One basic answer is given by hyperbolic geometry.

Ideal tetrahedra in hyperbolic 3-space H^3 are equivalent (under the action of the automorphism group PGL`_`

2(C)) to tetrahedra with vertices {0,1,oo,z}, and their volume is given by D(z), where D(z) is the Bloch-Wigner dilogarithm, which is a slightly modified version of the dilogarithm. This amounts to writing down the hyperbolic metric and evaluating an integral, which turns out to be (very close to) Li`_`

2(z) (although it is
real valued for complex z).

The tetrahedron {0,1,oo,z} is equivalent under PSL`_`

(2)(C) to {0,1,oo,1/(1-z)} and {0,1,oo,1-1/z}, and so we get formulae:

D(z) = D(1/(1-z)) = D(1 - 1/z).

The tetrahedron {0,1,oo,z} is also equivalent to {0,1,oo,1/z}, except with an odd permutation of the vertices, and thus:D(z) = - D(1/z).

Finally, choose a random point y in the boundary P^1(C) of H^3. If we take the tetrahedron {0,1,oo,y}, we can break it off into {0,1,oo,x} and three other tetrahedra (just like in Euclidean space). Transforming the coordinates of the other three tetrahedra into the standard form gives the 5-term relation:

D(x) - D(y) + D(y/x) - D((1-1/x)/(1-1/y)) + D((1-x)/(1-y)) = 0,which gives a proof of Abel's equation.

Let's think some more about a closed hyperbolic 3-manifold M. By definition, M = H^3/Gamma for a lattice Gamma in PSL`_`

2(C). Since H^3 is contractible, M is a K(Pi,1) space, and so there is a canonical isomorphism H`_*`

(M,Z) = H`_*`

(Gamma,Z), comparing simplicial homology with the group homology of Gamma. Now M has a fundamental class [M] in H`_`

3(M,Z), which gives an element in H`_`

3(Gamma,Z) and hence also a class in H`_`

3(PSL`_`

2(C),Z).
On the other hand, [M] can be decomposed ("triangulated") into ideal tetrehedra with parameters z`_`

i. The set of parameters [z`_`

i] is not unique, however, the only real "move" is the subdivision of tetrahedra, and so associated to M we get an element of the group generated by [z`_`

i] for z`_`

i in P^1(C) and with relation
s exactly of the form satisfied by D above. This is essentially the definition of the Bloch group. D is a function this group, and this decomposition gives a map from H`_`

3(PSL`_`

2(C),Z) to the Bloch group.

Note that it is not obvious that the z`_`

i can be taken inside some field F, this is a consequence of Mostow Rigidity. It turns out that if we take the Bloch group B(F) generated by elements of F, this is, by work of Suslin, essentially equal to K`_`

3(F).

To summarize, the connection between the identity, the cohomology of PSL`_`

2(C), and the Bloch group is well understood, see some papers by Walter Neumann.
For the connection between the Bloch group B(F) and K`_`

3(F), see papers of Suslin.
The connection with motives is more speculative, but here you should look at some papers of Goncharov.

(There are some generalizations/connections to higher regulators for K-groups, but this is a very nice example to understand, being both somewhat accessible yet still very interesting.)

If I could, I would add a flag to this post "hyperbolic geometry".