Intention / Action / Perception

Awww... I have been wanting to write about the interrelatedness of these three "tions" for months now, and am now finally taking a stab at it. I do not even know how to properly open the topic, so I will just dive in and see if a rewrite might be necessary.

Many are familiar with this fabulous quote from Mahatma Gandhi:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

But beyond intention and action there is something outside of our own control, and that is perception. I imagine a three-way scale with a balance for intention, another for action, and a third for perception. Which would carry the heaviest weight? It really depends a great deal on how it is considered, and by whom.

For example, a small child has a grand intention to create a lovely piece of art for his mother. He takes the action of placing crayon to paper and comes up with a rendering and presents it to his mother in hopes that she will perceive it to be glorious. In the best-case scenario, she will express her delight and place it on the refrigerator for all to admire, and there we have a nice balance of intention, action, and perception.

But let's begin again with the first two, intention and action, and move that perception to, say an older sibling who empirically takes in the rendering and expresses aloud their perception of it," Is that supposed to be a tree? It looks more like a scribble!" Now the child has several choices to consider including becoming offended and defending his piece of art and not taking to heart the unpleasant remark of his sibling, and presenting his drawing to mother as originally intended. Or, because he may perceive his older sibling to be wiser, he may take the criticism to heart and tear the drawing apart and never give mother a fleeting chance to have a look, put the crayons away and find something else to occupy his time. But does the drawing become a scribble when it is perceived that way? Does it remain a tree as it was originally intended? Conversely, the child may intend just to draw because he wants to draw- not really considering any other's perception than his own.

Which point of our three part balance will outweigh the other two- intention, action or perception? Some will argue that the main thing that matters is that the good intention was there to begin with. But though this is meaningful, if the original intention included a desired perception of the action, and that was not the outcome, is the intention still more important than the perception? Others will profess that it is not so much the intention, but the actual action which is taken that bears the most importance. After all what good does the intention to cook dinner do without a corresponding action thus circumventing any perception whatsoever? In this case- I would say that the action point of the balance would surely outweigh the other two of intention and perception.

Now let's consider action without intention but still resulting in a perception. I'm trying to conjure a good example of this but am drawing a bit of a blank. Perhaps a bored musician ( who believes they are alone ) is simply strumming his guitar with no intention to play a familiar song, just strumming to fill the time. Unbeknownst to him, his sister is in the other room folding clothes, and she perceives the music to be beautiful, and expresses this to the bewildered musician. Now which point of the balance bears the most weight? The action for without it there would be no perception? I do not know. Had the music not been perceived, would it still have been beautiful? If a tree falls in the forest...?

Can we really have an action without an intention as a sentient being? Well, that might depend upon what state of mind we are in. It seems that after too many beers, actions can be taken that most certainly were not intended resulting in perceptions of the most unpleasant kind. Do we intend to take every breath we take- or do we just do it without intention or perception? If we did not take the action of breathing for a stretch, we would most certainly intend to- for example while swimming underwater, we must surface for air.

So we have contemplated intention with action and perception. We have considered intention with action but without perception ( at least from an outside source ). We have considered intention without action and thus no perception. We have considered action without intention but with perception, and action without intention and without perception. So of the three, two can stand alone, intention and action, but perception is always tied to action, and action is usually but perhaps not always tied to intention. But perception is always tied to action, whether or not it was intended.

But which is most important? Or can one be more important than the other? I think it is an ever-shifting circumstance with an ever changing result. So long as the perception is close to the truth of the action, we are in good shape. Take for example a beautiful ring. If we perceive it to be genuine diamond, we might be willing to pay far more for it than if we were advised that it was not a diamond but rather a cubic zirconium. Does this change its beauty? Its value? Or just our action? Our perceptions can lead to more intentions and more actions and more perceptions and on and on it goes. If actions match intentions, and perceptions are properly aligned with actions we have harmony- even if it is unpleasant- it is at least somewhat balanced. But if actions do not match intentions, or perceptions do not match actions, this can result in grand misconceptions and mayhem. So how can we reduce the negative outcome and induce the positive one? We can either proclaim our intentions and actions with the hope that they will be properly perceived and received. Or else we can act upon our intentions and accept the perceptions even if they are different from what we intended, and we can see which directions the roots will grow. This is the mystery of life.




2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
1 (12-oz) bottle ale such as Bass
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb extra-sharp Cheddar (preferably English; rind removed if necessary), grated (4 cups)
4 bacon slices (3 1/2 oz total), cooked and crumbled


Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water, agitating water, then lift out leeks and drain in a colander.
Cook leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, and bay leaf in butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderately low and sprinkle flour over vegetables, then cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add milk, broth, and beer in a stream, whisking, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Add cheese by handfuls, stirring constantly, and cook until cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes (do not boil). Discard bay leaf.
Serve sprinkled with bacon.

