Each of us lives within the prison of his own brain

Published September 5, 2014 by imagine525

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In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, he describes a world where prisoners live chained in a cave. The puppeteers cast shadows on the wall and these shadows construct a reality for the prisoners. One of the prisoners finally breaks free, and leaves the cave. At first, he is blinded by the sun and apprehensive about the new world. The shadows in the cave had always seemed so real to him. After he spent some time in this “new world”, he realizes that his entire existence has been controlled by others and he now knows the truth.
This is the link is showing that our perceptual worlds are different from the physical world. So, then our sensory fibers provide our only links to the outside world. What we think is true, is true to us. When I look at a cloud and I see a flower, how can someone else look at the same cloud and see a dog? Its because we all perceive things differently. When I see a flower in the clouds, it is to me. And when someone else looks at the same cloud and sees a dog, it is, to them.
This allegory is asking us if we live in a cave where reality is constructed by someone else. Is our world, now vs. then, more transparent? I would have to say that this allegory still exists. Many people still discuss this allegory, and many other people feel the same way. The reason this is, is because we are hid more from the truth then they ever were back then.
An example from todays time, for me, would have to be the people and the government. We the people are like the prisoners, and the government are the puppeteers. The government controls our life and how we act, unless we break free and walk out of the cave. Once we break free, we can see the truth, or even more the lies, depending on how badly we were being controlled. If we live our lives, like everything is the truth, we will be locked in the cave until the day we die. Plato said that the light was very blinding, because the truth is very shocking to see.
Then, other people have also explored this topic. A poem, To Althea from Prison, by Richard Lovelace (1618-1658) states that “Stone walls do not a prison make…” Then in Christopher Marlowe’s “Dr. Faustus” (16th century), he states “Hell isn’t just a metaphysical location but also a state of mind…” If you google “Each of us lives within the prisons of his own mind”, you can find many quotes that use the same type of reference. “Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own mind”, Franklin D. Roosevelt said that statement, and another by Carlos Santana stated that “most people are prisoners, thinking only about the future or living in the past. They are not in the present, and the present is where everything happens”.
So, you see, this allegory can never go away. This is true, because this happens with our thoughts. We, as human individuals become trapped in our own thought. We are always thinking about the past, present, or even future. As a result we miss the present. And even if our thought don’t have us trapped, we will always see something, and experience something different then the person right next to us.



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