The Law of Intention

Its not what we do, its why we do it. Its not what we want, but why we…

  • Oct 10, 2012
  • Robert L Camp

Its not what we do, its why we do it.
Its not what we want, but why we want it.

The law of intention states that what happens to us in life is created not by what we do, but why we are doing it. If there is one truth about life that makes all the difference in our success and failure, and in our happiness and unhappiness, it is the understanding of this one principle. One could say that the Ace of Spades, the card that is the symbol of the Order of the Magi and of all the ancient mystic traditions, is also the symbol for the understanding of this truth. This is because the Ace of Spades represents the truth that lies behind the Maya (illusion) that we see in life. Intention is very much like this. It is the truth that lies behind our actions, thought, and words. It is the motivator and if we examine the process of creation carefully, we see that intention is the determining factor in the results we achieve, not the acts themselves which is what is commonly held to be true.

Recently I read a book that described a process where each day a person is to review their goals in life. But instead of just having us make a list of our goals, this author took the process a step further. He said to make a list of goals and then review each goal on the list and ask myself, ‘what is it that I really want from the achieving of that goal?’ ‘What is it that I am seeking that this goal will serve to fulfill in me? This is a powerful and challenging thing to do. It is challenging because it causes me to look within myself for the deeper meanings to my actions, etc. This is something that most people have never done and if you haven’t done it before, you will find that it requires more concentration and self-awareness than you might expect. Also, looking at our goals in this way reveals very intimate details of our life, some of which we may have been wanting to avoid or keep secret. However, once it has been done, it is also much more powerful than just making a to-do list. What I found out was that many of the things on my list of goals had common intentions. Without getting too personal here, I will say that I discovered that many of my goals had the ultimate intention of fulfilling parts of myself that I felt unfulfilled about. And these unfulfilled parts were old friends of mine, things that I have been working with, off and on, for my whole life. What a revelation that was!

We really don’t want to talk about what we are really up to, what our real intentions are. We want everyone to believe that we are doing things for such and such a reason and leave it at that. However, for each person the real intention behind their work, actions, etc. is usually something much more personal and self-oriented. Sure, others may benefit by their achieving their goals. But ultimately it was done for their own, personal reasons.

In the past few months I have learned how to fly an airplane. It is something that I always wanted to do and something that I was afraid I would never learn how to do. So, I went out and found an instructor and began taking lessons. A person usually does their first ‘solo’ flight about ten hours into their instruction. And I was approaching that point but for some reason I couldn’t master landing the aircraft. I would just get real afraid and over control the plane during the landing. At that point I thought I would never get beyond that point. My instructor was wise enough to know what to do and he helped me get over my fears and just ‘fly the airplane’ as he would say. From then on, I have had no fear of flying whatsoever. This gave me such a feeling of accomplishment that I was high for two or three weeks. Even now, months later, I get quite a rush out of going flying. What I realize about this is that my true intention in learning to fly was to feel that sense of accomplishment. It helped me to take some pride in myself and to give myself credit for something that I valued. Therein lies my hidden motivation. What I was seeking was more self-respect and self-confidence. That was my true intention. And having these two, self-respect and self-confidence, has been one of the long-term themes of my life. Here is was again, now in a different form, but still the same thing occurring on an inner level. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just give myself all the respect and confidence that I desire without having to achieve anything to deserve it? Sure it would! And that is the kind of realization that comes from taking a closer look at our inner intentions.

I don’t know exactly how it happened or why I do it, but I have developed a habit of always asking myself what others’ true intentions are, and of not looking at what they are doing on the external level. Things that people do rarely impress me anymore. When I see some great sports figure or really any person of fame I am not impressed until I discover what their true intentions were. I know too well that most people who achieve great things are doing it because of a huge inner lack that they feel. Sure, I may tell myself that I wouldn’t mind having all the perks that they have, the things that came with accomplishing what they have. But even those things would not interest me if I had to also feel the great sense of inner poverty that some of these folks experience on a daily basis. The people that really do impress me are the one who just love what they are doing. Those are the ones that I search for when I need a service done. Wouldn’t it be nice, for example, to have someone care for your lawn who truly loves lawn care, landscaping, etc.?

It isn’t that hard to see if someone’s intentions are love-based or fear-based. People whose primary motivation is some perceived lack are unhappy. They strain at what they do, they struggle. They are interested in the reward found at the end of what they are doing and not in the doing itself. They don’t enjoy the process of getting to their goals, only the goals themselves. Because of this, they generally make more mistakes and do a sloppy job. They are often angry and they may bitch and complain a lot about their working conditions. They whine. And their condition generally gets worse as time passes.

Some people devote an entire lifetime of work and effort to prove that they are something. For example, many people perceive themselves as having been rejected by their father. From then on, all their actions, all their striving to be perfect or successful, are all motivated by their wanting their father to accept them. There are people who have attained the heights of fame and fortune who were motivated by this one basic thing. But what happens to someone in this frame of mind? Usually the result of such a life is that after all their struggles they still feel empty inside and unfulfilled. The lucky ones realize at some point along the way that they cannot keep waiting for their father’s approval, but instead must give it to themselves.

But this brings us to a very important point about intention. If you get this clearly in your mind you may never need exhaust yourself trying to be anything again. And here it is: All the time we spend doing things to try and prove that we are something or someone simply reinforces that which we are trying NOT to be. Let’s say that I think that I am unattractive. So, I go out and buy nice clothes, get makeup, maybe some plastic surgery, workout and lose weight, etc. All these actions, on the surface seem to be remedies for my condition (unattractiveness). But all the while I am doing these things, inside I am reinforcing my belief in my unattractiveness. It actually has the opposite effect of what I think I am doing. Action is a powerful thing. It tends to create and recreate things in our life. If any action is based in the belief of lack in some area, it’s powerful energy goes towards making more of that very lack we perceive. Even if I were successful in making myself attractive, my inner state would have actually increased more into the belief that I am unattractive since my intentions were based in that lack. This is why we find rich people who never have enough money, beautiful people who have low self esteem and choose abusive relationships, and others who drive themselves nearly to death to prove that they are okay.

Finding out our own intention and those of others around us puts us in touch with a higher level of truth. When we do this we have less surprises. For ourselves, personally, this can save us decades of effort and struggle. It’s never the thing or person that we are really interested in, its what having that thing or person makes us feel about ourselves. Why not go directly to the source and just give ourselves what we really want? In dealing with others, knowing their true intentions tells us what to expect of them and how to deal with them effectively. It may help us create a circle of acquaintances that are better for us – ones that support the good things we want for ourselves. All in all, being aware of everyone at this deeper level can make us walking mystics.