Talking of Intention…

Posted on October 13, 2007. Filed under: Spirituality |

I have, with some trepidation, joined a spiritual book discussion group. I generally like to be “left alone” when reading. It’s a highly personal thing to me, and I’d rather not have others “help” me to interpret literature. That goes double for English teachers. With apologies: I know any English teacher who happens to read this blog will not be like the teacher who wrote on a dear ones literary essay only one word: “No”. I’ll leave you to react to that as you will.

But I digress. The reason I chose to be a part of this group is that it will exist for only five weeks, and will discuss only one book, namely The Power of Intention, by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. This is the sort of book I might be inclined to read, anyway, and since it’s NOT FICTION (if it were, I’d run, run far away, fleet of foot, and unique of thought), I figured it would be a chance to connect up with some folks who interpret spiritual experience in a similar fashion.

I’ve watched Dr. Dyer mentally shape-shift through the years. I read his very first book, published in 1977 (Your Erroneous Zones–clever title) in which he discusses well-being from a psychological perspective. I’ve read through some of his other works, and he apparently has undergone a great spiritual evolution over the last three decades. But this is the first time I will be “studying” his work.

He starts right off defining the word intention for himself. I find this sort of fun. I enjoy finding out as many dictionary definitions as possible for a word I’m building an article around, and then I go ahead and make up a definition that pleases me, guided by my research.

Here are a couple of dictionary definitions from Merriam Webster:
noun Pronunciation: in-‘ten(t)-sh&n
1 : a determination to act in a certain way : Resolve
2 : Import, Significant
3 a : what one intends to do or bring about b : the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered.
4 : a process or manner of healing of incised wounds. (While I acknowledge and respect meaning #4, I’m hopeful it will not need to be demonstrated in our group).

Here’re a couple more definitions:
determination to do a specified thing or act in a specified manner. something that you want and plan to do.

OK, so far, so good.

Here is Dr. Dyer’s definition, at least for the purpose of the book in question: “Intention is a field of energy that flows invisibly beyond the reach of our normal, everyday habitual patterns.”

So, my first question for my book group members will be “hunh?” (See how intellectual I can be 🙂 ?). As I mentioned, I’m all in favor of finding new meaning in old words for ourselves. Yet, it seems to me, that there are already plenty of good words to be had for what Dyer is describing. At the outset of the book, I am confused by his use of the word “intention” in this way. He mentions a “field of energy”–why not call it that, as Lynne McTaggart did? (In fairness, he does refer us to McTaggart’s book). Other words are ‘source’, ‘universal substance’, ‘force’ (if I want to get StarWarsian), or, dare I say it, ‘God’. The book could easily be called “The Power of the Field”.

As I’m only in the middle of chapter one, I’ll report back in a week to let you know if he’s convinced me to use his word his way.

Peace, my brothers and sisters in Intention! 8)

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8 Responses to “Talking of Intention…”

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Hi Muse,

Here what I came up with..

http://dictionnaire.tv5.org/dictionnaires.asp?Action=5&Mot=intention&Alea=28133
TV5 virtual bilingual dictionary:
Synonym of Intention: Purpose.

In my Harrap’s Shorter Bilingual Dictionary:
Purpose: To have a sense of Purpose: In French it means to be motivated to do something – Having determination.

In Oxford Oald virtual English Dictionary:
http://www.oup.com/oald-bin/web_getald7index1a.pl
Sense
Feeling
A strong sense of Purpose /identity/duty, etc.

http://www.oup.com/oald-bin/web_getald7index1a.pl
Purpose
Means that is important or valuable to you: (a sense of ) purpose.

http://www.oup.com/oald-bin/web_getald7index1a.pl
Feeling
Sth that you feel
Someting that you feel through the mind or through the senses: a feeling of hunger /excitement / sadness, etc.

So, If we take intention in the sense of purpose and feeling….May be in that point of view Dr. Dyer’s intention definition is kind of understandable..I might be wrong but I agree with u it is fun to do..I am a dictionary lover..loll!!

Colourful Vision

dude! I LOVE YOUR USERNAME! I am a muse myself. piano for 17 years… guitar and drums for 6. check out my page. i dont have my museeeeicccccc up yet though heh.

CV, thanks for the dictionary links! You found some I hadn’t seen. And I do like your statement of “intention” as purpose and feeling. I’m still not sure why the author chose that particular word, but you opened my mind to more possibilites. I’ll report back on my group’s consensus.

Hey there Muse…that was the first book I read that sparked my spiritual investigation. I read it about 4 years ago and I transformed my thinking. Sometimes, he gets a little “flowery” for me but I think the message is incredible. VERY much the same ideas as the law of attraction. I’m interested to see what you think about the book.
thanks for your comments the other day on my blog. Obviously if I was incredibly content with my life I wouldn’t be seeking out spirituality. Thanks for your input. 🙂
Felipe

Thanks–I’ll be posting more of my comments. I am appreciating many of the things said in the book. My club meets for the first time this week.
[“Obviously if I was incredibly content with my life…”] Well, it’s not so obvious to me! Your life seems very good from how you describe it. I am ‘incredibly content with MY life’–even in those moments I’m not, LOL 😉
I think there can be a large appetite for connection with the Divine (if you will) when we are experiencing joy, too. Once we get a taste of it, we want more, and that benefits us and our fellow beings.

weblogit:
dude! I don’t need a free webpage right now, but if you do post some museeeeicccccc, I will have a look and a listen.

[…] rather than just being satisfied. Our book is The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer, and in my first post on this book, I talked about why I don’t understand Dr. Dyer’s use of the word […]

[…] were lovely and open-minded. I guess this sort of thing is just not my cup of tea. I mentioned in a previous post on this topic that I would never have joined a group discussing novels. Fiction is a very personal […]


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