Stereotypes in Creation Myth
Sneha Pillai | 25 Feb 2011
Even religions have a lot in common. Then why can't we all be equal?
Wherever people have lived together they have told stories to explain the mysteries of the universe; of creation and destruction, of how people and animals first came to be, of the characters of the gods and goddesses they worship. These tales are called creation myths and with their cast of heroes and monsters, explain how life works.
Despite the creation myths being from different mythologies from different lands with different culture, tradition and religion, we notice that there are a lot of common elements in these myths. In all the existing creation myths the world begins from the same state- that of utter chaos! With their interesting cast of divine authority, heroes and villains they narrate symbolic episodes of the creation process in an almost stereotypical manner.
For instance, the Aztec and Christian mythology narrate a vague idea of the world being created in seven steps.
The creation myths in the various mythologies give us an insight of the ideologies and mentality of the people living on the land from where the myth originates. Since these myths normally have no written proof of its origin, it remains what it is, a myth. Creation myths develop through oral traditions. And hence it is almost impossible to trace the roots of the stories.
However, most of these myths do have some scientific facts hidden behind them.
Majority of the mythologies believe that the creation process began from a large amount of energy. In Hindu myth, Om-the vibrating loud sound was the energy. In Chinese, Pangu’s mechanical energy which broke the shell of the egg was the energy. This aspect of the myth has scientific relevance as the scientists have discovered that the universe did begin with a vibrating point of high energy-a phenomenon called Big Bang.
Also, all the myths believe in three parts of the world- the earth, the heavens and the in between. Even though hell (as a part of the world after death) does exist in all the myths, we find that none of the mythologies mention it in the creation process. Probably it is to portray that their God is not a bad God and hell was created by men’s sinful actions.