What Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave Teaches Men


Plato’s Allegory of the Cave appears in a section of the Republic called ‘The Supremacy of Good’ where he stresses the importance of goodness as a universal goal. The allegory is presented as a dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon, Plato’s brother. Although written in around 380 BC, the allegory (and indeed the rest of the Republic) has strong relevance today for men unplugging from conventional thinking about women and society – in fact, it could be taken as a metaphor for this process.

Plato introduces the allegory as ‘an analogy for the human condition – for our education, or lack of it.’

‘Imagine people living in a cavernous cell down under the ground; at the far end of the cave, a long way off, there’s an entrance open to the outside world. They’ve been there since childhood, with their legs and their necks tied up in a way which keeps them in one place and allows them to look only straight ahead.’

They are kept captive ‘since childhood’ and only allowed to look in one direction. This is the experience of many brought up in contemporary Western culture. Here, awareness of the world is mediated by mainstream culture: television, movies, celebrity’s Twitter feeds and Instagram accounts.

 ‘Imagine also that there are people on the other side of this wall who are carrying all sorts of artefacts. These artefacts, human statuettes, and animal models carved in stone and wood and all kinds of materials stick out over the wall; and as you’d expect, some of the people talk as they carry these objects along, while others are silent … they’re no different to us … do you think they’d see anything of themselves and one another except the shadows cast by the fire on to the cave wall directly opposite them.’

The captives, who are ‘no different to us’ are not only solipsistic, unaware of those around them, but crucially what they think they know of the world is false. In fact, they are only seeing shadows. More than this, they are seeing shadows of objects that are themselves only effigies of real things – statuettes, models and so on. They are not one but two steps removed from reality.

Robin Waterfield, who translated the Republic in 1993, speculates that ‘the bearers of the effigies may be the poets, politicians, and so on who have formed the prisoners’ views about morality and similar matters.’  In other words, the manner in which they see the world has been carefully formed for them by those with a clear agenda:

  • Poets (read: artists) seeking profit or to support the dominant political ideology. Two modern examples are the music industry and reality television, which lull the viewer into a false sense of comfort while simultaneously promoting the virtues of acquisition in a feminised culture.
  • Politicians concerned with maintaining their own power.

In truth, the two act in concert in maintaining the system we are familiar with in 21st century Western society which promotes docile, sheep-like inactivity in the masses.


‘What do you think would happen  . . . if they were set free from their bonds … Imagine one of them has been set free and is suddenly made to stand up, to turn his head and walk, and to look towards the firelight. It hurts him to do all this and he’s too dazzled to be capable of making out the objects whose shadows he’d formerly been looking at. And suppose someone tells him that what he’s been seeing all this time has no substance and that now he’s closer to reality and is seeing more accurately because of the greater reality of the things in front of his eyes. . . Don’t you think he’d be bewildered and would think that there was more reality in what he’d been seeing before than in what he was being shown now?’

Here we find a perfect analogy for ‘taking the red pill.’ Typically, when a guy first stumbles on game and the manosphere, a change occurs in his perception of the world that can be described as an awakening. You often hear of men who spend days, even weeks reading blogs and books, going from one head-smacking realisation to the next as their former certainties are dashed and their suspicions about the true nature of women and relationships are confirmed. Certainly, that was how it was for me. This often presages a period of disbelief and denial – surely this isn’t really how things are? It can’t all be true, can it? Rather than face the firelight of reality, he would instead prefer to ‘run back to the things he can make out’ – the shadows.

But things only get worse from here. Plato then has Socrates describe the prisoner being dragged from the cave and out into the sunlight:

‘Wouldn’t this treatment cause him pain and distress? And once he’s reached the sunlight, he wouldn’t be able to see a single one of the things which are currently taken to be real, would he, because his eyes would be overwhelmed by the sun’s beams.’

The road to enlightenment, the shedding of one’s illusions, is never easy, especially when these illusions have been present since childhood. Staring reality in the face is like staring directly at the sun – it is painful. This is why many men choose to retreat back into blue pill thinking. For them it is simply too painful to do otherwise.

Gradually though, the man who persists is able to adjust to his new circumstances. The released prisoner is at first able to discern only shadows, then real people, then the stars and the moon, and then finally the sun, before coming to understand its role as life’s progenitor.

