October 27, 2010

The Sculptor

In ancient India lived a sculptor renowned for his life-sized statues
of elephants. With trunks curled high, tusks thrust forward, thick
legs trampling the earth, these carved beasts seemed to trumpet to the
sky. One day, a king came to see these magnificent works and to
commission statuary for his palace. Struck with wonder, he asked the
sculptor, “What is the secret of your artistry?”

The sculptor quietly took his measure of the monarch and replied,
"Great king, when, with the aid of many men, I quarry a gigantic piece
of granite from the banks of the river, I have it set here in my
courtyard. For a long time I do nothing but observe this block of
stone and study it from every angle. I focus all my concentration on
this task and won’t allow anything or anybody to disturb me. At first,
I see nothing but a huge and shapeless rock sitting there,
meaningless, indifferent to my purposes, utterly out of place. It
seems faintly resentful at having been dragged from its cool place by
the rushing waters. Then, slowly, very slowly, I begin to notice
something in the substance of the rock. I feel a presentiment . . . an
outline, scarcely discernible, shows itself to me, though others, I
suspect, would perceive nothing. I watch with an open eye and a
joyous, eager heart. The outline grows stronger. Oh, yes, I can
see it! An elephant is stirring in there!"

"Only then do I start to work. For days flowing into weeks, I use my
chisel and mallet, always clinging to my sense of that outline, which
grows ever stronger. How the big fellow strains! How he yearns to be
out! How he wants to live! It seems so clear now, for I know the one
thing I must do: with an utter singleness of purpose, I must chip away
every last bit of stone that is not elephant. What then remains will
be, must be, elephant."

When I was young, my grandmother, my spiritual guide, would often tell
just such a story, not only to entertain but to convey the essential
truths of living. Perhaps I had asked her, as revered teachers in
every religion have been asked, "What happens in the spiritual life?
What are we supposed to do?" Granny wasn’t a theologian, so she
answered these questions simply with a story like that of the elephant
sculptor. She was showing that we do not need to bring our real self,
our higher self, into existence. It is already there. It has always
been there, yearning to be out. An incomparable spark of divinity is
to be found in the heart of each human being, waiting to radiate love
and wisdom everywhere, because that is its nature.

--Eknath Easwaran, in God Makes the Rivers To Flow

4 comments:

Kraxpelax said...

GAMMABLIXT


SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE

There's much in the world that you can't explain.
It's revealed for you to remember
by the whispering voice of a distant train
or a midnight rain in november.

Horizon within! You can always find
the keys to Enigma. Let's mention
one basic Truth: of spirited Mind
is Nature naught but extension.

Internal expanses! In dreams, ridden
by fear and longing you roam
that deep Southeast in your soul hidden
...on your random journey back home.

---

As a native Swede, I am particularly proud of my love poetry suite Sonnets for Katie.

My Poems

*

La présence; un coup de vie morte? non, ce n'est qu'être. Et puis pour l'errante fenêtre: étant vue la nuit, dans tous le coins des rues de la veille la même étoile.

*

Poétudes

*

Schwarzez birne!
Aufforderung zur Erotik.

Fremde Gedichte

*

En el archipielágo del mundo
los recursos son concentrados,

algunos barcos azulos
partieron para la isla más azula.

Uno grito bajo la mesa
vuelca uno cantaro;

visitantes paran
en preguntas silenciosas –

el anacrusa de una tromba
remolinea en la biblioteca.

My Spanish Poetry

*

My Laptop Wallpaper Art

CHALLENGE again. I say: generally, e=mc(n-1) for the n-dimensional room. I say this is close to self-evident.You think not? Then prove the contrary!

Windor Mirrow


And: reciprocity: for mutual benefit, you will do me a favor promoting your own blog on mine!

The best way to do it is lining up as a Follower, since then your icon will advertise you indefinitely, and I will follow you in return. Let's forge a mighty alliance of synergy and common interest.

Yours,

- Peter Ingestad, Sweden

Steven Crisp said...

Indeed, this is a great story. It is how all the great sages teach -- through metaphor -- the essential truths for which words do not exist.

Thanks much for sharing,

Ray Lightning said...

Nice Story :)

Reena said...

Great story! I would also want to share a real life story of my humble sculptor friend, Rochman Reese. You can find all of his lovely creations at http://www.theartofhappiness.net/index.php

All of his sculptures I think you will also find Graceful Presence :D