The explorers and seafarers discovered North Star, which does not appear to change its position in the sky, and used it for navigation. So, the North Star or Pole Star is used by some thinkers as a symbol for the right life. To discover in us a ‘wise life’ is like finding the North Star. In and through the storms of life—be it the physical ailments, conflicts in personal and professional relationships or just a reaction towards the phenomenon that is life—we should get directed to the North Star in us.
What is the key to discovering the North Star in us?
One has to understand the ‘core self’ and ‘social self’. Most people make ‘social self’ the centre and allow it to master and guide life. The ‘social self’ is a part of social conditioning and there are traditions with all their hidden, uninspected lies operating in it. In India, touching the feet of the elders is part of the social ethos. But in the West, it can be taken as slavery. So just operating from the ‘social self’ can cause chaos.
‘Core self’ is the pure inner space, which is not corrupted by the social fabric, and if one can discover that, one can use social ethos wisely and not be trapped in it. Be it in religion or marriage, many of the dysfunctional aspects are due to the social fabric. We are born in the world of nature, and also in the world of society.
Can this be applied in the work zone too?
If you are a government servant, its ethos controls you. Same goes if you are in the IT work culture. I am not saying it should not be a factor, but let it be only a factor and not a controlling aspect. Then no innovation is possible. If one operates from the core self, which is pure openness, it will take what is needed and drop what is not for the occasion.
Even in the private sector, when one leaves a job and goes to another company, one is caught in the ethos of the past and is not able to move to the present. I term this as being caught in ‘social self’, in the sense that they are groomed by its culture.
Having a culture is different from being caught in that culture. This will not open if one’s core self is discovered. From there, intuition will guide us and that will be like the North Star. The purpose of life is not just to survive, but to achieve alacrity in living. By alacrity, I mean the peak of joy, an aliveness which is pure and vibrant.
How to activate this understanding in life?
A ‘reflective self’, leading to a ‘complete self’, is the way. When one experiences a ‘complete self’, there comes an openness to success and failure. In everyone’s life, success and failure happen and if one brings the ‘core self’ to operate through the ‘reflective self’, then another quality of living happens.
Swami Sukhabodhananda is an international management spiritual & corporate guru
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