Allegory of the Cave

Planet Millennium

—Octilogy: Eight Great Treasures  (Chapter 14, page 328 )


“See your shadow dancing on the cave wall?” Metamorphosis, Sage of the Ages, asked Hunter Wainright.

Hunter looked over his shoulder and nodded, yes.

“Imagine a group of human beings who have lived their entire lives trapped in a subterranean chamber, a cave. Imagine the cave looks like this cave, with the fire as its only source of light.

“Imagine these humans are permanent cave dwellers, chained and held immobile since childhood. As for their bizarre existence, they are unaware of any other way and they offer no complaints.

 “Behind the chained humans a blazing fire burns brightly. Between the fire and humans is a raised walkway. On the walkway are puppets shaped like animals and plants and mountains, moved by an observer…a manipulator…a tyrant.

 Octilogy - Chapter 14

“The humans are forced to watch the shadows on the cave wall. The shadows are the only objects the humans have seen since infancy. Noises echo off the cave walls from the walkway, their only reality of sound.

“Do you think the humans would believe the shadows to be real things, or just reflections of reality?”

Hunter raised his eyebrows, “Probably real things.”

“Imagine the most clever among them become highly skilled observers and question the reality of the shadows. Their chains prevent them from seeing the true source and nature of the ghostly images on the wall.

“Imagine one of the clever humans breaks his chains and climbs through the bleak underworld to the surface of the Earth. With his eyes accustomed only to the dim light of the cave, what would happen when he emerged into the upper world?”

Octilogy - Chapter 14

“He’d be blinded by the bright light,” Hunter said.

 Morph nodded, yes. “At first, he is only able to gaze upon shadows and reflections of the real world. As his eyes become accustomed to the light, the former cave dweller discovers the real world, gazing in wonderment.

 “Imagine this escapee, witness to the sun, returning to the cave. What do you think he would do?”

 “Tell the others about the real world. Inform them they’d been looking at a bunch of stupid shadows on the wall,” Hunter replied.

 “What would happen when he tells his former friends and family what he has seen that there is a better world in which to live, not the world in which they have been content to dwell?

 Octilogy - Chapter 14

“He announces he shall free them from their chains of ignorance. How do you think they would respond?”

“They would all agree.” Hunter grinned.

 “Are you sure?” Morph asked, raising his eyebrows.

 “Yes. Why would they want to stay in the dark?”

 “They doubt his word, believing he is mad, crazy, out of his mind. They mock him and name him the ‘enlightened one,’ the human blinded by the divine light of the sun.

 Octilogy - Chapter 14

“They remind him that nothing is wrong with their dark existence and they are content; they lack nothing.”

 “People would not stay in the cave…no way,” Hunter said.

 Morph said, “Even if some people visited the surface, many would be immediately frightened and return to the cave, to their safe existence. Many would never journey to the surface. Frightened of the truth, they would feel safe to remain in the shadows.

 “Only a few would be willing to journey to the upper world and look at the sun, the light, and see the world as it truly exists. A few would quickly realize that their cave life had been a total farce and a shadow of the truth.

 “They would know they had been taught incorrectly, misguided, lied to. Many of them would want to return to the cave and free their family and friends from bondage but would discover that they are also the focus of scorn and ridicule and persecution.

 Octilogy - Chapter 14

“Would it not have been in the best interest of the cave dwellers to entrust their lives to the enlightened one?”

 “Yeah, for sure,” Hunter said.

 “And what else might happen to the enlightened humans who return to the dark cave to help their fellow humans see the light?”

 Hunter bit his lip, shrugging his shoulders.

 Underworld of Answers

“Imagine the paranoid cave dwellers declare that the enlightened one’s eyes have been corrupted by the light. ‘Beware of his lies,’ they scream, ‘It is not worth trying to go to the surface.’

 “Vicious rumors begin. They warn each other, ‘Do not follow the madman’s teachings.’ They scorn and ridicule him. When they discover that the enlightened one plans to unchain and release humans from their shackles lead humans up to the light, do you think that the fearful and ignorant masses might possibly try to kill the enlightened one?”

 “Murder him?” Hunter asked.

 The sage nodded, yes.

 “You mean, because they think he’s crazy, out of his mind?”

 “Correct. Out of his mind. They realize that the madman, the radical thinker who speaks only of the one, true reality, has won favor with the masses.

 Underworld of Answers

“Jealousy erupts as the cave dwellers realize how many people have actually dedicated their lives to follow the enlightened one out of the dark and into the light.”

 “I know what you’re getting at,” Hunter said, glancing over his shoulder at Eve.

 “What might that be?”

 “That humans are afraid of change,” the Earthling said. “Humans like the way things are. Anyone who thinks differently is crazy and must be silenced, or eliminated.”

 “Good answer.”

 Underworld of Answers

Hunter grinned. “They will do anything, even murder or imprison the enlightened one if they believe he is trying to change them, or their society, with a new idea.”

 “My son, you do understand my allegory.”

 “Thanks,” Hunter said, beaming with self-pride.

 “Now, what is the message of my story?”

 Underworld of Answers

“Ummm, that a philosopher should be our president?”

 “The meaning of my allegory is that the enlightened one, having seen the light…the truth…the supreme reality…is now capable of philosophical thought.

 “With proper thought comes leadership. Therefore, philosophers make the best parents, teachers and leaders. Philosophers live life as leaders.

 “Anyone willing to see the light, change their thoughts, shall become a leader. They shall become an enlightened being who leads by example, not by force or deception or corruption or control.”

 Underworld of Answers

“You mean, change your thoughts, change your life,”  Hunter said with pride.

Continued on page 331 of Octilogy:Eight Great Treasures

Underworld of Answers

Underworld of Answers

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