When I originally drew this image of of Sophia, some wondered if she was inside deciding whether or not to go out. That's another part of the story, perhaps better captured in my drawing "Clearing"
. I actually drew her standing outside before the entrance to the cave deciding whether or not to go in.
The cave often symbolizes the depths of our unconscious. It's where the dark, mysterious and often frightening aspects of our personalities dwell. Since I left the church almost two years ago, I've almost felt forced to enter into my own cave to wrestle with my own unconsciousness. It has been dark. It has been mysterious. It has been frightening.
Religion often prevents us from submerging into the depths. Not always. But often. Religion either presents a a too negative, despairing and hopeless belief in human nature, or a too optimistic, positive and rosy one. If it is too negative then it provides a magical salvation from it, a means of escape, a denial of the facts, a miraculous rescue by a supernatural saviour. If it is too positive then it it also provides it's own salvation, escape, denial, and rescue, but by the vehicle of our own thoughts and efforts.
Either way, we are prevented from really wrestling tooth and nail with the darker aspects and even the glorious aspects of our nature. We are told that we are never alone to fight our own battle with our own selves. But the truth is, in my opinion, that we are, in many ways, entirely on our own. It is our own personal project that we must accept.
The Cave represents, for me, the absolute necessity and immediate urgency of facing myself, to stop bullshitting, to quit avoiding the essential, and get to the real task of working out my own life with fear and trembling.
Enter the cave.