Plato's Allegory of the Cave
Plato's allegory of the cave goes something like this. There are a group of human beings who from childhood have been chained in place before a wall
in a cave with a fire behind them, and light beaming in from the outside. The chains which shackle them keep them from turning to look at the fire. As
things go on behind these men and as they age they begin to name the shadows that are cast on the wall before them. Imagine now that one of the men is
loosed, and goes onto to approach the light. As he ventures out into the world he is blasted with light for the first time. As his eyes adjust he will
come to recognize at first the shadows as those were before this the truth of his reality, after this he will begin to recognize reflections, then his
attention may turn to the objects themselves, and after all of this to the sun which illuminates his vision. Plato has us imagine that this man is
then returned to the dwelling from which he came. As his eyes adjust to the darkness he cannot see the shadows as well as his brethren who have never
seen the light, and thus from this they conclude that the man has lost his eye sight, and so it's better not venture towards the light from which he
came, and if any should loose the other they should be put to death.
After expressing this allegory we see Socrates tell Glaucon that he will not misunderstand him if he interprets the prison house as the world of
sight, and the journey out into the world as the souls ascent into the intellectual realm. The man slowly adjusting to the light is explained to be
our experience of degrees of understanding and gaining better and better understanding of what we are experiencing this to Socrates indicates that the
Good is the highest idea within the realm of knowledge as he interprets the degrees of understanding we experience to be adjusting better to the light
and thus comprehending your reality to a greater degree. A man may have no knowledge of squares, but another may teach him of points, lines, angles,
dimensions, and as he learns these things and how the relate to squares his "eyes" adjust better and better to the understanding of what a square
is. Truth is revealed in degrees as one learns of the nature of objects in the world of sight.
In the beginning was the Logos/Tao, and the Logos/Tao was with God, and the Logos/Tao was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were
made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the
darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. - John 1
My teachings are very easy to understand and to practice: yet there is no one in the world who is able either to understand or to practice them. This
is because my teachings have an originating principle and arise from an integrated system. This is not understood, so I am unknown. - Lao Tzu
Of the Logos, which is as I describe it, people always prove to be uncomprehending both before and after they have heard of it. For although all
things happen according to this Logos, people behave as if they have no experience, even when they experience such words and deeds as I explain, when
I distinguish each thing according to it's constitution and declare how it is. The rest of humanity fails to notice what they do after they wake up
just as they forget what they do when asleep - Heraclitus
All things have a logos, a way of being. A principle that defines what it is to be both what they are, and which one they are. Philosophers often call
what something is forms, universals, substance, nature, or even category, while which one a thing is might be called a particular, instance,
individual, or person. There is both a logos for the generality of human nature, and for each individual human. A logos for gold and each individual
atom of gold all summed up in the Logos of God.
John begins by calling to mind the notion of the Logos. As we see it is through the ordering principle of God that was with God in the beginning that
all things are said to be made. John goes onto tell us that the Logos is the light and life of men. As we think about this from John's perspective we
must understand that there is no tension between the noetic world and what we experience with our senses, but rather that they operate in harmony.
When he refers to light he is talking about the "light" of our intellect that is there to reveal to us the patterns and archetypes of our
experience, the many logoi(plural of logos) centered in the one Logos. As John goes on to explain even though this light shines to the intellect of
man, we do not grasp or comprehend the experience. What we need to take note of here is the notion of using light and dark to refer to this noetic
"light" that shows to us the things that are hidden that we may begin to navigate our reality. Truth itself is immanent within the world, and it to
has a logos. You see truth is a person, and just as any human person must reveal who they are to you through relationship, so to must the truth reveal
itself to you relationship. It is because of this relationship that man can begin to know truth at all .
Nature, Person, Will, Energy/Act. It is imperative when studying Christian theology that one keep in mind the distinctions between these things.
Though they are all distinct, they are not necessarily separated from one another. Nature answers the question what is? Person answers which one or
who is it? Will refers to it's capacity to act in an environment, and Act or Energy answers what is that they are doing?
John 1 goes on to explain to us that the word becomes flesh. This is taken to mean that the Logos of God who was with God in the beginning, and who
was God by nature, took the nature of humanity into his Person. So note, human nature is what God became. Will is proper to nature. Put more simply,
what you are determines the types of things you're capable of doing. Since the Divine Person of the Logos took on human nature, the Logos could then
act both in his capacity as God and as a human. It's imperative to understand that the there is only one person found in Christ and that is the
divine person of the Logos from John 1. Christ has thus affected all of humanity as all humans share in the human nature that was taken into himself,
and rose again with him on the third day. Christ and his death is the only basis for the resurrection of the dead as John 5 says "Do not be amazed at
this, for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out— those who have done good to the resurrection of
life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment."