Fool’s errand

 

the-fools-jester.gif“The arc of the moral universe is a long one but it bends towards justice,” is a quote used by any number of people, the most notable of which was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in one of his speeches. The quote was from a mid-nineteenth century Transcendentalist, Theodor Parker.

But this arc that bends won’t just happen, it has never bent on its own. It has always taken active “benders” to move it towards justice.

Peace and Passive are two words that have often been linked to each other even though Peace requires Active not Passive participation. Peace doesn’t just happen and when it does, it doesn’t come from fear or the need to dominate and control, it comes from positive resolve and intention.

Justice requires positive activism, an activism that promotes a context of positive connection between people and ideas.

I’m using the attribute modifier ‘Positive’ for a reason because both negative and positive create context i.e. the ambient condition in which things exist. Positive and negative motivations can coexist within either context, in fact they can inform each other. But the type of overall context tends to bend things toward one or the other way of being.

This tendency is why some efforts to bring about positive change are frequently thwarted because of negative subtext. For example, when a desire to change something is layered onto an unspoken negative such as a feeling of helplessness (at a loss for what will really work), cynical thoughts (‘they’ could change but probably won’t), or manipulation (if I can get them to change I will benefit e.g. will no longer be in fear or I will get my way) it is doomed to fail at some point.

When I use the word “resolve” I’m referring to the power of intention. As Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “Our intention creates our reality.”

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The typical game of world peace , oops I mean whack-a-mole

I’m suggesting that we stop focusing on the problem and start shifting our attention to what it is we want to create (the ground of being or context for what exists). Tackling problems without addressing the context is like playing “whack-a-mole” at the arcade, it’s a forever exercise with no end goal other than each whack has a momentary and terminal feeling of satisfaction attached.

When you have honestly and truthfully defined what it is that you want for the world you live in and resolve to do what is wanted and needed to create that, the action needed will reveal itself as will the obstacles to achieving it. Do you think the iPhone just suddenly appeared fully functional and ready to transform the world of communication? Obstacles become markers along the road to success when they are included as a necessary part of an intentional context. Great inventors know this as do effective social activists.

Intention toward a context will literally change ones consciousness. For example, if you were to have as your intention to change your negative responses to others, or to events, by actively replacing such things as anger, impatience, or fear with compassion, understanding of differing needs, and calmness/centeredness, your experience of the person or event would shift.

Once the personal context has shifted then one can see the action necessary to shift the overall context.

In short, to focus all our energies on solving individual problems as they pop up without addressing the context in which they are created and sustained is a fool’s errand.

Intentionality

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In the book The Dragon’s Treasure (Cole, 2009*) a chapter was devoted to the skill of intentionality. My explanation of the power of intention will be drawn from an update on this chapter.

Ones intentions if not fully understood can create havoc with the events of ones life. For example, a confused intention, one where you say one thing but harbor a hidden agenda or desire e.g. someone who claims to want a relationship to work but secretly harbors and end to the relationship will present a mixed message that will ultimately result in a thwarted intention. Though it might also give the “intender” an alibi for the failure i.e. “Well I tried!”

On a societal level the country claims to hold children as a high priority but where this intention is thwarted by how children are frequently treated. For example, “In a society where money and having things is more important than the freedom to express one’s self in a healthy, joyous, and balanced way we see starving children (nearly 25% of America’s children are nutritionally compromised), children with minimal or no health insurance, schools that have become warehouses, children with no voice of their own, abused children (up to 33% of children have experienced some level of physical or sexual abuse), suicidal children, suppressed children, and indifferent children.

 

“Is this a holy thing to see in a rich and fruitful land

Babes reduced to misery

Fed with cold and usurious hand”

–William Blake

 

The first action regarding your “real” intention is to become clear about what ones “real” or meta-intention is. Because this meta-intention comes only through the ego-self it is always suspect and it’s only the intention that is connected to ones spiritual source without the influence of either the conscious or unconscious ego that has any real magical power. To intend anything is ultimately not to “do” anything but to connect to ones “source”.

