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When next Uranus appeared to copulate with Gaia, Cronus sprang out and hacked off his father's genitals! Where Uranus's blood and naughty bits fell, there sprang forth more monsters, the Giants and Furies. From the sea foam churned up by the the holy testicles came the goddess Aphrodite. Later, Cronus fathered the next generation of gods, Zeus and the Olympians. And, boy, were they dysfunctional! The Hindu cosmology contains many myths of creation, and the principal players have risen and fallen in importance over the centuries. The earliest Vedic text, the Rig Veda, tells of a gigantic being, Purusha, possessing a thousand heads, eyes, and feet.

He enveloped the earth, extending beyond it by the space of ten fingers. When the gods sacrificed Purusha, his body produced clarified butter, which engendered the birds and animals. His body parts transformed into the world's elements, and the gods Agni, Vayu, and Indra. Also, the four castes of Hindu society were created from his body: Historically later, the trinity of Brahma the creator , Vishnu the preserver , and Shiva the destroyer gained prominence. Brahma appears in a lotus sprouting from the navel of the sleeping Vishnu. Brahma creates the universe, which lasts for one of his days, or 4.

Then Shiva destroys the universe and the cycle restarts. Relax everybody, the current cycle has a couple billion years left.

Doctrines of creation

The gods created two divine siblings, brother Izanagi and sister Izanami, who stood upon a floating bridge above the primordial ocean. Using the jeweled spear of the gods, they churned up the first island, Onogoro. Upon the island, Izanagi and Izanami married, and gave forth progeny that were malformed. The gods blamed it upon a breach of protocol. During the marriage ritual, Izanami, the woman, had spoken first. Correctly reprising their marriage ritual, the two coupled and produced the islands of Japan and more deities. However, in birthing Kagutsuchi-no-Kami, the fire god, Izanami died.

Traumatized, Izanagi followed her to Yomi, the land of the dead. Izanami, having eaten the food of Yomi, could not return. When Izanagi suddenly saw Izanami's decomposing body, he was terrified and fled. Izanami, enraged, pursued him, accompanied by hideous women. Izanagi hurled personal items at them, which transformed into diversions.

Escaping the cavern entrance of Yomi, he blocked it with a boulder, thus permanently separating life from death. Rather like Persephone in Hades, isn't it? A cosmic egg floated within the timeless void, containing the opposing forces of yin and yang. After eons of incubation, the first being, Pan-gu emerged.

The heavy parts yin of the egg drifted downwards, forming the earth. The lighter parts yang rose to form the sky. Pan-gu, fearing the parts might re-form, stood upon the earth and held up the sky. He grew 10 feet per day for 18, years, until the sky was 30, miles high. His work completed, he died. His parts transformed into elements of the universe, whether animals, weather phenomena, or celestial bodies.

Some say the fleas on him became humans, but there is another explanation. The goddess Nuwa was lonely, so she fashioned men out of mud from the Yellow River. These first humans delighted her, but took long to make, so she flung muddy droplets over the earth, each one becoming a new person. These hastily-made people became the commoners, with the earlier ones being the nobles the first example of mass-production! The earth mother of the Aztecs, Coatlicue "skirt of snakes," is depicted in a fearsome way, wearing a necklace of human hearts and hands, and a skirt of snakes as her name suggests.

The story goes that Coatlicue was impregnated by an obsidian knife and gave birth to Coyolxauhqui, goddess of the moon, and to sons, who became the stars of the southern sky. Later, a ball of feathers fell from the sky which, upon Coatlicue finding it and placing it in her waistband, caused her to become pregnant again. Coyolxauhqui and her brothers turned against their mother, whose unusual pregnancy shocked and outraged them, the origin being unknown.

However, the child inside Coatlique, Huitzilopochtli, the god of war and the sun god, sprang from his mother's womb, fully-grown and armored talk about a C-section! He attacked Coyolxauhqui, killing her with the aid of a fire serpent. Cutting off her head, he flung it into the sky, where it became the moon. That was supposed to comfort Coatlicue, his mother--some comfort! The ancient Egyptians had several creation myths. All begin with the swirling, chaotic waters of Nu or Nun.

