The idea that mountains represent the closest point of
contact between God and humankind is common to many
great belief systems. It’s not hard to understand where that
sense comes from—especially if you’ve ever experienced
the awesome energy of some of the world’s great mountain
ranges. They do indeed impart a sense of majesty, of being
lifted above the conscious level of the everyday world.
It is also easy to understand the power of mountains
from a more advanced, metaphysical understanding. We
must always lift ourselves above the consciousness level of
everyday life to make powerful and creative contact with
the Allness of Spirit.
Look at the story of the Exodus from the Bible. The
Hebrews have been led out of Egypt to the foot of Mount
Sinai. The old order of slavery and limited consciousness
has been dissolved, and now they are seeking guidance
about what might lie ahead. The people at the foot of the
mountain create a sacred space and a sacred commitment.
“Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud
covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord settled on
Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the
seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. Now the
appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring
fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people
of Israel. Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the
mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and
forty nights” (Exodus 24: 15-18).
What are the elements here? Six days of preparation, and
the call comes on the seventh day. Like the seven days of
creation, a process is unfolding. Moses alone steps into the
cloud of uncertainty, to commune directly with the Lord.
The number 40 is a metaphysical statement of completion.
Now let’s turn to an account of the Transfiguration of
Jesus: “Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James
and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by
themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his
clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth
could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with
Moses, who were talking with Jesus” (Mark 9: 2-4).
What similarities exist with the story of Moses in
Exodus? To start with, there’s the beginning, “after six
days.” But six days after what? The Gospel doesn’t say.
Perhaps the point is made simply and clearly to link the
story of Jesus with the story of Moses, with which the
Gospel’s earliest readers would have been familiar.
What’s different? Well, Jesus doesn’t go alone. He takes
with him three specific disciples—Peter, John, and James.
Through working with scripture and meditating with his
own spiritual guidance, Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore
assigned a “value in consciousness” to each disciple. Peter
represents the quality of faith. John is the power of love.
And James is the energy of judgment, or discernment.
A true mountaintop experience requires faith,
discernment, and love. Like Moses, we have faith in
our connection with the Divine in the obscurity of the
moment. We lovingly step in to the uncertainty so we can
discern the clarity or insight we’re seeking. And like Jesus,
we experience Moses and Elijah—our unfolding spiritual
awareness—as we return from the mountaintop.
Metaphysical Meaning of Mountains
Metaphysical meanings behind the Bible and other scriptures
REV. ED TOWNLEY IS A UNITY MINISTER AND
THE FOUNDER OF SPIRIT EXPRESSING, A CENTER
COMMITTED TO EXPLORING THE CREATIVE POWER
OF SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES, IN MANCHESTER,
CONNECTICUT. TOWNLEY RESPONDS TO REQUESTS
FOR BIBLE INTERPRETATION ON UNITY.ORG.
THE SPIRIT OF SCRIPTURE
A TRUE MOUNTAINTOP
EXPERIENCE REQUIRES FAITH,
DISCERNMENT, AND LOVE.