Mt. Greylock. Elevation 3,491 feet. They say you can see five different states from here. I don't doubt it. From Bascomb Lodge, where I write this, atop the highest peak in western Massachusetts (admittedly, an anthill as mountains go), it looks like you can see forever.
And what I see mainly - as wave after wave of verdigris terrain recedes to the horizon beneath the light and shadow of a dazzling cloud-filled sky - is simplicity and wholeness. A world serene, vast, and grand. I am struck by the beauty of infinity.
It's a feeling of God with me. "God is the infinite," wrote the founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, "and infinity never began, will never end, and includes nothing unlike God" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 249). She describes God as the source and All of our being; the infinite, invisible good.
And that's what I feel: the uplifting, comforting, stirring, calming presence of goodness, harmony, stability, gentleness, peace, timelessness ... infinity.
Moses went to the mountaintop for the Ten Commandments. Jesus, too, went into the mountains to pray. Tall peaks can inspire heavenly-minded thoughts - thoughts in tune with reality. It's natural to associate them with the strength of God, the source of guidance, refreshment, refuge, and healing. "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help," sang the Psalmist (121:1).
But ... if there's no mountain near you, that's OK. God isn't a mysterious supernatural being in the sky. God is rock-solid Truth, unstoppable, ageless. Divine strength and inspiration are available anywhere.
Prayer is a straight line to the mountaintop. It lifts the pray-er up from the valley of materialism, where life, as outlined by five very limited and unreliable physical senses, is iffy, finite, and often scary and bleak. It opens up an exalted view. A view discernible through spiritual sense, which everyone has. And what a view! "Through spiritual sense you can discern the heart of divinity..." says Science and Health (pg. 258).
Spiritual sense shows us that God and His universe (the real, spiritual universe) are present now and here. It shows that creation is beautiful, stable, secure, merciful, intelligent, happy, enduring, productive. That it's mental, not physical. Spiritual sense assures us that every child, woman, and man is God's "image" and "likeness" (see Gen. 1:26, 27). Pure and perfect. It enables us to see that, contrary to the way things appear from a mortal viewpoint, we are inherently immortal - spiritual beings, living in a spiritual universe, governed by an unwavering divine Principle, that is, by God.
From this mountaintop, we see our neighbor and ourselves as heavenly, not earthly; spiritual, not physical; holy, not carnal; Christlike, not Adam-and-Eve-like; loving, not envious; grateful, not covetous; healthy, safe, brilliant, worthy, and important, not diseased, vulnerable, dim, undeserving, or insignificant.
And this has practical power. Spiritual-mindedness naturally influences our lives, transforms bad situations, and heals. The mountaintop view enables us to say with confidence, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death [grief, despair, disappointment, pain, disease, hatred ...], I will fear no evil: for thou art with me" (Ps. 23:4).
Carved into the mantel over the fireplace here in the lodge is this inscription, "As we journey through life, let us live by the way." Yes, let's take the spiritual mountaintop view with us everywhere we go, love more, and experience the infinity and divinity of Life, right now!
Come ye, and let us
go up to the mountain
of the Lord, to the house of
the God of Jacob; and he
will teach us of his ways,
and we will walk
in his paths.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society