Out of the shadows

May 07, 2024

The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don't know anything about. (Wayne Dyer)

In his Allegory of the Cave, Plato describes a group of people who have been held captive in a dark cave since childhood.  They are constricted in such a way that they are only able to see cave wall that is directly in front of them.  They are unable to turn their heads in any other direction and see behind them, or each other.   There is a fire burning behind the captives and between the fire and the prisoners, a raised walkway.  

Everything that passes along the walkway, objects and people, cast shadows onto the wall of the cave in front of the prisoners.  These shadows are the only forms of reality the prisoners have known.  As they have never seen anything else, the shadowy forms on the wall of the cave is the prisoners’ reality.  The only way in which they could see that the shadows were illusions and not reality itself would be if one of the prisoners broke free from the cave. 

Plato asks us to imagine that one of the prisoners is freed and made to turn around, to leave the cave and face the fire and the real objects casting the shadows.  At first, the prisoner would be dazzled by the light after so long in darkness, but gradually he would see the true forms of the objects themselves and realize that the shadowy forms on the cave wall were not the full picture but merely imitations of reality. 

If the prisoner were to return to the cave and tells the others what he has discovered, how would they react to his enlightenment?  Perhaps the prisoner would be ridiculed and laughed at, disbelieved.  To the others, the idea of anything other than the shadows on the wall would be both disturbing and unbelievable.  Some might want to break free and experience this for themselves.  

If you were in the cave, listening to the enlightened prisoner, how would you react?  Would you be content to stay in the cave watching the shadows, safe but bound and ignorant?  Or would you rather be free, but exposed to the elements around you and aware of the imprisonment? 

If you were the freed prisoner, would you be content to stay in the cave again, knowing that you would be wasting your time watching illusions of reality rather than experiencing what the rest of the world beyond the walls of the cave has to offer?   

If you’re still reading this, then you are a Soul Adventurer.  You know there is a bigger picture and that there are all sorts of deep truths and insights waiting to be discovered. 

Let's step out of the shadows and embrace the light of our souls, unlocking the depths of our true purpose and potential. Together, let's venture beyond the cave walls, where enlightenment and fulfillment await.