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Tina Lindhard

The Cave as a Metaphor from the Female and Male Perspective

Plato’s cave, involving the dialogue between his mentor Socrates and Glaucon, Plato’s brother, is not the only image of a cave we have inherited from ancient times. A much older version exists in which Paleolithic women were able to transpose their understanding of reality as having a physical and nonphysical (immaterial) spiritual component through the transference figurately of common attributes, such as a cave, the V sign, or the goose, which all represent the womb from which all creation arises. Caves being dark cavities have a long history of standing for the uterus or womb, where the cave mouth epitomizes the vulva. I suggest that this understanding, based on ‘woman’s consciousness’ involving the observance of correspondence between events in their bodies and occurrences of a cosmic nature, enabled some of them to ground their insights in representative images as a didactic tool to explain reality. The ineffable, for them, was not an abstract ground of being but an entity that could create and give birth to a natural world that was dualistic or polar but was also manifesting through them and all creation as it vibrates through us and is what animates every cell in our body. The relationship between the enigma and Mother seems to be at the heart of their spirituality. This matri-focused perspective did not sit well with the new patriarchal structure of the ancient Greeks and needed replacement to consolidate their power and, in addition, the way they understood the universe. This shift involved a new epistemological way of comprehending reality, which is understandable as there is no apparent link between the male body and cosmic events. In Plato’s metaphysics, the prior, illustrious vision of the cave becomes linked to an illusionary way of seeing reality. This depreciation also occurs with other essential elements connected with the female perspective, such as the moon and darkness. A possible new way forward would be recognizing, understanding, and honouring the different epistemological ways the two sexes have developed to comprehend reality and their diverse but overlapping metaphysical positions.


Tina Lindhard is a South African born researcher in consciousness living in Spain and working as a PhD mentor in Consciousness Studies for the International University of Professional Studies (IUPS), Hawaii, USA. She earned her MA in Transpersonal Psychology from Sofia University (ITP) California, and her PhD from IUPS. Tina interest in consciousness has a long history; she became interested in meditation, drugs, death, dreams and altered states of consciousness while undertaking her undergraduate in UCT, South Africa. However, when Tina realised she could not ask anyone questions concerning deeper states of consciousness unless she had first handedly experienced them, she left university and began the inner quest. This serpentine journey took many years and bore little fruit until, over 20 years ago, she met the living yogi Srinivas Arka who inspired her to seek the truth and experience it using a heart-based meditation method known as Arka Dhyana or Intuitive Meditation. As part of her quest, Tina returned to complete her University studies and grounded in her academic and inner research, she feels the female metaphysical vision of the world has been over-ridden by a male version, which, except on rare occasions, has prevented us as women from living a truly embodied spiritual life through which we spiritualise the whole of creation and see the Divine, the Self, or Spirit in everything and everybody; a much-needed clarity that enables us to live with respect for all that exists and thus love and adore life. Her numerous papers on Consciousness and the Female Principle are available on Research Gate and Academia. In this conference she will talk on the Cave as a metaphor from the female and male point of view.