Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Intention

"What is an intelligent man? A man who enters with ease and completeness into the spirit of things and the intention of persons, and who arrives at an end by the shortest route." -

"The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention." -

"Our happiness depends on the fulfillment of our deepest longings. Our most fundamental longing is for something which is our essential being we already really are. Our happiness, therefore, depends on the extent to which we are able to conform to our inner destiny. But such a consummation is only possible insofar as we freely fulfill this intention in our daily life." - Karlfried Graf Von Dürckheim, fully Karl Friedrich Alfred Heinrich Ferdinand Maria Graf Eckbrecht von Dürckheim-Montmartin

"In the works of man as in those of nature, it is the intention which is chiefly worth studying." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"The intention makes the lie not the words." - King James I of England

"The vitality of the words depends on the hearts intention." -

"By watching yourself in your daily life with alert interest, with the intention to understand rather than to judge, in full acceptance of whatever may emerge, because it is there, you encourage the deep to come to the surface and enrich your life and consciousness with its captive energies. This is the great work of awareness; it removes obstacles and releases energies by understanding the nature of life and mind. Intelligence is the door to freedom and alert attention is the mother of intelligence." - Nisargadatta Maharaj, fully Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, born Maruti Shivrampant Kambli

"Marriage is not a union merely between two creatures - it is a union between two spirits; and the intention of that bond is to perfect the nature of both, by supplementing their deficiencies with the force of contrast, giving to each sex those excellencies in which it is naturally deficient; to the one, strength of character and firmness of moral will; to the other, sympathy, meekness, tenderness; and just so solemn and glorious as these ends are for which the union was intended, just so terrible are the consequences if it be perverted and abused; for there is no earthly relationship which has so much power to ennoble and exalt." -

"A benefit consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer." -

"Good intention will no more make a truth, than a good mark will make a good shot." - William Spurstowe

"Right intention is to the actions of a man what the soul is to the body, or the root to the tree." - Jeremy Taylor

"We call the intention good which is right in itself, but the action is good, not because it contains within it some good, but because it issues from a good intention. The same act may be done by the same man at different times. According to the diversity of his intention, however, this act may be at one time good, at another bad." -

"You cannot take any performance (even an interior performance) as itself an act of intention; for if you describe a performance, the fact that it has taken place is not a proof of intention; words for example may occur in somebody’s mind without his meaning them. so intention is never a performance in the mind, though in some matters a performance in the mind which is seriously meant may make a difference to the correct account of the man’s action - e.g., in embracing someone. But the matters in question are necessarily ones in which outward acts are ‘significant’ in some way." - Elizabeth Anscombe, fully Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret "G. E. M." Anscombe

"Love means that the adults be genuinely concerned with the evolution of the true nature of the child. Children are not able to respond to a love which tries to fashion them according to the concept of the adult, no matter how good the latter's intention may be." - Gotthard Booth

"Art does not imitate nature, but founds itself on the study of nature - takes from nature the selections which best accord with its own intention, and then bestows on them that which nature does not possess, vis.: the mind and soul of man." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives, the cumulative experience of many masters of craftsmanship. Quality also marks the search for an ideal after necessity has been satisfied and mere usefulness achieved." -

"The innocence of the intention abates nothing of the mischief of the example." -

"History is a better guide than good intention." - Jeane Kirkpatrick

"The mind sins, not the body; if there is no intention, there is no blame." - Livy, formally Titus Livius, aka Titus Livy NULL

"[Paraphrase from “Brain and Mind” article] “Local” healing reflects information from subtle bioenergy fields. By contrast, healing that appears non-local in space and time may be mediated by “information associated with conscious intention”... In electromagnetic healing... the living human organism contains many highly sensitive natural oscillators that join to form a collective “biofield.” This field is “a collective property of the organism and cannot be reduced to biomolecular events.” In this case, information is transmitted by external fields of similar frequency, with healing occurring through a “tuning” effect... “Information is about relationship and exists only in relationship.” Therefore, information grounded in love - “the highest-quality relationship” - may produce healing by overcoming information originated from the more mechanical levels of physical organization... “For science and medicine to embrace life’s full capacity and the full human potential we need to go beyond mechanical concepts that were developed for machines.”" - Beverly Rubik

"Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit; and our wandering thoughts in prayer are but the neglects of meditation and recessions from that duty; according as we neglect meditation, so are our prayers imperfect, meditation being the soul of prayer and the intention of our spirit." - Jeremy Taylor

"Life is not governed by will or intention. Life is a question of nerves, and fibers, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams." -

"God considers not the action, but the spirit of the action. It is the intention, not the deed wherein the merit or praise of the doer consists." - Peter Abelard, Latin: Petrus Abaelardus or Abailard; French: Pierre Abélard

"In fact we say that an intention is good, that is, right in itself, but that an action does not bear any good in itself but proceeds from a good intention. Whence when the same thing is done by the same man at different times, by the diversity of his intention, however, his action is now said to be good, now bad." - Peter Abelard, Latin: Petrus Abaelardus or Abailard; French: Pierre Abélard

"It is counterproductive to assume we have created every misfortune in our life, as if we had made a conscious intention to do so. That kind of thinking leads to guilt and despair. Nevertheless, a sincere willingness to acknowledge that we have certain beliefs that have created our situation will enrich our approach to working through obstacles." - Carol Adrienne

