This poem is the retelling of an Indian parable that incorporates the different perspectives of six blind men regarding the same elephant to gain knowledge about Arguably, each perspective reveals each man s identity since each of them express what they specify about the elephant in their own unique manner By considering each man s response in relation to who they are as distinct individuals, students can be taught to consider one s or another individual s identity simply by understanding that how people perceive and respond to the external things reflect who they are on the inside, but also that not every individual has the same chances opportunities to take in the same external things in this world the six blind men did not all touch the same part of the elephant With this poem, I would have students dig deeper into the text and write a list of characteristics or experiences each of the six men have in relation to their response that have been shaped by who they are in perceiving a part of the whole I would also go as far as to have students partake in a classroom activity where they are given parts of a bigger object, such as a line or piece of dialogue from a text, and infer how the part they have been given contributes to the greater whole In this way, they will be led to think about how unique individuals with their own set of beliefs and values that drive their identity help contribute to the community at large I would also make sure to emphasize to students that while many students might approach a concept or text to gain knowledge, they will be able to perceive different things, and each student s taking in of knowledge will be valuable since who they are helps dictate how and what they learn reinforcing the beauty of differentiation and the learning process timeline that differs for each student in the classroom. A king explains to them All of you are right The reason every one of you is telling it differently is because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant So, actually the elephant has all the features you mentioned When the blind men had each felt a part of the elephant, the king went to each of them and said to each Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant It has been used to illustrate a range of truths and fallacies broadly, the parable implies that one s subjective experience can be true, but that such experience is inherently limited by its failure to account for other truths or a totality of truth At various times the parable has provided insight into the relativism, opaqueness or inexpressible nature of truth, the behavior of experts in fields where there is a deficit or inaccessibility of information, the need for communication, and respect for different perspectives.Seven Blind Mice, book by Ed YoungThe green mice who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillarThe yellow onewho feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope the purple one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch the one white who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan the red one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a walland the orange one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.Parable known as the manifold nature of truth or the theory of Manifold Predications used to illustrate the principle of living in harmony with people who have different belief systems, and that truth can be stated in different ways People use the parable to argue that immature people deny various aspects of truth deluded by the aspects they do understand, they deny the aspects they don t understand Due to extreme delusion produced on account of a partial viewpoint, the immature deny one aspect and try to establish another This is the maxim of the blind men and the elephant When noting the importance of considering all viewpoints in obtaining a full picture of reality It is impossible to properly understand an entity consisting of infinite properties without the method of modal description consisting of all viewpoints.And so these men Disputed loud and long,Each in his own opinionExceeding stiff and strong,Though each was partly in the rightAnd all were in the wrong.They conclude that the elephant is like a wall, snake, spear, tree, fan or rope, depending upon where they touch They have a heated debate that does not come to physical violence But in Saxe s version, the conflict is never resolved.Moral So oft in theologic wars,The disputants, I ween,Rail on in utter ignoranceOf what each other mean,And prate about an ElephantAn elephant joke inverts the story in the following way Six blind elephants were discussing what men were like After arguing they decided to find one and determine what it was like by direct experience The first blind elephant felt the man and declared, Men are flat After the other blind elephants felt the man, they agreed We have to remember that what we observe is not nature in itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning Werner HeisenbergBlind Men and the Elephant Philosophical ParableThe Blind Men and the Elephant is an ancient parable used today as a warning for people that promote absolute truth or exclusive religious claims The simple reason is that our sensory perceptions and life experiences can lead to limited access and overreaching misinterpretations How can a person with a limited touch of truth turn that into the one and only version of all reality Blind Men and the Elephant Theological TruthWhen it comes to the moral of the Blind Men and the Elephant, it seems that today s philosophers end their agenda too quickly Doesn t the picture of the blind men and the elephant also point to something bigger The elephant Indeed, each blind man has a limited perspective on the objective truth, but that doesn t mean objective truth isn t there In fact, truth isn t relative at all It s there to discover in all its totality In theology, just because we have limited access to Truth, that doesn t mean any and all versions of Truth are equally valid Actually, if we know the Whole Elephant is out there, shouldn t this drive us to open our eyes wider and seek every opportunity to experience of Him This is an excellent book with a great moral to it Some blind men ask to touch an elephant which they ve never encountered before They all touch a different part, and argue that what they felt is what is correct about the elephant The prince comes and tells them they are all correct, and need to work together to discover what an elephant is really like My kids loved it. 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- The Blind Men and the Elephant
- John Godfrey Saxe
- 02 August 2018 John Godfrey Saxe