Before, I do that however, I want you to realize that this is for discussion purposes, and I do solicit and request your feedback and comments. This is a spiritual journey we are on, and I would love to have others opinions and questions, as well as comments on this. Remember that nothing you say is going to be judged against you. I would like this to be an exercise in learning and expanding our personal vision and understanding of what reality is, and how it interacts with us.
Plato wrote the Allegory of the Cave in his work called the Republic and the central characters in this allegory are Socrates, who by the time of this writing had already died, and Plato's cousin Glaucon. Steven Kreis wrote in his lecture on Modern European Intellectual History (2000). " In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato described symbolically the predicament in which mankind finds itself and proposes a way of salvation. The Allegory presents, in brief form, most of Plato's major philosophical assumptions: his belief that the world revealed by our senses is not the real world but only a poor copy of it, and that the real world can only be apprehended intellectually; his idea that knowledge cannot be transferred from teacher to student, but rather that education consists in directing student's minds toward what is real and important and allowing them to apprehend it for themselves;".
The Allegory of the cave presents a group of people that are living in a cave from birth. They are chained and forced to look at a blank wall, they have no way of moving or looking elsewhere. The mouth of the cave opens up to the light, but between our chained assembly is a walk way that separates them from a huge and roaring fire. It is across this walkway that others carry and drag things and objects across, which cause shadows to form on the wall in front of the assembly, as these objects were being carried across and their reflections being seen by the assembly. Over time the assembly would come to recognize and describe these shadows and name them, when asked what the shadows were they could guess as to the object being displayed along the wall. Sounds associated with the crossing would also help and cue the assembly in their identification. Now, imagine if you will that one of the assembly was taken by force and dragged from the cave into the light. Plato theorized that they would not be able to see at first because their eyes were not accustomed to the light, and would be terrified, though as the pain lessened and they would began to see things, and they would not recognize them, for they had only known the shadows on the wall, but as they were introduced to the items they would come to understand and see them for what they were, but would not believe it at first because they had only known the shadows. Remember that their reality was only that of shadows, so physical forms would be dismissed as fake. Though with time and patience, they would soon grasp that the forms were one and the same, and would not if taken back into the dark forget and be able to play the game of shadows with his fellows that have never left the cave because his eyes have been opened to a different sight. Plato also theorized that the ones that had never left the cave would not believe the one who had left saying his site was corrupted and that his version of the truth could not be correct. Therefore, because their reality was challenged and the one that had left was no longer part of the collective they would seek to kill him, because he was wrong.
Please keep in mind that this is my own interpretation from reading the Allegory, and if you would like to read it for yourself, I would ask that you do so. For the version I have presented here is condensed and paraphrased by me, but it is enough for me to draw the points out that I would like to convey. If you would like to read excerpts of either Steven Kreis's lecture or Plato's Allegory of the cave I invite you to check out this link http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/allegory.html.
Now what I would like to do is break this down a little for you, because I find that those chained in the cave and learning in the darkness is humanity as a whole and we learn by what is revealed by our senses. Though I also believe that it is true that nothing in this world hold permanence because just as with the images on the cave wall, and the items that were shown the escapee, they corrupt, rust, crumble, decay and fade away. However, in the true spiritual world the idea, or concept remains, and therefore is the truth. This might be hard for you to understand, but I will try and make it easy. Philosopher's refer to what I am talking about is thought forms, I call them base objects. These base objects are the ideas that we use to create things. Therefore, the idea is what is permanent, not the actual object themselves. From the idea more objects can be created and made. Therefore as long as someone can remember the idea or base object that object can still exist. An example of this is a chair, we all know what a chair is, we know that it is eventually going to rip, tear-up, get broken or disintegrate, unfortunately time has a way of doing that to all things including the human body. However, a new chair can be created to replace the old chair. Why can we create a new chair because we know of the concept or idea of the chair, it is the thought form or base object that is remembered and passed on.
What I am trying to tell you is that there seems to be a 2 fold reality at work in our universe, there is the one that we can see, touch, taste and smell, but that is just a mere reflection of the true reality that is made of thoughts, ideas, energy. As humans we rely on our senses to show us and guide us, it is how we learn, but there is more to the learning, and we have to leave the darkness of our cave and climb into the light. Though it maybe painful, and we have to wait for our eyes to adjust to the brightness and the pain, then we have to learn it all over again. Because what we have known as reality and truth, is not entirely accurate. This is the philosophers journey, but is also a spiritual journey toward enlightenment, and a closer understanding of the divine. I believe that which we live and reside in is our physical reality, but there is a spiritual plane of existence that is super imposed upon this one. It is here where the angels and God reside, it is where our prayers, meditations and desires are manifest. I also believe that the universe has constant laws that are opposite between both realities. If you go back and look at my blog entries on "Creative Visualization" you will see the law of attraction and how in the physical reality or plane of existence opposites attract, such as when you hold a negative and positive end of a magnet toward each other. In the spiritual reality or plane of existence the inverse happens, like attracts like and negative attracts negative.
I am hoping that you can see what I am trying to say. If you were the person that was taken from the cave and shown all the things that you once saw and thought of as real were not, and come to realize that all that you have known was wrong, could you go back into the cave and see the same things, I don't think you could. Because once you have seen what is real the reflections of them would no longer be relevant to you. I believe it is the same with any revelation. Once your eyes are open to the truth you can no longer go back to seeing them the way you once did. When you take your first steps on your journey your eyes may not understand what they are seeing, and you may even doubt, but as you keep going you are going to realize that what you once thought was reality, isn't. No matter how much you want to go back and liberate those that you left behind on your journey. They aren't going to see the same things as you, you are going to be different, and they won't accept or believe you until they start their own journey.
A friend of mine wrote to me on Facebook that he was glad to see that I am taking everything with a positive attitude. My response was that it is hard to see the negative side of things anymore because so many wonderful things have been happening. It is true, I don't look at things the same way I once did, because I don't see them the same exact way. I don't see the negative, I only see the good things that have come from my journey. I know this all sounds so confusing and hard to understand. But as you progress and make your own journey you are going to see that your attitude as well as your vision changes. Things that were once so bothersome, are now small and mundane, and are mere reflections of a much larger picture.
Even if you don't agree with me, I hope that you will take some time and research what I have been talking about. Maybe you will come away with something different from the Allegory of the Cave then I did, and I hope that you will be willing to share it with me.
I hope you will come back tomorrow, because I want to focus a little bit on what Plato was talking about when he was speaking on education and learning. Because I believe that learning and education are an important part of understanding the journey that we are on in this life. I also believe that as we learn and grow, we mature, and tend to comprehend more, and when that comprehension builds it drives us toward further enlightenment. The more enlightened we become the more we understand.
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,