God's Holy Mountain
GOD'S HOLY MOUNTAIN
"Flee as a bird to your mountain." (Psalms 11:1).
"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." (Psalms 121:1).
"See...that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount." (Heb. 8:5).
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." (Isa. 11:9).
"In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and the people shall flow unto it ... come, and let us go up to the house of the Lord, ... and he will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem ... nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." (Mic. 4:1-3).
"The God of heaven (shall) set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and shall stand forever. ... Thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands." (Dan. 2:44,45).
"Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light." (Matt. 17:1,2).
A pyramid is a mountain. Even when a man has to make his own mountain (as in the building of a pyramid), it partakes of the psychic essence of a natural mountain. It stirs similar slumbering chords in the heart of man. In the flatlands of southeastern Texas, the only way a man can find a mountain is to make one. The mountain which he has made then serves him much as would a lofty peak formed by Nature's own hands.
Perhaps to explain the impact of a lofty mountain peak on the psyche of man is to diminish it, but I think not. Height alone fosters feelings of aspiration and hope. Height inspires confidence. When the people of Israel first selected a king, they selected a man who stood literally head and shoulders above all other people. A study was published fairly recently pointing out that almost invariably in an American presidential contest, it is the taller man who wins the election. This may be a reflection of the soul's subliminal knowledge that if it is to be saved, its problems solved, it must fulfil the divine injunction: "Look unto me, all ye ends of the earth, and be ye saved." The fact that tall men have not always been worthy men, and that short bodies are often indwelt by towering souls, seems to have done nothing to erase the archetypal image of the tall man as a savior figure.
Mountains are symbols of the mysterious and unattainable. Growing up as I did in the Columbia River valley, the vision of majestic Mount Hood's towering, snowy peak never failed to bring inspiration, no matter how often it appeared. Those who have lived in this area will know that "appeared" is the right word, since it is so often veiled in cloud and mist.
A mountain is a place of escape. "Flee as a bird to the mountain." People instinctively yearn to go to the mountains to "get away from it all." Yet the escape factor has been maligned and belittled by behavioral analysts as "problem avoidance." There is, however, a legitimate use of escape. The metaphysician who knows that all his external circumstances are created by his thought-patterns may, nevertheless, find that when he is immersed in the immediate meshing and intermeshing of external conditions, he lacks time and energy to investigate the mental and emotional factors adequately. His apparent escape is a deliberate creative act by which he reduces external factors to a minimum, so that he can concentrate his investigation on the actual mental needs, causes, and effects in the situation he is attempting to resolve or exalt.
One does not always need to alter his physical environment in order to accomplish this. Thus, the Psalmist indicates that he can receive help by a mere shift in attention or focus. "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills." Symbolically, the hills or mountains are the highest concepts, the most abstract truths, the most exalted principles which the mind can entertain and accept. This, which again may seem mere diversion, is actually an attunement of the basic pattern of the soul by which it re-establishes perfect accord with its original tone or sacred pitch. Then, as though standing upon the mountain, a command and decree of justice, wisdom, love, and right action can be uttered with assurance, dignity, and power.
The Greek word for mountain, oros, is derived from the same root as the Greek verb, for seeing, oreo. Standing on Mt. Diablo in California, one can see for literally hundreds of miles in every direction. The blue Pacific, the valley, and mountains further north become visible. Standing high in consciousness, one can see very far indeed. The total perspective is altered, and that which had seemed to catch one entirely in its grip, is now the merest speck of dust. When God instructed Moses to build a place of worship saying, "See that thou do all things according to the pattern shown to thee in the mount," it was indicated that the Way of Return, the approach to the effulgent Light, is discerned when one has risen above mundane preoccupations with time, space, fear, and depression. Every man's body is his own place of worship. It is also his experimental laboratory, in which he works out and resolves the problems and challenges of coordinating inner and outer elements of creative life expression. When he has been to the mountain, he is no longer threatened or discouraged by seeming delays and obstacles. He remembers what is to come, and thereby draws strength and courage to persist, even when encircled by those who have not seen his vision.
The beauty of the mountain entices us, by working upon hidden desires and impulses in the unconscious. When the prophet Micah declares that the day will come in which all people, without exception, will enter into peaceful dwelling upon the earth, and recognition of the Light of the Lord, he is indicating that there is a universal, inexplicable, and unconscious operation by which a mountain works in the aspirational complex of the soul which can draw people into this kind of unity and concord.
