An Insider's Guide to the
Perceptual Revolution
Interest and Opposition
Logical Impossibility
Empowering Delusions?
Magical Binding

   In contemplative practice, I have found that there are four major stages I go through when consciously directing my Intent.  I've offered a quick summary these, as pointers for other people exploring this area of the human potential.  This section may come off as a bit esoteric to some readers, because it is geared to folks who have spent a fair amount of time learning about focused intention (also, I must admit that it could use a major rewrite).  If you're new to the subject matter, you might want to start with a primer like The Secret, The Tenth Insight, or The Seat of the Soul for the nuts and bolts before tackling the heavy math.

Stages of Manifestation

1. Visualization

  • Before you do anything, formulate a core directive for the Intent—the basic purpose upon which everything else is built.  Without a clear directive, putting Intent out into the universe is like trying to cram a circular peg into a square-shaped hole.  Projections which lack a central focus are fragmented, a swarm of attributes rather than a coherent force.

  • Center yourself, wrapping your attention around this core directive.  Focus on it from every angle, using your imagination to visualize what it would be like for that to come to fruition.  Clear your mind of extraneous thought processes that don't directly relate to what you are trying to visualize,

  • Engage your intuition to determine if the targeted directives seem viable

  • Shape your thoughts and feelings into a core directive, being especially attentive to interference from competing motivations originating in other aspects of your identity.

2. Infusion

  • Summon Creative Power from your potential, and direct it toward your projection--the pattern of Intent which you seek to manifest.

  • Extend your inner focus toward feelings, ideas and imagery from your psyche which relate to the target projection, linking the new pattern to your broader cycles of manifestation.

  • Direct the transmutation of creative power from a fluid form (unused capacity for Intent) to a fixed one (the targeted projection).

3. Binding

  •  Once the creative power is distributed evenly throughout the visualized content, use your Intent to freeze it in place, generating a circle of binding.

  •  Impart the force of binding to every nuance of the visualized directives, while screening out other content that crosses tangential lines enough to get wrapped up in the projection. 

  • Powerful bindings can be even more difficult to unmake, so at this phase, pay careful attention to how you have arranged the different elements of your Intent.

4. Closure

  • As the binding phase comes to an end, close the Circle by pushing the new patterns of Intent out of your mind’s immediate focus. 

  • The simplest way to shift your attention is to find ways to "surprise" yourself out of the psychic connection to your new Projection.  Jarring your attention from its current focus leaves a projection of Intent perfectly preserved in the form it had at the peak of the binding.  Any thought or activity that hurtles your conscious mind into a radically different way of thinking, feeling, or behaving will do the trick. 

The Importance of Closure

  It is absolutely vital that you close a Circle of Invocation immediately after you have passed through the four phases.  Waiting for intent to settle is not unlike waiting for paint to dry: too much contact directly afterward undoes all of the hard work you just put into it.  If you feel a sense of curiosity, anxiety, or fear about an invocation, be careful of where these feelings lead your awareness, for lingering concern keeps a channel open between the conscious mind and the Intent.  When this occurs, the circle of invocation is not fully closed.  This rapport may seem like harmless reflection, but by indulging it, you can unwittingly alter the Intent’s directives or dilute its potency. 

  If you keep a Circle open past your point of greatest clarity and purpose, your wandering thoughts may trickle into the still-open circle of invocation, “polluting” the original projection with contradictory input and psychic static.  As the Intent projection assimilates this myriad of competing and tangential directives, its force and direction become so polluted that it makes more sense to re-invoke, unbind, and go back to the drawing board.   Unwittingly leaving a Circle open can also make your creative potential fair game for unconscious layers of your psyche, giving undue power to thought processes that you might not have been so eager to manifest in new ways.  Projecting an invocation is the final closure to the process, a way of first checking over the projection to make sure it will suffice, then pushing it out of our minds to sever the link.  This goes for each of the beliefs, purposes, or inner processes that you have chosen to emphasize in a session; I recommend separating a manifestation session into bite-sized morsels over trying to fit your whole wish list into one humungous Circle of Invocation.

