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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Yours to Discover

Not really.  That would imply the mountain is intentionally withholding knowledge from us.  Which, of course, is silly.  Mountains don't withhold - they just are.
If we don't recognize that a mountain is there, we can't conceive of climbing it.  If we choose to climb, the heights may make us dizzy, or we might feel awed by the expanding landscape that reveals itself.  We may feel we've gone too far and feel the need to either cling to the ground or go back.  If we keep on climbing, our horizons will continue to expand - but the mountain can only take us so high.
Is it then the sky keeping the universe veiled?
Knowledge has never been hidden from us.  In fact, the reverse is true; we're the ones who've made up whole cults around mysteries.  It's easier to explain the dark parts of our world that way, and less daunting than reaching for the light - it might burn, or we might fall.  
Besides, being part of something secret and sacred makes us feel superior to others.  We build worth out of keeping things from others.   

It's not that we weren't meant to climb the mountain - it was only ever a question of whether we evolved the ability and something sparked our curiosity enough to leave our starting point.

Knowledge works this way, too - it surrounds us no matter where we go, regardless of whether we miss, fear, ignore or even suppress it.
But knowing is a double-edged sword; great power, great responsibility and all that.  Build your tower too tall on too small a foundation, it's likely to topple.
It's therefore fitting that fire is such a common metaphor for knowledge; it provides both light and comfort, but wielded carelessly it can burn out of control.
Which is why gardening makes a perfect metaphor for wisdom; the wise gardener tends all plants to their needs and ensures balanced growth, avoiding calamitous brushfire.
Wisdom is the combination of knowledge and empathy, an understanding of the need for balance in all things - even growth.
When we understand this there's no telling what heights we'll overcome or barriers we'll break, but again - the mountain isn't hiding anything from us.  It just is.
And that's the punchline those happy mystics have landed on, the nugget of truth we're burning our way up the mountainside to discover.  The end of our journey is right back where we started.
It's an apple and tree thing.


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