Plato's cave in the modern world.
Since I heard this story, around 7 years ago when my brother was reading a philosophy book, I always carry the story with me, like a ghost that follows me everywhere.
Plato's cave is a tale where a group of three men are tied inside a cave and can only see a wall. Behind them, there is a group of people and behind the people a fire pit, the people are holding silhouettes that project shades into the wall the men are seeing, something along the lines of the next image.
Once the men are released, they turn their heads and realize that their ideas were wrong, they see the real objects, and that the silhouettes were just a perception through the walls.
I think there are different levels where you can use this:
What you have learned through books, videos, TikTok, Youtube might be just silhouettes
I’m a big fan of books, and I always say TikTok’s are the books from our generation. In Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius, he states:
Stop wasting your time going through books, and rather enjoy the present
Have you ever taught that some books might be a waste of time? I have… In the same way, you can enter TikTok and trigger the algorithm to show you only videos of cats and people dancing, on the other side you can follow accounts that give you short explanations about science, math, and philosophy, and at least learn something different.
In the future, someone will be looking at Youtube, TikTok, and Podcasts. And he will think, Wow is that how society was in 2021?. Because we are projecting our figures through the firepit of a camera to the internet, we are showing a future generation how the world looks like in our current generation.
Be conscious and sit down in a quiet room meditating about what you just saw in digital media and think about its source if it’s true or if it’s just a silhouette.
What circles of people are you surrounding yourself with.
You know how the saying goes, you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, the people around you, in a way they are projecting figures to a wall for you, when you talk with them, the way they express and the things they talk about are giving you an idea of how the world should be.
In the end, you can be whatever you want, but I have found that if you want to change your life to a certain place, you can do it really easily by hanging out with people that are on that same path. There is something magical about that, maybe in the form of energy that generates through your interactions with them, but you start to act like the people you are surrounded by, so choose carefully.
What we perceive of the world is just a representation of our senses:
This is the deeper level I think… Sight, smell, hearing, taste, touch… This is everything you have to understand your surroundings, at any given moment your brain is processing your world with these 5 senses, in a way these are your silhouettes they are telling you how things are supposed to be, and I can’t even tell how you can figure out if these are right or wrong, I think they just are, leave them be…
Everything could be a cave, that’s the funny thing, you can only aim to be as awake as possible and enjoy the very present moment, that’s the only way you can manage to question it and to realize if it is only a silhouette. Once you learn something, go through the experience of actually practicing it, that way you can figure out your silhouettes.