If you feel any doubt after sending out a projection of Intent, this may be a signal that something went a bit awry.  Such guidance doesn’t arise from the ego, but from layers of the unconscious with a better grasp of existential needs.  In that case, keep the circle open long enough to gently re-engage your projection and make sure it’s what you thought you "ordered."   The problem area may be a minor detail of the Projection that needs to be recalled for repairs—but then again, you may some across a more seriously flaw, such as finding that a harmful ego-fixation leaked out of your psyche and into the energy stream as you were invoking.  In more extreme cases, the whole projection may need to be unmade, in which case the "wet paint" effect works to one’s advantage; like a recent thought process, recently bound Intent is easier to rework than it will ever be in the future.  For the same reason, you may want to give a generous grace period before re-engaging the pattern of Intent that you have crafted. 

Clarifying Directives

The power of one’s Intent depends on three main properties of awareness: clarity, focus, and emotion.  Each of these qualities is dependent on the others, though people can choose to develop any single quality and neglect the others.    The first element, clarity, determines how adequately you construct a blueprint for the total algorithm.  In assessing your inner clarity before invoking Intent to bind a projection, you might want to ask yourself, "have I hit all the major points that I wanted?"  If clarity suffers, the resulting projection emulates not just the directives you had planned, but extra content from other thought processes that were running through your mind at the time.   

To prepare for this stage of consciously Intending, cultivate a mood of modesty and simplicity, free from extraneous worries.  A certain amount of visualization can help in focusing, but adding gratuitous details to your vision can limit your Intent's applicability. In other words, being overly specific about what you want to manifest can severely reduce the odds that your natural magic will manbage to fufill your directives.  Overly grandiose visualizations simply asking more of reality than it can reasonably accomodate.  In defining the parameters of our Intent, there is always some trade-off between versatility and effectiveness.  Greater specificity and complexity produce Intent with a "tailor-made" feel, but a more open-ended purpose gives a projection more leeway in how it influences our lives.   

Clarity determines how well you envision all of the attributes that you seek to bind together with Intent.  Focus is a matter of staying centered on the object of your awareness.  Emotion is the amalgam of feelings that predominate in your field of conscious awareness at the time of the invocation.    Clarity depends many factors.  Our level of energy, determination, or more obvious things like whether we have had enough sleep, all influence this property of consciousness.  When we clearly grasp the thoughts and feelings associated with a purpose, the resultant Intent is more likely to emulate that aim.  If we seek to consciously Intend something but our attention continually wanders to other things, we run the risk of bringing those objects of our focus into the circle as well.  Focus is intimately tied to the binding force which locks patterns of Intent into stationary configurations.  This helps to explain something that many occult practitioners already know: that  conscious Intent's power depends greatly on how well we can divest attention from our usual preoccupations and focus it on a single object.  The flipside of this is that when we are too scattered in focus, we can bring tangential goals and beliefs into the circle of invocation, which then become part of the Intent as we bind into in a lasting form.    The word clarity describes a property of the mental world, but thoughts and emotions are closely intertwined.  Inspiration, joy, or sometimes even anger, can open the way to greater clarity, while self-pity, anxiousness, frustration and arrogance are formidable obstacles to the same goal.  The latter three feelings create dissonance in our mental processes, disrupting our focus much as a strong electrical field might interfere with a radio signal.  A critical factor in exploring the power of manifestation is that we become aware of how emotions affect what we Intend.  Feelings are always at the root of Intent, for they arise from its basic power source, which I might call the soul or spirit if not for these terms being thoroughly saturated with dogmatic associations.  This gives them the greatest influence on both the intensity and accuracy of each projection.  This applies to unconscious projections as well as those that we deliberately produce.  If we are not fully conscious of what we feel, Intent’s impact can be far from what we had envisioned. 

