In life, whatever your pursuits, one's true intentions are what really matter! Whether we are able, in these biological bodies, to follow through with our intentions may be another matter, but to accomplish anything one must first have the intention. It is said that 'the highway to hell is paved with good intentions': this is a fairly popular phrase ( it's really almost cliche' ), but it's actually quite untrue! First of all, though it's only a metaphorical statement ( there IS no 'hell' ( not in the traditional sense of the word ), if someone's intentions are truly 'good', good WILL be manifest in their actions. Secondly, the one with good intentions, though their actions may put someone else through the fires of hell ( again, metaphorically speaking ), the burden of guilt falls, not on the one with good intentions, but on the one who has chosen, for whatever reason, to walk 'the highway to hell'!
You've probably heard it before; 'I never meant to hurt you'! Growing up in a fairly strict Christian house, I would often hear, 'well, you didn't mean not to!' The startling truth of these words hurts; if one's intention was truly NOT to hurt someone ( else ), they would have honed their intentions ( thoughts ) a bit more carefully before acting on them! Then we have those who claim to act without thinking ( often with the result of someone getting hurt ); no one acts without thinking first, whether consciously or unconsciously .
One of the things in this life that is so often under-played is our unconscious ( desires ). An example is something frequenters of the bar-scene are quite familiar with; 'mean drunks': 'well, he's a good guy ( or girl ) until you get some liquor into him ( or her )!' In my experience though, getting 'all liquored up' only serves to bring out one's true nature! I'm not a scientist, or even a chemist, but common sense tells me that alcohol dulls the senses ( which is the reason many people drink ( especially to excess ), so when that occurs ( their senses dulled ), their true nature ( unconscious desires ) shows & we see either 'mean drunks' or men & women acting on their animal desires, doing or saying things they might not normally do or say, whether because they're not being honest with themselves or because 'it just ain't right'. Some people are just plain assholes though!
As long as we're being honest, both with ourselves & with others, there are some genuinely good people out there, many of whom do frequent bars ( even drink to excess ) that are what I like to call 'happy drunks'. These are those who drink to forget their troubles ( for awhile ), who are actually quite pleasant to be around, though in the 'day-to-day' they might be a bit of an 'asshole'. Again, you can 'blame' this on their senses being dulled by alcohol, though it might just bring out the 'best' in them, because their unconscious has a bit more leeway!
As far as not meaning to hurt someone else through our actions, one could consciously have no desire to harm another, but if they do harm another through their actions, it is because they either don't care ( if they hurt someone ) or because they actually do ( unconsciously ) wish that person harm! I must say, though, that just because one hurts another through their actions, they are not necessarily a 'bad' person; some people are simply careless in their thoughts & actions, through ignorance, willful or otherwise, they do not know themselves & therefore cannot be honest with themselves or others, for that matter!
To know oneself is the beginning of wisdom! By knowing ourselves, getting in touch with what has been called 'the inner man', we thereby begin a slow-dance with our divinity, with our unconscious ( even subconscious ) nature, our true nature. We are more than mere human beings; we are spiritual & thus divine in nature! When we realize this glorious fact & accept our true nature, we will begin to be honest with ourselves & others; no longer will we hurt others ( intentionally or not ) because we will understand that by hurting others through our careless actions, we are really only hurting ourselves. Then, if someone IS hurt by our actions, we may understand that they are only receiving their due, paying their karmic debt, so to speak: that is not on us, that's all them!
'Grounding' is one way in which we might achieve this, one way in which we can understand & know ourselves. Meditation is another way in which we can, by stilling our minds, get in touch with our unconscious mind, even our subconscious nature. If one would truly be honest with themselves, which is where it all begins, one must first make sure their subconscious aligns with their unconscious ( desires ) & therefore, with their conscious ( thoughts ), though not necessarily in that order.
No matter the 'sign' we were born under, we still have a choice! Being an Earth sign, especially a Virgo ( for example ) explains a lot about choices I've made in the past & continue to make ( speaking of karmic debt ), but through it all, it is the choices we make, based upon our unconscious desires, that are manifest in our actions! We are responsible for our actions, no matter how good or bad the intention, whether conscious or unconscious.When we harm others, though we consciously 'didn't mean to hurt them', then we need to step back ( 'be still and know.....' ) & meditate on whether we actually did mean them harm or whether we were simply helping them pay their karmic debt!
Charles Haddon Shank