By the title being The Truth, I do
not mean to say that I am in full possession of The Truth. I've been
earnestly struggling toward a personal view of The Truth. There have been
detours & revisions. I am convinced that it is not to be for any human to
be in possession of complete TRUTH about God. All the way back to primitive
man, there is evidence that mankind (not necessarily every single human)
instinctively realizes the existence of a Supernatural Power. The perception
and interpretation of the specifics of that Power is markedly biased by (1)
the origins and culture of a people plus (2) the stage of evolution through
history of each particular society, or even within the various social levels
within each society. All of those things affect how observations (even
messages received by prophets?) are mentally put into thoughts and then
expressed in words or writings and subsequently morphed into the fabric of a
culture. From various sources, a percentage of individuals then form personal
beliefs (publicly or privately held). And, speaking of "words", we all know
how quickly words take on new meanings and lose old meanings. And all of this
might differ, depending on whether the receiver of the message or observation
uses sophisticated language to write it down. But, maybe what he has
heard or sensed communicates best if it is actually expressed in street
language. Take just Christianity and consider this: within the whole spectrum
of Christianity, there are the 3 major divisions. And, just within Protestant
Christian churches, there are over 30,000 different denominations worldwide!
So, to try to understand this God (this Power) may be akin to the fable of
the blindfolded men trying to describe an elephant, an animal none have ever
seen or heard of or even have accurate expressions to describe. In the final
analysis, it may well be that each Christian secretly chooses his/her own
personal theology while attempting to fellowship within a group with which
he/she is comfortable. That is, for anyone to authoritatively pronounce that
"all ___'s believe ___" is, at best, an inaccurate statement (at worst, a
A Hindu fable by John Godfrey
Saxe, The Blind Men and the Elephant occurs in the Udana, a Canonical Hindu
In case the website reference
closes down, here is the poem:
six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
`God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!'
Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, `Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!'
approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
`I see,' quoth he, `the Elephant
Is very like a snake.'
Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
`What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,' quoth he;
`'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!'
who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: `E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most:
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!'
no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
`I see,' quoth he, `the Elephant
Is very like a rope!'
these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
Symbols on Home Page
Centered on this home page is a
cartoon sketched by my friend (my wife's cousin) Melanie Lindler Webb. It
shows three blind-folded men examining different parts of an elephant (trunk,
tusk, and a leg) and trying to determine The Truth about its entire identity.
You see, the three are from Indostan and have never seen an elephant. And,
each is only able to imagine the animal from the examination of the one body
part each is separately feeling. People form a concept of the truth about all
manner of things based on incomplete investigation or reliance on faulty
resources ("faulty" resources may even be the currently accepted consensus of
belief...however, keep in mind that the current consensus used to be that the
world is flat!). The cartoon is after the John Godfrey Saxe's (1816-1887)
poetic fable, "The Blind Men and the Elephant, a Hindu
To the bottom right are the two
ancient, almost-hieroglyphic Hebrew symbols for the word father. One is a
tent (household); the other is the head of a bull (strength; leader). A
father is the "tent bull". At the bottom left, similarly, two symbols
indicate the word for religion. One is the hide draped in front of the tent
(as the doorway), and the other is a slightly-curved cross (thousands of
years prior to the crucifixion of Jesus the Christ), almost like the letter
x, meaning "sign" (a "sign" can indicate ownership, protection, or
promise/covenant). Therefore, the word for religion suggests "door of the
sign" or "door of the promise"
or "door of the cross." From the
Bible, John 10:9, Jesus speaking, "I am the door, if anyone enters through
Me, he shall be saved..."
As a Christian, as I continue my
search toward the Truth, I have to note: Jesus Himself said that, "...I came
into the world to testify to the truth. Every one on the side of truth
listens to me." (John 18:37) Note that phrase: "...listens to Me." In that
passage, He did not even say "...follows Me" or "...joins My Church". I
wonder why not.
(posted about 2005; latest
adjustment 20 December 2012)