As the Pilgrim and Virgil pass through the tiny opening in the mountain wall of rocks, Virgil proclaims:
“Now, do not change your course,
keep climbing up the mountain, close to me,
until we find a more experienced guide.”
Suggesting that Reason is the closest companion until it reaches its limitations, and then Beatrice will take over as a symbol of intuition and theology.
Then Dante masterfully blends arts, poetry and science:
The peak rose higher than my sight could reach,
the slope soared upright, steeper than a line
drawn from mid-quadrant to the center’s point.
Meaning steeper than 45 degrees upwards. The learning will be hard at first, but then eventually – it will be like “floating downwards in a little boat on a stream”.