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Home Forums General Discussion Anyone seen Genius of the Ancient World on Netflix

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    • Dave
      Participant

      I watched the episode about Socrates and I can see why Socrates is referenced in Freedom. He looked for the “good” so he could have a better life and promoted understanding. I have to wonder if the idea of Plato’s cave (deaf effect) started with Socrates as he tried to spread his ideas and was rejected.

      This video had some Aha moments for me in terms the transformation and in understanding the power of the deaf effect.

      HC understanding takes time, but I want to spread it and support the WTM. Patience is needed, but it is exciting to have this understanding.


    • Michael
      Participant

      Yeah, I saw it too… thanks for the opportunity… upon further contemplation of the series, it seems that according to the executive producer of the series, Mike Smith, the idea of the series is to cover what is called the “Axial Age”, a timeperiod of worldwide change due to increasing trade between distant markets… IMO did the “deaf effect” not start with Plato, since it is a common human phenomenon in all kinds of settings that “conservatism” and “addictions” by definition naturally resist mental change of any kind, and instead often tries to counteract new ideas… Thomas Kuhn describes this phenomenon within current scientific circles as a common holding on to scientific “paradigms”…there is also a newly coined human arena of functioning called “Agnotology” which investigates the deliberate counteraction of new ideas for financial motives… but, the visualisation of the idéa itself of the dark cave and the watching of realityshadows that Plato expressed could perhaps not have been contemplated at all before the philosophical and mental changes connected to the “Axial Age” had ocurred at those times… perhaps there are similar mental images to Plato’s cave to be found within Buddhism and Confucianism that also developed during this “Axial Age”, pictures of ideas representing the, at the time growing human responsibility for it’s own destiny as opposed to divine intervention… I´m thinking partly of the story allegedly once told by a wise buddhistic man of the “five blind men and the elephant”, in which all the five blind men described their personal perception of the elephant in totally different ways…


    • Matt
      Participant

      It would be very valuable to find a cave type analogy, referring to all of humanity living in a state of denial about ‘the imperfections of human life’, from other cultures. You would assume that such an analogy, if it existed, would have resonated, and thus been preserved; and so the fact that we don’t know about any suggests that it doesn’t exist. But there may be some buried in history, and if anyone can find one, that would be really interesting. I know the film The Matrix was based on it to some extent. But I will see what I can find from history.


    • PaulM
      Participant

      The journalist Christopher Booker writes (Griffith put me onto this book) that the Cave Allegory is similar to an old Cheyenne story called ‘Jumping Mouse’. Booker writes, “When Jumping Mouse returns to the dark forest and tries to tell his fellow mice about his journey to the great river, and how he had caught a far-off glimpse of the ‘Sacred Mountain’, they cannot understand what he is talking about and scorn him.” So I dont know if it is about humans living in denial of the human condition so much as a tale about seeking enlightenment and being scorned by the masses when you find it. This ‘heroic’ plot cycle is fundamental to many stories really, and just by acknowledging that there is something to seek, they all infer that our current state is somehow incomplete. But when it comes to actually identifying that humanity is living in a blinkered state, the Buddhist story that Michael relates about men not being able to see the whole elephant is probably more on point. This is a good thread.


    • Howard
      Participant

      good sleuthing PaulM. there was a famous writer called Campbell i think who wrote about the importance of heroes in human stories.


    • Matt
      Participant

      Joseph Campbell. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. A brilliant book. I am going through it with a view to this question.


    • serento
      Participant

      This is a bit off track, but what about Alice in Wonderland? A child goes down the rabbit hole and sees the world of adults as it really is. Its crazy, but the only world they know.


    • Matt
      Participant

      The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered the oldest work of literature in the world. I cant find anything about denial as such, but the basic premise of the King Gilgamesh who at first fights, then becomes best friends with the ‘wild man’ Enkidu, could be seen as an intellect and instinct allegory. Im still researching….


    • RJ
      Participant

      I’m really enjoying following this thread. Plato’s will be hard to beat, as Griffith says himself “Plato’s cave allegory is the clearest description I have come across of the entire situation associated with the human condition”, but it would be really great to gather all the mythologies together.

      Freedom, para 576 refers to the Native American legend and other contemporary movies: “I might mention here that this idea that humans have been living as prisoners in a mind-controlled state of denial of their reality, and of attacking the person who tries to liberate them from this state, forms part of our collective subconscious awareness because it periodically crops up in our mythologies. The same essential myth is found in the ancient Native American legend of The Story of Jumping Mouse, and, in more contemporary times, in the film The Truman Show. The deep resonance of the myth is also evidenced by the various science fiction films that have been based on Plato’s cave allegory, such as Dark City, City of Ember and, most notably, The Matrix.”

      There are other contemporary movies listed here

      The 10 Best Movies Referring to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

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