I am always fascinated when I hear politicians, or any others, come out with the statement, "The truth is," or "The facts are." They then go on to give you they're understanding of the facts or the truth. How I wish it was so easy to find the truth or to be certain of the facts.
What is the saying? "There are facts, statistics and damned lies."
I have spent my whole life in a genuine search for the truth, and have been offered many, many alternative versions of what it is. My life has changed from one set of values and beliefs to another and back again. Here I am at the; "Fag end," and still the search goes on.
I feel like the disciple who was like me on a search for the truth and meaning of life.
After years of searching, the seeker was told to go to a cave, in which he would find a well.
"Ask the well what is truth", he was advised, "and the well will reveal it to you".
Having found the well, the seeker asked that most fundamental question. And from the depths came the answer, "Go to the village crossroad: there you shall find what you are seeking".
Full of hope and anticipation the man ran to the crossroad to find only three rather uninteresting shops.
One shop was selling pieces of metal, another sold wood, and thin wires were for sale in the third. Nothing and no one there seemed to have much to do with the revelation of truth.
Disappointed, the seeker returned to the well to demand an explanation, but he was told only, "You will understand in the future."
When the man protested, all he got in return were the echoes of his own shouts. Indignant for having been made a fool of - or so he thought at the time - the seeker continued his wanderings in search of truth.
As years went by, the memory of his experience at the well gradually faded until one night, while he was walking in the moonlight, the sound of sitar music caught his attention. It was wonderful music and it was played with great mastery and inspiration.
Profoundly moved, the truth seeker felt drawn towards the player. He looked at the fingers dancing over the strings. He became aware of the sitar itself. And then suddenly he exploded in a cry of joyous recognition: the sitar was made out of wires and pieces of metal and wood just like those he had once seen in the three stores and had thought it to be without any particular significance.
At last he understood the message of the well: we have already been given everything we need: our task is to assemble and use it in the appropriate way. Nothing is meaningful so long as we perceive only separate fragments. But as soon as the fragments come together into a synthesis, a new entity emerges, whose nature we could not have foreseen by considering the fragments alone.
So the truth for each of us will only be found when we find our lives in harmony with the world around.
Seems so simple, I ask myself why it has taken me so long to realise it.