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Creation Myth types
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09-08-2015, 10:44 AM (This post was last modified: 09-08-2015 10:53 AM by goodwithoutgod.)
Creation Myth types
Creation Myths
It has always amused me to consider the vast number of diversely different creation myths. There is no way I could capture them all in a forum post, but perhaps someday when I am bored I would like to write a book comparing and contrasting them all. For all I know there may be already an exhaustive number of books doing this very thing, I have not bothered to even Google the subject. Anyway, I will endeavor to cover the different types, and provide a couple of examples.

A creation myth is a symbolic story that merges indigenous cultural history, and sometimes contain a smattering of historical events that have been passed down through oral tradition. Analysis of creation myths usually reflect a unique worldview and contain a framework that places this group of believers in a universal context. There are five major classifications of creation myths. Let’s go through them briefly:

Ex Nihilo

This is Latin for “out of nothing” and is a common type of mythical creation. This can be found in religions from ancient Egypt, the Bible, the Quran, the Rig Veda (1700-1100 BCE ancient Indian texts leading to Hinduism), and a plethora of animistic (worldview that animals, plants, and inanimate objects possess a spiritual essence) religious cultures found in Africa, Asia, and North America. Ancient third millennium (3000 – 2100 BCE) Sumerian Mesopotamian creation myths were extremely complex and includes seven different “disputations” (formal debates). These deeply philosophical disputations address humanity’s place in the world. One of the most popular of these disputations was the debate between sheep and grain (Black, Cunningham, Robson & Zolyomi, 1998).

Quintessentially, these ex nihilo creation myths can sometimes blur the line between creation ex nihilo (from nothing) and creation from chaos. In ex nihilo type creation myths the very substance of creation springs from within the creator.

Creation from chaos

In these myth creations, there is nothing but a shapeless, formless expanse. This expanse contains the material with which the created world will be made. This expanse is like a vapor, or water, dimensionless, and the very definition of disorder. The act of creation is a promulgation of order from disorder. It is intriguing that this world perspective usually believes that at some point order will degenerate back into this disorder at some point.

World parent

In these myth creations, there are a set of parents for the world. One version of this describes the primeval state as an eternal union of two parents, and the creation takes place when the two are pulled apart. Commonly, the two parents are identified as sky (male) and earth (female) who were so tightly bound to each other that no offspring could emerge. Another form of world parent creationism is that creation sprung from the dismembered parts of the body of the primeval being. Usually the limbs, hair, blood, organs, etc. are somehow severed or sacrificed and become sky, Earth, animal or plant life, and other worldly features. An example of world parents mythology can be found in Maori(New Zealamd) mythology (Biggs, 1966).

Emergence

In these myth creations humanity emerges from another world into this one. The previous world is viewed as the womb for the earth mother, and the act of emergence was like the birth of humanity. These are generally found in Native American cultures where the myths correlate the emergence of people from a hole in the underworld. An example of this can be found in the Pueblo peoples. Their “temple”or room from which they practice their religious rituals was called a Kiva, and there would normally be a small round hole in the floor representing the portal through which the ancestors first emerge from the underworld (Vivian, Gordon, Reiter, & Paul, 1965).

Earth-diver

In these myth creations a supreme being usually sends an animal into the primal waters to find bits of sand from which to build habitable land. This focuses on the beginnings emanating from the depths. These are also common in Native American folklore, and found amongst the Chukchi (Russian indigenous people residing along the shores of the Chukchi Sea), Yukaghir (Russian indigenous people living in East Siberia), Tatars (Old Turkic people living in Asia and Europe who were one of five major tribal confederations in the Mongolian Plateau in the 12th century) and several Finno-Ugrian (ancient Hungarian mythology) traditions. The earth-diver is the first of them to awaken and lay the necessary groundwork by building suitable lands so that the coming creation would have a place to live. For example the ancient Finnic mythology had an emphasis on astronomy, and it’s creation myth involved a world egg and a world pillar.

References:

Biggs, B. B. (1966). Maori Myths and Traditions. Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, 3 Volumes. (Government Printer: Wellington). Print.

Black, J.A., Cunningham, G., Robson, E., and Zólyomi, G. (1998). The debate between sheep and grain, The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, Oxford. Print.

Vivian, Gordon; Reiter, Paul (1965), The great kivas of Chaco Canyon and their relationships. University of New Mexico Press. Print.

...........

one of my favorite creation stories

Pima Creation story.

