Monday, August 25, 2014

Six Blind Men and an Elephant

Dr Abe V Rotor

Stone Elephant, UST, Manila

This fable by the Persian poet Jalãl al-Din Rümï (d 1273) is about human ignorance.

Each one of the sight-challenged men mistakes the part for the whole, just as today's adherents of various religious sects, political ideologies, and economic theories, claim a firm hold on Truth while disparaging or ignoring others.

1st Blind Man: A bed, referring to the belly.

2nd Blind Man: A venomous snake, the trunk
3rd Blind Man: A rope, the tail.
4th Blind Man: It's a pillar, a leg.
5th Blind Man: A beautiful fan, the ear.
6th Blind Man: A sword, the tusk.

In a parallel way, most people are blind to the Earth, perceiving it only in terms of utility -- as stacks of natural resources, raw materials, background scenery, and other commodities -- rather than as a Living Whole.

One wonders whether the six blind men - or women - would not have asked directions, joined hands, done a bit of networking, before declaring that they had Truth by the tail, trunk, ears, belly, tusk, or leg.

Which leads us to examine the so-called syndromes that continue to haunt mankind – his relationship with his fellowmen on one hand, and with the environment, on the other. ~

No comments: