Find out what these spiritual navigational tools are. Learn why you need them to get where you want to go in the landscape of life.
An analogy infers that if something is similar in some respects, they probably agree in others. And, so it compares things to show a similarity. The following is the analogy of the spiritual map and compass. This is a mental image you can use to help guide your journey. We use it in our workshops and it proves to be an effective learning tool.
What is a Spiritual Compass?
This is an internal directional device. It has two principal components are intellect and intuition. These two things direction to our thoughts and behavior. They determine our morality. It tells us what is right and what is wrong.
The key to a healthy mind is cultivating intellect and intuition in equal proportion. To achieve this balance, you need to assess where you spend time. Then adjust your time to work toward this balance. You can enhance intellect by reading a variety of subjects. Science, math, and logic are tools that have a positive effect on the intellect. This is how you calibrate your spiritual compass.
Learning to hear the voice of your intuition requires you to quiet your internal chatter. Many forms of meditation can achieve this state of silence. The more we stay in touch with this spiritual directional device, the greater the probability that we will stay on track. This moral direction is something that develops in childhood.
When we get the proper guidance during these early formative years, then we learn some important values. First, we learn to respect all people and living things. Second, we learn to share and care. We don’t need a set of rules or religion to live a moral life. What we need are examples of how to do it. We need practical examples.
As people grow into adulthood, spiritual nature prompts us to seek the unknown. If we develop properly, intuition will lead us to the right teachers. These are the people who provide the right tools. We need to be open to learning. But we also need to beware of becoming a follower. Above all, avoid organized religion. Ask yourself, what is a spiritual compass? What direction is it leading me? Do I even see my compass?
What is a Spiritual Map?
This is the device that provides insight into our spiritual landscape. It can show our path and where we are. If we can see it. Our lives are complex. We have several things going on at the same time. To see the landscape requires clarity of conscience and depth of awareness. Together, these qualities of consciousness help us see reality from the proper perspective. So, this level of perception is key to seeing the territory.
And, it shows you where we want to go. Sadly, many people do not see the landscape of their lives. They go through life under the spell of consumerism, religion, or Ego. All three keep you from seeing where you are in the spiritual territory. They prevent you from seeing where you are in the landscape of your existence. What is a spiritual map? It is the insight to make an honest appraisal of the landscape of life.
Commercialism and religion are similar. They are distractions. They keep you from gaining the insight necessary to see. You only have so much time. You need to find out where you are and where you want to go with your life. Then you need to map out a plan to get there. So, you need to identify the tools you need to get there.
Using a Spiritual Map and Compass
This is the spiritual aspect that helps us calibrate right and wrong. The health of this mental tool depends on the health of our mind, intellect, and intuition. The map is not the terrain. But, if we can the map, it will tell us where we are and the path to get there. To find where we are on the map requires an honest appraisal of our spiritual location.
We need to cultivate a balance between critical thinking skills and intuitive awareness. To see our spiritual map, we need clarity. This requires a truthful appraisal of our life and insight into your current spiritual location.
We need both tools to find out where we are and who we are. This will give us the tools to take our life in a positive direction.
The map is not the territory but an important guide. It helps you determine the correct path or trajectory of your life. The map doesn’t account for unexpected challenges you will encounter along the way. However, our spiritual directional device will help keep us pointed in the right direction even if you have to make a detour.
This process starts by asking yourself some questions. What is a spiritual compass? What is a spiritual map? Then set out to find them. These are invaluable tools on your spiritual quest. You will make mistakes. However, these navigational tools will help you find the lesson. You also need to find the right teachers who can provide you with the right spiritual technologies. These tools will help you repair your broken compass. And help you see the map.
What are the Obstacles?
It starts by asking yourself some questions. What is a spiritual map? What is a spiritual compass? How do I define them? Where are they? Do they work? If these questions are confusing, chances these devices are either missing or broken.
