Fulfilling intentions: A study of the underlying factorssam
by Dr. Saidas M. Ranade
My beliefs about miracles and synchronicity have been shaped by my own experiences and by reading the works of well-known authors. Growing up as a child in India, I found myself naturally drawn to philosophical and mystical works. I am not sure if this was my way of coping with the pain around me or some other factor at play. As an engineer by training with a natural bent toward design, my first instinct was to write a “how-to” article about fulfilling intentions. The article would have been written in a deductive style with facts supporting my beliefs. Instead, I have decided to use an inductive or an a posteriori approach. Unlike deduction, which assuming its premises are sound, is certain, absolute, and airtight, induction is about mere probabilities; its success depends on how accurately you observe and over how many cases . This article begins with the description a few real events from my own life followed by my analysis of the underlying common factors and ends with a summary of findings. Readers may agree with my analysis or may end up drawing different conclusions than mine.
It was August of 1980. I had secured a scholarship to the University of Houston’s Graduate Chemical Engineering program. Due to some errors in paperwork, my student visa to the United States had been rejected twice. The fall semester was scheduled to start on September 3 and we felt helpless. One day, while reading the local newspaper, my father got an idea. A congressman named Dr. Subramanian Swamy was going to meet with his constituents. Since Dr. Swamy had studied in the U.S., my father thought he might be able to give us some advice. The idea made no sense to me at the time but I decided to play along. On August 7, we left our apartment at 8:00 for a meeting at 10:00 a.m. in Kurla. We had to take a bus from Anushaktinagar to Sion and then take another bus from Sion to Kurla. It was already 8:30. It began to rain and the bus schedule went haywire. The buses were full and would not even stop at the bus stop. At 9:00 a.m. I told my dad that we should just go home. He insisted we wait for a few more minutes. As we were waiting, a white Fiat stopped in front of us and the driver, a complete stranger, asked my dad if we wanted to go to Sion. We got into the car. We met with Dr. Swamy, who immediately called the U.S. consulate to explain my situation. My new interview date was set and I got my visa. To this day I am not clear why the man in the Fiat picked my dad out of the long line of people or how he knew our destination.
In early August of 1985, I had just completed my Ph.D. I had a job offer from ICI’s Tensa group in Clear Lake. Prior to officially starting my job, I was attending a training session at their facility in Clear Lake. I got a call from Dr. Jack Burke, Director of International Student Services at the University of Houston. He said the INS was about to decline my Practical Training Visa application. He asked me to get a letter from my boss and suggested my boss and I meet with him in downtown Houston the next morning. By mistake the company had submitted the wrong job offer document. The next morning, my boss and I met with Dr. Burke and then with the Director of Immigration Services in Houston. We submitted the corrected documents and within a few days my training visa was approved. Since the meeting went well, I asked Dr Burke how often he came to the INS downtown office with requests like mine. His answer shocked me: “Once every five years.”
It was sometime in 2000. I was working for Computer Associates (CA) in Houston. We had to give a presentation to Hertz Corporation on database management solutions. I was totally new to this topic but I had worked hard to become knowledgeable. However, I still did not have a presentation. Then on the Friday of the week prior to our meeting, a visitor from another CA location arrived in the office. He was looking for a salesman, whom he needed to give a copy of a presentation. The sales person was not in that day. He gave me the copy of the presentation to give to the salesman. It was exactly what I was looking for. I went to Hertz in Oklahoma City the following week and was able to fulfill my obligation.
In early March of 2008, as I was reading the Houston Chronicle, a book about physics caught my attention. That day I went to the Barnes and Noble to buy it, but I forgot the exact name of the book and author. I asked Denise, the customer support person, to search but without a book title or author name, she was not able to find the book. I asked her if they had a copy of the Sunday Chronicle so I could look it up. I went to the front desk but they were sold out. I went back to customer support desk and decided to search using my iPhone. Suddenly, someone from behind me whispered the name of the book: “Physics of the Impossible!” The book was right behind me and the young man who whispered the name was just informing his friend about the book.
While I may be slightly off on the exact dates, all the events I have described are true and accurate. What are the underlying common factors?
* The events seem to be independent of time and location. Some happened in India and others in the United States. These events cover a time period of 25 years.
* Each event involves change in heart of a stranger. For example, the office visitor offering me the presentation I was searching for.