Emotional Catalysts

  Four categories of emotional states act as the strongest fuel for Intent: expectation, fear, desire, and higher purpose.  Respectively, people attract experiences through:

  • Expectation: Fixating on a feeling of conviction, or in mor mild cases a suspicion, that a particular series of events will come to pass.

  • Fear: Fixating on what we wish not to happen, either Intending to avoid those things or preemptively retaliate against them.

  • Craving: Attracting that which provides us with comfort or pleasure.

  • Altruism: shaping our life goals according to the values of service, driven by the emotion of compassion.  The list is wide-ranging and includes the forces driving people to inspire others, share joy, create works of beauty, or advocate for for peace.

  By no means is this a cpmpete list of the emotional catalysts for people's intent, but these are some of the most powerful agents of manifestation.  The same could be said of non-metaphysical, garden-variety motivation ("intent" without the capital I). 

Emotions determine the character—and thus, largely affect the outcome—of a conscious projection.  When we are feeling happy, for instance, we may not be able to focus our Intent with as much clarity, but the exuberance that we project will attract experiences that are joyful and satisfying.  If we are full of contempt or anger, on the other hand, we may find it easy to fixate our power on an object (another person, for example), but the consciousness behind that Intent will be narrow, and the effects will be counterproductive for all concerned. 

Certain emotional states are ideal for directing Intent toward a certain outcome.  I referred to these earlier as the "higher," or expansive, emotional states: compassion, courage, and joyful humility are just a few examples.  Centering oneself in these unitive feelings lends itself to the expansiveness and clarity needed to responsibly direct Intent.  When people nurture unitive emotions, their Intent expresses the wisest and most benevolent facets of their identity, self-aspects which seek to soothe discord and heal internal rifts.    Emotions that obstruct clarity of Intent always mirror inner conflicts.  A few examples of basic "lower" emotions are despair, shame, blame, contempt, pity, and malice.  Recall that some emotions are not regressive by nature, but can be difficult to distinguish from their lower-emotional corollaries.  Self-pity, for instance, isn’t always synonymous with sadness. People commonly mistake pity for compassion, pride for courage, or dominion for strength.  All of these are devices that the ego uses to trying to run the show. 

Another example is the duality of shame and remorse.  When you have hurt someone’s feelings, remorse might urge you to be more mindful of your effect on others.  Cultivating shame as a kind of penance for affecting the other person could actually detract from this new sense of focus.  Remorse is born of sensitivity.  Shame is a narcissistic perversion of this feeling; it causes us to believe in the worst of ourselves in a way that almost resembles worship.  Mistakes, shame tells us, are demon assailants that can only be fought with fear and self-abnegation.  Shame implicitly communicates a belief that a given mistake is your true nature and your ultimate fate.  The vicious cycles instilled by this vaunted emotion deplete our vital energy to the point where personal change becomes a grueling process.    The emotional state that we are centered in when we invoke intent has the strongest bearing on the projection's strength and impact.  Whereas mental concepts shape the

form of the invocation, the emotions behind an image determine its substance.  If we feel at peace while focusing our Intent, life seems to flow in more peaceful directions in turn.  When we feel angry, we seem to attract events of a confrontational nature.  If we feel afraid, our fears find us as if drawn to a magnet.  Some of these perceptions are purely a matter of romanticizing different perspectives.  Framed in terms of Intent, however, there is an actual relationship of causality at work here, in which the events in our lives seem to directly respond to our expectations, wishes and fears. 

Sabotage from Within

  Of all the major archetypes, the ego is currently one of the most powerful "players" in the body politic of the collective unconscious.  Aspects of the Materialist worldview impel us to structure our awareness such that the ego commands a great deal of our total Intent.  To take this power out of the ego's hands, we must rechannel its underlying energy toward "higher," more generative pursuits.  One way to accomplish this is to identify fixed patterns of intent and change their motivating force—from lower emotions such as apathy, fear, anger, and self pity to higher-emotional goals which center around synthesis, expansiveness and balance. 

