The fear of the mountain exists in all of us. It’s the fear of the giant that Jack must slay, the monster we have grown. It’s the thick oak that we are too afraid to chop down. We see the size of the beast, the height of the mountain, and forget our stature.
The fear of the mountain is looking up at the stars and the night and shuddering as to its vastness. The fear of the mountain is to look at the journey ahead, and turning away back to bed. The fear of the mountain is the fear the greatest battles and the greatest fights and the greatest adventures.
What if something went wrong? It might. What if I got lost? You might. What if I was injured. Your security is not guaranteed.
But the greatest risk is never taking a risk at all. You may back down from all the glory, all the joy, all the wonder. You may aim to be seafarer and then cower away from all the oceans. You may to be a traveler and get queasy on the road. But he who stays at home, the bird who hides in the nest, will never learn the glory and joy of what it means to fly.
Fear of the mountain is an archetype of fear. It’s the archetype that the size of the journey indicates how it should not be taken. It’s the archetype that the evil of the world is its vastness. The good of the world is its vastness.
There a billion books, and billion to be. There are a billion places, and billions more to seek out. There are billions of peoples and billions more that you may befriend.
A world without mountains has no peaks. A world without mountains has no glorious sights from which to stand as king of the world. A world without mountains is one where each of us has no dream to look forward to, no heights to achieve, and no challenges worth overcoming.
The fear of the mountain is the fear of the world, and you may back down and terrify yourself back to your room. You may down a terrify yourself back to the cave. But no continents were found by men either indigenous or western, by those who backed away from the journey. No glory is found by those men who deny their own power and bravery. No glory and no joy is given to the artist who thinks his style is too radical or original.
The fear of the mountain is not a fear of death, as many fears are. The fear of the mountain is the fear of ever living at all.
Until next time.