The blind men, and the elephant

“A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: “We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable”.

So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. In the case of the first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said “This being is like a thick snake”. For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan.

As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said the elephant, “is a wall”.

~The Blind Men and the Elephant (Wikipedia)

Religion tries to describe the mechanics of unprecedented otherworldly experiences, and inexplicable phenomena with language that is solely capable of articulating worldly things. It can only tell the materialist “You have to experience it for yourself to understand.”

Science tries to demystify inexplicable phenomena with observation, replication, and math, but it’s incapable of articulating the meaning behind any of them. It asks the believer “But where’s your evidence?

Neither man sees the whole elephant, but by comparing notes, they’d comprehend far more than they ever could alone.

Feature Image: Blind Monks Examining an Elephant, Hanabusa Itcho

Jason Amunwa

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