Saturday, April 10, 2010

Blind Men and an Elephant

Six blind men were asked to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the elephant's body. They all describe different things. A wise man explains to the six:
"All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently is because each one of you touched a different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all the features you mentioned."
This is the Jain version of the story. It is used to illustrate how the truth can be stated in many different ways. It is also used to show how we should live in harmony with people who hold different beliefs.

The story reminds me of the perceptions of others. Every person sees only a piece of who you are. We should be aware that a blind elephant would have a complete knowledge of self. Like the elephant, I know who I am.