A sliver of sunlight is all that remains as I wander into the darkness of this chasm, I do not expect this light to last for much longer. It is cold, muggy and damp down here. There is no path down here except for a craggy rock formation that resembles a half constructed spiral staircase. The solitary mechanism leading me through these depths is a suspicion that somewhere I can find my intuition and shadow it all the way to safety. I come upon a concealed corner and I peek around it with caution. Wouldn’t you know it? There it is, my intuition barely reflecting a likeness to a light of hope through a narrow hallway. The maze of hazy reflection looks to be an opening towards a way out of this unfamiliar underworld, or it could be a direct path to hell.
The flashlight flickers violently against the constricted chamber of the chasm, meanwhile shadows start to play tricks with my mind. These shadows take a toll on my equilibrium and the scene around me spins until I fall to my knees, spun. I almost pass out on the way down. From my fallen position, I begin to feel that I am not alone down here. I feel a strong sensation of another presence and it washes over me. My anxiety tackles me to the ground.
It is completely dark now. My body blooms with dread and a cold sweat trickles down the back of my neck, only manifesting panic into a deeper state. There is something about complete darkness that arouses the hidden fears that have been hiding in our souls since we were children. I feel all around the ground looking for my flashlight and all I feel is little metallic pieces spread about in a scattered manner with a few batteries to boot. The horror becomes unbearable while the simplicity of breathing vanishes.
My thoughts turn to the worst and my worry overthrows my entire thought process. In the face of death I start to feel pity for myself. What would my family and friends feel in the actuality of my disappearance? Would they send a search and rescue team? How long would it take for them to find me? Another wave of terror moves over me. No one has any clue where I am. I told no one of my plan except my four-year-old son. I told him the day before that I was going to climb a mountain, although I never said which one. Then I think about him and the tears begin to flood my eyes while I envision his fatherless life flash before my eyes. Would he think somewhere in the back of his mind that I ran away from my responsibility of raising him? The presence I felt earlier is back again, only this time it seems to be inside me. It is stronger than it was before. My heart starts beating with perseverance. An unknown strength lifts me to my feet. “Just breathe,” there was the voice again. This time though I know exactly where it came from. It came from within me.
I expel all of the air out of my lungs, emptying all of the fear that filled me minutes ago. Then, I inhale, slow and determinate, allowing confidence to settle inside my thoughts for the mission that lies ahead. I do this for quite some time and I can feel clearer thoughts coming in waves that are crystallizing with a vision that resembles a ladder that I have never in my life seen. I inhale one last time, only this time I concentrate on allowing unbridled love and harmony with the world to enter my body and before I can exhale, I see a light and it guides me.
The light in which I must reach looks to be some two hundred odd feet atop this cryptic wall that stands before me. If I were to get halfway up and fall, death would be eminent, either quickly, or slow, torturous and lonesome. I focus on the path towards the light and put the paralyzing fear behind me. I climb towards my meaning with all of my strength. The climb is easier than I thought it would be. The wall is formed with many cavities that allow me to gain significant heights with little effort. I was almost to the top when I came to the final hurdle. The only way out of here was to jump over to the ledge behind me about six feet across and two feet higher than were I stood. There is no room to get a running start and absolutely no room for error. My hands are already bleeding with a bearable pain from the jagged edges of the wall. I tighten the straps of my pack around my shoulders and tighten my shoelaces. I do not affix my thoughts to the consequences of what may happen next, instead I just jump.
In life, wisdom only has value if it helps us to overcome some obstacle that stands in the way of our dreams. I climb out and bathe in the sunlight without a thought in my head for almost an hour. Finally, I push through the glory of surviving death and I climb to my feet.
I can see the summit from where I stand now. I sit down and inhale the mountain air with a deepness that consumes me with an extraordinary amount of love for life. Not only my own, but every single aspect of life that walks this earth. I see the undignified process in which the human mind falls into the trap of might over right—we are not superior to other species—and it sickens me to stomach. So much that I become queasy and begin to dry heave.