The Intelligible Realm

In this new state of awareness, the former captive feels sorry for the remaining prisoners who have built up a whole belief system on false premises. Conversely, should he to return to the cave, its inhabitants would reject his newfound wisdom, and would sooner kill him then allow him to rescue them. Such is the attachment that many of us had to our former thinking. But for Plato, striving towards ‘the intelligible realm’, the ‘source and provider of truth and knowledge [synonymous here with ‘goodness’] is a prerequisite for intelligent conduct either of one’s own private affairs or of public business.’ In other words, as hard as it may be, it is vital for men to seek ‘truth and knowledge’ and to stare life directly in the face if they wish to be successful in relationships or in the wider world. This is manifestly true – one need only think of the many examples of men whose success with women has been improved significantly with game, or whose business lives have been transformed using red pill principles.

Perhaps most importantly, Plato has Socrates go on to say that the educated must go back down to the cave to share the benefits of their experience with the remaining captives. In the context of Republic, this is about government: it is better for a community when its rulers are awake. The analogy still holds good for our purposes, though. There is an old saying that goes ‘you have to give it away to keep it.’

If you are reading Return Of Kings, it is likely that you have a more advanced understanding of the way things really are than many of your friends. Try to help them out – there’s no need to get on your soap box, but just seed out little nuggets of red pill knowledge when appropriate. If a guy wants to know more then tell him. Direct him to this website. Let’s treat our blue-pill brethren kindly. It is better for our society if we do so, and besides, we all know where they came from, because we once resided there too, before we were dragged, blinking, out into the sunlight.

Read More: The Education Of Alciabides By Socrates

57 thoughts on “What Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave Teaches Men”

  1. Years ago I listened to Robert M. Price give an explanation of “The Matrix” as a point by point popularization of Gnosticism, a term that can account for a host of Christian heresies and separate mystery religions entirely, all of which use Platonism as a model.
    “New Age Gnostic” doesn’t have the same ring as ‘red pill’ though….

  2. The red pill is a form of indoctrination in itself. For example, if I said “Sex is only for reproduction, but you have turned it into a pleasure movement.” most the red pill men here will argue that sex is one of the best pleasures in life, so why avoid it? But on the other hand women manipulate men through sex and it causes them misery and pain. Therefore this pleasure leads pain.
    Please, put me back in the cave! LOL

    1. You’re more right than you think.
      For broader context, Socrates was not a happy individual throughout life. His last words implied that life was a disease.
      When we’re chained to the cave looking at the walls, we draw relationships between the movements of the shadows that don’t make any sense. This is the blue pill world. The pleasures are still pleasures, but we’re completely wrong about cause and effect.
      We turn around and look at the sun and become aware of the red pill. We start to see what really is going on.
      There is no pleasure in the forms, though. Study them all you want, but the actual pleasures of the world lie within the cave.
      Be aware of the shadows, but know that a satisfying life can only be lived within the cave where the pleasures are. Red pill enlightenment is a tool, not an end.

      1. “Socrates was not a happy individual throughout life”
        He valued “wisdom” therefore his wisdom made him happy, it endowed him with a sense of pride, right up to his death. Happiness is not the goal of philosophy, TRUTH, and wisdom is the goal of philosophy, Socrates attained that, so we can say he died “fulfilled”. Which we would say is “happiness” or attainment, or achievement.

        1. to truly know pleasure, you must know pain. To truly be a man, you must know how to do without pleasure and endure pain. Quite the conundrum we put upon ourselves these days, thinking sex is so great and wonderful. In reality, sex is a huge pain in the ass that revolves around men being clowns, albeit more so temporarily today. Still, a clown is a clown, and anytime you put on that alpha face, you are still acting out for sex when you engage a woman.
          So, what is a man to do? Personally, I believe the stoics were right. Sex for pleasure leads to stupid emotional decisions or detachment from reality. We see it in women already, and it is no different for men. Sure, we want to spread our seed around, but no matter how you swing it we will eventually feel detachment if we have too many partners. Damned if don’t, but more so damned if you do.

