendas and continue to expose yourself, and harmonization will naturally occur.

From "Emptiness Dancing", chap 5, "Harmonization", para 19

So intent is, first off, contextual to a boundary of inner and outer, and it's this boundary which is the appearance. Yes, the conditioning that continually suggests otherwise is all still there when the nature of this boundary is encountered, but really, there's no unringing that bell.

The similarity that I perceive between intent and ego is stated relative to that boundary, and is that in simply in seeing it in someone else, you've created it in yourself. In the case of intent, that would include any question of intent directed outwardly. Adya put it this way:

The conditioned mind is always taking on God's job, wondering what people are doing and why they do it. But that is none of your business, none of your concern. You can just start walking through life with this natural openness to what is and be that way under all conditions at all times.

From "Emptiness Dancing", chap 7, "The Radiant Core" para 16

But this does leave us with the question of intent looking inward. What is it that we want to accomplish? Why are we doing or saying or writing the things that we are?

Ultimately, the actions, the speaking and the writing just happen, but most experience for most people (including myself) includes the literally embodied limitation of the senses. In any moment there can be a metaphorically embodied sense of the absence of that limitation, of the happening, or not. Generally speaking, when we're being honest with ourselves about that sense in our interactions with others, there is less resistance rather than more. When we are clear and honest with ourselves about why we are bringing what we are bringing to the apparent other, harmonization, as Adya suggests, happens naturally.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

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Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by tomtom1 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:02 am

Hey Andy
Interesting you should mention flow..... I recently helped a friend with a university assignment for Human Resources and it was all about flow. Apparently companies and spending a lot of money trying to work out how to get their employees into a state of flow at work. I think the same stands for athletes and musicians. They get into this state where they become one with what they are doing and the little me gets out the way. At the end of the day isn't this what we are all talking about on here? Getting into a permanent state of flow :roll:

Agree with what you say about the nonduality 'speak' not being able to use 'i' etc... personally I cringe when I hear people talk like that. Maybe thats a bit wrong but I just find it a bit nuts... like trying too hard!

I too notice the 'witness', but when I look carefully I know the witness is just another mental projection... as in something is also aware of the witness so its not truly the witness hehe does that make any sense? The witness is very helpful though to me because it instantly puts pay to the assumption that you are the body or the mind and opens a different dimension.

The idea of intention to me all goes back to who is it that has the intention? I think you wrote that 'It takes a unique identified self to have intention'. I'm not sure about this and I am undecided. Perhaps I have not gone deeply enough into things to really be able to speak about that. But from my standpoint right not I am not sure you need an intender in order for intentions to be present. At the moment I don't think the descriptions of what I am trying to say are clear enough for me to write it down so I won't try right now :D

I recently read a definition of enlightenment from James Schwartz and it went along the lines of 'the clear knowledge that all is self'. So I guess this would also include all intentions and the 'intender'.

Tom

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Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by KathleenBrugger » Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:03 am

I am also a big fan of Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi and flow, and I think his work is just another way of talking about the power of now. I've been reading about human evolution lately, and it's clear to me that the thinking mind was an essential element in our evolution. The ability to rehearse events, imagine outcomes, and make predictions made a huge difference in our survival when we were hunter-gatherers. Imagine two different groups of men. One group ran at a mastodon in a completely uncoordinated fashion. Probably a few men would get trampled. The other group sat around and discussed ideas and formed a plan, an intention for the hunt, even rehearsed their attack. The success rate would go way up. Thinking is obviously a pro-survival part of the human package. I think what happened is thinking worked so well for us it got out of hand. The mind started spiraling out of control, looping back on itself, and we got all tied up in knots with our self-referential thoughts. This is what gave rise to the sense of self, this excessive mind activity.

I think of the default mode network as the brain in idle, waiting for an event to come along that engages our full attention. For so much of human history we had to be ready at any moment to be fully immersed in the present, because it was a matter of life and death. Maybe the problem with humans today is we don't have enough in our lives that fully engages us. That's where the concept of flow comes in, learning to be engaged no matter what you're doing.

