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Beyond Socrates’ Cave…



Occasionally dying (without effort or methodology) — psychologically — to thinking… is harmless, bright, and intelligent.  Constantly, mechanically, habitually reacting as mere symbolic thoughts is rather cadaverous and is the equivalent to clinging to superficial shadows.


(In Socrates’ parable of the Cave — within Plato’s Republic — people were born in a cave, and they were fettered with chains… and forced to merely see and learn the details about shadows cast on the cave walls from puppets and a fire that they didn’t see behind them. One of them was taken — at one point, by force — first to see the fire… and then out of the cave into the true light of day… into a truer reality; then he came back down into the cave with the others. When he — the man who returned back — pleaded with them to look beyond the shadows, they called him a fool, and continued giving prizes to those who could best guess which shadows came before or after.  Such is life.)

 Silhouette of a Sage (2). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Silhouette of a Sage (2). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Silhouette of a Sage (1). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Silhouette of a Sage (1). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

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My Blog primarily consists of close-up nature photos (that I've taken locally) combined with original holistic-truth oriented prose and/or poetry involving mindfulness/awareness. I love nature and I love understanding the whole (not merely the parts and the details). I'm a retired teacher of the multiply handicapped. I have a number of interesting hobbies, such as fossil collecting, sport-kite flying, 3D and 2D close-up photography, holography, and pets. Most of all, I am into holistic self-awareness, spontaneous insight, unconventional observation/direct perception, mindfulness, meditation, world peace, non-fragmentation, population control, vegetarianism, and green energy. To follow my unique Blog of "Nature Photos and Mindfulness Sayings" and for RSS feeds to my new posts, please access at: (On my regular Blog posting pages, for additional information and to follow, simply click on the "tack icon" at the upper right corner... or, on my profile page, you can click on the "Thomas Peace" icon.) Stay mindful, understanding, and caring!...

5 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. I think the shadows in the cave and the light outside are equally real. I think that clinging to the particular box we live in as the only reality is erroneous, especially since we all know, to some degree, that there is so much more out there. But perhaps all minds have limits? Mine certainly does. Or maybe I just think it does? Which is a limit, though not an “absolute” limit.


    • Interesting points!
      Shadows in a cave and the light outside are equally real. However, what we are truly talking about goes far deeper than the simple example used in this allegory; that is the point of the allegory. Few of us — unfortunately, because of the way we were educated and behave — have been exposed to the profound light directly and intensely. Since we haven’t, stating that it is equally real may be very limited and based on fragmentary evidence; it is like using shadows to further maintain that what is beyond the shadows is equally real (as the shadows)… when, all along, we haven’t gone beyond the shadows whatsoever. You are right… clinging to the particular box we live in as the only reality is erroneous. People say that we need to “think outside the box.” But “thinking” is the box! Few go beyond it.


      • This post has got me thinking (seemingly paradoxical but not, I think). I suppose my thoughts are a shadow of reality. Light exposes reality and my thinking mind projects reality as my own particular thoughts. If I experience life for a few moments without thoughts, without the “processor” (thinking mind) created by my previous experiences, only then can I experience something new. Otherwise, if I am always thinking, all I see are shadows of my past. I think this is what you mean. I think one must be able to both think clearly and not think, at different times. What do you mean by the profound light?

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