"I learned the intent of flying," she said, "by repeating all the feelings I had while flying in dreaming. This was only one thing. The Nagual had learned in his life the intent of hundreds of things. But Silvio Manuel went to the source itself. He tapped it. He didn't have to learn the intent of anything. He was one with intent. The problem was that he had no more desires because intent has no desire of its own, so he had to rely on the Nagual for volition. In other words, Silvio Manuel could do anything the Nagual wanted. The Nagual directed Silvio Manuel's intent. But since the Nagual had no desires either, most of the time they didn't do anything."
--Carlos Castaneda, The Eagle's Gift
Before Carlos Castaneda extracted "intent" from "intention," they used to mean the same thing. Now Intent has a special meaning, and long after Castaneda's role in popularizing the term has been mostly forgotten, everyone's talking about it more and more. Intent is the active ingredient in inciting change: it is what makes things happen.
Given: a State A and a State B, which occur in sequence, in accordance with your conscious or unconscious wishes. State A transforms into State B. It doesn't matter to this discussion whether you pulled strings behind the scenes socially, took action physically, or just sat there wishing, hoping, and praying real hard. Let's just say that pulling strings and taking action are physical symbols or physical manifestations of the same force that you try to concentrate by wishing, hoping, or praying. Or saying magic spells. The method doesn't matter, what matters is that the result, State B, occurs. We could even say that the method took place under the surface, as an unconscious wish. Any way you look at it, we can posit a single force which in each case caused State A to actually become State B, and in accordance with the rest of this book, we can say that this force must be some basic harmonic of awareness.
If you think about it, you might agree that this force, which we will call Intent, is not only change itself, but the energy that causes change to take place. Change refers to an event, or a pair of events compared to each other. Intent is the causative force or energy behind the change. Assuming that it requires energy to change state A to state B, Intent is that energy.
I am finding that in my dreams and other unworlding experiences, symbols of fiveness are unusually abundant. I have called fiveness the Dream Usher, but aside from being my fiveness dream body, this harmonic is also the fourth overtone of awareness, the heart chakra--which is located in the area of the heart and lungs, so must be associated with the flow of our most important fluid energy sources--as well as the color green, and of course the ubiquitous void which I call the Nothing since it is the door to everything.
I have stated elsewhere that Intent is not involved, if the dang thing does not happen after you wish for it while dancing around with incense burning, praying, chanting, leaping up and down, and making power gestures. That was not intent, it was wishful thinking on a melodramatic scale. Similarly, if you had no idea your puppy Max was going to die tomorrow, but he does, then I hate to tell you, but Intent had it in for Max. So the principle of intent boils down to this: what is lined up first in intent is what happens. What is lined up next in intent will happen next. If you don't know what's lined up in intent, wait for something to happen. That's what was lined up in intent.
So you're standing on a road in a dream but you imagine standing on top of that mountain over there instead. Instantly you find yourself on top of the mountain. In dreams, be careful what you wish for. You are in the Dream Usher's territory now. The Nothing (a.k.a. the Dream usher) is the wormhole or instantaneous transport portal between State A and State B. It is literally everywhere. You are looking at it right now. Stop thinking, defocus your eyes slightly, and you will Notice it. You don't even have to close your eyes.
Fiveness is the central member of the soul retinue, the middle of the Seven, with three members below--the 2-3-4 mind/body/world--and three members above: the Uppers, or 6ness, 7ness, and 8ness. It is the pivot point of experience. Think about your hands and feet, which reflect the human form: fiveness is your opposable thumb, your strong big toe. Think about the five senses: one of them is your hinge, the sense that you rely on most heavily. Some of us are primarily visual, some of us are primarily auditory, and some of us are primarily tactile. Then there are people like me whose hinge is unstable, I change mine around in an uncontrolled manner.
But 2-3-4 is where we come from, all of us, no matter what our configuration. It is the human form, that bloat at the bottom. In order to get any feel for how 5ness works, we first have to get a feel for 2ness, 3ness, and 4ness. Basically this amounts to learning how to escape the first three whirlpools of the human form and freeing up more energy for 5ness to do what it already knows how to do: change things. Fiveness animated is the ability of fluidity to do its job. Escaping the rigidity of the 2-3-4 allows this. In harmony with our conscious wishes, intent becomes a bigger part of the picture when it is unobstructed and energized, when it is freed from 2-3-4's typical trick of using up all the energy and then complaining that it can't get anything done. The trick lies in the fact that 2-3-4 is not the be-all and end-all, as it assumes itself to be. It has to be encouraged to let go of the controls and let the Dream Usher use it as the tool that it is. And it will want to take that personally. So the trick is very tricky and the solution is a matter of focus. The focus to change is Intent. No change? No intent to change.
