The Allegory of the Cave (Explained)

For this entry, I thought I would explain the video that I posted last week in absurdly plain terms and see if that would inspire me on some rant about something.  Here we go…I’ll see you on the other side:

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is a dialogue between Socrates and some other Greek dude I can’t remember.  Socrates describes a group of prisoners who are chained in a cave and face a wall, with a fire burning behind them.  I believe there are guards who are standing behind the fire projecting images onto the wall via shadows in the fire.

For arguments sake, I also believe Socrates says the prisoners have been in the cave for their entire lives.  The images they see on the wall of the cave are the only ones they know.  For them, the cave and the forms of images they see are reality.

Socrates then describes what would happen if one were to escape the cave, go topside, and see the world for what it really is.  “Behold,” Socrates probably says in Greek, “it so happens that one of the Cavedwellerz escapes!”  And I’m pretty sure his name was Sean-us Connery-us.  And what an amazing sight it is!  The light is blinding at first, but then the world opens up and he comes across a rabbit. The man had once seen an image of a rabbit on the wall of the cave, so he knew what it was (he knew its “form”), but what he then realized was that what he had seen was indeed just an image, a “form,” and not reality.  In reality, the rabbit is a robust creature, full of life and color and other fun descriptive words not identified with its “form.”

The prisoner runs around, taking in the world for the first time and seeing reality for what it really is.  He returns to the cave and describes what he has seen, but the prisoners don’t believe him.  To them, the forms on the wall are reality.  I like to think of the fish that gets caught and–for whatever reason–is thrown back into the ocean.  When he finds his buddies, he has the most awesome story for them, but nobody believes him:  “But dudes! I swear!…”  He’s pretty flipping mad.

Socrates uses the man who escapes the cave in order to describe the work of a philosopher.  A philosopher thinks (really hard) about reality for what it really is, and attempts to enlighten all of the laypeople (prisoners of some sort of wrong thoughts or something) about it.

I think that it can also be used as a way to get people excited about going out and having an adventure for themselves.  Learning about the forms of adventure (reading about someone who climbed Everest, or someone who had some great romp around the world) is indeed interesting.  But to do it for yourself is entirely another thing.  Maybe it’s even enlightening.

So, get out and live life’s big adventure.  You can go through life just seeing things on TV and reading about things on the internet, and you may very well never do any of them.  You, my friend, are a prisoner in Plato’s cave. Don’t wait for someone else to come back and tell you about it.  Do it for yourself.

47 thoughts on “The Allegory of the Cave (Explained)

  1. Pingback: Reflections-A visit to Pennsylvania « Tales and Travels of the Tinman

  2. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell
    to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and
    it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

  3. Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice
    from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start.

    Do you have any points or suggestions? Thanks

  4. Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out.
    Please let me know where you got your design. Appreciate it

  5. of course like your web-site however you need to take
    a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and
    I in finding it very bothersome to tell the truth however I
    will surely come back again.

  6. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s
    the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  7. I am not positive where you are getting your information,
    but great topic. I must spend a while studying much more or working out more.
    Thanks for excellent information I was on the lookout for this information for my mission.

  8. of course like your web-site but you have to test the spelling
    on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth on the other
    hand I’ll definitely come back again.

  9. I’ve purchased two sizes of the syrup here in the
    United States: one onliine (12 ounces, $23. Unprocessed
    honey is rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and amino acids.
    All of the recipe’s in Ani’s Raw Food Desserts can add
    some yummy dishes to your weight loss plan.

  10. certainly like your website however you have to take a look at
    the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and
    I to find it very troublesome to tell the truth then again I’ll surely come
    back again.

  11. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after looking at many of the articles I realized it’s new to
    me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking it and
    checking back frequently!

  12. Hello there! This post could not be written any better!

    Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I’ll send this information to him.
    Pretty sure he’s going to have a great read.
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. hey there and thank you for your information –
    I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here.
    I did however expertise several technical issues using this web site, as I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly.
    I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but
    sluggish loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement
    in google and can damage your high-quality score
    if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for
    a lot more of your respective fascinating content.
    Ensure that you update this again very soon.

  14. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe this
    amazing site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks
    for the advice!

  15. Categories: News Date: Dec 20, 2012 Title: Konrad
    Bartelski recommends Profeet
    We were delighted to welcome Konrad Bartelski, Britain’s most successful World
    Cup downhill racer to Profeet recently. See what he had
    to say…

    “I had my boots blown out to accommodate my bunions, so
    specialised fitting of the shell to my feet. Was done perfectly and the difference that it makes is considerable…every skier ought
    to take the time to get their feet right.
    It is the most important thing to do before any ski holiday.”
    Konrad Bartelski is Britain’s most successful World Cup downhill racer
    and skied for Britain in three Winter Olympics before retiring from
    the World Cup circuit in 1983. Most people will
    remember Konrad from December 13 1981 when he missed being the fastest skier on the planet by 11 hundredths of a second and the accompanying
    “It can’t be – it’s an Englishman” from the French commentator!
    He now commentates himself and has written for numerous publications.

    Profeet’s Michelle looked after Konrad instore. Michelle Wilcox is Profeet’s Chief Ski Technician and has over 14 seasons boot-fitting experience in the
    UK, France and New Zealand. She is also a British Ski Boot-fitters
    Association (BSBA) Trainer.
    Treatment Indicator
    Amber: You can treat this condition yourself
    BUT you should seek professional help if you want reassurance that what you are doing is the best approach
    for you.
    We accept the following payment methods Limited, Unit 1 & 2 Dawson Court, Billington Road, Burnley, Lancashire BB11 5UB, England
    © Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
    The articles on this web site are provided for general information only and should not be used as a basis
    for diagnosis or treatment. All exercises and information featured on this
    web site should only be practised under the
    supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.

    arch support insoles

    arch support insoles

    arch support insoles

    arch support insoles


    arch support insoles

    arch support insoles

    arch support insoles

    Sponsored by Scholl


    fucking pricks

    I hope you die of cancer you pigs!



  16. Thank you, I have just been searching for info
    about this topic for a long time and yours is the best I’ve found out till now.
    However, what in regards to the bottom line?
    Are you sure about the supply?

  17. It’s in fact very complex in this active life to listen news on Television, so I simply
    use internet for that purpose, and get the hottest information.

  18. What’s up it’s me, I am also visiting this website on a regular
    basis, this web page is really good and the visitors are genuinely sharing fastidious

  19. For everyone doing these things is some thing detestable to God.Deuteronomy eighteen:10-twelve.
    You can get specialized solutions on Capturing Star Astrology, although tons of info is
    accessible Totally free!

  20. My family members every time say that I am wasting
    my time here at net, but I know I am getting familiarity all the time by reading thes
    fastidious content.

  21. I’m not sure exactly why but this website
    is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue
    or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later
    and see if the problem still exists.

  22. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it,
    you’re a great author. I will make certain to bookmark your blog
    and may come back later on. I want to encourage continue your great
    work, have a nice evening!

  23. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual
    appearance. I must say that you’ve deliver a excellent job with this.
    Additionally, the blog loads super quick for me on Internet explorer.

    Exceptional Blog!

  24. Hello very nice web site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing
    .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds
    additionally? I am glad to find numerous helpful info right here within the submit, we’d like develop
    more techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing.

    . . . . .

  25. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot.

    I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.

  26. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to
    mention that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing on your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  27. Very great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to mention that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I am hoping you write once
    more soon!

  28. Exceellent post. I wass checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely helpful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot.
    I was seeking this particular information for
    a long time. Thank you and good luck.

Comments are closed.