Plato's Allegory of the Cave

and its relation to 'The Matrix', 'The Truman Show',
artificial synchronicity, language manipulation and realities

 

PLATO'S ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE
(FROM PLATO'S "REPUBLIC", BOOK VII, 514a-c to 521a-e)

 

And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened : -- "Behold ! , human beings living in a underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den. Here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets."

"I see".

"And do you see", I said, "men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels, and statues and figures of animals made of wood and stone and various materials, which appear over the wall ? Some of them are talking, others silent."

"You have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners".

"Like ourselves", I replied. "And they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave ?"

"True", he said. "How could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads ?"

"And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows ?"

"Yes", he said.

"And if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them ?"

"Very true."

"And suppose further that the prison had an echo which came from the other side, would they not be sure to fancy when one of the passers-by spoke that the voice which they heard came from the passing shadow ?"

"No question", he replied.

"To them", I said, "the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images".

"That is certain."

"And now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive someone saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision, -- what will be his reply ? And you may further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, -- will he not be perplexed ? Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him ?"

"Far truer".

[ COMMENTS FROM WEBMASTER : Plato wrote the text two thousand years ago, at a time when almost everybody around him was neutral. Today the situation has changed : everybody around you is involved and artificial synchronicity is the rule. You can read the text considering "auric death" - which is an illusion - as an "error", but never the "linguistic prison" itself. Remember : their brainwashing is not an "interpretation" of yours. The intention of speculating over your brain is concrete and exists. And your perception field is blocked. If you have any doubt about it, take a look respectively at the sections Cynical euphemisms for their brainwashing and Controlling your perception field. ]

 

"And if he is compelled to look straight at the light, will he not have a pain in his eyes which will make him turn away to take and take in the objects of vision which he can see, and which he will conceive to be in reality clearer than the things which are now being shown to him ?"

"True", he said.

"And suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent, and held fast until he's forced into the presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated ? When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled, and he will not be able to see anything at all of what are now called 'realities'."

"Not all in a moment", he said.

"He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world. And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven. And he will see the sky and the stars by night better than the sun or the light of the sun by day ?"

"Certainly".

"Last of he will be able to see the sun, and not mere reflections of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another, and he will contemplate him as he is".

"Certainly".

"He will then proceed to argue that this is he who gives the season and the years, and is the guardian of all that is in the visible world, and in a certain way the cause of all things which he and his fellows have been accustomed to behold ?"

"Clearly", he said, "he would first see the sun and then reason about him".

"And when he remembered his old habitation, and the wisdom of the den and his fellow-prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change, and pity them ?"

"Certainly, he would".

"And if they were in the habit of conferring honors among themselves on those who were quickest to observe the passing shadows and to remark which of them went before, and which followed after, and which were together; and who were therefore best able to draw conclusions as to the future, do you think that he would care for such honors and glories, or envy the possessors of them ? Would he not say with Homer :"

"Better to be the poor servant of a poor master, and to endure anything, rather than think as they do and live after their manner ?".

"Yes", he said, "I think that he would rather suffer anything than entertain these false notions and live in this miserable manner".

"Imagine once more", I said, "such an one coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in his old situation; would he not be certain to have his eyes full of darkness ?"

"To be sure", he said.

"And if there were a contest, and he had to compete in measuring the shadows with the prisoners who had never moved out of the den, while his sight was still weak, and before his eyes had become steady (and the time which would be needed to acquire this new habit of sight might be very considerable) would he not be ridiculous ? Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes; and that it was better not even to think of ascending; and if any one tried to loose another and lead him up to the light, let them only catch the offender, and they would put him to death ".

"No question", he said.

"This entire allegory", I said, "you may now append, dear Glaucon, to the previous argument; the prison-house is the world of sight, the light of the fire is the sun, and you will not misapprehend me if you interpret the journey upwards to be the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world according to my poor belief, which, at your desire, I have expressed -- whether rightly or wrongly God knows. But, whether true or false, my opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and of the lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual; and that this is the power upon which he who would act rationally, either in public or private life must have his eye fixed".

"I agree", he said, "as far as I am able to understand you".

"Moreover", I said, "you must not wonder that those who attain to this beatific vision are unwilling to descend to human affairs; for their souls are ever hastening into the upper world where they desire to dwell; which desire of theirs is very natural, if our allegory may be trusted".

"Yes, very natural".

"And is there anything surprising in one who passes from divine contemplations to the evil state of man, misbehaving himself in a ridiculous manner; if, while his eyes are blinking and before he has become accustomed to the surrounding darkness, he is compelled to fight in courts of law, or in other places, about the images or the shadows of images of justice, and is endeavoring to meet the conceptions of those who have never yet seen absolute justice ?"

