This post concludes the Mt. Liebe stories for Ruby. You can catch up on a whole series of stories with Ruby and her path to realizing spiritual freedom on this link:

Spiritual Allegories and Stories

Ruby turned to see her teacher, the kuldne kull.

“Had I know you needed a challenge, I would have given you a different route,” he commented.

Before she could reply, another voice remarked, “You’re being too easy on her, Zeen.”

Ruby saw perched next to the kuldne kull the same snowy owl who’d spoken to her in Padreson Chemin.

“You! I know you.”

“That was and this Is exceptionally stupid, Ruby. Or is it really, Renee now?” the owl questioned.

Ruby tried to reply, but shame rose to her cheeks.

“Dumb luck saved you from that avalanche. And the ice sheet you choose to climb with no training was a death wish.”

Ruby kept trying to attach her voice to someone she knew.

“Have we met?”

“Yes, dear. Shake the Padreson Chemin fog out of your head and look at me.”

Ruby looked. Her eyes blurred, and suddenly she saw Greta, whom she’d met on the road to Mt. Liebe.


“Congratulations,” Great snarked.

Ruby looked at the kuldne kull and saw Zeen–an older man with wizened brown skin, yet who still had the same piercing eyes. A shorter man, his presence had a glow that made him seem bigger.


He nodded.

“Hardly,” Greta interrupted. “You’ve barely listened.”

Greta walked over to Ruby. Despite her small size, Ruby felt the older woman towering over her.

“‘Stay on the road,’ we said. It was a summer hiking trail that is way easier and would have taken only a week. And it’d have been easy to get back down. Now here you are.”

Greta pointed at Ruby, whose body was starting to shake from cold and fatigue.

“Your supplies are somewhere out there.” She waved her hand at the edge of the mountain. “And you’re exhausted with no idea how to get down.”

Greta’s words sunk in. The gravity of the situation dropped on Ruby. She felt her shoulders sag. The elation of achieving the top of Mt. Liebe was replaced by a deep confusion about what she was doing here.

“Where is your longing now?” Zeen asked.

Ruby couldn’t answer. She’s achieved the thing she wanted. She felt strangely…hollow. Her confusion deepened.

“I don’t know.”

“Stop being a softly,” Greta chided Zeen.

“Yes, master.”

Ruby’s eyes widened. It felt like a layer of ice in her mind broken and dropped away. Zeen’s golden glow grew, but extending far beyond that was a radiance and depth from Greta. Ruby could not feel or see the edges of it.

Ruby felt overwhelmed.

“What do you want?” Zeen asked more forcefully.

But Ruby was overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed by the presence of a teacher and master. Overwhelmed by her triumph and the loss of her triumph. Overwhelmed by exhaustion, confusion, and how she might get down from the top of a mountain in an area that she did not know.

“Wake up!” Greta snapped.

Ruby reeled back, as if slapped by Greta’s voice.

“Okay…no need to shout.”

“You’re in no position to talk about what you need. Answer your teacher’s question.”

“I want….” Ruby stammered. “I want…I want to get down from here.

Zeen nodded.

“There’s an easier slope that heads south east before turning sharply northwest. That path is still full of high snow, but the area is mostly free of avalanches.”


Greta pursed her lips. “You shouldn’t have climbed a mountain in the middle of winter if you wanted to avoid avalanches.”

Ruby wobbled. “I don’t know if I can make it.”

“Only you can,” Greta responded.

Ruby surveyed the area. After all the years she’d dreamed of this experience, had desired it, suddenly she found it to be…ordinary.

And she already desired something else.

She paused. “I lost everything. Is a town close by?”

“Look for yourself,” Zeen replied.

“Well said,” Greta approved.

Ruby searched the region. Then she noticed a small town towards the northwest. “There.” She pointed. “What town is that?”

“Démut,” Zeen replied.

Zeen and Greta shapeshifted back into the kuldne kull and snowy owl, flying off.

Ruby stood alone shivering in the snow atop Mt. Liebe.

She took a last look, saw the vast dark forests past Démut. She wondered what lay there. Then she took a deep breath and followed the path laid before her by her teacher.

It was brutal.

While going down was significantly easier, Ruby had gone beyond any form of exhaustion she’d ever experienced. The intense sensation of extreme fatigue continued to nearly overwhelm her mind. She had to break trail through waist and chest high snow.

All the while, daylight faded.

She looked down and thought she saw an easier path continuing southeast. She felt the pull to change course, but something in her weary mind choose to continue on the recommended path as it turned north and westward.

And it got worse with sudden small sinkholes where she drop down to her neck in snow. Ruby wanted to cry.

But she was too tired even for that.

She turned a corner and came under a canopy of trees. They’d shielded an actual trail from most if not all of the snow. Her legs trembled as she felt immense relief from walking an easier path. She couldn’t have guessed this path existed even looking down from the top of Mt. Liebe.

That canopy allowed her to take off her snowshoes. Even as night came, she could easily find her way off the mountain to level ground and a small road.

She arrived at Démut and walked into an inn where a surprised innkeeper saw her collapse in exhaustion on his floor.

