Searching for the ultimate truth, is like exploring a city.
There can be only one city, but there are many different ways to explore it. There will be a lot of tour guides you can choose from, depending on your level of experience, and on which facet of the city you want to explore — may it be the food, the shops, the historical sites, among others.
There will be good guides, there will be bad guides, and your experience will vary immensely depending on many factors — including the quality of your guide, maybe the weather, but more importantly, your personal outlook on the experience.
Of course, you also have the option to explore the city on your own, and depending on the circumstances, you can even learn more by yourself (with the occasional help from different tour guides and books), than if you explore exclusively via just one tour guide.
Same for the ultimate truth.
There can be only one ultimate truth, but there are many different guides you can choose from. There will be guides, to match your own experience, your own needs, and your level of consciousness.
For the longest time, Religion-based guides have been the most popular, but recently, Science-based guides have been gaining traction. They’re all trying to describe the same ultimate truth, but their focus may be different, and would at times appear contradictory.
In many ways, this is no different from the parable of the blind men and the elephant — the elephant being the ultimate truth, and the blind men being the different guides.
Science has been focused on the physical reality and has been very successful in describing the physical universe, while Religion has been more focused on the spiritual reality, and has been successful in enriching the spirituality of many.
What about me?
Mostly because of the circumstance of my birth, there was a time when I was very loyal to the Catholic guide, that I didn’t even bother looking at other guides when exploring the city.
The Atheist guide then became attractive as it offered something that was not obviously available from my previous guide – consistency with the Science-based guides, which is gaining more and more popularity among my peers, especially after I entered University.
Recently though, I am beginning to look at the guides, as something separate from the ultimate truth. I’m beginning to explore the city myself, sometimes using the guides, but only to help introduce me to new areas of the city. They are very useful as a starting point, from which I can begin my own journey into the city… into the ultimate truth.
Hopefully, this approach would help me even better discover the big elephant.
The ultimate truth.