Creating a Creation Myth

Good religions usually have a good creation myth.

Let's look at what I've written today, then we'll look at some of my thoughts and edits.

- - - - - - -

In the beginning there was God, and God alone.

Desiring more than self, God created a seed, and planted the seed of existence in the vast soil of chaos.

The seed grew and blossomed. More seeds came forth. More growth, more blossoms.

As God looked upon creation sadness arose, and a single tear fell.

The tear was both the seed and soil of life.

From life more life emerged.

Each time life emerged into a new blossom, and so was changed by existence, and changed existence.

From this change emerged Other, made from change, and made to change.

Other saw God, and God was not alone.

- - - - - - -

I wanted to cover the creation of the universe and the creation of mankind, and the awakening of consciousness.

I wanted the growth to be organic rather than some type of mechanical creation.

I wanted to show the idea of figure and ground, which is a psychological and philosophical concept that comes from phenomenology. The basic idea is that we can't be aware of everything. Some things emerge as more prominent in our awareness, in our phenomenal field. These things can be physical things or concepts, they are still called figures. The rest of everything else, what fades into the background of our awareness, is the ground. This is how consciousness works and this is our experience in life, so it should be taken into account. (The psychologists Combs and Snygg are great on this subject.)

As we explore the world certain things become more differentiated in our awareness. That's how we learn. Existence also differentiates and becomes more complex over time. Life does the same. Also, life evolves. Any good modern religion will incorporate that basic idea.

I wanted creation to have a feeling of underlying tragedy along with the ability to redeem that tragedy by the pursuit and attainment of value, the ability for life to redeem suffering.

One of the fundamental things about humans is that we are social. The most important part of the environment for humans is other humans. The experience of others is highly important. Significant others largely create our personalities through approval and disapproval. Our selves are reflections of this process. Loneliness is one of the worst possible punishments for humans. In extreme situations of solitary confinement people have done things like becoming close friends with spiders that they have personified as part of a coping mechanism. (George Herbert Mead and Harry Stack Sullivan are good references here.)

I made a few adjustments when I was writing this. Here are some things that I dropped.

- - - - - - -

was alone

small seed

That tear contained the seeds of life.

The life grew and blossomed. More seeds came forth. More growth, more blossoms.

As existence grew and blossomed

sadness descended, as did a single tear.


- - - - - - -

I think it's pretty good. I could give a bunch of speeches and write a number of articles breaking down the complexities of what is all contained in that little creation myth. Several things can be interpreted in multiple ways, and I like it that way. For instance, "made to change." Made to change themselves or the environment? Good question. I'll let you think about it.


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