Insight / Spirituality

A Spiritual Elephant

There is story which relays how a number of blind men describe an elephant they are touching. This story teaches us to be aware of our unique understandings as being limited to our experiences. This story also has meaning in our spiritual journeys. Like the blind men as believers we are each given a glimpse into the whole but the complete picture of spirituality is never revealed to us.


spirituality (Photo credit: Loulair Harton)

Why is that? Why does God not reveal spirituality to us completely so that we have clear understanding and knowledge of it?
I think it is because of our human nature. We act before we commit. We are victims to our ego which coerces us into being creatures that become self-justified, self-rationalized and self-aggrandized. In matters of spirituality we can become self-anointed. We assume that our individual perceptions are correct; not only for us personally but also for everyone else and in so doing we lose the truth to our own interpretations and will. Even if we were to be given the whole picture of spirituality all at once we would quickly dissimilate it into our own truths.

We are called upon to seek out the truth and to continue this search throughout our spiritual journeys. The whole picture will not be shown to us until we become spiritually mature and capable to receive it and express it with humility. Unfortunately, unlike the Christ, we are unable to suppress our ego and grow into this maturity.

On the other hand, ask any child playing hide and seek which part is the most enjoyable: the searching or the finding. At first the joy of finding is considered the revelation. But in time we discover that the joy was not in the finding but the joy was truly in the searching.


4 thoughts on “A Spiritual Elephant

  1. This story of the blind men and the elephant, from Hindu legend, is one of my favorite metaphors for the nature of spiritual experience. This may also be why Hinduism is so tolerant of so many strange and contradictory mythologies.
    I’m afraid that humans really don’t have the brain power (or the spirit power) to understand the nature of spiritual reality – of Reality, Itself. We are truly blind, creatures groping in the dark for something we sense is good, and good for us, but which we cannot see or describe with any accuracy or skill.

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