The Shadows of Reality
We are like the people in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.” The people chained to the cave were forced to look at projections and shadows that were cast upon the wall. Because the shadows were the only thing they had seen, they perceived them to be the “truth”. Today our “shadows” have become the media, death, and pain which influence what we believe to be “truth.” The media, death, and pain are fairly common in today’s world and we encounter them often enough. Very few have reached the real “reality” ruled by thought and reason. Life is a struggle in which achieving enlightenment and seeing “reality” is the goal. We have a biased outlook on life because we are imperfect. Our notion of reality is distorted from the shroud of ignorance that surrounds us.
Most of our information about current events comes from the media. The newspapers along with the television news and radio stations publish their own take on events to the general public. Their ideas are formed mostly to benefit their sponsors and colossal corporations. The general public in turn shapes an idea off of the tainted ideas of the media. We either understand what they publish as the truth which is the more likely case or disbelieve it completely. For example, one article from the associated press states that “2012 the year the cosmic clock finally winds down to zero days.” Because of this statement and many others like it, the "Curious? Ask an Astronomer" Web site is getting emails from fourth graders saying that they are “too young to die.” Meanwhile Mayans near the Yucatan peninsula think that the idea of the world ending is ridiculous and have more “real problems like rain to worry about.” Television news is another example of propaganda. We have no way of knowing whether the stories they report are fact or part fiction, just like in Pastwatch. Diko’s group along with most of the other people in the world thought that the Amazon was restored because of short broadcasts that showed “thick growth of the rainforest” (pg 234.) The truth was that most of the area along the Amazon River was “stony ground growing almost nothing” (pg 234). Radio talk shows were mostly in favor of the Iraq war. This resulted in both sides of the issue becoming segregated and two separate groups forming and calling each other names. Going to war was a “shadow” we mistook for “truth.” But, without personally viewing events presented by the media, it is close to impossible to discern fact from fiction. However, media is not the only shadow that blinds us.
We are often blinded by death. We don’t want to believe that a certain person is a murderer; we believe that we can’t live without a certain person who died; sometimes we can’t accept that a loved one died over seas at war, they must be missing, not dead. You hear about murder victims all the time. We feel sorrow for the victim’s family, but we don’t realize that the murderer also has family in pain. That murderer has a mother or...