The Virtues of Mountain Climbing


You cannot stay on the summit forever;

you have to come down again.

So why bother in the first place?

Because what is below does not know what is above,

but what is above knows what is below.

One climbs, one sees.

One descends, one sees no longer;

but one has seen.

There is an art of conducting oneself

in the lower regions

by the memory of what one saw higher up.

When one can no longer see,

one can at least still know.

From René Daumal’s classic, Mount Analogue. 

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