Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Association of the week : The Cavern

Author: Paulo Coelho

Caverns symbolize the secret access to the underworld.

They are the eldest places of cult that humanity knows. During the Ice Age, it is believed that men already regarded caverns as being from another world.

Cavern are omnipresent in virtually all traditional cultures. The Aztecs for instance believed that caverns were the creators of the world, whilst the Mayas linked caverns with the goddess of the moon – linking then the earth, the waters and fertility in the same symbolic ensemble.

The cavern has also a central place in Plato’s philosophy : men are considered to be inside the cavern, only being able to watch the shadows of Ideas. It is only progressively, through initiation, that they will be able to come out of the cavern and look upon the Truth thanks to the light of the Sun.

In Christianity, it is believed that the John the Evangelist had his vision of The Apocalypse in a cavern in Patmos. Bernadette has also the vision of the Immaculate Conception in a grotto in Lourdes.

So, now you take the floor : what do you associate with the cavern?

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