Plato discusses many ideas and theories in his book “The Republic.” When reading Plato’s philosophies on various things in life including that all humans are innately evil or that we are blinded to how life really is, one tends to wonder if Plato’s theories can be applied to life. One article I have written addresses that question on whether or not the Allegory of The Cave could be applied to things in this society. The fact of the matter is that the Allegory of the Cave can be applied today and used in some support groups and help people overcome some obstacles they have to overcome throughout life, from an abusive past to an addictive behavior.
Many people who have been abused in any way has a certain outlook on life and how life is like. They see things in the way they were when they were abused. Mental abuse victims seem the world according to what was told them whether it was “no one will love you,” “you are worthless,” and many more. They go about life thinking that and not expecting anymore from those around them other than being worthless and useless to those who truly love them. Physical abuse and sexual abuse victims see life as something that could hurt them and take advantage of their knowledge, body, or anything else. They tend to shy away from any physical contact for fear that it would be like before.
While abuse victims get out of that abusive situation they need to learn the meaning of things once more like those who broke away from the wall in Plato’s theory. It would be as if they are beginning their lives all over again and have re-learn basically everything life has to offer. They have to learn how to act and react to different situations and different people.
Those with addictions are living in a completely different world. The way they view things is completely different from those of us who aren’t under the control of an addiction. The wall that they are chained to is exactly that, their addiction no matter what it could be. The world to those under addictions is skewed and not what it truly is. The scope of their vision is basically based on when, where, and how they can get their next fix. They are used to a certain state of mind thinking things are one way when in reality they aren’t. Addictions clouds your thoughts and ideas on things the way Plato describes the shadows on the wall.
Once a person breaks free from the chains of addictions it as if they are seeing the world anew. They see things they never seen before, and see how things truly are without the cloud of addiction. They have to relearn things and how to live their life without the drug or whatever it is that the person is addicted to. They have to learn what life is like outside of addictions. Sometimes learning life over again seems scary and people want to hide back in the chains that once held them. They allow the other people chained to the walls to call them back and show them the “safety” they may find from being chained to the wall.
Abusive pasts and addictive behaviors are two of the most common of “chains” a person may have in their lives that they need to break free from. There are so many things we need to break from in our lives and Plato knew that. His allegory of the cave was discussing exactly these things: depression, past fears, addiction; even if they may or may not have been a part of a person’s life in the time that he had written about it. Plato knew what the world held and possibly what could become of it. His theories aren’t irrelevant, but hold true still today. Pick up a book read, think, decide for yourself form your own ideas and see where they could lead you.