True north

True north versus moral compass.

With each step of the journey, I seem to decipher a little more, a little deeper. Just two weeks ago, I had called it the compass within us. Just two hours ago, I thought of two different concepts of that compass within us. What is a better term to describe is the true north, a north undeniably true as long as we walk this earth. (Let’s not get to the magnetic north yet, it’ll be too much of a decoy! haha)

Many of us are guided by the moral compass, which is not wrong, and is good in fact, depending on which part of the consciousness spiral we are on. It is essential, but at the same time it is also essential that we factually view the moral compass as a social construct set up by humans. Fellow humans decipher what is “good” and what is “bad”, what are “sins” and what are “virtues”. It is great that there are human standards set to guide us along on the right, or acceptable, way to behave. My mind was blown away at my first exposure to the philosophical (and legal) take on ethics and governance in grad school, and I was suddenly made to think how right is “right” and how wrong is “wrong” under different circumstances. Now I try to examine every “moral” with wider eyes and a bigger heart. It is much easier to follow the inner true north, although it is hard to make sense out of it at times. Sometimes the “sense” arrives only upon hindsight.

I had an intense catch-up session with my best friend a few days ago, and that conversation makes a brilliant concrete example. He sounded wistful and seemed to have the perception that I am back to square one. My perspective is otherwise: 回到原点 can literally mean back to the same point in the form of back to square one, or it can also be viewed as having come full circle. A person can never be back to square one, unless the person never grew, never experienced new things, never moved an inch. Once you have lived a moment, or many moments, you cannot un-live it. Life brings us on a path, where there may be many forks at the same point or many different forks at different points on the paths. When we pick one, we cannot pick the other. But that does not mean that they will not bring us back to the ultimate same point whichever fork / path we choose. It just means that along the journey, we may grow a little wiser in a different way or in different aspects. It may also bring us to that ultimate meeting point with a different frame of mind, be it reluctant acceptance, celebration, epiphany, or maybe even some tinge of wistfulness.

The true north in me pointed very clearly to developing biodynamic farms. That is an undeniable truth and I knew very clearly too, what I was giving up for that. Till now, I have no idea what role that plays in the bigger picture of my journey, but I just knew it was something I had to do. I can make so many stabs in the dark – it brought me to clear shitty-cobwebby-karma, which only after can I pursue my way of Light; it brought me to identify, believe, and trust in this true north (which I would otherwise not have struggled and found there’s something so fabulous within); it opened up my world to something bigger and brighter which I would not have explored had I still been caught up in an urban rat race; and most importantly, it gave me so much time and space to contemplate the meaning of life; and the magical world of other realms that dance in the night.

My moral compass highlighted so many things to me. Yet at the same time, it also showed me how a moral compass is a social construct, because mine clashed big-time with the moral compasses of the clan I was rubbing shoulders with (it’s prickly, i tell you). The scary part was that my compass started wavering and pondering true north or magnetic north, and it took me a couple of years to recover my bearings. I was lucky my very supportive family reinforced that there was nothing wrong with my moral compass. That was also the time I discovered my True North and how to communicate with it.

You can try it too! Let’s say you have two options you are trying to decide on. Close your eyes, put your hand on your heart. Your heart has alot to tell you. Visualize / imagine your are walking the path of option 1. How does it make you feel? Do you feel light or heavy? Do you have a fluffy feeling or a sinking feeling? Let your body tell it to you. Repeat with option 2. There you go~ Simple, isn’t it?

I wanted to go on with my long winding story of how true north has guided me onto every adventure, each seeming further and further from the 原点 (original point). But suddenly I found I have walked one full circle, and every adventure had brought me closer to my heart, and cleared up all fogginess to view the old landscapes with new eyes. I find I am truly home.

True north says, “enough ramblings, go sleep, there are more tasks at hand tomorrow”.

“The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

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