I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Monday, 11 February 2008

The Living Mountain


I believe that I now understand in some small measure why the Buddhist goes on pilgrimage to a mountain. The journey is itself part of the technique by which the god is sought. It is a journey into Being; for as I penetrate more deeply into the mountain's life, I penetrate also into my own. For an hour I am beyond desire. It is not ecstasy, that leap out of the self that makes man like a god. I am not out of myself, but in myself. I am. To know Being, this is the final grace accorded from the mountain.

The closing paragraph of Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain. Quite simply one of the finest meditations on mountains (specifically the Scottish Cairngorms) ever written.

4 comments:

Loren said...

Unfortunately, that book doesn't show up as a possibility on Amazon because it sounds intriguing.

The Solitary Walker said...

See my new post, loren, and all will be revealed!

am said...

Thank you for posting this larger version of your photo of Canigou, Pyrenees. Beautiful.

The Solitary Walker said...

Canigou is considered a sacred mountain in the Eastern Pyrenean area of France. Rosemary Bailey wrote an interesting book called 'Life In A Postcard: Escape to the French Pyrenees' about her attempts to transform an old monastery into a home. This was set in the Castellane valley - in the shadow of Canigou.