Posted: 14 Oct 2012 08:00 PM PDT
The Greek philosopher Plato attempts through allegory to explain the perception of most of the members of humanity who he saw as living their lives with no conception and no thought of what is truly behind the nature of our reality, or our illusion. Though Plato never alludes to the word illusion, his provocative allegory of the cave surely demonstrates his philosophy that it is indeed an illusion what many perceive as their reality.
Plato describes the nature of our reality through the allegory of a cave where prisoners of the cave are chained so they may only view what is directly in front of them. What is only viewable to these prisoners are mere shadows on a wall and is not the true nature or secret of their reality.
Plato describes what exists behind the prisoners as puppeteers who, through the use of a fire, parade objects in front of this fire so the shadows of these objects are silhouetted on the cave wall that stands directly in front of the chained prisoners, the only view these prisoners can see due to the chains that bind them. It is these shadows or silhouettes, mere illusions, that most of humanity perceives as their unquestioned reality, according to Plato.
Plato explains that the shadows cast on the wall for the prisoners to perceive can be quite misleading. For instance; an object that appears to be a book silhouetted on the wall may not be a book at all that is actually being waved in front of the fire. In other words, everything that the untrained or unaware eyes of the prisoners see may not be what it appears to be, and its true reason or purpose for being cast upon the wall as shadow may also be hidden.
What is this cave? Who are these chained prisoners? Who are these puppeteers? And what can free these prisoners from their shackles, freeing them to ‘turn their heads’ and perceive the fire, the puppets and the puppeteers?
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