The Blind Men and Elephant Parable

Many years ago six blind men lived near each other in a village in India.

The other villagers supported and helped the old men their whole lives. The men would hear stories of the worlds wonders and could only imagine what it looked like.

What piqued the men’s interest most was what an elephant looked like. They were told elephants could trample forests, carry huge burdens, and frighten all people with loud trumpet calls.

The men began arguing all the time about elephants. 

“An elephant must be a powerful giant,” said one of the them.

“My brother you are mistaken,” said the second, “An elephant is graceful and gentle if princesses are able to ride on their backs.”

“Both of you are wrong,” the third man said, “I’ve heard elephants can pierce a man’s heart with its horn.”

“How blind you all are!” Proclaimed the fourth man. “An elephant is just like a large cow.”

“An elephant must be a magical being,” said the fifth man. “The Princess is able to travel safely throughout the kingdom on it.”

“You fools!” Declared the sixth man. “Elephants don’t exist at all. We are victims of a cruel joke.”

They quarreled and each had different ideas of what an elephant is. The other villagers grew tired of them arguing so they arranged a time for them to meet the Princesse’s elephant. They put their hands on each others backs and were led by a young village boy.

When they reached the palace they were greeted by an old village friend who now worked as a gardener at the palace. Their friend led them to the courtyard where an elephant stood. The blind men were led to the elephant, each touching it to find out what it is.

The first blind man to speak had reached out and touched the side of the elephant. “An elephant is smooth like a wall!”

The second put his hand out touching the elephant’s trunk. “An elephant is like a big snake.”

The third touched the elephant’s tusk. “I knew it!” He said. “This beast is sharp and smooth like a spear.”

The fourth reached out and touched the elephant’s legs. “This is simply a giant cow.”

The fifth touched the elephant’s ear. “An elephant is a large fan or a magic carpet that can fly.”

The sixth reached out and touched the elephant’s tail. “You all have lost your senses! Even a blind man can sense that this is nothing more than a piece of rope.”

After they each felt part of the elephant they began to argue again, until they were shouting at each other saying their description of the elephant was the truth.

“Stop shouting!” Yelled the angry Princess approaching them. “How can you all be so certain you’re right?”

The blind men knew the Princess to be very wise, so they said nothing at all.

“The elephant is a large animal,” she said kindly. “You each only touched one part. Maybe if you put the parts together you will see the truth. I must now finish my meditation,” she said before walking away.

“She is right,” one of the blind men said, “We must put all the parts together to truly learn the truth. Let’s discuss this on our way home.”

The boy led the men home, one man put his hand on the boy’s shoulder, then each blind man succeeded in putting their hand on the man in front of them, walking home together.

Where are you really? By Dan Millman

“…He asked, “Where are you today, right now?”

Eagerly, I started talking about myself. However, I noticed that I was still being sidetracked from getting answers to my questions. Still, I told him about my distant and recent past and about my inexplicable depressions. He listened patiently and intently, as if he had all the time in the world, until I finished several hours later.

“Very well,” he said. “But you still have not answered my question about where you are.”

“Yes I did, remember? I told you how I got to where I am today: by hard work.”

“Where are you?”

“What do you mean, where am I?”

“Where Are you?” he repeated softly.

“I’m here.”

“Where is here?”

“In this office, in this gas station!” I was getting impatient with this game.

“Where is this gas station?”

“In Berkeley?”

“Where is Berkeley?”

“In California?”

“Where is California?”

“In the United States?”

“On a landmass, one of the continents in the Western Hemisphere. Socrates, I…”

“Where are the continents?

I sighed. “On the earth. Are we done yet?”

“Where is the earth?”

“In the solar system, third planet from the sun. The sun is a small star in the Milky Way galaxy, all right?”

“Where is the Milky Way?”

“Oh, brother,” I sighed impatiently, rolling my eyes. “In the universe.” I sat back and crossed my arms with finality.

“And where,” Socrates smiled, “is the universe?”

“The universe is well, there are theories about how it’s shaped…”

“That’s not what I asked. Where is it?”

