"Imagine once more, I said, such an one coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in his old situation; would he not be certain to have his eyes full of darkness?"
-Socrates, Plato's Allegory of the Cave
In Plato's Allegory of the Cave, Plato creates a discussion about people who have spent their entire lives in a cave. These people, who are chained to walls, unable to move their heads, have never seen the sun, have never seen any kind of light directly, nor have they seen people or objects directly, either. These people have seen only shadows and having seen only shadows, believe the shadows to be truth.
Now, I'm no expert on Plato, but from what I remember from the Intro to Philosophy class that I took my freshman year of college, this allegorical cave and its shadows is meant to represent both man and his belief system and man and his lack of knowledge. I can see that, of course, but in my opinion, the allegory of the cage represents so much more.
The way I see it, Plato's cave allegory can be applied to anybody who's never truly experienced something
visceral that seems to take shape, starting as a seed that sprouts roots and grows, soon to be a rhizomatic mass filling the insides, starting at the navel, the initial source of physical life, and ending with the heart, that which sustains our life, the beating, heaving thing without which we could not exist.
I believe there are people out there who not only have never seen this light but who, having never seen it, don't understand that it exists. They live mediocre lives filled with mediocre days, interact with mediocre people, and feel mediocre feelings. These souls don't realize it, but their lives are composed solely of shadows. And they are happy, having never known any other.
For them, mediocrity is not mediocre, darkness not dark.
But to one who has walked in the light, mediocrity is not merely mediocre, but can be staggering, and darkness--well, darkness can be
visceral that seems to take shape, starting as a seed that sprouts roots and grows, soon to be a rhizomatic mass cloying the insides, starting at the navel, the initial source of physical life, and ending with the heart, that which sustains our life, the beating, heaving thing without which we could not exist.
I have walked in the light.