One of my old French climbing heroes once described himself as a conqueror of the useless. Je suis une conquerant de l’Inutile. I loved that. As a sometimes climber and former striver in the sensory, phenomenological world, I felt it aptly described me (the before yoga me).
I was an avid explorer and adventurer in this material world, a lifelong student of it and of Life. Now I explore a more important world as well…the inner one. This quest requires as much time and discipline as any mountain expedition. It demands my innermost courage. It summons my true route-finding skills, my best efforts.
There is no obvious route on this path, no tangible summit to ascend to. There are no signposts, maps, guides, or guidebooks. It is uncharted territory. Here there be dragons…
There are no conquerors here. Explorers, yes. Conquerors, no – for this realm cannot be conquered, only comprehended. There is no protection on this route…no ropes or pitons. This climb is a free, solo climb.
This exploration requires boldness and fearlessness, coupled with gentleness. While there are actions to be performed, no effort is required. Complete engagement is required, though – this is not a quest that can be performed half-heartedly. This route finding requires my closest and most careful observation and orientation.
For here I explore the depths of the body, the heights of the mind, the expanses of the soul. This oddyssey leads me to discover myself, to come face to face with me. This task requires the best I have, the most I have, all I have. It is the most important journey I’ve ever undertaken.
A conqueror of the useful…that would be better than the useless. Oh, my hair will still blow in the wind of physical summits, my spirit soar, and my body exult. Yet it is the summits within from which I can get a better glimpse of the Divine, on which I can more fully manifest my higher self and perhaps reflect that Divine Light more clearly.