By false desires and false thoughts man has built up for himself a false universe: as a mollusc, by the deliberate and persistent absorption of lime and the rejection of all else, can build up for itself a hard shell which shuts it from the external world, and only represents in a distorted and unrecognizable form the ocean from which it was obtained. This hard and wholly innutritious shell, this one-sided secretion of the surface consciousness, makes as it were a little cave of illusion for each separate soul. A literal and deliberate getting out of the cave must be for ever mystic, as it was for Plato’s prisoners, the first step in the individual’s hunt for reality… We see a sham world because we live a sham life.


– Evelyn Underhill




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