Friday, January 25, 2013

Hindu Parable

Detail, Elephant Mural, Portland, Oregon  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved
(Velvia slide film)

Do you know the old Hindu parable about the elephant and the blind men? Several versions exist, but it basically goes like this...

 6 blind men (who do not know they are blind) gather around an elephant, each touching only a part of it, the trunk, the head, an ear, etc. Each blind man then interprets what he thinks the elephant is, based on what he has learned. 

Of course there is disagreement among them. The blind men each stubbornly hold to their opinions, and eventually come to blows. In an alternate version, they compare their varied knowledge and reach an agreement.

Another version tells of a sighted person walking by, explaining to the blind men what the elephant actually is. At this point they realize for the first time they are blind.

A more contemporary version of the parable reverses the circumstances, where 6 blind elephants each determine the nature of a man. 
They all conclude he is flat.


  1. That's a fun photo Doug. Nope. Haven't heard that parable before. I'll bet their are man interpretations of its meaning.

  2. Beautiful intensive blue, a great image!

  3. As an ancient mosaïc. Beautiful blue

  4. Nice and easy for mailing then! Great little story - and pic. Enjoy the weekend you wild things!

  5. You crack me up! Great shot Doug--the full frame really punctuates the size elements.

  6. love how you filled the curve on the frame..
    and that's the first time i've heard of the last one.. lol! ;D

  7. Gotta love it, Doug...the stories, all versions, and the image!

  8. Thanks for introducing me to that story, I hadn't heard it before. Great image too.

  9. Amazing! Great find!!
    Have a nice day.

  10. Fantastic find, Doug! Love the colors and cropping!
    Nice weekend to you:)

  11. Gorgeous blues and an intriguing abstract left to the imagination.

  12. i love how you cropped this beautiful "writing (in pictures) on the wall", doug, and i love the indian parable. a different yet very similar parable is that of the ring in "nathan the wise" by german writer lessing. here is the link, in case you want to read up on it:
    have a great weekend !!!

  13. Let the blind lead the blind, it's more fun that way.
    Come, follow me and my silly yak. Ha~
    We'll give you a mystery (misery, if you like) tour.

  14. nicely composed image ... cool blue tones


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