Snyder, George L Snyder, Lenore Snyder, God, ethics, morals, religion

The Elephant Speaks
One Man’s Elephant book II

All Roads Lead to Rome


            At the peak of the Roman Empire, there was a saying that all roads lead to Rome. The only question was which way you need to go to get to Rome?


            No matter what road you are on, one direction leads you closer to your destination, one direction leads you farther from your destination. You must start from where you are. Then you have to choose which way to go. You can go closer to heaven or farther from heaven.


            Many people claim that there is only one path to salvation. I claim that no matter what path you find yourself on, you can move along that path to get closer to salvation. I claim that no matter what path you find yourself on, you must move along that path. You must move along that path at least until you come to another path. You might have to change direction and go the other way, but the path you are on is the only path you have. If you are going the wrong way, just turn around. (Repent) If the path you are on is the only path you see, then you have to follow it. Another path may branch off from the path you are on. It might lead you more directly toward your desired destination. It might not.


            If you are North of Rome, the road you must take is different from the road you must take if you are South of Rome. And, if you are West of Rome, - - -.




If you are West of Rome,

you have to swim in the Sea.

            What are the characteristics of all of the great religions of the world?


          There is some greater power. Some greater order. Something greater and more important than me or you.

          There was creation. Some directed incident that occurred at the beginning that caused or allowed everything to be. Something that was directed by a greater power, force, god, etc.

          Good is always a better choice than evil.

          Unity. Empathy. It is better to be with - - than to be alone.

          We are all weak, imperfect, human. We can strive, but we fail. But only through that striving can we approach the desired goal.

           We cannot know. We cannot understand. It is not our destiny to know or understand. We can only seek.


In this drawing, each circle represents a different faith path. I deliberately drew it with the following characteristics.

1.          The circles all overlap. All faith paths have an area where they overlap all other faith paths.

2.         The final shape is not totally symmetrical. All faith paths do not overlap all other faith paths exactly the same way.

3.         There are enough circles to indicate that there are many faith paths. There are many faith paths, many more than shown here.

4.         All the circles are the same size. All are the best attempts those people can make to approach God. God accepts and understands that you are making the best attempt you can to understand Him/Her. Even though all faith paths do not have equal value in the eyes of man, all faith paths have equal value in the eyes of God.


            The Native Americans believed in the Great Spirit. They believed in the powers in the earth and sky. They believed that all things have a spirit, a purpose, a value. They believe that there is one all-powerful Spirit that oversees all the others. They have a creation story that includes the animals in a significant manner.



            The ancient Norse believed that Odin wandered the Earth. Some people called him Woden. He was also called ‘All Father.’ Although he was a fearsome god, he is said to have performed small acts of kindness and justice. Why is there a pagan god doing the works you should be doing? He even sacrificed an eye for greater knowledge and wisdom. In the Völuspá there is another creation story you might find interesting to read.


             The ancient Greeks and then the Romans had a whole set of gods in their mythology. Usually it was recognized that even they had an order. Even they had one who was the greatest of the great. And other creation stories.

            The Hindu religion is a composite of multiple religions. There is the All Present Awareness that is responsible for creation. The one God of the rest of the gods. The following is a portion of India’s ancient Sanscrit chants.

In the beginning there was neither naught nor aught:

Then there was neither sky nor atmosphere above . . .

Then was there neither day, nor night, nor light, nor darkness,

Only the Existent One breathed calmly, self-contained.

Translated by Aniya Chakravarty


            No matter where you are, no matter what path you are on, there is a common thread with all the rest of humanity. There is a commonality among all faith paths. Look for what is common to all and you may assume that to be the truth. God speaks to all his people. God loves all. God desires the salvation of all. God gives salvation to all. God has a path for you to follow no matter where you are or where you come from.


            You have to start from where you are. You are on a path. You might be going the wrong way, but you are on a path. Start from where you are and progress toward the desired destination. Just be sure that the destination you are aiming for is the correct destination. In order to make that determination you have to look at the life style of the perfect example.




Be what God wants you to be.

Do what God wants you to do.


            So, now you are on the road. You are traveling toward your desired destination. What more do you have to do? Just do what you know is right with God. That is how you put one foot ahead of the other. You may find that carrying that heavy load of gold, makes the walking more difficult. You may find that to stop and pick up one who has fallen, makes the walking easier. You may find that your progress along that road is much faster when you stop to help another. You may be surprised how far you move toward your destination when you stop and comfort one who is in pain. When you stop to help another, it is then that God picks you up, holds you in His arms, and carries your soul closer to heaven. How much closer to God can you get?


            The dimension you travel through to get closer to God is not one most people think of. We have up/down, right/left, ahead/behind, and future/past. Scientists claim that there must be many more dimensions. I suggest that one of these dimensions is good/evil. You need to travel along the good/evil dimension. I should not have to tell you which way to go on this one. But, it is everyone’s responsibility to travel this path in the correct direction.


            You have to do what you can to move yourself closer to God. You have to avoid doing, refuse to do, what moves you away from God. Accept the opportunities given to you by God. Sometimes it may seem that these are difficult, but the more difficult they are, the closer it moves you to God. It is always your choice. Make the correct choice. God will smile. God will help you protect your soul. To gain this protection, make the correct choice. Let the great fish spit you out.

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