The following Q&A was spurred by questions asked in a Humanities class in response to reading Plato's Allegory of the Cave. This is the great Gift of eductation...that it makes one look at what they think, feel, believe. They take in information and process it through the filters of their upbringing and of those that they have looked up to. Ultimately though, all those things must be, in a sense, by passed or Seen through, to know who one actually IS.
1. If Plato is right that the material world is an illusion, how would too great a reliance on materialism effect ethical decisions?
First, take out the “if” and just assume that he is right and you, the one reading this are wrong.
“If” is the doubt, the holding on to the darkness. It is the finger in the wound.
If you are automatically assuming he is possibly wrong then there is no way to reveal to you, that you are. “
"You” think you are real, if you didn’t you wouldn’t be reading this. This isn’t to underestimate the power of the mind and the belief in illusion, this is to reveal the power of the mind and belief in illusion.
Materialism and ethics are secondary, you need not be concerned with either. Let the attention be on the Light that one is IN. It is not out there for you to find, it is silently waiting in you, you are IN it and all it takes is a slight shift in perception/attention onto That which you are IN.
It is not about looking for it, because you cannot find what you are in, you actually stop looking for it and KNOW that you are in IT without proof.
It is just like looking at the illusion to prove it is not an illusion.
Just stop looking for proof and relax into what you have always been in, what Plato was in, what Socrates was in and what you are In. Then it does not matter about the illusion or materialism or ethics.
2. How does the allegory of the prisoners in the cave watching shadows on a wall relate to us today? What shadows do we see, and how do they distort our sense of what is real?
If you can imagine that you are a film projector (not you actually but the body is a film projector) then this might be easy to see.
You have misidentified yourself as the film projector (the body) and not what comes through the projector to make the shadows, which is Light. You are the light which comes through, but your attention has been on the projector and the film (life playing out before you). But you are not the projector (illusion) or the film (illusion) you are the LIGHT that comes through, so all one need do in any situation where they think illusion is real, is to put the attention back onto the LIGHT.
3. To what extent are people today like (or unlike) the figures in the cave? To what extent is the world we know like the cave?
Do not worry about the world, it doesn’t need your help. There is nothing that can be or should be done about the world because it is projected onto a screen of something that has already been written, place the attention on what is often overlooked, place the attention on what is animating the film in front of your eyes, that is animating the body, making things appear before you.
One gets lost in the movie because it is such a good movie, it has everything one could ever want in it, all kinds of drama, love, hate, peace, war, you get friends and foes and family and you get to dream in the dream and fly planes and drive cars and write letters and email and get sickness and death and birth and you get anything that can be imagined, however, first place the attention on what all of this comes from, without the LIGHT none of it could be seen.
The shadows are what is placed on the LIGHT to have an experience of reality, just like any photographer knows that it needs certain shadows and shadings to get a picture to come out the way they would like it to appear. This is how it is with shadows, when the clouds cover the sun … the sun does not disappear it is just covered over…this is how it is with YOU…you are the LIGHT and have mistaken yourself for the clouds, but the clouds appear in YOU.
Just like all the characters you had in your dream last night appeared for you to interact with and then when you woke up they were gone, this is how it is with life, everyone is appearing for you to play with, but to begin to See this, you must first Know who You Are.
And ... the only way to Know Who You Are, is to begin to place your attention on the Light that you are IN.
Don’t ask how to do this, begin by asking “who?” Who am I? All how and why questions, are a distraction, when you begin to place the attention on the Light that you are In and questions come up about how can this be or why, don’t look for an answer.
You don’t have to search for who you are < -- can you see the futility of that? How can one search for who they are, wouldn’t they overlook who they are just by searching, you Are who you Are, stop looking and pay attention to what you are In.
Use all things that come to you to push you back into the question of Who Am I? and then place the attention on the LIGHT, that which doesn’t move, that which cannot be described even though LIGHT is used as a description it is not that, but it is close enough to use to describe that you have misidentified yourself with something in the world and not what the world is IN.
This is actually a very joyous event, once one gives up trying to understand it (doubt) and just accepts that it IS.
You are already Awake and Aware of yourSelf. SMILE into the Dream, it is all for you.