Plato’s Cave-Nothing to lose but your chains

Plato's cave
Plato’s cave

The most revealing thing about you is your worldview. We all have one, though perhaps many of us have not made the effort to articulate it. Many are still chained in Plato’s cave; they have not yet examined their lives, as Plato’s teacher, Socrates said.


Socrates went on to say that such an unexamined life is not worth living; such people are sleepwalking through their time on earth, on automatic pilot, with occasional stabs of discomfort, “There must be something more!”

The stabs can be plastered over with busyness, with intoxicants, or television. But the stabs are life calling to you, yanking on your cave-chains, telling you “Break free, Cave-Dweller! Wake up Sleepwalker-and come out in the sunshine and fresh air.

Plato was a brilliant man and apparently quite a hunk(Plato is a nickname meaning “broad-shoulders”) I once thought I would like to go back to 500 BC in a time machine and meet a brilliant hunk like Plato until I read his stuff and realized he was a brilliant, hunky, elitist arse. That he was an arse does not mean he was not brilliant and his timeless cave allegory is a good example:

Imagine a group of people who have lived their whole lives chained to the wall of a cave, facing a blank wall. They watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to give names to these shadows. To them reality is the shadows; that’s all there is.

The philosopher, always the hero of Plato’s stories, escapes from the cave into the sunlight.

What will happen if he goes back to free the others? Will they believe him? Will they call him crazy? Will they kill him? What do you think?

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