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

The Elephant Speaks
One Man’s Elephant book II


             I use quotes from the Bible because I see a lesson there. I see a message there. I see a message from God there. Not just because it is in the Bible, but because the message is valid. It would be valid no matter the source. Be aware that I use the translation or source that comes the closest to the point I desire to make. Your own sacred texts also have messages that are valid, that stand on their own merits, that should be considered regardless of the source.
             I use quotes from other sources, messages that have God as the Author. Many predate Jesus. Some have no relationship with either the Jewish faith or the Christian faith. Keep your mind open to hear God’s word no matter the source. Some of these quotes even sound as though they could be in the Bible. Some quotes from those who were not Christian are mirrored by statements in the Bible.

             God does not speak to me in any audible language. Speaking in a language requires a mouth and other physical body parts. God is a Spirit and not anything physical.
             I have always been one to think in concepts not in words. This can sometimes make it difficult when it comes time to explain something. God speaks to me by putting the concepts directly into my mind. The thoughts God puts into my mind become my problem. I have to try to fit words to these concepts in order to convey them to you. If the words I use do not make sense, that is my incompetence, not that God was less than clear in His meaning. If God speaks to you differently, then that is between you and God.
             Do not ponder the meanings of words I may use. I am just trying to attach words to thoughts. Try to absorb the concepts behind my poor attempts to present them.
             Confucius claimed that he never said anything new. It is all something that he had heard, seen, or read. In this book, I follow his example.
             Usually I choose thoughts that fit my purpose. Sometimes, I reword it a bit. Sometimes I reword it so much that you might have trouble recognizing it.

             You will find prayers, statements, stories and poetry. Some stories are true. Some are fiction. The most horrible stories are true. I hope it gives you something to think about.
             Some have no question involved. Some are statements from my own faith. Some are what I believe God to say. Some are here just for the shock value. My purpose is to be thought provoking. If reading this book makes you angry, then at least I have made you think. If I do not offend you somewhere along the process of reading this book, then I promise I will try harder the next time. If you wonder why I was not struck by lightning, I sometimes wonder too.
             I use the present tense when I attempt to present God’s word. That is because I believe that God is not limited by time as we are. All time is ‘now’ to God.

I leave the quotation marks off the end of what I state comes from God. That is because God never ‘ends’ His speaking to me or you.

I include that which I state comes from God using a

 - different character set -

 to distinguish it from my own rambling.

             Sometimes I capitalize the word God. Sometimes I do not capitalize the word god. Think about it.

             This book contains some references and notes. I put a lot of references and footnotes in my previous book: “One Man’s Elephant.” With this book, if I felt there was a need for comment, I tried to include it with the relevant text of each chapter.
References and comments are usually presented in a smaller character set.
Words to note are presented in italics.
             Sometimes I may use a statement that I believe is wrong, just to get your attention. Judge and evaluate all claims and statements from your own faith path. Do not believe just because it is written.
             Each chapter can stand alone. The order the chapters are placed in this book might not necessarily be the order you choose when reading. Some, though, can be better understood if you first read the previous chapter.
             It was not my desire to put depressing chapters together. I tried to separate them with something else.
             Some thoughts in some chapters are repeated in later chapters. When it seemed important to me, I reworded that message and presented it again.
             When I quote something, consider that I may have heard a message that I use to present a concept. Consider it of the same value for my purpose regardless of the source. Ignore the source, look for the message. Many things I quote have been said by holy people that may not follow the same faith path as you. If it sounds like something that came out of your holy writings, it may be that your prophets heard the same message from God that others also heard.
             I sometimes use gender specific terms. Replace these with the other gender. If that changes the meaning in any way, then you have a problem you need to address. I usually refer to God as He or Him. I refuse to refer to God as It. I occasionally refer to God as She or Her. God is not gender specific. If you believe otherwise, then give this book to someone else, because you have already made up your mind.
             The things that are my responsibilities are also your responsibilities. Put yourself in each of these chapters, each of these stories, each of these responsibilities. Sometimes the use of the word ‘I’ should be taken as a collective, should be interpreted perhaps as ‘we’ designating all of the human race. There are two sides to this coin. Sometimes, when I say ‘you’ it just defines a weakness I see in myself.
             I tend to use Christian terms. If you are not Christian, then put in your own faith path. Replace with: Moslem, Jewish, Hindu, Daoist, Atheist, or whatever. Replace Christ or Jesus with your preferred deity, prophet, teacher, holy person, or other concept. And, replace the Bible with your own holy or sacred writings. The meanings should not change. The messages should not change.

             Some of these chapters borrow from my book: “One Man’s Elephant” especially the first story of the blind men and the elephant.
             When I mention a name or historical incident, look it up yourself. Make sure I did not corrupt the writings of others when I plagiarized them. Or, if I did change it, try to discover what it was that induced me to do that. Make sure I did not corrupt the truth.

Feel free to disagree with me.

           I do not expect you to agree with me throughout this book.

           If you disagree, then your own faith is strengthened.

This book is just my personal view

of the elephant.

The Elephant Speaks              Synopsis