I Must Climb This Great Mountain

I must climb this great mountain
Puncak Jaya, Papua, Indonesia

Over the past two years, I have read the revelation “Building the Four Pillars of Your Life” on a semi-regular basis. It was received by Marshall Vian Summers in September of 2008. I wrote a post about this teaching slightly over five years ago, called “An Antidote For Inconsistency.” Repeated readings have yielded encouragement to me. Each time I find a little more of the treasure within.

I must climb this great mountain

In this revelation, living a life of greater purpose is likened to climbing a great mountain. There are many people who relish such an idea. Alas, many of these people fail to consider the preparation necessary for such a life. The necessary preparation is building strength and balance in the areas of relationships, health, career/providership, and spiritual development. You can imagine that this is a great deal of work. Many people want a short cut. There isn’t one.

“It [living a life of greater purpose] is like climbing a great mountain. You start off and you realize it is really steep, and you do not have the right kind of shoes for it, and the things that you are bringing along are not really the things you really need, and you find you do not have the strength to get very far. You do not have the provisions. Your expectations were perhaps too romantic. You thought this was going to be easy.”

I cannot settle for the little mountain

So many people fail for lack of preparation. How do they respond? Many settle for less than their greater purpose in life. Rainer Maria Rilke wrote about this in his poem “The Man Watching:”

What we choose to fight is so tiny! 
What fights with us is so great.  
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,  
we would become strong too, and not need names.

When we win it’s with small things, 
and the triumph itself makes us small.  

The knowing that you avoided the engagement of which you dreamed, is a great disappointment. “Building the Four Pillars of Your Life” teaches,

“Or it proves to be hard, and you really do not have the strength to undertake it. So you settle for something much less in life. You tell yourself, “Oh, well. This relationship will be good enough for me,” or “This job will be good enough for me.” And you compromise yourself, and you give your life to things that really have no promise. You give your life to people who are really not going anywhere. And though you might feel more secure or relieved of the challenge, in your heart there is a great depression, a great misgiving.”

Climbing the great mountain is not a dream

People see how much effort is required. People see how many people fail for lack of preparation. People see how many people settle for less. People see how many of those who settle for less have a great depression, a great misgiving. Therefore, many people think that living a life of greater purpose is a dream, an illusion, a fantasy. “Building the Four Pillars of Your Life” heads that off at the pass as well:

“That is why to give you the promise that you have a greater purpose and a greater meaning in life, the essential elements for building the foundation for this must be provided for you. And the education must be provided for you. Otherwise, the idea of living a life of a greater purpose, greater meaning, is only a dream—beyond your reach, beyond your capabilities.

But it is not a dream. It is the fundamental reality of your life. But it requires a very strong foundation, and this foundation must be sustained through time. This will give you strength and confidence. This will free you from dangerous obsessions. This will prevent you from falling into despair or being pulled away by the obsessions and the addictions of others.”

Therefore, I must prepare

Hikers preparing. I must climb this great mountain

If I attempt to climb the great mountain unprepared, I will fail. If I settle for climbing a little mountain, I might succeed, but the triumph will make me smaller. If I call climbing the great mountain a dream, I will be ignoring the reality of my life. Therefore, I must prepare. I’m reconciled with this taking a great deal of work. I must climb this great mountain.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

Beaten By Bigger And Bigger Angels

I consider unfulfilled expectations to be part of the experience of following a spiritual path. Steps to Knowledge is the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God. Each of its 365 steps contain instructions for practice.

Beaten by bigger and bigger angels

Sometimes I follow the directions, and beautiful things happen. I get some kind of experience related to the step. I get some kind of insight, a thought I hadn’t thought before. But there are other times when I follow the directions and nothing happens. The heavens are as brass, and the earth is as iron. But maybe that’s part of the plan. Maybe it cultivates emotional intelligence to not get what we want right away.

Beaten by bigger and bigger angels. Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the poem “The Man Watching” (“Der Schauende”) sometime between 1899 and 1902. It was one of the poems in The Book of Images. I consider Rilke to be one of my companions in my Steps to Knowledge journey. He takes poetic licence with the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel in Genesis 32. This is Robert Bly’s translation.

I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can’t bear without a friend,
I can’t love without a sister.

The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape, like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.

What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights with us is so great.
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.

When we win it’s with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestlers’ sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.

Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.

Beaten by bigger and bigger angels. That might not be so bad.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.