The Absolute Truth About Absolute Truth: A Phil Story

Sometimes, Phil just minded his own damn business. And sometimes that was good for the Universe. Other times not so much.

The Scene: Starbucks.

The Players – Three Professors from SMU. A Theology Teacher, a Business Teacher and an Philosopher.

Phil walked into the Starbucks closest to SMU’s main campus. He overheard at a table the business teacher make a side comment.

“What is absolute truth anyway?”

Phil turned, feeling deeply the inclination to shut the fuck up but the drive to speak over rode his judgement.

“I know the truth about absolute truth.”

The three looked at him like they do the homeless kook who walks around with an “End of the World” sign.

“You guys know that old story about the blind guys and the elephant right?”

More silence. The religion guy looked at the Philosophy guy. The business man put his coffee down and said.

“Sir, I don’t have any money.”

“Well, that story explains how we can view ultimate truth …. and … Oh … ”

Awkward silence.

“…Yeah … ok,” said Phil.

He looked at his watch and finished the interaction.

“I should ALWAYS trust my instincts. Sorry gentlemen.”

Phil walked outside and saw a haggard but pretty woman with her six year old girl. Her eyes clearly said “The bitch is in.”

He passed them and walked down the street. As he strolled he remembered the old tale of the Elephant and the blind men. Each of the blind men believed he knew the elephant and the others were just plain daft. The one that thought the elephant was snake like had its tail. The one that thought it was like a tree had its leg. The one that thought it like a wall was on his side. There were as many viewpoints as there were blind men.

Then a vision came. It stopped him cold.

He saw the blind men all holding hands in a circle laughing.  The elephant held one hand of a blind man with her trunk. She held the hand of another blind man in her tail. The rest held hands. He heard a voice from among them say, “Tell us again how the Elephant is like a horse!”

And another.

“Tell me how she is like a snake!”

“Tell me how she is like a giant leaf!”

They all shared their stories and the elephant just remembered.

“Well, that’s as ultimate as Ultimate Truth gets,” said Phil.

He looked up to Sol.

“We can share it  wholly together but never wholly alone .”