Hojas de Inspiración

The elephant and the blind men

Bill Hulse. billhulse14@gmail.com

Bill Hulse. billhulse14@gmail.com

Four blind men found themselves next to an elephant. Without knowing what it was, each one wanted to describe the object that was in front of him. The first man touched the elephant’s leg and said: “This is a column”. The second man felt the trunk of the elephant and contradicted the first man: “This is a thick stick”. The third man slowly felt the elephant’s stomach and affirmed: “What we have here is an enormous barrel”. The fourth man stroked one the elephant’s ears and said: “One moment, it is none of those things, what I am touching is a big basket”. And thereupon a heated argument began, each one defending his ideas; each one was convinced and spoke with vehemence.

A man passed by observed the four blind men and attracted by the drama he asked, “What are you fighting about?”. Each one of the blind men offered his testimony and ideas. And after patiently hearing all of them, the man said; “ The object in front of you is an elephant. What you felt isn’t a column, those are his legs. Neither is it a stick; although it seems like it, it is his trunk. Nor is it a barrel, that is his big belly. And lastly neither is it a basket, that was his ear. The elephant is not just one of these characteristics, he is all of them”.

Like the blind men, the human beings argue about the aspects and forms of the Divine when they have only experienced one of its manifestations.


A traditional story from India.


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