“I don’t know – how can I answer that?”

“That is the point. You cannot answer it, and you never will. There is no knowing about it. You are ignorant of where the universe is, and thus, where you are. In fact, you have no knowledge of where anything is or of what anything is or how is came to be. Life is a mystery. My ignorance is based on this understanding. Your understanding is based on ignorance. This is why I am a humorous fool, and you are a serious jackass.”

Intro to Alan Watts

Born—January 6, 1915, England.

Growing Up

—His grandpa on his mother’s side of the family was a missionary.

—Alan had interest in storybook fables, mysterious tales, and the idea of “ultimate things” – likely influenced by his mother’s religious family.

—At an early age he was interested in Buddhism.

—Alan became an Episcopal priest in the United States in 1938, before moving to Millbrook, New York.

—He wrote a number of books.

—Moved to San Francisco in 1951, teaching Buddhist studies.

—He became a worldwide spiritual speaker, with the help of his radio show “Way Beyond the West” giving lectures, writing books, living zen, throughout his days.

Written Books

—The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for the Age of Anxiety

—The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

—The Way of Zen

—Become What You Are

—The Meaning of Happiness 

—Out Of Your Mind

—This Is It

—What Is Tao?

—In My Own Way: An Autobiography

—The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness

—Nature, Man and Woman

These are only a small amount of all his publications, which you can find here at the Alan Watts Organization.

Alan Watts is known for multiple things, some of them are for bringing Zen and Buddhist teachings to the West.

He not only spoke of his beliefs, he manifested them, because he knew who he was at a deep universal level.

He knows how difficult those ideas are to be comprehended, but he explained it well so that if you listen enough, you might get it, but also that there’s nothing to get 🙂

One of the many ways he has influenced my life is getting me to wonder what I would do if I didn’t have to worry about money.

Here is Watt’s 3 minute speech on the above idea that changed my life.

He has so many other works that you can find on YouTube, bookstores, anywhere online. 

Died — November 16, 1973, California.

“I had a discussion with a great master in Japan…and we were talking about the various people who are working to translate the Zen books into English, and he said, ‘That’s a waste of time. If you really understand Zen…you can use any book. You could use the Bible. You could use Alice in Wonderland. You could use the dictionary, because…the sound of the rain needs no translation’.”

“And people get all fouled up because they want the world to have meaning as if it were words… As if you had a meaning, as if you were a mere word, as if you were something that could be looked up in a dictionary. You are meaning.”

“If you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water…You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.”

“So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself.”

Here are 69 of Watt’s best quotes. I wrote down many of his quotes before numbering them and it just happened to be 69. Enjoy.

“A Cup of Tea” Zen Story

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself, “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

Don’t look back for too long…

Or you’ll crash…

When you aren’t following your own vision and goals you are likely to follow someone else’s vision and goals.

What are your goals?

Remember and never forget that you are the driver of your life. You are empowered to do great things. Everyone makes mistakes. There’s pain in all our lives. Keep going though. You have something the world needs.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
Helen Keller

Read more related quotes and ideas here.

Love. Peace. Happiness.

Your Perspective IS Your Reality

“Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.” 
Wayne Dyer

We’re all living in the same world, but we all have unique perspectives. Our perspective isn’t the ultimate truth about reality, but it’s our truth about reality. 

We see reality through the lens of our individual perspective, which has been shaped and influenced by numerous external factors, but we can take control of our perspective.

A quick way to shift perspective is through gratitude.

Think about and write down all the things you are thankful for.

Begin with one or two, and then you’ll find your list growing. By dwelling in gratitude you can create more of a joyous life, creating a life of abundance, and one that you are in control of.

Love. Peace. Happiness.

5 Joseph Campbell Quotes to Live Fully

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”

^^ What makes you come alive?

The world needs more of this. I do. I think we all do when it’s experiences founded in love.

“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”

It is a privilege

I am deeply thankful to my parents for always encouraging and loving me for who I am. They have shaped my life tremendously 🙂


What are a few of your favorite experiences?

How will you make more time for them?

Thank you for reading.

Peace. Love. Happiness.