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~

there are many entrances at the foot of the mountain.
they have many names, like religion, science, mathematics, physics, god, language, art, philosophy, sex, drugs, spirituality, love, creativity, games, ethics, charity, law, politics, architecture, economics, medicine, and so on.
they all go up the same mountain.
they all have different terrain.

some people are content to hear stories of the mountain.
some mistake listening to stories for having been up the mountain.
others must see it for themselves.

for some the climb seems impossible and the peak is cloaked by storm
or the stories of the mountain don't make it sound all that great.
so they do not go.

some people climb the mountain and find nothing.
they may be disappointed, they may experience wonder
at the scale of the rock, or the way the ice and snow move,
or at the line where life cannot be sustained.
you may find something different every time.

some people find caves.
the number and depth of the caves you find depend on what you bring up the mountain.

the thing about the mountain is,
it changes depending on what you bring to it.

~

people are always telling you about the caves they have found.
about how their cave is the only one, or the best one.
they give you a pamphlet containing instructions for reaching the cave.
many other people follow these instructions and find nothing,
or only an alcove, or they become lost in the earth and never return.
it is difficult to give directions, and dangerous to follow them.
the mountain is unpredictable if you are not used to it.
yet some people do find caves by following instructions.

some who come back from a cave try to tell people about what they saw.
many listeners, having no ideas with which to ground these words,
construct new ideas around them.
but these new ideas are only shadows of what was seen in that cave.
they aren't full-color memories, like the returner has.
they aren't grounded within a personality, like they are for the returner.

so what you end up with, among those who are content with stories,
is these systems of shadow ideas floating around kernels of truth.
and the shadow ideas scare off many people who might like to investigate the truth.

but those who have been to the cave can remember. the words work on them.
and even though the caves may have been a little different, there are patterns.
people who go up the mountain find similar things.
this is our clue that the mountain is real.

all you have to do is walk up that mountain.
the shadow ideas are only on the mountain if you bring them.
and this is a real problem. the shadows will follow you.
they will make you believe that they are real.
that's their power. but the solution is simple.
only believe what you can directly verify.
only believe in full color. the shadows melt away.

walk up the mountain. just keep going back every day.
look around a little. make notes.
if you keep finding the same things, then you are bringing the same things up the mountain.
to find new ideas on the mountain, you must bring new ideas with you.
listen to the stories, because there you will find clues.
stories are neither good nor bad.

~

the stories will never be able to fully capture what is up there.
the idea that we can teach people things,
without their having to experience it, is not real.
we can guide them to the experience. we can give them shadows.
but the full color memory is only available to those who have seen it,
who have done it. to those who go up the mountain.
you can tell when you talk to someone, whether they have the shadows or the full color.
someone with the full color can answer every question fresh,
like they are describing a vase of flowers on the table in front of them.

this is not to say that they necessarily have the whole picture.
but they have a picture. it really happened, they really saw it.
but remember that everything you find on the mountain
is based on what you bring there.

it also may be very difficult to talk about,
because of what each person brings up the mountain.
you may be standing in very different places.
you may be using the same words for different ideas.

~

you can train yourself, on the mountain, to close your eyes
and open them and be somewhere else.
you can train yourself to move without closing your eyes.
you can train yourself to be in two places at once.
remember, the mountain is not a physical place.
it is a realm of ideas. the metaphor only goes so far.

don't just listen to the stories.
go up the mountain.

~

how do you map something out that changes depending on how you think of it?
become adept at changing how you think about things. find many perspectives.
then you will be able to gather data.
then you will be able to see patterns.
then you will be able to draw a map.

~

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