Charles Clanton Rogers

Reflections based on poetry, music, visual art, book reviews, history of science, first-person history, philosophical essays and International Blogging

Unknown-4     With bbnewsab  (PV)

THE ELEPHANT AND THE BLIND MEN (antiquity)       images-3

Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.”

They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.” All of them went where the elephant was. Every one of them touched the elephant.

“Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg.

“Oh, no! it is like a rope,” said the second man who touched the tail.

“Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree,” said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.

“It is like a big hand fan” said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.

“It is like a huge wall,” said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.

“It is like a solid pipe,” Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.

They began to argue about the elephant, and every one of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by, and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, “What is the matter?” They said, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.” Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, the elephant has all those features what all you said.”

The Incredible Journey of The Human Mind

Dedicated to: Christabelle Stevenson Clanton, R. Earl “Skipper” Farnsworth, Professor Elizabeth Hope Jackson, Professor Bonnie Brown, Professor Hans Schlumberger, The Faculties of Maryville College and The University of Arkansas School of Medicine .

These are some of the Parts of Life that we have examined thus far:

1. The Torah

2. Book of Micah, Hebrew Bible

3. Book of Job, Hebrew Bible

4. Beatitudes, Book of Matthew, Christian New Testament

5. Mangala Sutra, Bhagavad Gita

6. Hippocratic Oath, 400 B C

7. The Socratic Dialogues, Plato and Xenophon. 400 B C

8. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Harari

9. Prehistory, Carl Renfrew

10. The Art of War, Sun Tzu, 600 B C

11. A History of Warfare, John Keegan

12. The Rise and Fall of Alexandria, Howard Reed and Justin Pollard

13. The Crime of Galileo, Giorgio de Santillana

14. William Shakespeare,  [“Ten percent of quotations published in the English language are from Shakespeare.”  The works of Shakespeare were first issued in 1623 and have never been out of print. Languages translations number more than one hundred representing every country in North America, South America, and Europe and nearly every country in Asia, Africa] Australasia., Johns Hopkins University Press/ The Folger Shakespeare Library.

15. Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson

16.The Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln

17. Walden, Henry David Thoreau

18. Adventures in English, Melvin Bragg

19. Betraying Spinoza, Rebecca Goldstein

20. The Disappearing Spoon, Sam Kean

21. Gregor Mendel and the Principles of Inheritance, Ilona Miko

22.  Andrew Norman, Charles Darwin: Destroyer of Myths: Descent with Modification and Natural Selection

23. Elmer Gantry, Sinclair Lewis

24. Dreamers of the Day, Mary Doria Russell

25. Ragtime, E. L. Doctorow

26. The Winds of War. Herman Wouk

27. War and Remembrance, Herman Wouk

28. DNA, Andrew Berry and James Watson

29. Catch – 22, Joseph Keller

30. Genome, Mark Ridley

31. The Blue Marble Soliloquy, Carl Sagan

32. Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro,

bbnewsab (PV) and I intend to discuss reasons for the importance of each of these books or manuscripts in subsequent posts. We invite our readers to differ with us and or propose additional authors and their principal work.

The next post starts a discussion Literature of Western Culture, by bbnewsab (PV) and clanton1934  first about the importance of the Torah in the literature of Western Culture.
The Torah is an important part of the cultural heritage of the Western civilization. Many of today’s metaphors emanate from the Torah, for example “scapegoat,”“let there be light,” “flowing with milk and honey,” ““the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” and “signs of the times.”

Also, the Torah maintains that the righteous Gentiles of all nations (those observing the Seven Laws of Noah) have a place in the World to Come. But not all religious Gentiles earn eternal life by virtue of observing their religion.  s/ bbnewsab (PV)  and clanton1934 (KK)

Charles Clanton Rogers, AB, MD, FACR, Emeritus Professor GWU

Additional References:  History of English Language

13 thoughts on “Blogger’s GPS – Charles Rogers’ Literary Essentials

  1. bbnewsab says:

    I just googled “most important books of all time”

    Here are three hits taken from the search result list:


    Here are some books – taken from #1 and #2 – I’d like put in a Best of list of my own:

    Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
    Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
    Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
    The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt
    The Golden Bough by James George Frazer
    Common Sense by Thomas Paine.

    Now a suggestion to all followers of this literary blog. Why not create your own list of favorite books and then publish it here in the comment field of KK’s (clanton1934’s) blog?

    Both fiction and non-fiction. Or just one of the genres. The choice is yours.

    I’m pretty sure it would be interesting to see if some books are mentioned by many followers (and not just one).

    And remember, De gustibus non est disputandum, i.e. “In matters of taste, there can be no disputes”.

    Of course, it’s not necessary to motivate your choices. But if you do, that will make just your list of favorite books even more interesting to study.

    My own list (see above) is built on what I found by scanning through the lists in links #1 and #2 above. I published my own list principally to give you an example of how a list of favorite books can be done.


    1. clanton1934 says:

      I think Your list(s) (3) in this most recent reply [15:00 EDT] is a good idea.
      I just opened your blog – I thought you just published your list, but I didn;t see it. Why don’t you publish your list and we can cross reference each other and invite opinions from your readers as well?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bbnewsab says:

    The problem is that my own blog is intended for atheists and ex-Christians. But lately it has (also) more and more become a literary blog, inspired by your beautiful blog posts and your admiration of “les beaux arts”.

