When the Intention is Pure, the Action Follows

For every action in this world, there is an intention behind it.

To know yourself, it is very important to be aware of this intention behind each action. Therefore, to choose which action to take, one can first decide on this intention.

Notice I used the word “pure” instead of “good”. There lies the key because purity has nothing to do with good (or evil). What action follows the intention may not always be considered “good”, at least at certain time to certain people. So by pure, I mean to the degree which you are aware — of yourself and reality, as they are. Hence, if you are going to be evil, how pure can you be, act, and follow through on your evil intention.

Also notice that I also used the word “intention” instead of “thought” because the thought behind the action may not be the true intention. We have gotten too proficient in deceiving ourselves with our minds. Therefore it is important to examine the thought behind the action to be aware whether that is true intention. We must be honest with ourselves.

For example, charity donation. It is often discussed, especially on personal finance blogs, as many have it as part of their budget. Some questions I could think of for that is (for you to explore but not for me to answer and decide right or wrong)…

Is it to be done because we SHOULD?
Is it to be done because we will feel good about ourselves?
Is it to be done because others will cheer and praise us?
Is it to be done because of tax breaks?
Is it to be done because we feel guilty of all these “stuff” we have?

Or, is it to be done because we are truly compassionate about people out there who are starving, malnutritioned, without homes, without education, etc.?

One other quick example is… behind many actions that we take, how many of them is all about money? I understand we have to be practical in life, which is why I have a job, but I cannot help but wonder, money… is that all there is to our life?

Learning about yourself. Learning about your true intention. Finding that pure intention is important.

Acting out of that pure intention leaves no room for regret because that means you fully understand the circumstances and is making the best choice, and that choice is solely yours. As a result, you are also being fully responsible. It leaves no room for “I should have this, or I should have that” or “So and so told me to do it” or “If I had known better…” (because you could not have know better if you were already fully aware)

Therefore, “When the intention is pure, the action follows.” Given that the person is being honest with himself about his intention.

It will also do us well to be observant and fully aware of others’ intention behind the actions. That way, we know who are friends, and who are… not-so-friendly.

Lastly, I want to link this to the law of attraction. The law of attraction has been thrown around A LOT. Consequently, “affirmative thinking” has also gotten pretty trendy. Maybe it works for someone but I don’t believe in “affirmative thinking”. What I believe is that the true mechanism of attraction… lies in this pure intention. Thus, to make the law of attraction works with you requires awareness.

Whatever type of TRUE intention you have, things and intentions of the same types will happen more frequently. Note again, intention can be different from thought, especially for people who barely know themselves. If your true intention means well, better things will more likely to happen to you. Likewise, if your true intention is one of anger, hatred, selfishness, more of that will also happen to you. If the intention is half good half bad… I suppose that cancels out.

And well, if you don’t know your true intention, then everything around you probably seems to happen at random.

The paradox is though, if you go around doing good things because good things will happen to you, that is a selfish intention… and it also falls back onto the “agenda mindset” that I talked about last. Something I leave for us to think about.

Originally posted 2009-04-10 23:54:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Life Thoughts arising from Tao Te Ching

Yes, I took the liberty to take a “summer break” from the blog. I need my time to do some other things and work has been crazy. But, I’m back. And allow me to share a picture I took from my recent trip to Tahoe :)

Following is an email I wrote to a good friend, which I find makes a good post, though with some Chinese excerpts from Tao Te Ching. Here goes.

Life is really really very basic. The ultimate place (which is no where really) to be is just to understand Tao (not logically, but like we know how to breathe or beat our heart) — 道可道,非常道;名可名,非常名。 無,名天地之始;有,名萬物之母。– and in behaving, behave like water — 上善若水,水善利萬物而不爭.

And more significantly to your story. To be like water, is to behave in the manner of true love (in all forms of relationship). Does water ever need/demand things from organisms that it nourishes? True love has absolutely nothing to do with need as oppose to what our attitude of it is now. That to be truly compassionate, loving, and courageous, requires a non-attached perception. Be like water.

And not to say to that you must behave unselfishly. Because water is neither selfish, nor unselfish.

The curious thing to be cautious is, these are no “set rules” like those doctrines that people LOVE to hold on to and impose on each other with grandiose righteousness. To fully grasp all these mean to be free from all these — words and concepts. One is to be free to behave as such, yet also free to behave not as such. Words and concepts are always something to get past. That is to say, to be a master, one needs to move beyond the idea of wanting to be a master.

That is why, quote Hassan-i Sbbah, “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.”

