The world has long benefited from Plato's Allegory of the Cave. It was Plato's way of illustrating the epistemological question-how do you know truth. In the allegory, people are seated facing the wall at the back of the cave with their backs to the entrance. There is a light source behind them casting their shadows on the wall in front of them. Plato's people see the shadows on the wall and think that they are seeing reality. What they see is merely an illusion, but they think that they perceive the truth.

While many know of Plato's Allegory of the Cave, few realize that there was another allegory that had been lost for over two millennia until recently. As chance would have it, I came into possession of this rare find. I can't tell my readers the circuitous route that this long-lost allegory took to reach me. Nonetheless, I have a copy of it and will share it with my readers.

The allegory is as follows: "Once upon a time, a cave-dwelling society prospered in a rather large and relatively isolated cave. There were other cave societies scattered all around the region, but this particular society, while generally prosperous and friendly, didn't have much to do with the other societal groups. Nevertheless, it managed to get word that one of the smaller societies had developed a more lethal version of the spear. This new spear was very much like earlier versions of spears possessed by the large and prosperous cave society. Even though the much larger society had an arsenal of spears unmatched by all the other societies combined, they were fearful that the lesser society would attack them. Therefore, the most powerful society attacked the lesser cave society. This preemptive attack was to safeguard the powerful society from attacks by the lesser on.

"The preemptive war went well. The vastly more dominant society totally overwhelmed the smaller society. However, once they invaded the cave, they discovered that these new spears were nowhere to be found. Instead of leaving the cave feeling safe that they wouldn't be attacked by this lesser cave society, the large cave society decided that they would remake that cave into their own likeness. Even though their perception was wrong on the threat of the new spear, they were sure that the lesser society needed reorganization."

Then Plato added this post script: "Ironically, the larger cave society was the very one that saw their shadows on the wall and called the shadows reality."