Ponder this my friends:
If you were born inside of a box, would the thought of the world outside it
– a world that is more real – ever enter your mind?
Considered one of philosophy’s greatest writers, Plato asked
just this sort of question in his famous allegory of the cave.
Imagine a group of people born into a cave, chained by their legs and necks,
facing the back wall.
The only thing they can see are shadows cast by a fire behind them,
and since they’ve never seen the actual objects, they think the shadows are real.
But what would happen if one of the prisoners were to be set free?
当他转过身来 看到这些物体 他会明白那些阴影只是现实的一个缩小投影吗？
When he turns around and sees the objects, will he know that the shadows are a lesser copy of reality?
并且 当他最终离开山洞的时候 第一次看见太阳和自然万物
And when he eventually leaves the cave and sees the sun and nature for the first time,
would his mind not be completely blown?
But wait a sec. If the objects are more real than the shadows, how do we know there isn’t
something more realm than the objects?
The ultimate reality is what Plato calls the real of the forms.
它是永恒的 不可改变的 它是存在的领域 或者说意义
It is eternal, unchangeable; it is the realm of being, of what is.
我们的世界 从另一方面来说 是正在成为
Our world, on the other hand, is the world of becoming,
和改变中的世界 是我们感知到的世界 是万事万物都在变化成为别的东西的地方
of change and what we perceive, where everything is constantly becoming something else.
Just as the shadow of an object is a faded copy of the actual object,
the world as we perceive it consists of imperfect copies of the forms.
After experiencing a higher truth, what would happen if the prisoner returned to the cave?
Plato muses that telling the others of the greater reality would threaten their narrow beliefs.
If they could…
…they might even kill him.
Will we as humans ever be able to lose our shackles of perception, and truly know reality?