From Dana's Guests

My Two Cents: Free For All

Auguste Roc

"It's going in one ear and out the other, Dad", Gussie shared with me one evening while doing her homework. It turns out that she had been examining Plato in Mr. Everdale's 6th grade history class.

Both impressed by the fact that she was tackling Plato, and relieved that I actually have a thought or two to contribute to the conversation, I happily seized the opportunity to share one of my favorite Plato allegories (a drastically abbreviated version):

Socrates is talking to one of his young followers. His name is Glaucon. He is sharing a fable with him to try and help him understand what it is like to be a philosopher and someone who loves wisdom.

Imagine a group of men chained up everyday in a cave since childhood. Imagine that the only thing that these men can see are the shadows on the cave wall in front of them; images cast by people and animals and things moving outside of the cave.

Isn't it understandable that these men, chained inside of this dark cave, would come to believe that the shadows they see are what is real, rather than mere representations of reality? And isn't it understandable that they would eventually conclude, logically, that all of the conversations and sounds that they heard were coming from these shadows, and to even eventually believe that they are in fact mere shadows too,?

Now imagine that one of the men finally breaks free from his chains and escapes to see what really exists outside of the cave. He sees what things actually look like and returns to the cave to share this revelation, but to the men still in bondage it appeared as if he had lost his mind.

Most people live in a world of relative ignorance. Our ignorance is all we know. And, it is not only that we have grown comfortable with our ignorance, it is that we actually like it and depend on it to survive.

It is difficult to pursue truth because the pursuit of truth is scary. When faced with truth, many of us would rather just go back to our old lives; the way things used to be.


if we are willing to muster up the courage to continuously seek truth, we will eventually reap its rewards. The more truth we get, the more we want.

Once you've experienced truth and the benefits that it brings, it's hard to go back to being ignorant; itís hard to return to the dark.

That's my two cents (for whatever it's worth).

Auguste Roc

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