Essay - Plato's Myth of the Cave According to the Greek Philosopher...

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Plato's Myth of the Cave

***** to ***** Greek philosopher Plato, what we commonly think of as 'the real world' is not real at all, but merely an imperfect version ***** ***** ideal world, a ***** full of what Plato calls the ***** forms.' The forms are ***** ideal versions ***** everything that exists in this false world. Instead of an ordinary horse, for example, in the world of the ***** there is a perfect version of ***** horse—and there is an ideal ***** in the world of the forms of what we think of as love, a kind of Pl*****tonic love that transcends the physical world.

To illustrate the limits ***** earthly cognition, trapped in the materiality of existence, Plato created what h***** come to be called the "Myth of the Cave." In ***** real world, we are dwell*****g in a d*****rk cave, isolated from enlightenment and heaven. Puppeteers have chained us to a rock so we can***** escape, and worse still, we do not know that we are chained because the ***** is dark, lit only by a fire in the center of the c*****vern. The puppeteers manipulate shadow-puppets and we think the false shadows on the walls are 'real' but they are in fact ***** copies of copies.

Most ***** us live in *****tal **********, mistaking the shadows for the whole of human *****. Some people see beyond the shadows, but even *****y often fixate on the puppets which are not truly 'real,' either. It takes a true, enlightened philosopher to underst***** the nature of ***** existence, and only a philosopher can gain enough insight ***** liberate people from ***** cave. People need to shake *****f their chains, turn away from the seductive ***** reality of the shadows and puppets ***** escape from the darkness, into a world ***** is lit by sun rather than false fire. This heavenly world of pure forms away from material existence is the Platonic world.

A good example ***** how even people less philosophically ***** than Plato experience the levels of cognition ***** the ***** of the Cave is found in ***** example of love. When we first feel what ***** call love for other human be*****gs, it is usually a form of self-*****. We love our mother bec*****use she loves us, we love ***** parents because they buy us Chr*****tmas gifts and take us to s*****tball practice, ***** we love the prettiest girl in the class ***** looking at her makes us ***** good. *****n we feel love that acknowledges the other person, ***** is still often very shallow—***** might give our first crush a rose on Valentine's Day, but don't understand the other person's needs. Perhaps when they have a bad day, or need time with ***** friends, we ign*****e them or get upset ***** they ********** to be ignoring us. This shallow love deepens into the ability to experience and appreciate a more mature and self-sacrificing relationship, like what occurs during a long-term rel*****tionship, or when ***** *****


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