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aresymbolicof getting themabove theearth, away from theconfines

ofordinary life.

When first I came face to facewith theAmaDablampyramid, I

said tomyself “I amgoing to climb that.” Itwas just aneed, an inner

drive,beyondanyconscious thought. Idid theapproachwalk, Igot to

the Advanced Base Camp, and all night I was awake, churning with

anticipationand fear.Andwhen Iwasclimbingup toCampOne, Ihave

never feltmore present,more inmy body,more in themoment. The

fearwas right on the edge of either paralyzingme or puttingme into

this place of being fully engaged. That magicmoment when you are

performingbetter thanyouhaveever hadbefore, youareout of your

head, youareaway fromyour thoughts, youareout of your fearsand

youare just in thezoneof theuntouchables.When Iexperienced that

climb I realized that this is part of me. I felt hooked on this; I was

doing thatbecause therewasa reason thatwasgoingbeyondegoand

beyondanythingexcept that itwasanessential ingredient ofmyvery

own existence. That was above ordinary life. It was above the very

edgeofmyability.

Concentration, peak experience, epiphany, the reintegrated

moment, flow, in the high altitude zone are different nameswith the

same meaning, the sense of being intensively alive; the moment

when life is “now”without past or futurebeyondearthlymodalities; a

fleeting sense of immortality. Tomost of the people thatmight seem

like madness, or an endless punishment like the mythic hero

3

Sisyphus whowas endlesslypushinga rockuphill. Yet, it seems that

Sisyphus must have been a happyman. The struggle itself towards

the topwasenough to fillhisandmyheart too.

3

Sisyphus was the son of Aeolus (the king of Thessaly) and Enarete, and King/Founder of Ephyra

(Corinth).Asapunishment from thegods forhis trickery,Sisyphuswascompelled to roll ahuge rockupa steephill,

butbeforehereached the topof thehill, therockalwaysescapedhimandhehad tobeginagain(Odyssey,xi.593).The

maddeningnatureof thepunishmentwas reserved forSisyphusdue to themortal'shubristicbelief thathiscleverness

surpassed thatofZeus.

Crossing Limits

27

26

Sailing above theHimalayan clouds youmeet prominent peaks coveredwith snow

Clouds drift northward burying the high peaks in snow

Crossing Limits