Every human group is interested in how the world was created. You could argue
that there have been 100,000 versions of genesis. Some creation accounts are
told by an omniscient narrator who acts as if he witnessed a sudden, dramatic
creation. Other accounts tell a story of human interactions with creators who
reveal themselves in progressive stages. Since stories are made of words,
creation accounts often treat words as the initial creative force and
conversation as an evolutionary process.
A creation story from an Upanishad originating in India about 3000 years BP
begins: “In the beginning there was only the Great Self in the form of a person.
Reflecting, it found nothing but itself. Its first word was: “This I am.” Whence
arose the name “I.” Which is why, when one is addressed, one first says “I” and
then tells whatever name one has. The one was afraid.Therefore, anyone who is alone is afraid. If there is
nothing but myself, it thought, of what then am I afraid? Whereupon the fear departed.
That person was not happy when alone. It desired a mate. It became as large
as a woman and man in embrace; then caused that Self to fall into two pieces
from which husband and wife arose. He united with her and human beings were
She thought: “how can he unite with me after producing me from himself?
Well, let me hide.” “She became a cow and he a bull and he united with her.
From that union, cattle were born” And so on and on.
Creation myths continue to be invented. Astrophysicists created the big bang
theory using mathematics and astronomy to back up their fantasy. They are still
looking for dark matter that permeates the universe to get their big bang
equations to work. They may be right, but there are other interesting
explanations and too little evidence to prove any theory.
With the help of Zorba the Greek, the great poet, Nikos Kazantzakis offered a
20th century creation of man story: ”One morning God woke up feeling down in the
dumps. What a devil of a God I am! I haven’t any men to burn incense to me and
swear my name to help pass the time away. I have had enough of living alone like
an old screech owl. He spat on his hands, pulled up his sleeves, put on his
glasses, took a piece of earth, spat on it, made mud, kneaded it well and made
it into a little man which he stuck in the sun. Seven days later it was baked.
God looked at it and laughed. Devil take me, it’s a pig standing on it hind
legs. That’s not what I wanted at all! I’ve made a mess of things. So he picks
him up by the scruff of the neck. Go on clear off! All you got to do now is make
other little pigs, the earth is yours. But you see, it wasn’t a pig at all. It
was wearing a felt hat, a jacket, well-creased trousers and Turkish slippers
with tassels. In his belt was a pointed dagger with the words “I’ll get you”
engraved on it. It was man! God held out his hand for the other to kiss, but man
twirled his moustache and said: “Come on old one, get out the way. Let me pass.”