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Essay/Term paper: The allegory of the cave: turn around

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Philosophy

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The Allegory of the Cave: Turn Around


Putting the Allegory of the Cave into my own words seems comparable to
the Christian idea of using the lord's name in vain. First, I'd like to
introduce a phenomenon I have observed throughout my life time. I call it soul
resonance. Bear with me here. When two objects emit sympathetic vibrations,
the sound or force multiplies. Example: Two tuning forks of the same frequency
are struck upon each other and held a few feet apart. The vibration is much
stronger. Something basic about each object recognizes a similar quality in the
other, and amplifies it. As with so many other laws of science, this law
applies to many other phenomena. I believe this is what people feel when they
first hear the Allegory of the Cave . . . soul resonance. Somehow, something
deep inside tells them that here we have found a singular truth.
The Allegory, taken as the story of one man, narrates his life from
ignorance to enlightenment. He sits within a cave, facing away from a blazing
fire. He stares at the wall opposite him, watching pretty shadow puppets. He
listens to the exotic, wonderful, and large words whispered in his ears by the
puppeteers. He would naturally turn around, or perhaps even stand, but chains
bind him to the ground, and the puppeteers have servants who hold his head in
place. One day, a situation arises where he finds that the chains are broken,
and he stands. This is against the will of the servants, but they have no
physical power over him, if he does not allow it. He turns round and sees the
fire and the puppeteers and then he realizes that all has been lies. He is not
what they have told him. He does not feel what they have said he does. The
fire blinds him. The puppeteers, seeing they have lost another to knowledge,
quickly get rid of him by pushing him into the dark cave that looms off to the
side, hoping for his demise. The man is lost, he has gone from darkness to
light to darkness once again. Something within him tells him to climb, and he
does, scrabbling. He cuts himself many times, and many times he almost falls to
his demise on the rocky ground below. He pauses often. Until there comes a
time when he sees a distant light at the exit/entrance to the cave. When he
sees this light, he is not sure whether this is yet another shadow puppet on the
wall, but it is upward and that is where he must go. When he comes out into the
bright sunlight, he cannot see, the brightness of the sun alone has stricken him
temporarily blind. He stumbles about, closing his eyes for periods of time and
then reopening them, adjusting himself to the light. And one day, he stares at
the sun without fail, and knows.
Let's start at the beginning. He is in the cave, he is in the darkness
of his own ignorance. Even the light behind him is a false representation of
the glorious sun outside. People have assaulted him with their falsehoods,
telling him what God is, what Ideals are, and what his morals should be. These
are the shadows on the wall, a terrestrial God, money, Law, etc. When he was
young he may have questioned these ideas, but if you say something enough to
someone, they will come to believe it. The man built his own chains, fashioned
them from a forge in his own soul, and soaked them in a barrel of his ignorance.
He learned resignation, and now he sits in an office all day, being unhappy, his
blood-pressure rising. One day he snaps, for it is a drastic force that rips
the chains from the ground. He turns around for the first time since he was
young, and cries. He now realizes the truth, he is not who they have told him
he is. He realizes there are truths inside him that are not the truths of which
they spoke. And he cries, also, for he sees that he and the puppeteers are the
same. He weeps at the realization of his own self-imprisonment, his true nature,
and burns himself upon the fire of his tortured soul, which drags him into the
cave. In the darkness he feels things such as self-pity, depression, and a
great deal of guilt. These are the times that try men's souls. There are three
options, endeavor to climb, return to the wall, or resign to self-destruction.
The rest is where it becomes hazy in my mind. How can I put into my own
words what I have not discovered, what I have no understanding of? The man
climbs, and he does feel pain in the aimless wandering, but the tunnel is a very
subjective place. It can be either heaven or hell, depending on the mind of the
man. Hope waxes and wanes, and the first view of the light is a critical point
in his journey. Through all the lies and false "faces" of God, how can one
recognize the truth when they see it with their own eyes (own minds). For me,
soul resonance is the key, I listen to all the conceptions of God, keep an open
mind and remember what resonates. Most of the time, it seems I am merely
whittling away using what I know God is not. I fear, of course that when I
finish whittling, there will be nothing left, but the Truth is of highest
priority.
Plato divides Everything into two worlds, and each of these two worlds
into two subsections. The lowest section is the World of Images. If I tell you
that money will bring you happiness, and you decide to believe what I have said
with no previous knowledge of either happiness or money, you have been exposed
to the lowest World. Up one level is the World of Objects. If I give you some
money, you can touch it, fold it, eat it, whatever. You learn that you can buy
things with this money, or you can deposit it in a bank. You have experienced
the Physical world. In the World of Lower Forms, the next higher world, we have
archetypal molds for all these physical objects. There is a mold for the ideal
human, a human that has ALL characteristics. At the same moment he/she has blue
eyes, brown eyes, green eyes, etc. The model has all forms of eyes imaginable,
all types of hair imaginable, etc. This world is a world of perfection, filled
with perfect triangles, perfect time, etc. In this world an equilateral
triangle has three sides, all equal, and three angles, all exactly 60 degrees.
It is within this realm we delve while doing mathematical calculations. The
highest realm is the World of the Higher Forms. A realm of Absolute Truth,
where there are no interpretations, only complete Forms, which the mind can only
grasp in its full complexity. The worlds together form a logical outline
displaying levels of truth from lowest opinion to highest form. The two lowest
levels are usually occupied by common man. While working with mathematics, one
can venture into the third level. And only when we can stare directly into the
sun with our archetypal eyes can we conceive of the highest world.
From a spiritual standpoint, the Allegory of the Cave is a narrative of
one man's journey to the light. He exists in a state of Becoming (the lowest
two levels of truth), and proceeds toward the ultimate Truth and Enlightenment,
much like The Buddha. From a political standpoint, it is an outline of a
society's transformation to perfection. A tale of a society's realization of
the falsehoods absorbed within it. It is a place where every person experiences
true freedom, and where the Good rule, where the Low are converted from animal
to Soul.
The purpose of the Allegory of the Cave, I believe, is twofold. To help
make people aware of the fact that they live within those lower levels of truth,
and that there are higher truths. And also to help the ones who are lonely,
dirty, almost broken. These lost ones who have just begun their journey and are
losing hope, a reminder that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

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