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"On the Divided line, our judgment
Is lost in shadow..."
- PLATO

When the sun goes down over our eyes, the light that warms the surface of reality is put to sleep, buried under lost blankets of time. We count our hours backwards to keep up with our intuition. We gather in local squares and speak the same tongue. Higher learners will find those who are singled out and confused. A clouded mind prescribes a nasty trick, but easily fixed; a mind lost in shadow is a bomb wrapped in tinsel.

Plato wrote multiple manuscripts that described as the theories of reality, including his approach to ethics and rational thought. He constructed The Divided Line as an abstract for the highest good. It represents the higher forms of reality, leaving our judgment and opinions suspended in shadow. Plato also wrote about enlightenment and the decisions we make to better suit society. He showed that political influence ensured the security of the people.

The slaves locked away in Plato's Allegory of the Cave are only allowed to see the shadows cast before their eyes. They are unable to turn away so they recognize each other's intelligence with what they see. Their hopes and fears are cloaked in shadow, an their illusion is a strong representation of our problems today. In this modern form of civilization, we can't distinguish our leaders for their inner ambitions. What society recognizes as their fearless chief could be, in actuality, a false representation of the warrior's weak heart.

Could society compare the President of the United States to Genghis Khan? An irrational person will base judgment on outward appearance and support his president over the rugged Mongol. A rational person would know that Genghis Khan acknowledged his enemy's honor if they sat and spoke their problems. The difference between the president and Khan is that the president has access to nuclear weapons.

Plato might argue, what can't be seen before our eyes must exist in our minds. These shadows that seem real are nothing more than an illusion. The shadow cast from a silhouette can be a mysterious representation. In the darkness, our minds can speak madness to what it can't perceive; we are suddenly surrounded by demons that weren't there before. We fire our guns widely into the air, hoping our actions result in positive results. The society rebuilt on terrorized remains remembered the aftermath of the 2002 attack, and continued their support for our President to solve the obstructive gloom over our country in the 2004 election. Yet, as society evolves into a more stable community that extends beyond our shoreline, we still fear the apparitions that haunt our dreams and visions of a peaceful humanity.

After September 11, the foreshadowing event America will never forget, society sought refuge in the destruction of their symbol for international peace. They turned their attention from their own dark corners of society, and out towards the countries with the extended arm. The President of the United States, George W. Bush, believed retaliation was the best plan to counterattack these terrorists. Following in the troubled footsteps of his father, Bush sent troops to terrorize the opposing side, adding to this loophole of irrational behavior. Showers of bullets were fired and soldiers of both sides dropped to their feet. Casualties were counted in both countries, yet the idea of terrorizing these terrorists continues to grow.

Veterans and patriots alike, seating peacefully from the comfort of their Brink's security home, shook their fists at the news report as they witnessed the release of Osama Bin Laden's latest tape. Still seen as a figure of evil, the devil incarnate, Osama showed signs of a rational person. He urged the president of the United States, whether elected George Bush or John Kerry, to work towards a less-involved agreement between international relations. The war between US and Iraq is a battle that has been in episode prior to 9/11. From cinematic features and widespread books, people have discovered the truth behind government involvement that led to what could have been prevented. Osama made his point for united troops to withdraw from Iraqi soil and leave his lifestyle in one piece. The people of Iraq believe the US dictatorship, set up in their town like an outpost of rules, is responsible for the war.

As one of the strongest nations, the United States has an obligation to police neighboring countries with obligations. But there are certain boundaries that have been broken to cover up for government connections in places that did not need US interference. The lives of the Iraqi people are governed by their religious beliefs and the United States does not accept their culture as rational. But what proves the US as a rational country? Plato would agree that US involvement is no place for higher intelligence. If two soldiers, one from each opposing side, met face to face in a barren field with nothing in view for miles around, would the two soldiers immediately kill?

