This world is like Plato’s cave where we all are prisoners of our own unchanging behavior, of our own selections. Where butter, bread, health, education, shelter, and security seems an illusion, until we do not break the chains of belief system.
By Shahid Hussain
Realities will set you free but before this they will badly torture you. Mahatma Buddha says, “Entire human sufferings are the result of truth.” Here he talks about mental suffering because pain is physical, and suffering is mental. That mental suffering is the result of our unchanging behavior while the change is the outcome of changing human behavior. Self-emancipation does not come by luck, but is a result of our behaviors, and our behaviors are our own selection therefore emancipation is our own choice, not accidental. Life is not a pre- supposed movie that you may know before what is going to happen in next scene.
Like Plato’s cave prisoners, we suffer due to belief system and that belief system is our unchanging behavior, inhabitant lifestyle. We all are the prisoners of lie that we never confess on our blunders and follies. We never feel guilty on social evils which are the result of our actions. We merely think that this gathered filth of 73 years has evolved out of the earth or West has set bacteria’s of these evils in our country. Sartre says, “Life has become a filthy river which has frozen with its rapid flow.” Now it has become very difficult to breathe into filthy atmosphere for every wise person.
It is a natural phenomenon when you pick a cub of elephant out of the forest and chain it with pole and keep feeding it in respect to the survival of the fittest. When it will become an adult, it will start respecting chains; would love comfortable zone; even though it would be potent enough to break the chains. Similarly, we do corrupt the soul of our children and paint diversities on their minds – diversities of hatred, ethnicity, fundamentalism, dogmas etc. Unfortunately, we chain them with belief system. We nourish them in such a way to love and respect their chains. As Voltaire says, “It is very difficult to set free those slaves who respect their chains.”
Same condition is of Plato’s prisoners inside the cave – they live in a comfortable zone with their belief system. They develop their behavior by watching at walking Shadows of dummy objects on the cave wall whose true form is hidden after the shadows. That is why Plato urges to free an individual through a panic educational process in order to experience true version of things. Now what is belief system? How can it be challenged by an individual?
Every year on Independence Day, streets and buildings are decorated, sweets are distributed, patriotic songs are sung, and emotional speeches are delivered, so that people could timely intoxicate and forget the pain of their poverty, hunger, sickness and other issues. What is freedom? Freedom is when your ideas are respected even you differ. Are you sure at your ground of being freed? If you are then I dare to ask why poor laborers sell their grain to elite and their own children sleep hungry in their arms and every morsel they eat; isn’t it a slap on their tearing face; why you die hungry and thirsty, why your men, women and children are begging; why there is no education, no health, no security, and when you cry for your rights, you are sentenced a rebel, you are being disappeared! And yet you believe that you have a freedom since partition!
Will celebrate this day among those, whose son has disappeared, whose daughter has been rapped, whose children are without shelter, food, clothes, and education? Does it feel proud or shame? Yes, we can celebrate this day when we will fully overcome on social evils, when we will dare to confess our guilt. One of the cynic philosophers had once said that ‘God is the absence of Evil and Evil is the absence of God.’
To me, God is happiness, while in our country sorrows are marching towards each home like a fascist rule!
This world is like Plato’s cave where we all are prisoners of our own unchanging behavior, of our own selections. Where butter, bread, health, education, shelter, and security seems an illusion, until we do not break the chains of belief system through panic education process in order to reach at true forms of things whose shadows are shown by politicians. Socrates utters a sentence while drinking Hemlock, “An unexamined life is not a worth living”. We all are living a life of ignorance where there’s need to examine every social dimension including religion, politics, education, state, government, specially our own behavior and selection.
Emerson had once said that an identification of the real value of a civilization of any country is not this that how large population it has! Neither the infrastructure of big cities, storage of grain nor from richness but the real value of that country is this that what kind of human it produces.”
Writer is the MS Scholar at English Language Development Centre, Mehran University of Engineering & Technology Jamshoro, Sindh