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Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was a highly regarded 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 TREASURE 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This incident is taken from page 445 of the yet unpublished second part of the ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE series: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 vertical 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 candlelit 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 reasonably well in the darkness of the cabin at night if I didn’t have the lanterns lit... but not now. The shadow of doom encroaches 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 practising 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 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 lay down the 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 about 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 some steeplechase 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 pitched 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 certainly 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 almost 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 at 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 a couple of feet over my head. There was something that appeared to be engraved in the granite.
Elysium's Passage Novel Series
Elysium's Passage Public Group page
Elysium's Passage Author's Page
or to my personal page Neil Meyers
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or the Elysium's Passage website at www.elysiumspassage.com and click MY BLOG
SUMMARY OF ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE NOVEL SERIES
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
The following comments are among the first Amazon reviews of Elysium’s Passage: The Summit. All are Five Stars! Others reader reviews are included below, along with excerpts from two professional reviews. To read full reviews, go to READER REVIEWS on www.elysiumspassage.com
"Quietly, gently, and without imposition, the Author unfolds the pages, creating an intricate, interlocking bridge spanning the chasm between mind and heart. Renewing, refreshing, restoring. In my bereavement, it was vigil and light…"
"A delightful mix of fantasy, reality, conjecture and humour; Mr. Meyers draws the reader into the story with a gentle narrative that captures imagination, leaving one anxious to get to the next page drawing you into his exceptional world.”
“Excellently written with an exceedingly deep understanding of this world and the next. The characters are very well written and engaging. I can't wait to complete this book!"
“Takes the reader on both a philosophical and spiritual journey, a journey that at times is both disquieting and tranquil. James, a British Philosopher can be irreverent and caustic, traits that should have left me cringing, but instead made me laugh out loud. Elysium’s Passage is a fun, enlightening and remarkable book.”
“This is a masterful fantasy, becoming a real possibility, as the reader is drawn into the story. The Summit leaves you anxious for the next book in the series, yet also leaves you totally satisfied with the world you have just visited. Genius! An exciting, yet calming, experience that is not to be missed."
"There was hardly a page on which I did not find at least one sentence worthy of hi-lighting for future reference. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the main character, James, whose personality and passionate verbal exchanges with the other characters, kept me coming back for more. I am reading the book for a second time while I wait for the next one in this series to be made available."
“N.G. Meyers has clearly put a great deal of research and thought into what the afterlife may look like and I like his perspective. It’s an altogether welcoming and exciting vision. The book gives one a great deal to think about and a reassuring confidence that the end of our lives is truly the beginning of life in the next. I highly recommend it."
“The humour interjected into a serious discussion makes me laugh out loud. Totally unexpected....l may be in the presence of at least a master, if not a genius. A fair ride into reality... seeking that which is unseen, yet absolutely real.”
“An engaging story of adventure embracing man's deepest desire to search for meaning and purpose, N.G. Meyers takes the reader on an adventurous thought provoking journey. This book has substance. It is a perfect blend of adventure and fantasy combined with spiritual philosophy. It ignited my imagination. The author magically weaves a good story laced with wit and humor together with deep philosophical wisdom. This book has it all!”
“An evolution in thought is triggered by many fresh philosophical themes which could inspire readers to re-think their reality and former ideologies that have dictated their lives… the author fires readers’ imaginations to view what could be possible when spirit vacates the body.”
“This is the book spiritual seekers have been waiting for. For me, it granted a great read as well as increased inspiration to live every day with a heightened sense of purpose. I highly recommend it.
“The Summit is capable of hooking readers and luring them to search for Book 2 to discover more about Dr. Philip’s surreal trek into the mysterious unknown universe. This thick book is well worth the read and to share…”
“Mind-blowing statements and speculation (‘…everyone is a non-physical thought form conceived in the Mind of God, preserved for all eternity because God’s thoughts never die…’). Many will find Meyers’ journey up the Mountain intriguing—and possibly even life-changing.” (BLUEINK REVIEW)
“In its effort to grapple with fundamental questions about the meaning of life, it raises questions that have echoed throughout the ages, including about where we come from, where we are going, who we are.” (CLARION REVIEW)
FACEBOOK: Elysium's Passage Novel Series, Elysium's Passage Public Group page, Elysium's Passage Author's Page, or to my personal page Neil Meyers
TWITTER: N.G. Meyers@neil1113
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BLOG POSTINGS: https://digitalbloggers.com/articles/elysiumspassage or the Elysium's Passage website
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Sample press review: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15515775.htm