Sage Advice 49: Setting a Cave on Fire

I was recently brushing up on my Ancient Greek philosophy trivia when I came across Plato’s “I’m Like in a Cave or Something and Stuff is on Fire” analogy. It’s an intriguing thought; the idea of our knowledge of existence only being as deep as the shadows cast on a wall from a fire. It’s a shame that it’s complete bullshit. Not the philosophy behind it, but the historical understanding of the analogy’s origins.

Most people aren’t aware of this, but Plato was addicted to three things: fire, kitty-porn (not pornography of young people, but actual kitty-porn… like with cats), and caves. Aristotle, student of Plato, once noted Plato’s obsessions in a work that became lost to time and civilization… until now. I found it in my basement. It’s in good shape.

Anyway, Aristotle writes, “All he [Plato] does all day is jerk off to this weird stone tablet with pictures of cats on it. Seriously, man. Like the other day, I walked in on him while he was doing it, and he didn’t even stop. He wasn’t embarrassed or anything. He just nodded at me and kept going like it was absolutely nothing. I was like, “Dude, this isn’t even your room.” He was all, “I’m the teacher, bro. I do this where I wanna.” Now he has this thing where goes off into this cave out in the middle of nowhere and sets shit on fire. Then he comes back and starts yelling at me, telling me I gotta start writing down every word he says. It’s fucking nonsense, too! He goes on about shadows of our existence, and how we never get to experience the true reality or some bullshit. Then he said, seriously, he said these words exactly, “That’s why poets are fucking retarded.” I was like, dude, you write poetry, too. He called me a fag and flicked a rock at my head. I think I’m done working here.”

Plato. What an interesting fellow.


-Matthew Fugere

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