(Video link here.) This lovely 2-minute animation illustrates a unique, counterintuitive method of wayfinding —traveling from one point to another over a great distance — used by both the US space program and the ancient inhabitants of remote islands of the South Pacific. We’re wondering if the concept can apply to life paths as well.
Futurist Geoff Manaugh write:
There are many ways of moving through the Universe – of travelling from one point to another over great, even extraordinary distances. There is also a way of using the world for your own ends: taking advantage of slopes, winds, currents or gravitational fields, as fuel-efficient resources for your own acceleration…
...You head toward one place to get to another – or, channelling Hamlet, ‘by indirections find directions out’.
Ancient mariners of Polynesia studied many natural sources to determine times and routes of travel to far off islands: seasonal winds, celestial navigation, weather, ocean swells, how clouds cluster, colors of the sea…They used the information to determine the timing of their launch, sometimes waiting years for the right timing.
…families knew that only a particularly strong atmospheric cycle will be able to take them there – and that they must wait another season, another year, another decade, for these assistive winds to arrive.
The video affirms two essential principles we’ve found to be both true and heartening:
There can be a wide variety of ‘intangible’ forces at work in our life, many of which, if we learn to listen, we can become aware of and use to help us navigate with right timing. They are unique to each of us. Often simply setting of in a direction that seems right leads to the a route we never expected. Sometimes its a question of shifting our view, and looking at things from another perspective.
You can in fact set off in totally the wrong direction and just trust that the world will be there to steward you to the place that you are seeking.
2 replies on “Way Finding: ‘Head Toward One Place to Get to Another’”
You don’t have to “imagine” what Geoff is saying. It’s happening right now, on Earth, in real life, with real wayfinders and real heroes of exploration like Eddie Aikau!
set the direction
then let the wave carry you
and when you hit the doldrums
do not forget to sing