There are three things to know about climbing the Mountain. First, it is never crowded on the top of the Mountain. Second, it is very difficult to climb the Mountain, which is why it is never crowded. Third, there is, as Saints and Mystics tell us, a secret doorway at the top of the Mountain leading to a secret passageway to the inner worlds, His World. If we can climb the Mountain, we have the opportunity to knock at that secret door and gain entrance to His Divine Reality. That is the promise of spiritual scripture.
Christ talks about this Mountain all the time, as do all Saints and Mystics. As we know from Biblical reference, Jesus ‘ascended the mountain’ several times a day. Obviously, this could not have been a physical mountain because he would have had to spend the whole of his time going to, up, down and Mount Toubkal back from the mountain. He wouldn’t have had the time to do anything else. Too, he would have been physically exhausted! Just imagine the task in walking to a mountain, climbing up the thing, staying there a while, walking back down the mountain and then continuing to walk back home three times a day or more! It’s logically impractical and makes no sense.
Thus, we can conclude the mountain Christ ascended was not a physical mountain but a spiritual mountain, the Mountain of Divine Consciousness which one ascends through concentration on the Word of God. As Christ said, “the kingdom of God is within you” (St. Luke 17:21). Rising ‘in’ to be with Him – that’s Climbing the Mountain.
Returning to our first statement, it’s never crowded on the Mountain. Why? Because most people are satisfied with living on the Valley Floor below at the base of the Mountain. The Mountain is there, always there, but few are they that challenge it. The Valley Floor is familiar, comfortable, secure, filled with people, things, activities, delights – you name it, it’s there. It’s also comfortable to be with lots of other people. Too, it is warmer and more inviting on the Valley Floor, and… the effort of the climb up the Mountain simply involves too much stress, hardship and discomfort for comfort-driven souls.
The Mountain is severe. It’s steep, slick, cold, uninviting, unfamiliar. Just its overwhelming austere presence is enough to frighten most people away. It takes a great deal of courage to even think of climbing the Mountain, not to mention the energy and time involved in its ascent. Furthermore, those who successfully climb it strangely never come back, which frightens most of the Valley Floor residents. Why go to all that trouble and endure the hardship of a dangerous and difficult climb and never be heard from again? Why leave one’s friends, attachments, activities, comforts, securities and familiarities of the Valley Floor anyway? Doesn’t make much sense, right?
Well, the reason a few people leave the comfort and security of the Valley Floor and make the arduous journey up the Mountain is because they have heard the rumors of the secret doorway leading to the secret passageway, leading to the Inner Worlds, leading to eternal freedom for the soul from the binding and incarcerating environment of the Valley Floor below inclusive of its so called comforts and securities. There is a spiritual mystery about the Mountain which spiritually ‘touched’ souls cannot resist. Although few in number, they are the ones who climb. They are the ones who risk. They are the ones who leave the comfort, security and familiarity of the Valley Floor below to pursue a spiritual fascination. They are the ones who struggle, endure untold privations and hardships and… they are the ones who succeed in getting to the top of the Mountain and entering the secret door leading to the secret passageway leading to their ultimate spiritual freedom and soul liberation from the confines of this dimension.
Why does a person climb the Mountain? Because he feels a pull from It, an irresistible, compelling force – a magical, mystical, mysterious, marvelous magnetism that keeps drawing, ever drawing, his attention inward, upward, onward. Most of the time the pull is inexplicable. It is certainly invisible. It’s just there, always there, tugging at the heartstrings of the soul, the conscience, the consciousness. If one tries to pull away, the force pulls harder in return, always redirecting the focus of the attention to the Mountain, to its austerity, to its overpowering and omnipotent majesty and mystery. Helpless is the soul to avoid it. Helpless is the soul to explain it. Helpless is the soul to fight it. Helpless is the soul, helpless, and so it looks at the mountain with awe and longing, even fear and apprehension, but, still, it begins to climb, to ascend, to escape, to be free from the prison that is the Valley Floor below.
The soul begins its journey, its climb, irresistibly and helplessly, unknowing of what lies ahead. But it doesn’t care. The compulsion is almost an insanity in itself. It is as if the soul were injected with some numinous nepenthe, a spiritual potion inducing the soul to forget and let go of its life on the Valley Floor and climb, climb into some unknown territory, some uncharted ground, holy ground, that will satisfy its eternal longing for eternal peace.
The soul soon learns that this is a solo climb. No holding hands here unless it is the Hand of God. No traveling buddies. No companions. No partners. The soul goes alone, ever pulled by the sweet magnetism of the mellifluous melodies within. Up it goes, step after step, falling, stumbling, sliding back a little but regaining its stability and composure and pressing on. It is a snail’s pace this climb. Yet, with every micro inch of elevation gained, a whole new reality is gained, a whole new panorama, a whole new consciousness.