"Plato developed a theory of forms, which argued that all objects are shadows of one ideal type. All trees for instance, are imperfect copies of an ideal tree, whose perfect "tree-ness" they aspire to. The same with fish and "fish-ness" or even cups and "cup-ness". This quote is from a famous book called "Geography Is Destiny." basically what this means is all objects are shadows of one ideal type. let me explain, Plato says all objects are shadows of one ideal type. This means everything in the universe, a flower, an ant, a star, anything you could possibly imagine has one ideal form. This means somewhere there is a perfect flower or ant or star that all others are trying to aspire to be like. This can be used in any instance. Lets look at this from a religious point of view. God is this all powerful creator of everything. He is this mysterious being that can do anything, be anything. From this quote, could we say that god is this perfect form that humans aspire to? Like the flower or the ant? in theory we could, this is because all humans are relatively the same. we look, walk, talk, think and communicate in more or less the same ways. God is the perfect "god-ness." it makes sense right? everything in the universe, that includes people, and if we are still looking at this from a religious stand point, God is part of the universe. Whether you believe in God or not, it doesn't change what the quote is saying. The reason there are so many trees or fish or flowers or stars, is because somewhere at sometime there is this perfect form of that thing, now everything in the universe strives to be a perfect copy, a perfect image of that one ideal type, that one ideal perfect thing.