3 Ways to Recalibrate Your Inner Compass

“It’s better to figure out that your map is inaccurate than it is to get lost.” ~ Jordan Peterson

The compass is both an object used for direction and a metaphor for direction. But what happens when you are given a compass that doesn’t work? What happens when you are raised in a sick society, and you are given “direction” by that sick society? 

Raised as we all were in profoundly sick societies, we have all been given faulty compasses from the jump. We’ve been conditioned to follow their faulty direction all our lives. We’ve been indoctrinated into believing that they work. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking that they would properly guide us in the right direction. 

But what happens when we discover that our compass is faulty? How do we reorient ourselves when our very basis for orientation has been found wanting? How do we recalibrate something that should have been calibrated in our favor but wasn’t? Where do we go? Who can we turn to when authority itself believes in the faulty compass?

The answer is that we must somehow realign ourselves with universal laws. We must discover balance. We must shine a fierce black light into the blinding light of our sick culture. We must unveil the truth and admit that we were wrong. We must pull the curtain aside and reveal that the wizard is us, and it is our responsibility to admit that we have deceived ourselves. 

Here are three ways how you can recalibrate your inner compass ~

Destroy your beliefs:

“A philosopher who is warlike challenges problems to duels.” ~ Nietzsche 

First things first, destroy the faulty compass forced upon you by a sick society. Smash it into a million little pieces on the hard ground of Truth. Murder your expectations. Kill the ideal. Be the outlier. Destroy the cultural compass that led you into ill-health, disorientation, and misalignment with universal laws.

The sooner you destroy the ideal, the sooner you can claim self-authenticity. This might mean the need to metaphorically destroy yourself—what’s known as ego death. You kill your ego’s attachment (belief/certainty) so that your detached soul can be born (mindfulness/curiosity). 

The art of healthy ego-annihilation is threefold: question yourself, destroy yourself, rebirth yourself. 

Why is destroying and rebirthing necessary to recalibrate your compass? Because you must destroy your codependent self (which is clinging to the faulty compass) so that your independent self (which has the capacity to question the faulty compass) can emerge with the courage to become an interdependent force of nature (which can recalibrate your inner compass).

Sometimes the only way to discover that the “door to your jail cell has always been open” is to lose the mindset that conditioned you into thinking that you were in jail. The trapped mindset is also the fear-based mindset. It’s the indoctrinated mindset. In short: it’s your codependent self. And the codependent self is so attached to the faulty compass, so utterly inured, that it will blindly cling to its false belief that it somehow works. This is the height of cognitive dissonance.

So it is incumbent upon you to make the initial leap of courage. You must dig down deep for that inner wildness, that primal hunger, that vital curiosity. You must rise up out of the muck and mire of ill-health, disorientation, and misalignment and kill the belief that has you stuck in that vicious cycle. 

Kill it as soon as possible. Learn from it. Then absorb it into your muscle memory. “Bury” it in the backyard of your psyche. Plant it like a seed from which a new, healthier, oriented, and aligned self might emerge carrying a compass that actually works.

Reclaim your instincts (rebirth yourself):

“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” ~ Rumi

The difficult part is done. Now the extraordinarily difficult part begins—reorientation. There are no guideposts here. There is no authority to tell you what to do. There is no soft presence to mollycoddle you along and hold your hand through the pain. No. This is rebirth! This is terrible growth. This is uncomfortable fruition. This is absolute vulnerability. 

The thing with rebirth is that you feel both the growing pains and the labor pains. You are intermittently mother and baby experiencing an alien flavor of pain. You are all at once cosmos and psyche torn apart, but re-emerging into a new way of being human in the world.

As you emerge from your “cocoon” you see the world in a new light. Plato’s Cave is a broken shell behind you. The faulty compass is shattered and collecting dust in the shadows. Your codependent self is coiled like snakeskin in the corner. Your newly discovered interdependent self steps forth.

On wobbly legs you stand up tall, chest out, with your new compass pointing you True North. You are fascinated by it. The vital pulse. The primal energy. The absolute orientation. It’s like no other compass, unique to you alone. It is your heart, beating true, broken but antifragile in your chest. It resonates at a frequency in sacred alignment with universal laws. 

Your new compass reverberates outward from within you like a beacon blasting a language older than words into the world. You’ve become a fountainhead, a walking, talking Flow-state. You feel how everything is connected to everything else. You feel how your fate has been transformed into destiny. 

Curiosity swells up inside you near to bursting. It fills you with such fascination and awe that you are inspired to inquire, to question further, deeper, beyond. All your past certainties, beliefs and ideologies fall away from you like false armor. You toss them into the cave.

You face the horizon and realize how silly you were to ever have imagined that it was a boundary. With your heart beating true and your instincts reclaimed, you wear your curiosity on your sleeve, letting it shine its glorious light into the vainglorious world. 

Guard against relapse (overcome yourself):

“Unless you are constantly practicing it, this dying and being reborn, you are only a guest on this dark planet earth.” ~ Goethe

This may seem like the end, but it’s actually the beginning. Now that you have rebirthed yourself, now that you’ve reoriented yourself, now that you have recalibrated your compass, you must forever be on guard against relapse and regression. Backsliding is all too common, but it is also avoidable. 

You guard against relapsing back into the Cave by keeping your compass tuned. You keep it tuned by keeping curiosity ahead of certainty and humor ahead of hubris. 

When you cling to certainty and hubris, you reject the amorphous nature of truth. You stop learning. You put up walls to universal laws. You disconnect yourself from realizing everything is connected. You lose the underlying essence. You become delusional. 

When you reject curiosity for certainty and humor for hubris, you reject yourself as a conduit to cosmos. You cut off the fountainhead. Your compass suddenly becomes faulty, disorienting, and misaligned. And you find yourself back where you started, fumbling dumbly through a sick society with a broken compass. 

Don’t let this happen. Always remain curious, especially at the expense of certainty. Always remain humorous, especially at the expense of hubris. Curiosity will keep your compass open, hungry, and vulnerable to truth. Humor will keep your compass sharp, playful, and light-hearted on the unforgiving path of sacred alignment. And both of them together will make you a force of unconquerable nature against the profoundly sick society that outflanks you.

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Gary Z McGee
Gary Z McGee
Gary 'Z' McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.
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