WAKING UP TO SHADOWS ON THE WALLS
The slang term is “they have become woke.” Poor grammatical construction aside, the arrogant yet semi-satirical term “woke” is rich with superficial truths. People are not always nice to each other. Discrimination exists. People see each other in stereotypical ways.
However, “wokeness” has also mutated into a social justice war which has remained remarkably one sided: Liberal good, conservative bad. So, the shadow play begins.
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave describes perfectly the emotionally rich but spiritually poor state of mind of “the woke”. The inhumane logic of the “the woke” resists examination because the brighter the fire of knowledge, the fewer the shadows to believe in. So, they make sure the fire stays low.
Yet, as the cave fire flickers, the “woke” think they see patterns. After all, the shadows are just captured pieces of darkness, fragments of human failing all attributed to those who do not see the shadow patterns. Those people, they are not “woke” like the sharp eyed perceivers of shadows.
So, how do we get to this point where the “woke” seek to banish those who do not see what they see? These shadows are not unlike a Rorschat test or a gestalt image. They can be in the eye of the beholder. It is a particular kind of sensitivity capable of discerning racism, bigotry, homophobia and God knows what else in the shadow play. Though the shadows change, their belief is solidly consistent. Small enough a number of people who agree on what is the “true” image can easily convince the less certain that is the actual image of the shadow no matter how much it changes.
It should be obvious to the reader that not only are the “woke” still asleep, but there is also an unconscious aspect that dictates how they react to the shadows and their belief in the shadow of the image. It is said that unconscious perception happens faster than thinking. To put this another way, you are not deliberating, reflecting, or otherwise exploring your own state of mind if unconscious perception is dictating how you speak and act.
There is yet another factor to consider in persuading others. Remember the fire is the only source of light. There is a whole lot of darkness all around in that cave. It is the perfect recipe for conformity. The uncertainty that darkness engenders in the minds of the cave inhabitants finds its comfort in conforming with those speak with certainty about the darkness and its shadows. What is the natural consequence? All thinking stops. The unconscious now rules and will shut down any attempt to introduce reason or logic. Freud said as much, as did Jung.
However, that does not mean unconscious perception of shadow play is without some form of “knowledge”. Philosophers might suggest that there is still some form of cognition, however incomplete. The argument here is that it is a severely limited form of cognition. There is an old saying: The power of an idea is measured by its ability to generate other ideas. Here, “wokeness” fails the first test. What other ideas could possibly be generated by it?
Knowledge presumes some form of connectivity as measured by logic and reason. The ideas which relate to each other must not only form a consistent whole, but also extend out to seemingly unrelated areas as well. “Wokeness” abandons all that in pursuit of a thin and vaguely defined notion of fairness incapable of embracing the full richness of the human experience. We pray, somewhere, the other cave inhabitants realize they are being mislead by the loud and certain ignorance of the “woke”; and, that we all firmly reject their destructive nonsense.