  The ego is notorious for building strongholds of control in our lives, and Intent is no exception.  The ego insinuates its essence into an Intent projection by stimulating lower emotions—the same strategy it uses to interrupt thought processes uninvited.  Lower emotions are its domain, and it has strategies to impart them to our Intent.  Even when we are relatively vigilant, it can contribute to a projection when all that we perceive are unitive traits such as peace and mindfulness.  We invite such distortions when we confuse higher-emotional energies with their "lower" counterparts.  When it cannot fully "win" control over the self-image, it may try to mask lower emotions by attaching them to more sublime feelings, producing Intent with progressive underpinnings but a distorted sense of purpose. 

  Much of the Intent that people direct toward attracting future timelines takes place below their conscious recognition.  Innumerable hopes, fears, expectations and other prognostications for the future are active in our minds even though we are not aware of them.  For instance, if a person is interested in acquiring money, she will unconsciously Intend to get money even when she is not thinking about it.  If she harbors fears about losing money, these will counteract any intent that she directs toward the desired outcome.  Other unconscious activity, such as not feeling that she deserves more than a certain amount of money, can also affect the outcome.


  Any attempt to shape one's creative power into a pattern of Intent will go awry if one’s emotional state is pervaded by anxiety, despair, or self-abnegation.  At best, these feelings virtually negate an invocation’s potential effectiveness; at worst, they manifest counterproductive outcomes which revolve around futility, defeat and victimization. 

  One of the easiest ways to suspend doubt is to cultivate a sense of callousness, but this gives the ego more control over the process than many people would like.  A self-righteous attitude is not conducive to performing such a delicate operation from a place of mindfulness and inner calm (or any operation, for that matter).  It revolves around strictly "better-than" perspectives: competitive judgments of personal worth in which the most significant events are battles with a clearly defined winner and loser.  Condemnations bring a presence of conflict into a projection, and the subsequent manifestation will reflect this state of imbalance. 

  Self-righteousness is closely linked to expectations.  Doubt subsides when we expect life to reveal itself as exactly what we believed in the first place.  When life turns out otherwise, we become sad, frustrated, or angry.  If we did not expect ourselves to be totally correct, or expect our plans to go exactly as we had anticipated, or expect other people to act the way we think they should, we would not be disappointed when things went in another direction.

  Desire, or craving, is also instrumental to the effectiveness of conscious Intent.  Wishing for something to happen goes hand in hand with a score of associated fears.  Setting our sights on something, it is logical to question whether we will be left more uncertain and discontented if we don't get what we wanted.  This fear has an effect similar to doubt: it counteracts any positive Intent that arises from feelings such as hope and determination.  When we focus on an outcome that we would prefer, without setting up an expectation to receive it, we do not express the fear and disappointment that would have ultimately worked against our goals.  Strange as it may sound, the best way to increase the likelihood of an outcome is to purposely not care how it pans out. 

  Another "don't" is projecting overly exact or obsessive expectations about how things should end up as a result of our Intent.  This sends out a message to the Universe that "I will not be satisfied unless I get exactly this and that."  The more criteria we affix to our Intent, the more restrictions it will have to obey.  Relatively "generic" or open-ended outcomes are more probable than highly specific ones, so clarifying what you don't need increases the likelihood of getting what you want.  Being overly exact can also distract people from the essence of what they want to accomplish.  The key is to Intend that our most basic purpose be fulfilled, without preconceptions about how it should happen.  

Inoculating Negative Projections

  Central to knowledge of Intent is the acquired skill of insulating our internal workings when needed.  There are times in people’s lives when inner conflicts are so pronounced that the best thing they can do is to "turn down the volume" on their Intent.  To accomplish this, you must disengage internal conflicts from the energy of invocation.  Even when we aren’t focused on our Intent, we infuse this power into inner patterns so that they manifest in the outer world. 

