The Cave of Evil ™
And so Luke walked into the cave, full of trepidation and expectation and so encountered the shadow of his greatest fear.
And so we, too, enter our personal cave with the very same emotion and find ourselves finding our own fear.
We’ve discussed that Dagobah itself could be seen as a metaphor for ourselves and that the cave of evil could be seen as a scar on our minds from a past experience. I want to take you to the footstep of that door and begin to explore what that cave can look like and what it might feel a bit more before we actually begin to step into it.
For me, there are some nights, in between the moment of laying in bed and going to sleep, when the intrusive thoughts begin, going over my worries and then what lays right behind those worries. A lot of my recent life revolved around not having a lot of money coming into the bank and not having any sort of stability, so that meant for me I would find myself going over my bank balance mentally and then working over what’s coming in and going out over the next few weeks…and then the darker thoughts come. The thoughts about how I, the usual breadwinner and money guy, was the sole reason my family was in financial danger.
And the hole in my gut matched the one in my heart, labeling me as a failure and that my failure was going to cause pain for my family. And in that dark night, staring into the void that lies betwixt the waking world and the nocturnal realm, I enter my own personal hell. For others, this might be encountering an ex, it could be entering a house that holds many memories, there are so many ways that we can go down this dark rabbit hole.
The cave isn’t that moment of “this sucks” but the reliving of a moment that somehow defines a fundamental underpinning of your reality. It doesn’t question who you are, it questions what you are and what makes you up, it’s that ugly tearing of your personal viewpoint and gives way to the shadows within that tell you what they see. Ultimately, that’s why it exists and why it’s important.
Consider yourself and those moments you have. They aren’t often, but when they do come I will admit I will usually do anything possible to get away
from those moments because the pain that it brings, but could there be something deeper that it represents?
It’s extremely uncomfortable to view ourselves from that perception, that harsh light that doesn’t sugar coat anything but simply calls ourselves out; and it doesn’t help that it rarely comes when we are prepared to handle it, which is something we will cover later.
But the cave itself serves a purpose as we ourselves fill it. The concept of the shadow self is that we push parts of ourselves away and deeper without really addressing them and I believe that the Cave of Evil ™ is the ideal analogy for it. For some of us, we push our pride deeper and deeper in an attempt to be humble, for others we allow others to push our self esteem in that hole because we feel we have no other choice. I know myself I try to put my pride, ego, arrogance, greed, anger, and desire in that cave. I want to be humble, self-aware, generous, calm person, but I know I have these darker elements in me. Fun point, they are what allow me to know they exist and provide a delightful compass on how not to act, but….
…can you see how those items flare back out in my earlier example? My dark nights about money directly attack me for failing to bring in money, failing to provide for my family, for not being good enough to find a job fast enough. Everything that is on that list above that I try to push deeper have a response for every worry I bring into that cave. As Yoda says, the only thing in that cave is what you bring yourself.
It’s not that we wish to avoid the cave, but we must embrace what it means to ourselves and the part of the process it holds in our understanding of ourselves. We are going to explore this deeper next week as we work out how Luke and Yoda handled the cave, and learn a little bit on what we can draw on to help inspire us through our cave.
This week, I’d like to ask you to find what feelings and thoughts you shove away in an attempt to not be them and see if they come back to haunt you in some way. Learn to identify what those are for you, and next week we can begin to play with the situation and develop ourselves a bit more.