The Way of The Livingness – The Light Outside Plato’s Cave

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

Further Reading:
Being a Student of The Way of The Livingness
The Way Of The Livingness
The Kingly Body – Building a Connection With Your Soul

821 thoughts on “The Way of The Livingness – The Light Outside Plato’s Cave

  1. What a joy to read this again, absolutely perfect to read today – thank you Joel for the clarity you write with exposing the mastership of the shadows.

  2. It is indeed an illusion that we can play with the light within the cave, it plays we us and keeps us separate from the one true source, the light of our soul.

  3. Understanding the difference between Spirit and Soul is a fundamental key to understanding the workings of the ‘cave’ and to then leave it.

    1. Yes and this blog really supports us to understand the game that is at play to keep us in the illusion of not understanding the difference between them and how they play out.

  4. Truly beautiful Joel. Such an exemplary, simple and clear depiction of the illusion we live in.

  5. By observing what is unfolding in our world today it is so obvious to me that in most areas of our lives we have not even put a toe outside the cave and in some cases, we have even retreated further back into the shadows where we stubbornly choose to remain. A very curious choice it is to stay in the shadows but perhaps by making that choice we would need to begin to trust the innate sense that we have always had that there is more to life than staring at the wall of the cave; and the responsibility that will come from making that choice is way too scary.

    1. That’s where having the understanding of the spirit is so important as presented by Universal Medicine without that understanding nothing makes any sense.

  6. When explained as you do here, it so clearly shows the difference between spirit and soul. I’ve always know the story of the cave from Plato and it’s had a deep resonance, and what you offer here expands my understanding of how we are with light, the true light and the false one, and how supported we are so each of us can live the true light we are.

  7. The realization that we are mere shadows of ourselves is a great one because is true. Yet, unfortunately for many, most of what is on offer as an alternative is not ‘it’ either. This becomes particularly obvious when you realize that it is the Spirit running the shadow show and offering you its false light. The Soul does not have the spirit tactics. It just waits for you to come back to it.

    1. The Soul doesn’t need to have the shallow tactics of the Spirit, because the more we choose to connect to our Soul and live from there, the richer, more fulfilling and more beautiful our experience of life becomes – and so living from our Spirit becomes far less enticing and attractive. When we start to tire of the spirit we start to want to see more of life, more of what’s really going on – and see the shadows for all that they are – mere distractions away from feeling and knowing how grand, powerful and amazing we all really are.

  8. Wow 2515 years and still we have the same issues as back then. Humanity really has taken a long long long time to evolve!

    1. Long, long, long time as far as I can see we have not evolved at all if not just dug our heels in deeper.

  9. I do think we can be ‘prisoners’ of beliefs and ideals that we’ve taken on, false images that warp our perception of life. But through reconnecting with and honouring our whole body we can begin to unlock ourselves and regain our true sight…

  10. The soul is something we all know absolutely yet it is the one we fear to live the most. By making the false light our ‘normal’ we’ve forgotten the soul is our true normal.

  11. ‘Society is walking around thinking we have advanced, yet war, starvation, slavery, greed and abuse are still commonplace.’ We are so caught up in making life better, dancing to shadows intent on not noticing things aren’t progressing at all. And then when we notice the false light of spirit we stop and think, wow, it’s so much brighter than the shadows this is it. How wonderful to step out of the cave and feel the true light. I’ve been determined to make the shadows work but they will never work. I’ve tried so hard to believe in the false light but deep within I have always known it is false; and I’ve been afraid of being disappointed by the true light to not step outside the cave for long. There are many people I know who are stepping out and inspiring me to do likewise.

  12. Do we not all question the meaning of life? The, what are we here to do? Why are we here? How did we end up here constant pondering. Yet, when presented with an answer we can very quickly dismiss it as crazy, wacky talk or disillusion…

  13. There is a huge difference between the light of the spirit and the light of the soul. The soul cares about the human being, while the spirit does not. This is why it is important to know which one we are operating under.

  14. Just the fact that Plato’s analogy is still incredibly relevant shows that we have not progressed much in the last few hundred years. The world may look like it’s progressing, better cars, better homes, better technology, slightly less war – it looks better but underneath nothings really changed, surely this has to be a bit of a wake up call for us – in what kind of world do we truly want to live in?

  15. The consciousness that we are living in does hold us all captive, not fully aware that there is so much more to us than what we think. But we are the masters of this because we have created this false world and many of us then blame God for not rescueing us from it, because we can feel it is not a true way to live.

