The Blind Village and the Elephant

Many of you will know this story and of course it is not mine, but it is worth remembering during these days of fear and fanaticism.

“Once there was a village of blind people (that is us). In this village lived a blind king, five blind wise men and the rest of the villagers who also could not see.

“One day an elephant came stumping heavily into the village, and stood in the village square. All the villagers were quite alarmed and anxious to find out what was this thunderous entity which had entered their village. The king ordered the five wise men to investigate the phenomenon and to report their findings.

Each of the five wise men approached the elephant from a different angle. The first came up the elephant’s side, and, after feeling it, reported that it was a huge walking, pulsating wall which had come into the village.

The second wise man got hold of one of its legs and said it was not a wall but a walking tree trunk, which had come to visit them.

The third came upon the tail and rejected the first two opinions, announcing that the truth was that it was a snake.

The fourth having grabbed the ear, stated that previous observations were wrong and that the truth was that it was a large walking leaf.

The fifth who happened to catch hold of the trunk claimed that the others were wrong and that the reality was that it was a large moving hose.

The wise men and their respective followers came into intense conflict concerning the reality of what had walked into their village.

The blind village represents the present state of spiritual blindness affecting all of humanity. The five wise men represent the various major religions, who, approaching the unseen God from various angles, have experienced God in different ways. In our blind state, we argue about what the reality of God is, when there is ONLY ONE GOD, which is in reality the essence of all beings and things which exist.

Why then do we need to fight and argue between ourselves? Each religion is a valid path to the same One God. All are correct. All need to be respected. Each individual may choose the religious path which suits him and move efficiently forward, with love for God and all beings in his heart.

Let us not be blind to the truth of God’s omnipresence even in those who have differing beliefs. Let us open our eyes and see the oneness of all beings.

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