These Native American Indians lived in the Arizona desert along the Gila and Salt rivers and were named “Pima” in the 15th century by the Spanish, who later recorded their stories. Here is their creation story:

In the beginning there was no earth, no water – nothing. There was only a Person, Juhwert-a-Mah-kai, “The Doctor of the Earth.”

He just floated, for there was no place for him to stand upon. There was no sun, no light, and he just floated about in the darkness, which was Darkness itself.

He wandered around in the nowhere till he thought he had wandered enough. Then he rubbed on his breast and rubbed out moah-haht-tack, that is, perspiration, or “greasy earth.” This he rubbed out on the palm of his hand and held out. It tipped over three times, but the fourth time it stayed straight in the middle of the air and there it remains now as the world.

The first bush he created was the greasewood bush.

And he made ants, little tiny ants, to live on that bush, on its gum which comes out of its stem.

But these little ants did not do any good, so he created white ants, and these worked and enlarged the earth, and they kept on increasing it, larger and larger until it at last was big enough for himself to rest upon.

Then he created a Person. He made him out of his eye, out of the shadow of his eyes, to assist him, to be like him, and to help him in creating trees and human beings and everything that was to be on the earth.

The name of this being was Noo-ee – the buzzard.

Noo-ee was given all power, but he did not do the work he was created for. He did not care to help Juh-wert-a-Mah-kai, but let him go by himself.

And so The Doctor of the Earth himself created the mountains and everything that has seed and is good to eat. For if he had created human beings first they would have had nothing to live on.
……………………………………..



Isn’t mythology fun?

What is your favorite creation myth? Which do you think is the most outlandish? My vote is Scientology hands down, followed by Mormonism.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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09-08-2015, 11:04 AM
RE: Creation Myth types
Scientology is the craziest , not because of the contents of the story (is it really any more bizarre than the other creation stories?), but because it was practically a modern-day invention. We have proof that it was an intentional scam, and yet people are still buying into that shit today.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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09-08-2015, 11:13 AM
RE: Creation Myth types
That's a tough one. I'm not going to choose Hinduism only because they had some pretty amazing ancient cosmology. Scientology is a "newer" religion, so you would maybe expect people to get that this was all made up, whereas religions that are older have had much more chance to develop steam. But brainwashing is brainwashing no matter how old or new a religion is. Some oldearthers have *tried* to modernize (and align with science) the stories in Genesis. Many also do not view the stories as a literal account. For some reason, Joseph Smith and the golden plates and the angel Moroni (and that these plates can no longer be seen due to Moroni taking them back) somehow seems extra crazy to me.
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09-08-2015, 11:13 AM
RE: Creation Myth types
(09-08-2015 11:04 AM)cactus Wrote:  Scientology is the craziest , not because of the contents of the story (is it really any more bizarre than the other creation stories?), but because it was practically a modern-day invention. We have proof that it was an intentional scam, and yet people are still buying into that shit today.

I agree, they have a small group size...I think it is like 50,000 members, yet it is one of the richest....greatest cash cow scam ever...

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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09-08-2015, 11:25 AM
RE: Creation Myth types
I just got back from vacation in the Colorado/Utah/New Mexico area, we saw the stone cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde, a fascinating people, they showed how ingenious us humans can be when challenged. They built an entire society that lived in these cliffs for about 700 years.

Here is one of the Hopi creation myths:

Quote:In the beginning there were only two: Tawa, the Sun God, and Spider Woman (Kokyanwuhti), the Earth Goddess. All the mysteries and the powers in the Above belonged to Tawa, while Spider Woman controlled the magic of the Below. There was neither man nor woman, bird nor beast, no living thing until these Two willed it to be. In time they decided there should be other gods to share their labors, so Tawa divided himself and there came Muiyinwuh, God of All Life Germs and Spider Woman divided herself and there came Huzruiwuhti, Woman of the Hard Substances (turquoise, silver, coral, shell,etc.). Huzruiwuhti became the wife of Tawa and with him produced Puukonhoya, the Youth, and Palunhoya, the Echo, and later, Hicanavaiya, Man-Eagle, Plumed Serpent and many others. Then did Tawa and Spider Woman have the Great Thought, they would make the Earth to be between the Above and the Below. As Tawa thought the features of the Earth, Spider women formedthem from clay. Then did Tawa think of animals and beasts and plants, all the while Spider Woman formed them from the clay. At last they decided they had enough, then they made great magic and breathed life into their creatures. Now Tawa decided they should make creatures in their image to lord over all the rest. Spider Woman again formed them from clay. Again the Two breathed life into their creations. Spider Woman called all the people so created to follow where she led. Through all the Four Great Caverns of the Underworld she led them, until they finally came to an opening, a sipapu, which led to the earth above.

