The Newcomer to Heaven

An Ancient Persian Parable

This is an ancient Persian parable. I have used this parable in countless talks and lessons over the years. This is my version.

A newcomer to heaven was strolling along on the glistening marshmellowy clouds, admiring the harp players and choruses of angels, when off in the distance he saw a group of old wise men struggling to carry a massive diamond

As the bearded wise men reached a hole in the clouds, they gently laid the diamond by the edge. They cut it into tiny fragments and tossed them into the hole one by one.  After the last diamond particle was dropped into the hole, the old men gathered around and peered down below.

Below, on earth, a man discovered one of the tiny diamond fragments. He shouted for joy, gathered his friends and family, and built a church. The old wise men snickered.

In another part of the world a woman came across one of the diamond particles.  She too clapped in excitement, collected her family and friends, and built a library. The bearded wise men chuckled.        

In yet another part of the world another person found a small fragment of the diamond, and he built a university. The old men laughed out loud.

All over the world people discovered tiny fragments of the diamond and built temples, libraries, churches, observatories, museums, and schools as the wise men laughed uncontrollably.

The curiosity of the newcomer to heaven overwhelmed him. He approached the group and asked, “What is so hilarious?” 

One of the wise men calmed himself enough to answer. “You see,” he explained, “the diamond we cut and tossed down to earth was the diamond of the truth. When those absurd human beings find a single tiny fragment, they think they have found the whole diamond.”

Moral of the Parable

The truth is broader, deeper, more multi-faceted, and more wonderful than we think.

Some people think climate change is the ultimate truth. Others believe their religious denomination is the entire truth.  Still others think science is the whole truth. 

When they focus on one tiny facet of the diamond of truth, they think they have found the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Our life’s purpose is to gather as many diamond fragments as we can, and to try to put truth back together into “one great whole.”


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