Monday, January 30, 2006

All day, staring at the ceiling, making friends with shadows on my wall...

Yes, it's a Matchbox 20 song. Yet, there is also a great deal of philosophy buried within.

It's Plato's Cave, two thousand years on.

Huh? How do a modern rock song and ancient philosophy relate? Just like this...

In Plato's allegory of the cave, a man is chained to a cave floor, facing a wall. He cannot turn from the wall, and what he sees becomes his reality. Behind him lies a fire, and between him and the fire, objects move. So, he sees the shadows flickering on the wall.

Shadow-chair becomes his chair. Shadow-woman becomes his woman. Shadow-life becomes his life.

It isn't reality, of course. It's a pale shadow. Yet, this shadowy reality still exists.

There are many people who willingly chain themselves to that wall. A refusal to admit people's nature, as those future teachers have, a refusal to accept pain, as people that run away, a refusal of the self, as so many have.

Explore your souls, folks. Look deep, drag out the secret that you are most ashamed of, and face it. Write it down and stare at it, speak it to the darkness when you are alone, but face it. When you have faced it, you will have unchained yourself from that wall, and can finally see the light.

8 Comments:

Blogger Bainwen Gilrana said...

I think one of the wisest things the Catholic Church ever did was to require the Sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation. It encourages the hauling-out of those deep dark secrets we'd rather forget, so that we can examine them in the clear light of day. It's much easier to move on without such baggage, and life is much easier to see when it is not seen in shadow-form.

1/30/2006 3:14 PM  
Blogger naive-no-more said...

I'll go one further. Some people think they are chained permanently to that floor and when the chains are lifted, still they don't try to free themselves. Learned helplessness.

1/31/2006 10:27 AM  
Blogger Tirithien said...

Very true, Naive. It's a classic psychological problem- how do you break that cycle?

1/31/2006 10:55 AM  
Anonymous naneth said...

You pray.

2/01/2006 11:33 AM  
Blogger naive-no-more said...

and keep praying

2/01/2006 10:52 PM  
Anonymous naneth said...

I have faced my darkest demons from my past. And, I survived. Painfully at first, then freedom once I realized I was finally truly free of them. I can move on now. I can cease to be angry at those demons. Anger and hurt are chains that bind. Breaking them is a happy miracle. Shaking them off and walking away is even more difficult. You want to keep going back to the wall, because you've been there for so long, it's all you know.

If you can pull free and step into the sun, never look back. Do not forget, though. Keep it in the back of your mind as a learning experience you'd rather not repeat; a self-defense against going back.

2/02/2006 12:06 PM  
Blogger clew said...

Not to be flippant after all these somber insights, but this is me & my best buddy's song! ... Is it lame for friends to "have a song"?

Sorry, just wanted to lighten the mood ... :)

2/02/2006 1:24 PM  
Blogger Tirithien said...

All the hours I've been thinking... somehow, I've lost my mind... :-p

2/02/2006 4:58 PM  

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