This week’s blog is an excerpt from The Space Within.
In his classic book The Road Less Traveled, author M. Scott Peck shares the following analogy:
If one wants to climb mountains one must have a good base camp, a place where there are shelters and provisions, where one may receive nurture and rest before one ventures forth again to seek another summit. Successful mountain climbers know that they must spend at least as much time, if not more, in tending to their base camp as we do in climbing mountains, for their survival is dependent upon their seeing to it that their base camp is sturdily constructed and well stocked.
While he was using the analogy in the context of what it takes to have a successful marriage, the same is true for us as individuals – if we want to achieve great things in life, it is necessary to spend at least as much time, if not more, in tending to our base camp as we actually do in climbing mountains.
What is ‘base camp’ for us?
It is our essential spiritual (i.e., non-physical)
nature – our connection to the whole.
There is a deeper part of all of us that remains unchanged regardless of what our body and personality have been through in life. It is the innate wellbeing that we were born into, the innate wisdom that guided us at key moments in our life when we suddenly knew what to do from a place which seemed somehow outside our normal consciousness yet absolutely right and true.
When we are in touch with that place, we have a sense of expansiveness and possibility. The world feels vast, yet we feel up to the challenge of living in it because we too, at this level of understanding, are vast. It is the space where miracles happen – predictable synchronicities which deliver ‘unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamt would come his way.’
From this place, we feel we can take on the world because, in a very real way, we are the world.
So why do we ever lose sight of ‘base camp’? Why do we so often feel small, and less than, and not enough? Why is it that one minute we’re up for anything and the next we’re good for nothing?
Because we live in a world of unrecognized thought. Thought is the architect of both hope and despair, the source of every color in the emotional rainbow. Without thought, there would be no delineation in our world, like the pure clarity of light before it passes through a prism and bursts into a kaleidoscope of color.
But unrecognized thought demands our attention and fills our consciousness. And when we get caught up in thought, we lose our way.
It’s like being disoriented by mist rolling into base camp. Whether the ‘mist’ of thought takes the form of a beautiful vision or an icy chill, it can blind us to what is already present and make us feel as though we need to go stumbling about in search of instant remedies instead of waiting for the mist to clear.
In fact, you don’t even have to wait – you can just close your eyes to the mist, turn away from the noise, and realise that no matter where you are in your life or in the world, you’re never more than one thought away from home. Unlike in the mountain-climbing metaphor, you take your base camp with you on every climb. Whether or not you are aware of that fact is the only variable.
You’re already home. You always were. It’s just that when you’re not preoccupied with your own thinking, it’s easier to feel it. And when you know that you can climb mountains in the world without ever leaving home base, going out and trying new things becomes a lot less scary and a lot more fun.
With all my love,