Many years ago I read Finding Flow and I still recall one of the examples, a man who worked in a factory. All of his co-workers hated their job, but this man loved it. He knew how all the machines in the factory worked and could fix any of them. He took a boring, "mindless" job and turned it into a fully engaging activity. He could lose himself in his work, while all his co-workers dragged their suffering selves through day after day.
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Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by smiileyjen101 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:34 am

read, mused, shared in the sharing :| :wink:
Tom Tom said: At the end of the day isn't this what we are all talking about on here? Getting into a permanent state of flow :roll:
Could be :D
Snowy said: Generally speaking, when we're being honest with ourselves about that sense in our interactions with others, there is less resistance rather than more. When we are clear and honest with ourselves about why we are bringing what we are bringing to the apparent other, harmonization, as Adya suggests, happens naturally.
Snowy said or quoted,

When you start to see the light that you really are, the light waking up in you, the radiance, you realize it has no intention to change you. The Truth is the only thing you'll ever run into that has no agenda. Everything else will have an agenda. Everything. That is why the Truth is so powerful.
Nice :D

Sharing -
"There is no need to reject or appropriate anything, or to refute or establish any position, because reality is unbiased."

Longchenpa (whoever he/she might be - I liked the words & the energy they flow on)
From an article Radiant Mind with Peter Fenner Phd
When our awareness ceases to be conditioned by the act of compulsively or intentionally engaging and disengaging with different sensations, then thoughts and feelings float through our awareness like clouds in the sky. Emotions dissolve like snow falling on the warm water of our panoramic awareness.

The ability to spontaneously liberate constricting emotions and compulsive thoughts occurs because we neither grasp onto, nor suppress, any arising thoughts, feelings or perceptions. As Longchenpa writes: "We don't discard (some experiences) and cultivate (others). (Whether our experiences are) dynamic or stable we should let them go wherever they go."
'When the mind is in a diffusing or dynamic state we aren't discouraged.
And when it is calm and stable we desist from wanting (it to continue in that state).
So the pure prose attributed to Longchenpa (whoever he/she might be, :wink: with no disrespect )
We don't discard and cultivate.
Dynamic or stable we should let them go wherever they go.
When the mind is in a diffusing state we aren't discouraged.
And when it is calm and stable we desist from wanting.
Jac O'Keefe describes her 'not sticking' stuff in similar flow/way/expressing.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

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Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by snowheight » Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:30 pm

KathleenBrugger wrote:I am also a big fan of Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi and flow, and I think his work is just another way of talking about the power of now. I've been reading about human evolution lately, and it's clear to me that the thinking mind was an essential element in our evolution. The ability to rehearse events, imagine outcomes, and make predictions made a huge difference in our survival when we were hunter-gatherers. Imagine two different groups of men. One group ran at a mastodon in a completely uncoordinated fashion. Probably a few men would get trampled. The other group sat around and discussed ideas and formed a plan, an intention for the hunt, even rehearsed their attack. The success rate would go way up. Thinking is obviously a pro-survival part of the human package. I think what happened is thinking worked so well for us it got out of hand. The mind started spiraling out of control, looping back on itself, and we got all tied up in knots with our self-referential thoughts. This is what gave rise to the sense of self, this excessive mind activity.

I think of the default mode network as the brain in idle, waiting for an event to come along that engages our full attention. For so much of human history we had to be ready at any moment to be fully immersed in the present, because it was a matter of life and death. Maybe the problem with humans today is we don't have enough in our lives that fully engages us. That's where the concept of flow comes in, learning to be engaged no matter what you're doing.

