The Unbending Intent of a Novelist

disciplineI often write about unbending intent because it is so important.  The path of the warrior is the one that speaks most clearly to me.  The fundamentals are discipline (unbending intent), freedom, and impeccability. For the warrior, will comes from Spirit, not the ego. This is unbending intent.

The idea of unbending intent keeps coming to me in little messages.  Things people say, thoughts that pop into my head, something I read.  When I woke up this morning, I realized, that’s Spirit whispering to me, telling me to focus my awareness on unbending intent.

I picked up Castaneda’s Wheel of Time, flipped through it, and read a few quotes at random:

“A rule of thumb for a warrior is that she makes her decisions so carefully that nothing that may happen as a result of them can surprise her, much less drain her power.”

And

“A warrior could not possibly leave anything to chance.  She actually affects the outcome of events by the force of her awareness and her unbending intent.”

It’s difficult to explain out of context, and especially because our society lives in such a way that is so antithetical to the warrior’s way, but I will try.

First, unbending intent is not about the outcome.  It has its own intrinsic rewards:  power, impeccability, freedom.  Unbending intent is similar to will or discipline, but it’s not about forcing yourself to do something you hate.  Don Juan told Castaneda, “Don’t indulge in deny your true self.”  That’s just being pious.  It’s a false piety.

Through Non-Violent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg taught people not to punish themselves or others, and not to do anything that isn’t play.  This is almost impossible for anyone in this society to understand, and yet it is possible to live in alignment with one’s true self and not do anything that isn’t play.  It’s called “walking a path with heart.”

When we walk a path with heart, we are in alignment with our true self, and unbending intent becomes easier.  We don’t have to waste energy fighting it.  Spirit can flow through us more easily because we aren’t bending ourselves backwards, forcing ourselves to do something we hate.

As I awake, attuned to the messages of Spirit, and focused on unbending intent, I see very clearly that my path and my discipline is writing, specifically writing a novel titled A Siren’s Lament.

Don Juan also said, “A warrior must know that her acts are useless and yet proceed as if she didn’t know it.  That’s a warrior’s controlled folly.”

It seems to contradict the earlier quotes, but when all of this is deeply understood, there is no contradiction.  My acts are useless in the sense that they all lead to the same destination in the end:  death.  And they are useless in relationship to the outcomes because for a warrior all outcomes are equal.

A warrior’s actions are calculated for their intrinsic rewards, not for external rewards or outcomes.  Writing a novel is an example of unbending intent.  Although I would like to see my novel published and receive monetary compensation and worldly recognition, that’s not why I am writing a novel.

I am writing the novel as a magical act, a warrior’s act of power.  It is an exercise in unbending intent.

So I find a way every day to make progress on the novel independent of mood or the events that unfold that day.  Spirit, in the form of Intent, sets things up to make that easy for me.  But I’m still the one who has to show up and write.

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