One of the most effective ways to manifest the magic of intention might follow with the following cleansing formula: D+W+A   leads to S that then allows for I where Desire is added to Will and then added to Action that “leads to” Intention being manifest. Make sure that they are aligned with each other. For example, do you have more than one desire regarding the issue? Conflicting or competing desires will render an intention unfulfilled. What you thought you wanted is not what you get i.e. the strongest desire will frequently win out.

With regard to Will is meant “Free will” or choice. If you are not aware or clear about your real desires you are not free to make a clean and willful choice e.g. your hidden desires are making the choice for you. Bottom line, everyone in the world is creating the world out of their real intentions e.g. I want my children to have the best education may be the stated intention but the meta-intention may actually be, “but not at the expense of my flat-screen TV, SUV, or RV (we could add thousands more things to this list such as a strong military to protect us against everything, or walls along the borders to keep the undesirables out, etc.).”

And remember every “choice”, conscious or unconscious, creates a different universe, a different reality.

So how does one get in touch with their unconscious and conflicting desires, after all, they’re unconscious and therefore unknown? Well some of the so-called ‘unconscious’ desires are not that unconscious.

With a friend state the following, “I want____________________.” (describe the desire fully and clearly) then state the opposite, “I don’t want________________________.” (using the same desire). More often than not the real desire will make itself known after you’ve done this process a few times, especially if you also make yourself aware of your feelings while you make the statements.

After this approach you might then ask yourself why you don’t seem to want what you thought you wanted? Do this by asking yourself what would happen if you got what you really wanted and what would happen if you didn’t get it? These questions can help you get some insight about your real desires.

For those really intractable and unconscious desires, following and interpreting your dreams can be especially helpful given that dreams come from the unedited unconscious mind that is they don’t come through the conscious ego-self that tends to bias, confuse, and obfuscate ones real intentions.

When satisfied that you are in full agreement with your desires and are committed to the stated result the “will” will follow and then you can study what actions will most likely produce the desired result. This may of course require fine-tuning as you go along– don’t get too rigid with the action part.

But what about the ‘S’ in the above formula? That’s the secret to all power. It refers to the Source of all being. Without its acknowledgment all we have is the ego trying to make something happen, the “I’m in control and I’m going to make something happen no matter what!” aspect of the ego. Bottom line, most of the time intention won’t happen while the ego is involved (though the ego will take credit for what does happen). Intention doesn’t come through the ego. So where does intention come from?

In the next installment I will talk about the Source of ones power and some of the biggest obstacles to manifesting that power.

_____________________________________________

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*Cole, R.J., The Dragon’s Treasure: The dreamer’s guide to inner discovery through dream interpretation, pages 144-151, 2009, ISBN 978-1-4401-7692-0 (can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as several other international booksellers)

 

 

 

 

 

An example of the power of intentionality

In Paulo Coelho’reality-illusion-296x300.jpgs book The Alchemist he spoke of a person’s Personal Legend– what they wanted to accomplish in life and that of course got me thinking what’s mine, what did I want to accomplish? I thought a lot about that over the next two days even though it’s a question I’ve been asking and musing over in some form for most of my life. But all I could come up with were the same old conditioned responses so I decided that I wanted a fresher answer than what I’d come up with in the past and tabled my musing so as to give the question time to percolate in the cosmos.

Two days later a follower’s comments reminded me of an old Richard Bach quote from his book, Illusions and stimulated my earlier ponderings regarding the Personal Legend. Because I use seemingly unimportant and unconnected occurrences as an excuse to converse with the universe I went back to Bach’s book to see what else showed up.

Upon opening the book I found some written notes stuffed between the pages some three years ago. Interestingly the notes didn’t seem to correspond to anything written on the pages where the notes were stuffed, but was no doubt more about the way my mind wanders in that one word can set off a cascade of musings tangential to whatever I was reading at the time.

