David: You’ve mentioned being… You said you were a Platonist. What do you mean? Tell us about Plato’s Cave.
MG: Plato’s Cave is wonderful. He talks about this allegory of the cave. The first point of his cave idea was that we live in an illusion, and that we have no idea what true reality is. In effect, the senses are always telling you lies. And the way he illustrated that was to say, imagine that you have a group of slaves. They’ve been chained since birth to only look forward to a wall in a cave. So you have all these slaves. All they do is look forward to that cave. Now, they don’t know this, but behind them there is this big fire. And there are some people that hold up little figurines and little shapes to project shadows onto that wall. And the slaves look at those shadows and to them that is the world, their world, because all they can see is whatever is projected on that wall.
So the shadows on the wall are their reality, which basically means that we also are looking at some sort of fake reality, because our senses can betray our reason – that the only way you can really understand things is if you move away from the senses and you go into the realm of mind. So, to Plato, if you want to find truth, you don’t trust your senses, you trust your reason.
Ard: Because out there, the real thing, the true Platonic real thing, is out there, and what we see is just the shadow of it.
Ard: So if you have a triangle, we see the shadow of the true Platonic perfect triangle?
MG: Exactly. And so those objects of perfection, which are all mathematical objects of perfection – he called them the Perfect Forms – they only exist in your mind. And the true philosopher is the one that can understand those perfect forms and their mathematical beauty and purity, so that he or she can figure out how his God, which is the Demiurge, designed the world.