Plato was my first contact with the non-religious metaphysical/spiritual philosophy. Oddly enough, it happened to me at school. You rarely see me being more intrigued than by reading that part where Plato was defining the source of life. Apparently, I was always inclined towards learning about it, whether I was aware of it or not.
I have read a few different perspectives concerning what Plato called (translated) the world of thoughts or ideas and the world of forms. And I don’t agree with all of them. And since Plato himself was a very liberal (not neoliberal) person, I also take the liberty to define it the way I see it myself. Afterall, according to Plato, people that fail in love become philosophers (well, not all).
I also assert there is a a world of appearances, and a world of truth, only I wouldn’t call it a world, but just truth. What’s the difference? When something appears to be, it isn’t necessarily like it appears to be, or it isn’t at all. And truth is knowing that –what lies beyond the surface. It’s not as romantic as Plato put it, as I use harsh, modern language.
All the world problems you get to read/hear about, are not what they appear to be, or they are not at all –same with with personal problems. And ultimately the same applies to the material universe that we perceive through our physical senses.
The more truth you get to learn about a problem, the more it changes. Why? because the outer layer of it vanishes, and other layers are uncovered. People that want truth might find themselves in more intense problems than others who don’t, as they go through that. But ultimately, if they keep doing that, uncovering layer after layer, those problem no longer exist, and that’s the truth about them.
A person who is in a bad condition, and tries to fix it, will have more bad condition shoved on his face, than another who would apathetically accept it. But the difference is that the one trying to fix it, will eventually fix it, if he is persistent and truthful enough, while the other wont, unless somebody does that for him.
Similarly, if you speak the the truth in society, you’ll liable to have happen to you what Socrates had happen to him. But certainly, even if dead, Socrates is in much better condition than those who judged him and temporarily survived. To speak the truth (the way you yourself perceive truth) might be among the most rewarding and on the same time most punishing experiences you can have, as you depart from the comfort of oblivion (and those who listen to you depart too) and uncover new problems, hopefully for the purpose of handling them. And some people that resemble truth more than others, magnetise their opposite more than the rest, as well; so they might as well wind up thinking of themselves as being very wrong, if they believe them, and consequently even wind up somewhat becoming like that. It’s some of the brightest ones that most often get attacked by the darkest ones. The trick is to know bright from dark, lies from truth, for and by yourself, without getting driven by impressions -as appearances can be deceiving- and to insist on that. Everyone has the capacity for that. The difference is how much and if each one utilizes it.