The Cave’s Shadows And Echoes of Reality

In a previous post, reference was made to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave in his discourse The Republic.  Let’s view this allegory in the light of current realities on this planet traversing the cosmos.

The thought of a cave conjures up a place dark and damp.  It implies a host of arthropods and perhaps a sleeping bear or two.

At one time some humans lived in the caves when this planet traversing the cosmos was much younger and more pristine. The remains of their pictographs on the walls represent their stories—both factual and imaginary.

Imagination has always been a part of the human genome.  To sit by a fire either on the coast or in the entrance of a cave gave these humans a chance to ponder on the mysteries of their world.

The flickering flames of the fires would cast shadows.  Those shadows would be studied and from them epic tales would emerge about life, especially when they added the natural elements and the starry night skies to their tales.

In Plato’s cave humans are tied up and can only see the wall of their cave.  The cave entrance is not in their field of vision since they cannot turn to see it.

As they watch their cave wall what they see reflected becomes their reality.  The fire behind them allows shadows to be displayed.

Whatever passes by the entrance is projected as a shadow.  Shadows cease to be reflections of light and become the real entities to these cave prisoners. These shadows are but echoes of reality.

In many ways the world today is a prisoner.  Many only see shadows on their self-created walls of reality.

Factual truth fades into postulations and suppositions.  Many cannot accept what is.

What is, is too harsh or does not agree with their paradigm.  Therefore, a new narrative is created to make what is into their cave projections.

This could be climate change, politics, racial divides, abuse, or even religion.  There are myriad other items which you could add to your own list as you observe the world.

The shackles of the cave hinder progress.  They stymie creativity.  They reduce the mind to the flatland reality of one-dimensional thinking.

We see this every day from political leaders and hear it from the array of commentators on the never ending 24/7 news cycle.  We hear it from pulpits and podiums as well as the commercials for every drug or product.

This brand is best for you.  Our unique view of god is the absolute truth.

One must decide whether they want to embrace shadows on their journey to the cosmic ocean.  For when you reach the shore of eternity, what is coalesces into what is outside the cave entrance.

Perhaps, the Apostle Paul, this Hellenistic trained man, paraphrased Plato in his comment

“ For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”  I Corinthians 13:12   AKJV

Many ideologies and rhetorical pitches are in a foggy glass touched with the darkest midnight.  For fog distorts reality like the fire in Plato’s cave.

Whatever you embrace, make sure it is devoid of fog and shadows.

For the pathway to the empyreal shores should be as clear as the sun at noontide.  May your journey be one of focus and purpose.


G. D. Williams © 2017

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Plato’s Allegory of The Cave