Tag Archives: Glaucon

Allegory of the Cave

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Plato’s parable is one that speaks of ignorance as a preference.  Out of cowardice those who have a choice to be educated or not, choose not to be.  In “The Republic” Plato narrates Socrates’ fictitious dialogue with Glaucon which describes a group of prisoners chained to the wall of a cave in darkness.  They are all facing the wall and can only see shadows cast by forms carried by puppeteers that stride between the mouth of the cave and a light just beyond.  They create their own reality which  overwhelms that which is true, and continue on in ignorance rather than break free when given the opportunity, or even turn their heads to see what is truly casting the shadow.  I think they (the masses) rather enjoy the show.

When the majority of the population chooses to make their own reality from shadows cast upon them rather than turn around and seek the truth we have our modern day America.  Left hand chained by Dempublicans. Right hand chained by the Republocrats. Heads chained watching the shadow of the the evening news projected onto the walls of their darkened caves by CNN and Faux, and all MS media broadcast in our modern time.  It’s scary to “turn around”,  the boogie man of the shadows must be so much worse a nightmare to see in actuality.   Or not. . . maybe it’s all a ploy to keep people facing the wall of the darkened cave.  To keep them prisoner, to keep them in fear, chained in place, so they don’t start any trouble.  And how long has this been going on?  Ask an ancient philosopher.

On the “Theory of Forms” ~ As a child I would stare into the night shadows and see horrors that in the light of day were only that . . . shadows.  As I grew I realized I had the choice to seek out the source of the shadow and find out what there was to be afraid of, if anything, or to hide my head under the covers.  It never turned out to be the monster claws or beastly talons reaching to burst glass panes of my imagination, but rather a pencil jar or hairbrush in the moonlit windowsill.

As we grow we discover our fears are our own creation.  That is some of us do.  Others just seem to settle in.  Comfortable in the shackles of lies handed to them in between MMA matches and Honey Boo Boo episodes,  Sucking down the Pepsi, eating GMOs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Totally puzzled when the doctor bills start pouring in.  Drinking fluoride, and breathing Chemtrails, acting like this is all normal.  Choosing to believe the Twin Towers imploded upon themselves magically and despite the fact the debris from Flight 77 has yet to show up anywhere around the Pentagon nor has the remains of even one of the passengers of that flight, we’re still blaming some brown guys swinging box cutters with minimal flight training.  Poof, like magic gone, not one leg, or arm or even pinky toe to be found.  Not one piece of the plane.  Not to mention the convenient location of the “crash”.  Ouch, right in the books.  That must be what they mean when they say “cookin’ the books”.  Poof, up in smoke, more magic.

The shadows projected by the puppeteers are so scary the prisoners refuse to see what it really is. Waiting for a leader to instruct them, guide them towards inaction. It’s much easier for the masses to follow the leader.  Even if that leader leads them to battle over and over and over again for no good reason.  Even when the leader George W’s us right out of our economic surplus.  Like fake Disney lemmings heading for a cliff.  Nooo, little lemmings come back, don’t . . . ahh, too bad, so fluffy.

Watching the few minutes of the debates that I did, I was reminded of this parable of Socrates as told by his faithful student Plato.  Chained by both parties, left and right, Americans refusing to see the truth. Preferring to be entertained rather than informed. We do have other choices.  If you turn around you can see it’s mostly your imagination feeding your fears.  It was hard to find out there is no Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Santa.  But we got over it, and we can move on from all shocking truth eventually.

A prisoner does break free and escapes the cave.  Temporarily blinded by the brightness he slowly begins to make out the forms for what they really are.  Seeing the reality he’s no longer fearful, and looks up to the sun, discovering finally the light source. However upon reentry to inform his fellow cave-dwelling captives of the truth, said escapee is ridiculed and made a fool.  The detainees are more comfortable in their chains.

Dig deep, seek answers rather than take the word of others (including me).

Turn around and see the source.  Face the light.