Understanding Intention Part 1

by Scott Morrice on 01/16/2012

In my recent research into understanding intention, I recently finished another book by Lynne McTaggart titled The Intention Experiment. Like The Field , one of McTaggart’s earlier books, this book is extremely thought provoking.

As McTaggart herself admits, the whole subject matter of understanding intention seems to be very much in vogue lately.

So, what is intention? What is an intention definition? Intention has been defined as a determination or plan to do a specific thing. It is distinct from desire, which is identifying an outcome, but not having any plan of how to achieve it.

McTaggart’s starts with the premise (which she discusses and defends) that thoughts (and therefore intentions) are an actual physical something, ultimately expressed as some form of energy. And if thoughts are actually something, then as a “thing” they can influence other “things”. McTaggart then goes on to explore just what kind of mechanism allows intention to exert this influence, and then on to some of the important ramifications of this influence.

With a view to examining just how intention works to influence, she turns to theories arising out of the field of quantum physics.

As we have noted in previous posts, classical Newtonian physics is based upon the assumption that all “things” are separate from each other. All matter is viewed as being self-contained within its own fixed boundaries, moving within a three dimensional concept of space and time according to fixed laws of motion. These laws require that in order to exert any influence over matter, some kind of physical force be exerted upon it. As you can see, this approach certainly doesn’t assist us in understanding how intention could exert any influence. Intention, a thought, doesn’t seem to qualify as a physical force capable of influencing matter.

However, quantum physics teaches us, as I discussed in my A Consciousness Definition and Does Consciousness Affect Matter? I Am Confused posts, that a deeper analysis of our universe shows us that “things”, observable solid matter, are not really things at all. It turns out that atoms, the building blocks of what we see as solid matter, and the subatomic particles that they are comprised of, are just tiny clouds of probability. They are not solid at all, but exist only as a potential of any of their future selves. They are just packets of energy, acting as both a particle, and, at the same time, as a wave. So matter, at its most elemental, isn’t solid, in fact it isn’t anything yet. Something else is required for it to collapse into a solid, observable state, the state that we are most familiar with.

And, according to McTaggart, that “something” is our consciousness.

One of the more controversial principles of quantum physics is the concept of the observer effect. I spoke of this controversy in my Does Consciousness Affect Matter? I Am Confused post. You may recall that this principle states that the only time quanta manifests as particles, as something solid and observable, is when they are disturbed by being observed or measured. When disturbed, the subatomic particle that existed only as pure potential to that point collapses into one particular state, into something “real”. The idea is almost saying that when we are not looking at it, the world is a flowing, quantum soup. When we try to see it, and not until we try to see it, our glance turns it into our everyday reality.

McTaggart suggests that it is consciousness that causes the collapse. The collapse of the “pure potential” into something “real” occurs at the first conscious observation of it. She postulates that because it was our consciousness that somehow was the influence that collapsed the “potential” into something “real”, then perhaps the final state is actually open to influence. She suggests that the observer effect doesn’t just occur at the quantum level, but also in our everyday world, the world of visible matter. She argues that maybe our observation of every part of our life helps to determine its final state. We may be creating, and influencing, everything around us at every moment. And then, as she suggests, the really interesting question quickly becomes: if the act of attention affects physical matter (the observer effect), what might be the effect of intention—of deliberately trying to make a change.

In her book McTaggart provides many, many credible examples, experiments and trials, performed in accordance with rigorous scientific procedures, demonstrating directed intention affecting all forms of matter, from the inorganic, to the organic, and indeed affecting all of our physical reality. And she even discusses extremely interesting evidence that intention seems to have a backward influence—backwards in time!

McTaggart provides interesting, readable, theories, all based within the realm of quantum physics, of intention’s mechanism, and discusses some of the enormous ramifications arising out of these conclusions, all with a view to better understanding intention.

But an analysis of that discussion will have to wait for a later post—Part 2.

I’ll keep you posted.

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