We are the only species that is aware that our death is imminent and because of that we allow empathy to give way to fear and apathy. The latter spreads through the soul like wildfire and destroys the goodness that was once the foundation of philosophy. Men become despots and look to protect their namesake with violence, war, greed, and gluttony, by destroying love. Little to they know, that when the manifestation of love is interrupted, the one responsible for that interruption becomes beholden for its recreation and the rebirth of the original manifestation. I prefer to not sound like a broken record but it is cyclical.
Death is not something that we should hide from instead we should allow it to motivate us to do the best with what we can with our lives. Life is a battle that must be fought with worthy causes and not inflated wars. It could be considered vanity to act in such a way to prevent one’s name from being forgotten by performing good works, but vanity is merely an inward reflection of one’s self in the mirror of good and evil. When we become aware of the significance of death, we become braver and we seek further heroic conquests that better our soul because we have nothing to lose—for death is certain and when we no longer fear this, we find perfect harmony. You see death is our constant companion and it is death that gives our life meaning.
I take my last cigarette and light it. I take one last drag and savor it for awhile. This will be the last time I taste the conundrum of a cigarette in my life. I crush the lifeless stick on the rock below me. Life gestures my direction and I must proceed with the path that has been laid before me without any personal vice that has the power to extinguish my soul. I put my backpack on, and I start the final ascent towards the pinnacle of my purpose.
The sky wraps around my being and I am overcome with a sentiment of the endless Quality in everything that surrounds me. Everything, from the blue that paints the sky to the wind and her capricious breeze that holds me steady every step of the way. Every thought that goes through my head carries a hint of gospel with them and they turn to the glory of the God.
Back in the chasm, when I first felt the presence, it is something that I’ve always known was in there, you know, in the depths of me. There just hasn’t been any entity that was capable enough to extract it from me. I, of course, know that I am the only one that can become who I am to be, but sometimes, the most unexpected ray of sunshine plunges from the heights of heaven for us to bask in, if only for a moment and in the blink of an eye—forever starts to make sense.
I believe that God was manifest in the darkness of primitive mankind, in the storms and the cavernous depths of the soul. Man started witnessing God’s hand in all creatures, as well as the beauty of Mother Nature, the trees, flowers, waterfalls too, then they saw his evidence in the cold winds, the rain, the sunset, and the snow. You see, the spirit really does rest in all things if you are willing to believe. There have been difficult times when God seems to hide beneath the catacombs of evil, I believe this is his way of allowing wickedness the chance to transform itself into hope. One thing is for sure—he has never ceased to exist inside the heart of each and every one of us and the love that makes it beat. Remember wherever the treasure you seek in this life is, that to is where your heart is, that is where through good works you will find the importance of love and the perpetual bliss we all hope still exists.
I walk through an atrium built in the expression of granite. I look toward the summit and a presence, stronger than anything I’ve ever felt, stops me dead in my tracks. My heart starts to flutter and a feeling consumes me from the depths of my core. The feeling cleanses my soul as it leaves my body and stretches outward over the land that surrounds me, this mountain, this wind, throughout Mother Nature and all of her beautiful caprices—spreading like a wildfire that cleanses all souls with purity instead of wreaking the havoc of hatred. It has only one purpose and that is awaken the love rests inside all of humanity. It cannot be stopped; it will not be stopped, for love has risen once and it will rise again. I take another step and the view from this summit is the most spectacular, I have ever seen. For once, I finally see me.
The history not only of thought, but also of opinion, action, and consciousness too, of morals, aesthetics, politics, is to a large degree just a history of dominant preconceived patterns that follow certain paths. Whenever you look at any particular civilization, you notice that the most characteristic writings, or any artistic fragment, reflect particular paths of life. Those whom are responsible for these writings—or paint these pictures, or compose the most beautiful pieces of music—are dominated by the patterns of these paths. In order to identify with our civilization, in order to explain what our civilization is, I feel it is important to isolate the dominant pattern of these paths, to which present day culture obeys, and attack it head on. See you soon.