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More Chan Aphorisims:

Deer should not toy with tiger. (The Golden Eye)

Desert present many mysteries. (The Golden Eye)

Desert without Indians very safe. (Castle in the Desert)

Desire for ocean adventure is ailment very much like hives - give itch to many boys. (Dead Men Tell)

Desire to live still strongest instinct in man. (Murder Over New York)

Detective cannot work miracle. (Charlie Chan in London)

Detective sometime summoned to witness crime. (Castle in the Desert)

Detective without curiosity is like glass eye at keyhole - no good. (Charlie Chan in the Secret Service)

Disloyalty of husband sometime ample provocation for revenge. (Charlie Chan at the Opera)

Distance no hindrance to fond thoughts. (Charlie Chan in Shanghai)

Dividing line between folly and wisdom very faint in dark tomb. (Charlie Chan in Panama)

Dog cannot chase three rabbits at same time. (The Chinese Cat)

Do not challenge supernatural unless armed with sword of truth. (Charlie Chan at Treasure Island)

Do not need brass band to commit simple burglary. (Charlie Chan at Treasure Island)

Do not tangle foot in fringe of murder. (Charlie Chan's Chance)

Do not wave stick when trying to catch dog. (Charlie Chan's Chance)

Door of opportunity swing both ways. (Murder Over New York)

Dreams, like good liars, distort facts. (Charlie Chan in Shanghai)

Drop of plain water on thirsty tongue more precious than gold in purse. (Charlie Chan in Egypt)

Each country's dance most beautiful dance in that particular country. (Dangerous Money)

"Each man thinks his own cuckoos better than next man's nightingales." (Charlie Chan Carries On)

Easy to criticize, more difficult to be correct. (Charlie Chan at the Race Track)

Elaborate excuse seldom truth. (Castle in the Desert)

Empty as Robin's nest in January. (Charlie Chan's Greatest Case)

Empty gun only kill guilty man. (Charlie Chan's Greatest Case)

Enemy who misses mark, like serpent, must coil to strike again. (Charlie Chan at the Circus)

Englishmen mind own business, not always Chinamen. (Charlie Chan in London)

Envelope, like skin of banana, must be removed to digest contents. (Charlie Chan at the Olympics)

Even bagpipe will not speak when stomach is empty. (The Black Camel)

Even detective sometimes fall in love...quite often with suspect in murder case. (The Red Dragon)

Even draperies may have ears. (Charlie Chan at Treasure Island)

Even if name signed one million times, no two signatures ever exactly alike. (Charlie Chan at the Circus)

Even melon grown in shade will ripen in the end. (Docks of New Orleans)

Even wise fly sometimes mistake spider web for old man's whiskers. (Charlie Chan's Chance)

Even wisest man sometimes mistake bumblebee for blackberry. (The Black Camel)

Every bird seek its own tree, never tree the bird. (Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum)

Every detail most important where murder concerned. (Charlie Chan in Egypt)

Every fence have two sides. (Charlie Chan's Greatest Case)

Every front has back. (Charlie Chan in London)

Every man must wear out at least one pair of fool shoes. (Charlie Chan Carries On)

Every maybe has a wife called Maybe-Not. (Charlie Chan Carries On)

Everything grow rapidly in Hawaii. (Charlie Chan in the Secret Service)

Executioner merely servant of law. (Castle in the Desert)

Experience comes with ripe years. (Charlie Chan's Courage)

Experience teach, unless eyewitness present, every murder case is long shot. (Charlie Chan in Rio)

Expert is merely man who make quick decision - and is sometimes right. (The Chinese Cat)

Eye easily deceived. Same leopard can hide beneath different spots. (Murder Over New York)

Eyes of kitten open only after nine days. (Charlie Chan in Paris)

Faces may alter, but fingerprint never lie. (Murder Over New York)

Facts and motives lead to murderer. (Charlie Chan's Greatest Case)

Facts like photographic film - must be exposed before developing. (Charlie Chan at the Circus)

Faith is best foundation for happy future. (Charlie Chan in Paris)

Father who depends on son is happy or foolish according to son. (Charlie Chan at Treasure Island)

Favorite pastime of man is fooling himself. (Charlie Chan at Treasure Island)

Fear is cruel padlock. (Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum)

Fear of future is wrong for young people in love. (The Chinese Cat)

Features familiar as markings on bad penny. (Charlie Chan in Panama)

Finding web of spider does not prove which spider spin web. (Charlie Chan's Secret)

Fingerprints very valuable if detective can catch owner of fingers. (Charlie Chan's Secret)

