Actions

Work Header

The Cave

Work Text:

 

Suppose there is a cave full of prisoners, chained together and forced to face the wall. A fire goes on behind them but they cannot see it - only the shadows on the wall that the fire makes. They look at the shadows and decide that they are the reality of their world and began naming things after the shadows; “a tree! And that one is a book!”

But, suppose one day a prisoner, a young man, is freed from the shackles. He turns towards the light of the fire and is blinded. He becomes afraid to look at the light but eventually, his eyes get used to it. Determined to see what is outside, he stands and slowly makes his way out of the cave - he has been blinded again but once more his eyes adjust. He can now see the reality of the world now. All of the horrors and beauty that come with it.

The young man looks around and spends time in this True Reality, beginning to reason about it. He comes to the conclusion that this Reality is superior to the one in the cave.

He goes back to the cave and begins talking to the prisoners there. He tells them of the Reality beyond the Cave and that it is much better than living in the cave.

The prisoners do not believe him. They laugh and jeer. 

“What are you talking about brother? After all, there is nothing more than the Cave.”

--

Suppose there is a cave full of prisoners, chained together and forced to face the wall. A fire goes on behind them but they cannot see it - only the shadows on the wall that the fire makes. They look at the shadows and decide that they are the reality of their world and began naming things after the shadows; “an apple! And a flower!”

But one day a prisoner is freed from his shackles. The young man, being a curious sort, turns towards the fire. Despite being blinded by the sudden light he continued and went on towards the mouth of the cave to the outside world. He shields himself from the light at first, if only to stop the pain of his eyes adjusting. But, once, he opens them again and looks up - looks into the world of True Reality.

The young man wanders about, exploring this new world. He begins to compare this world to the one he knew previously, back in the cave. He comes to the conclusion that this reality may be better than the one in the cave, (mostly due to the fact that the young man had the Freedom to do things on his own now) but he cannot face the horrors alone even in this beautiful world.
He makes his way back to the cave and begins talking to the prisoners there. Trying to reason with them, convince them that the cave is devoid of freedom and any value comparable to the True Reality he had seen.

The prisoners just laughed.

“Come now, friend. Do not be stupid. There’s nothing more than the Cave.”

--

Suppose there is a cave full of prisoners, chained together and forced to face the wall. A fire goes on behind them but they cannot see it - only the shadows on the wall that the fire makes. They look at the shadows and decide that they are the reality of their world and began naming things after the shadows; “look, a shark! And that over there is a crow!”

A young man is freed from his shackles. He turns towards the flames that created the shadows he grew up with and was momentarily blinded by them. The young man becomes afraid and turns to his best friend to come with him, explore what the cave may lead to. She agrees and he helps her take off the chains that had bound her and the two friends set off to explore the rest of the cave. They both make it to the outside and while they are afraid of the sudden light that is plaguing them, together they manage to be strong and persevere.

As they wander about this True Reality, the two friends see many, many horrible and awful things - but at the same time see many amazing and wonderful things. Unfortunately, very little of what the young woman observes seem to be good - to her, it is all theft, rape, murder, and everything bad one could think of. The young woman gets scared and tells the young man she wants to go back; she wants to go home. The young man protests, saying that he can see good things in this world as well - and besides, he won’t be able to be by himself in this world. He wants his freedom, but he can’t take it alone, he says.

His friend just tells him she can’t take it at all and subsequently flees to go back into the cave. The young man stands alone as she leaves him, suddenly afraid and uncertain of what he should do. Eventually, he makes it back to the cave himself, deciding that regardless of the freedom he desperately wanted he was unable to bear the stress of the True Reality. He finds his friend with the shackles very loosely binding her, (were they even locked?) nursing a bottle of alcohol.

He requests that she return to the surface with him, but it was okay if she declined. She frowns at him, her expression sleepy and confused.

“Was leaving the cave really worth it?”

--

Suppose there is a cave full of prisoners, chained together and forced to face the wall. A fire goes on behind them but they cannot see it - only the shadows on the wall that the fire makes. They look at the shadows and decide that they are the reality of their world and began naming things after the shadows; “hey, a fox! And a sword!”

However, let’s say that a young man is freed. He turns towards the fire that had roared behind him his entire life and he freezes - the young man is scared. But despite his fears, he pushes on, forcing himself to go past the fire. He makes it to the mouth of the cave where the sunlight was pouring in. He stared into the True Reality he was finally witnessing, despite the light burning his eyes.
The young man, as he stays in this new world, observes all sorts of things. Some horrible, some amazing, all of them very new and real. He thinks about this world and compares it to the one he had known before. He decides that while this world is better, though perhaps not by much, he is unable to face all of the awful things he had seen all on his own.

He made his way back to the cave, to his friends and family. The young man tells them of the True Reality - all of its horrors and beauty in full. He asks them what they think, would they go back with him?

His best friend leans towards him, smiling. She let out a chuckle and the young man could smell the alcohol on her breath as she spoke.

“Come on, let’s be real here. We have all we need in the Cave. We’re happy, aren’t we?”

She was lying.