THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE By Victoria DePaul In the fall of 2005 I attended a retreat in Sedona, Arizona, a location well

known for its spiritual energy. A major feature of this retreat was visiting some of the vortex locations within the area. At our first visit I felt the energy as soon as I left the vehicle. I looked up in panic. I was told to expect light hiking. This was not light hiking; this was rock climbing, mountain climbing, neither of which I have any experience. Our leader suggested that we do the best we could, go up only to where we felt comfortable. I swallowed my panic and made the decision to at least start up and go as far as I could. Off I went, disappointed, one foot in front of the other. Not making very much progress I inched forward, going right, then retreating, going left, retreating again, always looking upward. A boy, about 12, came up beside me. I was struck by how clean he was, especially since he was dressed in a white shirt and white shorts. A mother of two boys would make note of such details. He smiled, said to me “you can do it, no one has fallen off the mountain today.” I was tempted to inquire about the day before but decided I didn’t want to know. I asked him his name, “Steven”, was his reply. He pointed out a possible path. I assumed he was from the area and therefore knew the easiest route. I followed his suggestions and began to make real upward progress. With each step my confidence returned. I realized that this wasn’t so bad, I just needed some encouragement and to be pointed in the right direction. Finally I made it to a plateau. The top was in sight, I was going to do it. As I looked up I could no longer see anything that could be identified as a path. I pondered my final steps, Steven was beside me once again. “Come this way, you can get to the top from over here.”

Eagerly I followed him around a bend. What I saw caused my jaw to drop. Pure rock, straight up, so much so it seemed to lead to infinity. “Are you kidding?” I yelled. “There’s no way I can get up there. There’s no incline, nothing to hold onto. It’s pure rock.” To make matters worse, the rock wasn’t even a solid rock. As I looked closer, it was split, a fissure, perhaps two rocks close together. I could look right through it to infinity. At this point I saw three options; I could move to the left and fall off the side of the mountain, I could fall backwards, back down the mountain or just fall through the crevice into infinity. I had the conscious thought that my drivers’ license was in my pack. This is good. When my dead body is found at least my boys would know what happened to me, assuming that someone found the body before the coyotes did. I looked again at the fissure and realized that I was way too big to fall through that crack. I always knew that if I lived long enough these extra pounds would have their reward. I continued to look upward; 20 feet separated me from failure and success. I tried to console myself with the fact that I had made it pretty far. I could be proud of the gains I had made, further than I had anticipated I would when I first began. None of this helped to raise my spirits. I had failed. At this moment the destination was not the journey, it was the top and I had failed to reach it. I looked at Steven, for some reason his face beaming, aglow with the sunlight reflecting from his beautiful smile. “You can do it he said, just go up.” Yes, just go up, but how? I was a victim of the mountain, my physical restrictions and my own thoughts. Refusing to leave this spot I began to reflect on the events of the day that had led me to this point of failure. I am a student and teacher of Psycanics, a spiritual philosophy of Personal Power,

a Science of the Soul. I had arisen early to read the Psycanic concepts of Cause and Effect. I

thought about the various meanings of Cause: Power, The ability to produce the desired result, Will, Strength. At this moment I was none of these. I was at the negative end of the Cause and Effect spectrum: Defeat, Dependent, Denial. Yes, I had failed but it wasn’t my fault: Avoidance of Cause and Responsibility. Who could have expected me to climb all the way to the top? I began to reflect on the other definitions that I had studied earlier. Cause: The ability to Decide, Think, Be proactive, Produce, Initiative, CREATE. As I continued to reflect on Cause, I felt a positive change in my energy from that of failure to one of possibility. Responsibility: The possibility of action, The ability to act. This mountain was just an opportunity for me to demonstrate Cause and Effect. I stared at the obstacle, renamed it Challenge and began to plan my strategy. I thought about the concepts of Cause and Effect: Thought, Action, Decision, Power, Persistence. As I stared at the Challenge there it was, plain as day, my opportunity. Just above was about 3 inches of rock jutting out, not much, but enough to hold the front end of a sneaker. My eyes continued upward, another piece of rock, perhaps enough to hold on to. If I thrust off with my right leg and moved quickly enough I just might be able to pull this off.; I could at least get off the ground. It was apparent that I would have to move quickly in order to remain balanced. My eyes continued up the slope: I saw that the incline shifted downward. If I made it to this point I could crawl to the top. Things were looking up, I had a plan, a real plan, the goal was once again within my reach. I counted to three and sped off. Within seconds I had made it, the top. I had successfully maneuvered the path. I took a seat, deciding to journal for a few minutes, enjoying my success, my Creator power, when I was disturbed by my own BEing,

