Plato characterized humankind as sitting in a dark cave gazing upon the flickering images cast on the wall by a fire behind them. Objects were passed between them and a fire’s flame. Interpretations of these images defined their reality. Some might turn and look beyond the fire toward the light at the entrance of life’s cave. If the brightness pained their eyes, they returned to the comfortable darkness and its distorted reality.
Likewise, we must look beyond the images defining our lives. They remain similar, but having historical unique forms. Throughout history that which offered “happiness” defined what was “good.” Whether an Egyptian pharaoh, a Roman emperor, a Spanish or a modern day conquistador, the “good” of life is often being defined by corrupted images. The conquering and plunder, the acquisition of things, the negation of nature and the benefits of other’s labor are still regarded as the road toward true “happiness.” These seductive illusions draw many deeper into the darkness of life’s den, rendering them and others of a meaningful life and knowledge of what is “good.”
One came boldly speaking to the false images, telling of an eternal reality and truth. Today, many celebrate this event by participating in festive religious imageries, offering an immediate sense of pleasure and happiness.
Perhaps, but a few, celebrate his coming by turning away from the images. They now walk toward an enduring reality. They seek the ultimate truth, the one truly “good, life’s womb — the entrance to life’s den.”
— Lynn Slagel
Associated Press style is not the way to go
I’ve noticed that The Goshen News requires that letters to the editor conform to the Associated Press style book. I can’t think of a poorer example to follow. Associated Press stories are full of poor grammar, mis-use and abuse of words, meaningless location references and Britishisms.