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David Wilcox

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Elephant Story

from Out Beyond Ideas BUY Slabster

The lamp and the wick change
but the light's the same
See the light within the flame

Some Hindus brought an elephant to exhibit
The kept it in a dark house
People went in and out
They couldn't see anything,
they felt with their hands

One person touched the trunk -
"it's like a downspout"
One, an ear, "more like a fan"
One, the leg, "I find it round
and solid like the column on a temple"
One touches the back - "an enormous throne"
One says "straight", another "crooked"

If each had a candle and they went in together
The differences would disappear

The lamp and the wick change
but the light's the same
See the light within the flame

It is limited in it's perception

Jalaludin Rumi

Translated by:  Coleman Barks
From:  The Essential Rumi, 1985, Copyright Coleman Barks

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updated 1 year ago

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