The Cave

While there are so many downsides to the “new normal” that we are going through, there are many upsides to it as well. Finding new ways to pass the time is almost a creative challenge everyday with so many limitations to what we can do.

Revisiting old thoughts, writings and discussions among other things have become something I’ve begun to enjoy doing over the past few days. History of both the now and the personal and of the ancient and the impersonal is always a fascinating journey inwards and outward.

One such discussion that I was able to recall was about “the allegory of the cave” by Plato, the Greek philosopher. Upon contemplation, to me it seemed, that the theories that he expressed is still as relevant as ever, in relation to the current events of the world.

For those that don’t know about the theory of the cave I found this in-depth summary: https://www.philosophyzer.com/the-allegory-of-the-cave-by-plato-summary-and-meaning/

In my opinion to put it in the simplest of terms, the theory posits that one should not only rely on your own sensory inputs for knowledge and truth of the world. One should also explore and understand how the universe works through contemplation and reading of what others have put forward as well.

For is life worth living if we don’t take a moment to understand the universe and why we are here in this time and space?

Aponia

Our coping mechanisms help us survive in times of strife and sickness. This is all the more relevant now that the world is stricken by a pandemic. The new normal being that we are confined inside walls of a place that we have been calling home.

But what is home? Is it the confines of our current solitary existence? Or is it the gentle breeze of the ocean on our faces while we bask in the sun’s rays? Home in my humble opinion is wherever we yearn for.

But I digress. In times like these it’s important to look back on the ideas that’s been left to us to help us cope going forward. To maintain the bonds that we created in the months and years before and to achieve at the very least a momentary state of happiness and self-love.

Epicureanism (named after the philosopher Epicurus), though a hedonistic and materialist perception of the world, its advocacy for a simple life as well as the concept that the absence of pain and fear creates the greatest pleasure (known as Aponia) sets it apart. Ultimately an idea worth pondering over.

Don’t fear god,
Don’t worry about death;
What is good is easy to get, and
What is terrible is easy to endure.

Philodemus, Herculaneum Papyrus, 1005, 4.9–14