"Anything but surprising", he replied.

"Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees any one whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be too ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter light, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from darkness to the day is dazzled by excess of light. And he will count the one happy in his condition and state of being, and he will pity the other; or, if he has a mind to laugh at the soul which comes from below into the light, there will be more reason in this than in the laugh which greets him who returns from above out of the light into the den".

"That", he said, "is a very just distinction".

"But then, if I am right, certain professors of education must be wrong when they say that they can put a knowledge into the soul which was not there before, like sight into blind eyes".

"They undoubtedly say this", he replied.

"Whereas, our argument shows that the power and capacity of learning exists in the soul already; and that just as the eye was unable to turn from darkness to light without the whole body, so too the instrument of knowledge can only by the movement of the whole soul be turned from the world of becoming into that of being, or in other words, of the good".

[ COMMENTS FROM WEBMASTER : realize that you can replace "instrument of knowledge" by "activated crystal". You can also substitute the last part "from the world of becoming into that of being" for "from the world of believing in the 'values' of the Stage society and living according to these beliefs into the world of being a character pretending whatever is necessary to pretend without really believing in the 'values' of the character". Or, in another level of understanding, you may replace this phrase "from the world of becoming into that of being" by "from the world of following descriptions of reality presented by other people to the world of creating descriptions of reality to present to the other people" ]

 

"Very true".

"And must there not be some art which will effect conversion in the easiest and quickest manner; not implanting the faculty of sight, for that exists already, but has been turned in the wrong direction, and is looking away from the truth ?"

"Yes", he said, "such an art may be presumed".

"And whereas the other so-called virtues of the soul seem to be akin to bodily qualities, for even when they are not originally innate they can be implanted later by habit and exercise, the virtue of wisdom more than anything else contains a divine element which always remains, and by this conversion is rendered useful and profitable; or, on the other hand, hurtful and useless. Did you never observe the narrow intelligence flashing from the keen eye of a clever rogue ? -- how eager he is, how clearly his paltry soul sees the way to his end ?; he is the reverse of blind, but his keen eye-sight is forced into the service of evil, and he is mischievous in proportion to his cleverness".

"Very true", he said.

"But what if there had been a circumcision of such natures in the days of their youth; and they had been severed from those sensual pleasures, such as eating and drinking, which, like leaden weights, were attached to them at their birth, and which drag them down and turn the vision of their souls upon the things that are below -- if, I say, they had been released from these impediments and turned in the opposite direction, the very same faculty in them would have seen the truth as keenly as they see what their eyes are turned to now".

"Very likely".

"Yes", I said; "and there is another thing which is likely, or rather a necessary inference from what has preceded, that neither the uneducated and uninformed of the truth, nor yet those who never make and end of their education, will be able ministers of State; not the former, because they have no single aim of duty which is the rule of all their actions, private as well as public; nor the latter, because they will not act at all except upon compulsion, fancying that they are already dwelling apart in the Islands of the Blest".

"Very true", he replied.

"Then", I said, "the business of us who are the founders of the State will be to compel the best minds to attain that knowledge which we have already shown to be the greatest of all -- they must continue to ascend until they arrive at the good; but when they have ascended and seen enough we must not allow them to do as they do now".

"What do you mean ?"

"I mean that they remain in the upper world : but this must not be allowed; they must be made to descend again among the prisoners in the den, and partake of their labors and honors, whether they are worth having or not".

[ COMMENTS FROM WEBMASTER : This part may be interpreted by some survivors as a subliminal invitation to be a character in the Stage World without an activated crystal, if you consider that you have already "ascended and seen enough" to begin "to descend again among prisoners". The point is : are you a character ? where is your scene director ? and your script ? can you count on the other characters as your accomplices in the act of pretending ? do they recognize you as being a character ? do you know what to say or not to say in each moment ? do you act together with them like a bee ? can you trust their characters ? Ask yourself. ]

 

"But is not this unjust ? he said; ought we give them a worse life, when they might have a better ?"

"You have again forgotten, my friend", I said, "the intention of the legislator, who did not aim at making any one class in the State happy above the rest; the happiness was to be in the whole State, and he held the citizens together by persuasion and necessity, making them benefactors of the State, and therefore benefactors of one another; to this end he created them, not to please themselves, but to be his instruments in binding up the State".

"True", he said, "I had forgotten".

"Observe, Glaucon, that there will be no injustice in compelling our philosophers to have a care and providence of others; we shall explain to them that in other States, men of their class are not obliged to share in the toils of politics : and this is reasonable, for they grow up at their own sweet will, and the government would rather not have them. Being self-taught, they cannot be expected to show any gratitude for a culture which they have never received. But we have brought you into the world to be rulers of the hive, kings of yourselves and of the other citizens, and have educated you far better and more perfectly than they have been educated, and you are better able to share in the double duty.

