“I cannot well repeat how there I entered,
So full was I of slumber at the moment
In which I had abandoned the true way.”

– Dante’s Divine Comedy starts with the puzzle and paradox. He leaves the “true way” and descends into Hell, but in fact, he enters into a truth.

The same paradoxical figure of speech exists in almost every ancient culture, representing a tale of crossing a threshold of life. The famous Plato’s “cave” is probably the latest illustration of the same story. When Plato states those who exit the cave will be “blinded by light”, he means they will become awakened and aware of truth. Truth is blinding and dangerous for those who are not prepared for the encounter.

Ancient’s fables regularly use puzzles and contradictions to discourage weak, undetermined, occasional passer-byes. They were aware knowledge is the most dangerous weapon if it falls into wrong hands. Story of Lucifer provides great example, as his name means lucid or “enlightened”.

Moral: be careful when you crave for knowledge, you may get blinded easily.

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