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One of our uniquely human qualities is our need to place ourselves in stories. Most animals probably don’t, except through what we call instinct. Our instinct is for stories. We hope that in the course of our tale, some desire will be fulfilled or some point proven beyond a doubt… In some sense, our self-told stories may be remedies for the more complex ones we live… I read the work of a neurologist whose theory is that dreams are the relentless efforts of our minds to impose order on the random sparks of neurons during sleep… Often, we seem to get more joy from recognizing a pattern in things than from the things themselves.

Do I love these mountains and our cold climbs, or do I love The Mountain and The Quest? Who cares about these things anymore? But a phrase of William Everson’s has stuck with me: irrelevant to the needs and uses of an established urban hegemony, and therefore out of harmony as it is… To be in step with a majority may not be the highest good. The majority itself be profoundly out of step with something greater… Why does a fox go on a quest? It has the freedom of a body and a story in its genes.

–C.L. Rawlins

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