The following excerpts by Christie Hanzlik, C.S. are from Let Your Light Shine on UNREALITY to Reveal Reality! (a Christian Science Bible Lesson study guide)
Plato, a Greek philosopher, created his “Allegory of the Cave” roughly 400 years before Jesus’s ministry, but, in many ways, we can see it as an early glimpse of Christ’s promise to all mankind that we can be free from material bondage. In fact, we can use the allegory to understand Jesus’s necessary role in revealing and demonstrating reality to mankind.
Whereas Plato may have left the story with the prisoners unable to understand the true nature of reality, Jesus proved that people could understand it. Without Christ Jesus’s amazing demonstration of spiritual vision and communication, the “world outside the cave” would remain a garbled confusion to those feeling imprisoned by matter. Christ Jesus was necessary to bring the Divine revelation to humanity.
Jesus understood God’s love for us so well that he could, unlike the freed prisoner in Plato’s allegory, communicate and demonstrate the truth about the “world outside the cave.” His role was to show us the way out of the cave so we could see and prove for ourselves that we are not prisoners. He was the way shower. And true Christianity, as Jesus taught it, is the movement and spread of the absolute truth that we are not prisoners chained in a cave of matter.
Jesus saw clearly that the “shadow wall”-matter-is not the true picture of reality even if it may seem to present mesmerizing sights and sounds and smells. He understood the “world outside the cave”-spiritual reality-and his purpose was to reveal this truth to all mankind. Jesus asked us to let our light shine and to continue sharing his message of salvation-freedom from the chains of matter. Once we know about the “world outside the cave,” we cannot go back to not knowing it; and it’s natural for us to want to share it with others.