Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Getting through Life: Two Mountains and a Valley
Lately, I’d been trying to stay afloat in life, feeling like I was constantly drowning. All of a sudden, I had an epiphany, or, as Oprah says, an “Aha!” moment. What if I am not meant to stay afloat at all? What if I’m supposed to drown? As these thoughts came to me, the quickest analogy upon which I became fixated was that of two mountains and a valley.
We are born “at the top” of one mountain. Think of the top of a mountain as your being at your freest, happiest, and most peaceful. What is the primary goal in life? Getting to the top of the other mountain. When we are born, we are fully at peace, and fully innocent. We know not of war, fear, or pain. Perhaps we know of physical pain, but at that time, it is transient at best. At this age, time is insignificant, and we have no choices – Not when we are born, not what we can eat, not which religion of which we are a part – NOTHING is a choice at this point. So how do we get to the top of the next mountain?
Unfortunately, we very quickly begin learning what we are taught – our language, our religion, and even our personality. We have to learn, because otherwise, we’d be put out! Many of us learn abuse. Whether we want to or not, remember, we do not choose. So, automatically, we begin our descent down the first mountain. And, we do not go quietly, might I add. We go with resistance, because it is only natural to stay on top of our mountain…in fact, we are pushed off the mountain! Once we are pushed (by society and family), we fall. And as we fall, we resist, but, since we are already falling, we can do nothing about it.
Society teaches us that we should be on top of a mountain, but what it forgets all too often, is that it pushes us off in the first place! So if we should be on top of the mountain, then we should know how to get onto the next one after we fall (technically speaking). Resistance to this free fall makes us fall longer, and hit the valley between the two even harder.
Think of the valley as “rock bottom” – this is the place referred to with many drug counselors for addicts, but it applies to everyone. The truth is everyone has a rock bottom, because everyone is pushed. It is only the enlightened of us who realize what their rock bottom is, and the ascended of us who decide to climb the next mountain.
Many are too naïve to realize that there is a rock bottom, and lie too much to themselves to realize when they’ve hit it. This is not a verbal attack on anyone, nor is it an “I’m better than anyone” approach. But I must say, I’ve been blessed to hit rock bottom! The reality is, finally, I stopped resisting the fall, and realized that if I want to get to the top, I’ve got to fall!
I think this allowance to fall is a bit of a misleading situation, because it is often perceived as an act of “patience” or “obedience.” I really believe that falling willfully is neither patience nor obedience, but simply, truth. Truth means understanding that there is nothing wrong with the fall, even though society leads one to believe otherwise. And, the reality is, that the only ones who are truly “crazy” or “abnormal” believe they should stay on top of the first mountain, with nothing to gain. They may not even realize there is another mountain. They do this not because they live in their truth, but in society’s lies. All of this is a way of holding society back from the eventual realization that trial and tribulation is perfectly normal, and falling is what happens as a result. Getting to the top of the second mountain is just as difficult as falling, though.
Climbing an actual mountain takes skill. It takes practice and agility. No one can climb a mountain from scratch. Everyone has to do a practice run at the very least. Here’s the clincher – if one gives up too easily at this climb, then one falls back, unwillingly, to rock bottom. Only the enlightened thinker realizes that like any other obstacle, practice and preparation is needed, and without either, falling is inevitable (again and again). To reach the top, one must practice, and realize that practice makes perfect.
I have hit rock bottom. I know my truth. I have fallen back many times. But I have awakened, and I realize that my muscles are getting stronger. I know the course now. I have begun so many times to climb the second mountain it is only a matter of time before I master it. I have to choose to master it, and furthermore, I have to realize with resistance comes a difficult fall. And one cannot get up from a difficult fall and expect to be strong enough to complete the course without enlightenment.
So, I say to you all, the way I have to tell myself: Fall if you are falling. And keep climbing if you are already climbing. But climb with the knowledge that you may fall. And fall with the knowledge that you should “fall if you are falling,” and are free to climb after you fall. These are the tools needed to succeed. Let’s not try staying afloat this time if we are sinking. Sinking is a part of the process, and without it, we’d be perfect. But in an imperfect world, what do we have to gain if we are already perfect? Nothing. So let us fall with the knowledge that it is not only okay, but necessary in earning our right to eventual perfection. We will ascend. We will reach the top of the next mountain.
Peace and Peace.