  16. It is like in life we don’t look for something deeper but just invest in trying to make the shadow more stimulating to avoid feeling the angst that we know this isn’t it- tv, replaced with netflix, increase in music, cartoons and video games with faster and faster images and brighter screens. Nothing is able to quench the yearning for more from an outside movement- it will never be enough, as our movement needs to be within.

  17. It is interesting that in this story the ‘prisoners’ are free to go and at any time, yet the story considers them prisoners.

  18. I have always loved this Plato allegory … it’s truth resonated with me on a deep level. For that is what we all will come to understand one day being in the cave we’re only learning how to be in the cave but never how to live outside it, and outside is where the truth of who we are is.

  19. ‘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?’ For this to be a thought or even a feeling of an unarticulated thought, then it has to come from somewhere – this consciousness doesn’t exist in a vacuum and so has to therefore be credible. Nothing comes from nothing, something always comes from something. We have to know that there is something else, otherwise we wouldn’t be feeling a tension in life!

  20. Joel this is brilliant – Plato’s cave is a great analogy for how we take steps from the darkness into the light, it seems to me the direction of our gaze is everything, then it becomes a question of which way do we choose to look – to the shadows or to the light?

      1. Absolutely, no matter what we see or feel or experience the ability to continue on and not give up is vital.

  21. It makes sense that there is more to life than we currently are aware of because the shadows that have dominated our world are full of lies and deceit. It is only when we reconnect with our soul that the simple truths of life really make themselves evidently known.

  22. Like a soap opera, this shadow play can keep us entertained, distracted and addicted. But if we remember that it’s simply not true, that is the first step to moving outside and into the light of life as it truly is. It might be awkward at first but the long term consequences of saying yes to this are profound. Thank you Joel.

  23. I feel moved reading this. Especially grateful to Serge Benhayon and many others who showed me that the cave and it’s shadows are all an illusion and that as long as I stay in that cave I am feeding it.

    1. Yes, I too am especially grateful to Serge Benhayon and many others for stepping out from the cave and showing us all what is possible.

  24. Power story Joel, I am impressed. You cast light on the world, with all it shadows. I too was marveled by knowing there are shadows and even thinking I could command them. Deep illusion, I was being played.

  25. I experience that just by an inner decision to open up to more to see and become aware of I get all the help from my soul and more gets revealed.

  26. In knowing the soul, and looking back at a life that was lived without the soul, I can unequivocally say, there is no true joy in life without knowing the soul. Nothing in life can ever be the same once the soul is known.

  27. “The Way of The Livingness reminds us that we all have equal access to this light” A light that casts no shadows.

  28. Even if we have been in a cave with shadows from birth, and possibly many lives beforehand, we all know truth. We know there is more than the cave and whilst when we step out of the cave the light may take some adjustment for our eyes, we can’t deny its truth.

  29. It’s a well kept secret that we do not live who we are. The key for me was another presenting that there is 2 much different Lights. That messenger (Serge Benhayon) presented from that knowing Light so I could clearly feel the difference and now know how to connect to the true essence and being that I am.

  30. Whether we are still sitting looking at the shadows on the wall or are the masters behind the flames we are puppets who cannot see the light outside. What’s also interesting to me is that many of those behind the flames will feel free and look to the light outside and think that it is not as free. How often do we confuse obedience to the impulses of our Soul, to God, as a restriction of our freedom, not acknowledging or accepting that wherever we are, inside or outside the cave, we are being obedient. The difference is when we are obedient to our Soul, we are connected to everything, and yet when we are obedient to our spirit (still in the cave behind the flames) we think we are free and yet our potential is limited to the confines of the cave.

    1. It is impossible to show another that they are entrapped when they believe they are free. If we choose true freedom for ourselves others will see the truth of this choice and choose freedom too.

  31. “Captivity is not forced but is sustained by ensuring its residents do not know any other way for life to be”. Ignorance is the key to keep people trapped in an unreal world and offering them something which resembles but is a small crumb of the whole to distract and entertain them. This is our 3rd dimensional human life, which we think is all about the career, marriage, kids, house etc. It keeps us running around in circles acquiring things and struggling with the everyday, so we never look up and opt out of this merry-go-round.

