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Is material reality only a shadow?

Plato by Raphael


“Life is but a shadowy reflection of reality,” claims Zorra, a university professor here. Zorra explained the philosophy of Plato yesterday evening to a group of students and visitors. He used a vivid allegory depicting prisoners chained together in a cave, while a fire behind them throws shadows upon the wall in front of them. They cannot turn their heads, and all they can see are the shadows. Meanwhile, a parade of people go by behind them, their shadows cast upon the cave wall. The reality of the parade is not known to the prisoners, all they can view are the shadowy reflections thrown upon the wall. “This is like the human condition. What we believe to be reality is only a shadow of ultimate reality,” said Zorra.

The talk was translated by a visiting Jewish scribe and scholar. Although he offered no ideas during Zorra’s talk, a reporter asked the scribe what his opinion was of the theory. Replied the Jew: “Single-eyed material scientists or single-eyed spiritual mystics and allegorists cannot correctly visualize and adequately comprehend the true depths of universe reality. All true values of creature experience are concealed in depth of recognition. The eye of the material mind perceives a world of factual knowledge; the eye of the spiritualized intellect discerns a world of true values. These two views, synchronized and harmonized, reveal the world of reality, wherein wisdom interprets the phenomena of the universe in terms of progressive personal experience.” When asked about this comment, Zorra requested a copy of the Jew’s statement to study. The mysterious Jewish interpreter has left Alexandria for Crete.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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