On the Mountain Top

Recently the writer experienced what was to her a most wonderful trip to the summit of one of the mountains of southern California, and as the impressions gained on that trip have many times since helped in the solving of her problems, they are now passed along in the hope of assisting some one else. In the first place it seemed a demonstration to make the trip, for years of illness had brought a vivid sense of inability either to undertake it or to stand the altitude; but the knowledge gained in the study of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, of the ever-presence of omnipotent Love, upheld and guided her all the way. All sense of fear was eliminated, and replacing it was a feeling of mental freedom, of exaltation at leaving behind the seeming pettiness of material life and coming out into a new sense of the bigness and grandeur of God's universe. There came also the thought of the promise, "Nor height, nor depth, . . . shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Taking time, as they desired to see the beauties of the scenery as they climbed, the travelers reached the summit at about four o'clock in the afternoon of a sunny October day, and an hour later they wended their way to a seat on the edge of a jutting rock to watch the sunset. During the preceding hour a heavy fog had arisen in the valley below, so that when they were seated in their little nook the rock at their feet seemed to melt off into an ocean of fog, which completely obscured the valley but left the tops of higher surrounding mountains as well as themselves seemingly silhouetted against a vividly clear blue sky. In its brilliant crimson garb, the sun reminded one of nothing so much as a ball of molten metal, and in almost breathless silence they watched it sink into the depths below. As it became more and more submerged in the fog, it seemed to assume fantastic forms. One moment a beautifully shaped Japanese lantern delighted their fancy; the next, the oddest formed vase came into view; and so on, while they gazed in wonder, until finally the last little rim of red disappeared into the grayness and only the faintest tinge of rose remained to show where it had been. With one instinctive accord and saying not a word, the two watchers turned to look in the opposite direction, to see the first glimpse of a glorious moon rising above the mountain beyond into the ever deepening but still clear sky above, reminding them of that wonderful promise of "the lesser light to rule the night . . . and to give light upon the earth."

The wondrous lesson learned kept the two watchers silent for a long time; words were inadequate to express the message of Truth revealed in these types and symbols. The apparent distortion of the brilliant sun by the filmy fog pointed so clearly to the seeming distortion of the perfect man by the mist of mortal mind, that it was a never to be forgotten lesson. We knew the sun had not changed one iota, and yet how real the distorted shapes had seemed,—but no one could convince us that the sun had changed its form even in the slightest degree. We knew it was there, round and brilliant and shining as before, despite the evidence of the material senses which would try to tell us it was a sadly distorted sun. And just so mortal mind would make us think God's perfect image and likeness can be distorted or changed in one way or another. Could we but always see that, regardless of the evidence of the senses, man is forever the image and likeness of his Maker! The misapprehension of mortal mind may seem to spread a veil which distorts, but back of that is the perfect man, the image and likeness of God. On page 190 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy says, "This mortal seeming is temporal; it never merges into immortal being, but finally disappears, and immortal man, spiritual and eternal, is found to be the real man." And when we hold to this great truth we come into the realization of the nothingness of the fogs and shadows of mortal sense.

The Bad Little Sheep
December 30, 1916

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