Are you blessed or driven by an Inner Compass? 

The people I most admire are driven by an inner fire. I meet them in every walk of life. Passionate purpose fuses their life path. 

Renee Baribeau, author of Winds of Spirit, call this your “true North” – an inner compass that points you in the direction your soul calls you to head. 

Valerie Steihl, whose life work is featured in Spirit Speaks, Are You Listening? by Vera Haldy-Regier, tells how she was motivated from a very young age by a strong  intuition that led her to spiritual teachers among the Lakota Sioux. 

My own inner imperative drove me to study G.I. Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way method. Gurdjieff’s teachings later increased my understanding of the Germanic and Scandinavian Runes. I receive revelations from the Runes every day. Communication and connection to the spiritual realms that the Runes provide are my passion and my purpose. 

Everyone possesses intuition. I believe trusting in Intuition and developing it along with its sister quality Creativity, enriches personal life. Yet what motivates some of us, and not others of us?

The field of psychic awareness is an obvious choice for intuitive development. Yet every career field holds as much potential for it. Einstein’s science unlocked mysteries of the universe intuitively and creatively. An artist’s spontaneity, an author’s furious spill of words, or a musician’s trained technique are creative and intuitive actions. Art is an attitude and an aptitude that can be introduced into any field of endeavor.

People impassioned by what they do are remembered in the lives they have touched. Yet why do we do what we do?

Some people possess a quality beyond their job description. I remember teachers whose kindness made me want to learn. Contrast that with doctors whose lack of bedside manner instilled fear of the medical profession. Kindness from a humble janitor eased the heart of an upset child’s hurtful day with schoolmates, the same child whose abrupt teacher labeled her as failing to get along with others. 

Impassioned people have a heart that awakens intuition and creativity in their life purpose. They may not always have kindness, but it is not kindness of which I am speaking. Yet a quality of caring inflames them. During his writings about Don Juan, Carlos Castenada talked about the path with a heart.

Why some people are endowed by an inner compass and others are not: the path with a heart.

Comparatively, humans are conditioned by the life they are born into. Families who value wealth, fame, and success instill these values in their children.  How others perceive them becomes the reward they measure themselves by. 

Other families teach their kids to observe Nature, learn from it, and form conclusions for themselves. Ideally, adults instill in children the ideas and values they will need as adults. 

Whether these instilled ideas and values sit well with one’s essential self is for one to sort out upon adulthood. Gabor Mate, author of The Myth of Normal, talks in his YouTube interviews of a child’s need for authenticity. Mr. Mate states the two imperatives of children are authenticity and survival. Authenticity will be sacrificed in a child’s need for survival adaptation.

We learn and grow from trying to understand the contradictions in our life

I speculate: Perhaps what awakens the Inner Compass is the need for authenticity, and whether that need for authenticity was fully overwhelmed by a child’s survival adaptation. The awakened people of my acquaintance had some level of trauma. These have been children of alcoholics; victims of rape, incest, or domestic violence; or exposed to death at a very young age. 

I suspect trauma served to keep their psyche agitated enough to not go to sleep again in some type of imaginal normalcy. Yet trauma that is emotionally overwhelming–a solder’s PTSD, or a childhood victimized by war, for example–are severe enough that sufferers consider suicide. This hardly serves as a definition for a passionate life lived from their own inner compass. Indeed, unless we turn to face our trauma and find the right help to heal from it, many of us try to mask the pain with substance abuse and other forms of escape.

Facing our emotions is a critical key

My own experience with developmental trauma informs me that it awakened the capacity in me for deeply experienced emotions. Because I know deep grief, I have also been willing to taste the depth of love. Grief and Grace are opposite sides of the same coin, I am convinced. I think it is very possible that strong emotions–rage, lust, greed, jealousy and envy–are places where we get stuck and have not learnt how to find a balancing, emotional equilibrium. Getting stuck is a failure to find balance.

Finding equilibrium from the restlessness of trauma 

Life holds both suffering and reward. People experience both during a lifetime. Suffering met by compassionate understanding offers the comfort of knowing we are not alone in experiencing our humanness. Yet I associate the concept of reward with success, achievement, and accomplishment. Here we tend to feel good about ourselves and even virtuous in our egos. In that state we are less likely to identify with others, but climb onto that old pedestal of success, individual head held high. 

