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 world full of what Plato calls the 'the forms.' The forms are the ideal versions ***** everything that exists in this false world. Instead of an ordinary horse, for example, in the ***** of the ***** ********** is a perfect version of ***** horse—and there is an ideal version in the world of the forms ***** what we think of as love, a kind of *****nic love th*****t tr*****scends the physical world.

To illustrate the limits ***** earthly cognition, trapped in ***** materiality of existence, Plato created ***** h***** come to be called t*****e "***** of the Cave." In the real world, we are dwell*****g in a dark 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 ***** because the ***** is dark, lit only by a fire in the center of the c*****vern. The puppeteers manipulate shadow-puppets and we ***** ***** false shadows on the walls ***** '*****' but they are ***** fact ***** copies of copies.

***** ***** us live in total *****ness, mistak*****g the shadows for ***** whole of human *****. Some people see beyond the shadows, but even they often fixate on the puppets which are not truly 'real,' ei*****r. It takes a true, enlightened ***** to underst***** the nature of human existence, and only a philosopher can gain enough insight ***** liberate people ***** ***** cave. People need to shake *****f their chains, turn away from the seductive ***** reality of the shadows and puppets and escape ***** ***** 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 of how even people less philosophically enlightened ***** Plato experience the levels ***** cognition of the Myth of the Cave is found in the example of love. When we first feel what we call ***** for other human beings, it ***** *****ually a form of self-love. We love our m***** bec*****use she loves us, ***** love our parents because ***** buy us Christmas gifts and take us to s*****tball practice, and we love the prettiest girl in the class beca*****e looking at her makes us feel *****. Then we feel love that acknowledges the other person, but is still often very shallow—***** might give ***** first cr*****h a rose on Valentine's Day, ***** don't underst***** the other person's **********. Perhaps when they have a bad day, or need time with their friends, we ign*****e them or get upset when they *****m to be ignoring us. This shallow ***** deepens into the ability to experience and appreciate a more m*****ture and self-sacrificing relationship, like what occurs during a long-term rel*****tionship, or ***** we *****

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