The fool went to climb the mountain that has no mountaintop…..for this they called him a fool and he was content with that. They warned him that he would be climbing forever without end and he said he was content with that, as well. So he set off alone, with few well-wishers or supplies and, on the way, a dog for company. The climb was long and tedious; it had its perils and dangers, but also its joys and pleasures. He marveled at how his perception of his world changed as he made his way from height to higher heights. The expansion of the horizon, the light and warmth of the sun as it rose, the ever nearing closeness of the stars and the moon at night…These were his ever present friends and companions, along with the dog that, somehow, always managed to find a way to stay with him.
You would think that the dog was part mountain goat. It would run on the narrowest of ledges and jump the spaces and gaps as if it had wings. Always would he find it by his side and sometimes ahead, but never behind. Always friendly, always cheerful and smiling, its tail always wagging, often it would bark encouragement and at those times when he had to push himself to the fullest, overcoming his fears of leaping here and walking there…and holding on by bloody fingertips…the little dog would jump into his arms and lick his face as if to say “Good boy! I knew you could do it!’
And so the journey continued. Day after day became year after year and still higher they climbed. The world below faded away and even the birds did not venture anymore to fly up and witness the fool and his little dog on the impossible, never-ending journey up and around the great mountain that had no mountaintop………but still, he always continued to think to himself, by definition every mountain has a mountaintop. Otherwise, can it truly be a mountain? If it is not a mountain, then what is it? I must know….and so they climbed on.
Eventually, they found themselves faced with a clear path. It was surprising to say the least. It was narrow, no wider than the sidewalks that one finds in most towns or cities. It was smooth and even, yet ascended at a slight incline that seemed to get steeper as it went along. The only problem was that it was on the other side of a rather wide gap at the end of a precipice….and there was nowhere else to go if one wanted to go further and higher……..
The fool and his dog stood at the edge of the precipice and considered the jump. It seemed impossible to make. Way too far for any human being. Even the dog realized that this would be a very good time to grow wings, but alas…..no wings appeared. The poor fool was beside himself with disappointment and frustration. To have come all this way, having seen all that they had seen, experienced all that they had experienced, simply to come to this, impossible task.
He looked over the precipice to the deep depths below. Better to jump and fall, than to turn around in defeat, he thought to himself as he considered the fall through the clouds beneath him which overshadowed the valley in darkness. At least that would be one, last, final experience worth having under the circumstances. The dog barked, at first he thought it was in agreement with his own thoughts. It was then that he noticed that the dog was barking for an entirely different reason…..
Two figures approach them on the path from the other side. One was a young boy about 7 years old and the other, an old man with long gray hair and beard. They stood at the edge of their side of the mountain and motioned for the fool and dog to jump across.
“What are you waiting for?” Said the child. “You cannot continue unless you jump across! Surely you’re not afraid, are you?”
“Yes. Yes I am.” Replied the fool. “I may be a fool, but I’m not stupid. There’s no way I can make a jump like that!” The little dog barked in agreement.
“Sure you can!” Said the child. “You just have to believe!”
“All the belief in the world will not make me able to jump that! It must be at least twenty feet. Am I a bird? Do I have wings? No! Don’t mind me. I’ll just sit here until I die of starvation. I’m already close enough with these meager provisions. It shouldn’t take long and then you can just go on about your regular business without any more concern for me. Just please take care of my dog. He has been a true and faithful friend and companion and I don’t want him to die out here or up here and I worry that he won’t be able to find his way down without me. If either of you have made this jump in the past, then please, after I die, jump back over here and take my friend back with you. He deserves so much better than I have been able to give him. It would be unjust for him to have to die along with me. He came only because I did and now we have come to this. Let him not have to share in my death, as well.”
The child looked up at the old man and smiled, as the old man smiled in return. They both sat down on their edge of the precipice and called out to the fool. “As you say, so shall it be!” said the old man. “How long do you think it will take you to die?”
“Oh, I don’t know.” Replied the fool. “It may be two or three days. Maybe longer. I’m a pretty hearty fellow. As you can see, we’ve made it this far. I must be very healthy to have kept up with him.” He said as he sat down on his side and hugged the dog. “Were it not for his leading half the time, I never would have made it. So please save him after I am dead and gone and let the wind blow my wasted body away to parts unknown so that, at least, I can feed the crows that find me.” He hung his head and pretended to sob.
“You’re a very funny fellow” Laughed the boy. Can you really afford to be so cavalier in the face of certain death?”
“Oh, death doesn’t bother me. I may have my preferences on how to go about it. But once it’s done it’s done and that is that and wherever I end up, I end up. But I would hate to be responsible for the death of another, especially one as brave and true of heart as this one here.” He snuggled the dog close to his breast and the dog licked him and wagged his tail happily.
“He seems to feel the same way about you.” Said the old man.
“Do you think so? It’s been something I’ve felt but I don’t speak dog at all so it’s really hard to tell for sure. He’s an honest soul, I give him that. For that alone, he deserves better than this.”
“And what about you?” Asked the boy. “Are you not honest yourself?”
