The Parable of the Man and the Elephant

Today’s Thought:
“The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”
~Niels Bohr

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Do you ever get so focused on one thing that you miss the totally obvious? Truth can be a blissful experience and cause us to miss the obvious. We humans are especially fond of our truths. We argue over them, kill over them, and divide ourselves with them. We also find peace, happiness, and Nirvana through them. There is ancient story from India about a young man who is given what he believes to be a most profound truth by his teacher. This story has so many lessons for all of us. I encourage you to read it through a couple of times and really think about the many levels of meaning here.

A young Brahmin sat at the foot of his teacher. The teacher was explaining how all in the Universe is one.

“We are one with God and God is one with us,” said the teacher.

The young student pondered this for a moment and asked, “So, I am God? You are God? This building is God?”

“Precisely,” assured the teacher.

The young man was quite amazed by this concept and decided to go into the city and meditate amid the hustle and bustle to fully understand the teaching. He seated himself near the road and began meditating on his mantra, “I am one with God”.

Just about then a man riding an elephant approached. Suddenly the man lost control of the elephant and it began racing uncontrollably toward the young man meditating on the side of the road.

“Get out of the road you idiot, you’ll be trampled and killed,” shouted the man on the elephant.

The young man continued his meditation. Now he was saying, “I am one with God. The elephant is one with God. All is one with God.”

The man on the elephant now frantic shouted, “Are you a fool? Get out of the way. You’ll be killed.”

Still, the young man held firm, saying to himself, “I am one with God. The elephant is one with God. All is one with God.”

When the elephant was upon the young man, he lifted him up with his trunk and flung him into the ditch.

The startled young man, a bit bruised and muddy, went back to see his teacher. He recounted the whole story. He asked, “I am God?

“Yes,” said the teacher.

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“And the elephant is God?”

“Yes,” said the teacher.

Sure he had his teacher, the young man asked, “Why would God fling God into the ditch?”

The teacher smiled and said, “Ah, you should have listened to the voice of God yelling at you to get out of the way.”

It pays to pay attention. It pays to remain flexible and listen to all possibilities. We never know where the message is going to come from. Sometimes the obvious is the profound. Sometimes the obvious is meaningless. We must keep an open mind and be ready to listen to truth, whatever its source.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray Davis
for 6 Sense Media

This article originally appeared on The Affirmation Spot blog on June 29, 2012.