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Plato’s Cave April 25, 2006

Posted by Matt Hurst in Uncategorized.

In asking what is in my cave, a place of limited perception and reinforced understanding of my cave (the world I know), we must determine my perception of human nature. Because I might fall under the influence of other ideas of how to interpret the information/perceptions I am presented with, I’d have to ask if the intention of this reinforcement is for the greater good or for individual suffering. When the man returns to the cave with new information about a different experience of reality, he can be ridiculed because it is threatening to their system in place or even be pitied for misunderstanding. The world is full of good natured people, acting on their best presumptions of what is good, who are often unaware of harm being done. Their understanding of the world also informs them on how to order events – a war might be us against them, where objectively it is an infliction of harm from both parts. However I percieve humans have a calling to overcome their mistakes, challenge their presumptions on a regular basis, and often will when presented with more ways of understanding. These are the people in my cave.
My cave is like a glass box, an invisible separation, between myself the other things around me. I can still interact with the things around me, but cannot change their nature. The air that we breathe is like this; particles separated that cannot be destroyed. Some things can be changed, through rearrangement or alteration, but they exist as before even in change. It is merely our way of understanding it is different – copper and bronze make iron – but it is still two separate interchangable things.
MY cave also echoes, but not just in sound. An echo is a reverberation that carries the sound across a large distance, the cave itself a carrier of the sound. Just as the cave carries sound, other actions I make might have a stretched effect that caries them across to others. Though we might not always be aware of it, most of our actions have consequences beyond our recognition or comprehension. I might buy a cup of coffee in between places, drink it, and throw away the cup in what would be understood as inconsequential beyond the drink itself. But if the disposed cup were made of Styrofoam, it will disintegrate but not biodegrade, enter the water supply for years to come, and shape the lives of those consuming it in one way or another. Consequences shape future decisions, future realities to understand and shape, and the lives others around us, beyond even our own life cycles. If I help someone across the street (or across town for that matter), they might change their perception of others (because the decision does not benefit them directly) and themselves help others where they would otherwise be reluctant. These actions are carried like echoes without knowing if they will be or that they are heard (consequences).
But as I said earlier, it is not impossible for my cave, my perception of reality to change. In Plato’s cave the man is led into a larger reality that he gradually becomes aware of, and in this same way I might also become aware of a greater reality or even just a different one. The process of ascension toward the light, of gaining knowledge and understanding, is just another gradual process whose consequences I have not yet become aware of. I cannot tell for certain if a larger reality beyond my cave exists, but I can conceive of another reality as others have in a spiritual sense.


1. skarecrowman - April 26, 2006

we need to see eachother more often!
i miss you baby
i move in to my place in two days dont have a house warming date set yet but soon enough. (have to get some furniture and dishes and everything you need for a place!) cause im poor and dont have anything that i would need for that shit.cause im a loser.and i suck at life.

2. skewgee - April 27, 2006

you’d be suprised what u can get for no cost these days. check out craigslist.org, under the STL section

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