When I teach mythology, I invite my students to write their own version of a Creation Story. Every culture has one; even the scientific worldview theorizes in light of the archetypal Cosmic Egg opening out into a primordial Big Bang. The choice we make about this isn’t one of myth versus rationality, it’s how conscious to be of the mythic motifs that recur in our theorizings. When stuck in humorless obsession with measurement, proof, or literal truth, we forget that myth is sacred story, not lie or meteorology. Only when reduced to single interpretations do myths lose their magic and subside into mere ideologies.
On February 22nd, 2016, I sat down, meditated for a moment, and wrote down the following, a tale I’ve continued to elaborate. It is not intended as any kind of doctrine, but as an act of imaginative appreciation for the beauty of the animate cosmos and of our life together here on Earth.
Beyond darkness and light, above and below; between after and prior, near and far; born of precreative mysteries was DEPTH. Depth was Possibility, fertility, pure potentiality, abundance beyond word or thought or image.
Depth gathered itself into itself, strong concentration before great exhalation, and dreamed.
In this dream, Depth loved Depth and they sighed in rapture; and from the radiant breath of their loving wholeness came forth Wisdom, which is Reflection, and Creation, which is Reach.
Wisdom loved creation, and from them came forth Attraction and Repulsion.
Attraction loved Repulsion, and from them came forth Time and Space.
Time loved Space, and from them came forth darkness and light.
Thus, from the singing breath of dreaming Depth and the ecstatic dance of the Eightfold Powers did the One, smaller than small, burst forth into the Many of the variegated cosmos.
Born of Depth, the Eightfold rushed onward and outward, quivering with birth-giving contractions and singing exhalations.
From these emanated Archetype and Embodiment, Form and Vitality, Harmony and Conflict, Chaos and Order, Play and Structure, Action and Rest, War and Peace, Attachment and Detachment, Unity and Division, Fate and Freedom, Beauty and Barrenness, Forethought and Afterthought, Gathering and Scattering, Life and Death.
From these in turn came forth other births: triadic creation-preservation-destruction; four energetic forces; six directions; Number and Complexity; untold dimensions bridged by the liminal of the imaginal.
In the hot, swelling flare of the primal creation, wave upon wave of the newborn powers danced together, cavorting in the darkness of a thick plasmatic fog.
Slowly, slowly, the fog lifted as Attraction set to work. Once she had knitted stars together out of fog, and galaxies out of stars, and clusters out of galaxies, she placed these luminous organs within dark scaffolds of cosmic tendon. The dazzling glow of her labors illumined this, the first universal day.
When aging stars had shone forth all the light they possessed, they folded in upon themselves. Some shrank into deep abysses; others flung their flaming tissues out into the cosmic reaches.
Gathering these up, Attraction worked with Repulsion and Archetype, Play, Order, and other Powers to weave spherical, star-warmed worlds. Each pulsed as a node of sense and response in the grand universal body.
In each wandering world, as in each corpuscle and wave of being, a seed-spark of Wisdom, daughter of Depth and consort of Reach, found a home. For in the originary double weave of Creation, every Exterior joins with an Interior. All is animate, and whole.
Cradled in one bright arm of a turning starry spiral, newly born Earth cooled, grew solid, froze, heated, and cooled again as she grew in maturity.
Up above, her child Luna pulled slowly away as titanic tides drew back from lands new-risen from the sea. From Earth’s fertile oceanic depths grew the first stirrings of life.
As continents shuffled and mountains climbed and settled, Earth worked from archetypes—circle, star, spiral, net—formed by the dance of Structure and Play and guided by Wisdom animating Reach.
New combinations of hunger, desire, and movement gained complexity and cunning as Earth circled her parent Sun and Luna passed through her cyclical phases.
From archetype, abundance, diversity, and love grew mosses and blossoms, claws and shells, eyes and ears, lungs and hearts, trees and throats and intricate brains.
Out of a rift valley walked a late-growing twig on the tree of life. Having lost most of its hair, it built fires, wondered about the Creation, painted, chiseled, and told stories. This was Human, a creature formed of oceanic waters and dark humus, its brain branched like corals, rivers, and trees.
Shaped from Archetype’s cosmic patterns, animated by Wisdom, watched over by the Eightfold Powers, and grown from Attraction and love, all of these rooting, crawling, flying, leaping, slithering, walking beings were of one Earth family.
And all around and deep within them glimmered Signs to remind them of their kinship with each other, their descent from Earth, their Lineage from the Powers, and their origin in the Source of All.
© 2010 Craig Chalquist.