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God's wonderful Creations

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Creation, the creating of the universe, and often also of the creatures that inhabit it, explained in mythological terms. One of the principal purposes of mythological tradition worldwide is to give an account of the creating of the cosmos. Mythographers (i.e. those who record and analyse myths) often make a distinction between "creation myths" (cosmogonies), which tell how the world arose or was created from a primal state, and "myths of origin", which explain how later features of the known world, such as human beings, animals, or the social order, came into being. In reality, myths of origin are usually continuations of a cosmogony, revealing the further action of an original creative impulse. In the biblical book of Genesis, for example, the Hebrew god Yahweh (see Jehovah) is first a primary creator deity, separating the elements and forming the Earth. Later, after he has made the first humans, Adam and Eve, Yahweh becomes a law-giver; and the myth of the exile from the Garden of Eden accounts for the origin of such aspects of life as the need to cultivate the soil, the pain of childbirth, and the presence of death. ...read more.


The processes by which the world is formed include the moulding or coalescing of elements, particularly water and earth; a struggle between supernatural powers; the sacrifice of a primal being (for example a giant or world-serpent); the incubation of the "cosmic egg"; or the uttering of a divine "word". Where primary creation is ascribed to deities, such as the Greek Uranus (sky god) and Gaea (earth goddess), these tend to become hazy, remote figures in later mythology, and stories recount their overthrow by their own offspring: thus in the Greek tradition, Zeus succeeded his father Cronus and grandfather Uranus to become undisputed head of the Greek pantheon. Many traditions, however, do not ascribe creation to individual deities. In African mythology a cosmic egg hatches to release spirits called Nommo, who then set about the creation of mankind. Both "personal" and "impersonal" creative forces occur in Egyptian mythology: elemental energies were personified by four divine couples, who fused to form the cosmic egg; from this the sun god was born. ...read more.


The process of creation is sometimes perceived as belonging to a mythic past; often, however, it is seen as a continuing cycle of creation and destruction, as in Hindu tradition or in the Mesoamerican belief in the "Five Suns" that governed successive worlds. Since the 19th century, Western thought has been accustomed to equating the passage of time with the idea of material progress; but in mythic history the earliest era of the world is usually the closest to perfection-a Golden Age or Garden of Eden-with later phases showing the progressive degeneration of the world as it grows more distant from the original creative impulse. Cosmogony myths generally culminate in the creation of humankind, after which point the mythic cosmos comes to resemble the inhabited world of human experience. The earliest humans are often thought to have been of extraordinary stature and longevity and to have been much closer to the gods, and in many traditions the story-cycles associated with demigods and heroes are a richer source of myth than those involving the gods themselves. ...read more.

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