Sophia “Cave”

Sophia Cave

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.

You can buy originals and prints of Sophia from my online gallery.

You might find my two books, my two books, “nakedpastor101” and “Without a Vision My People Prosper”, (available soon on Kindle thank you very much) helpful.

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10 Responses

  1. Pat Pope says:

    I often address this very thing when I was teaching in church, but as you can imagine, those classes either weren’t well-attended or people just resisted the need to do this necessary work. Many people don’t want to do the heavy work of combing the depths–afraid of what they will find out and what they will have to do, I suppose. I think that’s true everywhere though, not just in churches. But if we really want to advance spiritually and emotionally, this work must be done.

  2. David Waters says:

    Know thyself. I believe this to be our most important work. It does take courage David and I admire you for diving in. You’ll be a better man for it and the world will be a better place too!

  3. marcie says:

    Bravo David. Roll away your stone I’ll roll away mine. Together we will see what we will find. Don’t leave me alone at this time. Because I’m afraid of what I might discover inside…..

  4. Millard says:

    Beautifully drawn, and beautifully written, David.

    I agree with you, especially about being alone.

    Ironically, when we find a special someone, maybe “the one,” ALL we want to do is be alone with them and spend hours, days, weeks, even a whole lifetime with him or her. But when it comes to the two most important beings in the entire universe–God and each of us–we hide in crowds and meet with him via intermediaries. That’s messed up.

    At this point, I consider the two greatest failings of the Christian Church to be:

    1. Failure to show us how to be happy alone
    2. Failure to show us how to be happy when dealing with evil.

    Instead, churches seem to promote the antitheses to those critical needs: happiness is found in the congregation, and let’s all keep the evil outside of it.

    All that’s left then are easy problems. We’re supposed to pretend that the real problems don’t happen, or happen only to those “outside,” or, if they happen to us, that it’s our fault.

    That’s messed up.

  5. Did you realize that the roots form a cross over Sophia’s head? Not sure if that was intentional or not…

  6. nakedpastor says:

    never noticed it before. thanks for that observation.

  7. Doug Sloan says:

    David,

    You might intend for the perspective to be from the outside looking in – and since you’re the artist that has to be given serious consideration – the complexity of the image comes from the metaphorical flip-flops discerning both perspectives.

  8. nakedpastor says:

    Doug: I do appreciate how art can communicate different things to different people. I love how a work of art can stand on its own and create its own communication separate from the artist. I also acknowledge that my unconscious urges can emerge in a work of art completely unintentionally to me.

  9. Doug Sloan says:

    David,

    There be the challenge, the joy, and the grief. Once “Sophia” (or any of the children we produce with our creative muse) is turned loose in the wild, she most definately has a life of her own. And she can return to instruct us in ways that are revealing and disturbing.

  10. Sarah says:

    I love my cave. It is where the fire and the bread is.

    Take care all.

    Sas