Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mt. Everest

The week after next i go on another pilgrimage of sorts. I have always, for as long as i can remember, wanted to climb Mt. Everest and i'm finally heading to the mountain. I don't get to actually climb it, that's far too expensive for me, but i'm going on a two week trek to Everest Base Camp.

Mt. Everest has always been, for me, a symbol of man's ability (need?) to stretch himself (or herself), explore his boundaries, push himself to new levels, to expand the envelope he lives in. Too many people live their lives in safe and secure cocoons, never exploring the limits of what they are capable of, never probing the depths of what life has to offer, never demanding of themselves a life fully lived. Why?

I know there are a great many people who would disagree with those comments and who say you don't have to push your limits in order to live a good life. And i can't disagree with them. If that's the life you want to live, you have that right. But, i will always believe that T.S. Eliot got it right when he said, "Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go." If you never attempt to go past your limits, you will never know where your limits lie.

And, if you don't know were your limits are, you don't know all that life has to offer. That is as equally true in your hiking boots on Mt. Everest as it is barefoot on your zafu. One tests your physical limits and the other tests your mental limits. One exposes you to the wonders of the physical world and the other exposes you to the wonders of the mind.

So, for the next several weeks, i'm going to climb off Mt. Zafu and walk to Mt. Everest. And while i may not ever get to climb it, in this life, at least, i will finally get to put my foot on it's base and take some pictures.

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