Visioning - Balancing Strong Intention and Precise Action
by George Pitagorsky
Formal process and precision action are very important but clear, heartfelt intention is critical. Here is a story from the Hassidic Tradition.
"When the Baal Shem Tov saw misfortune threatening the people, it was his custom to go into a certain part of the forest to meditate. There he would light a fire, say a special prayer, and the miracle would be accomplished and the misfortune averted.
Later, when his disciple, the celebrated Magid of Mezerich, had occasion, for the same reason, to intercede with heaven, he would go to the same place in the forest and say: "Creator of the Universe, listen! I do not know how to light the fire, but I am still able to say the prayer." And again the miracle would be accomplished.
Still later, Moshe-Liebe of Sassov, in order to save his people once more, would go into the forest and say, "I do not know the prayer, but I know the place and this must be sufficient." And it was sufficient and the miracle was accomplished.
Then it fell to Israel of Rizhin to overcome misfortune. Sitting in his armchair, his head in his hands, he spoke to God:
"I am unable to light the fire and I do not know the prayer; I cannot even find the place in the forest. All I can do is tell the story, and this must be sufficient." And it was sufficient." 
Doing the ritual in the right way brings power but it is knowing what you want and "visioning it" so as to bring the quality of the heart into play that makes the difference. When we focus attention on something, the power of our concentrated mind has a magical effect.
How does this translate into what we do day to day? How does it make sense even to rationalists, atheists and non-theists?
Whenever we are trying to accomplish something we have the need to balance precision and technique with intuition. When we take on a project, try to accomplish something, we are not praying in the religious sense but we are visioning something and certainly hoping that we will be successful. There may or may not be an external force that answers prayers; it all may be happening because of what we think and do.
In any event, our ability to vision what we want and do the work needed to get it to materialize is important. The work may be all mental - willing things into being like a master magician - or physical. Mostly, it is a combination.
I remember once when my son was young, he wanted a toy gun very badly. My wife and I were not in favor of guns as toys so we wouldn't buy it for him. One day walking along a busy city street the exact gun he wanted fell to the ground at my feet. I was momentarily stunned. Convinced that his strong desire had caused that gun to manifest I picked it up and brought it home.
For most of us we get what we want on the physical plane, applying the right tools and techniques in the right way, as governed by the needs of the situation.
The left brain, rationality and analytical thinking focus us on the here and now, the processes and procedures. It becomes all about doing, physically. In some situations, in technology projects, science, product development or making pottery, some get so fixed on this approach that they lock out the mystical intuitive side. When we lock out the mystical, we become like a musician who is technically proficient but who doesn't really "get" the music.
Something is missing and it is hard to tell what it is because everything is in the right place at the right time; precise, accurate. At the same time, "feeling" the music without having the ability to play it is equally deficient.
Creating the optimal balance means clearly visualizing the desired outcome, applying the right technique in the right way and then letting go into the doing as if the outcome was foreordained. In projects, the first step is to identify objectives and make them as concrete as possible by describing the outcome. The more precise the description, the more likely the project will be a success. Is this an extension of mystical visioning? It's hard to say. But why take the chance. Vision what you want and do the work required to get it.
 Levey J. & Levey M. Wisdom at Work. InnerWork Technologies (1999)
© 2011 Pitagorsky Consulting