The hubris of success has an antidote in practical humility: “There but for the grace of God, go I.” The fact that every human has experienced birth and will face death carries a certain equanimity in the experience of joy and suffering, as well as in the measure of fortune and luck. Society may reward what it values–wealth, fame, and success–but social reward cannot measure the human heart, nor ease the burdens based upon poverty, class, race, or trauma. So I step aside from what society rewards and I look elsewhere. I often find the greatest generosity of spirit among the poor.

The good heart of ordinary people with extraordinary life experiences tie society together at its finer points. 

Extraordinary life experiences drive us to fuse our understanding of what has happened to us with with the contradictions of our conditioned arising. Children of alcoholics sober up themselves and begin a process of healing that leads them to self-acceptance, grace, and the art of healing the ancestral lineage. Soldiers who achieve an understanding of how to live with their own CPTSD form counseling circles to help other veterans. These are among the people driven by an inner compass.

There are people who fight for causes–political or otherwise. I contribute to environmental protection groups, some who are legal advocates. Still others of us are motivated to battle for feminist causes, birth rights, racial equality and so on. What we stand for is where our hearts lead the fight. Often what we stand for lives in areas where we have been hurt.

Ordinary people manifest extraordinary heart, wisdom, and caring. Farmers learn the patience and wisdom of Earth; curiosity and necessity turn handymen (and women) into creative, innovative geniuses; and random strangers express an exquisite capacity for listening. This is the inner compass–also known as Intuition.

The inner compass leads down awkwardly winding roads, into and out of diverse jobs, and even family ties. We won’t know where it leads when we begin; our expectations apt to total change. That winding road leads to deeper self-understanding and breaks the heart until we seek a higher meaning. Once that happens, our broken hearts find common ground with those who have suffered as we have. We no longer stand alone in our pain.

The dynamic of relationships is the best teacher; the best relationships for deepening soul come out of conflict. It depends on an individual’s willingness to remove themselves from identification as the victim, and empower themselves with the struggle to master their triggers. 

War does not start from a place inside the individual without zealous identification to an ideal or a cause. A person too deeply identified with hatred for a group of people not like themselves finds common cause with others who think just like himself, and the group then creates a justification for war. 

If that person can instead look within to seek out the cause of such an identification, he or she learns that racism did not begin with their heart, but was taught; that nationalism did not begin within their heart, but was taught; that disrespect for the environment was taught, et cetera.

A human tendency of the past was to project blame on to fill in the blank: the blame which is really the shadow of what I am or you are. What I like or dislike in myself I see in you, as what you like or dislike in yourself is the shadow you project on to me.

What I learned from Gurdjieff’s method

Gurdjieff’s method of self-remembering enables me to hold my center no matter what chaos erupts around me or within me. The practice is very simple and very hard. I center myself and ground myself; throughout the process I hold gravity in my own presence. I become the Witness to what is going on within myself, outside of myself, and  in relation to myself. I must be brutally honest with myself in relation to what I see. 

I must understand that are aspects of my personhood are conditioned, and maybe out of my control as I am now. I see self-aspects truer to my essential self than others. I must be willing to examine myself to discern what is the truth of myself as opposed to the lie of myself. What is true will arise from my genuine essence. What is not true is based upon fear based beliefs I choose to ferret out and discard.

Life moves us forward until we hit resistance. The more conscious I am, the more I am able to discern my underlying triggers for reaction. Work on myself trains the will to respond instead of react. 

Much depends on my capacity to see life as it is instead of as I want it to be. The pursuit of Conscious becoming is dependent upon my willingness to step outside of my comfort zones, and allow myself to be shaped in accord with the energies life itself hands me. 

Much gets blamed on the ego, but I need my ego in order to engage with life. Shaman Durek defines it well when he writes, “The ego’s job is to make you believe in the world you want to see. The ego gets a bad rap because some people’s egos are based in lower densities, which are characterized by fear, and judgment, and hierarchy. The ego isn’t bad; it’s just misunderstood, which is why the ego in not properly engaged, or evolved.” (Shaman Durek, Spirit Hacking, 113)

Here at the conflict point is also a point at which compassion engages for one’s self and for what others are going through. Compassion does not enable victimhood, but supports the struggle for self-transformation. Empathy does not enable suffering, but offers a modality of strength to those who would survive to thrive.

Life is a force that offers humans the opportunity for conscious becoming through struggle with conditioned arising. Memory, how we think about things, and the approach we take to reason through our experiences are important concepts in deepening Soul. Deepening Soul is a necessary byproduct of training Intuition and Creativity. Your Inner Compass will grow as you engage in fully actualizing the meaning you find in your life.


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