Interpretation of A View from the Top

Ruby makes it. She achieves her dream. She achieves a sense of higher love as Mt. Liebe is the mountain of love (Liebe is German for love).

Now what?

And what was the cost?

And what’s the fallout of the way she went about achieving this dream?

These questions remain, but the immediate question of what to do next/get down/come back from a powerful experience remains.

In this case, she did a lot of things and let go of things that she shouldn’t have. Losing her pack and other things wasn’t an intentional letting go of attachments. It was a reaction made out of fear. In so doing, she’s in a worse place despite having achieved her dream.

I’ve seen this before. People give up things that they should not give up, and now they’re in a state of desperation.

And it’s at this turning moment of desperation that her spiritual teacher arrives to support her.

But he doesn’t come alone, he comes with his teacher–a spiritual master–the woman named Greta that Ruby met in the first story of this series.

The Road to Mt. Liebe

The Teacher and Master

In this story, we see the interaction between a spiritual teacher and a spiritual master.

What’s the difference?

The master doesn’t have to teach. This unlimits the master in the way she can travel through different experiences. The teacher–the kuldne kull/Zeen–is limited to focusing on those who are actively on the spiritual path. The wilderness and desert were part of the spiritual path, and so, Ruby found him in those spaces. Once she leaves the path, he doesn’t look for her. He most likely has plenty of other students to look after, and no one makes anyone do this path.

But the spiritual master doesn’t operate by these rules. Greta observes Ruby from a distance, leaving a feather as mark of her watchfulness in past stories. It’s Greta’s question about “Where are you going?” in Loops that jars Ruby from her unconsciousness.

Why did she ask this question and watch over Ruby?

She choose to. That’s it. She’s not trying to succeed as a teacher. This is just what came to her to do.

The master is not predictable because she is not limited to the belief structures that even a free spiritual teacher like Zeen is.

Along with this, Zeen is still being developed. We see Greta egging him on to be harder. She sees his way of acting as being inappropriate to the seriousness of the situation Ruby is in.

She’s right.

To the unconscious person, they’re being cruel, but truly, they’re trying to inspire Ruby to SAVE HER OWN ASS.

They don’t fly her off the mountain or anything magical like that because just like in real life, a spiritual teacher or a master can only point the direction, you have to follow it.

In Awe of a Master

In regards to the awe Ruby has of Greta, this really shouldn’t be seen as adoring or elevating a master. Rather, I am pointing towards moments when we really see the truth of someone or something that we had not seen before. It’s a very common experience to have these moments of shock and awe as we dissolve ego. A part of us can’t believe we hadn’t seen this before. Another part is trying to rapidly understand this new realization.

And you can see by Greta’s response that she’s not interested in any kind of adoration. She’s interested in what is real.

Focusing on Reality

Shape Shifting and Magical Forms

I want to emphasize that Zeen and Greta’s different forms–one of a golden hawk (that’s what kuldne kull means–if you see words you don’t know, put them in an online translation tool) and the other a snowy owl–aren’t meant to indicate special powers on the spiritual path. They’re meant to indicate the ability to adjust to different realities and the ability to have a birdseye view on life.

The unconscious ego is stuck in the forms it knows. It can’t change much if at all. What many people think of as being a chameleon or shape-shifter in life is really a loss of self and an unconscious reaction to being liked by others, feeling safe, and so forth. It is not a conscious and intentional way of responding to reality. Zeen and Greta are intentionally shifting shape because of the reality they see.

Also, when people are identified with the unconscious ego, their vision in life is narrow and short-sighted. They don’t see much of reality nor the larger picture of interconnection.

Thus, the use of the “bird” metaphor for the teacher and master is offering a way to think about how letting go of ego offers a larger view of reality.

This “ability” is reinforced towards the end of the allegory when Ruby realizes she couldn’t have found the trail Zeen pointed to her despite her view from Mt. Liebe.

She is still too limited in her perspective.

Once again, this ability is the gift of a realized spiritual teacher–one who has walked this path. Zeen/the kuldne kull sees things she can’t.

Peak Experiences

I discussed this topic of peak experiences in the last story, but it bears more discussion.

Coming down from peak experiences can be challenging. Sometimes people become addicted to them in life and on the spiritual path. Ruby is now in the come down phase, and we’ll see how she handles it going forward.

Will she just want to climb Mt. Liebe again or create another dream to achieve?

Will everything else seem bland in comparison?

Seeking the Elusive Spiritual High


Even as Ruby is realizing how much trouble she is in, she still has a moment where she considers not following her teacher’s advice on the way off the mountain.

Crazy, right?

Time and time again, the teacher’s words prove true, but the ego self wants to keep control. Pride doesn’t go without a fight.

Fortunately, her exhaustion leads to some level of acceptance to the teacher’s guidance, and she finds her way to Dormut–a word that means humility in German.

Plenty of work remains for Ruby, but this is where I’ll leave her story for now and pick up the threads of some of my other stories.


I'm a spiritual teacher who helps people find freedom from suffering.

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