Those Who Are Able To See Beyond The Shadows And Lies

Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture
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“Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses.” – Plato

Plato (427 – 347 B.C.E.) was an ancient Greek philosopher known for his theory of Forms, according to which the world we perceive through the senses is only an imitation of the pure, eternal, and perfect world of the Forms. Plato was a student of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle.

Plato’s statement above joins him with a few other writers and philosophers who spoke about great minds being misunderstood. Friedrich Nietzsche declared, “Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood.” In his book “Self Reliance,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “To be great is to be misunderstood.” Like Plato, these men were well beyond their time that their philosophies were considered preposterous by some, if not most, people in their period.

According to Dr. Leon Seltzer, there are 9 reasons why it’s so easy to be misunderstood; and to ordinary narrow minds, new concepts or unorthodox views can take a long time to be absorbed. Sometimes, the other person has rigid opinions or “isn’t able to take in any viewpoint other than their own.” The other reason could be that the other person might be less educated or sophisticated. We can’t really expect people to understand concepts they’re not accustomed to.

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer proclaimed: “The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively not by the false appearance of things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.”

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