The Truth... What is it?

About the Home Page Graphics



The title:

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 deliberate lie).

The cartoon:

A Hindu fable by John Godfrey Saxe, The Blind Men and the Elephant occurs in the Udana, a Canonical Hindu Scripture.

In case the website reference closes down, here is the poem:

It was 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.

The First 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!'

The 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!'

The Third 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.'

The 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!'

The Fifth 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!'

The Sixth 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!'

And so 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!

So, oft 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 Cartoon:

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 Fable".


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)