What is the Truth?

August 15th, 2009

I recently re-stumbled upon an old friend’s blog, and his post, coupled with my current struggles with life, really made me think about what I actually believe in. I still don’t know the answer to that, but what he said in this post really caught my attention:

To put my beliefs in the smallest terms possible:  I believe in God but not religion.  The religions of the world are like the four blind men who discovered the elephant…

“This is a wall,” said the one touching the elephant’s flank.  “No, this is a snake,” said the one touching the trunk.  “Don’t be stupid, it’s a tree,” said the one touching the leg.  “You’re all wrong, it’s a broom,” said the one touching the tail.  And the four blind men argued and fought and eventually decided that it was a good time to start killing each other.  So they did.

With that in mind, I kind of wonder if what he says holds some truth. He was once a strong Christian believer. I met him (online) around the same time I met my husband and the other friends who have been good to me and helped me during one of my greater struggles in life (post rape and after giving my first born up for adoption). Adam, Ian, Yuji, Tom, Morag, Kat. Even though we’ve kinda split up over the years after Ian’s website/forum disappeared, we were still able to keep in touch sporadically over the years by other means. Shen-wei was the one I completely lost contact with, but sometime last year I managed to get a hold of him through his sister. I sought him out because I was (and still am) struggling with a lot of my depression and I remember him sending me tons of motivational scriptures and other bible passages to keep my spirits up. I guess I was kind of hoping for more of that. Before all of this occurred (the rape and pregnancy), I didn’t actually believe in much of anything about a God or whatever, so I was am still technically new to all of the religion stuff.

Anyways, I digress. He pointed me to his blog and briefly explained to me how he feels about religions in general… and maybe I’m just a bit lost right now, but I feel like he’s kinda on to something. He told me that he feels that organized religions, particularly Christianity, holds a monopoly on what is the “Truth.” He still believes in God, but he feels that religions are not the path to follow. I’ve always felt that way about the numerous denominations within Christianity and thus would always claim that I am non-denominational (for they are all man-made and flawed), but he went even further into that debate. His posts are all insightful and interesting, to say the least. I’m still uncertain on how I completely feel about everything he says, but I haven’t finished reading all of his posts yet.

Another post I find rather interesting was this one where he quotes somebody by the name of Thomas Merton:

I have what you have not. I am what you are not. I have taken what you have failed to take and I have seized what you could never get. Therefore you suffer and I am happy, you are despised and I am praised, you die and I live; you are nothing and I am something, and I am all the more something because you are nothing. And thus I spend my life admiring the distance between you and me; at times this even helps me to forget the other men who have what I have not and who have taken what I was too slow to take and who have seized what was beyond my reach, who are praised as I cannot be praised and who live on my death…

All of that echoes in my own soul because one of the biggest contributions to my depression is looking outside and seeing what everyone else has and is able to grab onto, except for me. It’s already gone by the time I manage to even get a glimpse at it… or so it seems. When somebody mentions that it “was” there, it’s already gone by the time I go to check it out or try and have a “taste” of it myself. That has something to do with the way I was brought up and also how I view life, as negative as it is. Everyone’s always one step ahead of me; I’ll never be good enough to achieve what they’ve achieved or do what they’ve done.

So… what is the “Truth”?