Four Blind Sages  

Sailor376 62M
953 posts
8/1/2006 10:15 pm

Last Read:
6/5/2011 9:24 am

Four Blind Sages

A story that I read long ago came to the fore a week or so back and I thought it worth the telling again.

Thank you, Alisa.

The four sages, the four blind sages, because although very blind, they were also very wise.
Limited as they were, they happened upon an elephant. Now we are all very glad , and they were as well, that this elephant had such a gentle temperament and rich sense of humor.

For each grasped a portion, a different portion for each sage, of this elephant and exclaimed 'Wondrous!'. The elephant must have not been too ticklish, else I dread the result that could have been. (You might have wished for the shorter version of this story, however.)

'The first, and most revered sage, had grasped a leg and declared that this creature was just like a tree with it's rough bark like skin and tall straight trunk.

The second most revered sage was holding and being held by the elephant's trunk. He declared that this beast was a large and strong snake.

The third most revered sage (Though why anyone should revere him!) Had in his hands the tusks. Warm and hard and smooth like the rice serving bowls at dinner.

And the fourth, after much effort had discovered the tail. Hard as a stick with long and stiff bristles.

'Wondrous' they all said, 'Wondrous'.

But of course even the basest of us can see the truth. Or can we? Do we not discover the qualities of our neighbors, our friends , of our hearts most precious loves in much the same way? We can see her body and utter the word 'Wondrous'. I do. Or her face and be even more certain of our hoped good fortune.

We see her or his soul, their person, not at all. We uncover , with time, the bark coarse hide. or the creamy smooth disposition, or snake like venality, or the bristly, stick-ly tail.

But even yet the truth of the parts does lie some where or some when in between all the little bits that we can touch or sense or feel.

The truth, if we are so fortunate, is warm and rich and will take several lifetimes to plumb. That is, if we are so lucky.

I have decided that I like strings.

But heed well the fate of the fourth sage who went a tugging and a tugging on the 'Wondrous' tail and tale and was shortly rewarded with a warm offal offering. But that too taught him something.


rm_Vitruvius78 38M
59 posts
8/3/2006 12:40 pm

I have used a modified version of this tale to demonstrate many times the complex nature of truth and how many can be correct in describing a single situation based on their limited undestanding each of it.

In the middle East, and my country to be more precise, people tend to argue in a manner that is mutually exclusive on behalf of each participant in the discussion. Each tends to force his vision of the situation on the others and would not care to modify his point of view by taking into consideration the opinions of his peers.

This method of rationalizing is what renders my people (myself included so as not to say them) unable to accept one another's differences, and not willing to make any room for our different points of view.

This analogy can be powerful when begining a discussion because it sets the stage for a workshop of ideas instead of a wrestling ring.

Good chice Sailor376

ShyWhisper2006 53F
15175 posts
8/4/2006 1:47 am

may we all be most fortunate...*smiles*

Sailor376 replies on 8/4/2006 5:47 am:
Thank you for visiting. I wish you such fortune.


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