  3. “Here we find a perfect analogy for ‘taking the red pill.’ Typically, when a guy first stumbles on game and the manosphere, a change occurs in his perception of the world that can be described as an awakening.”
    Game and the Manosphere are not equivalent.
    The Manosphere existed long before Game and PUA Experts showed up to claim it as their own Vunderbar Creation. As those who persist will find, Game and PUA are also shadows on the Platonic Wall — the exchange of one set of illusions for another.
    The sun is not “life’s progenitor.” It does not originate life, merely supports it. LOL! Talk about spelunking!! The sun is a very small object in a very very large universe. A sun and universe whose originator was your Father… despite your having exchanged His majesty and illimitability for a local hotrock.
    It’s like voluntarily exchanging your own biological father, for the third uncle-daddy your mom paraded through her bedroom this year. Yeah you can call him Dad, but he ain’t. You didn’t come from him.
    Good point about how “artists” concoct the Wall of Illusion, based on the tyrant-ideology of the day, rather than on the truth. Looking back at the rampant romanticism and delusion of the fifties and sixties, it’s clear that the troubadours fooled us concerning the nature of women, and of this world. Partly that’s ’cause they don’t know themselves, and partly it’s as you say — they sought to profit themselves, and to serve themselves. Instead of serving Father, which is what every man does. Once he’s out of the caves.

    1. Utterly brilliant and will probably fly over the head of the proles who frequent this site.

    2. Well thought reply on an excellent article from RoK.
      But I also see a disaster in man’s refusal to accept the mother. Enough had been said about mother earth and father sky to make these two terms artifacts in my eyes.
      RoK readers are well aware of the strength of the creative force of father sky and respect it intuitively. But how good are we at accepting the facilitator? The mother earth? One look around me at the exploitation of the resources and the rampant pollution tells me we have a job to do.
      And I suggest we get on with that as well. And as in so many other aspects of life: Do not wait for the women. They never initiate anything of the sort, as you are well aware.

    3. Agree that game and the manosphere are not synonymous — they are of course entirely discrete. Didn’t intend to suggest otherwise. Many men adopt game in an effort to counteract what they learn through the manosphere, though.
      Re: the sun. Fair point, although if there were no sun there would be no seasons and no life on this planet (the locale which is both my concern and Plato’s here, rather than the rest of the universe). In that sense it comes pretty high in the chain in ‘originating’ life on earth.

      1. Almost all of the energy the planet uses to create life comes from the sun. So yes, it is the originator, being the source of the energy. But the laws of nature are the true originator, and most believe those laws had to be created by someone/thing.

      2. Hi Troy —
        Reviewing, I see that you didn’t intend the equivalence between game/manosphere, and I may have “read this into” your syntax. My apologies.
        Impossible as it seems, I guarantee that the ‘day’ is coming soon when the sun will neither illumine nor heat this planet, and yet it will be perfectly illumined, heated, and tended, and the people will live in comfort, and the flora will thrive, w/o that sun you think is so important. Now, that truly sounds delusional! So, we shall see, and if I’m Rong, you can mock me later, how’s that? ;O)
        Philosophers and philosopher-kings will not get the bulldog of dying Western Civ fed, nor will they get you out of the Cave. That humans can design a perfect system of self-governance is perhaps the Biggest of the Big Lies. Humans can’t, even real smart guys like Socrates, Plato, etc. Cuz here we are millennia later, and our “governance” only gets WORSE.
        You won’t find any real answers in philosophy, political science, intellectualism, or ideology. There’s only one way outta the Cave, and that is by heading towards our Father. Scripture will help you FAR more than philosophy, history, etc. Men tend to figger they can Think their way outta the Cave. But that’s just another illusion.
        You’re a perceptive young writer, and you obviously understand the Platonic allegory. There are so many promising young warriors like you in the West, but most are sidetracked following persons, ideas, or systems that are unprofitable, and often are counter-productive. They waste their talent and passion on a Group or Team that doesn’t serve them.
        Thanks for letting me use your piece as a jump-off; I hope you find your way out of the grungy Cave and into the eternal Kingdom that awaits you. You won’t do it by yourself, tho. Cheers.

