name for a rose
A line of people, in chains that have bound them their entire lives. They face a stone wall and a fire somewhere behind them casts shadows on the wall. They name those shadows. That one wall and the flickering shadows, themselves facing it, is their whole world.
If they could break their chains, they could turn around, to face reality. They can't describe the world behind them because in their minds there is no term that could be applied to it. Like them, we have chains enclosing us and a limited vocabulary. Just think--if we had only lived in a cold world, we would have no concept of warmth. We wouldn't know of it!
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" --Shakespeare
Things exist seperately from our conceptions of them. If we had no words, everything would exist just the same. And our words can't exhaust the universe--they never could.
"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."--Einstein
If we didn't have words, if we didn't have names for things, what would we think about them? What connections would we make?
The people in the cave know that they are bound in chains. Part of living in this world is realizing we can't understand everything. We're such small creatures in such a universe--galaxies IMMENSE more than we could ever realize! Even if we do know that the sun is at the center of our solar system, we didn't always.
Which brings up questions......how are we such complex organisms? How do we even have a name for the galaxies that stretch seemingly endlessly into space? How do we even have the concept of a god?
What can we learn about what we don't know from what we do?