If we find that our compass is broke, we need to find out how to fix it. If we can’t see our map, we need to find it. So, the first step is to find out if your internal directional device is functioning properly. If it isn’t working, we need to fit it. Then we’ll be able to see the landscape of our life from the proper perspective. These obstacles lead you away from the virtues of the spirit. Instead, they offer counterfeits. The following sections will help find out what obstacles there are, and how to deal with them.
1) Religion and Belief
The two greatest obstacles are religion and belief. If you are a deeply religious person, then you likely have both obstacles in your life. However, even people who don’t follow a religion can have belief systems that are skewed and unhealthy.
Religion belief goes hand in hand. And belief is a trap. It will keep you from seeing the spiritual map of your life. Religion is a counterfeit. It is a mythology filled with metaphors to lead people beyond the boundaries of belief.
So, most belief systems are counterfeits, which distract us from facing the most important questions. It’s like bandaid the hard questions. The existential crisis is one of the hard questions. This is an inevitable crisis for sentient beings.
As soon as children can learn to talk, they start asking questions about life and death. They question if their life has meaning or purpose. They wonder why am I here and what happens after I die. Instead of working through the fear of death, belief systems offer a counterfeit, the afterlife. This is a bandaid covering the fear of death. And, this requires constant intense self-hypnosis. These types of beliefs place an obstacle in the way of the important inner questions.
So, the fewer things you believe or expect, the greater your ability to use reason and common sense. The less you believe, the greater you can perceive your personal truth.
Another obstacle we’ve mentioned is commercialism. When this is driving your decisions, you lose the connection with your intellect and intuition. Ego tells you to buy something. It doesn’t care what it is. The ego maintains control by influencing your awareness. This why the purchase of something is pleasurable. But the enjoyment is short-lived. So, you need to buy more stuff.
This is a hard cycle to break. It involves patterns of behavior that are the home of your specific personality type. Commercialism is non discriminatory in its manipulation tactics. It has something which triggers all instincts and personality types. You can use the Enneagram of Personality Profile to find the thought scripts and value tags that are being used by advertising. This is as powerful as any drug addiction. If you are in this death-spiral, seek help.
3) Achievement and Perfectionism
Two other obstacles of the culture are achievement and perfectionism. Western corporate culture exploits these forms of greed. This one is hard because if you work in this culture, you can’t escape playing the game.
Fixing Your Spiritual Compass
To find out if your compass works properly, ask yourself the following questions.
If you follow a Supreme Being, does it justify hating, discriminating, or harming others who do not belong to your sect? Do you hate others because of who they are or what they believe? Do your beliefs promote discrimination? Do they give preferential treatment because of ethnic background, gender, or gender identity? If you answer yes to any of these, your spiritual directional device is not working properly.
To fix your compass, you must overcome all biases and prejudice. Otherwise, your spiritual direction is likely harmful to yourself and others. If your compass is broken, chances are, can’t see your map either.
Start with diagnosing the source of your broken compass. If you are not a believer in any of the Abrahamic religions, start with the study of logic. See the links below under spiritual technologies. If you are a follower of one of the Abrahamic religions read this article on the inverse relationship between religion and reason.
Finding Your Spiritual Map
Beliefs about the unknown are also obstacles because we only perceive what we expect to find. It may be on the map, but if our compass is broke, we don’t know which way to go.
This situation is more common than you think. The symptoms of this we call burn out or stress. The things in life we can’t change cause frustration. We might see injustice and prejudice but don’t know what to do about it.
Belief is a trap. It will keep you from seeing the spiritual map of your life. Some beliefs are counterfeits, distracting us from facing the most important questions. Belief is a bandaid for an existential crisis we mentioned above in the obstacles.
So, are you using your spiritual map and compass? We hope you are. If not, then we hope this discussion will lead you to some solutions. It is our hope everyone finds the right tools to develop their path. The world needs more people who are awake. So, learn how to feed your soul instead of your ego. Take the time you need to learn about the landscape of your life.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia