By humanity’s collective upward gaze, the top of a distant mountain takes on a mythical aura that is difficult to fathom. When we peer at a mountain’s peak from below, it breathes with the rule of an eternal force, unencumbered by the rhythm and flow of mortals.
Its ascended stature emanates a holy presence and commands the attention of a vast audience from the beings below. It represents a divine division, a celestial apex separating heaven from earth, the mundane from the otherworldly. It pierces through the canopies of both sky and mind. It is The Great Beyond incarnate. It is the cragged manifestation of timelessness itself.
The mountain’s peak resists our encroachment, refusing to be tamed or broken by our meager whim. It cements us humbly in the bedrock of our limitations, yet beckons us, teases us, and dares us to dream anyways. A mountain’s peak is the subtle touch of God, lifting our heads, spellbound and bemused, towards the sun and towards our destiny.
But I think what I find most intriguing about a mountain’s peak is that its distance and seeming unattainability from a far-off view serve to amplify the awe of its mystery. And it is this mystery that is the Siren’s call for our souls. It is not unlike staring out into the vast expanse of an ocean. We peer out. Our eyes survey the abstract collage of waves forming and breaking, swirling and dancing to an aquatic cadence of earth and moon. But eventually our eyes fixate, entranced, at the point where the sea meets the sky. It is that thin veil of separation, that ghostly distant line that symbolizes the unknown and the beyond.
The top of the mountain does the same thing to us.
We intrinsically and emphatically yearn for the beyond. I think it’s because the beyond is a canvas for our imagination. It is kindling to the expansive fire of our evolution. It is a cosmic vacuum into which we can breathe new life. It is where we get to paint our world, however we so desire. Infinite possibilities await at the edge of our understanding, like a waterfall containing the richness and color of our souls spilling out into the everlasting void.
It is where we get to connect with our own divinity by creating, and by bestowing story, meaning, purpose, connection, and beauty where there were none before. Filling the void of the beyond with our imagination allows us to not only experience God, but to merge with the very idea of God itself, and thus all of creation.
You reach the top of the mountain.
Or you venture out to where you saw the supposed edge of the sea.
And you notice something.
The mystery is gone. Collapsed by your presence. Dissolved by your proximity.
But then you look out from that once hallowed point. And there are more mountain tops in the distance. And there is another edge to the sea. And your heart fills with wonder once again as a new beyond emerges. Like the shifting mirage of a vibrant rainbow, the beyond is always one step ahead of you. It is just over the hill or past the sea or above the stars. It is the wind of your will, calling you to the place where no one’s been, summoning you towards greatness.
And as you sit there in the stillness of the mountain top, you realize that all of this is just a clever illusion of the mind. That all of the beauty and wonder that you found in the mystery of those distant vistas were never actually material. They were simply a reflection of yourself and the light of divine curiosity and creation gleaming within you. They were an echo of your spirit.
And in the silence of this remembering, you find the inner serenity you were searching for all of this time, as you are beholden to the fact that the separation between yourself and others and the world and God was just another one of your creations as well.