Before we explore The Way of The Livingness, let’s for a moment reconnect to Plato’s allegory of the cave. It is a story of a people trapped in a cave from birth, only able to look at one wall. There are masters of this cave who have a flame behind the prisoners that they cannot see. The masters stand behind the fire so their shadows are not evident but they place objects in front of the flame, casting shadows on the wall. The prisoners, having seen nothing but these shadows since birth, think that this is all there is in life.
For a prisoner to escape, they must first confront the light of this flame and allow their eyes to adjust to the reality of what they see: this light can be so intense that nearly all turn away and return to the wall. The reality is that few prisoners pass this light and even fewer exit the cave, but if they did, they would adjust to the new light and begin to see the ‘real’ world around them.
It is amazing that, even though this story was written in approximately 500 BCE, it still has so much resonance and currency today.
Could it be that as a species we are still held prisoner by a false light that dances on the walls in front of us, keeping us enthralled with its shadows, but that this light is not even a speck of the true light that exists outside the cave?
Over the years there have been many books and even movies that all follow this theme of people living in a world where its residents are held captive. Their captivity is not forced but is sustained by ensuring its residents do not know any other way for life to be.
So what is going on that philosophers and writers keep coming back to this idea that there is something more about life that we are just not getting? Could there be some germ of truth that people can feel, but are unable to fully articulate? Could it be that we carry some level of unease or tension while looking at the walls of the cave?
Of the many presentations made by Universal Medicine, the distinction between spirit and Soul is the one that adds some light to Plato’s story and explains the unease that some, if not many, feel.
Universal Medicine presents the possibility that we each live in three realms.
The first realm is our human temporal life where we deal with the physical, the day to day and the realities of finding shelter, food and comfort. For most, this is the watching the shadows on the wall.
The second realm is the awareness that we also have an energetic aspect to life. This awareness can be a revelation in itself, but much like those watching the shadows, there is a bigger game afoot.
It can be easy to become enamored with the notion of light or energy but the critical question is, is this the light from inside or outside the cave?
In the second realm we see the light and life of the spirit. There are significant industries devoted to assisting people with this spiritual exploration. This is the light of the masters who live in the cave.
While there are a myriad of books, courses and teachers expounding the light of the spirit, all they do is show us how to cast shadows on the wall and give us insights into life IN the cave.
The presentations of Universal Medicine and The Way of The Livingness help me to understand that there is another light outside the cave that we all belong to.
I spent many years dissatisfied with life looking at the wall of the cave and like many others, I felt that there was more to life. However, like many, I also spent many years exploring the light that lived within the cave (the light of the spirit). It can be a freeing feeling to go from a life watching the shadows to feeling like I was beginning to understand that there were shadows, and then, to feel the power of learning how the shadows were made. I attended numerous workshops that promised to connect to that light.
This understanding dazzled me for a long time, and I studied diligently, even getting to a point where I was so competent that I began to teach others how to play with this light.
The reality was however, I was not playing with this light, this light was playing with me. At NO time did the light of the spirit show me that there was a light outside the cave. In fact, the light of the spirit has one goal and one goal alone… to keep me in the cave. It doesn’t mind if I sit numb, watching the shadows or become someone that cast shadows for others. Either way, I stay in the cave.
The light of the spirit does not want us to know about the third realm.
The third realm is the light outside the cave; this is the light of our Soul (our divinity).
This aspect of ourselves is our true essence and has never, and can never be, separated from us, which is why we carry some unease or tension when either living entranced by or casting shadows in the cave.
The Way of The Livingness reminds us that we all have equal access to this light, yet few realise this, either because they are happy watching the shadows or they do not get past the false lights in the cave.
This light outside the cave is not selective in whom it chooses, but rather waits for us to choose it. Everyone inside or outside the cave, even the masters of the cave, have this same light. But like true love, it doesn’t demand anything of us and waits patiently for us to realise that life within the cave (either watching or casting shadows) is not how we are meant to live.
The Way of The Livingness showed me a way to reconnect to this true light. At no stage did it ask me to feel guilty about having lived in the cave, or to change. All that light asked of me was to explore the parts of my life that felt equal to that light, and the parts I had constructed, by either watching or casting shadows. By sorting through what was ME (in essence) and what I had constructed, I began to feel ALL that I am, beyond the existence of the cave.
Breaking free of the cave is difficult because it is a life that is known and comfortable. Getting past the light in the cave can feel scary and I can still be lured by the promise of having control over the shadows. Learning to not rely on that false power is key if I am to live the light of my Soul in full.
So here we are, 2515 years on, and Plato’s allegory still resonates with us. Its story rings true. Society is walking around thinking we have advanced, yet war, starvation, slavery, greed and abuse are still commonplace. So it seems that for the most part, we are still looking at shadows.
However, there is one part of the story of Plato’s cave that might be updated. Because the light of the Soul has no interest in where you live – inside or outside the cave – once we master that true light, we don’t skip off and leave others to rot. The light of the Soul continues to wait patiently, even sending people into the cave from time to time – people who know what the shadows on the wall really are, so that others might also begin to get a sense that there is something else.
By Joel Levin