Within the deep eternal sweep
Of mountain-peaks and sky,
I stand alone with wind and stone
And watch the clouds rush by.
The morning light is wild and bright
With Autumn-flame uncurled
And all my dreams, like mountain-streams,
Cascading down the world!
It is said that men who dwell for long on high mountain-ranges suffer great discomfort in acclimating themselves to lower altitudes. The mystic who has learned to live in the higher aspects of his being likewise suffers if he permits his center of active self-consciousness to descend into those lower aspects of life which he has resolved to abandon. The life above the world's life is forever sweet and clean: the winds of eternity blow there, and multitudinous clouds of iridescent hue weave the poetry of paradise.
But the true mystic is not one lost in a selfish dream. Always upon him is the pressure of a great duty: that of striving to acquaint all men with the knowledge of a grander world: where truth abides in fulness, and compassion reigns, and the unfolding perfection of all things is a constant reality. But to fulfill his duty he must breathe that larger air; he must hear the symphonies of heaven while he teaches; his heart must beat in harmony with the divine heart. He dares not forsake the higher altitudes of consciousness which, once attained, make him alien to the life below.
How grave and solemn are the steps by which we climb from the desert to the mountain-peak. How bitterly die our human dreams when once the ascent is begun. How desperate and cunningly beseeching are the myriad voices of the world's life around us when we mount. But what are they all compared to the Voice of Splendor speaking from the mountain-top? — "Lo! I have prepared a place for you where you will be with Me forever." Only we who forsake the world's life are happy! Only we who are prisoners of the clouds are free!