Nothing is true — Because words and concepts are never the “whole idea.” Because to name/explain Tao is to lose the essence of Tao. And we can also take the meaning of what Buddhism ultimately wants to convey… that nothing IS something [and something means nothing].

Everything is permitted — Does water ever get restricted/confined? As we are, in the name of good or evil, we forever restrain ourselves. As it is now, in the many names of “doing-good”, we are doing everything we can to foul our environment and in fact, also harm ourselves. In the age where goodness is proclaimed the loudest, we are probably doing the most evil ever in history, in the perspective of the whole earth eco-system (and also against each other). Hence, 智慧出,有大偽.

For me, the question is always, how much can “I” give up? If we realize this “I” in the first place, of course. And we don’t realize because death got swept under the carpet always, even though its the best and benevolent thing/help/tool we have, because in the face of death, nothing of “I” holds. We are scared shitless that this “I” is going to disappear, but we forget that this “I” will not be around to worry.

And this “I” is what keeps us from being like water — which destroys if the flow means for it to overwhelm, creates if the situation allows it to nourish.

Shed this “I”. 為學日益,為道日損。損之又損,以至於無為。

Originally posted 2010-08-17 22:30:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Saving Interest Rate Is Not Low Enough

I’m sure that’s what all the banks think. “If only we can somehow make it 0% interest and still get people to deposite their money…”

This post is provoked as I am doing my monthly accounting and noticed this in my ING Direct Saving account.
ing_july_rate

So 1.5% is not low enough and they make it 1.4%, whaaaa….

They are really being unhelpful for those of us who are saving their money.

There are those people who think, “I will lose my money if I put them in stock market. I will not make any interest if I put them in saving. I will also lose money to inflation if I put them under my mattress. To hell with it, I’m going to spend it all.”

For sure that is not the right mentality to have, respective to saving and being frugal, but surely, we can all see why people feel that way, no?

PS. Hope everyone had a good July 4th weekend.

Originally posted 2009-07-05 16:01:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Wisdom — the Ability of Critical Thinking

Everywhere I go on the internet and many materials I read, people use the word success as an acryonm of the possession of incredible money and wealth. I do not intend to criticize people who use the word as such, because such usage of the word has been built into us over the centuries and has become a natural trend. But a mindfulness to pay attention to such details and critical think such informaion is what we need to overhaul many existing problems. This brings me to the topic of wisdom.

Wisdom is the process of critical thinking accompanied by awareness. By such, I mean the process of taking in information, understanding and evaluating them, then using your own aggregated version of such information adjoined with your set of principles and values to change and make decisions — meanwhile, doing each step in the process with awareness.

Such is wisdom. Wisdom connects the dots between information, which is learned using intelligence.

The conditions of current society and education system have mostly strip away people’s ability of critical thinking. In other word, intelligence is emphasized and wisdom neglected. Without critical thinking, the more you study, read blogs, news, books, and accumulate informations, the more harmful it becomes because you will get information poisoning. Without the ability of critical thinking to process knowledge and information, you become a mannequin that is pulled in all the different directions implicated by them which came from different sources, or you may get hung up on one specific idea told by an important world figure, a writer or a blogger, which includes me.

Do not simply listen to me or others. Understand yourself. Think for yourself. That is what I always urge. And that is why I rarely dose out specific details or sets of rules and tips on what to do on personal development and personal finance here. First of all, because I am no expert and I am always still learning myself. Second of all, if my words motivate you to think and act for yourself, you can easily find lots of information out there. If I or anybody else simply tells you what to do and you simply follow the words, that is not useful in my perspective. Learn to critical think and you can become wise and useful for yourself and others around you, without reliance on experts, gurus, or whatever.

“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”

Each of us already has a lot of information inside our heads, being part of a culture, club, religion, or sub-community that are governed by a set of beliefs and rules… however, did you ever calm down and look closely to evaluate them? Did you ever attempt to understand what they truly mean? Do you simply tie yourself to a set of principles that came externally? And take them as your own and perhaps try to force them on to others? Do you dare not dispute them? I am not asking these questions to criticize you nor to ask you to haphazardly reject what you believe at the moment. I am asking you to think. Be honest with yourself. Be aware.

Imagine information and knowledge as a double edged sword and wisdom as the strength to wield the sword. Wisdom allows one to wields the sword of information and knowledge and leverage them to create positive change and results through informed decisions. Like someone without the strength to wield a sword that is too heavy for him will invariably get hurt swinging the sword, information and knowledge will invariably hurt those who lack wisdom yet wield them.

During today’s information age, we have more information, more knowledge available than ever, but we lack the wisdom to wield them currently. That is why so much harm we are doing to each other and to nature.

Originally posted 2008-06-08 14:08:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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