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Monday, July 27, 2015

Bible: Creation: Method

            Those expecting more about vampires, well, I’m taking a short break. Most of the remaining weaknesses are tied directly to Christianity, so I thought we’d take a foray into the Bible.

            Okay, this is it. The big one. The Biblical creation is one of the most well-known stories of all time. Or is it? Maybe there are some nuggets of information we can get out of this previously untapped.
            So, in the beginning, well, you know this part. The first two verses are description, with some real action happening in verse 3. Finally, this is the most important part in all creation. “God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (your specific translation might be a bit different, but it’s all the same for my purposes).
            Okay, and stop there. I said, this was the most important part. I know, you’re thinking that I’m just nutty. We haven’t gotten anywhere yet. Why is this the most important part?
            I could go on an extended metaphor about light being the most important thing. It’s knowledge; it’s love; it’s whatever. Actually, I don’t care about the light so much. It’s important, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the most important thing.
            What’s important is how it was created.
            See, every creation myth details how the world, cosmos, and mankind are created. The key points are in the method of creation. This method reveals something about the culture. Whether it is creation via sex (I’m looking at the Greeks, here), elemental interplay (many of them), thought (Hindu), or a guy with an overactive pituitary gland who’s dismembered (poor Pangu of the Chinese myth), the method of creation reveals something important about the culture behind the myth, and about the world itself.
            So, how was the world created? (Hint: not light).
            Give up?
            Okay, I’ll say it: language.
            The act of speaking, of giving voice to thought, is what kick starts everything. Voice and language are very important to the ancient Hebrews, to whom this myth belongs. Sorry, Christians, they were there first. Christians appropriated it, but the originating culture was Hebrew. Of course, language is also important to Christians, which is why there is an entire New Testament.
            So, getting back to it, speech and writing (aka language) are critically important to these people. The language represents a deliberate act of mental discipline. First, deliberate is important. An examination of the Hindu creation myth with Brahma (to be examined at a later date) reveals thought as the method of creation, but it’s uncontrolled (all of those random thoughts throughout the day becoming real. Embarrassing!).
            A mental discipline is important as well. The emphasis is on study, on learning, on developing the mind over the body. These are not physical acts like many other mythologies, but a mental act of combining words into a sentence, to give order from chaos.
            Wow. Okay, that’s good for now. Those were some intense three verses, so we’ll call it a day and pick this back up. It’ll still be day one.

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