THE CAVE YOU FEAR

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Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was a highly regarde American Professor of Literature who taught and wrote on Comparative Mythology and Religion. He was also featured in several television and movie productions.  

His quote: ‘THE CAVE YOU FEAR TO ENTER HOLDS THE TREAURE YOU SEEK’ is replete with meaning. But rather than go into my own speculations on what meaning may be found in these words, I have included a short excerpt found in Elysium’s Passage: Surreal Adventures.

After writing about this incident, it occurred to me there was a very interesting allegorical message in what occurred to James in this cave. This lesson wasn’t lost on him either as he struggled with his fears after entering the cave to find where the light might lead him. But when the light was no more, it was too late for him to go back. He had committed himself and there was no returning because he didn’t know where he came from. After pursuing his light, he was now lost and very afraid.

I won’t go further but would be interested in hearing your comments on James’ real life allegorical experiences in the cave. Was there I treasure to be found there, is a topic for another time.

This incident is taken from page 445 of the yet unpublished second part of the ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE series: 

After another forty or fifty yards inwards, past the last rise, the tunnel suddenly came to another abrupt turn that appeared to lead to nowhere. I stood there for a moment wondering what to do next. Then I noticed a small fissure off to the right of the end where a beam of light was shining through a tight veritical shaft.

I pulled myself up and crawled along through a narrow tunnel for a few meters and then…. Bloody hell, I exclaimed to myself, I didn’t see this coming. I found myself in a huge cavern that opened into what felt like a colossal amphitheatre. I proceeded to walk along the cavern’s uneven stone slabs to what seemed the centre of this theatre. The light was still with me, albeit greatly dissipated in this space, becoming more like a candle lit at night inside St Paul’s in Rome. And yet, with the acuity of my spirit body, I could still vaguely make out the cavern’s walls and ceiling.  

As I surveyed my cathedral's magnificence, I noticed several passageways that headed off in various directions, although I couldn’t tell if any of them went very far. If I were to continue, which passage would I take? Then strangely, as I stood there, feeling anxious about what to do next, the glow began to dim to the point I became concerned about finding my way out again. I was no longer sure where I entered back through that narrow fissure. I told myself there was nothing to worry about; I’m a spirit now, I can go anywhere I damned well please, be it the summit lodge or Quincy’s Jazz Club down the way from my flat in London or how about Julianne’s bedroom to make sure she’s fine.

At first these thoughts helped counter the tinge of fear that was welling up in me as I inwardly heard my fearful self scream that I needing to do something  and do it quickly before it was too late. The more I thought about my situation. Then I began to panic. Irrational I know, but once dread finds its way inside the soul’s cavern, it doesn’t have to make sense.

I had always been able to see reasonable well in the darkness of the cabin at night if I didn’t have the lanterns lit... but not now. The shadow of doom encroach deeper into my psyche until it was no longer a shadow… it was total darkness within and without. My fear told me not to attempt to teleport out of the mountain since the risk would be too great This was not the same as standing on top of the mountain -- hardly the time or place to be practicing new manoeuvrings through matter as though it was nothing more than Julianne’s bedroom door.

Now I was even more disoriented, no longer knowing where to begin to find the small aperture that I entered through. Again I considered whether I should try to teleport out the cavern, but the more I thought a about it, the more I became terrified. What if I wasn’t able to make it through? What if I forever ended up encased in the granite like a fossil? I stood there paralyzed in fear, not knowing what else I could do.

I tried to get a grip by telling myself how stupid it was to get overwhelmed by such fearful imaginings since I was in my spirit body so I could never die. But I thought that was even worse, to be ossified and not be able to escape by dying. I understood from my time while at sea that the rational mind could still prevail in a panic when there was a flicker of hope. So all I needed now was a flicker of light, then I could move ahead again. But there was none, within or without. I was trapped, even as a spirit. Dam, damn, damn! It felt like damnation… not good!

