太陽的聲音 ~ The Sound of The Sun
The Sound of the Sun
There once was a boy who had been blind since birth. He couldn’t comprehend what the colors, shapes, and properties of objects were.
One day, he heard some people talking about the sun.
The first said, “It’s been raining the last few days, and the gloomy weather made everyone depressed. But today the sun came out, so we’re all feeling great.”
The second said, “It’s spring, so it’s not too hot and not too cold. The sunshine feels really comfortable.”
The third said, “But when the summer comes, and we’re out working in the fields, the sun will make us sweaty and uncomfortable, and we’ll want to get away from it.”
The fourth said, “Even so, if it weren’t for the sun, I’m afraid we wouldn’t be here.”
The blind boy was intrigued by their conversation, so he asked them very politely, “Excuse me, sirs, could you please tell me what the sun is?”
They didn’t know what to say to him. Finally, someone ventured,
“The sun is round and shiny, like a cymbal.”
But the boy didn’t understand the words “round,” “shiny,” or “cymbal.”
The man had no choice but to bang a cymbal he was holding and say, “It’s like this. Do you understand?”
The boy nodded in affirmation.
The next day, the boy was passing by the temple gate at the very moment the priest struck the gong. The boy remembered the sound he’d heard the day before, and he ecstatically shouted, “Listen! It’s the sound of the sun!”
The Light of the Sun
Author: James Smyth
Editor: He Yu-wei
“The Sound of the Sun” reminded me of a similar story from Plato’s Republic. Allow me to explain.
A long time ago, there were some captives in a cave. They’d been chained together since birth, and there was a wall before them and a fire behind them. Since their backs were leaning against a screen, they couldn’t see the fire or anything else behind them, merely the shadows that the fire projected on the wall. The captives talked to each other about what the shadows were. Whenever their captors moved things around in the cave, the captives speculated about what the new shadows were.
One day, one of the captives was suddenly freed and taken outside the cave. The sunlight hurt his eyes so much that he was blinded for a time. Yet he slowly adjusted to his new environment, and he came to understand what colors, shapes, and properties really were. He saw the beauty of the world, and he was joyful.
Some days later, he thought of his friends in the cave. He wanted to show this world to them, but he worried about not only the resistance of his captors, but that of his own friends, who might want to stay in the cave because it was the only world they’d ever known. What to do?
This is an allegory. The sun is the truth. We are the captives. Education brings us closer to the truth. At first we’re uncomfortable and lonely, and we want to escape back to our old lives. After we’ve gotten used to it, though, we’re happier than ever and feel like our previous lifestyle was dark and gloomy. Do we have the courage to free our friends from that same captivity?
I think “The Sound of the Sun” is also philosophical. The sun is the truth. We are the blind person. The cymbal symbolizes religion. Since our perception is limited, even the sages don’t know how to explain things to us, so they have to use parables to explain the real state of things. Though we cannot completely understand the truth, religion and philosophy bring us closer to it.
The sun is big and beautiful, vital and ancient, and it has greatly influenced our thinking. Its symbolic importance transcends cultures.