The question that Mountains of the Night addresses is this: is it possible to have illness yet--still have profound wellness and well-being? Although it may seem to be a contradiction, the answer is--yes. Yes, it is possible. Because it calls into question how we view illness. Is it a death sentence? Then life, itself, is a death sentence because we are born to eventually die. Yet, we can also have a living death if we view our circumstances through the eyes of being a victim. Eventually our mortality catches up to us. That is, indeed, inevitable. But, in spite of our mortal issues, why not have a grand life--anyway?

How do we do this? Much of how it is done centers on the concept of gratitude. Perhaps even gratitude that we have an opportunity to explore what disease means. Thus is the province of Mountains of the Night. Looking at my own chronic illness, diabetes type 1, at age 14, it became indeed my Mountains of the Night. Yet, by choosing life in spite of this, I began to move through those mountains, to discover deeper chasms, higher summits that came from a very dysfunctional family where ultimately I learned (as is told more fully in the other two books of this trilogy, The Magic of Wild Places and In the Majesty of the World), that self-esteem, self-worth and having personal power and joy was equated with being hit, abandoned, and potential death. Hence, a life-long pattern of moving toward joy and grand purpose in life and endless self-sabotage by illness so, as the unconscious reasoning goes, I wouldn’t be hit, abandoned or risk dying--again. Thus the issue was no longer about diabetes. The issue became the psychology behind and of the disease: self protection to the point of self-destruction.

Are all illnesses like this? Well, if one doesn’t look, one can’t know. And it is never knowing that does us harm. It’s the not knowing that does the damage. Thus Mountains of the Night is a celebration of coming to know oneself and in that knowledge comes transcendence, the summiting, the conquest of--those Mountains of the Night.

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We all have our Mountains of the Night. We must confront them, ascend them-- if we are to ever know not only who we are but who we are meant-- to be.

Mountains of the Night...

                              ...the journey of your soul.

Mountains of the Night

by Bruce Taylor