Just as the mountain explorer says he must climb the mountain "because it's there," so are souls drawn to the towering beauty of the ultimate attainment of a high view of life. This does not take place against their wills; but the imagination is so fired by the prospect of exaltation, that the will is compelled to serve the fiery imagination. Thus the mountain holds the secret answer to the riddle: if man has free will, how can we say that all men shall one day reach the exaltation of God?
Those who worship in the pyramid, however, are in the unique position of being inside the mountain. To be inside the mountain means to be a part of the structure of the mountain. We take a giant step forward in our spiritual evolution when we realize that even if we are "as but dust," we are nevertheless a part of the invisible structure of universal aspiration and majesty, by which Divine Mind is drawing all souls into attunement and harmony with Itself. In Daniel's interpretation of the king's dream, he saw that there was a stone that was cut out of the side of the mountain without hands. This stone rolled down the side of the mountain and destroyed all the kingdoms of the world. "Kingdoms of the world" are forms of thought, belief and emotion based upon the limited observation, and erroneous interpretation of data from such observation, by which mortal man computes his success and failure. It is upon such computations that mortal man establishes the semblance of power (a kingdom), and judges the value of himself and his fellowman. When all such foolish and erroneous evaluations are shattered, mankind enters into the millennium, popularly known in our time as the Aquarian Age.
But what is the mystical stone? Our key is found in the Hebrew word for stone, ehben. The first syllable, ehb or ab, means "father." The second syllable, ben, means The stone, then, is the stabilized, strong, enduring manifestation of the union of the father and the son. When we get inside the mountain or pyramid of our aspirations and desires, and go far enough to observe the cutting of the stone, it means that we are getting into the essential root of all lesser aspiration, the desire to know the oneness of ourselves (the son) and the Infinite (Father). This process takes place "without hands;" that is, without human effort. This is intuited knowledge whose blazing assurance flares through the soul without effort or aid from the ordinary conscious processes of mortal thought. Thus none can hasten its coming , nor delay its operation. Its effect of shattering the lesser kingdoms or thought structures, is inevitable and unvarying.
It is little wonder, then, that when the Master Jesus took his closest followers into the mountain, that He was transfigured before them. The shape of his countenance was unchanged, but that which emanated from His countenance was intensified and accelerated. What had before been opaque and dense became luminous and radiant. He lived on earth in His eternal body. This was always true, but it became obviously true through the initiatory experience recorded in Matt. 17. This enlightens us.
Jesus-in-us, that part of consciousness which will illuminate and liberate us, when seen on the top of the mountain or the apex of the pyramid, convinces us irrevocably that our help is not transient but permanent. It persuades us totally that the problems and enigmas of life are only so because we have seen them with valley vision. As we dare to ascend the pinnacle of spiritual awareness, we perceive that our enigma is our savior. We see that the personalities, possessions and concepts which we have used are only thin veils temporarily disguising divine lessons and spiritual victory.
Though we would, like Peter, essay to remain on the mountain top, the very center which illumines us compels us to take our awareness into the lower realms and kingdoms of manifestation. Only one who has been to the mountain top can speak persuasively of its glories. Even he, though, can never truly describe it. His finest words are like the merest stumblings and stammerings of the illiterate village boy who cannot tell the priest of the angels he has seen walking across the fields with his sheep, because paroxysms of ecstasy have throttled his voice box. But though his stammerings tell nothing, he can no more cease the stammering than the sun can cease its shining.
In the ancient and sacred halls of the pyramids of Egypt, man and women learned the high art of creative escape. They experienced the heights of the soul's delight, and were thus empowered to overcome the soul's agonies. They learned that the mere memory of their exaltation would release added clarity and power to meet mundane circumstances with celestial serenity. They saw that the light which burned in the inner temple, burns in temples of all men, known and unknown. They saw that there was that of the grace of God which they would not command, but to which they could only acquiesce; and in acquiescence, there was revealed their inherent God-likeness. They saw themselves "after another manner;" for the body of light became as apparent and as manifestly functional as the body of flesh. Thus they were made aware of the reality of their immortality. It is for these truths that the Golden Pyramid is erected; in silence, it speaks; in its silent speech, we not only learn the precepts of truth, we also come to embody and experience directly the heaven-sent exaltation of truth.