The Blind Men And An Elephant 瞎子摸象

The Blind Men And An Elephant 


The Buddhist story of “The blind men and an elephant” come from ancient India where a group of blind men who have never come across an elephant before learn and imagine what the elephant is like by touching it.  The one who touched the ears of the elephant thought that the elephant was like a big fan. The one who touched the trunk felt that the elephant was a wide and thick rubber tube. The one who touched the tail of the elephant believed that the body of the elephant was like a snake. The one who touched the elephant's leg insisted that the elephant was like the trunk of a big tree.  They then describe the elephant based on their limited experience and their descriptions of the elephant are different from each other.  Everyone believes that their own experience and feelings are right, and others must be wrong and they start arguing with each other.

佛經裏有個「瞎子摸象」的故事, 說有幾位瞎子, 各自摸着大象身體的不同部位, 並以此來判斷大象的模樣。摸着象耳的, 認為大象像把大扇子。摸着象鼻的, 覺得大象其實是個又宽又厚的膠管子。摸着象尾的, 相信大象的身體像條蛇。摸着象腳的, 則堅持大象恍如一株大樹的樹幹。幾位瞎子摸畢, 各自就大象的體形表述一番。答案當然都不一樣。各人都相信自己的親身體驗和感覺是對的, 其他人肯定是搞錯了。於是各持己見, 繼而吵得面紅耳赤, 相持不下。

The scenario described in this parable also repeats itself in our daily lives in various formats.  No one is at fault in this parable.  Everyone is looking at the circumstances from their own subjective perspectives. The complexity and diversity of our world can be compared to the experiences of the elephant’s body parts.  By consolidating all the partial findings from the blinds, a more comprehensive  image of the elephant can be compiled.  Aren’t  phenomena in the world also the same?

瞎子摸象的故事, 每天都以不同形式在人世間重演著。故事裏, 其實沒有人錯。只是每人都從自己的經驗出發, 各自表述。 世界就恍如大象的身體一樣, 是多元化的。把幾位瞎子們的個別印象匯集在一起, 就較接近大象的整體形象了。世間的許多現象, 又何嘗不是這樣 ?

It is very important to respect the opinions of others in a family, dealing with friends or at work.  If we listen to and refer to the opinions of all parties, we will be able to consider and solve the complex and diversified modern social problems in a more comprehensive and detailed manner and will not ignore or miss some important factors and make mistakes.

是故在家庭裏, 朋友間或工作上, 尊重別人的意見是很重要的。能廣泛聽取和參考各方意見, 就能更全面更周詳地考慮和解決複雜而多元化的現代社會問題, 不致忽略或漏掉了一些重要的因素, 因而失誤。