Sunday, September 6, 2015

Similarities in Creation

One thought that was prevalent throughout our discussion in class the past week was the importance of creation myths and what purpose they serve as well as the elements that composes them. One thought that I found interesting was the similarities between myths from vastly different regions. The resemblance of some of Tolkien’s mythmaking to those of Native Americans was particularly interesting- especially considering that Tolkien would probably not have known anything about them or their culture. One thing that I always found intriguing was the idea that all cultures have some sort of creation myth and yet unprecedented amounts feature a large amount of similarities. In modern science the idea of the Big Bang is generally agreed upon, while cultures like the Egyptians and Chinese have awfully similar ideals- the Egyptians believed that the universe was created when a lotus emerges from an explosion and their deity comes out. The Chinese thought that a giant egg came out of nothing and a deity is hatched. The Christian equivalent of this would be of course Genesis.

Basically, all across the world eerily similar versions of the same tale are being told. I find this amazing, it’s odd how cultures from vastly different areas can have so much thought in common with others.


Vairë said...

It is very interesting, and it bears some logical thinking. There is often a beginning from a void of some sort, the primordial soup. That entity of nothing even comes up in the christian creation myth! And there is also almost always a certain amount of time involved in creating the world. This seems to mirror the slow process of the creation of language and reason from the darkness of early man. Explosions, like lightning, symbolize higher power as well, and I would hypothesize that all those factors contribute to some universal similarity in creation myth.

Aulë said...

While it is strange and fascinating that so many cultures have similar elements in their creation myths, it does make sense. After all, we are all humans, and each culture on the earth experiences the same basic phenomena (storms/lightning/natural disasters, predatory animals, death, family ties, finding food, not knowing where exactly we came from, etc.), so it isn't a stretch to see why so many myths touch on the same things.
Each culture, being human, would begin to look at the world from the same kind of place and the following mythologies would thus be similar, with tweaks and alterations based on the particular location/values/history of the culture.

Varda said...

I agree with what Aule said above, in terms of humans experiencing similar phenomena regardless of their location in the world. Though we do have significant advances in science to help us make sense of our world, even those of us who are not religious can probably agree upon some cause/effect relationships which evade even our most prestigious scientists. Many aspects of religion and mythology came to exist through average people attempting to explain their feelings, observations, and hardships. Humans are perplexed by the mysteries of an "endless" universe comprised of stars, planets, moons, and even the potential for life beyond Earth. Additionally, humans are consistently challenged by the demands of an ever-changing society. Mythology and religion both provide cultures and individuals with tools to explain what they experience, and it makes sense that common factors would make their way into tales of peoples from a common world.