Emerson's The Allegory Of The Cave

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Humans have a habit to conform with the consensus reality, even if it is as imaginary and as unreal as the shadows on the walls of a cave. Most human beings would rather live a comfortable, happy, and familiar life, than a life full of challenges and pain, no matter if it contains the truth. Emerson incorporates several of Plato’s ideas into his essay, Self-Reliance. Emerson talks about the necessity of non-conformity, or one’s refusal to act in accordance to familiar customs. This subject can be seen to relate to Plato’s message in The Allegory of the Cave, in which Plato speaks of human’s unwillingness to leave everything they know for the real truth. In Emerson’s essay, he mentioned, “For non-conformity the world whips you with its displeasure” (pp. 11). This can be seen to be related to Plato when he spoke of how people are resistant to any kind of change, as they have become used to and dependent on common norms and ethics. In the way that…show more content…
Sensory perception is the world as we perceive, with the help of our five senses. This world is illusory. It is the world of shadows, or falsehoods and incomplete truths. The true reality is impossible to perceive with our senses, it is possible through Forms or spiritual perception, which is divine enlightenment. This spiritual perception “enables people to understand what the senses perceive, despite the fact that the senses are unreliable and their perceptions imperfection”(pg. 447). One can make a claim that this is related to Emerson’s “trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine Providence has found for you” (3). Emerson believes there is a spiritual instinct and intuition that every human was born with. Emerson’s ideas often encircle spiritual divinity throughout Self-Reliance which heavily relates to Plato’s ideology, and his Theory of

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