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The complete quote is:

Reality is created by the mind. We can change our reality by changing our mind.

I found this quote on Goodreads and on this blog and on Pinterest. However, none of these cites a source. Did Plato actually say this?

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  • Google finds no reference to this before 2001.
    – GEdgar
    Nov 24, 2023 at 17:31
  • It was not here either en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Plato
    – C.F.G
    Nov 24, 2023 at 18:07
  • Plato wrote in Greek, so translations may not say exactly that, but his Theory of Forms generally contains the idea. Nov 24, 2023 at 18:20
  • It's probably related to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_cave Nov 24, 2023 at 23:02
  • Several books online say that the mind creating reality is the basis of Kant's Copernican revolution. Not sure how the second part of the quote would fit into this, however.
    – Laurel
    Nov 25, 2023 at 19:15

1 Answer 1

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Probably not. The first quotation as such for the sentence I found is in a 1990 book (Being Happy!) by Andrew Matthews. There is practically no Plato-context provided there; it a appears in a quick succession of quotes attributed to others (next one is supposedly from Marc Aurelius). According to Wikipedia that book sold 7 million copies in 42 languages though.

In my opinion, the quote is some kind of oversimplification (if not intentional distortion) of the allegory of the cave. But since no source that gives it appears to discuss the quote with more [Plato-]context, this is just my speculation. Actually, I may be too charitable in that regard. Matthews (p. 115--quote below) claims that Plato described thoughts as energy or vibrations, which as far I know, he didn't.

So for every time you produce a thought, with its own unique vibration, you must be producing a reaction or consequence. As you may have around fifty thousand thoughts a day, you're sending out a a lot of vibrations and producing a lot of consequences. What I wish to establish here is that thoughts are real forces. We're dealing with energy.

Plato spoke of these forces when he said : "Reality is created by the mind. We can change our reality by changing our mind." The Roman, Marcus Aurelius, wrote "A man's life is what his thoughts make of it." The Bible said, "Man is what he thinks about all day long ...

Just a quick search on the last quote there suggests that's also being misattributed by Matthews.

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