"Purpose is about developing relationships. Purpose is about bringing attention and intention into the present moment, moving ahead with new ideas, giving and receiving support, volunteering, mentoring, listening to the imagination and intuition, communicating, taking action based on inner direction and hints from the external, being adaptable, taking responsibility and ending the victim stance forever surrendering to the divine will and working with the lessons developing fluidity, tolerance, compassion, and the ability to love." - Carol Adrienne

"The first paradox of our lives is that nothing is fixed; and yet nothing is random or accidental, either. We co-create with our spiritual source. We have free will, and yet we are not in control. The second paradox is that when we set our intention for what we desire, we achieve it usually only after we have released our need to have it. This is the paradox of intention (personal desire and will) and surrender (letting God or the universe provide what is best for our highest good). You are both a finite earthly being, and an infinite soul of greater spiritual dimension. Your are both/and. You are the drop of water and the wave. You direct yourself, and you are directed." - Carol Adrienne

"It is through the strength of our physical body, the wisdom of our heart’s experience, and the purity of our intention that we determine the quality of our life." - Gregg Braden

"What makes a marriage is the consent of the partners, their serious intention to live together in some sense, however dimly perceived, as “one flesh,” a union of their two separate existences into still a third existence, the marriage itself… The question of external status is entirely and altogether unnecessary." - William G. Cole

"A firm persuasion of the superintendence of Providence over all our concerns is absolutely necessary to our happiness. Without it, we cannot be said to believe in the Scripture, or practice anything like resignation to his will. If I am convinced that no affliction can befall me without the permission of God, I am convinced likewise that he sees and knows that I am afflicted: believing this, I must in the same degree believe that if I pray to him for deliverance, he hears me: I must needs know, likewise, with equal assurance, that if he hears, he will also deliver me, if that will upon the whole be most conducive to my happiness: and if he does not deliver me, I may be well assured that he has none but the most benevolent intention in declining it." - William Cowper

"One’s true happiness depends more upon one’s own judgment of one’s self, or a consciousness of rectitude in action and intention, and the approbation of those few, who judge impartially, than upon the applause of the unthinking, undiscerning multitude, who are apt to cry Hosanna today, and tomorrow, Crucify him." - Benjamin Franklin

"Whatever else religion may be, it is also anthropology - in the sense that it fosters conceptions of human authenticity on whose basis moral codes can be drawn up and the actual behavior of individuals and societies assessed, challenged, and altered. Religion speaks not only of the divine but of the divine intention for the human." - John Douglas Hall

"Where the masses of people must cooperate in an uncertain and eruptive environment, it is usually necessary to secure unity and flexibility without real consent. The symbol does that… It enormously sharpens the intention of the group and welds that group, as nothing else in a crisis can weld it, to purposeful action." -

"A prince… who wishes to guard against conspiracies should fear those on whom he has heaped benefits quite as much, and even more, than those whom he has wronged; for the latter lack the convenient opportunities which the former have in abundance. The intention of both is the same for the thirst of dominion is as great as that of revenge, and even greater. A prince, therefore, should never bestow so much authority upon his friends but that there should always be a certain distance between them and himself, and that there should always be something left for them to desire." - Niccolò Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

"There are three essential elements to a lie: the material must be untrue; it must be known to be untrue; and it must be told with the intention to deceive." - Terence H. Qualter

"This is the Noble Eightfold Path: right views, right intention; right speech, right action, right livelihood; right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration." - Samyutta Nikaya "Connected Discourses" or "Kindred Sayings" NULL

"Compassion is something you can develop with practice. It involves two things: intention and action. Intention simply means you remember to open your heart to others; you expand what and who matters, from yourself to other people. Action is simply the "what you do about it."" - Richard Carlson

"The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention." -

"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives." - Willa A. Foster, also attributed to William A. Foster

"Gratitude is the intention to count-your-blessings every day, every minute, while avoiding, whenever possible, the belief that you need or deserve different circumstances." - Timothy Miller, fully Timothy S. Miller

"Every individual... intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention... By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectively than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good." - Adam Smith

"As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed; neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was not part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of his intention. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it." - Adam Smith

"By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he [the owner of capital] intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectively than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good." - Adam Smith

"We can not learn without pain....The intention makes the crime...I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self." - Aristotle NULL

"In God the word does not differ from the intention, for He is true; nor the word from the effect, for He is powerful; nor the means from the effect, for He is wise." - Blaise Pascal

"The first external revelations of the dry-rot in men is a tendency to lurk and lounge; to be at street corners without intelligible reason; to be going anywhere when met; to be about many places rather than any; to do nothing tangible but to have an intention of performing a number of tangible duties to-morrow or the day after." - Charles Dickens, fully Charles John Huffam Dickens

"Every intention sets energy into motion, whether you are conscious of it or not. You create in each moment." - Gary Zukav

"Act only on that maxim [intention] whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. Act as if the maxim of your action were to become by your will a universal law of nature. Always act so as to treat humanity, whether in yourself or in others, as an end in itself, never merely as a means. Act always as if to bring about, and as a member of, a Kingdom of Ends [that is, an ideal community in which everyone is always moral]." - Immanuel Kant

"Four things are required to develop generosity of spirit: (1) The intention to serve God in all our affairs. (2) The belief that if that intention is honored, the Universe will provide all that is required materially and spiritually for our success. (3) The understanding that we receive as we give, and that our own creativity is enhanced through mentoring others. (4) Practical groundedness. God can’t deliver the lottery jackpot unless we buy a ticket!" - Joan Borysenko

"There are perhaps some circumstances of life in which Providence has no intention that people should be content." - John Ruskin