I heard bats in the air and was wondering what other creatures and wraiths may haunt me here. I even wondered if I hadn’t been drawn in by some evil shaitan. Finally, I layed down on thespread out inthe cavern floor to calm my anxious mind since I knew it was futile to resist the fear I felt. First I had to accept how my situation before I’d be able to recompose myself into finding a solution.

I remembered, it wasn’t that long ago on the island that I allowed myself to feel the fear deep within my soul. As I acknowledging these fears, I no longer resisting them but accepted them as another challenge to advance along my path. As I remained outstretched there, looking up into the darkness I saw nothing. Oh, to be free again in the mountain meadow when a voice in the air repeated to me the word nothingness three times. That was a just word then, but now it was my reality. Was there a connection between what was said then and what I was now experiencing? If so… what?

Perhaps, I thought, it might help if I prayed again like I did when stranded on the ridge after I had left the lodge early in my stay. I hadn’t properly planned my descent. I had prayed then too, but nothing happened... at least not until Eli let his presence be known. I never thought of it before, but maybe Eli was the answer to my cry for help.

Interestingly, after that whole time of being despair, I had the ability to jump up and get off the ledge at any time, I just didn’t know it. Why? – Because I was not willing to allow them to teach me of my new abilities at least until that happened. So what might happen now? Surely I would find him here since he would have no idea where I was. Probably he thinks I’m still with Rhom while he’s driving his MGB in in some steeple chase in the hills of Elysium.

So here I was again, feeling too heavy to go anywhere, but not too heavy to get back on my feet. The cave was still pitch darkness. What happened, I wondered, to the inward candle that illuminated my way… had fear extinguished it?

I don’t know how long I stood there, disquieted by the quiet without; not moving since I had no idea where to move in this silent morgue. Then, inexplicable I felt the inner prompt of an inward voice, urging me to move forward, even if I didn’t know what direction to go.

Didn’t someone once say it’s in the cave where you will find you treasure? Well, there certain weren’t any treasures to be found here that I could see. But then, how would I know; I was in total darkness. I need to find some light. At this point, that alone would have been all treasure I could ever ask for. I thought of what Aristotle once wrote: It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.

Perhaps it was Rhom who used to quote that to me at the pub when he was a professor of physics when I was in despair over losing some young woman. Over the years that stuck with me, but nothing like now. I needed to focus to find some light… any light.

And so, one step at a time, I proceeding very slowly to where I knew not, but at least the ground under me was still there and I hadn’t fallen into a deep fissure. I couldn’t seem to release the heavy gravitational field that was weighing me down. It seemed whenever I became more fearful, I would feel much heavier than what felt optimal in my spirit body. If this was just an illusion, it felt very real in its effects. Had fear created this illusion, I wondered? But then, I thought, isn’t that what fear does?

All I knew was that I couldn’t do much except move forward one small step at a time. Teleporting in the confines of this darkness was out of the question and so I stretched out my hands least I bump up against something that I didn’t wish to pass through, such as into the mass of the mountain. It was most certain I won’t find light there, especially if my spirit body got trapped in its density. That would give new meaning to the word claustrophobia.  

On a more pleasant note, I recalled how pleasant it was when Julianne walked through me in the hospital, but this current situation was hardly the same. Just the thought of Julianne brought I smile to me. One day I might tease her what a fast woman she was that night. Hmm – so pleased to know I’m still capable of having such jaunty thoughts to enliven my spirit, even in this darkness.

I continued along feeling lighter now, still smiling as I thought of the good times the fall guy and I would have with her one day. What would it be like to somehow be sexually entwined with her whole body? …not that would be possible. But then maybe it would. Why not? The idea aroused something in me; perhaps it was hope that created in me an altered state of awareness of what could be. Was it coincidence, but just then I saw, or imagined, a dim flicker of light far off to the right.

The more I focused on it, just as Aristotle had implored, it seemed more certain there was something out there I hadn’t noticed before. It was still much too far away to be certain, much less illuminate my path, but at least I had a point of reference I could head towards. I’m not sure if a faint light had returned to the cave or if it had always been there waiting for me to look where I hadn’t looked before. Likely I had been looking in all the wrong directions, focusing on only the darkness I had resigned myself to.