Many years ago I read Finding Flow and I still recall one of the examples, a man who worked in a factory. All of his co-workers hated their job, but this man loved it. He knew how all the machines in the factory worked and could fix any of them. He took a boring, "mindless" job and turned it into a fully engaging activity. He could lose himself in his work, while all his co-workers dragged their suffering selves through day after day.
Isn’t it amazing what we can infer about the past with the collective effort of intellect? This profound story of billions of years change emerges from a few clues dug out of the ground and from under the microscopes.

In terms of the constructs of a species and the environment, the question of whether that species adapts to change and perpetuates or not was cast by the interpreters of Darwin as a sort of contest. While there’s always the pitfall of anthropomorphizing species other than our own, it is possible to observe a sort of continuum with respect to the question of how cognizant the individuals of that species are as to the fact of the contest.

For example, clover are simply borne by the wind to grow and die and re-seed where it lands them, while hyena’s gather in packs and snarl in the shadows in an apparent act of intimidation. The dogs of war do seem to exhibit at least a sort of an appearance of the intention to survive in the face of an opponent other than themselves.

Humanity is quite singular of course though, in that it is the only species so far which has afforded itself the opportunity to act on the intent to self-extinct, and this isn’t some sort of political statement, it’s just a simple notation of the fact of the thermonuclear arms race of the mid 20th century.

So in terms of this construct of species and the environment, perhaps the awareness of the other is a survival advantage as long as the species is small in stature relative to that environment. Once the environment has been mastered, the species finding the mastery must come to grips with the fact that the war was never not but with itself.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

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Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by snowheight » Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:41 pm

smiileyjen101 wrote: So the pure prose attributed to Longchenpa (whoever he/she might be, :wink: with no disrespect )
:D

Image
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

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Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by smiileyjen101 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:06 pm

^^^^ Nice smile :D
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

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Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by Sighclone » Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:05 am

I am such a sneak. I start these kind of innocent threads, knowing full well that they are controversial. Thanks for your comments, everyone. What a great forum this is, by the way.

Regarding resistance, counter-intentions and ego, and Adya's stuff: Of course the ego has intentions, it is made of them. Mainly intentions to survive, but also to Win Big, and maybe stomp a few others along the way.
When you start to see the light that you really are, the light waking up in you, the radiance, you realize it has no intention to change you. The Truth is the only thing you'll ever run into that has no agenda. Everything else will have an agenda. Everything. That is why the Truth is so powerful. Give up your agendas and continue to expose yourself, and harmonization will naturally occur.
I do not argue with this and have observed it in myself. Perhaps I'm just wondering about the intensity of intention ... at what point does it become egoic. Jeepers, intending to brush your teeth and then doing it. If that set of actions is really done "on autopilot" is there a level of intention, and if so, how significant is it? Same with the action of bringing food to your mouth. But how about the intention to become a doctor. I think, for most people it takes more than autopilot to make that happen. I don't think we need an "intention to love." That's kind of built-in for most of us. And does an eagle form an intention to catch a fish? The definition of "intention" is starting to blur for me.

The "flow experience" is very real, and can include a busy mind grinding on a project or poem or just driving a truck. Is intention something we feel (or not) when we are performing a task? I think if we are doing something we really don't like, then we have to muster up some intention to get it done...

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by ashley72 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:54 am

Sighclone wrote: The "flow experience" is very real, and can include a busy mind grinding on a project or poem or just driving a truck. Is intention something we feel (or not) when we are performing a task? I think if we are doing something we really don't like, then we have to muster up some intention to get it done...

Andy
This is my take on flow or total immersion in a task.

When people play video games, they can become so immersed or absorbed in the game play, they can completely forget about time, themselves, to eat, to hydrate or any personal problems etc. The game play requires so much focused attention that there is little attention left for anything else. The same thing can happen watching a very entertaining movie, where you completely lose track of the time.... time seems to fly when your immersed completely in something which doesn't have a time-frame.

So if you were someone who suffered from intrusive or bothersome thoughts, you may experience less of those unpleasant thought due to the immersion in the game or movie. But the problem is, when you stop immersing yourself in the game or movie, those intrusive or bothersome thoughts will come back again. This is why I don't think flow is solution to long-term contentment.... it is merely a temporary escape from your suffering.