On closer inspection I noted a few lines scribbled regarding Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, Carl Jung, and Margery Williams. Under Roger’s name I had written about living fully in the moment with each moment being new. He also encouraged readers to trust in the inner workings of the whole psyche and then acting accordingly with all the activated feelings and reactions of the moment instead of being afraid of them and suppressing or retreating.

The Maslow note suggested that in order to grow and meet our greater needs we needed to move through the process of discovering what those were at any given time so as to identify our motivations.

The Jung comment focused on the process of integrating the disparate parts of the psyche in order to become whole.

But how does Margery Williams fit in I wondered? Then I remembered her children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit. The book was a story about becoming real and it was this idea of “becoming real” or “becoming whole” that showed up across my notes. In fact it has shown up recently for me through a number of iconic images e.g. Pinocchio, the Nutcracker, and the Velveteen Rabbit story all of which takes me back to Richard Bach’s book where the protagonist is pulled into a journey where he uncovers his own realness or wholeness.

Suddenly the answer to my question earlier in the week popped out at me in the form of “My Personal Legend is centered around becoming real.” But what does that mean?

I for the most part have lived my life as a fictional character imagining myself to live in a world the same as all others, but that isn’t true, my world is uniquely mine, not yours, not my parents nor my culture. To imagine anything else is fictional, it doesn’t exist. So what is “me” and what have others said is “me”, what’s real? That’s the journey isn’t it?

I also noticed that in those fictional characters mentioned earlier what all shared on their journey toward realness was one essential aspect of the universe; love. They were all loved into realness but it wasn’t until they realized the love from within that they were able to overcome the fiction of themselves. I think that the whole world is “loved” into existence but that we don’t become real until we love ourselves.

“If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.”

–Richard Bach, Illusions

 

 

Functioning from Source, the nonlocal I

 

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For the past two weeks I’ve been writing about intention, practical magic, and the universal soul.

I’ve suggested that intention is the basis of all creation because it is ones intent that comes before all learning, reasoning, inference, recall, and action. I’ve tried to show that we are all our deepest intent– our deepest desire. Down in our center we intend that which will ultimately fulfill us e.g. what will make us happy at our spiritual level.

There seem to be two levels to this spiritual level– this soul level. One is our personal soul that which makes up all our personal desires, holds our individual egos (the “I” that we think we are), our experiences and conditioned behaviors. It’s that part of us that operates within the world of space/time, what might be considered our local mind.

Outside of the local mind is the universal soul where the nonlocal or superlocal mind resides. Our “I” self is but a reference point from which we view the greater Self that is the place where together the observer and the observed, the seer and the seen experience and create. It is in this place where everything is possible because at this level everything already exists. But when we trap ourselves in the box of the local mind, the limited mind of the ego and its conditioned behaviors, we cannot imagine anything from the universal and thus are limited in what we can create.

In short, that part of us that you and I believe is the real us, that part we call “I” is the ultimate limiter of the extraordinary beings that we really are. It is this limited local “I” that needs to be transcended, laid aside, before the real magic of our being can be practiced. The individual “I”s of the world need to cooperate i.e. as Deepak Chopra said, “the trees must breathe so I can breathe” so that the illusion of separation can be transcended and we can collectively move beyond our constricted awareness.

We do this by asking ourselves a very simple question when attempting to manifest our intentions, 1) How will attainment of this intention serve me and how will it serve everyone else around me?

If the answer is about fulfillment for me and happiness for all concerned, i.e. for the universal “I” versus just the individual “I”, then we begin to create the extraordinary and magical world about us.

 

Intentionality

In the book The Dragon’s Treasure (Cole, 2009*) a chapter was devoted to the skill of intentionality. My explanation of the power of intention will be drawn from an update on this chapter.

th-2 copy 2.jpgOnes intentions if not fully understood can create havoc with the events of ones life. For example, a confused intention, one where you say one thing but harbor a hidden agenda or desire e.g. someone who claims to want a relationship to work but secretly harbors and end to the relationship will present a mixed message that will ultimately result in a thwarted intention. Though it might also give the “intender” an alibi for the failure i.e. “Well I tried!”

