The wall of Plato’s Cave—our movie screen—which we have been persuaded to believe is real —is being deconstructed before our eyes. It is a terrifying idea that the world we believe is real is not real. In Zen, this idea is called the Great Doubt.
In order to benefit from the Story on the screen—to win as the hero wins and defeats the bad guys—we half to suspend disbelief, that still awareness in the back of our mind that tells us the movie is just a movie.
We have a friend who, when we watch movies at home, will get mad at characters in the movie for not acting as she would. “It’s just a movie,” I remind her.
The Impeachment hearings are a real-time deconstruction of the belief that Trump’s story of Ukraine is true. If you remember Plato’s Cave, someone left the seats watching the shadows on the wall and discovered that the real world was outside the theater. When he tried to tell the other, they thought he was crazy. When Socrates said they were watching shadows they made him drink Hemlock.
We had a parade of credible fact witnesses who had the courage to come forth and tell is that the facts tell us that we have been watching shadows on a cave wall, a movie, if you will, a Story that makes us feel good. Trump’s Story is that if you believe in his movie. you are going to feel like winners.
But the great pain of the Great Doubt is that if you see the movie is fake, you are going to feel like a loser, someone who has been conned. But here’s the truth: Reality always feels better than unreality, because then you are real and alive, even though it hurts.