I unwaveringly concentrated on the glimmer as I continued to step forward never taking my eyes off it for a moment. It seemed to shift in various directions, throwing me off from where I thought I was to go such that I had to keep adjusting my trajectory to stay on its course. This happened a number times and it only occurred to me later that possibly it was to avert me from falling into a deep shaft or crevice I couldn’t see. Every time I turned towards it, there it was, seemingly waiting for me to follow.

Eventually, I was close enough to discern dim rays diffusing through a small fissure in the wall. Is this were my guiding light had gone, I wondered, to lead me through to a new passage? When I first entered into this large cavern and there was still light, I hadn’t noticed anything in this direction but a solid stone cave wall. But then, possibly I was just too overwhelmed by the grandeur of the surroundings to notice details.

When I think back on this now, I’m sure if there was a lesson for me to learn in that moment; it was to teach me not to linger in the darkness. The only way to evade the black void of despair was to not dwell in its darkness, but always follow the light further up and further in.

The light still remained very dim, but I found as I got closer to the passage, the light seemed to glow just a little brighter with each step as if to affirm I was on course. When I finally got to the entrance of what I hoped would be a new passage, I was disheartened to find that it didn’t lead anywhere, just a shallow indenture in the cavern’s wall. Still a glow remained, illuminating the area.

As I looked upwards, I discover there was a narrow fissure where light streamed through, meaning I would have to climb a fairly steep rise to follow it. I’m not sure if I was yet able to levitate, but I instinctively used my hands and feet to scale an elevation of possibly ten meters. Fortunately, I found my body was continuing to feel significantly lighter and much more agile. The strong force of gravity was losing its hold on my body, just as the darkness of fear was losing its grip on my mind. Obviously, there was a reason for that; there always was, even when it seemed there wasn’t.

I climbed through a fissure, then emerging into a passageway that allowed me to easily walk upright with just enough light to see a short distance ahead. I continued for some distance encountered a few twists and turns, along the way while gradually ascending higher up as I went further in. Then, unexpectedly, I noticed something most peculiar arch that was couple of feet over my head. There was something that appeared to be engraved in the granite.

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The SUMMIT is the first book of the Elysium's Passage series and is now available on www.Amazon.com  Purchase details on the book may be directly accessed by clicking here

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or go to www.amazon.ca (Canada), www.amazon.uk (Britain), www.amazon.in (India), www.amazon.au (Austraila) 

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SUMMARY OF ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE: THE SUMMIT
 

This the first in a series of five Elysium narrations regarding a young British philosopher named James Phillips who finds himself living in an altered state of reality while still remaining on earth.  

After experiencing a near fatal fall while climbing to the summit of a remote mountain in the Andes, James awakens in a new dimension. He soon encounters two mysterious beings who provide him with a very different perspective on the nature of his existence. Over the next year, before his body recovers from the coma, he is challenged to re-examine his understanding about life’s meaning and purpose far beyond anything he previously believed, or could believe.

An engaging and sometime surreal adventure with intimations of impending romance, the narrative explores the most important questions about life, death, reality and our ultimate destiny. 

The Plains of Elysium (Champs-Élysées) was described by Homer, Hesiod, Virgil and many other poets as the paradisiac afterlife realm reserved for heroes. As the title suggests, this is about a journey through a passage that leads towards Elysium’s exciting realm of existence.

To read a sample press review at: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15515775.htm

  

PENDING PUBLICATIONS IN THE SERIES


 
The Summit, is now available for purchase on www.Amazon.com and www.Amazon.ca

With the exception of the last novel, the other three have been written but still require more editing before publication.

The following titles in the Elysium's Passage series are projected to be released as follows: 

THE SUMMIT is now available

SURREAL ADVENTURES spring 2019 

MYSTICAL ROMANCE fall 2019

HE ELIXIR spring 2020

THE RETURN sometime in 2021

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