• Patrick Phillips

Ben Lawers: The Ontology of a Mountain

Updated: Jun 24

How does a mountain contribute to the quality of your life? How can we measure its powerful ontological quality when walking? What significant moments are we searching for?

benlawers eternalmountain walking

Every morning in front of a mountain are glimpses of the beginning, of creation.

Ben Lawers is flesh and spirit in unity. Her name translates as 'speaking mountain'.

As the weather began to change, the further up the mountain I went, so did my being, becoming more eternal, as I was surrounded by the eternal.

When we walk up a mountain, its shape is continuously changing and therefore our shape is too, giving us new perspectives, an aspect of the whole ontological experience of mountain walking. Up here, heaven, I realised, is the air we breathe.

From the village of Killin, Ben Lawers appears large (like a volcano). But when you are closer to the top, you realise that it seems to have shrunk. And then, when you reach the top, instead of being at the summit of Ben Lawers, you have arrived at a new space, an elsewhere. A new landscape has opened up. A new shape. You are elsewhere, because you have no name for this landscape. Having entered into this new space, it begins to open up your mind (imagination), and simultaneously expands upon your being in the world. Is this how one becomes the mountain one Is seeing and now walking, at one with nature, fused?

Maybe it is not so important. Objects in nature that become smaller, become more intimate. The essence of nature more eminent, essential and therefore more deeply felt. Photographs can never do justice or justify the whole experience. Mountains have to be walked, climbed and through our efforts we are rewarded with a new ontological sphere, that we present to the world in our renewed presence. We have rediscovered new ontological maps of being in the world through mountain walking. Only one aspect of life in our ontological journey. All our dreams are still up there in the mountains. And as we return to ground zero, only then do we know a little more about life, ourselves and the universe.

Photographs & Text (C) 2019 Patrick Phillips

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