Just finished reading an extraordinary short book Mount Analogue, written by Rene Daumal. It is ostensibly about mountain climbing but it is about far more than that.
Written and translated beautifully, the mountain is really a metaphor for life and our quest to “climb” that mountain. It is about the physical journey, the spiritual journey and our psychological journey.
It is about the tough challenges we have to overcome to reach our destination. Life, or in this case, the mountain is our teacher because the mountain offers us the opportunity to grow and reach new heights. The adventure and the challenge are about the climb, not just reaching the top.
What I loved about the way the story unfolds, is how it challenged me to look at the journey from different perspectives.
Firstly, my initial perspective can only be from the base, which is a very different perspective when I am climbing the slopes, and even more different one when reaching the summit. This challenged me to realize how different my perspective must be at different stages and cannot hold on to the one that suits me best!
Another really strong message from the book is the rule on Mount Analogue that before you move on to your next camp on the journey up the mountain that you must leave that camp fully ready and replenished for the next group of travelers. The other rule is that you must go back down a bit to share with those who follow your knowledge of where you have been so that they can benefit from your experience.
I found reading this book challenging to me. It challenged me to check in on the perspective I have on various areas in my life – how rigid are those perspectives and do I hold on to perspectives just because they are easier to hold on to?
Also, how well do I prepare others on the journey of life, and willingly share my experience so that they can learn.
As I said, challenging – and uncomfortable! Is this not how we should all be living our lives? I know the answer is yes, it’s just tough at times to do it!
Just wanted to share this with you. Sometimes, you come across books that stay with you long after you finish them – and this was one of those!