Some people got into a heated argument about different religions and philosophies and which was, in fact, true and right. They went to the Buddha to sort it out.
The Buddha asked them to get a large and magnificent elephant and four blind men. He then brought the four blind people to the elephant and told them to report on how they felt the elephant looked.
The first blind man touched the elephant leg and reported that it “looked” like a tree trunk. The second blind man touched the elephant tummy and said that an elephant was actually wall. The third blind man touched the elephant ear and said that it was a piece of cloth. The fourth blind man holds on to the tail and described the elephant as a piece of rope. On hearing each other describe it differently, all of them then got into a more heated argument about what an elephant really looks like.
The Buddha asked his disciples: “Each blind man had touched the elephant but each of them gives a different description of the animal. Which answer is right?”
I adore this story, for so often we find ourselves clinging to our view from a limited place from where we stand. What would everyone involved see if they all took a step back? What’s the ‘whole elephant really look like?’
Written with love,