Swans Commentary » swans.com March 9, 2009  



The Cave Revisited


by R. Scott Porter





(Swans - March 9, 2009)   Most of humanity lives in a dark cave, groping around, trying to find the way out of drudgery and into the light of a new day. A decent education is not available for the majority, and so they have formed a line and are leading each other further into darkness. Some turn around and scan the inky black void behind them. There is a point of light, way off in the distance, that only a few can see. Even those few lose track of it, because they fear change, but whenever they visualize a better life, they believe they can see the light once more.

Meanwhile, outside, and down a steep trail, we find the privileged elite frolicking in the valley. The overwhelming majority of them are too lazy, or fearful, to climb up to higher ground where they might see the broader view. They stay where they are comfortable, and so, in their own way, they are also in the dark. Some of them have heard rumors and are throwing rocks at the cave entrance. They don't want the huddled masses to escape and possibly ruin their fun.

In the cave, every so often, someone breaks from the crowd. They struggle against the flow and follow the light just far enough to finally emerge out of the darkness. They are stunned by the brightness of their new life and, more often than not, ignoring all around them, they run headlong down into the valley to experience all the decadence. Very few realize the situation and stay behind to help more of their brothers and sisters escape their imprisonment.

Once in a great while someone in the valley becomes so bored, or enlightened, that they decide to struggle up the trail to a higher level of awareness. There they find the dedicated souls who have discovered the cave, but dare not enter. They can hear the anguished cries echoing from deep within and they realize someone down there needs their help. They must avoid being hit, and perhaps killed, by the rocks being thrown by those down in the valley, while they feverishly clear the way so that the rest of humanity might emerge. This work is exhausting and often seems futile because the rock throwing is constant and may be increasing in intensity, and yet, every now and then another soul joins the good fight and, over time, the pile seems to diminish.

We now reach a critical juncture. Everyone in the valley must now climb the hill and help clear the way for humanity to emerge from the darkness. Those in the cave must concentrate on the light of reason. There is a bright future for mankind only if, and when, we cooperate with each other. The well-worn path is a dead end.

"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."


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Internal Resources

America the 'beautiful'


About the Author

R. Scott Porter is a General Contractor who lives in Laguna Beach, California, and whose skills and expertise have been featured in This Old House magazine in March 2008. To learn more about Porter's bread and butter, please visit GandSbuilders.com



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This Edition's Internal Links

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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art15/porter15.html
Published March 9, 2009