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The Great Mountain

I had heard it said, "there is a Great Mountain of Enlightenment with many different pathways leading toward its summit." Most people are unaware of the existence of this mountain though they may have some vague sense of it. When I began using drugs I experienced many wondrous emotions and imagined myself climbing out of the fog of ordinary life and ascending toward that elusive summit. Each new drug experience seemed to reinforce my belief that I was becoming a more enlightened being. As I immersed myself in these experiences however they always seemed to end in confusion just as I felt I was about to grasp some great truth. Some ended in disastrous "falls" when the route seemed to take an unanticipated turn or reach an apparent dead end. Each time I would stop using the drugs for a while but I told myself that these setbacks were only missteps along my particular path.

After many repetitions of these experiences I became quite adept at using the drugs to return to my place on the "Mountain". Slowly it dawned on me however, that these experiences no longer had the strong sense of progressing upward that they at first seemed to have. Then one day, after another period of drug use, I had a vision.

Believing myself to be near the summit of the Great Mountain, but still sensing there was something missing, I saw an image of myself gazing back down into the valley of fog. Suddenly across the valley I became aware of something I had missed in my previous ascents. I wasn't on the Great Mountain at all, but only on a small hill that allowed me to see somewhat beyond the fog to the real summit. The drugs had brought me great dreams but these were only imperfect images. As I contemplated my predicament it became clear to me that there was no shortcut up the Great Mountain and that I must leave the drugs and the small hill and journey back into the valley of fog to seek my true path.

Great Mountain and little hill

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