Plato's Republic and Modern Politics

Topics: Meaning of life, Human, Existentialism Pages: 7 (3104 words) Published: September 28, 2010
Whence comes life, the most sacred and holy? Whence and how enters life into dust? And, whence does the dust become aware of life and life of dust? Mind, Body and Spirit! Each houses, nourishes and complements the other in such ways that perhaps only silence may be an adequate response as to why it is so. Such may be the path of the wise, but not those who are still journeying towards wisdom. Hence, as each desire to discover what it and others are, it sets out on a journey knowing not to where it may go and what it may find. Mind, Body and Spirit, each desire to know with the knowledge that it knows not. And, this simply adds to the mystery! Such is the beginning, the middle and the end. But let us be more human in our expression!!!

One of the most important allegories ever to be gifted to humankind is Allegory of the Cave. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is one of the most potent and pregnant of allegories that describe human condition in both its fallen and risen states. That is, the human existence in its most profound and profane states. As there is a wonderful Islamic saying that parallels this: “the human being can ascend to such heights that even the angels will become jealous of him or will descend to such realms that even the devil flees from him.” Equally important, one can also find within the allegory social, political, philosophical, moral, ethical, and spiritual elements. So flexible and workable is this allegory that the more one puts in, the more one can take out. And, perhaps Nietzsche was right in his suggestion that there are no facts but only interpretations. After all, how could there be anything but interpretation given the existence of variety of temperaments and personalities and life experiences? There is much wisdom contained in this statement, “There are no facts, but only interpretations,” and one could even argue that perhaps Nietzsche himself was unaware of the depth and the power of his own insight. We all have different personalities and temperaments. Some are extroverts and some introverts, some are intellectuals and some are emotional and feeling types, some are born into princely and some into impoverished social, moral and economic environments. Due to the vastly different psychological, emotional and intellectual capacities existing in every person, some have a more penetrating insight into the nature of existence than others. All these mentioned elements have profound contribution in how we see, experience and interpret ourselves and the world in which we live. In the end, the only thing that perhaps remains is the acknowledgement that there are vast inward and outward differences that exists amongst mortals. It is these differences that produce not facts of the different realms of existence but only interpretation, since it is the capacity of each person that shapes the theme and the storyline of each experience. The collection and the unification of those experiences create our worldview. Hence, one could inject and insert one’s own experiences and one’s interpretation of the allegory would still be valid. This said, what is to follow is but a humble interpretation of the Allegory of the Cave. The human being can either live within the Cave or outside of it. The Allegory of the Cave is about the existence of two worlds or experiences. It is about two radically different states of consciousnesses and awareness, or two radically different life perspectives. The “cave” or “cavic existence” is the physical and the sensible world. It is a world in which there is no permanence, no stability, no constancy and no security. It is the ever-changing world of Maya or illusion that one takes as the real and the absurdity of human condition is about when man begins to search for permanence and security in a realm whose fruit is anything but permanence and security. What every human being yearns for and longs: happiness, comfort, contentment and their stability and constancy can never be attained...
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