  4. “it is likely that you have a more advanced understanding of the way things really are than many of your friends. Try to help them out”
    When shining light in a sleeper’s eyes, they do 1 of 3 things.
    1:Put the blanket over their head and go back to sleep
    2:Lash out angrily
    3:They Wake up
    in order for someone to value the same knowledge as yourself, they also have to have had similar experiences to identify with, and if they did, they would already be awake. It’s not that men do not know “red pill” they know because 99.9% of all men have experienced the wrath of the whore and her effects on civilization so it’s not deniable, it’s just that they lack the courage to accept it(truth) even after awful experiences, they cling to “hope”, the red pill to them, Is “one side” of the coin, of which they would argue the “nawalt” or other gender equalization theories. Many divorced men/other suckers who lose everything still do it all over again within a decade, they refuse to believe the red pill. Personality and character are like fingerprints, they are not changeable and if you try to persuade someone against their natures you violate them thinking you are helping them out, and they will not like you for threatening their world view.
    If these “beta males” feel so complete by females, Perhaps they belong where they are, kneeling to some feminist, perhaps on a Freudian subconscious level they themselves enjoy the feeling of humiliation. I do not wish to change them or disturb their peaceful sleep. I know the real truth behind a “beta”. Society is where it has willed itself. No knowledge will change it, because human nature will reproduce it’s desires externally. Also the mind pursues only knowledge of which it is curious FOR. Meaning a beta male would be into similar debates rationalizing the benefits of submission to females, they would argue that, “They are empowering themselves” through some sort of “mutual” submission. Or they would argue, well ” everything is good and bad” or hedonistic equal rationalization, “women are awful, but sex equalizes the sacrifice”. To a thirsty beta male, sex indeed, does equalize it, so there is nothing you can fix in these folks with simple “knowledge” they will rationalize their own reality to match their characters.
    let the chips fall wherever they want to land, rise above the entire cave of alpha vs beta and see the human condition for what it is, from a ledge rather than actively participating in it, when leaving a cave, don’t enter/create a new one.
    “game” is largely a cover-up term for betas who still wish to participate in female submission, except using the word “game” implies goal and Winning such goal, however, with the idea of game they fool themselves that somehow it is alpha behavior, they use tactics, It’s almost like beta-hardcore version. They use tactics and sense they can have “control” control is indeed alpha but the control they desire in the end ISNT. That is the problem with game culture. The beta refines himself and his tricks for female “love” and acceptance through game, but craving it will always be beta.

    1. Lots of thoughts in there. One thing I particularly liked: “The beta refines himself and his tricks for female “love” and acceptance through game, but craving it will always be beta.” I’ve spent much time pondering this, and I agree.
      In fact, even a natural ‘alpha’ who spends most of his time, energy and resources running around town tagging hos is falling into the same trap. I’m friends with guys like this. Sure, their notches are 4x higher than mine (several hundred), but where are they in life? They’re paying (or not paying) child support, renting old apartments, waiting tables and yes, going to bars and getting laid. Are they winning life? Or are they just unreliable guys I hire sometimes to do grunt work? In the end, they’re dildos-on-demand for bitches, nothing more. I’d say, tag some sloots here and there, but focus on doing something useful with your fucking time. But that’s just me.

      1. Good points there, the best post I’ve read yet. First, develop your self and your character
        Everything else is secondary, I am still learning this as I post.

      2. Yes!
        If you’re in the game for the sake of getting women, you’re still beta. If you game (subtle, but huge difference) to gain what you want for yourself — women or otherwise — you’re alpha.
        I’m more about gaming women just for the sport of manipulating their childish emotions and behaviors. But even that becomes tedious after a while, and I find myself more engaged in worthwhile endeavors than gaming women, who can be purchase for a pittance.

  5. So whats the redpill endgame to you guys?
    No marriage… no relationships… just sex here and there… watching society wander around aimless and distracted…
    I haven’t figured this out for myself yet. I’d be happy to hear your guys’ thoughts.
    What does leaving the cave mean to you guys?

    1. In terms of women, have relationships with multiple women and replace them as needed or when they act up, otherwise start my own business and enjoy other experiences the world has to offer..help other men achieve their dreams.

      1. That’s a great start for a young man. What about when that gets boring? What about when you get old?

        1. what gets boring? women? life experiences?
          even if you get married find that perfect women it will eventually become boring.
          have the best job best business, you will have to eventually have to find it boring to move on and improve on different areas.
          me personally I want to be able to help guys out and give something back.
          become a teacher in whatever area you’ve mastered and teach.
          In the end just do what makes you happy. might not be immediate but work towards it.

        2. I was referring to “multiple women”. I think its admirable that you want to focus on helping your fellow man. I have a question for you though. You say you want to “give something back”. What was given to you and by whom?
          From what I know about family life it is anything but boring. It might be hell from time to time though and it is perhaps the great challenge that at of us will face. I don’t think the “perfect woman” will become boring unless you just mean sex. But I have found that sex with multiple women can become boring as well. But otherwise, if you are with an interesting person, your life with her will never be boring. What I am really getting at here is that there is a tendency (not talking about you) for guys here to say “hell with commitment”. This is an understandable feeling because the best parts of marriage have been taken from us by the state. But to me, this is a challenge and it is my intention to find a way through this. After all, what greater gift can you give to yourself, than when you are an old man, to have the pride of the family you built.