Atum willed himself into being, and then created a hill, otherwise there'd be no place for him to stand. Atum was genderless and possessed an all-seeing eye. Atum then vomited up a daughter, Tefnut, goddess of moisture. These two were charged with the task of creating order out of chaos. Shu and Tefnut generated Geb, the earth, and Nut, the sky. First they were entwined, but Geb lifted Nut above him. Gradually the world's order formed, but Shu and Tefnut became lost in the remaining darkness. Just how all-seeing it was, and what did Atum do without, remains a mystery.

When Shu and Tefnut returned, thanks to the eye, Atum wept with joy. The end and meaning of the world is thus not determined by the primordial matter but by the deity who created the world. It is he alone who determines the preservation, maintenance, and end of the world. In emergence myths there seems to be an easy movement from one stage of creation to the next, but, as has been shown in the Navajo myth , at each subterranean level there is some type of antagonism among the developing embryonic creatures.

This is one of the reasons for the separation of the creatures and the movement to another level. Though the emergence myths portray the mildest form of this antagonism, it is still present in myths of this sort. In the world-parent myths there is antagonism between the offspring and the parents.

This is a conflict between generations, expressing the desire of the children to determine their own place and orientation in existence against the passivity of the parents. A dualism and antagonism is found again in the cosmic-egg myths, especially in the myths in which the egg contains twins. One twin wishes to take credit for the creation of the world alone, interrupting the harmonious growth within the egg before maturation.

The faulty creation by this evil twin accounts for the ambiguous nature of the world and the origin of evil. This observation applies equally to the dualistic structure in some versions of the earth-diver myths. The devil moves in the various versions of this myth from the companion to the antagonist of God, possessing the power to challenge the deity. In many cosmogonic myths, the narrative relates the story of the sacrifice and dismemberment of a primordial being.

The world is then established from the body of this being. In the myth Enuma elish , the god Marduk , after defeating Tiamat, the primeval mother, divides the body into two parts, one part forming the heavens, the other, the earth. In a West African myth, one of the twins from the cosmic egg must be sacrificed to bring about a habitable world. In the Norse Prose Edda , the cosmos is formed from the body of the dismembered great Ymir , and, in the Rigveda , the oldest Indian text, the cosmos is a result of the primordial sacrifice of a man , the purusha.

In these motifs of sacrifice, something similar to the qualification of the undifferentiated matter of creation is suggested, for, just as the primal stuff of creation must be differentiated before the world appears, the sacrifice of primordial beings is a destruction of the primal totality for the sake of a specific creation. When the victim of the sacrifice is a primal monster, the emphasis is on the stabilization of the creation through the death of the monster.

The monster symbolizes the strangeness and awesomeness occurring when a new land or space is occupied. In a myth from Ceram Molucca Islands , a beautiful girl, Hainuwele , has grown up out of a coconut plant. After providing the community with their necessities and luxuries, she is killed and her body cut into several pieces, which are then thrown over the island. From each part of her body a coconut tree grows. It is only after the death of Hainuwele that human beings become sexual; that is, the murder of Hainuwele enables humankind to have some determination in the process of bringing new life into the world.

Myths and poetic renderings in legends , sagas, and poetry express the basic cultural insights into some of the elements involved in the human consciousness about creation. Theological, philosophical, and scientific theory are types of rationalizations of these basic insights in terms of the particular culture and historical periods of the cultures in question. The attempt to integrate the meanings of primordiality, dualisms and antagonisms, sacrifices, and ruptures and to meet demands of some kind of logical order and, at the same time, keep alive the meaning of these structures as religious realities, objects of worship, and a charter for the moral life, has led to the development of doctrines.


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These rituals usually take place at propitious moments e. In each case, the seemingly practical activities imitate the mythic structure of the first beginning. Theological and philosophical speculations and controversies centre within and between religious communities over the issues of the primordial nature of reality, dualisms, the process of creation, and the nature of time and space.

