Two Caves That Bookend Reality: From Plato To Campbell

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imagePlato’s Allegory of the Cave is well known by many people: inside this cave, people stand chained and facing a blank wall. On the wall they can see shadows projected of things, illuminated┬áby a fire behind them. The shadows become the only things they know, and so they name these shadows as the frightening figures in their known reality. They give form to their worst fears.

Plato uses this allegory to suggest it is the philosopher who is able to walk unchained from the cave and see these things for what they are, and in doing so make sense of reality.

Perhaps Joseph Campbell was suggesting that Plato didn’t go far enough by suggesting that the true Hero must venture further in their epic quest to find the rewards of reality. Campbell suggested that people must re-enter the cave, but not that same cave they once came from, not the cave of bondage.

Here is how Campbell is quoted:

The cave we fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

So let me ask you, where are you on this line between the two caves? Chained and frightened into submission of what society would have you think, free and exploring the reality of this wonderful world around us, or perhaps avoiding your quest to enter the cave which holds the treasure you seek?

Decide to be bold today. Now is the time to take that epic journey. Don’t hesitate a moment longer.


3 thoughts on “Two Caves That Bookend Reality: From Plato To Campbell

    pengenie said:
    March 10, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Oh I love this! Provocative and a good challenge to just consider it with honesty then don your caving gear!

      Pathfinder responded:
      March 10, 2015 at 10:49 am

      The great thing is you chose where you want to go caving! Plato also had a warning for those who would want to return to the cave from whence they began: beware – those inside will fear you have been blinded by the world outside seeing you squinting as you return to the darkness, and then attempt to kill you rather than be dragged out of a confort zone marked by mediocrity. My advice: follow your bliss to that cave with your name on it. Take courage and go peek inside!

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