Intention: Does it Matter?

I wish I were smart enough to understand quantum physics.  But alas, even simple math eludes me.  I’d really like to understand the theories about frequencies and waves and particles, though, because I think they are connected to the idea of “intention.”

Intention has become popular lately because of The Secret and The Laws of Attraction.  The notion isn’t new, though.  In the documentary What the Bleep Do We Know? ( the filmmakers present a brief history of metaphysics and spirituality, covering old and new thought on neurology,  molecular biology, and physics to show that we create our own universe.

One of the presenters in the movie was Dr. Masaru Emoto (  He wondered about the effects of words, music, and even environmental location on water.  He exposed water to words like “thank you” and “love” (written on paper and placed under the container of water).  Then he observed the frozen crystals of that water to see if the various stimuli would have any effects on it.  Here is what the water looked like when shown the word “wisdom,” for example:

water crystal of dr. masaru emoto

Wisdom (from

When the water was exposed to words like “you disgust me” or when it was taken from polluted areas, though, the crystals were deformed.  Dr. Emoto concluded that since we humans are mostly water, when we think badly of ourselves or expose ourselves to unhealthy conditions, we are “deforming” ourselves in a similar way.  But by thinking of the positive, we will create beauty in ourselves.

I am not qualified to speak to the scientific authenticity of Dr. Emoto’s work.  But I do wonder if it is so simple as that?  I would love it if it were.  I think that perhaps one’s intention is only part of the equation.  If it were as simple as “think good thoughts and good things will come to you,” then I’m guessing a lot more of us would be rich and happy and peaceful.

Maybe the concept of “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” comes into play here too.  It can’t all be sunshine and roses, right?  There is no growth without friction, right?  Just ask a diamond.

Maybe I am misunderstanding the concept of intention, but it seems to me that there is the danger of “blame and shame” too.  What happens if you attempt “good intentions” but it goes awry somehow?  Does that mean you messed up and did it wrong?  Did you not believe hard enough?  Did it fail because you are unworthy?  Then “intention” just becomes another way to feel badly about ourselves.

What do you think?  Are good intentions enough?  How do someone else’s intentions come into play?  Do you get back what you put out there?  Have you ever asked for something and NOT gotten it back?  Was there a silver lining in the thing that you got instead?


4 responses

  1. Well, I am back and have some thoughts on this. I looked up the definition of intention – a plan of action or an aim that guides action; design. Pretty simple definition, does not have a direction of positive or negative, healing or injury. One thing I know hurts people are hurt people. I am not perfect and sometimes do not know that I hurt someone; hurt people can change the intention for harm to themselves. Great example of the water crystals; we know how we feel within our soul with words of love or with ghetto nasty words. So with intentions, is it a plan of action in one direction? Meaning should we expect something back? Is the intention to keep going forward, where we do not see it returning to the sender? Is it like planting a seed and not seeing it grow? Intentions… hmm.

  2. …from what I have read, I am gathering that “intentions” are like positive or negative “vibes” (vibrations) or thoughts (in that study, they were positive or negative words on paper). There have been numerous studies done on the psychological effects of positive self talk on performance and self concept (outcome)…and there are a zillion books about about how your “world”/situations are created through your thoughts, thought pattern, and reactions to everything in life (self help section), but it is interesting that this guy says it actually physiologically changes you (your cell formation)….or at least thats what I read into it.

    Is good intention (ie. positive thinking, words, etc.) enough? Not always…there is always a chance things will go wrong even if you are the most positive person on this earth (there are definitely more factors), but I have definitely seen and heard about many people who have overcome a lot of doomed situations by staying in a positive frame of mind. I have rarely seen situations turn out well for someone who demonstrates negative self-talk/put out those negative “vibes” (and after things go awry, they tend to say “see, i told you…” or “I knew…”). Its the whole “self-fulfilling prophecy” (used very often in sport psychology)…you get what you expect…if you believe you are going to fail, you will. It’s where all those inspiring positive quotes come from…by stating the opposite (i.e.. “If you can dream it, you can achieve it”…theres a lot of them, but that was the one that came to mind).

    Hasn’t everyone had situations where they didn’t get what they asked for? Whether you see a silver lining or not depends on your perspective (or your “intentions”). Every situation has a silver lining or a positive way of looking at it (some are more apparent than others)…you have to be receptive to seeing it. Being in a positive frame of mind makes you more resilient when things go wrong…and puts you into the mode of looking at the positives. If you are in a negative frame of mind, you aren’t likely to see any positives.

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