How Nasrudin Created Truth

Laws as such do not make people better, said Mulla Nasrudin to the King; they must practice certain things, in order to become attuned to inner truth. This form of truth resembles apparent truth only slightly.

The King decided that he could, and would, make people observe the truth. He could make them practice truthfulness.

His city was entered by a bridge. On this he built a gallows. The following day, when the gates were opened at dawn, the Captain of the Guard was stationed with a squad of troops to examine all who entered.

An announcement was made: Everyone will be questioned. If he tells the truth, he will be allowed to enter. If he lies, he will be hanged.

Nasrudin stepped forward.

Where are you going?

I am on my way, said Nasrudin slowly, to be hanged.

We don’t believe you!

Very well, if I have told a lie, hang me!

But if we hang you for lying, we will have made what you said come true!

That’s right: now you know what truth is – YOUR truth!

This spiritual story is from the book The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah.

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