Creation myth - Doctrines of creation | omyhukocow.tk

A doctrine of creation must contain or suggest the manner in which all cultural meanings, both empirical and abstract, constitute an integral totality. Speculations that are based on the initial insights of a mythical theme explicate some principle in the myth as a basis for generalization and logical form on which all elements and themes may be ordered. Doctrinal positions may be modelled around any or all of the themes of the cosmogonic myth. If the emphasis falls upon creation by a high god through his thought, word, or other mode, the problem of the otherness and difference between creator and creature becomes a source of theological discussion and philosophical speculations.

In Judaism , Christianity , and Islam , the classical locus of this issue is found. All of these religions have theological traditions that raise this problem. Related to this issue is the transcendence and arbitrary action of the creator deity.

Basic mythical themes

Because he is prior to the world and its creatures, the question arises whether there are modes of creaturely knowledge or apprehension that are capable of knowing him; of whether he is subjected to the same categories of being as his creatures; of whether his time and space are the same time and space of his creation. To some extent, the a priori nature of this type of deity creates an apparent dualism between the creator and the world and creatures. This dualism is mediated in various forms in the traditions. Even within these traditions, however, the transcendent nature of the deity and his mediatorship through some other being or principle does not settle the doctrinal issue, for different cultural-historical periods of these traditions offer a variety of theological speculation concerning the nature and meaning of the deity, the world, and the mediator.

The traditions offer a structure through which such speculation is ordered and clarified. The theme of emergence is related to theological and philosophical notions of emanations from a single principle and the idea of the transmutation of being. In one version of the Dogon myth, creation proceeds from a small seed. Within the seed spontaneous movements begin. These movements, which burst from the shell of the seed and make contributions in space, create all forms of beings and the universe.

The Top 10 Intelligent Designs (or Creation Myths)

Similarly, in the Polynesian myth Ta-aroa develops the world out of himself and the shell in which he lived. A pervasive theme in Chinese thought is that of a universe in a perpetual flux. This flux follows a fixed and predictable pattern either of eternal oscillation between two apparently opposed poles or of a cyclical movement in a close orbit. The oscillation pattern is expressed by the concept of yinyang. In the theory of the Five Phases wuxing , a cyclical movement is correlated with the five phases, each of which bears the name of a mineral: These in turn form an equivalence with the third month of summer and with spring, autumn, summer, and winter, respectively.

These parallelisms then form equivalences with the five directions, and they in turn with the five primary colours. Ancient Chinese thinkers never discuss an initial conscious act of creation.

The Genesis of the Judeo-Christian and Islamic Faiths

The cyclical movement itself produced the empirical and abstract form of the cosmos. The oscillation between yin and yang forms a correlation in all phenomena extending to the realms of time, space, number, and ethics.


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Thales thought that the fundamental principle of cosmos was water. The earth floated on water; water was the natural cause of all things. Anaximander taught that there was an eternal undestructible something out of which everything arises and everything returns. In other words, the fundamental substratum of the world could not be an element of the world.

Dualistic conceptions of creation come to the fore in the theme of earth-diver myths, in which there is an antagonism between the co-creators of the universe. In some sense this is not an ontological dualism for the first creative act of Ormazd was the limitation of time and thus the limitation of the power of Ahriman to carry out his destruction.

Doctrines of this kind are related to the origin of evil in the world. Alongside the various myths and doctrines regarding creation, there are equally skeptic positions concerning the unknowability of creation. This critique is present in several religious and philosophical traditions. It may be correlated with the mythical meaning of deus otiosus , the deity who retires from the world after his creation, or with the mythic theme from some earth-diver myths that emphasize the physical and intellectual fatigue of the deity after creation.

In the first case, the removal of the deity from creation leaves no access to his plan or will; in the other case, because of the fatigue of the deity who has exhausted all of his knowledge in creation, there is thus nothing for human beings to learn from him. In the Indian tradition the Rigveda expresses skepticism in this manner:. The Buddha declared certain cosmological and metaphysical questions unanswerable.

They included such questions as: In the Chinese tradition Guo Xiang died ce questioned the origin of the basic oscillation of the Daoist movement. For Guo there is no such thing as Non-Being for Being is the only reality. Being could not have evolved from Non-Being nor can it revert to Non-Being. As Guo Xiang put it,. I venture to ask whether the Creator is or is not?