The Climb and the Climber: The Pursuit of Enlightenment
(The Pursuit of Philosophy)
2 April 2014
From where does one see the farthest? From where does one have the greatest field of view? The answer is: from on high.
The higher up one goes, the farther they can see and the more they can see in total. But to get up high is no meager task: one must be willing to endure the struggle and the dangers of the climb. The climb is itself a task, and it is a task in which many great things can be learned and discovered. The climb is beautiful and it is tiring, and the further up one goes the colder it gets and the amount of ground lessens. The climb eventually reaches the pinnacle, for all mountains end in a peak.
One may also grow dizzy or weary along the way, looking down from so high up. One must be hard inside and out in order to endure the climb.
There are many dynamics to the Climb or the Ascent. One must be prepared to adapt to the ever-changing nature of the great Mountain of Enlightenment if ever they wish to survive and reach its peak. However, they can also choose merely to climb up a small portion in order to gain a little bit more view, and descend to be back on the ground below. It is not necessary to make the climb: the climb is not for everyone.
The higher up one climbs, the more they will be able to see. The more they are able to see, the more they will be able to know. The more they are able to know, the greater will be their peace - as they will understand Life better than ever before: they will develop a more powerful sense of logic and reason, of patience and stoicism, and of comprehension. The climb changes every climber: some for the better, some for the worse. Some climbers grow in strength along with insight, but other climbers grow only in despair and wounds. The climb is dangerous and can cause injury.
"The higher one soars, the smaller they appear to those who cannot fly"
The higher up one climbs, the farther they go from those at the bottom. They climb and they climb, and they see what was not seeable from the ground below. Their eyes begin to open, and they quite often feel compelled to shout back down to those who remained below. At first it is a joyous and beautiful thing: the climber grows in insight and he relays his vision back down to the people, and the people grow in knowledge along with the climber. But the higher the climber climbs, the more difficult it becomes for those at the bottom to hear him; and the longer the climber remains at such heights, the more estranged he becomes from his people: eventually his shouting sounds like a foreign language, and his distant movements appear to be the movements of a foreign body.
Eventually the climber will enter into a phase of loneliness as he ascends toward the heights. There are not many other climbers on the great Mount, and the few others there are tend to view the climb as a competition: they flee higher and faster in the presence of a fellow climber, or the try to hinder his climb. The prolonged loneliness renders the climbers bitter and hard, and eventually the climbers may very well end up fighting each other for ground - for the higher up one climbs, the less ground there is to stand upon.
The people from whom the climber comes distrust the climber, and the climber does not understand why. The climber becomes hard from long days of ascending stone walls and from rough nights sleeping on stone ground. But, all the while he grows ever more enlightened: he climbs higher and he sees more and more of the world. He climbs higher and higher, and he grows closer to the sun. The world he sees with his eyes grows exponentially, but the world upon which his hands and feet make contact shrinks even faster. The climb is a peak and it must come to an end somewhere.
"Let not the wise who sees the All disturb the mind of the unwise who sees not the All"
The higher one climbs, the more they will be able to see. The more they are able to see, the more they will be able to know. The more they know, the greater will be their responsibility to utilize such knowledge and determine what to do with it. It is senseless to try shouting all the way back to the ground for those that no longer have the proper ears for your words: you must speak to those whose ears are eager for the Heights. It is no easy task determining who has the proper ears: this sense of people comes with time.
Climbing up may, at first thought, seem the most dangerous thing, but, in the end, one discovers that climbing back down is even more dangerous; and trying to return to your people an enlightened being after having taken in the view from the highest peak is by far the most dangerous thing. No one comes back down from the Mount the same person they went up as. The world may accept them and embrace their change, or the world may cast them out if they fail to recognize him.
Sometimes the climber descends a harder man than before, and sometimes he descends a more fragile man. Sometimes the climber returns home unable to bear the world he once knew, and sometimes he is unable to bear himself: sometimes he does not recognize that world, and sometimes he does not recognize himself. The results are not always the same for every climber or every climb.
Be willing to climb, be willing to support those who wish to climb, or be willing to support an existence which goes nowhere.