I think the answer to more contentment, is to confront and expose yourself to whatever you may be avoiding or bothering you.

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Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by KathleenBrugger » Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:41 am

snowheight wrote: Humanity is quite singular of course though, in that it is the only species so far which has afforded itself the opportunity to act on the intent to self-extinct, and this isn’t some sort of political statement, it’s just a simple notation of the fact of the thermonuclear arms race of the mid 20th century.

So in terms of this construct of species and the environment, perhaps the awareness of the other is a survival advantage as long as the species is small in stature relative to that environment. Once the environment has been mastered, the species finding the mastery must come to grips with the fact that the war was never not but with itself.
As it is for many humans individually, that only through suffering or crisis do they grow or experience a spiritual awakening, so too the human race collectively may need an enormous crisis on the order of looming self-extinction to bring about a mass awakening. Perhaps that's an inbuilt mechanism. There was a Russian astrophysicist who came up with a scheme for labeling civilizations. Level O civilizations had achieved unity on their planet, developed sustainable economic systems, and were exploring their solar system. Level 1s had colonized their solar system and were exploring their galaxy. It went on from there. I found it amusing because here on planet Earth we're still somewhere in the negative zone. But I am optimistic that in the coming decades there will be a significant shift in consciousness on a global level, because of the extreme pressures that are in store. Great suffering also, unfortunately.
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Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by Enlightened2B » Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:32 am

KathleenBrugger wrote: But I am optimistic that in the coming decades there will be a significant shift in consciousness on a global level, because of the extreme pressures that are in store. Great suffering also, unfortunately.
It's already happening on a large scale, as far as awakening. I know it might not seem like it with much of the fear still present in the world and there's quite a lot as we all know. But, I believe what we are currently experiencing, is the beginning of a huge global shift, hence all of the modern day interest in what is perceived as 'new age' stuff. Heck, look at this board alone. Forget about all of the conflicting personalities that co-exist here. The fact that we've all been drawn to this board to discuss stuff like this means that awakening is happening on a large scale.

At least, it seems that way to me.

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Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by snowheight » Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:26 pm

Sighclone wrote:I am such a sneak. I start these kind of innocent threads, knowing full well that they are controversial. Thanks for your comments, everyone. What a great forum this is, by the way.

Regarding resistance, counter-intentions and ego, and Adya's stuff: Of course the ego has intentions, it is made of them. Mainly intentions to survive, but also to Win Big, and maybe stomp a few others along the way.
When you start to see the light that you really are, the light waking up in you, the radiance, you realize it has no intention to change you. The Truth is the only thing you'll ever run into that has no agenda. Everything else will have an agenda. Everything. That is why the Truth is so powerful. Give up your agendas and continue to expose yourself, and harmonization will naturally occur.
I do not argue with this and have observed it in myself. Perhaps I'm just wondering about the intensity of intention ... at what point does it become egoic. Jeepers, intending to brush your teeth and then doing it. If that set of actions is really done "on autopilot" is there a level of intention, and if so, how significant is it? Same with the action of bringing food to your mouth. But how about the intention to become a doctor. I think, for most people it takes more than autopilot to make that happen. I don't think we need an "intention to love." That's kind of built-in for most of us. And does an eagle form an intention to catch a fish? The definition of "intention" is starting to blur for me.

The "flow experience" is very real, and can include a busy mind grinding on a project or poem or just driving a truck. Is intention something we feel (or not) when we are performing a task? I think if we are doing something we really don't like, then we have to muster up some intention to get it done...

Andy
But can’t we sift out intent from both will and volition?

When you’re pedaling up a hill and you’re tired and it’s steep and your legs hurt and it’s hot outside and the sun’s beating down and the sweat is dripping from under your helmet and you reach down and there’s this tension in your gut and you just … keep … pedaling … isn’t that really determination? Isn’t that an act of a force of will to make it to the top of the hill?

