In Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” Socrates describes a man who has been imprisoned in a cave. He sees only shadows and he believes these shadows are reality. When he is freed, the man is at first blinded by the bright sun. It hurts his eyes and he wants to go back to the cave. But he gradually adjusts and of course recognizes that his life in the cave was a life of shadows and darkness. Socrates sums up the point of this symbolic story, saying that “the prison-house is the world of sight, the light of the fire is the sun, and…the journey upwards…the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world.”
If you’re interested, you can read the full allegory for yourself here or you can watch this fun claymation adaption.
Using the “Allegory” as your inspiration, describe a time that you were dragged into the light. That is, did you ever take something to be true which you later discovered to be false? Would you have preferred never to have learned the truth? Can learning be a form of loss?
And, finally, perhaps you might consider whether or not the processes of enlightenment, disillusionment, and learning always have to be somewhat painful?