Friday, June 13, 2008

Best. Answer. Ever.

Darlings, please go read Cary Tennis' brilliant answer to the pornography-addicted gentleman, right now. Please read it in its entirety.
And what might you be running from? Well, take your pick. For starters, how about just the unbearable anxiety of existence? And many people would say, well, life is shit so why not jerk off to porn all day? Yes, why not? Because you feel bad about it, that's why. And why do you feel bad about it? Because you are being dishonest about it, but more important, because saying that life is shit so why not jerk off all day is not the true journey. The true journey involves the phenomenon that precedes the porn -- the existential loneliness and despair. Encountering our bare, unadorned condition of divine mortality -- that is the true journey.
Pretty Lady has only one thing to add, to Cary's inspired treatise; that is, that all therapeutic process is worthless if one does not set one's intention to heal. Without this intention, therapy itself becomes another form of masturbation.

Intention, darlings, is not the same thing as Brute Willpower. Brute Willpower is the voice that says, "I will pummel this addiction into submission; I will force the Nobel Committee to give me the Peace Prize; I will punch the oppressor in the jaw." This voice is always and ultimately doomed to failure, because there is an entire world out there of other Brute Willpowers opposing it, not to mention the laws of biology, chemistry, psychodynamics and physics.

Intention is something else entirely. It is a compass. When it hits an obstacle, it does not force its way through; neither does it sit down and give up. It merely continues pointing north. One may have intention when one has literally nothing else; not health, not happiness, not money, not friends. One may have it when one hasn't got the slightest idea what to do with it, or how to accomplish one's goal. It is a reminder that, when we see a way around the obstacle, or under it, or through it, we can safely take it, and not get lost along the way. It enables us to take in new information and be strengthened, not stymied. It is an inner light in the darkness around us.




4 comments:

Desert Cat said...

Intent is a far more potent force than "willpower". If one can grasp what intent is, it can transform one's life.

A compass is a good analogy. I like that. It is a compass whose fulcrum is at a much deeper place in one's being than is readily accessible to the ego self. Which is why it is such a mystery to many.

I was overjoyed to realize Daisycat got a grasp on it somewhere along the way recently. She related it to me in the context of shooting, when she noticed that she was doing ..."something" at certain times that made her shooting much more accurate. She called it exactly that--intent, and differentiated it from other efforts, willpower, etc. I gather from conversations with her that she's since experimented with intent to become more effective in other endeavors as well.

Intent can tap the creative well of the universe and is capable of moving things in ways utterly invisible to the conscious mind. Effective prayer is aligning one's intent with the Intent of the Father to move mountains.

Pretty Lady said...

Exactly! Thank you!

Spatula said...

"Intention, darlings, is not the same thing as Brute Willpower. Brute Willpower is the voice that says, "I will pummel this addiction into submission; I will force the Nobel Committee to give me the Peace Prize; I will punch the oppressor in the jaw." This voice is always and ultimately doomed to failure, because there is an entire world out there of other Brute Willpowers opposing it, not to mention the laws of biology, chemistry, psychodynamics and physics.

Intention is something else entirely. It is a compass. When it hits an obstacle, it does not force its way through; neither does it sit down and give up. It merely continues pointing north."

Really love this bit of wisdom. I think I'm only beginning to differentiate the two, having misspent my youth largely beating my head against various obstacles only to end up dizzy.

Rats, why is it that wisdom takes so bloody long to develop? Can't I just buy some software and poof, I know kung fu?

k said...

If you'll excuse the pedestrian, clunky, and not entirely synonymous reference...

this process is similar to one taught in business school. Before setting out to Do Something, the first step is to ask: What's the goal here?

I ask that about bloggers, especially when they're involved in discussions of politics or morality. Are they here to vent? Or to seek the truth? Both are valid goals in their ways. However, they are different goals.

Unfortunately, many people don't seem to realize this. They feel their venting equals righteous, well-considered debating of opinions on their merits. They also frequently believe that because they do feel these opinions powerfully, they are, of course, correct.

But if one leaves a dissenting comment on that post? Oh Lord. All hell breaks loose. Instead of calm discussion of the points at issue, one becomes lambasted with vitriol, name-calling, questions about one's ancestry and/or patriotism...

Which is not conducive to mutually arriving at the truth.

I have no issue with bloggers who post heated posts simply to vent. Their house, their rules. Their creation. Their therapy.

My objection comes when venting is considered to be the same as well-considered civil debate.

Know your goal.