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To climb free is to ascend unaided by equipment or the assistance of others. Free climbing normally involves the use of safety equipment – ropes, carabiners, anchors, and the like – but employs these only as safety systems in case of a fall. They do not aid the climber in ascending the rock. To climb unroped, also called free soloing, is not to be confused with free climbing. Free climbing is the epitome of the sport, the level of ethical performance to which most climbers aspire. To climb unaided by artificial supports and human contrivances, whether on lead or following, is the purest and most satisfying expression of the climbing spirit.
Climbing free while on lead – often referred to as “the sharp end of the rope” – is to climb unaided with your belay and protection below you, not above. While still relatively safe, climbing free on lead can result in some interesting if not epic lead falls.
Free climbing illustrates for us the passion and purity we should have for living each day unaided as much as possible by dependence on artificial supports and our human contrivances. We are creatures of an almighty God, created expressly to live by His own life lived in us by His Spirit indwelling us. To live not only in His presence, but by His life and power. To do so is the highest expression of the human existence. It is our “free climbing,” if you will.
Religiosity and institutional religion, false beliefs and practices, living out of the false self instead of the true self are some of the contrivances on which we rely as we avoid the one pursuit of intimacy with our God. We think these serve us, yet sadly the serve only to hold us back in the one pursuit of true and honest living.
The posts labeled “Climb Free” will focus on experiences, thoughts and ideas related to freeing ourselves from our artificial supports and human contrivances. Often, there will be stories from my own life of how I have come to explore – and sometimes crash into- a life of intimate union and communion with the God of all things. It will at times chronicle the discovery of those things we think are our servants but which are malign influences that come to rule our behaviors. Climb Free will focus on the lessons, thinking and practices that allow us to live in the presence and power of our God, with as few encumbrances as possible.