 

Wherefore each of you, when his turn comes, must go down to the general underground abode, and get the habit of seeing in the dark. When you have acquired the habit, you will see ten thousand times better than the inhabitants of the den, and you will know what the several images are, and what they represent, because you have seen the beautiful and just and good in their truth. And thus our State which is also yours will be a reality, and not a dream only, and will be administered in a spirit unlike that of other States, in which men fight with one another about shadows only and are distracted in the struggle for power, which in their eyes is a great good. Whereas the truth is that the State in which the rulers are most reluctant to govern is always the best and most quietly governed, and the State in which they are most eager, the worst".

[ COMMENTS FROM WEBMASTER : Take a look at the sentence "you will see ten thousand times better than the inhabitants of the den" and keep it in your memory. THEY sometimes try to convince you that survivors - specially PANS - have a "more advanced development" than themselves, a more advanced "belief system" and more advanced "values", trying to deny, hide or diminish their own advancement. Remember that they are much more advanced than they seem to be, especially those who have their activated crystals for approximately over five years now. The great majority of them have passed through a complete paradigm shift within their minds : their language, an activated crystal, their satellite, trips in helicopters, paranormal powers, original foreigners, advanced technology, "Holodecks", automatic transportation, crystal-based "TV programs", military missions and much more. For more details, take a look at the information given by the author "piece_of_nothing" in the section Deconstructing keyword Indian ]

 

"Quite true", he replied.

"And will our pupils, when they hear this, refuse to take their turn at the toils of State, when they are allowed to spend the greater part of their time with one another in the heavenly light ?"

"Impossible", he answered; "for they are just men, and the commands which we impose upon them are just; there can be no doubt that every one of them will take office as a stern necessity, and not after the fashion of our present rulers of State".

"Yes, my friend", I said; "and there lies the point. You must contrive for your future rulers another and a better life than that of a ruler, and then you may have a well-ordered State; for only in the State which offers this, will they rule who are truly rich, not in silver and gold, but in virtue and wisdom, which are the true blessings of life. Whereas if they go to the administration of public affairs, poor and hungering after their own private advantage, thinking that hence they are to snatch the chief good, order there can never be; for they will be fighting about office, and the civil and domestic broils which thus arise will be the ruin of the rulers themselves and of the whole State".

"Most true", he replied.

"And the only life which looks down upon the life of political ambition is that of true philosophy. Do you know of any other ?"

"Indeed, I do not", he said.

"And those who govern ought not to be lovers of the task ? For, if they are, there will be rival lovers, and they will fight".

"No question".

[ COMMENTS FROM WEBMASTER : Because words can be very dangerous to survivors' brains, you may need to translate Plato's idea of "rival lovers of the task fighting each other" into something like : "two or more lovers of the task helping each other to do their tasks, and giving their tasks to each other, without measuring each one's task in a ruler, without categorizing, reducing and labeling their tasks, without attributing delirious hierarchical positions to themselves, and yet without comparing rationally each one's heart or love". If necessary, you can mentalize : "THERE IS NO COMPETITION", "THERE IS NO FIGHT", "SPIRIT MEASURING" and "THERE IS NO PODIUM IN THE BACKSTAGE". May you permit I add my little contribution to the method created by the author piece_of_nothing so as to enhance your visualization : every time they speculate over your brain using this sickly archetype of "competition", mentalize a big round table where you sit amongst other people. The image of the round table tells your brain that every one of us has the same importance than every one else. ]

 

"Who then are those whom we shall compel to be guardians ? Surely they will be the men who are wisest about affairs of State, and by whom the State is best administered, and who at the same time have other honors and another and a better life than that of politics ?"

"They are the men, and I will choose them", he replied.

[ COMMENTS FROM WEBMASTER : I suggest you consider that, as the author 'piece_of_nothing' have said, nobody is "The One", like Neo in "The Matrix"; nobody is "the Chosen One". As you have read before, the Backstage doesn't need a Messiah or something. Considering that practically everybody has their crystals activated, except for the last neutrals, the last dogs and alligators from the other side, the remaining survivors, and for the ones that during the passage of the hurricane have been neutralized and cloned, you can say that "the whole humanity has been chosen". This embodies literally billions of individuals that are now "guardians of the visible world", as Plato liked to call them. So you'd have today billions of "chosen ones"... ]

NOTE : There is an on-line version of this text also available at http://plato.evansville.edu/texts/rep29.htm, where you'll find the rest of Plato's works.


 

Read also "The allegory of the alien"

(an illustrated allegory presenting an in-depth analysis of the alien intervention on Earth, including the alien technique of human mimicry used by aliens living on Earth masquerading as humans to operate inside the "visible world").

 

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