Did you ever feel like saying “stop tugging on me!”? I feel that way a lot. I always have. The minute I think I have something figured out…and I have polished it and labeled it and are about to put it in my trophy cabinet…someone tugs on my arm and it leaps out of my hands and falls to the floor, breaking into a million pieces.
Wasn’t it Plato that had some theory about shadows on a cave wall? I used to read a lot of that stuff. I was studying to be a philosopher, till I found that there really isn’t that big of a demand for them. Anyway, I took his allegory personally. I began to see that a two-dimensional world (or 3 or 4 or 5) was merely a projection of what is behind us…if we have the good sense to just turn around in our chairs and look.
I tried to apply that to everyday life…as I think is the intent of philosophy. And by-golly it worked.
We are shown many things “two-dimensionally” that we are assuming is the real deal. We are seeing a lot of shadows being intentionally projected on a wall. This much I have figured out(and it is shining and labeled and locked away). Things aren’t what they seem. Maybe this is merely stating the obvious, but…
Without venturing into paranoia, I am listlessly glancing at the wall now and then, to see the pretty, neat and flat images…like looking at star constellations from one point of view and thinking how real these images look…of a dipper, or a warrior. Knowing all the time that the points in these pictures have another dimension of depth and only appear to be these figures because of where I stand. That’s important, I think. It is so important where you stand, or sit as you watch the show.
You can do interesting things with shadows. And the PTB have long since realized this. There are a lot of “directors” out there.
When I see one version of an event on film, I know that there is another one being filmed at the same exact time that tells a completely different tale. The importance is the “message” that those filming the event want to convey. Maybe McLuhan was deeper than I thought.
So when you see an image…a shadow on the wall…ALWAYS turn around and look at the fire and the puppets that are being directed. Pay little attention to the play of light dancing before your eyes while you are comfortably facing the way the directors of all this wants you to. You can spend your entire little lives watching this shadow-play. But you also have the working muscles in your body to turn around in your chairs to see the reality behind you. It’s a different world.