Plato’s Cave


From Quora  Question: ‘Can we step out of Plato’s Cave?’

 

X  As I remember, Plato spoke of the few that escaped into the bright light of day, becoming (at least temporarily?) blinded. That, by itself, has to have some (metaphorical) meaning. But if the question is rhetorical, the answer is a conditional ‘Yes’ — by leading the life of a philosopher (‘lover of wisdom’), following the path of philosophy. That is a lifelong process or journey, in Plato’s terms.

Y  Plato mistakenly thought we could get a Truth by purely mental means and a priori principles.   Not so.  We have to look at, touch, feel, smell, taste and handle reality.

X  Sorry to disagree. First, we don’t know what were his oral doctrines to selected disciples (the 7th letter says something in that regard, while putting down the written word). Second, his ontology was non-dualist rather than a scalar one: all the lower steps or stages being incorporated stepwise in the higher ones, till getting at the Good as a first principle (supreme arché) – each step or degree of being a reflection of the one above. This would result in contemplation of a unity or oneness – one reality. When Socrates spoke of Diotima, his mentor, he did so reverently and reservedly, signifying or suggesting something secret – a spiritual transmission (one might Google: Plato’s secret doctrines, which I have not done).

 

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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