I've never seen THAT before...is it really there?

"He would be unable to see them, at least at first."

For me, this phrase demonstrates how time influences the ability to discern the unknown. While reading this I thought of something that I’d heard before: when European ships approached the horizon of the New World, the people already on land could not actually see the ships for some time, as their minds did not have the ability to comprehend what was there. This concept is a powerful one. Could there in fact be an entire world co-existing within ours that we have merely yet to get our brains around? In "The Allegory of the Cave" this tidbit came back to me. An individual brought from darkness into light would slowly adjust to a new environment, or to new objects, allowing for knowledge to evolve as the brain became capable of putting shapes together in new ways. As is stated in this work: "Education takes for granted that sight is there [...] and tries to redirect it appropriately." Over time, what is not seen may be seen, and the unknown known.

Plato: “The Allegory of the Cave” from Book VII of The Republic (360 BC), Tr. G. M. A. Grube, rev. C. D. C. Reeve. Pp. 1132-1155. In: Plato: Complete Works. Ed. John M. Cooper. Assc. Ed. D. S. Hutchinson. Indianapolis, IN / Cambridge, UK: Hackett Publishing, 1997.


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