    As a matter of fact, I’ve already been informed that some of my followers now regard me as a defector who desert my primarily “mission”. 🙂

    So it’s a very delicate dilemma God (?) has put me in. Your blogging, KK, and not least your humble image, so full of knowledge and wisdom, have woken up my own (long forgotten) admiration of “les beaux arts”. That’s why I nowadays, like a bird, is nesting here on your admirable blog. // PV

    Liked by 1 person

  3. clanton1934 says:

    Well, I am most happy to have you nesting here! So be it!
    (An Aside question, don’t Atheist have a “literature”? A number of authors on all of the lists are atheist or at least skeptics of religion, are they not? :o)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bbnewsab says:

    Believe it or not, KK, but many atheists like reading the Bible and other religious literature, not least what churchfathers and philosophers have written.

    In fact some of those books are mentioned in my three links above (but I chose not to have them on my own list of favorite books)

    What really surprises me is how little many religious people know about what can be read in the Bible or in the Koran. I often call that phenomenon religious cherry-picking. That is, you choose what verses to read and remember, and then you pretend the not wanted verses don’t even exist (so-called repression).

    In my eyes, cherry-picking is a sublime kind of hypocrisy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. clanton1934 says:

    Well, the cherry picking down by the Right wing Republicans here in the USA is actually political and not for literary puposes.
    In the interest of “full disclosure”, not only have I read the entire “Christian” bible, my Bachelor of Arts degtee requirements included three academic semesters of study with written examination in the King James and Americam Revised Stand versions. However, I cherry pick, to avoid confusion. As you know, The so-called “books” are not like chapters by a single author. No matter what the Evangelacals may think, the “Bible” was not weitten by “God” (God is an idea, not a writer!). It is an aebitrary collection of manuscrips of mant authors composed of mant authors ove a couple of thousand years. Authors who proudlt used psuedonyms and undenied plagerism,! So it would it not be wise to quote from it as a single axademic source. It Also, which books were included and excluded did not occur until 400 AD and probably later. SO CHERRY PICK TO YOUR HEARTS CONTENT! KK

    Liked by 1 person

  6. clanton1934 says:

    OMG, Look at all of the spelling errors. Where is spell-check when I need it. It saves its energy for auto-correct where it changes my meaning. I hope you can read over the spelling errors. KK

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bbnewsab says:

    No problems, KK! Actually I’m glad that you too “maltreat” the English language, so that it’s not just me doing it. 🙂

    It’s a bit comforting, so to speak. 🙂

    Here in Sweden there is a saying, Even the sun has got spots.

    What do you say in the USA do explain that nobody is perfect (not even the sun)?

    BTW, you used this proverb the other day, Even a blind hog can now and then find an acorn. In Sweden we say Even a blind chicken can sometimes find a grain (or seed).

    With these words of “wisdom” I wish you – and all your followers Good night from Sweden; midnight is approaching.


    1. clanton1934 says:

      We simply say: “No body’s perfect!” (However, I should not be so dependent on spell-check!)

      It continually amazes me how some American Evangelacals consider the Bible, in their hand, to be a single contigeous manuscript, by a single Devine Author believing to should be read “from cover-to-cover” like a novel! And that its all the word of God. As you know, there are parts of it that contradicts other parts. The Four Gospels of Matthew. Mark. Luke and John, discribing the life of Jesus (only 33 years of several thousand year compendium), (and they were comtemporaries of the same genetic stock, speaking the same language, who couldn’t avoiding contradicting each other over (what they believed) important stories of Jesus birth and crucifiction. They didn’t start weing it dowm for decades after his death, as they thoght he was coming back and it would be th “End of Times”. And Paul never met Jesus and wrote Greek. The first portioms of The Hebrew Bible were not even written having been habd-me-down stories. It would be analagous to taking all the personal diaries (memmorized) of all the Kings of Europe and just bundung them together and calling it “a single manuscript” Charlemagne + Henry VIII + Carl XVI + Constantne + Napolian Bonepart —-Diaries= one set of ideas?
      I hope this finds well restested from your sleep. I wake up early. Good night PV.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. bbnewsab says:

    BTW, Jesus isn’t the only one performing miracles.

    Guess who is being told of in the following sentences (hint: it’s NOT Jesus).

    Even before his birth, X was triggering miracles.

    Official biographers say his birth in a cabin on the slopes of Baekdu Mountain in February 1942 was foretold by a swallow and heralded by a double rainbow. When he was born, a new star appeared in the night sky.

    The first time he picked up a golf club, in 1994, X reportedly shot a 38-under par round on North Korea’s only golf course, including 11 holes-in-one. He then decided to retire from the sport for ever.

    X [had] the ability to alter the weather simply through the power of thought.

    If in doubt, find the right answer here: .

    Amen! // PV (the atheist admirer of both miracles and “les beaux arts”)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. clanton1934 says:

    Good morning PV,
    What shall we publish today? I was thinking of issuing the remainder of my draft of the remainder of the text on The Torah/ Western Culture. KK

    Liked by 1 person

  10. bbnewsab says:

    A very good morning to you!

    Yes, I agree! Your draft contains a lot of valuable information. For example, and now I quote from your draft:

    The Tyndale Bible (Coverdale, ed.) was the Bible of Shakespeare and of the Elizabethan period; not superseded until revised as The King James Version in 1611.

    Just wonder how many ordinary people there are out there in cyber space who have heard of the Tyndale Bible. I, for one, didn’t even know about that Bible version.

    That’s what I would call cultivated and educated information.

    Somehow I now come to think of what Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson once said: “England expects that every man will do his duty”.

    Or in my revised version: “We, your followers, expect you, KK, to do your duty and issue your draft as soon as possible”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Aye, aye, Sir! It will show up shortly. (Meanwhile, See my e-mail on Opera)

      Liked by 1 person

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