The elephants at the fence

English: The eye of an asian elephant at Eleph...

English: The eye of an asian elephant at Elephant Nature Park, Thailand Deutsch: Das Auge eines indischen Elefanten im Elephant Nature Park, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The elephant cub was held by a rope, it couldn’t escape. It grew and became an adult capable of breaking it’s bonds at any time. It’s captor untied it’s rope and said “go now you are free”.

Soon the elephant went to all the other elephants tied to a rope and told them the story of it’s benevolent captor. After a while all the elephants knowing now they were bonded, asked to be freed by the hands of their benevolent captor. The captor freed each elephant that asked.

One day, some of the elephants walked to the outskirts of their newly found free territory and came across a fence their captor had made. They might have broken through this fence, but none knew the power a grown elephant had inside itself, so they turned around and went back believing they couldn’t walk on any further.

2 thoughts on “The elephants at the fence

  1. deberigny

    Title: Self-Knowledge
    Author: Samuel Taylor Coleridge [More Titles by Coleridge]

    –E coelo descendit +gnôthi seauton+.–JUVENAL, xi. 27.

    +Gnôthi seauton!+–and is this the prime
    And heaven-sprung adage of the olden time!–
    Say, canst thou make thyself?–Learn first that trade;–
    Haply thou mayst know what thyself had made.
    What hast thou, Man, that thou dar’st call thine own?–
    What is there in thee, Man, that can be known?–
    Dark fluxion, all unfixable by thought,
    A phantom dim of past and future wrought,
    Vain sister of the worm,–life, death, soul, clod–
    Ignore thyself, and strive to know thy God!

    1832.

    [The end]
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem: Self-Knowledge

    Reply
    1. David Wall Post author

      I sort of get what the poem’s saying, that if we ignore God and instead focus on our own vanity / greatness etc, we create a big mess. It looks like that’s what’s happened in the world to some degree. I do see that choosing to know God is of boundless assistance, but I don’t know if choosing not to know God is the cause of our problems. It might stop us from growing towards a divine existence (with God), but I’d argue that it’s not the source of our sufferings. I just feel we have the capacity for amazing and good things inside of us, with or without the acknowledgement of God. And God couldn’t require us to know him / herself if God gave us the gift of free will.

      “What is there in thee, Man, that can be known?”
      Dark fluxion all unfixable by thought,
      A phantom dim of past and future wrought,
      Vain sister of the worm,–life, death, soul, clod–”

      Maybe it was just this part that made me think of all this. If God loves us, God couldn’t see us like that, God would see us for who we are and yeah a lot of us are broken, true (me included), but that basically says we are broken from the get go, and will always be broken without acknowledging God which is sort of impossible if God is perfect and creates perfect things.

      But what it would mean too is if we do strive to know God, like the poem says, we’d learn to know how God would see us and we’d learn from that direct source (God) to see ourselves in a much better light. That would mean to, if we are seeing ourselves as a “vain sister of the worm”, we’re not learning about ourselves from God (a perfect being that loves us) but we’ve perhaps learning that from something / someone else, just not God.

      Reply

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