Magical and Mystical©
Twenty years ago, I took an overnight camping jaunt to the top of Shriner Peak (elevation 5,835 ft.) with my son and one of my daughters. It was to be a “training hike” for a later, four-day trip on the eastern leg of the Wonderland Trail that encircles Mount Rainier. We learned (the hard way) that we needed to get into a little better physical shape than we were when we hiked the north quarter of the trail the year before.
Shriner Peak trailhead is about a two-hour drive and exactly 99.5 miles from our home. We parked the car at about 11:00am in a light drizzle, slipped into our backpacks, and started up the trail. In spite of the rain, we knew it was going to be a hot, dry hike to the top (no water available), but we really had little idea what to expect. My son recalls that it was a “real slog”; we managed to make it to the top about 7:00pm. After skirting the cloud layer all day, the visibility at the top was only about 40 feet. By the time we crawled into our sleeping bags, visibility was down to less than 10 feet. I can only describe what happened the next morning as “Magical and Mystical.” We still talk about it to this day.
As I write this newsletter, I am preparing for a second overnight excursion to Shriner Peak, awakening memories as fresh and real as “right NOW.” I can almost smell the damp earth mingled with the vibrant scent of a new day dancing across the ridge at dawn. I remember various stages of the trip, each one consisting of an outer, physical scene paralleling and mirroring an inner and symbolic, spiritual experience. These memories have triggered a long-held desire to commemorate that first journey 20 years ago. The accompanying photo of Mount Rainier was taken by my son on that trip but, as beautiful as it is, no mere picture can adequately convey the essence of “being there.” This newsletter commemorates that “peak” experience:
~ “Tahoma Sunrise” (Mt. Rainier) ©by Michael Dossett ~
We arrive at the trailhead in light rain & fog, park the car, and don our backpacks for a wilderness adventure. The trail is steep with monotonous switchbacks occasionally interrupted by more gently curving bends and somewhat easier inclines, but the trail is ever and always up … up … up, mile after weary mile.
• From an inner (spiritual) perspective, the light rain & fog on arriving at the trailhead portend a difficult and gloomy day, yet there is a growing sense of wonder at what the day’s events might bring. In my mind’s eye the spiritual Path is steep with monotonous switchbacks—like past lives, ever different and ever the same. Each step slowly climbs higher and higher toward greater understanding and wisdom.
My physical eyes are fixated on the trail in front of me, the climb at times arduous. I step gingerly to avoid rocks, roots, and pitfalls that could cause me to stumble or interrupt my progress. Hours pass, and my body aches from physical effort. Sea-level lungs struggle with the thin, alpine air. Occasional glimpses of Mount Rainier are quickly shrouded once again in cloud and mist.
• The steep ascent of the body symbolizes the precipitous spiritual ascension of the soul. My mind focusses on the Path before me, the raising of consciousness unrelenting and, at times, exhausting. I try to walk the path carefully to avoid errors in judgment, karma, and trapped energy that might cause me to sidestep or even stop my development. Lifetimes in other places similar to this one pass in review on the screen of my mind, and my soul longs for ultimate union with Higher Self. Mundane thoughts and habits reel in the high vibrations of intuition and insight. Occasional glimpses of Higher Self are quickly shrouded once again in mist and illusion.
The day is muggy, long, and grueling. As we near the summit, the darkening clouds roll in, swallowing the meagre twilight hours in their voracious quest for nightfall. We hastily pitch our tent and cook dinner. There is nothing to do but eat, sleep, and wait for the coming dawn.
• Near the summit the darkening clouds roll in—like the Dark Night of the Soul—engulfing me in their barren dryness. But while the soul writhes in spiritual anguish, it is still the caretaker of the physical body; we hastily pitch our tent and prepare the evening meal. There is nothing to do but eat, sleep, and wait for the light of intuition and illumination. All good things come in their own time.
With the first light of the approaching dawn, we awake, and I lift a corner of the tent flap. The cloud layer has receded far below, disclosing Rainier’s peak; night shadows fade with the approaching dawn, revealing the mountain in all its glory. The sun’s first rays gleam crisp and clear on her snowy crest, gradually revealing her pristine beauty in ever clearer detail.
• With the first glimmer of the coming dawn, the shadows of night begin to fade, revealing the soul in all its glory. The dark clouds of unknowing, fear, and doubt are dispelled by the Light, revealing the luminous garment of Spirit clothing the soul. The first traces of cloudless insight beam crisp and clear on its glistening crown, gradually illuminating the soul’s inherent beauty in ever clearer detail.
The red, rising sun in the East is too much for my eyes, and my gaze quickly turns to the West, toward the top of the mountain now reflecting the sun’s brilliant light. The view is stunning, almost incomprehensible. With eyes wide open in contemplation, I see the outer beauty of this scene unfolding before me, the mountain’s lifelike radiance gaining strength with each approaching moment of the coming day.
• The opening of the third eye to the wisdom of the East is too much for the physical eyes to handle, and my inner gaze quickly turns to the West, toward the reflection of the light of intuition. The inner realization is breathtaking, almost unfathomable. With eyes wide closed in meditation, I “see” the soul’s inherent luminance; its resplendence shining brighter than a thousand suns.
God chose this place—this magnificent mountain—to continue the work of Creation. Day by day, the eternal Flow of Life springs forth anew with each precious dawn. My connection to this place is unmistakable, unparalleled. Even in this first encounter, I feel as if I am returning home.
• God chose this consciousness—this magnificent soul—to continue the work of Creation. Day by day, the eternal Flow of Life springs forth anew. With each new Realization, my connection to this Power is unmistakable, irreplaceable. I experience a fathomless inner peace and I know I am home.
Physical manifestation and spiritual development go hand in hand, and both energies must be Balanced in order to fully Align your life energies with Higher Self. At any given moment, either the physical or the spiritual will tend to be more aligned than the other, but they will naturally balance if you Allow them to do so (see my Dancing with the Energy books). But you can speed up the process by using the phenomenon of mirroring to your advantage. Focus on the aspect that is more aligned than the other. Then focus on balancing the less aligned (external or internal) by mirroring the more aligned (internal or external) into the other aspect of your life. This can be a very helpful strategy for raising your vibration overall. Just mirror what feels best (most positive, most aligned) into the other departments of life and you will likely discover that all of them will feel even better!
May more and more of your life experiences be as Magical and Mystical as you can allow them to be. Have a great month!