Mary's Library

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Charging Elephant

Because the future is uncertain and the past has disappeared, some thinkers have inferred that the present has no reality at all. It is said that Shankara, the teacher of Advaita Vedanta, who taught that the world is only an illusion, was present at a parade in India one day. As an elephant charged into a crowd, Shankara ran behind a tree. "Why do you run from the mere appearance of an elephant?" sarcastically asked a man. "I only appear to run," replied the philosopher.

– Andrew Tomas, Beyond The Time Barrier (©1974)


At 7:39 AM PDT , Anonymous DGus said...

That reminds me of another story:

An American colonial Puritan walked to church on a Sunday morning, carrying his rifle under his arm because of the perennial threat of attack by hostile Indians. A passerby, probably skeptical of the Puritan's Calvinistic worldview in which divine Predestination governs all, observed the rifle, and asked, "Why do you carry a rifle? If your time hasn't come, you won't die; and if your time HAS come, there's nothing you can do about it."

The Puritan paused, and then suggested, "Perhaps I shall meet an Indian whose time has come."


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