What about what happens when someone turns from divine study to the evils of human life? Do you think it’s surprising, since his sight is still dim, and he hasn’t yet become accustomed to the darkness around him, that he behaves awkwardly and appears completely ridiculous if he’s compelled, either in the courts or elsewhere, to contend about the shadows of justice or the statues of which they are the shadows and to dispute about the way these things are understood by people who have never seen justice itself?
That’s not surprising at all.
No, it isn’t. But anyone with any understanding would remember that the eyes may be confused in two ways and from two causes, namely, when they’ve come from the light into the darkness and when they’ve come from the darkness into the light. Realizing that the same applies to the soul, when someone sees a soul disturbed and unable to see something, he won’t laugh mindlessly, but he’ll take into consideration whether it has come from a brighter life and is dimmed through not having yet become accustomed to the dark or whether it has come from greater ignorance into greater light and is dazzled by the increased brilliance. Then he’ll declare the first soul happy in its experience and life, and he’ll pity the latter—but even if he chose to make fun of it, at least he’d be less ridiculous than if he laughed at a soul that has come from the light above.