(Because of the interest in this article in German from our English speaking friends, we here publish the original English text):
The Art of Mountaineering
For the Mountaineer, climbing is more than just a past time, a hobby, something he does every so often. No, for the true mountaineer, climbing is something more, it is a mystery, something he must do every day. “Any mountaineer who has explored the shallow margin of prayer will see the connection between spiritual and physical effort.”
You see, climbing is an art. “If one wishes to master an art, technical knowledge is not enough. One must go beyond the technical to the point where the art becomes an art without artifice which has its roots in the subconscious.” Once he has mastered the art, then the mountaineer can explore broader boundaries and go further. But he must first master the art. He cannot possibly benefit from his climbing if the art has not become a part of him, because this is his quest: in all his climbing, the mountaineer is seeking God. He is searching for the good, the beautiful and the true. He enters the wilderness and ascends to barren heights. In his heart he prays this prayer: Lord, here I am, completely disconnected from the world, from distractions, surrounded by nothing but your beauty. I am completely at your mercy, what do you want to teach me? The answer he receives will always answer his question, because he is seeking the truth, not satisfaction. He may be shown beauty, surrounding him, given freely by God the Creator; he can you be shown truth, the truth of his own limitations, weaknesses, capabilities. Or he may be shown goodness, the goodness of God who supplies him with what he needs, who makes up for his weakness.
Mountaineering and Freedom
If this is his search, then I do not see how one can climb and seek God if he has not mastered the art. He does not have to be perfect or be able to climb anything. You can even be a little clumsy, because the art of mountaineering is not in the technical. The essential is that he be free, at ease in the