“What can I do to increase my brainpower?” someone said to me the other day. What he meant, he clarified upon my asking, was how to be more creative and realize one’s full potential. 

His question reminded me of Plato’s allegory of the cave. In Book VII of the Republic, Plato compares the world and its inhabitants to a cave and its prisoners. They can only see what’s ahead and can’t look around. In the words of Chris Wilson from The Books That Saved My Life in Prison: