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Old 05-07-2008, 11:49 AM   #1
krakhead
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Thumbs up 3 blind men and an elephant

Can anyone here claim to KNOW the TRUTH?

Quote:
One day, three blind men happened to meet each other and gossiped a long time about many things.

Suddenly one of them recalled, “I heard that an elephant is a queer animal. Too bad we’re blind and can’t see it.”

“Ah, yes, truly too bad we don’t have the good fortune to see the strange animal,” another one sighed.

The third one, quite annoyed, joined in and said, “See? Forget it! Just to feel it would be great.”

“Well, that’s true. If only there were some way of touching the elephant, we’d be able to know,” they all agreed.

It so happened that a merchant with a herd of elephants was passing, and overheard their conversation. “You fellows, do you really want to feel an elephant? Then follow me; I will show you,” he said.

The three men were surprised and happy. Taking one another’s hand, they quickly formed a line and followed while the merchant led the way. Each one began to contemplate how he would feel the animal, and tried to figure how he would form an image.

After reaching their destination, the merchant asked them to sit on the ground to wait. In a few minutes he led the first blind man to feel the elephant. With outstretched hand, he touched first the left foreleg and then the right. After that he felt the two legs from the top to the bottom, and with a beaming face, turned to say, “So, the queer animal is just like that.” Then he slowly returned to the group.

Thereupon the second blind man was led to the rear of the elephant. He touched the tail which wagged a few times, and he exclaimed with satisfaction, “Ha! Truly a queer animal! Truly odd! I know now. I know.” He hurriedly stepped aside.

The third blind man’s turn came, and he touched the elephant’s trunk which moved back and forth turning and twisting and he thought, “That’s it! I’ve learned.”

The three blind men thanked the merchant and went their way. Each one was secretly excited over the experience and had a lot to say, yet all walked rapidly without saying a word.

“Let’s sit down and have a discussion about this queer animal,” the second blind man said, breaking the silence.

“A very good idea. Very good.” the other two agreed for they also had this in mind. Without waiting for anyone to be properly seated, the second blurted out, “This queer animal is like our straw fans swinging back and forth to give us a breeze. However, it’s not so big or well made. The main portion is rather wispy.”

“No, no!” the first blind man shouted in disagreement. “This queer animal resembles two big trees without any branches.”

“You’re both wrong.” the third man replied. “This queer animal is similar to a snake; it’s long and round, and very strong.”

How they argued! Each one insisted that he alone was correct. Of course, there was no conclusion for not one had thoroughly examined the whole elephant. How can anyone describe the whole until he has learned the total of the parts?
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:07 PM   #2
mido
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"How can anyone describe the whole until he has learned the total of the parts?"


Quite right. Everything is so fragmented that it's difficult to make a picture of the whole. It's like several jigsaw puzzles with the pieces mixed up - it will take a lot of time, effort, resources and solid application to discover the way everything fits together.

I grow weary of modern 'sages' purporting know it all. The real truth is hard to imagine because I don't think we're close yet. But it's great to have an outlet like this to discuss what matters to us and (hopefully) learn something.
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:20 AM   #3
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Default I like this version:

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach'd the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -"Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he,
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

MORAL.
So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

John Godfrey Saxe's ( 1816-1887) version of the famous Indian legend
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:30 AM   #4
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What a good thread

I'm humbled.
All my beliefs blind me from the Truth.
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
“Well, that’s true. If only there were some way of touching the elephant, we’d be able to know,” they all agreed.

It so happened that a merchant with a herd of elephants was passing, and overheard their conversation.
first, wow! now thats some manifesting powers!

second, those blind men must not have been the most intelligent men.....i think if i were blind i would attempt to feel the whole animal, instead of just touching one part(knowing that it is in fact not the whole animal, cause it doesnt 'end'), so not many people would probably listen to these men in the first place.
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by thewaycreates View Post
first, wow! now thats some manifesting powers!

second, those blind men must not have been the most intelligent men.....i think if i were blind i would attempt to feel the whole animal, instead of just touching one part(knowing that it is in fact not the whole animal, cause it doesnt 'end'), so not many people would probably listen to these men in the first place.
Most metaphors don't stand up to close examination! Buzz-killer!
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