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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ufology - The elephant in the room

So following on with my theme this week, because last weeks theme was labels or terms, I would like to continue decrying the state of Ufology. Earlier tonight marked my first return to the college world. After 5 long years I have decided to reembark upon the journey of getting my degree. The first class that I had this evening was Religion 101. It's a requirement I believe at most colleges as part of their humanities studies. Anyway as it was the first day of class we didn’t do too much besides going over the class syllabus and class rules, specifically regarding attendance (during the professor's diatribe I momentarily forgot that I was in college but I digress).

We were able to actually delve into some of the topic that was at hand, namely that of religion. Once we reached a certain story I thought that it was quite pertinent to my bitching this week about the state of Ufology. Now mind you I realize that I am not the first person that has made the comparison with the following parable, so I am by no means trying to take credit for it. However I thought that today it seemed quite synchornistic that it should happen to come up during the week were I was already decrying about the ills of modern day Ufology. I well reproduce the story in it's entirety and let you the reader figure out how it relates to my views on what is wrong with Ufology today. After that I will leave you to decide for yourself whether or not I was accurate. So I will sign off for now and leave you with the parable, I hope you enjoy. This is your favorite Closet Anomalist, saying 'Peace out bitches!'

A former king of the town of Savatthi ordered all his blind subjects to be assembled and divided into groups. Each group was then taken to an Elephant and introduced to a different part of the animal -the head, the trunk, legs, tail, and so forth. Afterwards, the king asked each group to describe the nature of the beast. Those who had made contact with the head described an elephant as a water-pot; those familiar with ears likened the animal to a winnowing-basket; those who had felt the tusks insisted an elephant was shaped like a peg; and those who had felt the leg said an elephant was like a post, The groups then fell into arguing amongst themselves, each insisting its definition was correct and all the others were wrong. (source: Damien Keown, Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction [London: Oxford University Press, 1996] pg 1)


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