My Perspective, Your Perspective

"None of us live in an objective world, but instead in a subjective world that we ourselves have given meaning to. The world you see is different from the one I see, and it's impossible to share your world with anyone else."

-The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga





There is a Buddhist parable thought to have originated in India around 500 BCE that provides a lot of clarity around how perspectives work.


The Parable of the Blind Men

A group of blind men came across an elephant, and each touched a part of it (the husk, the side, the tail, etc.) in order to envision the elephant. Each man describes what the elephant is based only on the part of the elephant he is touching. For example, the man touching the elephant's side says the elephant is like a great wall. Another touching the tail says the elephant is like a snake. Yet another, feeling the tusk says the elephant is like a spear. Then, the men begin arguing, asserting that he is right and the others are lying.



What This Parable Teaches Us

This ancient parable shows human's habit of thinking that their limited and subjective experience is the absolute truth and ignoring other people's limited and personal experiences. It also conveys that we are all blind men. We are limited to our own subjective experience of everything based on our space and time in the present moment.


This ancient parable shows human's habit of thinking that their limited and subjective experience is the absolute truth and ignoring other people's limited and personal experiences. It also conveys that we are all blind men.

Humans have a habit of thinking that their limited and subjective experience is the absolute truth, and they ignore other people's limited and personal experiences.


There is no escape from your subjectivity. With greater awareness, though, you can at least acknowledge your subjectivity and the subjectivity of others and become less attached to it.




I'd love to hear your thoughts! Please share below in the comments!


Cheers! Erika Baum

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