In all my years as a spiritual traveler, I’ve never seen anything written about spiritual caving. I find this strange because even if you are completely unaware of the history of a site, just leaving behind the noise and familiarity of “civilization” brings you closer to center – both the center of the earth and your own center. So why wouldn’t you go to the dark side to find the light? There is an ah effect of caving, after all.
As you begin your descent, there is a small threshold where the energies of the upper world and lower world meet and mingle. The almighty sunlight, which is king above, has little power here. Its penetrating powers are quickly lost and all light disappears. Deep underground, you cannot see your hand in front of your face. It has a profound effect of making me wonder if I could just as easily disappear into nothingness.
The deep has a similar effect on sound. The earth absorbs sound, so you may not hear someone who is merely feet away if the passage bends between you. It can feel quite frightening to know that you can be so easily lost or disconnected from the rest of life. It makes everything pop with aliveness. In these circumstances, it easier to release the distractions that keep you from feeling. So all that is left is the naked you.
In fact, one of my most favorite parts about caving is turning off all the lights and sitting in complete darkness surrounded by tons of rock. It’s one of the most peaceful, grounding, feelings on earth. If you want to really get to know who you are and feel your place in the universe, sit alone in the silence of a cave. Your mind will start to show you pictures and tell you stories of what is inside you.
Science calls these visual images phosphenes. They occur in the absence of light when the body is relaxed. It’s a way of seeing without seeing. The things that you see or feel can be inspiring, encouraging, or answers to prayers.
If you’re really sensitive, you may be able to tune into the spirit energy of the deep. We are so used to trees, the sky, and rivers that we don’t pay attention to their energetic imprint. Down below, if you aren’t aware, you could easily fall into a hole or get seriously injured. This can mean that your senses pick up more than just the trail in front of you. You could start to sense the energy of the bats, insects, troglobites, and underground streams. Or maybe you just begin to feel a bit euphoric after breathing all those negative ions. Whatever the case, being more relaxed and yet alert is a doorway to accessing your spiritual center, and caving always does this for me. See? I told you. Ah effect!
If you’re looking for adventure or just want to find out what’s inside of you, don’t be afraid of the dark. Some of the juiciest sides of you can be found there. So have fun. Explore. Don’t just walk around and see stuff. Set your intention to do some spiritual caving. What you find may delight you.