This is a traditional story…

Six blind men lived together in a forest.

They had heard rumours of the elephant, which they were not able to verify since none of them had seen the elephant.

They agreed one of them should find the elephant and report back.

Their first member went and found the elephant, and encountered its leg. Returning, he recounted: “The elephant stands tall, round like a pillar. I can barely reach around it with my arms.”

Not satisfied with this description, the remaining blind men resolved to send another of their members the following day. The second blind man felt the side of the elephant’s belly. “The elephant floats above the ground, is rough to the touch and stretches further than my arms can reach,” was his report.

And so it continued. The third blind man approached the elephant’s tail: “The elephant is long and stringy like a rope.”

The fourth discovered its tusk: “The elephant is curved, smooth and hard to the touch.”

The fifth described the ear, as “Large, thin and flat, shaped like a fan.”

The sixth and final blind man met the trunk: “The elephant writhes like a snake and spouts like a fire hose. It drenched me with water.”

Each blind man had reported faithfully his experience of the elephant. Yet each account was utterly different and wildly contradictory.

Convinced that the others were all lying, the men furiously raged and beat each other to death with their blind man’s sticks.

In this story, the blind men represent the various religions, while the ultimate Truth is the unsuspecting elephant, minding its own business. Each religion has captured an aspect of Truth, yet the ultimate Truth can only be experienced, and never described.

Meditate… find the complete elephant within.