As a child, I remember asking the local vicar, “Where is God?”

He looked at me, a little startled, and said, “God is everywhere!”

I looked around, not meaning to mock him, but he took it that way. My simplistic feeling was that God was in the high places, open, accepting and taking things are they were.

My family were Rosicrucians and it was clear to him that I was being raised a heretic. He and the primary school headmaster were later to take their revenge on the family by conspiring to keep me out of grammar school, despite my earned grades.

What doesn’t kill you…

But it taught me to think.. and not to accept anything at face value when it was repeated by rote. It taught me to realise that if there is a God, ‘he’ would be perfectly happy chatting to me.

The question is a good one: Where is God? And while we’re pondering that we’d better ask: What IS God?

There are two main divisions to the life of our ‘self’. There is a gradual coming to accept the societal view of how things are. The closer and more elegantly we can harmonise with this, the better our chances in life. This is fitting in, and being rewarded for an outstanding alignment.

The other life of the self is what we think and feel inside. We can wear all the masks we like, but what really affects the quality of our lives is how we feel ‘in-here’.

If I feel good about myself, my life will be lived in inner harmony. I will have confidence to go out into the world and discover more and more about it.

Where will I find God? In the high places, of course.

But the new high places will be mountains inside myself – my:self. And once I’ve sampled the quality of the air ‘up there’, I will begin to want to live in that way and continue breathing that inner refinement of feeling and thought.

I probably won’t have an idea what God is. I may simply have confidence that this general sweetness inside is one of the pathways to her-him-it.

And I will begin climbing mountains, and they will be inner mountains; though there’s nothing wrong with talking to ‘God’ on the top of a real one…

Which, when I have enough personal power, and can return my own energy of discovery into my self, will turn out to be places of peace and silence. In those silences a different type of conversation begins.

And now, a reliance on what experts think falls away. Once I know how to be honest about my interior space, I can bring into it the authority of discovery, because the only thing of importance on that mountain is to change my world to the truth – my own truth, whose yardstick has been honed by my own experience, refined and reliable.

The world is full of crazy people. Now, I can be my own crazy person. Except I’m not. I’m a person with a reliable and well-forged set of thoughts and feelings that reflect what I know to be true – for me.

A new core of my life may emerge. The sense that something greater lives ‘behind my eyes’ waiting to be handed the controls. This new something feels a lot like my hard-earned self. But its power is greater, and its insight is instant.

I might call it my Self, rather than the ego-formed sense of identity that has come to make up my reactive self. This Self doesn’t have to react to the trivial world, no matter how good or bad. It has the power to see the world very differently – and thus change my relationship to experience.

And then, one fine day, I might find myself having a conversation with God, but in the highest and quietest place I could imagine; a place at the centre of everything that is and could be.

And it would be deeply caring and personal.

The Silent Eye’s spring 2023 landscape workshop: Water-Circle+Cross will take place on the weekend of 19-21. A few places are still available.

Message us at for more details.

©Stephen Tanham 2023

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being. and

8 Comments on “Scaling the Heights

  1. I see and feel God in all your photos, he reaches out and speaks to me.
    That priest.. not that he sounds very Christian and headmaster did you a favour where ever you went to school you became a whole and in the true, sense of the word , christian person . You know yourself and so does God.💜

    Liked by 3 people

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