An instant before a soldier has the opportunity to fire upon his enemy, a series of thoughts will pass through his tiny, warped head. First, he will agree to the terms that what he sees before him is his enemy. Second, the typical soldier has an obligation to protect internal order and will fire at the opportunity to take him out. When the enemy lies at his feet, coughing on his last coagulated breath, the last thought that would pass through is his acceptance in human mortality; he will see the aftermath of his actions. What he saw before was a soldier, his enemy. Now punctured and bleeding, he will notice the enemy's fading life. This human will die at the hands of another, a virtue of destruction that is taught to these soldiers of twenty-first century fortune.

And naturally, these notions of war are planted in the head of every soldier. These mirror ideas clash together in a balanced force that could leave these soldiers at a standstill. One soldier may kill and stand satisfied over the corpse, and the other soldier may do the same, yet neither fire. The explanation that Plato might give on this account is that both soldiers found the rational thought that came too late in most scenarios. They saw each other as the opposing force that stood alone. Why end each other's life when they are the last? What good would bloodshed bring when no one is left to claim the throne? The soldiers found their reasoning hidden in the appreciation for indifference. The benefit from learning from a different culture is of higher value than abolishing their existence. From the shadows, these combined societies could become something great, but Plato knew that from these shadows of war, their reasoning would never allow them to see the truth.

The 2004 presidential election led the country in second guesses and missing ballots. Florida's notorious involvement with the presidential election once again shocked the nation when ballots were reported stolen from electoral officials. The election between Bush and Kerry ended in crushed dreams and an eerie realization of the next four years. The dark side of reasoning that corrupted those responsible for the election, is the same train of thought our military intelligence would use: shoot first, ask questions later. Representatives and supporters of the president believed that the election was a bumpy road to solving the problems with overseas terrorists. In his campaign, the president used slogans like, "You shouldn't change your horse in mid-stream." He believed that changing the strategy in harsh times would be a bad idea. Senator John Kerry believed that by offering a new message of hope to the desperate people of both shattered nations, he could change the tide and rebuilt the connection that was lost.

President Bush recaptured the popular votes that dramatically changed the outcome of the election. By electing George Bush for another four years of presidency, society has allowed their clouded minds to continue wandering. Left in the shadows, our culture will follow Bush to a stronger dictatorship in policed countries. These rational ideas look good on paper but the actual process has a harsh reality. For George Bush to gain complete control of terrorist activity he will order ground troops to occupy all sand dunes and mountain passes. Troops will be exposed to the harsh elements of alien countries and unnatural forms of death; some will be captured, questioned, and beaten. This lengthy procedure of international cleansing is thought as irrational behavior; evil begets evil and nothing good will come from this stockpile of death.

Is there a rational form of war? Yes, in one point of time, rational behavior between opposing side did exist. Genghis Khan, ruler of the Mongolian tribe and 13thh century China, found the virtue of understanding his enemy. Khan believed that if his enemy wanted a war, he would give them the blood bath they so deserved. But, if his enemy showed signs of social agreement, Khan accepted him as a trusted warrior and found peace between the conflicting tribes.

Although Genghis Khan was a bloodthirsty tyrant who ruled the land with an iron fist, he found harmony through the agreements with the people. He taxed the travelers and protected the trade merchants, an idea that models our modern civilization. Yet, as a nation and world power, the United States will still carry the burden of overseas conflict. Our judgment lies buried in shadow, and we still look towards destruction as a means to a good end. President Bush and many of those who voted on his behalf, agree that by adding to the violence of third-world security, we are making our world a safer place.

As a society that is slowly picking up the pieces of our last disaster, can we assume that the next wave of reasoning will brighten our tomorrow? Or will the shower of nuclear weapons that our re-elected president could ignite send our shattered dreams into outer space? I look up at the stars and wish hard for a miracle to shine through the clouds and scare the creatures of shadow away, leaving our judgment on a clear path to the greatest good.



------
Open and read the pages of my DarkerMind
where one's style of writing comes from deep within.
I don't plan to change the world; just trying to leave my mark.



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The following comments are for "On the Divided Line"
by KingDon





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