“Oh, I’m a human. No matter how honest we meant to be and try to be, we live in a world where there’s always a good reason to tell at least one lie. Even if it’s to save your own life, it’s a lie and a lie is a lie. But this one here has been as honest as the day is long in summer and has been so all the days of his life. I believe it’s part of being a dog. You don’t lie even if it would save your own life. You couldn’t and you wouldn’t want to because if you wanted to you wouldn’t be a dog anymore. You’d be a human and your life would be full of lies. Oh humans are surrounded by lies, even if they can’t speak; they can lie if they have to. It’s shameful, I know, but what can I do? I am me and he is him and he deserves better.”
The young boy stood up and with a slight grin on his face, proceeded to leap across the chasm without even taking a step! He smiled at the fool and held his arms out to take the dog. The poor fool was so flabbergasted that he just handed the dog over while he stammered unsuccessfully to form a coherent sentence, or ever a word of thanks. He just sat there with his mouth open as the young lad leapt back over with the dog in his arms and turned around smiling. The dog whimpered slightly as if to say: “Come on! If he can do it, surely you can!” But the poor fool just let his shoulder droop and continued to sit there as he began to look more and more pitiful with each passing moment.
“Fine.” He sighed finally. “I’ll just die here alone and lonely”
“But you’re not alone” said the old man. “We’re right here.”
“Oh sure. You’re nothing more than witnesses to my slow and gruesome death. I’ve no one to hold my hand or even lick my face, in comfort. How did you do that, anyway?”
“You have to believe.” Smiled the child. The little dog barked and wagged his tail.
“Oh, it’s just that simple, is it?”
“Well….technically……” interrupted the bearded one…”Your belief must be one of knowing it as a truth. You CAN fly. But once you believe it you have to prove it to yourself that you may know it as fact.”
“But, I just showed him.” Said the boy. “He saw me do it. Shouldn’t that be enough?”
“If he knew you and in knowing you, trusted you…..perhaps. But he would still have to prove it to himself by experiencing it for himself and only he can do that. Neither one of us can do it for him. You showed him what, but you didn’t show him how. He fears and as long as he fears, it will be impossible for him to do it.”
“So…” The fool interjected…” You’re saying that as long as I’m not afraid, I can do it?”
“That and the fact of your own belief as a thing in knowing. You can’t just believe it, you have to be it.”
“Why the thing that flies, of course….silly.” Laughed the child. “So…are you ready to jump?”
“Now just hold on. You say that I am in fear of jumping over a large…huge….incredibly deep chasm…and that the only way I can fly over it is to not be in fear of jumping, either to fly or fall. Is that it?”
“If you believe you will fall, then you will fall.” Said the elder.
“If you know you can fly, you will fly.” Said the youth.
“So there IS a possibility of falling?”
“That’s up to you. If you fail to apply yourself fully to the matter at hand and overcome the circumstances…….well……any doubt at any time will lose you your momentum and…well…there you go.”
“Remember that there IS a possibility of flying. Why can’t you be more positive about things?”
“Force of habit, I guess. I’ve fallen before…but never from…so….high…”
“Just do it.”
“Easy for you to say. You’re already there. Let me ask you this: Is it absolutely necessary that I take my first….flight…or leap of faith as it were, over this chasm?”
“Explain……”Said the old man.
“Well, I mean…like…if I can really fly, like you say…and there’s no reason not to believe you…like you say and I’ve seen you do it and if you’ve ever been like me then I should be able to do it as well…”
“I have been and still am and yes you can.”
“Okay! See? That’s the thing! Right there! If I can do this thing….why do I have to do it over that, first?”
The old man just smiled. “Continue…” he said.
“Well, it just seems to me…if it’s all okay with you and such…that…wouldn’t it be just as good if I started right from where I am?”
“Huh?” said the child…….
“I mean……if I can fly….just like the birds do, but without wings…..why can’t I do it from right where I’m standing? Why can’t I just stand right here and go up and stay up for a while? ….you know…while I get used to it. Kind of…float or fly around a little bit right here….go up…levitate around in a little circle…until I’ve convinced myself that this is something that I can do anytime, anywhere…just like learning to walk. Why can’t I just do it like that, like a baby learning to walk? You wouldn’t ask a baby to walk down a steep flight of stairs until it could walk with enough confidence and sense to hold the banister or something. I’ve seen babies go down the stairs backwards, sliding down one step at a time. It’s not fear. It’s just common sense and there’s no common sense in me jumping off this silly cliff until I can figure out the best way to get over it and that means flying so be it. But I better damn well be able to fly before I try it out for real….don’t you think that’s a better idea than just jumping on out there to see what’s what?”
The boy laughed so hard he almost dropped the dog. “He’s funny!!”
“Perhaps…but he makes a good point and it’s not against the rules. It’s unheard of, so far and there’s a first time for everything. Let’s let him do it as best he can and figure it out on his own.”