  32. This among other things so exposes the Spiritual New Age, just encouraging us to learn to be masters of the shadows and others in the shadows, but all the time everyone stays in the cave … and in fact outside is the grand light we are all equally from, and your additional final clarification Joel, is important, for all are given equal access to understanding where they are from and often sent messengers who know the light of who we are to remind us that the shadows are not it … we are so loved.

  33. “The reality was however, I was not playing with this light, this light was playing with me.”

    We are the creators of our own reality who dare not look up for fear of catching glimpse of the strings that pull us.

  34. Such a powerful article Joel, at times we may get hooked by the shadows but thankfully Universal Medicine has supported countless people worldwide to awaken to deep wisdom and truth and to embrace the light of the Soul and to feel how magical life then becomes, eventually leaving no room for the shadows at all.

  35. How amazing is it that Plato’s analogy is stil relevant today, it shows we really haven’t moved terribly far forward as a human race in that we still think what we see is IT, but there is so so much to life than what we see and when we start to discover this we start to discover the magic of life.

  36. I thank God, and the light of the Soul, for showing us a life beyond the shadows. I too still get lured/caught by the shadows, but am loving that through the presentations of Universal Medicine, that I know there is more to life.

  37. We create the cave where we will live in. We construct the shadows we later become. Yet, we can also decide to leave the cave and say bye to the shadows and accept (and become) the light we are.

  38. We don’t know what we don’t know, but we actually do know that which we claim that we do not know. There is incessant yearning. We do know and miss the light outside the cave very much.

  39. Great article Joel, on living in the cave with the shadows or coming out into the light outside the cave, true wisdom is ageless, always giving us an opportunity to see beyond the shadows that so enthral and hold us in the falseness of this life. I am thank full to have had the light shown to me that little by little accepting that light the shadows are slowly dissipating.

  40. How many times have I heard that ‘everything is energy, and therefore because of energy’? How many presentations have I seen on the fact that we are multi-dimensional beings? And yet so often I find myself at the end of the day (like today) completely sucked into a two dimensional view of life. When I see the world this way its truly like I dwell in the cave you describe Joel, peeking at the shadows. But what a waste when it’s the energy behind it all that truly produces everything and pulls the strings. I am no longer satisfied to stare at a shady hues when I can know life by it’s true light.

  41. Your timeless reference to Plato is inspiring. I am astonished and how thrilling those shadows on the wall can be but I am so glad that Universal Medicine continues to present another Way to live that has no boundaries, I am reminded of life outside the cave from each staff member of Universal Medicine, each time I visit.

  42. To connect to the eternal flame within that burns bright is such a Joy when we are living in world that is completely dark. No wonder we don’t want to come out of the cave. The Way of The Livingness as presented by Serge Benhayon offers us the opportunity and support to let this light shine bright no matter what is going on outside of us.

  43. Plato’s allegory of the cave is a pertinent today as it was then – humanity carries a deep and disturbing unsettlement around and everybody and every body is affected; the ones who are enamoured with the shadows are also masters, masters of denial and then there are others who show their discontent and unease more openly. But whatever the case may be, the true light, the light of the Soul, is outside the cave.

  44. Great to come back to this today and to renew the knowing that ‘ I can still be lured by the promise of having control over the shadows.’ and to refresh my relationship with this, renouncing any investment I may have in this and sticking with the absolute truth in absolute love.

  45. There has to be more to life than what we are currently living and everyone does know this. If we didn’t know this we would be content with what we have but the rising depression in the world shows that we all know that there is more otherwise we wouldn’t be feeling this gap. People are craving deeper connection- living the rat race does not offer us nourishment of the soul.

  46. It’s a powerful allegory to which you refer Joel. Reading this today, I cannot but consider what may yet ‘entertain’ my vision – keeping me ‘entrained’ to a certain level of awareness in and of life… keeping me from having a quality of vision that is actually universal.
    We can be so content to keep ourselves busy with what is before us, entertained by its outplay and indeed the carrots that may lure us into thinking that certain things are of importance, when they are actually not so – when one considers the All of which we are an intrinsic part.

  47. No matter how much time we have spent in the cave the light within us never extinguishes, but waits patiently for us to re-connect with it, through us choosing to renounce all the falsities we allowed ourselves to be hoodwinked by.

  48. For so much of our life we look for something greater, something better, an improvement of our ‘quality of life’. But the whole time as you say Joel, we are simply stuck starring at shadows, not the real deal. The grandness of our Soul is way beyond and outside the typical way we see the world. We need to set aside our ‘world view’ and look anew with eyes that know Love, our light and the truth.

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