        3. It depends how you were raised and your beliefs, It was the old kings that made man only have 1 women, before that it was normal for a man to have multiple women and raise families. I believe sex is your right as a man (provided you are a man, mentally and emotionally). To me sex is like hunger and a part of life.
          Giving back like teach things I have learnt to other people. like when rich people get rich they give back by donating to charities and helping others kind of thing.
          People might not like me saying this but men have to be crippled into extinction in order for the world to progress to another level where it is a uni sex world and its much easier to control groups of women than men. I’m just enjoying the ride as it comes.

        4. Well I know that in some cultures, multiple wives are perfectly acceptable, provided you can afford them. Although, I look at that and think “what a nightmare, one is bad enough!” Sex is a great thing as you say, although marriage need not prevent you from getting it from multiple women. Depends on you and your relationship.
          When I ask about “giving back” the implication is that something was given to you in the first place. I feel that sometimes this phrase is used to place some kind of obligation on you as in “give back to the community”. I call it “giving” rather than “giving back” mainly because the “community” never gave me a damn thing!

        5. its your choice do what makes you happy, It makes me feel happy knowing some-else had the same opportunity as me.

        6. Never gave you a damn thing?
          Who taught you to speak and to read and write?
          To access the accumulated wisdom of humanity?
          How did you even become a human?
          Without help from others?

    2. In terms of women, have relationships with multiple women and replace them as needed or when they act up, otherwise start my own business and enjoy other experiences the world has to offer..help other men achieve their dreams.

    3. I’m in a marriage now, I’m one step to going out of that door once I get that divorce.

    4. I’m stumped for answers also other than to experience and enjoy life without feeling a social obligation or shame for not settling down into a relationship and raising kids.
      Neither the red or blue road is going to be without pitfalls along the way. I’ve been oficially MGTOW for about a year now and really couldn’t care less about having another relationship, i’m done with them. I’m even open about not wanting a relationship to people i speak to, there’s no hate or animosity anymore, i’m past caring. I’ve mostly given up trying to debate with feminists online. I think just sitting back and watching all the blue pillers jump through hoops endlessly is much more entertaining than trying to change things.

      1. Interesting what you say here. Do you feel that society obligates us to to settle down or is this a personal obligation?

    5. That sounds ultimately unfulfilling. Its fun for a while but when you get older it becomes stale. Also, its a bit sad hanging out in clubs when you are 40+.
      This site actually restricts itself by restricting the “red pill” concept merely to the understanding of women. Once you have this understanding it is merely time to act accordingly. But unless you die young, you are not going to be gaming your whole life. To say things like “I am not dealing with women anymore” somewhat mirrors angry women and is defeatist. A more confident objective is to use your new found knowledge to take control of your relationships.
      Furthermore, it is important to expand the “red pill” concept to what was actually intended in The Matrix. That is, that much of what we see in society, with respect to the government and media. is an illusion, not merely the perception we have of women.

  6. The fact is that the blue pill survives by the principle that ignorance
    is bliss. It is no coincidence that every blue pill man I have
    met not only is ignorant about women, but also knows nothing about managing money, politics, global power
    structures, or philosophy. They are intentionally ignorant about
    everything, because they unconsciously feel the danger of seeking truth:
    it can lead to unpleasant realities, distrust of your fellow man,
    snobbishness, and even nihilism. The blue pill is just “hear no evil,
    see no evil, speak no evil” in modern day form. Is this a person you can
    teach? A person you can reason with? No.

    1. “Two percent of the people think; three percent of the people think they think; and ninety-five percent of the people would rather die than think.”
      ― George Bernard Shaw

      1. George Bernard Shaw, the man who felt that everybody must by needs justify his existence to the collective and if he could not, thusly be destroyed. He is the forerunner of all murderous leftists that came after him, and his “wisdom” is nothing more than hatred of all things not like himself.

        1. Indeed. I have had this repeated in other ways but co-workers. I had one guy essentially say to me “Most people are stupid, therefore we need to have laws to protect them from their own stupidity and protect their children from them. We will send the tax bill to you, so that you can be responsible for other people’s stupidity.”
          Spoken like a true dictator.