Do not get hung up in making change the be-all and end-all. That's not what we're about here. Each new adventure along the way is another place to get stuck. A typical example of this is a self-improvement junkie who only cares about changing himself and when he imagines that he has done this, he experiences a thrill of peak experience, a religious experience which lasts only till a next fix seems equally dire. This is what you might call the 5-6 trap. Addiction to the fiveness and sixness whirlpools, a symbiotic interplay of change and pleasure. It isn't until all of the Seven are working in balance with each other, cooperatively, that your body of air (nineness) kicks in and takes you anywhere you want to go. At this point, it's as if your conscious mind and your ability to create reality instantaneously just by thinking it up are in harmony with each other. Not that any such mind is very much like the bloated version that commands the typical human experience. The body of air comes into being when the 2-3-4 is slimmed down and its excess, hogged energy is distributed where it's needed among the Uppers. Until then intent works in mysterious ways and most change that occurs seems random, even destructive, having a mind of its own, and impossible to control. This is due to 5ness having no energy to work with, so it just slips and slides along the paths of least resistance, whatever those might happen to be.
One of my laws is the Law of Identity, which states that you are you for the purpose of being you. Trying to change into someone else is not only a naive waste of energy, the pursuit of perennial losers, it is an attempt to prove nature wrong. Why would you exist, if not for the purpose of being you? Your identity is your 2ness body. Basically it is a 2-dimensional template through which pure awareness is filtered in order to create you as awareness instead of someone else as awareness. Someone else has his own filter, his own 2ness body. Trying to change into someone else is a good way to drive yourself and everybody around you stark, raving mad. That doesn't mean you can't change selected habits, but you need a new activity in which to invest the energy saved by doing away with the old habit. Otherwise the freed-up energy could get sucked into any available whirlpool, usually relapse since it's often the most natural and convenient pathway for freed-up energy to take.
Change as a balanced activity involves learning how to get from State A to State B. When the State B you desire is to be someone else... good luck with that. Intent will not be on your side in that endeavor, even if you're Adolf Hitler. That's because change, or 5ness, understands you better than you--the 2-3-4--understand yourself.
What we have to understand is that our configuration or our 2ness body is not good or evil. Good/evil and all other dichotomies are expressions of twoness, but when it comes to your identity, that's just a configuration, a profile of this vs. that in many categories: what you are vs. what you are not, and this is at an abstract, basic level. Let's assume you are Adolf II on the configuration level. Fine. Deal with it. Work with it. Give Adolf II something worthwhile to do. Many of our most important prophets have been maladjusted, angry people. Just because you're a mean, petty, feisty son-of-a-bitch at heart doesn't mean you have to be a serial killer when you grow up.
It helps to remember that all emotion is seeded by fear, which is twoness, and the first fear is the fear of being an individual separate from the rest of the world including the fear of being separate from what you think you need. Get over it, but never expect to get over it all the way. The ever-present sense of lack, which is called Narxing, has to be converted into fuel. If you can do that, you'll never run out of fuel. Twoness is not going anywhere, anytime soon.
Here's a hefty example from my personal experience. In a month-long experience of accidental high-functioning at a time in my life when I didn't know what high functioning was, I literally stumbled into this samadhi or enlightenment experience. My landlord at a beautiful, high-mountain hot springs breathing resort was threatening to make me more homeless than I already was, if I didn't do a certain breathing exercise one or two hours a day. This made me pissed off and self-righteous (i.e. scared out of my mind) so, in a tiff, I declared that I would do the breathing exercise 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I surprised everybody by actually accomplishing this. I think adrenalin combined with a conspiracy of circumstances made it easy. And I went into an experience of non-stop bliss for a whole month that I will never forget, which inspired this book and my whole practice, 35 years later. During that time I had my first unworlding experience as well as an incredible visionary dream of my future self (body of air). Since then I've tried over and over to recreate the experience, but once I stopped breathing that way 24/7, the bliss, vibrations, and other sensations went away and status quo 2-3-4 took over again. You might say that the rest of my life has been a recurringly-aborted and often-forgotten attempt to try and make myself breathe that way again.
But the main point is that this happened because I was an angry, immature young transient without a pot to piss in, and I flew into a panic and did something extraordinary to prove myself to an authority figure who I was afraid of. I was being paranoid and pissy. And what came about as a result of it was a big surprise to everybody.
Now let's say that my basic configuration is "paranoid and pissy". Hopefully it's not that simple, but let's just keep it simple for now. The kind of change I can hope for is not to change "paranoid and pissy" into "mellow and mild". This would eventually fail with a big bang. What I could hope for is to use my existing troovammickle (basic configuration of my identity) in a way that gets me what I want. So instead of channeling Adolf II into something nasty and exorbitantly anti-social, I can hope to channel that same inner twisto into something else just as intense and offbeat without getting anyone hurt.
Let's hope that this is what takes place, because if it doesn't, then that proves I didn't really Intend for it to. In any case, the good news is that the 2-3-4 mind isn't in charge; it's a tool with a bloated perception of its own self-importance. And the remote mind--which is a word for everything except 2-3-4--is not a reflection of some tool. The so-called "unconscious" or "subconscious" (two equally bad terms) are not reflections of the so-called conscious mind. The remote mind might be called the Uppers plus 5ness, or everything the 2-3-4 is not. The Dream Usher and the Nothing are two sides of the same coin: the intent which changes this dream into the next dream, and the unlimited potential within which this can happen.
I must reiterate that trying to control the flow of change is just yearning or willpower at best. Attempted intentionalityism, if you must. But there's this separate and basic harmonic of awareness, this thing called Intent, and it does nothing by trial and error. Intent is the master of change, 5ness. It is the pivot point of your being, the door to everything.