Like Mice in a Maze

mazeI’ve written on the parable of the blind men and the elephant before, as far back as Manufacturing Religion (1997), where I argued:

The problem with the story of the blind men … is that the level of the narrative open to the listener is characterized by privileged access to the fact that there is indeed an elephant beyond the individual perceptions of the blind men…. [T]he story works only because, from the outset, we as listeners see the big picture; we know that the men are blind, deluded, partial, or whatever else the metaphor of blindness communicates to us. We know the secret and so we “get it”: “Aha, it’s really an elephant and they don’t know it!” (p. 110)

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I’ll Be Watching You

elfDid you spot this essay online? Maybe you already know about the phenomenon known as The Elf on the Shelf — if not, it’s creepy. Or at least that’s what we’re told — a story book and accompanying toy elf that sits quietly, watches and listens, and reports back to the North Pole. Continue reading