Shadows on the wall

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Socrates describes a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them and give names to these shadows. The shadows are the prisoners’ reality, but are not accurate representations of the real world. The shadows represent the fragment of reality that we can normally perceive through our senses.

We are all, to some extent, living in the cave, trapped by our perception of the world.

But, unlike the people in the cave, we are not chained.

We can look at the world from different positions.

We can see not just the shadows but the fire and the shapes creating the shadows.

We can go deeper and learn about the forces within the cave.

We can take action.


But our cave is complex and learning from experience is time-consuming and potentially costly.

Fortunately, we are not alone. We can learn from those around us and from those who have preceded us.

We can follow their footprints.

 If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

Sir Isaac Newton