On a societal level the country claims to hold children as a high priority but where this intention is thwarted by how children are frequently treated. For example, “In a society where money and having things is more important than the freedom to express one’s self in a healthy, joyous, and balanced way we see starving children (nearly 25% of America’s children are nutritionally compromised), children with minimal or no health insurance, schools that have become warehouses, children with no voice of their own, abused children (up to 33% of children have experienced some level of physical or sexual abuse), suicidal children, suppressed children, and indifferent children.

“Is this a holy thing to see in a rich and fruitful land

Babes reduced to misery

Fed with cold and usurious hand”

–William Blake

 

The first action regarding your “real” intention is to become clear about what ones “real” or meta-intention is. Because this meta-intention comes only through the ego-self it is always suspect and it’s only the intention that is connected to ones spiritual source without the influence of either the conscious or unconscious ego that has any real magical power. To intend anything is ultimately not to “do” anything but to connect to ones “source”.

One of the most effective ways to manifest the magic of intention might follow with the following cleansing formula: D+W+A   leads to S that then allows for  I where Desire is added to Will and then added to Action that “leads to” Intention being manifest. Make sure that they are aligned with each other. For example, do you have more than one desire regarding the issue? Conflicting or competing desires will render an intention unfulfilled. What you thought you wanted is not what you get i.e. the strongest desire will frequently win out.

With regard to Will is meant “Free will” or choice. If you are not aware or clear about your real desires you are not free to make a clean and willful choice e.g. your hidden desires are making the choice for you. Bottom line, everyone in the world is creating the world out of their real intentions e.g. I want my children to have the best education may be the stated intention but the meta-intention may actually be, “but not at the expense of my flat-screen TV, SUV, or RV (we could add thousands more things to this list such as a strong military to protect us against everything, or walls along the borders to keep the undesirables out, etc.).”

And remember every “choice”, conscious or unconscious, creates a different universe, a different reality.

So how does one get in touch with their unconscious and conflicting desires, after all, they’re unconscious and therefor unknown? Some of the so-called ‘unconscious’ desires are not that unconscious.

Dreams of course come from the unconscious and once decoded can provide a wealth of information regarding ones conflicting desires, but there’s also a waking exercise that is often effective in targeting ones hidden intentions and motivations.

With a friend state the following, “I want____________________.” (describe the desire fully and clearly) then state the opposite, “I don’t want________________________.” (using the same desire). More often than not the real desire will make itself known after you’ve done this process a few times, especially if you also make yourself aware of your feelings while you make the statements.

After this approach you might then ask yourself why you don’t seem to want what you thought you wanted? Do this by asking yourself what would happen if you got what you really wanted and what would happen if you didn’t get it? These questions can help you get some insight about your real desires.

For those really intractable and unconscious desires, following and interpreting your dreams can be especially helpful given that dreams come from the unedited unconscious mind that is they don’t come through the conscious ego-self that tends to bias, confuse, and obfuscate ones real intentions.

When satisfied that you are in full agreement with your desires and are committed to the stated result the “will” will follow and then you can study what actions will most likely produce the desired result. This may of course require fine-tuning as you go along– don’t get too rigid with the action part.

But what about the S in the above formula? That’s the secret to all power. It refers to the Source of all being. Without it’s acknowledgment all we have is the ego trying to make something happen, the “I’m in control and I’m going to make something happen no matter what!” aspect of the ego. Bottom line, intention won’t happen while the ego is involved. Intention doesn’t come through the ego. So where does intention come from?

_____________________________________________

*Cole, R.J., The Dragon’s Treasure: The dreamer’s guide to inner discovery through dream interpretation, pages 144-151, 2009, ISBN 978-1-4401-7692-0 (can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as several other international booksellers)