  7. This is hysterical because what I’ve always hated about the men’s movement is how poor the argument of “women are X way is.” With the red pill, you take the red pill and you’re magically all-seeing. This is much better, it’s a process of learning and becoming more intelligent, of seeing more and more truth but not ever stopping and getting to a place where you know everything for sure.

  8. One of the greatest lessons I learned from reading Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations” washim saying that, “one mustn’t ever punish a fellow man for a lack of knowledge. Is not stumbling around in darkness already punishment enough?”

  9. I find there is very little point trying to give Betas any advice. The majority don’t want to change and when you question their world view that kneeling down before an overweight feminist for a lifetime will not only destroy your manhood, your soul and your self respect it will likely lead to a lifetime of alimony payments. Meanwhile the predator you once adored will find new beta prey within an hour of you parting ways.
    They will simply end up getting angry that you could even suggest being a bachelor will actually lead to a more fulfilling life and from experience I don’t bother trying just keep my opinions my own. It is a sad state of affairs when a society is this pathetic but you just have to roll with the punches sometimes.

  10. Very nice, Troy.
    “Plato has Socrates go on to say that the educated must go back down to the cave to share the benefits of their experience with the remaining captives.”
    For those seeking, for those miserable, it is our *duty* to help. For those pacified, for those content, it is unethical to disturb.

  11. Plato had it exactly wrong. It’s the philosophers looking at the shadows, which are the words we use to name things. Plato thought that the highest reality was the “forms”, which are simply reified adjectives.
    Meanwhile, the real world made of real things passes by outside his philosopher’s cave.

    1. 20th century language philosophy did a demolition job on language as representation, namely the idea that words simply stand for things (in the mind of God?) rather than relating to other words. Wittgenstein took Augustine’s theory of language to task by denying that language comprehension involves pointing to things and naming them, but may denote actions, performances etc. Austin pointed out that ‘we do things with words’ which has led to speech act theory whereby the distinction between speech and action has been all but obliterated, which arguably has led in turn to leftist hate-speech legislation whereby to say hateful things is equivalent to performing hateful including murderous actions)
      One can’t just ignore that, but Plato’s forms was a theory of origins and not a bad one for the time (indeed if the world is written from the future it might actually turn out to be correct!). The same movement which sought to destroy all origins, has also sought to destroy any kind of absolute or even intransitive truth such as science typically takes for granted . Even marxists materialists (critical realism for instance) have found themselves struggling to reclaim a world that was not so much foam on an ocean’s surface. What we are discovering though is that the products of language / culture theorists isn’t all it claims to be. The worlds social constructionists seek to build castles in the sky out of discourse in ways that do not correspond with the reality most of us perceive, a reality that seems ‘harder’ than they suggest.
      The weakness perhaps of the ‘forms’ is that it’s a metaphysics of origins, but its worth remembering that Plato’s critics, particular Derrida have sought to de-stabilise all that is given, all the canons, all written history, everything that has passed up till now, in other words the actual verifiable origins of the world we live in. To replace it with what? Endless rootless marginality.
      You say that the real world is made of real things that pass outside the philosophers cave – it might not be exactly what you mean but isn’t that what Socrates is saying. The issue is where those real things reside