Fish in sea like flea on dog - always present, but difficult to catch. (Charlie Chan at the Olympics)

Foolish to seek fortune when real treasure hiding under nose. (Charlie Chan at the Race Track)

Free ticket to circus like gold ring on merry-go-round - make enjoyment double. (Charlie Chan at the Circus)

Fresh weed better than wilted rose. (Murder Over New York)

Friends, like fiddle strings, should not be stretched too tight. (Charlie Chan's Chance)

Frightened bird very difficult to catch. (Charlie Chan at the Circus)

Front seldom tell truth. To know occupants of house, always look in back yard. (Charlie Chan in London)

Fruits of labor sometimes very bitter. (Charlie Chan in Rio)

Glamour boy who jump to conclusion sometimes get hair mussed. (Castle in the Desert)

Good detective always look for something unusual. (The Red Dragon)

Good detective never ask "what" and "why" until after he's seen. (Charlie Chan in Paris)

Good fishermen, like good merchant, know lure of bright colors. (Charlie Chan at the Olympics)

Good head always gets own new hat. (Charlie Chan's Chance)

Good hunter never break twig under foot. (Dangerous Money)

Good hunter never warn tiger of trap. (Charlie Chan at the Olympics)

Good kitchens kill more men than sharp sword. (Charlie Chan's Chance)

Good tools shorten labor. (Charlie Chan at the Circus)

Good wife best household furniture. (Charlie Chan Carries On, Charlie Chan at the Race Track)

Goods returned - crime prevented. (Shadows Over Chinatown)

Grain of sand in eye may hide mountain. (Charlie Chan in Paris)

"Great happiness follows great pain." (Charlie Chan at Treasure Island)

Greetings at the end of journey like refreshing rain after long drought. (Charlie Chan's Secret)

Guilty conscience like dog in circus - many tricks. (Castle in the Desert)

Guilty conscience only enemy to peaceful rest. (Charlie Chan at the Circus)

Guilty mind sometimes pinch worse than ancient boot of torture. (Dangerous Money)

Gun does not belong with innocent face. (The Chinese Ring)

Habit of being sometimes invisible very useful. (Charlie Chan in London)

Happy solution never see light if truth kept in dark. (Murder Over New York)

Hardly worth exhibiting puzzle until more pieces fit together. (The Shanghai Chest)

Hastily accuse - leisurely repent. (Charlie Chan's Greatest Case)

Next Post date: November 4, 2013

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October, 2013

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Charlie Chan Aphorisms:

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Absence of proof open cell door. (Charlie Chan in Panama)

Accidents can happen, if planned that way. (Dark Alibi)

Action speak louder than French. (Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo)

Admitting failure like drinking bitter tea. (Charlie Chan in Egypt)

A fool and his money never become old acquaintances. (Charlie Chan's Chance)

After dinner is over, who cares about spoon? (Docks of New Orleans)

After wedding bells, prefer no phone bells. (Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise)

Alas, mouse cannot cast shadow like elephant. (The Black Camel)

Alibi have habit of disappearing like hole in water. (The Black Camel)

All cards should repose on table when personal liberty at stake. (Docks of New Orleans)

All forgotten, like last year's bird's nest. (Charlie Chan at the Race Track)

All foxes come at last to fur store. (The Black Camel)

Always happens - when conscience tries to speak, telephone out of order. (The Black Camel)

Ancient ancestor once say, "As mind is fed with silent thought, so should body absorb its food." (Charlie Chan in Honolulu)

Ancient ancestor once say, "Even wise man cannot fathom depth of woman's smile." (The Shanghai Cobra)

Ancient ancestor once say, "Words cannot cook rice." (Charlie Chan in Reno)

Ancient Chinese philosopher say, "Hope is sunshine which illuminate darkest path." (Charlie Chan at the Olympics)

Ancient proverb say. "Never bait trap with wolf to catch wolf." (Shadows Over Chinatown)

Ancient proverb say, "One small wind can raise much dust." (Dark Alibi)

Anxious man hurries too fast and stubs big toe. (Charlie Chan's Courage)

A soft word does not scratch the tongue. (Charlie Chan's Greatest Case)

Assistants should be seen, not heard. (The Red Dragon)

Authors sometimes take strange liberties. (The Chinese Cat)

A woman not made for heavy thinking, but should always decorate scene like blossom of plum. (The Chinese Ring)

Bad alibi like dead fish - cannot stand test of time. (Charlie Chan in Panama)

Bad men leave marks wherever they go. (Dark Alibi)

Bait only good if fish bite on same. (Charlie Chan in Honolulu)

Beauty of poppy conceal sting of death. (Charlie Chan in Shanghai)

