Monday, March 26, 2007

The Elephant,The Candle, And The Eye Of The Sea

Andrew Harvey's book, Teachings Of Rumi, explains how we establish beliefs, by seeing only a part of reality. It shows the differences we see, looking at the same thing. It describes how we can learn to trust our inner feelings by focusing on them, rather than just seeing things externally.
The work shows us that we are capable of imagining anything, in the face of the unknown, and it becomes real to us. If you touched your spirit in the dark, what would it feel like to you? OK, how about when you shine a light on it?

The Elephant, The Candle, And The Eye Of The Sea
Some Indians took an elephant into a dark house to exhibit it. People entered the house to try and find out what it was like, but since it was too dark for them to see anything clearly, they each had to feel the elephant with their hands. One person put his hand on its trunk and said, "This animal is like a water pipe!" The hand of another brushed its ear; it seemed to him like a fan. Another seized its leg and declared, "The form of the elephant is like a pillar!" Another put his hand on his back and proclaimed, "The elephant is like a throne!"
Each time anyone heard a description of the elephant, he would understand it through the particular part he had touched. According to whichever section of the animal they had encountered, people's affirmations differed. If each of them had held out a candle in the dark, all differences between what they said would have vanished.
The eye of outward sense is only like the palm of a hand; how can you discover an elephant in its totality with just a palm? The eye of the sea is one thing, the foam another; leave the foam aside, and see with the eye of the sea.

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