one of the first stories that introduced me to philosophy was platos cave story... three men, from birth, were chained sitting on the ground in a cave. the only thing they could see was the wall of the cave directly in front of them. a fire behind them cast shadows on the wall of the world that existed behind them. at thirty years old, one of the men was unchained and released from the cave to see the world. days later, the man returned to be rechained. in excitement he told the other two men stories of the world he had seen when unchained. the other two men laughed at him as if he was crazy and never believed him about the existence of the outside world... this story was the beginning of many of platos concepts leading to the philosophy of the shadow world.. that we, humans, are living in the shadow world, a rippled reflection of the true perfect world (some may c it as heaven or the afterlife). the ripple affect is what causes us to have all the varieties that we do (species, trees, etc) and degredation. i highly suggest reading up on these concepts, even just for fun, its very interesting.