The Nature of Reality: Are We Truly Stuck in Plato's Cave?

What is the nature of reality?

Plato theorized in his Allegory of the Cave that what we perceive as reality is something not unlike shadows dancing on the walls of our mind. However, the shadows aren’t real—no matter how true they may appear, they are merely flawed reflections. They are echoes of of unseen objects.

This is the world of mystery in which we truly live.

Our human predicament couldn't be anything other than this—we are limited by our senses, and in so doing, we are also deceived by our mind’s translation of them.

Watch this short TED video for a brief animated explanation of Plato’s Cave:

There’s no denying it, we are limited by our beliefs.

However we perceive the world, becomes our world. That which we are unaware of, in our minds, doesn't exist.

This illusion, in which we are all immersed, is also the source of all our knowledge. For example, we may think that something is round, that another thing is square, that this thing is long, and that thing is short—but this so-called knowledge is short-sighted. It is not the truth, it is only a reflection of what is real.

We will forever be unable to see reality from all of its infinite sides, therefore, our point of view will forever be limited, and any conclusions we make will be false.

The truth-realized person however, sees the world of shadows for what it truly is—illusions of mind. The person who awakens from this dream of self realizes however that nothing should be taken too seriously, as what we’re perceiving isn’t entirely real.

We cannot be completely immune to these illusions, what we see is what we get, but we can endeavour to see straight through them. And once we are able to through the false shadows of our perception, they no longer have a hold on us, and we break free from the linguistic concepts that bind us to the dualistic world of form.

So… what’s a person to do?

Trust nothing and question everything—begin with all of your beliefs. See them for the shadows of perception that they are.