Friday, July 31, 2009

Thoughts on Creation

I was thinking about Creation today. I had recently read some material about Creation in a book about the Kaballah that seemed to make a lot of sense. I decided to Google creation myths and see what I could learn. There were only 1,920,000 entries. I read a few and then realized that if I read them all or even a small part of them I would have no time to do anything else. Let me recount some of the things that stood out.

1-There are an incredible amount of creation myths. Every tradition, every tribe in North America and Africa, every religion, every culture, and thousands of individuals have attempted to explain how we got here.

2-Those that are responsible for these myths do not believe they are myths. They believe they are sacred accounts or revealed wisdom that are accurate descriptions of the Creation. I'm sure that the originators of all these Creation stories did not believe they were literal. Some probably viewed them as the best possible way to explain a process that could not be explained by words alone, but needed to be contemplated or studied to get the deeper meaning.

3-There seems to be three general categories plus the scientific view. The first category views Creation as a process of something coming from nothing (ex nihilo if you are interested). This can be seen in the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic view of God creating the heavens and earth. There is no mention of who created God or where he came from.

The second category explains Creation as process through which God or some other supernatural being rearranged a substance like water or an animal or energy or formless matter into the world as we know it. This type of thought is usually found in the beliefs of the American Indian or African tribes. The Masai from Africa, for example, believe that humanity was fashioned from a single tree which split into three. The Iroquois and Cherokee believe that in the beginning on the earth there was just water. There were creatures in the sky though, who came down and settled the earth. There are many creation stories that describe beings or entities from the sky descending down to the earth to begin life on this planet.

The third category believes that there was no starting point. The universe is eternal, no beginning or end. The Mormons believe that there is no starting point, that all physical reality has always existed. This idea solves the problem of when did everything begin and what came before the creation but doesn't satisfactorily answer how did it happen or why did it happen.

The Kabbalistic view that interested me is that before the actual creation all that existed was pure energy or light. This light always existed. The light had a consciousness to it or you might say it was pure consciousness. The light wanted to share itself which in one sense does makes sense. If you were pure consciousness and by yourself you might want something else to share what you have or to keep you company. The light created a vessel that it could fill with its light.

The vessel could only receive the light. It could not return anything to the light. This seemed a little unfair to the vessel. The vessel wanted to share also. It had nothing to share with. The vessel decided that in order for it to share it had to restrict the light. It had to separate itself from the light. This act of restriction, according to Kaballah is what caused the creation of our universe. The vessel broke into two parts. Each part contained all female souls and all male souls.

Now that I have written this and read it back to myself it doesn't seem to make as much sense as it originally did. I think I like the views of the Buddha better. When asked how was the universe created the Buddha replied that this was not a good question. We don't know. We can't know and there are better ways to spend your time than thinking about this subject. This seems to make the most sense to me.

1 comment:

  1. That was funny, my wife just commented to me the other day about who created God? I answered, big question...tiny little brain. J