One Mountain, Many Peaks

Almaas and Wilber both point at how our filters shape our world, including in our spiritual practice. We have views, interpretations and guidelines for practice, either from a particular tradition or more-self created, from own experience and a range of traditions.

In either case, these frameworks shape what happens in – at least – two ways:

Interpretation and vocabulary

The obvious one is in our interpretation of what arises in the present. We may be faced with a very similar landscape (although it is obviously never quite the same), but how we see it and the meaning we add to it is filtered differently for each of us – and for each one of us at different times.

So the landscape may be quite similar, yet the wording and interpretation of it may still be quite different.

Shaping actions and content

The other is how our filters shape our practices themselves, which in turn shape the landscape.

If we focus on compassion, then an heart opening and infinite compassion is likely to become central in our experience of the divine and awakenings. If we focus on a nondual awakening, then the ground – emptiness dancing – may be central. If we focus on divine love, then our relationship with the divine may be at the center (2nd person). If we include energy practices, then the energy aspects of existence may stand out in our experience and view of it.

The general landscape may be similar, but the particulars can be quite different. And it seems that there is an infinity of possible variations of this landscape, always revealing itself to us differently and in a new way.

It is different for each of us, and also different for each one of us over time.

One mountain, many peaks

So it seems that one metaphor that may fit this view is that of one mountain and many peaks.

The mountain is the realization that all is God, all is consciousness, and the realization of selflessness, that there is no I inherent anywhere. The peaks are the various ways this mountain arises in our experience, with some aspects highlighted and others in the background or left out.

We all climb the same mountain in various ways, independent of tradition and filters. Yet we also arrive at different peaks. Folks following the same practice may arrive at the same general peak, yet at different locations on that one peak. And folks following quite different practices may arrive at different peaks.

Of course, this is a mountain that is not static. It is always created, always new, always different. Always changing with the continuing evolution of the form aspect of God.

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