John C. Lilly
Of Mountains and Molehills

‘The Center of the Cyclone: An Autobiography of Inner Space’
is a book by John C. Lilly from 1972 and especially this little chapter below turned out to be a piece of wisdom that stood the test of time. I shared it with my friends and it still resonates every time I return to it.

There’s one previous post about Lilly, one of the most dedicated explorers of consciousness ever. The next book by him I’m eager to read is Programming & Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer (download the PDF here).

Of Mountains and Molehills

Where there’s a mountain, there must be a molehill under there somewhere.
John Hammontree of Big Sur

Often one has the feeling of climbing a mountain, for weeks, months, years; later one finds it was only a molehill. One was crawling along the level ground, the steep slope was only imagined. One was creating the steep slope. The mountain was one’s own imaginings, one’s own work-directives.

We make work of our life to seem virtuous to ourself; blaming others and circumstances of money and of culture. One’s pride, vanity, and the precious opinion of what one is and of what one is becoming, through mountain-climbing, creates the mountain slope.

„Look at me—look at how far I’ve climbed up the mountain! I’m higher than you are. If you are higher than I am, I started lower than you did and have really climbed further. My mountain is steepest.“

To see that all mountains are small molehills, that all human climbing is the delusion of a dream, move into planetary orbit, and looking down, see that all mountains are molehills. Move up and away from thyself.

Look back down the past of thyself. There are no mountains, no molehills. There is only a dream of past encounters, illusions of past strivings, dream slopes of dreamt opposition. In storage there is nothing but recordings of crawling on the face of one small planet.

So why not enjoy bliss and ecstasy while still a passenger in this body, on this spacecraft? Dictate thine own terms as passenger. The transport company has a few rules, but it may be that we dream up the company and its rules too.

There is only internal peace, internal bliss, internal transforms of everything into joy, in the one place one really lives. There are no mountains, no molehills . . . just a central core of me and transcendent bliss.


John C. Lilly — The Center of the Cyclone