Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Weekly Free Association : The Mountain

Author: Paulo Coelho

Dominating the world of Men and rising to the skies, The Mountain symbolizes in most cultures, the proximity of God. The clouds surrounding its top also convey its mystery and inaccessible nature. There is a considerable list of sacred mountains in which God revealed himself to men (Fujiyama, Sinai, Carmel, Olympus, etc).

Because of this, many pilgrimages are directed towards sacred mountains. In Japan for instance more than 200 000 pilgrims climb the Mont Fuji every year and in Pre-Colombian Mexico, The Rain God Tlaloc, was reverenced at the top of the Mountain of the same name.

In Christian iconography, the judge of the end of the times is often pictured as sitting on a mountain of clouds. All other mountains are flattened – which illustrates the end of pagan worship. It is also no coincidence that in the times where missionaries went to convert the people of central Europe, certain high places were considered as the dwelling of malefic sorcerers. There’s a parallel in the Tibetan cultures where it is said that bad spirits, called the Khadomas, constantly travel about in the height of mountains and incarnate in the form of women that try to disturb holy men.

Now you take the floor, what do you associate with the mountains?

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