THE ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE
A VIDEO BY FLAMEN ANTONYUS SUBIA
"Behold! human beings living in a underground cave, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the cave; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.
and they see only shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the wall of the cave... And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows... To them the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.
What will naturally follow if the prisoners are released their error. At first, when any of them is liberated to stand up and turn his neck and look towards the light, the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion.
Suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent, and held fast until he 's forced into the presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated? He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world. And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven; and he will see the sky and the stars by night better than the sun or the light of the sun by day. Last of all he will be able to see the sun, and he will contemplate him as he is.
And when he remembered his old habitation, and the wisdom of the cave and his fellow-prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change, and pity them? And if they were in the habit of conferring honors among themselves on those who were quickest to observe the passing shadows and who were therefore best able to draw conclusions as to the future, do you think that he would care for such honors and glories, or envy the possessors of them? Would he not say with Homer, "Better to be the poor servant of a poor master, and to endure anything, rather than think as they do and live after their manner."
Imagine 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?
... And if and he had to compete in measuring the shadows with the prisoners who had never moved out of the cave, while his sight was still weak, would he not be ridiculous? Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes; and that it was better not even to think of ascending; and if any one tried to loose another and lead him up to the light, let them only catch the offender, and they would put him to death."
- The gods are not what we were told they are!
(Song: Revolution by Spacemen 3)