This Then is Life
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Elephant in the Dark
Some Hindus have an elephant to show.
No one here has ever seen an elephant.
They bring it at night to a dark room.
One by one, we go in the dark and come out
Saying how we experience the animal.
One of us happens to touch the trunk.
A water-pipe kind of creature.
Another, the ear. A very strong, always moving
back and forth, fan-animal. Another, the leg.
I find it still, like a column on a temple.
Another touches the curved back.
A leathery throne. Another, the cleverest,
feels the tusk. A rounded sword made of porcelain.
He is proud of his description.
Each of us touches one place
and understand the whole that way.
The palm and the fingers feeling in the dark
are how the senses explore the reality of the elephant.
If each of us held a candle there,
And if we went in together, we could see it.
Is our experience of God the only way the Divine can be experienced?
If not, why do we act as if it is?
Why do we try so hard to get others to experience Divinity in the same ways we do?
If we listened more, and talked less, we would know God better.
"Silence is God's first language; everything else is a poor translation."
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