Playing a Different Part of the Same Elephant

My Inner world was crying out so loud last night that my body could not relax enough to sleep. It wasn’t till I started preparing my breakfast that I began to connect with my Inner World enough to know that she was really hurting. She hadn’t stopped hurting after the few hours of sleep I eventually got.

It reminded me of the parent who is so preoccupied with working to put a roof over their heads, they forget to hold the child close to let them know how much they mean to them. Some of us are missing physical touch so much that it brings physical pain. Our Inner and Outer worlds need to touch like never before. We must do it ourselves.

In the channels of communication we have available to us, it appears that we each have not only different but opposing outer worlds. And yet I’m convinced that our Inner worlds are very similar to each other. Hermes Trismegistus said “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.” This kinda implies that our Outer worlds are not only similar but the same. Maybe our collective Outer world is like the elephant in the room and we are all blind people thinking we know what the elephant is by just touching our little piece. 

When I improvise music with a group of people that I might not ever have played with before, the song we are creating reminds me of that elephant. Each of us plays a part of this living being and we each have a different perception of what we are creating. Each of us is putting extra attention on our personal contribution, so we see it from that perspective. For instance, I tend to think the ending to the song is coming sooner than other people think. I’m just playing a different part of the elephant. 

I would add to Hermes’ list, “as in music, so in life, as in life, so in music.” It seems to happen in music so much easier than in life. Maybe through practicing this kind of listening/sharing with music-making, we can learn to do it in “real life”. Maybe we can learn that the reason I see things differently than you is simply that I’m playing a different part of the same elephant. 

1 thought on “Playing a Different Part of the Same Elephant

  1. Beautiful thoughts and beautiful writing, Jonathan. I see the pain that brought you to write them, to have the insights you have. I recall reading Hermes Trismegistus’ words just recently. Were they quoted by Meister Eckhart in one of the writings we’ve both read recently? Perhaps so. Apparently, we are on the same page in one way, although because I’ve been having fun writing a romantic comedy this week, I haven’t been personally feeling the pain except when I dip into any one of the horrible, unnecessary things that are going on around us. But here is what I posted on Facebook today. I referenced today’s meditation by him (7-31-20)

    “I’m glad to see Matthew Fox talk again this morning about the dark night of our species because this is where I believe we are–and I must give him credit for first characterizing our situation this way some months ago. In so doing, he quotes poets Hafiz and Andre Lourde. If we look at the pandemic, economic decline, upheaval in our country’s relationships with our allies and enemies, ecological devastation, and renewed activism for social justice as the dark night of our species, we can see that it is a time of opportunity, not of terror.”

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