Notice that intent is a sort of arbitrary story that gets overlaid on top of the bike ride. Did the intent to make it to the top of the hill form when you decided to include the hill on the route? at the bottom of the hill? In the middle? When you bought the bike?

Every med student is different, absolutely unique and perfectly so. Given this, any ideas we have about what lands them the drive to make it through residency are going to be generalizations. Generally speaking, there are many parents that set up a reward-punishment structure from pretty early on in the life of a child that tend to create a set of conditions in the form of conditioning of that child. Hey, a kid who’s done well in high school and is appreciative of her opportunities has to choose one vocation or another … why not pick the one that pleases his folks, sets them on a path to supposedly alleviating the suffering of others and lands them in a materially secure situation with good social status?

The question of what makes the choice of when to brush your teeth or what size bite of tofu to cut next or which medical school to apply to is existential in nature. Existential understandings are necessarily subjective – it’s that uniqueness thingy again. If one person feels free to choose and another doesn’t neither one is necessarily right or wrong. Either one though, has the potential to discover the emptiness of the conceptual dichotomy at the root of the understanding. Certain sets of conditions make the choice of starting that discovery more likely than less.

When I’m filling out the 1040, cleaning the cat litter or dealing with some client who feels entitled to something they perceive a deficit of, there’s always an opportunity to notice my resistance to the situation, and to be honest, these opportunities to notice abound! When in that situation though, one surefire way to short-circuit the resistance is to open into the notion of owning the choice to be in the situation to begin with. Rather than casting a situation like this as requiring a force of will to complete something I didn’t want to do, the key to flow is to recognize that the situation in front of us is where we are, who we are, what we are in that moment.

It is true that some situations are the constricted result of grave and tragic events. Ultimately, in terms of the appearance of that boundary between what we take ourselves to be and what isn’t that, the only thing we have control over is our internal state. In the end, our only domain is our reaction to what presents.

So the why-questions of intent are independent of the determination to follow-thru on the intention, and what it is that formed the intent to begin with and the arbitrary context of the formation are all really completely different notions. We can always examine our reasons and question whether we’re being clear and straight with ourselves and others independently of our understanding of volition, and whether the intent is ever fulfilled is only obliquely related to those reasons, although I’d venture to generalize that a clear and honest intention has a greater chance to be backed by the determination to carry it out.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

snowheight
Posts: 1962
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:56 pm

Re: Intention, self and Self

Post by snowheight » Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:31 pm

KathleenBrugger wrote:
snowheight wrote: Humanity is quite singular of course though, in that it is the only species so far which has afforded itself the opportunity to act on the intent to self-extinct, and this isn’t some sort of political statement, it’s just a simple notation of the fact of the thermonuclear arms race of the mid 20th century.

So in terms of this construct of species and the environment, perhaps the awareness of the other is a survival advantage as long as the species is small in stature relative to that environment. Once the environment has been mastered, the species finding the mastery must come to grips with the fact that the war was never not but with itself.
As it is for many humans individually, that only through suffering or crisis do they grow or experience a spiritual awakening, so too the human race collectively may need an enormous crisis on the order of looming self-extinction to bring about a mass awakening. Perhaps that's an inbuilt mechanism. There was a Russian astrophysicist who came up with a scheme for labeling civilizations. Level O civilizations had achieved unity on their planet, developed sustainable economic systems, and were exploring their solar system. Level 1s had colonized their solar system and were exploring their galaxy. It went on from there. I found it amusing because here on planet Earth we're still somewhere in the negative zone. But I am optimistic that in the coming decades there will be a significant shift in consciousness on a global level, because of the extreme pressures that are in store. Great suffering also, unfortunately.
Sagan touched on that in Cosmos but I don't recall if he mentioned the guys name. Perhaps we can say that there's an opportunity for the intention of a dominant species to progress from survival to peace, which is really just survival in a different context. :D
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

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