What is Reality?
We believe that what we see and what we hear is always true.
A group of prisoners chained together in a cave, the way they unable to turn their head or any other parts of their body.
Behind the prisoners, there was a fire burning. The people who control the cave cast shadows of statues, images of animals and puppets from time to time. They make sounds of animals and birds that echos inside the cave.
The prisoners interpret those shadows and sounds made as to the reality of their life. They found the cave is their only known world.
One day a prisoner got released for the first time. He learns to stand up by himself, learn to move his hands & body and find his way out of the cave.
The shining sun that dazzles his eyes, the animals roaming, the birds chirping, the trees swaying in the wind and experiences his reflection on the water, and shadow of his own.
He sees the images projected in the cave exist in reality for the life and truth of everything. He wanders places found that the sun gives seasons for years and years and got a sense that the sun is the first principle of everything.
He learned about things and the way it works. He becomes wise and wiser. He got the knowledge and could able to understand everything.
He came back to the cave and tried to liberate other fellow prisoners, explains them their whole life believing that nothing they believe is true. He insists on coming out and seeing the reality.
At first, the comrades made fun of him and said that there is no such thing called reality. They said that cave is the utmost reality and felt resentful not to get out from the place. They also get offended for coming down and upsetting others conventional opinions about things. They looked at the person as a danger and killed by other comrades.
This analogy was written by Plato in his book - The Republic, back in 375 BC. Referring that Socrates was trying to educate people and was found guilty and executed in Athens for practising philosophy. It was written 20 years after Socrates death. The book covers the three concepts - Justice, truth and beauty.
Plato talks about the two worlds with this analogy. The cave and prison is the physical world, and the place outside the cave is the intellectual world. The world of ideas.
Plato thinks that mental reality is the world of ideas, and intelligence is more real than the material world. Where things used to change all the time.
We believe that what we see and what we hear is always true. He insists that there is always a greater reality and truth to be discovered all the time.
Seek for truth.