What do we know of our creator? Might it be the elephant in the room? In the movie, Jumbo, Jimmy Durante, leading a live elephant, is stopped by a police office who asks, “What are you doing with that elephant?” Durante replies, “What elephant?” Like Durante, many don’t see the elephant in the room.
The elephant in the room is an issue that is obvious and needs to be addressed but is being ignored or not acknowledged because it makes some people uncomfortable and is personally, socially, or politically embarrassing, controversial, inflammatory, or dangerous. Sound like our creator?
John Godfrey Saxe’s The Blind Men and the Elephant contains a poem you may have heard paraphrased:
It was six men of Indostan. To learning much inclined. Who went to see the elephant. (Though all of them were blind.)
The First (feeling its side) “Is very like a wall!” The Second (feeling its tusk) “Is very like a spear!” The Third (feeling its trunk) “Is very like a snake!”
The Fourth (feeling its leg) “Is very like a tree!” The Fifth (feeling its ear) “Is very like a fan!” The Sixth (feeling its tail) “Is very like a rope!”
And so these men of Indostan. Disputed loud and long. Each in his own opinion. Exceeding stiff and strong.
Though each was partly in the right. And all were in the wrong!
Are each of you, I and everyone on Earth one of the blind men?
Christianity, comprising 31% of the world’s population is the largest blind community. It claims our creator is God our Father. Jesus called God a father so that we would learn that, just as a human father loves its children unconditionally, our creator loves us unconditionally. Jesus' teaching, that we were created in the image of God, leads Christians to personify God.
The 12th century Jewish philosopher Maimonides argues that the image of God means no more than our consciousness and ability to speak and grasp abstract concepts and ideas that are not merely instinctual.
Muslims, comprising 25%, make up the next largest blind community. They claim our creator is Allah who is the judge of humankind and who demands submission to his will, divine ordinances and commandments. They maintain that Allah is an inaccessible mystery, depends on nothing, is not part of the Christian Trinity and has no parents or children.
Hindus, comprising 15%, make up the third largest blind community. They claim our creator is Brahman who is a very mysterious being. He occupies the highest place, as the creator and enjoyer of all creation. He is the Light and Delight of the Universe, the Ruler and the Lord, without a beginning and without an end, indestructible, indescribable, blissfully immersed in Himself and all by Himself.
Buddhists, comprising 7%, make up the fourth largest blind community. They claim there is no creator or eternal divine personal being. They seem to have not found the elephant in the room!
Each of the remaining smaller religions’ positions are similar to one of the five main religions.
The remaining 15% of the world's population comprises spritualists, agnostics, atheists and secularists. Most spiritualists claim our creator is a "spirit force" which endows all creation with a consciousness which connects everything. Humans are unique in having minds that can channel the universal consciousness of the “spirit force” into their individual consciousnesses and thus become at one with their creator/spirit force.. Agnostics maintain no one can know if there is an elephant; atheists claim there isn’t one and secularists claim their own personal version of the elephant.
Is it not very likely that each blind community is partly in the right but largely in the wrong? Rather than each insisting on its claim, wouldn’t it make more sense to share and study each other’s claims so as to approach the real right?