* In each case I was making an honest effort to achieve the goal. I had set an intention. I was completely immersed in the activity.
* The events vary in terms of their “perceived” importance from somewhat trivial, like finding a specific book to somewhat significant, such as getting a visa to be able to come to the United States.
* I am not sure if the events described made me successful, but in each case the experience was fulfilling. By that I mean I achieved an outcome I was happy with.
The role of intentions
The importance of intentions has been recognized by many authors as the cause or the driver for fulfilling actions. According to Dr. Frank A. Gerbode , intention is a combination of desire and ability. It is the proximal end of an action being performed by a person. My life events described above certainly meet those requirements.
Meditation and other techniques
Some intentions seem to manifest efficiently while others seem to take more time and involve a lot of struggle. Why is this? Is the difference caused by how one manages the manifestation process or is it because of where the intentions originate?
The events from my life support the old adage “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” My experience indicates that the universe likes to have a clear idea of a person’s intention. This is reflected through action. The component of follow-through seems to be an important part of fulfilling an intention. And there is a general agreement that trying to control the outcome or obsession about an outcome are hindrances to fulfilling an intention.
Authors like Deepak Chopra  and Wayne Dyer  prescribe meditation as a technique for planting intentions. In his workshops, Wayne Dyer asks the attendees to close their eyes and be centered, and then asks them to define and express their precise intention. Other authors like Osho, completely reject the idea that meditation is a means to an end. According to Osho , meditation needs to be viewed as play and not a means to an end. He suggests that desire separates the present from the future hence preventing one from being totally in the present moment.
The other important question about intentions is their source. Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer have suggested that you can come up with any dream and all you have to do is let the universal or creative intelligence know what it is. Others such as Osho, Eckhart Tolle and William Duggan seem to differ on the source of the intentions that get easily fulfilled. Their advice is to be prepared, be present and wait for the flash of insight. The underlying assumption is that when you are in alignment with the cosmic intelligence, it filters all possible intentions by evaluating their probability of success by taking into account your current state and your obligations – or as William Duggan  eloquently calls them, your karma and your dharma. The difference in the two schools of thought can be summarized by the phrases “you can pick your intentions” and “intentions happen.”
In my life events described above, I shared my intentions with others but I did not make much fuss about them. I was centered but did not follow a technique to achieve that state. I am not sure about the source of my intentions that were fulfilled. Reflecting back on these events, it appears that I was simply doing what needed to be done and then letting the universe do its part. In summary, based on examination of my life experiences in light of the works of renowned thinkers from diverse traditions, I have reached the following conclusions about intentions:
* Intentions drive experiences and events that give us a sense of fulfillment.
* Aligning oneself with the cosmic intelligence accelerates the process of manifesting one’s intentions and eventually one’s full potential.
* Silence is a perfect ground for intentions to germinate.
* Meditation is not a technique for inserting intentions but an important method for centering.
* Honest and sincere effort is a way to let the universe know about your intentions.
* Obsession toward a specific outcome and need to control the process are barriers to fulfillment of intentions.
* Being prepared, being totally present and aware, and having the courage to act complement the manifestation process.
1. Jones, J. and W. Wilson, “An incomplete Education,” 3rd Edition, Ballantine Books, New York, 2006.
2. Tolle, E., “A New Earth,” Penguin Publishing Group, New York, NY, 2005.
3. Gerbode, F.A., “Affinity, Desire and Intention,” Article 37, Journal of Metapsychology, Re-revised, May 1990.
4. “Healing secrets with Deepak Chopra: Intention,” – video on youtube.com posted by Lightbridgemedia, May 2008.
5. Dyer, W.W., “The Power of Intention,” Hay House, Inc., Carlsbad, CA, 2004.
6. Osho, “The Book of Secrets,” St. Martin’s Griffin, NY, 1974.
7. Duggan, W., “Strategic Intuition,” Columbia Business School Publishing, 2007.
Dr. Saidas M. Ranade is an engineer, an award-winning comedian and author.
He has published articles on a wide array of topics such as mathematical modeling and organizational excellence.
He is a student of the human mind, human nature, science and spirituality.
To find out more about Dr. Ranade, visit www.mirthmystic.com.
E-mail your comments and feedback to him at [email protected]