By now, we’ve probably all heard the story of the blind men and the elephant. After feeling the elephant, a king asked them what the elephant was like. (Apparently, they had a very elephant-deprived existence, and this was their first one. Work with me here.)
“Thereupon, the men who were presented with the head answered, ‘Sire, an elephant is like a pot.’ And the men who had observed the ear replied, ‘An elephant is like a winnowing basket.’ Those who had been presented with a tusk said it was a ploughshare. Those who knew only the trunk said it was a plough; others said the body was a grainery; the foot, a pillar; the back, a mortar; the tail, a pestle, the tuft of the tail, a brush.”
Continuing with my post from yesterday, arguing about which self is true and which is false is like arguing about whether an elephant is really a pot or really a brush. It is both, and also neither. It’s an elephant.
I see myself both as someone disposable and without any value (the Paper Cup self), and as someone who has so much value that the feeling of being without value is worth listening and paying attention to. Just as the elephant is his tail–but is also much more–I am that person that feels without value. But I’m a lot of other things as well.
I’m the elephant.