“Whoa whoa whoa whoa there! What do you mean by letting me figure it out on my own? I need instruction here! I have no experience or clue to what I’m doing or what I’m supposed to do! Believe and know and you can do…woooooooo. You sound like Mrs. Edgars, the psychic down on Twelfth Street by the dock of the bay. Good person, terrible psychic. No, I have questions. For instance: Do you do this all by yourself? Is there any force or energy, entity or god that is responsible for lifting you up and making it look like you’re the one doing it? Should I expect to leap into the hand of my savior who will raise me up and set me in a place that is too high for me to climb alone? That seems to apply here.”
“Well…” Said the old man…”Not that that hasn’t been done and it could apply in this case if you were willing to let it. But what we are talking about here is something that comes from that, through you, so that you get to experience it and It can experience it through you, as well.”
“You sound like that screwy prophet on the hill in the park. The one that just disappeared and no one’s seen him since.”
“He passed through here some time ago. Had no problem or hesitation making the jump. Met us coming up the path as we were coming down to meet him. You should’ve paid attention to his words.”
“Oh but I did! All that one in all as one as all and we are it and it is we and I am I being that I and I and so on and so forth…..i figured that much out. That’s why I climbed this mountain….to find The One Thing and talk with it.”
“You could have done that anywhere….”
“Yeah, I know.. all that ‘ IT is within you and you are within IT’ yeah, I get that……..i just wanted a…..higher conversation….”
The boy laughed harder and louder…..”See? I told you he was funny.”
“So it seems……Okay…….you will have to imagine yourself walking up a ladder or steep flight of stairs. Every step takes you higher off the ground. At any time you can step off the ladder and stay right on the floor. The ground will rise up to meet you. Everything is, indeed, one thing and it is all found in consciousness. You can do all things in that consciousness anywhere and at any time. You must have faith in yourself and you cannot have faith in yourself until you can realize yourself as not yourself but as the one that is being you for the sake of the experience of being you. Once the two of you are able to communicate on that level and come to an agreement as to whose will will be in charge as you both experience the vehicle that you inhabit at present…..you can go on from there. Nothing is done that the One doesn’t allow. It’s as simple as that. That anything exists simply means that it serves a purpose that that purpose belongs to the One that created the whole of conscious creation for the sake of Its own purpose, which is supreme, ultimate and absolute and nothing can stand against it or opposed it unless it is for the sake of experience in The One an all things do what they are designed to do…and that is to become perfect in their perfection, having experienced any, every and all things for the sake of becoming and being like the Creator……..as He has so generously decided to share of Himself with all His creation for the sake of more experience…ad infinitum and for all eternity. Got that?”
“Yes, actually. But how do I work that?”
“As best you can, my friend…as best you can. If it is in The Creator’s purpose that you fly…then you shall fly, even here and now….but that is a conversation that you must have with Him and that will take time. That is why we ask people to give up their fear and leap in faith that they will be lifted up and safely placed upon the great path…..But…if you want to do it yourself…”
“why? Do you still fear? Have you no faith?”
“Dunno. I have no fear of the situation one way or the other…fall or fly, live or die…..in the end it’s all the same…..my spirit will continue with lessons learned and I can only feel that way because I have faith in the one that created me to be who and what I am….so that is that….It’s just that…….it seems that we’re all here to learn how to be like God……so why can’t I fly like Him?”
“Good point.” Replied the old man. The child just smiled and put the dog down…
“We’ll leave you to it, then.” Are you sure that you want to go that way?”
“Who knows? I may yet run and leap…hopefully for all the right reasons.” The fool laughed. “But I would, at least, like to try. I honestly believe that I could do it if He would just hold me by the hand and show me how…is that too much to ask?”
“No….no it isn’t” The two turned around and started to walk away. “See you when you get there!” Yelled the boy.
The old man turned and looked at the dog, which was looking back and forth between them and the fool, unsure of what to do. “Well…” He said. “You’ve kept him company this long. He may be awhile longer. Best to not let him get lonely. Go on. We’ll see the both of you when you get there.”
The dog barked and with that…leapt back across the chasm.
The fool just stared at the two as they disappeared up and around the path. The dog licked his faced and barked and wagged its tail….
“Yeah, I reckon so.” Said the fool to the dog. “This may take a whole lot of time……” He said as he raised himself up.
If you ever find the great Mountain of God and choose to climb it and make it to the Chasm Of The Great Choice…you may or may not see someone standing there, seemingly talking with himself or some invisible thing…or raising one leg up and trying raise the other while the first one is up in the air…..or leaping up and down……all the while being cheered on by a little dog……..
Pay them no mind and ask them nothing…just leap across and keep going. Otherwise, the next time someone reaches that place, they may find the both of you hopping up and down talking….but not to each other…………and so it goes…..but if you reach that place and there is no one there…take heart and smile……we will all see you when you get there….however you get there….just as long as you get there….that’s all that matters now, isn’t it?
Marja on PERSONAL NOTES eleanor on PERSONAL NOTES Marja on PERSONAL NOTES Melody on THE TIME FOR HEROES IS NOW… Marja on CONFESSIONAL REMINISCENCE
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