From our earliest learning’s we begin to place filters between what we see and experience and how we perceive it. While one sees themselves as a victim, another who has had, similar experiences will see themselves as empowered and moving forward confidently as they have left the past. A lifetime of suffering may remain if one remains negatively tethered to the past.
While the story of the six blind men encountering an elephant is thousands of years old from India, the poem that made it popular across Europe and America was released in the mid 19th century by English author Godfrey Saxe.
The poem speaks to many ways we are locked into perceiving things we know little of. It can be tied to religion, education, cultural conditioning and how our short sidedness often does us no favors. May you enjoy the story/poem and find this serves you.
Blind Men and the Elephant
A Poem by John Godfrey Saxe
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 approached 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 spoke:
“I see,” -quote he- “the Elephant Is very like a snake!”
The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee:
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” -quote 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,” -quote 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!
So oft in theological 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!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and feel free to share this and questions please ask. Be well!