“True ideals and true morals actually reflect what is deeper than any concept, any definition, or any set of hardened beliefs.”
When it comes to the subject of morality and the discovery of what is the true moral compass of our lives, I want to begin by stressing that our ideas about morality are not in fact morality. Often our ideas and conditioning in regards to morality are expressions of our anger, as on some level we feel imprisoned by conventions, rules, regulations, and limited ideas of who we think we should be.
True morality, in the way that I view it, is an expression of love, or at the very least an expression of compassion and empathy. If we stay imprisoned to our ideas of morality, if we become rigidly “moralistic” and judgmental of others or ourselves, our lives tend to stay more in the shallows, bound by convention.
If we are willing for a truer morality to reveal itself, we have the possibility of living deeper, more fulfilled lives, albeit with the challenges, complexities, and subtleties of what it means to be true to that.
What is real, what is always here, is by its nature unconditioned. When we tell the truth about that, we recognize that moralism, idealism, any “ism” is subject to corruption. True ideals and true morals actually reflect what is deeper than any concept, any definition, or any set of hardened beliefs.
I invite you to examine for yourself how you define morality and what it means to live a moral life. Be willing to see if, in fact, there is some tightening or entanglement of ideas and belief systems that have become barriers to a truer, fresher, more present discovery of what real morality means.
What is your moral compass? What is your true north? I would say that true north points to an inseparability between oneself and others: to do unto others as you would have them do to you, yourself because other is yourself. If we are harming another, we are harming some aspect of ourselves; and conversely, if we are harming ourselves, we are harming some aspect of another.
As with any doorway of inquiry, the questioning always distills down to this: “Who or what are you? Who or what is other?” Can you find a boundary between one and another? If you perceive a boundary, then can you investigate the substance of that boundary? What is it made of?
At the heart of this investigation is the possibility of recognizing without a doubt that regardless of any experience of separation, in truth there is no “other.” There is only oneself. In this realization, any expression of a moral compass becomes really about self-love, and I don’t mean a childish idea of “me” and “mine,” “my pleasure” or “my pain,” but self-love as the inseparable truth of who you really are – the totality of being.
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Gangaji is the author of The Diamond in Your Pocket, Freedom & Resolve: Finding Your True Home in the Universe, You Are That, and Hidden Treasure: Uncovering the Truth in Your Life Story.