  12. I do think it is right that the red pill should be situated in the same tradition of truth seeking as Socrates / Plato.
    Someone below mentioned that the red pill is just another form of indoctrination. Well that depends. If its nothing more than a collection of axioms about women etc. If so, then it’s a set of claims, or a dogma like any other. In Plato there is no set of facts that simply corresponds to the truth. There are the forms, but ultimately they are inaccessible to human perception and understanding. Socrates greatest insight is that ultimately he can know nothing and that other so called wise men and philosophers are ignorant precisely because they do not realise this. This is the uneasy basis for the pursuit of truth that renders even the forms as ultimately just a theory.
    Some others below have also pointed out that red pill knowledge should be seen as a process, and again I think that is exactly right. We are led out of the cave towards the light, if we have the will to do so. Simone Weil, the catholic mystic (do not dismiss her) considered this process of seeking to rid oneself of illusion about the world should correctly be seen as an orientation of the self. However we describe it if we wish to be rid of illusions of any kind the first thing we must do is orient ourselves towards the truth-seeking, illusion-shedding process.
    In the modern age that means orienting oneself towards something that might not exist in the traditional absolute sense (c.f. relativists like Foucault who reject absolute truth), but can still be seen as meaningful as an orientation towards seeking the truth about reality, about what is – again the emphasis on process is crucial. In this regard it is worth remembering that much of the modern world, including feminism, and many progressive causes have been built upon the denial of the possibility of truth and the assertion that truth is culture / discourse and the politicisation of the academy, particularly in respect of feminism, is testimony to this, with its focus on constructing realities that are comfortable for everyone to live in.
    Again those commenters below who point out the connection between illusion and comfort have hit the nail on the head. The whole of the knowledge economy today is oriented towards the production of consolatory truths, truths that do not ‘hurt’ anyone, truths that make women, and liberals etc comfortable, safe, reassured.
    Our minds are built for illusion, and to recall Socrates point about knowledge and, the limits to our understanding, those illusions may be there for a reason. . Psychologists point out that when we see the world through schemas, cognitive and attributional biases, stereotypes etc., we may well be doing so for helpful or protective or consolatory reasons, And of course one of these reasons is laziness and the desire to believe that everything around us is all right.
    In this sense the red pill is increasingly attractive to men perhaps, because they perceive that everything is not all right. As such red pill, with reference to platos cave, should perhaps be seen as that process of re-evaluation and rebuilding that follows the kind of epistemological breakdown we experience when we stop trusting in the world around us and particularly in the relationships that comprise that world. That process, which starts with disillusion, and distrust and even paranoia opens us up to the possibility of seeing the world without comfort, consolation or sentimentality. That to me is a good basis for trying to see the world afresh, as it really is. Obviously we don’t get to see the world as it really is. : if the sun is the source of light, we have the advantage over plato of knowing that the world spins round that sun, so that one half is covered in night as the other is revealed in light i.e. we can only see one part of the world at any given time. That is the limit of knowledge, but that in no way stops us from orienting ourselves towards the process of seeking what is the case .
    Lastly, in this respect, the red pill unlike the allegory of the cave may not be forever. It is historically specific. The blue pill world, or the cathedral or whatever you wish to call it, is the system of illusion we have identified. The red pill is there to rip that apart. Nothing more, nothing less.

  13. [quote]This is the experience of many brought up in contemporary Western culture. Here, awareness of the world is mediated by mainstream culture: television, movies, celebrity’s Twitter feeds and Instagram accounts.[/quote]
    People didn’t have more knowledge in the past, nor do they have more knowledge in other cultures. So this is just an appeal to the frame that Western culture, if there even is such a thing , is bad.
    Perfect information is methaphysically impossible, so Plato’s cave can be applied to everything we think.
    This makes it a pretty bad argument against people’s views, since it would also apply to the criticism of these views. It”s a self defeating attack.

    1. I think many people would agree with you. Plato / Socrates would certainly agree with you that perfect understanding is impossible.. Indeed that is the standpoint they proceed from.
      Can Plato’s cave be applied to everything we think? The point I think is less to do with what one thinks (we may have limited data available to us) and more to do with our readiness to accept what we are told / would like to think rather than to critically interrogate what we are told is the truth as we encounter it (including no doubt red pill ‘truths’)
      Socrates / Plato evolved particular methods, most obviously the socratic method to critically interrogate the beliefs we have about the world around us, and used it to question the understanding of ‘false’ or second rate philosopher such as the sophists (paid hack teachers) who Socrates sometimes demonstrated claimed knowledge or certainty they did not possess. So its not just a question perhaps of claiming my truth is better than your truth, or just to deny that all truth is equal.
      I wouldn’t like to say how adequate socratic method is ….but in terms of blue pill rescue questioning sheeple about the values or beliefs they take for granted (remember blue pill depends heavily upon unquestioned consensus values that are reproduced in echo chambers / memes etc) I’d say something like it could be very useful.
      The point in such questioning might be to question fundamental assumptions that nobody dares to question for example.
      Of course the interrogator isn’t guaranteed to win, but those seeking to slough off the illusions they live by should fare better than those who use those illusions as a warm blanket to fend off the cold

    2. But Plato’s cave presents a thought experiment wherein perfect information is possible. That’s the point of it.
      Whether what we term ‘red pill thinking’ is perfect information for another post. I’m sure it isn’t, but many would argue that it is a more realistic model than blue pill.

  14. Yes, I have introduced friends of mine to this site. But it occurs to me I am still largely in the dark.

  15. Talking with some work colleagues, I mentioned idly how women are simply not into sport as much as men. Should be a truism right? I was greeted with nervous smiles and silence. So many men are terrified of women.

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