If you ever get the chance, it's truly remarkable to see these abandoned cliff-side villages.

[Image: mesa-verde-1.jpg]

[Image: mesaverde.jpg]

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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09-08-2015, 11:27 AM
RE: Creation Myth types
Damn. It's a tossup between Scientology and Mormonism. How can people believe that shit?

There's a tribe that worships Prince Philip. They believe he's the fulfillment of a mountain spirit who has returned to them after marrying a powerful lady.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Philip_Movement

I don't think it's any crazier than any other religious belief though. It's a fulfilled prophecy similar to Jesus. All this tribe needs is a written text with profound phrases and poetic sounding paragraphs and VOILA!....instant religion.


[Image: Tribe-Rex-439264.jpg]

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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09-08-2015, 11:34 AM
RE: Creation Myth types
(09-08-2015 11:25 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I just got back from vacation in the Colorado/Utah/New Mexico area, we saw the stone cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde, a fascinating people, they showed how ingenious us humans can be when challenged. They built an entire society that lived in these cliffs for about 700 years.

Here is one of the Hopi creation myths:

Quote:In the beginning there were only two: Tawa, the Sun God, and Spider Woman (Kokyanwuhti), the Earth Goddess. All the mysteries and the powers in the Above belonged to Tawa, while Spider Woman controlled the magic of the Below. There was neither man nor woman, bird nor beast, no living thing until these Two willed it to be. In time they decided there should be other gods to share their labors, so Tawa divided himself and there came Muiyinwuh, God of All Life Germs and Spider Woman divided herself and there came Huzruiwuhti, Woman of the Hard Substances (turquoise, silver, coral, shell,etc.). Huzruiwuhti became the wife of Tawa and with him produced Puukonhoya, the Youth, and Palunhoya, the Echo, and later, Hicanavaiya, Man-Eagle, Plumed Serpent and many others. Then did Tawa and Spider Woman have the Great Thought, they would make the Earth to be between the Above and the Below. As Tawa thought the features of the Earth, Spider women formedthem from clay. Then did Tawa think of animals and beasts and plants, all the while Spider Woman formed them from the clay. At last they decided they had enough, then they made great magic and breathed life into their creatures. Now Tawa decided they should make creatures in their image to lord over all the rest. Spider Woman again formed them from clay. Again the Two breathed life into their creations. Spider Woman called all the people so created to follow where she led. Through all the Four Great Caverns of the Underworld she led them, until they finally came to an opening, a sipapu, which led to the earth above.

If you ever get the chance, it's truly remarkable to see these abandoned cliff-side villages.

[Image: mesa-verde-1.jpg]

[Image: mesaverde.jpg]

I am familiar with that one, its one of the world parent theologies. I almost used it as an example.

Brilliant minds think alike Big Grin wait....did I just call myself brilliant? Laughat

That is a fascinating story, and such an amazing human endeavor to create that city in the side of a rock cliff. Thank you for sharing Thumbsup


(09-08-2015 11:27 AM)dancefortwo Wrote:  Damn. It's a tossup between Scientology and Mormonism. How can people believe that shit?

There's a tribe that worships Prince Philip. They believe he's the fulfillment of a mountain spirit who has returned to them after marrying a powerful lady.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Philip_Movement

I don't think it's any crazier than any other religious belief though. It's a fulfilled prophecy similar to Jesus. All this tribe needs is a written text with profound phrases and poetic sounding paragraphs and VOILA!....instant religion.


[Image: Tribe-Rex-439264.jpg]

Blink

Facepalm

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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09-08-2015, 11:35 AM
RE: Creation Myth types
Also, Mormonism re: it's belief that God's children were originally spirits, who learned everything they could in the spirit realm, were then sent to earth by God to progress and develop further as humans--is kind of similar to Scientology and thetans residing in humans.
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09-08-2015, 11:35 AM
RE: Creation Myth types
Slavic creation myth is kinda interesting.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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09-08-2015, 11:43 AM
RE: Creation Myth types
The Mormon and Scientology stories are a dead heat for me. They're similar also in that the first storytellers were such shady characters.
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