Primal Religion? Origin Story? Myth?

Shinto Story of the Creation of Japan:  (From 8th century Japanese scholars compiling many collected oral stories in the Kojiki, produced in 712 CE) (From: Religions of the World, Neilsen et al., 1983 by St. Martins’ Press)

The first kami arose from the primordial chaos and dwelt on the high plain of heaven.  Next were created the kami of birth and growth.  Finally, the original parents–Izanagi, the male principle, and Izanami, the female principle–descended from heaven along a rainbow-like bridge.  (Heaven and Earth were closer together in those times) Standing on the tip of this bridge, Izangi thrust his spear into the ooze below.  When an island emerged, the two kami stepped down to it, mated, and produced the eight greet islands of Japan.  In this cycle the male-female love that turned to hate was the dominant theme and was never wholly resolved.  Many kami were born to the couple but only after the dominance of the male was recognized.  When the male god of fire was born to Izanami, his mother was killed by the flames.  Izanami thus went to Yomi, the land of the dead beneath the earth, and in his grief Izanagi followed his wife.  DEspitethe warning of Izanami, whose body body was now corrupt, he could not keep from looking at her.  They quarreled, and Izanagi fled back to the upper world, pursued by the polluting forces of decay, disease, and death.  These forces turned into the thunder demons, Kati who bring disease and death to humanity.  Seeking to repair the harm he had unintentionally caused, Izanagi vowed to create life even faster than the thunder demons could destroy it.  Thus the present balance between death and life was established.

Judeo-Christian Story of Creation: (Early Hebrew stories of origins of the world were passed orally for many centuries before being written down some time after 1000 BCE) (From: Genesis 1: 1-32 in The New Oxford Annotated Bible, 1962)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.  And God said, “let there be light”; and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.  And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

And God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called the seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants that yield seed, and fruit bearing trees in which is their seed, each according to its kind upon the earth.” And it was so … [God creates the stars, sun and moon, and creates living creatures].  And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind.  And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and overall the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created man in likeness, in the image of God He created him; male and female He  created them.  And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” And God saw everything made, and behold, it was very good.  And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.

Creation Story of the Native America Crow Tribe: (From The Religious World by Bush, et al.. Macmillan, New York, 1988)

In the beginning the earth was covered by water.  Old Man Who Did Everything was wandering over the water.  He heard voices and found four ducks, two large blue-eyed ducks and two small red-eyed ducks. Old Man Who Did Everything Asked the ducks to dive under the water in order to discover if anything existed.  After the two large ducks failed to discover anything, the two small ducks dived and returned with mud in their bills.  Out of this mud Old Man Who Did Everythingcreated the sky, plants, trees, animals, and finally humans.  After testing the humans he created, he sent two groups away and kept the bravest group with him.  This group became known as the Crow people.

Hindu Story of Aditi and the Birth of the Gods: (A part of the Rig Veda, going back over 2000 BCE) (from: Anthology of World Scriptures by Robert Van Voort Wadsworth, 1994, Belmont CA)

Lets us speak with wonder of the births of the gods, so that someone may see them when the hymns are chanted in this later age.  The lord of sacred speech, like a smith, fanned them together.  In the earliest age of the gods, existence was born from non-existence.  After this the waters of the sky were born from her who crouched with legs spread. The earth was born from her who crouched with legs spread, and from the earth the waters of the sky were born.  From Aditi, Daksa was born, and from Daksa, Aditi was born.  For Aditi was born as your daughter, O Daksa, and after her were born the blessed gods, the kinsmen of immortality.  When you gods took your places there in the water with your hands joined together, a thick cloud of mist arose from you that was hidden in the ocean.  Eight sons are there of Aditi, who were born of here body.  With seven she went forth among the gods, but she threw Martanda, the sun, aside.  With seven sons Aditi wen forth into the earliest stage. But she bore Martanda so that he would in turn beget offspring and then soon die.


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