Why do we look up?
Why do we yearn for the heights above us?
Our eyes are drawn to mountain tops, tall buildings, wealth, power, influence, strength, and progress. We seem hard wired to want to move in the direction of greatest resistance. We want the Sun, the Moon, and the stars to be within our grasp. We dream of social influence and fame and “stardom.” We lust after wealth, and all that comes with it. We watch professional and amateur athletes accomplish the impossible and it elevates us for some reason.
What is it about the ascension that seems so engrained in us? Jesus ascended after His Resurrection. Moses and Allah both ascended. In the Yoga Tantra, the moment the Buddha attained “Enlightenment,” he ascended from his physical body. Even our most scientific minds turn their eyes to the heavens to uncover the secrets of the Universe. It’s like our species is programmed to look up and see possibility and purpose.
I grew up in the mountains, but I was never really all that into climbing. I’ve done a bit, but the risk/reward never paid off for me. Why risk my life to climb up a mountain to see a view I could get from an aircraft? I understand the drive that people had, though. The obsession with summiting multiple peaks in a year. Once hooked on it, the climb is in their blood. Always planning the next expedition and the next challenge. It’s fascinating how we do this.
It’s the same in business. Entrepreneurs see possibility in the build, the growth, and the climb. They see the value in making something from nothing. Once they taste a bit of success, it can become like an addiction; the risk and the payoff of climbing the ladder of success in a tough, cutthroat environment. To start with nothing and end with something – that’s the dream. To reach the pinnacle.
But what do we do when we’re up there? What do we do when we reach the top of the ladder, the summit of the mountain, or achieve the goal we set out for? We are finite beings; with a ceiling we cannot easily breach and a time limit on how long we must climb. What is the point of all this work?
For me, it is freedom. Freedom is the goal. And for me, freedom means Faith. Faith that I can let it all go and I will go on to the next thing. The successes of this world are temporary. We can’t take the wealth, or the power, or the influence with us. Our physical bodies only will take us so far up the mountain for so long before they fail. There comes a time, no matter where we are in our journey, that they only method of “Ascension” is through Faith. We must let go and let the forces of whatever we believe controls our fates take over.
Perhaps, that is the greatest success of all.