  Everyone has the ability to create a "neutral zone" in themselves where they can play out unresolved ideas and emotions without sending those energies out into the broader Field of Intent.  This inner space acts as an echo chamber, with the imagination replacing the outside world as the object of manifestation.  With such a comfort zone established, we can process inner conflicts at a comfortable pace without having them reflected back at us as unwanted experiences. 

  Extreme states of despair can lead us to unconsciously manifest more of the same.  This can lead to a vicious cycle in which life seems to confirm our deepest fears and anxieties, which just causes us to focus on them and manifest even greater discord.  At the far extreme of this cycle, people enter into a devastating sense of pessimism: nothing seems meaningful or fair, they are plagued with thoughts worthlessness, and life seems like an endless string of bad luck.  Close relationships lapse into dysfunction a person loses sight of how to take life in a more positive direction. 

  Extreme despair induces a single-minded fixation on restrictive ideas.  Although the emotion itself consumes huge amounts of vital energy, it also narrows people’s awareness so much that they have the focus to generate immensely powerful projections.  Focus is great to develop, but when it is ruled by despair it only reinforces our most cynical views of the world. 

  After a period of strong discordant emotions, it is important to review what we have experienced (difficult though it may be) and re-engage Intent that we sent out over that period.  When we try to move past these lingering projections by repressing them, there will be serious repercussions for our identity and life path, which may continue to plague us long after we tell ourselves that the worst is over. 

  The emotion of anger has an equally powerful capacity to generate discord and destruction when Projected as Intent.  To reiterate an earlier point, anger is not inherently "bad;" it actually serves a necessary function in preserving each person’s physical end emotional well-being.  Anger is an impulse meant to inform us that what is happening is wrong or unfair.  Becoming angry usually causes far less harm than what people do after they feel this initial emotional impulse.  The real damage occurs when people fixate on their anger to the point of overlooking the reason that they initially felt it. 

  Fixating on anger can lead us to shape and mold this emotional energy, giving it a life of its own until it becomes a different entity—such as malice, scorn, or vengefulness.  These mutated stages of anger result in some of the most harmful Intent a person could manifest.  If you find that you are in the grips of one of these feelings, and cannot break free of it (or just don’t know how), you can at least minimize the effect of the toxic state by limiting the amplitude of your Intent.  One way to do this might be to imagine that you are surrounded by an invisible energy field and that your anger—and its mutant progeny—stay within these boundaries and do not bear on anything but yourself. 

  The picture changes when you are angry at another person.  If you must engage the other person in such a state—by your choice or theirs—the stakes are different, because you are no longer just responsible for yourself.  It is commonly understood that people are free to inflict whatever (psychological) harm on themselves that they choose, but that this does not apply to others, who have an inborn right to some measure of well-being.  With this in mind, when people try to deal with their anger together, there is a greater responsibility to do it right, and less leeway to indulge themselves.  Another factor to consider is that when we choose not to deal with our inner world in the best possible way, we can go back and do things right whenever we choose.  When we put off dealing with other people, however, the effects on our relationship with them can have harsh consequences that we cannot predict or control.  This applies to inflicting others with antagonistic Projections in much the same way as it would to brooding or lashing out. 

  If people don’t learn how to properly inoculate areas of inner discord, unconscious aspects of them which are full of discord will run roughshod over their most refined hopes and ideals.  When your perspective is heavily dominated by lower emotions.  Those who don’t how to buffer the force of their Intent, and end up causing undue harm to themselves or others for lack of this knowledge.  Those who have learned to restraining their outward projections when overwhelmed by despair or anger have a great asset in maintaining balance in their lives.  This understanding imparts an added responsibility to all of the relationships in our lives.

Next: Critical Mass


© 1999, 2003 by Lucius R. Ringwald.  All rights reserved.