Begin at best place - beginning. (Charlie Chan in London)

Best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go a little bit haywire. (The Trap)

Best place for skeleton is in family closet. (Charlie Chan's Secret)

Better a father lose his son than a detective his memory. (Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise)

Better for Oriental to lose life than to lose face. (Charlie Chan at the Olympics)

Better ten times a victim than let one man go hungry. (Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise)

Best to slip with foot than with tongue. (Charlie Chan at the Circus)

Biggest mistakes in history made by people who didn't think. (Charlie Chan in Rio)

Biggest mysteries are not always crimes. (1935 Pennsylvania Referendum Message)

Big head is only good place for very large headache. (Charlie Chan Carries On)

Bills sometimes more difficult to collect than murder clues. (Charlie Chan in Honolulu)

Birds never divide worm until safe in nest. (City in Darkness City in Darkness)

Blind man feels ahead with cane before proceeding. (Charlie Chan's Courage)

Blond hair can be obtained from a bottle - or wigmaker. (Shadows Over Chinatown)

Boy Scout knife, like ladies' hairpin, have many uses. (Charlie Chan's Secret)

British tenacity with Chinese patience like royal flush in poker game - unbeatable. (Murder Over New York)

Buildings can be altered without altering plans. (The Shanghai Cobra)

Bull in china shop is gentle creature compared to detective who make pass at man wearing glasses. (The Chinese Cat)

Business conversation at table very bad for digestion. (Shadows Over Chinatown)

Busy as one-eyed cat watching six mouse holes. (Charlie Chan's Chance)

Canary bird out of cage may fly far. (Charlie Chan in Paris)

Canary, unlike faithful dog, do not die for sympathy. (Murder Over New York)

Can cut off monkey's tail, but he is still monkey. (The Black Camel)

Can fallen fruit return to branch? (Docks of New Orleans)

Cannot read printing in new book until pages cut. (Charlie Chan in Egypt)

Cannot see contents of nut until shell is cracked. (Charlie Chan in Paris)

Cannot sell bearskin before shooting bear. (The Shanghai Cobra)

Cannot tell where path lead until reach end of road. (Charlie Chan at the Circus)

Carrying gun very dangerous pastime, sometimes cause great tragedies. (The Sky Dragon)

Car with new sparkplug like flea on puppy dog - make both most active. (Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo)

Cat is like rich man's heir - never dies out of sympathy. (Charlie Chan's Chance)

Cat who tries to catch two mice at one time, goes without supper. (Charlie Chan's Greatest Case)

Caution sometimes mother of suspicion. (Castle in the Desert)

Caution very good life insurance. (Charlie Chan in Honolulu)

Charlie Chan always interested in seeing that innocent do not carry burden of guilty. (The Sky Dragon)

Charming company turn lowly sandwich into rich banquet. (Charlie Chan in Reno)

Chef who cooks with gunpowder make quick fire. (Charlie Chan's Chance)

Chinese people interested in all things psychic. (Charlie Chan's Secret)

Chinese funny people; when say "go," mean "go." (Docks of New Orleans)

Circus performer like detective - must be Johnny-of-many-trades. (Charlie Chan at the Circus)

Coincidence like ancient egg - leave unpleasant odor. (Murder Over New York)

Cold-blooded murder no joke. (Charlie Chan at the Race Track)

Cold omelet, like fish out of sea, does not improve with age. (Charlie Chan in Shanghai)

Confucius has said, "A wise man question himself, a fool others." (Charlie Chan in City in Darkness)

Confucius say, "Luck happy chain of foolish accidents." (The Chinese Ring)

Confucius say, "No man is poor who have worthy son." (Charlie Chan at the Race Track)

Confucius say, "Sleep only escape from yesterday." (Shadows Over Chinatown)

Contents of safe are only secure so long as someone outside watching safe. (The Scarlet Clue)

Conviction of most dangerous public enemy bring more peaceful sleep. (Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum)

Cornered rat usually full of fight. (Shadows Over Chinatown)

Could not be more clear if magnified by two hundred inch telescope. (Charlie Chan at the Olympics)

Courage greatest devotion to those we love. (Charlie Chan in Egypt)

Crime never solved by books. (Charlie Chan at Treasure Island)

Curiosity responsible for cat needing nine lives. (Charlie Chan at the Circus)

Dead hands cannot hide knife. (Charlie Chan at the Opera)

Dead man cannot walk. (The Golden Eye)

Dead men need no protection. (Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise)

Death, even to deserving, never pleasant. (The Sky Dragon)

Death is the reckoning of heaven. (The Chinese Ring)

Death one appointment we must all keep, and for which no time set. (Docks of New Orleans)

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