The famous Zen parable about the master for whom, before his studies, mountains were only mountains, but during his studies mountains were no longer mountains, and afterward mountains were again mountains could be interpreted as an alleory about [the perpetual paradox that when one is closest to a destination one is also the farthest).
Before I had studied Chan for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.
Before I had studied Zen for thirty years,I saw mountains as mountains,and waters as waters.When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains,and waters are not waters.But now that I have got its very substanceI am at rest.For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains,and waters once again as waters.
There was a windstorm in L.A., and the morning after there was no smog, and I could see the mountains. And I was like... 'There's mountains? Snowcap mountains?' That's insane; I've been there for thirteen years, and I've never seen that view before, seeing the mountains in the distance.
A. J. Buckley
The secret of the mountain is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no "meaning, " they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day.
The secret of the mountain is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no "meaning," they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day.
I sit in meditation... and soon all sounds, and all one sees and feels, take on imminence, an immanence, as if the Universe were coming to attention, a Universe of which one is the center, a Universe that is not the same yet not different from oneself: within man as within mountains there are many parts of hydrogen and oxygen, of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and other elements. 'You never enjoy the world aright, till the Sea itself flows in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars... '(Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditation) The secret of the mountains is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no 'meaning, ' they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share.
God is in the mountains. Impassive, immovable, jagged giants, separating the celestial from the terrestrial with eternal diagonal certainty. As if silently monitoring the beating heart of the creator from the universe's perfect birth. Stood in the thin air and the awe, one inhales God, involuntarily acknowledging that we are but fragments of a whole, a higher thing. The mountains remind me of my place, as a servant to truth and wonder. Yes, God is in the mountains. Perhaps the pulpit too and even in the piety of an atheist's sigh. I don't know; but I feel him in the mountains.
Forest restoration is a challenging and complex undertaking of raising young trees, transplanting them, and then cultivating them year in, year out in the face of harsh challenges of nature; it is a gigantic nature transformation project to turn all the mountains of the country into 'treasure mountains,' into 'gold mountains.'
It isn't so much that God is the unified state of consciousness that each of us came from and will return to, but more so that God is the creative energy flowing between all states of consciousness. God is in the land beyond the mountains, but God is also in the mountains and in the valley of illusions cradled within the mountains. God is not one thing or another, rather God flows between and through all things.
The landscape was snow and green ice on broken mountains. These weren't old mountains, worn down by time and weather and full of gentle ski slopes, but young, sulky, adolescent mountains. They held secret ravines and merciless crevices. One yodel out of place would attract, not the jolly echo of a lonely goatherd, but fifty tons of express-delivery snow.
MOUNTAINS OF MIGHT THE STORM IS GETTING COLDER IN A PLACE OF THE FROZEN SUN ALONE ON THE MOUNTAINSIDE BREATHING THE CLEAREST WINDS THE WINDS ARE EVERBLOWING BLOWING OFF THE GLACIERS SNOW DESCEND OF THE VALLEY INTO THE HIGH IMPASSABLE DRIFTS SO RIGHTLY I AM WATCHING THESE MOUNTAINS THAT I KNOW FOREVER STANDING HERE THESE MOUNTAINS NORTHERN FACE MOUNTAINS OF MIGHT ICICLED PEEKS AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE I WILL REIGN THIS PLACE ALONE COLD WINDS BLEW INTO THE VALLEY WALL SNOW WAS DEEPER THERE THE STORM IS GETTING COLDER IN A PLACE OF THE FROZEN SUN ALONE ON THE MOUNTAINSIDE BREATHING THE CLEAREST WINDS MOUNTAINS OF MIGHT
Human beings are not comparable. You can't compare us any more than you can compare roses and oranges, or mountains and the sea. You might prefer living by the sea to living in the mountains. You certainly like some people better than you like others. Preferences are perfectly valid...they're just your style asserting itself again. But you'd feel pretty silly saying 'The sea is better than the mountains.' It's every bit as silly to go around saying 'I'm better than Mary, but Joe is better than me.'
Mountains could be what happens when Father Earth eats something that doesn't agree with him. When he burps, mountains pop up." "That's absurd, " Keselo said, trying not to laugh. "If you've got a better theory, I'd be happy to hear it, " Red-Beard said mildly. "Anyway, a burp isn't anything but air that boils up out of a man's stomach, so Father Earth's mountains have chunks of empty air in the middle of them-burps that didn't quite manage to make it to the surface, you understand.
Mountains like these and travelers in the mountains and events that happen to them here are found not only in Zen literature but in the tales of every major religion. This allegory of a physical mountain for the spiritual one that stands between each soul and its goal is an easy and natural one to make. Like those in the valley behind us, most people stand in sight of the spiritual mountains all their lives and never enter them, being content to listen to others who have been there and thus avoid the hardships. Some travel into the mountains accompanied by experienced guides who know the best and least dangerous routes by which they arrive at their destination. Still others, inexperienced and untrusting, attempt to make their own routes. Few of these are successful, but occasionally some, by sheer will and luck and grace, do make it. Once there they become more aware than any of the others that there's no single or fixed number of routes. There are as many routes as there are individual souls.
Robert M. Pirsig
If one tries to think about history, it seems to me - it's like looking at a range of mountains. And the first time you see them, they look one way. But then time changes, the pattern of light shifts. Maybe you've moved slightly, your perspective has changed. The mountains are the same, but they look very different.