"The Experience of God"

Six blind people, standing side by side, were told by their sighted guide that there was an elephant standing peacefully in front of them in the clearing. None of these six people had ever encountered an elephant before. They all moved forward with hands outstretched and touched the elephant.

The first grabbed the tail and said, "The elephant is a rope." The second reached around a leg and said, "The elephant is a tree." The third ran smack into the side and said, "The elephant is a wall." The fourth felt an ear and said, "The elephant is a big leaf." The fifth slid his hands along a tusk and said, "The elephant is a horn." The sixth was encircled by the trunk and cried, "The elephant is a great snake." They were then led away by their guide and disputed for months the nature of the elephant and never reached agreement.

Each of the six was right and none was wrong. They could have grown and learned and gained much had they listened to one another and put together the bigger picture of the elephant. In their encounter with this big idea of "elephant," each knew only that part of the elephant each had touched and related it to something definite in past experience.

– author unknown