Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Another View of the Cave by Brian Kirk

While Plato's allegory of the cave caused me to think about things deeper,
I have also begun to ponder what may be considered the converse.

Say that, there were a bunch of free men, examining the perfect world
around them. One day, because of a horrible choice to commit a crime,
they were forced into a cave, and into bondage, shackles around the
neck and legs, much like Plato's cave.

Would not these men try to explain everything they saw in the cave as
a comparison to what they saw in the perfect world? And wouldn't they,
for a period of time at least, long for the world which they had been
cast out of?

Would they not attempt to make discoveries about this cave, all the
while coming to false conclusions because all they have known is the
perfection of the world above?

Would a few generations pass and the discoveries of the world around
would be even further from the truth just like the children's game of
telephone? The meanings of the objects would be blurred and distorted.

Perhaps not though. Perhaps they will begin to adjust to the light of
the fire and "figure out" all that there is to know. But all the
while, the memory of the perfect world would slowly fade.

The children's children of the original few men placed into bondage
might even find the "theory" or the idea of a perfect world to be
ridiculous, and dismiss it as a myth. Of course, it wouldn't be a
myth, but they might believe it was.

More and more, those who still believe in such a world would be the
outcasts of the society, viewed as weak and ignorant. However, in
truth, they would be the only ones that had an inkling of what life
really was.

And it would be these people, the ones that had faith, that the
keepers of the cave and the world in which it is contained would find
a redeemable quality.

Eventually, they would be allowed out of the cave into the perfect
world that they spent their entire life preparing for.

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