One day, eight men came to a house in which there were many wonders. As they were being shown around, they came to a door with one word upon it: Truth.
Let us go inside, they said, for we all wish to know what this Truth may be.
So they opened the door and found themselves to be in a small room with no windows. In the center of the room, there was a large object, covered with a velvet cloth. Is this truth? some asked. If so, it is nothing special. No, said others, we must uncover it first. So they uncovered it. And behold! underneath was a great crystal, in shape like a spire of amethyst, but taller than the men themselves. And from it shone a great light that dazzled the eyes. And the men said, this is a worthy sight.
Now, the light from this crystal was whiter than the snow. But the men, like all those from their country, wore glasses, which they had worn for so long that they no longer knew how to take them off, and had indeed forgotten about them. Now each man’s glasses were different. Some were round, some square, some oval, and all had different lenses put into them. The end result of this was that each man’s view of the crystal was quite different from his companions.
And they asked themselves, what is this truth?
And the eldest among them said, I see this truth, and it is red. More red than the purest rose, more crimson than the blood of a warrior. Truth is passion, and love, and sacrifice.
No, said the next eldest, you cannot be right. I see this truth, and it is orange, like the sunset, or the autumn leaves. Truth is in endings, and the graceful acceptance of death.
I don’t know what you’re talking about, said the third. Truth is yellow, like the sun in the noonday sky. Truth is happiness and joy.
No, no, said the fourth, truth is green. Green like the new leaves, or the summer grass. To be alive is to find truth.
Life? said the fifth. Yes, but not in leaves. Truth is blue, like the sky or the surface of the sea. Truth is found in exploring the universe, as far and as deep and as high as you can go.
You are close, said the sixth, but your meaning is not quite right. Truth is indigo, like the midnight heavens, or the deepest part of the sea. Truth is only found in going deeper and deeper within, until you understand.
You are all wrong, said the seventh. Truth is violet. Purple like the robes of a king. Clearly to find truth is to know this king, and serve him.
The eighth man, who was the youngest among them, adjusted his glasses nervously, as if he wished to remove them, but did not know how.
I think there must be something wrong with the way were are seeing this truth, he said. It does not seem right that we should all see different things. What do you see? they asked. It is a rainbow, he said, it is all of them together.
When they found they could not agree on what this truth was, they began to argue amongst themselves. But since they had the glasses, each could see no other view than his own, and because they had forgotten about the glasses, and could not take them off, they were each convinced that their view was the correct one.
They began to fight amongst each other, friend turning again friend. At last, however, they fell silent, one by one, and ceased fighting, until they were all standing around the crystal again. But they were ashamed, and did not look at it.
And they said, let us go from this place, for it is plain to see that this truth can be of no use to us, seeing as we cannot agree on which view is right. So they went.
And Truth continued to shine in the darkness of the room, as pure and as white as it had always been, but there was no one there to see it.