A young man needs to enter life equipped for rough weather. However much of calm may prevail on land, it usually blows out at sea. The most serious question the novitiate can ask of himself is how he is going to keep from being a castaway. I am not using that term with any reference to his being lost hereafter, but with reference to his being wrecked here. I am not preaching, but only stating a commonplace, when I say that a man who submits to the current always goes down-stream. Nobody ever drifts upstream. Running water never stops till it gets to the bottom, unless something dams it. Likewise, a drifting boat never stops till it reaches the sea, unless it founders, runs aground, or drops anchor. A considerable part of a young man’s preliminary interest will, therefore, need to concern itself with anchorages. If he lived in a world where everything was fixed, and if his life brought him into no connection with drafts and currents, then he would have only to remain languidly and unconcernedly where he is, sublimely reliant upon his own vis inertice. On the contrary, everything is afloat. We are all loaded with responsiveness and harnessed up with gravitations. Everything is magnetic needle, and everything else magnetic pole endlessly plucking at that needle. Life without this arrangement would be death, but life with it is all the time on the edge of disaster and continually getting over the edge. If we could decide that certain currents should produce no pressure upon us, and if, then, result would wait on our decision, the problem would be freed from a good many of its uncomfortable elements. But the captain at sea has to take things just as they come. Deciding not to have his boat retarded by the Gulf Stream when he is coming down the coast does not expedite him, nor does a decision not to be obstructed by the northeast wind when he is sailing up the coast. And resolutions on land are just as useless as they are at sea. Resolution is facing in a certain direction, but it is not getting there, and does not necessarily imply any ability to get there.” – Charles H. Parkhurst

A great deal of emphasis in our era has been placed on the matter of intention. Set an intention, the theory goes, and it will manifest in short order. I contend that intention, or “resolution” as Parkhurst called it over a century ago, is an important part of moving forward in life, but it is really only the beginning of the matter.

When you set an intention, you finally come to the point in yourself where mind and heart are in agreement about a new direction. Setting an intention requires that you relinquish all internal conflict in relation to a desired outcome, which essentially sets the stage for the power of your emotional realm to come into the service of your rational mind.

You needn’t be conversant in Christian theology to understand that a house divided against itself will fall. If timing is everything, agreement sets the stage for the various components of timing – visible, invisible, temporal, eternal – to work out in due process. Your heart and mind must be in agreement if you are to do anything of import during your brief time on earth.

More on this point tomorrow…

6 thoughts on “Resolution

  1. Zach

    That quote, and your post, has a message that really does not get out much. Having been out of the educational system for a few years now, I am seeing that the attitudes that one has upon exiting that cloistered system is sometimes met with the shock of seeing how the world really functions. There are many people that think because they have worked hard and trained to do something that they will be able to find someone who will pay them to do that thing. That is not always the case.
    To use the nautical example, someone who has the wind at their back and someone who has had to tack the whole way to their destination still got to the same place at the end.


  2. Very interesting consideration. I appreciate the quotation and your words they are definitely thought provoking. I took note of the words,”Setting an intention requires that you relinquish all internal conflict in relation to a desired outcome,” Makes me think how important it is to discern our intentions that our hearts and minds would naturally love to fulfill.


  3. Lady Leo

    What a great quote! I loved the explanation and your commentary. I’ve felt intention of late had become like wishes. My grandmother used to say “If wishes were horses beggars would ride.” I think setting a true intention implies rather like an oath. To have any meaning it has to affect our inclination, will require action and effort.


  4. Ricardo B.

    Enjoyed the full post here. In other words, you have to be unified in your intention.

    Indeed, oftentimes the current use of intent displays only a surface resolve, where the person just thinks about what it is that is desired. There’s simply no weight there, no power unless the full brunt of our emotional strength unifies with the intellect. True resolve, which will carry one through adversity, needs mass. Shifting conditions are to be expected, and the harder something is or will be or has been to accomplish, the more resolve it is going to take to work through it.

    There’s no use wasting precious heart energy bemoaning a strong gale; let resolve not be squandered to find yourself at circumstance’s mercy. No doubt you’ve got to make up your mind all the time, but how is that heart coming along?


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