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Excerpted from Crossing to Avalon by Jean Shinoda Bolen. Copyright © 1994 by Jean Shinoda Bolen. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"Like all stories that touch some deep truth, it had remained with me."

Jean Shinoda Bolen, Crossing to Avalon, Part 3

The book I referred to was Mount Analogue by Rene Daumal, a small book that I had read when I was in medical school. Like all stories that touch some deep truth, it had remained with me, much as a significant recorded dream might that is thought about, reread, and more fully understood only later. 

In the story a group of companions set out on a quest to locate the ultimate symbolic mountain, Mount Analogue, that united Earth and Heaven. The mountain is located on an island hidden by a curvature of space that deflects the light from the stars and also the lines of force in the earth’s magnetic field, and thus acts "like an invisible, intangible rampart; everything takes place around it as if Mount Analogue did not exist."

In Daumal’s words: "To find a way of reaching the island, one must assume the possibility and even the necessity of reaching it…. At a certain moment and in a certain place certain persons (those who know how and wish to do so) can enter."

The companions find the island and begin the ascent of the mountain. In mid-sentence in the fifth chapter, mid-quest, the book ends. Midquest is also where the first known version of the legend of Perceval and the Grail, written by Chretien de Troyes, ends. Daumal died before he could complete the book. From some notes he left behind we know that the title of his last chapter was to be "And You, What Do You Seek?" This is the same question I pose to my lecture audiences when I ask, "Are you on a Grail Quest?"

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