Monday, June 20, 2011

The Parable

So I've been thinking about Plato's allegory of the cave, also known as the parable of the cave. For those of you (whoever you are) who don't know what that is, I'll present a short summary:

There are some people chained inside a cave facing a blank wall for their entire lives. There's only one source of illumination, a fire, but it's behind them, so all they can see are their own shadows on the wall. That's all they think the world is - shadows.

But then one of them breaks free. His chains break and he rushed outside of the cave and sees the Real World, with it's bright colors and blue sky. He is happy and joyous. He decides his fellow prisoners in the cave need to escape, too, so he goes back down there and tells them that the world is not just shadows, that the world is so much more.

They don't believe him and in the following dispute, they kill him (how they killed him when they are chained and he is not, I don't know, just go with it).

This was apparently a metaphor for the world - Plato believed that everything started in the World of Ideas, where the "idealized" version of everything existed. We lived in the cave of shadows, but he wanted to show us that this wasn't the real world, that there was a better world. We, of course, don't believe him.

I've been thinking about this because I hadn't seen anything weird these past few days. The hallways have stayed the same length. The rooms are the same size - even the library. Today I flipped a coin and it came up tails. No duplication.

What if I'm outside? What if I'm no longer in the room I was once in? What if this is a different room? What if, when I open the Door - or maybe it's just a door - I'll be outside the cave? I'll be in the real world?

What if?

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