What Is Pure Intent, And How Important Is It To Awakening?
What Is Pure Intent, And How Important Is It To Awakening?
Listening to many of those in whom Full Abiding Awakening has manifested, you may often hear one repeated “requirement” to reach that Awakening: Pure Intent.
Adyashanti & Jed McKenna have used that term. Others have called it One-Pointed Focus, Sincerity, Commitment, etc. A simpler way to define the Pure Intent that may be needed to reach Full Awakening is passionate interest in, or love for, finding the Absolute Truth. We naturally go after things we’re really interested in. You can’t force yourself to be intently focused on things you’re not interested in. On the other hand, if you are very interested or in love with something, you can’t keep from focusing on it; intention on it fills you’re every waking moment.
What Adyashanti, Jed and others mean by Pure Intent is that in order to reach the Absolute Truth – not a partial truth, or a conceptual Truth that you got to in your mind, or some blissful state or “enlightenment” you experienced, thinking, “This is it!” and stopping there, without going all the way to Full Abiding Awakening – we must be very, very interested in finding this Truth. We must be “in love” with Truth and “out of love” with falsehood, even the slightest false thought. We must be keen on recognizing the world and all it’s content (including our minds and ourselves) as not real, false, and then undeterrably insistent on finding The Truth. You must be so interested & in love with the Truth, you will stop at nothing to find it, not the loss of comforts or financial stability, loss of ego, or even the loss of your life! Supposedly, someone with that level of interest & determination to get to the Absolute Truth, can surely arrive there. Conversely, seeking this Truth as a “dabbler” or a “spiritual dilettante” who puts in an hour or two of meditation & inquiry a day and then spends the rest of their day totallly identified with their dream-state mind & life, rarely leads to Absolute Truth. And thinking you’d like to experience & enjoy this full Truth from your personal ego which you still cling to and believe is real, is, by definition, impossible.
There’s nothing wrong with not being that devoted to Truth, with still being devoted to leading your separate ego-life. It’s just doubtful that it will get you to living in Absolute Truth. As some old-timers in parts of New England might say, ” Ya cahn’t get theyah from heeyah.”
So it’s very important, before embarking upon the path to Awakening, to be totally clear & honest about our intention. Many might believe they’re committed to finding the Absolute Truth, but when when they drill down deeper, they find that they are more interested in attaining & enjoying bliss (as a separate ego-self,) mystical union with the Divine, expanded states of consciousness, or simply feeling good, free & peaceful…instead of the pain, fear & suffering they’ve been feeling for much of their lives.
From the body-mind-ego standpoint, it is natural to want to feel good & blissful, natural to want to feel pleasure and avoid pain. And if Full Awareness awakens through you, you may indeed find yourself feeling very good & problem-free in life…or you may not. The Truth is just the Truth, Reality is just what really is, not necessarily how your little self wants things to be. You may experience yourself feeling wonderful as an Awakened soul flowing with the Will of the Divine, and you may still experience problems, challenges, illness, even persecution after Awakening. Ask Jesus (crucifixion.) Ask Buddha (physical pain.) Ask Ramana Maharshi (cancer.)
So if you say you want the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth, you’d better really mean it, and be prepared for whatever trials, sacrifices, and parts of you – all your old beliefs, judgments and ego-identity – that you must willingly submit to the fire of Absolute Truth to embrace it. If that sounds like too much, simply go back to living your ordinary life…but keep in mind, even in your ordinary life without any “arduous spiritual quest,” you’ll still go through fierce trials & tribulations, and be called upon to let go of the illusion of control and, eventually your body & identity. Given that fact that the price may be just as dire either way, you may want to rethink which life, and which Reality, you really want to live.
Here’s a good test to see what you’re really committed to:
If you could somehow achieve feeling good, really good, in your body-mind all the time – no pain, fear, misery, not even the daily low-grade undercurrent of uneasiness & tension that most people feel their entire lives – would you still devotedly seek the Absolute Truth? Even if it meant shaking the foundation of your “good” life in your ego-identity, and possibly losing all that in your dogged search for The Truth? Most spiritual seekers say they want the Absolute Truth, but what they really want is to end their suffering, and if they got to feeling pretty good all the time, they’d stop right there. When Buddha said reaching “enlightenment” is the end of suffering, he didn’t mean this body, mind and little “self” would no longer suffer, he meant you would no longer be identified with the personal ego that wants to avoid & argue with Reality, so you’d just let things be as they are. Everything. Including the parts of Reality that can be painful, upsetting or mortal to human bodies & minds.
Remember, there’s nothing wrong with not being one-pointedly interested in Absolute Truth, so much that you are driven to go after Truth instead of going after a nice life for your body, mind & ego. One pursuit isn’t “better” than the other, they just lead to different outcomes (temporarily…eventually all roads are part of your Being calling you home.) If you like your life just as it is, or you’re only doing spiritual practices to end your suffering or reach high states or simply feel good all the time, go for that, all the way, and see what result it brings. On the other hand, if you are already clear that this life is illusory, and only discovering and abiding in Absolute Truth and Reality will set you free, then with the Pure Intent of “nothing less then the Truth will do, ” devote yourself to inquiring and eliminating all that is untrue, all you are not, until you reach it, and allow Awakening to blossom within you.