Posted by Sophie | Posted in 'Philosophy', Religion | Posted on 26-01-2010
Have you ever noticed how life gets in the way of ‘life’?
Plato had his ‘ideal’ and visual realms and, to illustrate, he used not rabbits but horses, i.e. he distinguished between the fixed idea or form of a horse and its physical manifestations in our material world of change. For more on these two realms, see the new little animated clay version of Plato’s allegory of the cave here.
I worry that too often we feel inadequate for letting our ‘imperfect’ and dynamic real lives get in the way of our attempts at living our static concepts of an ‘ideal’ life, something which is not just unattainable but non-existent. The Christian pressure on us to live in the image of God (in fact, pressure to live a certain way in society in general) doesn’t exactly help us on this one. Of course I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to strive for excellence, but surely it’s perpetually guilt-inducing and plain wrong to believe that there is one perfect life-path which can be followed. After all, we’re only ‘shadows’ of the ideal human living in the ‘cave’ that is our own world. [Thanks to amazing company, food and wine in Brighton, NY for fuelling this post and others.]
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us – Joseph Campbell
P.S. I somehow just found the above t-shirt online – Plato’s cave- and bunny-related… my ideal t-shirt, so to speak.