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  • #138539
    Streen
    Participant

    “One sees great things from the valley, only small things from the peak.”  — G.K. Chesterton

    #144677
    Jax
    Keymaster

    The valley signifies the beginning of our journey up the mountain.  At the beginning, everything seems like it will be a great feat – especially climbing the mountain.  Yet as we climb that mountain we gain experience, understanding, and wisdom.  Then we can see that nothing is so great, but comprised of many small steps which are managable if a person chooses them to be.  So once you reach the top, as a master, everything is small.  Everything, given the appropriate decisions, can be accomplished. 

    #144684
    Anonymous

    Huh!  I thought it meant that in the valley people, plants, earth, stone, animals are on my level so I can see them in more detail.  From the peak you can see more the lay-out of the land…but not the real life in intricacy.

    I actually thought it was speaking both of arrogance and also the experience of great wealth, power, and also higher learning.  You know more, may have more, but no longer have anything on a normal plain of existance.  (Which isn’t all bad.)

    I like to think the best life, and what I have come to believe is the life of a Jedi, is that we journey always and so experience valleys and peaks…and everything in between? 

    ***I love seeing how different people think…it always adds something… :D

    #144928
    Magdelene Nashira
    Participant

    Could be a second meaning.  When one is starting to learn something you tend to focus on the big picture and just make enough effort to generally accomplish the major task because the major task is enough for you.

    Then when one becomes a master, the greater picture is understood, but they are still learning and go back to put their attention on fine tuning what they have learned.  So their focus is on the details rather than the general task.

    #145037
    Streen
    Participant

    My take on this quote is that the valley represents humility, as it often does in Taoism, while the mountain symbolizes higher learning.  The quote then would be saying that one is closer to understanding when you are humble and do not seek lofty thinking.  As Zen frequently teaches, enlightenment is not a lofty idea, but instead it is rooted in the ordinary.

    #145043
    Kol Drake
    Moderator

    Aye Streen —

    Starting out ‘conquering the mountain’ seems a huge undertaking… it’s HUGE.  Focus only on the enormity of the task (climb to the top) and one can easily lose focus, drive, desire…hope.

    If you get to the top… it is a different story.  Whatever trials and tribulations have been overcome — fear of failure is replaced with the glow of achievement and success.  Looking ‘back down into the valley’ — we see that we have come a long way along the path — further than we imagined.  And, most of the ‘obstacles’ along the trek turned out to be ‘no big thing’ after all.

    Coolest (and Universally quirky part is)… even though we climbed the mountain — chances are, if you look about you — there is another taller mountain to try next.  And that’s the coolest part… if you REALLY want — there will always be another ‘mountain’ worth climbing.

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