A spiritual map and compass are the essential tools of spiritual exploration. 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.
The spiritual compass and map are an analogy of the tools that direct our thinking. An analogy infers that if something is similar in some respects, they probably agree on others. And so it compares things to show a similarity. The mental image of a compass and map is a tool to help guide your journey, it is a valuable tool for understanding our psyche.
What is Your Spiritual Direction?
Your spiritual trajectory is the path you take to develop the gifts of your spirit. You must first learn to use these tools, then take them into the field and find your way to the objective. (1)
What is a Spiritual Compass?
Religions use the term moral compass as a way of describing actions they deem right or wrong. So, morality is a subjective finding based on the religion.
Here, use the analogy of a compass to describe the tools of your intellect and intuition, these are the machines that do the thinking.
The map is the territory of life. It’s where you make decisions about your spiritual direction. The fruit of your actions will either be harmful or harmless, but you can’t use the bias and prejudice of a religion to hide your actions. Religious beliefs do not provide a valid excuse to harm others.
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 your intellect by reading a variety of subjects, science, math, and logic are tools that have a positive affect the intellect. Science and logic should be the basis of your thinking because they are what calibrates your spiritual compass.
Learning to hear the voice of your intuition requires quieting your internal dialogue. 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 of staying on track. This moral direction is something that develops in childhood.
Ask yourself, what direction is my spiritual map and compass leading me? What direction is it pointing me? Am I able to find and use my compass?
The formative years up to eight years old is when our minds are the most susceptible to the programming of values and beliefs. If we have the proper unbiased and guidance, 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. All we need are examples people showing us how to do it. We need practical examples.
As people grow into adulthood, spiritual nature prompts them to seek the unknown. If we develop our intuition, it will lead us to the right teachers. The right teacher or resource will give you the right tools to enrich your journey. It’s essential to cultivate a beginner’s mindset and take charge of the content and direction of your path. Don’t become a follower, think for yourself, be a freethinker. Above all, avoid the counterfeit answers of organized religion.
What is a Spiritual Map?
This map is the device that provides insight into our spiritual landscape. It can show us where we are in our spiritual walk. To do this, we must be able to see and decipher the map. But our lives are complicated; we have several things going on simultaneously.
To see the landscape requires clarity of conscience and depth of understanding. Together, these qualities of consciousness help us see reality from the proper perspective. So increasing the bandwidth of awareness and depth of conscience will help you see the territory. If we lack in either, it is easy to get off course.
A map 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. Here’s where you need to shine a light on your spiritual and political beliefs and actions to see if they are harmless or harmful. Religion can’t be used as a smoke screen to hide your prejudices. If you infringe upon the rights of others to make decisions about their lives, then you are harming them. (2)
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’ll need to find out where you are and where you want to go with your life. Then you’ll need to map out a plan to get there. So, you need to identify the tools you need to get there.
Using Our Spiritual Map and Compass
Calibrating our moral compass tells us what is right and wrong. Our compass depends on the health of our mind, intellect, and intuition. The map is not the terrain. But, if we need the compass and map to help us navigate. We need to know where we are and how to get where we want to go. Otherwise, we are lost. To find where we are on the map requires an honest appraisal of our spiritual location.
“Truth is not to be found outside. No teacher, no scripture can give it to you. It is inside you and if you wish to attain it, seek your own company. Be with yourself.” — Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Osho
We need to cultivate a balance between critical thinking skills and intuitive awareness. To see our spiritual map, we need clarity. Calibration requires an honest appraisal of our life and insight into our current spiritual location.
We need both tools to find out where we are and who we are. Then we can use these tools to take our life in a positive direction.
The map is not the territory, but an essential guide. It helps you determine the spiritual direction 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? If you don’t know the answers, then set out to find them. These are invaluable tools on your spiritual quest.
Don’t worry; you will make mistakes that require adjustments to your path. However, they will help you find the lesson and the right track with these navigational tools. You will also need to find the right teachers who can provide you with the right spiritual tools. You may need these tools to help you find or repair your broken compass. These inner discovery tools will help you see your spiritual path.
What are the Obstacles?
It starts by asking yourself some questions. What programming affects my spiritual map and compass? How can I identify the programming of these devices? If something is defective, how will I know?
If these questions are confusing, chances are your navigational devices are missing or broken. If you don’t know what programming exists, you can’t tell if it’s broken or missing. If we find that our compass doesn’t work, we need to find out how to fix it. If we can’t see our map, we need to find it.
The first step is to determine if your internal directional device is functioning correctly. 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 determine what obstacles there are and how to deal with them.
1) Religion and Belief
The two most significant obstacles are religion and belief. If you are a deeply religious person, 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 and belief goes hand in hand. And belief is a trap. It will keep you from seeing the spiritual map of your life. Religion is mythology filled with metaphors to lead people beyond belief boundaries. But most people get stuck. They mistake metaphors for facts, and this overrides our natural programming. This mistake has adverse effects on our psyche.
So, most belief systems are counterfeits, which distract us from facing the most critical questions. It’s like a bandaid the hard questions. The existential crisis is one of the hard questions; it’s an inevitable crisis for sentient beings.
As soon as children learn to talk, they ask questions about life and death. They question if their life has meaning or purpose. They ask, 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. All this is a band aid covering the fear of death, which requires constant intense self-hypnosis. These beliefs place an obstacle in the way of the critical inner questions.
So, the fewer things you believe or expect, the greater your ability to use reason and common sense. The less encumbered your perception, the easier it will be to perceive your “personal truth.”
Another obstacle we’ve mentioned is commercialism. When this drives your decisions, you lose the connection with your intellect and intuition. The Ego tells you to buy something. It doesn’t care what it is. The Ego maintains control by influencing your awareness. It tells you the purchase of something will bring you pleasure. But the enjoyment is short-lived. So, you end up buying more stuff.
Buying to meet emotional needs is a complex cycle to break. It involves patterns of behavior that trigger the needs of your specific personality type. Commercialism affects everyone by its use of group hypnosis manipulation tactics. These tactics target the triggers of our basic instincts. They create needs and then the solution to keep you buying things you don’t need. You can use the Enneagram of Personality Profile to find the thought scripts and value tags used by advertising, and it 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 because you can’t escape if you work in this culture. You’ll need to play the game to some extent.
Fixing Your Spiritual Compass
To determine if your compass works appropriately, 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 correctly.
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 defective, chances are you 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 faiths, 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 we don’t know which way to go if our compass is defective.
This situation is more common than you think. The symptoms of this we call burnout 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.
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 critical questions. Faith is a band aid for an existential crisis we mentioned above in the obstacles.
There are four groups of tools that you can use to help identify and repair your spiritual health:
So, are you using your spiritual map and compass? We hope you are. If not, 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 find out about the landscape of your life.
(1) Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and Scientific Epiphenomenalism: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02536/full
(2) Religion, Spirituality, and Health: The Research and Clinical Implications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3671693/