Lamp & Labyrinth: Retrograde Suspension & The Arrow of Intention

The arrow of intention describes a phenomenon whereby an onlooker of an event tries to gauge the intended outcome by observing the happening in question vs the actual outcome, and the responses of the acting parties.

A prime example being when Deanna Troi senses no sadness in the rescuees who lost two companions in the Star Trek: TNG episode called Symbiosis. At first, the rescued people were apathetic to death. It was revealed later in the story that their main concern was the suffering of the people back on their planet. Deanna was concerned that they were apathetic to the loss of life. This was solely based on not knowing where the arrow of intention was aimed, though was loosed by the act she observed, the wobble of the arrow in this case made it hard to guess if the rescued individuals were truly apathetic or was because their was a mission focus to deliver what was presumed to be medicine.

Image via https://wellcomeimages.org by way of WikiMedia.
Image via Welcome Images by way of WikiMedia.

This relates to mysticism, empathy, psychic work and the truth seeker does their best to see what can be seen, however, just like in regular sight, things that you feel aren’t always as they appear.

The mystic or leader of a tribe will use tools and communication to know the heart of the people who look to them for guidance. If they see an arrow flying by with a wobble, they’ll reserved judgement until after a period of observation. A smart leader will know within themself the tendencies to mislead, misconstrue, misunderstand, and be subjected to moods causing themself to act poorly based on the misconceived. They’ll see this for what it is in them, and in us as the folk of a tribe. They’ll include in that vision qualities about us we don’t even know about ourselves.

People see with the lens that has developed over their eyes. One minute we can be happy and another minute we can be disillusioned in the moment without any other factors changing. The mystic doesn’t fail to experience this, but they have grasped practices and embraced ways which allow for a reservation and suspension becoming of a wise person.

It is a kind of classical skepticism among the philosophers called Epoche which was formulated around the third century B.C.E. that encourages the practice of keeping feelings, thoughts and emotions suspended until we both have the full story, and we can factor into the arrow’s course the weather of all the moods involved. We often come back to the concept in magic behind the Chariot, which originates with Plato, which is reigning in our light horse and dark horse from going upwards and downwards respectively so that we can move forward.

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