We all see things in very different ways, mainly because we tend to be restricted by our own viewpoint.
The Buddha used to tell an amusing parable about six blind men and an elephant to explain how the differing views are come by.
Each man has a different idea of what the elephant is, each being able to touch a different part of the animal.
This poem, by John Godfrey Saxe, sums up the scene and explains the moral behind the tale …
|It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.The First approach’d the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -“Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”
The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
The Sixth no sooner had begun
And so these men of Indostan
So oft in theologic wars,
John Godfrey Saxe ( 1816-1887)