Every morning, I think and I write with a goal in mind. I write to tell stories, invoke feelings, construct meaning. I write with intent.
The word “intention” is a noun, yet we invoke intent as infinitives: I intend to write this blog, to convey ideas, to speak to my readers. I intend to create, to act, to do.
In some mystical traditions, intention is as powerful as the act itself, as the intent creates the reality. The intent becomes the enacting of the infinitive. If one’s intent is to wound, to hurt, to steal, one has in effect set the wheels in motion to do so simply by intending to. If one holds to that mystical tradition (and I do), it’s important to examine one’s feelings before they become motives, and one’s motives before they become intention, because by intending to act one has already acted.
This is not to say I walk in an oppressive cloud of guilt for thought crimes. It does mean that I’m rather introspective about thoughts that could spawn bad intent. The thoughts serve to inform me of what I need, not to be shaped into intent. I do not indulge scenarios of revenge or retaliation or fantasies of infidelity. The thoughts may drift through my mind, but I let them drift and keep myself anchored in the reality of my intent, the things I want to accomplish.