that inner longing, the voiceless voice deep within. There it was, telling me, no commanding me, to go to the edge, to push the limit. Terror swirled all around me. Fear of heights has plagued me all of my life. I was able to push it aside on my way to the top by not looking to the side, remaining careful to look straight ahead, always watching where my feet were going. This couldn’t be happening. To stand at the edge of a mountain and look into the vastness was just too much to ask. My experience had catapulted from Cause to Effect yet the voice continued. I cursed the Universe; after everything that I had done to get to this point couldn’t I have been allowed to enjoy my success? “I CAN”T DO THIS”, I cried to myself. I wept silently listening to the incessant beckoning of my own BEing, go to the edge; there is nothing for you here, go to the edge of the Universe. As I stared at the edge, Steven came over, still smiling, still beaming. We communicated silently as I prepared to move forward. I stood up and took two steps. Terror shot up through me so intense I fell back. I sat for a few moments to regroup. I remembered that in one of the Psycanics books a woman overcame fear by inching to the edge. With Steven by my side, coaxing my forward movement, I also inched to the edge, slowly, still sitting. Every couple of inches I stopped, gasping deeply to let air into my body, letting the fear ripple through me, allowing myself to integrate with it fully, reminding myself of the Psycanic concept: I am Creator, the Cause of my own experience, all of it. Eventually, my breathing became normal, the terror became manageable. I raised my eyes to look over the side. I couldn’t believe what I saw. From the edge I could look down into the canyon, I could look onto nearby mountains, beauty only visible from the edge, beauty unable to be experienced from my ‘safe’ vantage point. I now understood why the voice had beckoned me to the edge. I had ended the

journey too soon, my goal too limited, the destination poorly defined. By now the fear had been released. I stood up, looked to the sky, down into the canyon, no fear, no dizziness, no gasping. I moved to the other side to see what that edge had to offer, even more beauty. Steven came up to me and reminded me that it would be getting dark and I had better start thinking about moving down the mountain. I asked him if he would be going down the mountain with me, I wanted to pay him for serving as my guide and mentor. He laughed and said he would show me a different way down. He led me to the downward path and told me to start making my way; he would meet me at the bottom of the mountain so off I went. The descent down the mountain was nothing like the trip up. It was a winding path, no rocks, no fissures, no obstacles. I smiled at the hikers that easily climbed up the path as I contemplated my own ascent with its challenges, hurdles, opportunities and a very special guide named Steven. It was the Challenge that made this journey a remarkable event for me, a true growth experience. As I continued down the path I could look ahead and see others also making their way to the place where this all began. About half way down my eyes turned to the right. There below me was the destination, the end of the trail. My eyes turned back to the others continuing down the path. Had no one seen that the destination was right here, just below us? I stared toward the endpoint, looking to find some reason why everyone would walk this tedious trail with the destination right before us. There were no signs posted, no vegetation to trample, no obstacles that I could see. My thoughts returned to Psycanics, Cause and Effect. Cause: Responsibility for the creation of my own experience; Effect: Conformist. Much of my life had been spent following in the footsteps of others, looking for life’s answers in the experience of others. Now I had the opportunity to create my own way, my own experience, my own reality. As I

peered ahead I could see that clearly this path had nothing more to offer me. The other alternative however, could get me to my destination on my own terms, faster, so I could be on to my next adventure. I focused on the destination and quickly moved forward, the end always in sight. From the endpoint I looked up the mountain. I could see Steven looking down. The distance was too great to see his face but I knew it was him by the white brilliance of his clothing in the setting sun. He made no move to come down the mountain. There was no way to thank him personally so I made a vow to lead others through their challenges as he had done for me. As I continued to look up the mountain two boys came to the point where I had made my break. They yelled to their parents who were further down the path, “Hey the end is right here! Let’s go this way!”. The parents yelled for the boys to return to the path. Gleefully the boys ran down where I had just trod. The morning readings once again came to mind; Children are natural Creators until their parents stomp on their Cause. I turned to leave, reflecting on my demonstration of Cause and Effect. Had I been successful? Had I met the grade? I then remembered the vast beauty that is only visible from the Edge of the Universe. Yes, I had indeed met the grade.

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