8 thoughts on “The “Pinnacles” Landscape

  1. Dear Lee,

    You and others might enjoy the following short poem – which shifts emphasis from striving to attain the ‘pinnacles of success’ to living and loving sustainability within the ‘valleys of humility’.

    The Humility of the Valley

    Life doesn’t strive
    To secure its foundation
    Upon the rocky serrations of the High-minded
    Where Men build castles in the air
    To furnish that false sense of superiority
    Which comes from the pretence
    Of overlooking all around
    To the edge of infinity

    Life thrives
    In the seclusion of the valleys
    Where dampness accumulates
    In the earthy humidity
    Of humility
    Warmly tucked in
    To the bed of sea and land
    Rich with variety
    Out and into the cosiness
    Of each lovingly enveloped
    In the other’s influence

    Wisdom cannot be found
    On peaks of adaptive fitness
    Running with Red Queens
    But only in that radiant depth
    That reaches everywhere
    Through the heart of somewhere

    • Alan,
      Notice the substantial valley between the peaks of wealth and wisdom and the many valleys surrounding the isolated peak of ego in the landscape illustration.

      We may need to live in the valley and fear no evil for some time before we can ever hope to attain wisdom.

      But there might be another point here.I may have the illustration upside down. What I am showing as peaks may more accurately be “energy wells” that we naturally gravitate into. Moving from one energy well to the next requires the skill and energy to climb out of the status quo, get over the hump and see in the next valley. So we need to “get over the hump” and stop falling for “wealth” so we can gravitate toward wisdom.

      Let me think about recreating this as a network of “attractors”.



      • I like that suggestion Lee – (I think I’ve said I’m a big fan of Hofstadter).

        (PS, just looking at you image sizing problem – can you ping me by mail the original image / link …. if you upload in the main editor, in the dashboard, they seem to scale fine. As promised, I hope to load a new “theme” where the on page editor has the full functionality.)


        • Alan,

          I’m getting cold feet after thinking about this more. The key question is “what pinnacles are effortfull and what ones are effortless to attain.” I think they are all effortfull, with the exception of Mt. Ego, which now seems out of place. (I was seduced by that lonely mound, and named it Ego. It is not mentioned in the essay. Perhaps Ego is a trap we can fall into that prevents us from summiting any pinnacle.)

          Still thinking, Thanks!


          • Dear Lee,

            You might enjoy my painting, ‘View from Anchorage’, displayed at the end of the essay published at .http://www.bestthinking.com/article/permalink/1738?tab=article&title=envisioning

            It is based on a dream I once had in which I was on a plane that landed at Anchorage in Alaska. It was a brilliantly clear day, so I looked out of the Airport window to see if I could see Mt McKinley, the highest mountain in North America. Sure enough, I could see a range of mountains and in the far distance was one that was clearly higher than all the others. That must be it, I thought. But then, as I continued to stare into the distance, I realized that what I had taken to be clouds above the mountains were actually snow patches on an enormous, summitless, barely visible peak that lay behind and beyond all the others.

            What did this summitless ‘peak’ represent? Actually the infinite depth of intangible presence (the ‘sea of receptivity’). Perhaps to be renamed ‘Well Infinity’ around which we tangible flow-forms can only circulate, not attain without losing our dimensionality!

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