Manataka American Indian Council



Grandfather Speaks



“Truth is the foundation of all knowledge and the cement of all societies.” -John Dryden




Truth can be seen as two different things because we have Absolute Truth and Relative Truth. Absolute Truth deals with the Divine Principals, and Relative Truth deals with human thoughts and emotions.


They are created from different sources and have different definitions. When we are talking about things dealing with the Creator, we are talking about Absolute Truth, which is absolute, unlimited, unchanging, and complete. This would refer to the Ten Commandments, the Gold Rule, Judge Not, and Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself. 


When we argue about human behavior, we are dealing with Relative Truth. . Relative Truth changes and is limited, incomplete, and definitely, not absolute. This is the cause of arguments, law suits, and wars


When you examine an event by running it through your filter to determine the response which would reflect the truth for you, it may not always be anyone else’s truth. One of the flaws of Relative Truth is that we don’t all end up at the same response, even when we begin with the same event.


In-fighting or community conflicts are good examples of living by Relative Truth. We rarely have all the information about what has happened, much less an understanding of why it happened. In fact, the people involved often realize that they don’t have all the facts, but for some reason, they keep fighting and defending their position and judgments.


We need to learn how to live in harmony We need to recognize that there are different aspects of truth, and allow others the benefit of the doubt, to understand that there are always more facts we may not have.  While we often ask others for advice, we reserve the right to make our own decisions. Harmony is possible when we remember to offer that same courtesy to those around us.


“To know the truth is easy, but, ah, how difficult to follow it.” Rahel


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Robert Gray Hawk King Coke, 77, Cherokee, is the newest member of the Manataka Elder Council. Coke graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute in 1952 with a biology degree. He served in the U.S. Army with a tour in Europe.


After returning home, Robert Coke, entered pre-seminary school Austin College with a major in Philosophy.  He continued his education by earning a degree in Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Business Administration at Southern Methodist University where he later served on the faculty as an instructor. In 1996, Elder Coke was elected Chairman, of the American Indian Heritage Association and served as an ambassador for the American Indian Center of Dallas. Gray Hawk is now a semi-retired consultant.




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