Religion 21st Century

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Creation Myths

Every human group is interested in how the world was created. You could argue that there have been 100,000 versions of genesis. Some creation accounts are told by an omniscient narrator who acts as if he witnessed a sudden, dramatic creation. Other accounts tell a story of human interactions with creators who reveal themselves in progressive stages. Since stories are made of words, creation accounts often treat words as the initial creative force and conversation as an evolutionary process.

A creation story from an Upanishad originating in India about 3000 years BP begins: “In the beginning there was only the Great Self in the form of a person. Reflecting, it found nothing but itself. Its first word was: “This I am.” Whence arose the name “I.” Which is why, when one is addressed, one first says “I” and then tells whatever name one has. The one was afraid.Therefore, anyone who is alone is afraid. If there is nothing but myself, it thought, of what then am I afraid?

Whereupon the fear departed.

That person was not happy when alone. It desired a mate. It became as large as a woman and man in embrace; then caused that Self to fall into two pieces from which husband and wife arose. He united with her and human beings were born.

She thought: “how can he unite with me after producing me from himself?

Well, let me hide.” “She became a cow and he a bull and he united with her. From that union, cattle were born” And so on and on.

Creation myths continue to be invented. Astrophysicists created the big bang myth using mathematics and astronomy to back up their fantasy. They are still looking for dark matter that permeates the universe to get their big bang equations to work. They may be right, but there are other interesting explanations and too little evidence to prove any theory.

With the help of Zorba the Greek, the great poet, Nikos Kazantzakis offered a 20th century creation of man story: ”One morning God woke up feeling down in the dumps. What a devil of a God I am! I haven’t any men to burn incense to me and swear my name to help pass the time away. I have had enough of living alone like an old screech owl. He spat on his hands, pulled up his sleeves, put on his glasses, took a piece of earth, spat on it, made mud, kneaded it well and made it into a little man which he stuck in the sun. Seven days later it was baked. God looked at it and laughed. Devil take me, it’s a pig standing on it hind legs. That’s not what I wanted at all! I’ve made a mess of things. So he picks him up by the scruff of the neck. Go on clear off! All you got to do now is make other little pigs, the earth is yours. But you see, it wasn’t a pig at all. It was wearing a felt hat, a jacket, well-creased trousers and Turkish slippers with tassels. In his belt was a pointed dagger with the words “I’ll get you” engraved on it. It was man! God held out his hand for the other to kiss, but man twirled his moustache and said: “Come on old one, get out the way. Let me pass.”


  • Religion for the 21st Century is available as an eBook download. The book is intended for a well-educated smart reader who is interested in a world view of religious expressions past, present and future. The main theme is that each religious group has its own claims and stories and will tend to reject others. A reader committed to one point of view may not accept the egalitarian review presented here. Innate tendencies are expressed as religions and in the past have created conflicts that hinder progress towards the real and true. The book examines paths for religious renewal in the 21st century.

    The author is Stephen Gislason

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    Print Books Read Topics Download
      Human Nature
    Good Person - Ethics
    Pieces of Puzzle
    Sound of Music
      Surviving Human Nature
      Language & Thinking
      I and Thou
      Emotions & Feelings
      Neuroscience Notes
    Children & Family
    Intelligence, Learning
      Religion 21st Century

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