In Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave, prisoners were held from birth in a cave forced to stare at a blank wall. Reflections created from objects behind the prisoners were the only visions these prisoners ever saw. Plato reflected that if this is all that the prisoners saw, these shadows, that they would believe this to be the most true reality. However if those same prisoners were ever released into the open world they would come to know that what they once saw as real objects and forms were merely a vestige of the true world. This is where the boundary between ignorance and knowledge is crossed by the prisoners.
Once one crosses the threshold of knowledge it opens a litany of other questions which those answers in turn lead to more questions. I’m not sure if I will ever find half of the answers that I am looking for, but I am destined to continue on searching until my time here is through. In cases like this we not only learn a significant lesson about the issue at hand, but we evolve and learn about ourself, which in the long run I believe is important as anything we do in life.
In Summer 2010 I took Introduction to Astronomy and thoroughly enjoyed the class and learning about the composition of our universe. I learned many things in this course that opened my eyes to our world, our human race, our solar system, and even about me as a person. I have never been one to believe that ignorance is bliss, however after really coming to grips with the understanding of how small I am as an individual in the grand scheme of the world’s creation. I am infinitely less than a grain of sand on the shores; truly minuscule on the scale of the universe. Just knowing that the Earth has been around for billions of years and will be here for billions more, makes me think of how insignificant one mans life can really be. So I think of this more often and on a philosophical level I feel unfulfilled and unimportant. I never believed that learning about something that has been a true fact forever, could have such an impact on my entire way of thinking. But it has and I feel that I am stronger for it.
- What is the Allegory of the Cave? (brainz.org)