The nature of truth:

How Nasrudin Created Truth

“Laws as such do not make people better” said 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 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, then hang me!”

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

“That’s right; now you know what the truth is…YOUR truth!”

A passage from the third Idries Shal collection, The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin; (p.7)