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the lost soul

the toughest thing about being lost is not knowing when you will find yourself. in film today; like the popular tv show lost, and dating back to plato’s republic, finding yourself and finding truth are related to the cave.

of course we all know that the cave throughout history has enlightened people. dating back centuries wall paintings have been found in caves. naturally telling stories that depicted venturing into the unknown (outside the cave).

in order to find yourself you first have to know that you are lost. you have to know what parts of you are lost. the method by which a cave is created takes time, but for most specialists; those who study caves think they are something wonderful, somewhat of a masterpiece. this is no different than man or woman. you have a whole lifetime of experience that people must study, and examine to truly understand who you are. you will never be able to sum yourself up in a paragraph or phrase, nor should people sum you up that way.

why then do most people feel the need to search. i find myself in this place all of the time, just wondering what purpose i have, believing that there is something more. if i wonder then i am lost, am i not?


plato in his allegory of the cave speaks of a set of prisoners who only see shadows on the wall coming from the light outside of the cave. they cannot move, they don’t remember anything before the shadows, then the question becomes whether they are truly seeing the world. some argue of perspective, some defend the idea of the outside world as truly seeing the world.

think of this in your own life, are you truly seeing the world the way it was meant to be seen. does it matter in what way you see the world? well the truth is, that everyone should have a cave, a place they go to in solitude to evaluate what is happening in their world.

and now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: –

behold!  human beings living in an underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light

and reaching all along the den;  here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and

necks chained so that they cannot move and can only see before them, being prevented by the

chains from turning round their heads.  above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and

between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall

built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which

they show the puppets.

i see.

and do you see, i said, men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels and statues and

figures of animals made out of wood and stone and various materials which appear over the wall?

some of them are talking, others silent.

you have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners.

like ourselves, i replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another

which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?

true, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed

to move their heads?

and of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows?

yes, he said.

and if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were

naming what was actually before them?

very true.

and suppose further that the prison has an echo which came from the other side, would they

not be sure to fancy when one of the passers-by spoke that the voice which they heard came from

the passing shadow?

no question, he replied.

to them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.

that is certain.

and now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and

disabused of their error.  at first, when any one of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to

stand up and turn his neck around and walk and look towards the fire light, he will suffer sharp

pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former

state he had seen in the shadows; and then conceive someone saying to him that what he saw

before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned

towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision – – -What will be his reply?  As you may

further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to

name them, will he not be perplexed?  will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw

are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?

for the full writing of the allegory of the cave go here



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