Abstract image depicting creation of the universe and mankind

The awesome, terrible, and unknowable creator gods through history

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All throughout history people have invoked gods of various kinds, including incomprehensibly strange creators. Crediting an almighty god as the creator of the universe is an acknowledgement that the universe is so complex and beautiful that only a being much greater than human could create it.

People from every inhabited corner of the planet have told stories about the creator and how he or she brought the world into existence. Creators have been seen as male and female, wonderful and awesome, terrible and unknowable. They are usually the oldest being in any pantheon.

Modern scientists too have a creation story: the Big Bang. Some modern people do not believe God set off the Big Bang. In fact, many millions of people from various traditions around the world, including Christians and Muslims, still believe in fundamentalist creation stories.

Abstract model of the Big Bang

Abstract model of the Big Bang. Source: BigStockPhoto

A creator is difficult to understand because it doesn’t show itself except through its works. It doesn’t explain how or when or why it made the universe and us. So people develop stories or allegories to explain the inexplicable: How did our universe come to be?

There was probably really never any creator who vomited up everything, or who fought a monster and sliced up her body and created the world from it, or who hatched the universal egg on her stomach and created the world and heavens from its parts. It’s uncertain if people truly believed these things happened, but these exact stories were first told long ago.

To give a flavor of just one people’s telling of a creation tale, here is a short excerpt from the very first part of the American Indian Navajo creation story Dine bahan é:

Of a long time ago, long ago these things are said.
It is said that at To bil dahisk’id white arose in the east and was considered day. We now call that spot Place Where the Waters Crossed.
Blue arose in the south. It too was considered day. So the Nilch’I diné’e, who already lived there, moved around. We would call them Air-Spirit People in the language spoken today by those who are given the name Bilagaana, which means White Man.
In the west yellow arose and showed that evening had come. Then in the north black arose. So the Air-Spirit People lay down and slept.— From the book Diné bahane: The Navajo Creation Story, University of New Mexico Press, Paul G. Zolbrod, editor and translator.

The text of the Navajo creation story runs 300 pages in Zolbrod’s book, and it tells a lot about ancient Navajo Indians.

It is fortunate the Navajo people have such a complete creation story from many centuries ago. Other indigenous people are not so lucky. Many ancient people’s stories were never recorded and are lost because their cultures or civilizations ended by attrition or in various disasters, including colonialism, imperialism, and genocide.

Below is a list of 20 creators as told by real people in real religions and cultures at various times around the world down through the ages. Some of these beings have fallen out of favor wand have no believers left. Some were imagined or prophesied about thousands of years ago. Others, though their stories are old, are still loved and worshiped today:

  • Atum of Egypt, "the not-yet-Completed One who will attain completion" and dwelt in the primordial depths, masturbated to create the father and mother of the earth and sky.
  • Nammu is the Sumerian mother ancestress who gave birth to all the gods.
  • Enki of Sumer impregnated the lovely Ninhursag, who was the mother of the land.
  • Marduk of Babylon sliced up the body of the terrible monster Tiamat and formed all of creation from her corpus.

Marduk and Tiamat

Marduk and Tiamat ( Wikimedia Commons )

  • The Persian gods Ahura Mazda, who fashioned all that is positive on Earth, and Ahriman, who fashioned all that is negative, are still believed in by Zoroastrians.
  • Awonawilona was the Zuni god who existed before the beginning and who contained the universe within his male and female self.
  • In Jewish Cabala, the Aged of the Aged, Unknown of the Unknown, Truth of all Truths, Form without Form, the Uncreated Uncreating has an unblinking face, Makroposopos, always seen in profile. On it is the blinking face of the Uncreated Creating, Mikroprosopos. Joseph Campbell describes them in his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces . Campbell said Cabalists believe Makroposopos is the “I AM” of the Old Testament, and the Mikroprosopos is named God.

Comments

Dear Author, please let me weigh in on Finland's Luonnotar and the Creation of the World, as we have been orally told from generation to generation.

Small exerpts from Kalevala:

CREATION AND THE BIRTH OF VAINAMOINEN

Prelude

Magic verses we have gathered,
Kindled by the inspiration
From the belt of Vainamoinen,
Under forge of Ilmarinen,
Sword blade of the man far-minded,
Aim of Joukahainen's crossbow,
From the way-back fields of Northland,
From the heaths of Kalevala.

Long ago my father sang them
As he carved his ax's handle
And my mother also taught me
Though she kept her spindle spinning,

Lonely born was Vainamoinen,
All alone, the poet immortal,
From the beautiful who bore him,
From his mother, Ilmatar -

She, the virgin of the air,
Beautiful maiden. Nature's child,
Long maintained in holiness
Her eternal maidenhood
In the far-horizoned heavens,
Level meadows of the air.

But in time she wearied of it,
Was estranged from this odd living,
Always being by herself,
In those vast and empty spaces.

So at length she then descended
To the seawaves down below,
To the open clear sea surface
Out upon the open ocean.

Suddenly a storm wind blew,
Out of the east an angry blast
Blew the water to a foam
Heaving up the rollers high.

By the wind the maid was rocked,
On a wave the maid was driven
Where her womb the wind awakened
And the sea-foam impregnated.

Thus a full womb now she carried,
Long she bore her burdened belly,
Seven hundred years she bore it
For nine lifetimes of a man,

Yet the borning was unborn,
Still the fetus undelivered.

As the mother of the water
Aimlessly the virgin drifted:

She swam eastward, she swam westward,
She swam south and northwestward,
Swimming round the whole horizon

In her belly's bursting pains.
Yet the borning was unborn,
Still the fetus undelivered.

Then she fell to weeping softly,
Said a word and spoke out thus:

"Woe is me, the water wanderer,
Luckless girl, misfortune's child!
Now already I'm in trouble,
Shelterless beneath the sky,
Ever rocking on the seawaves
To be cradled by the wind,
To be driven by the billows
On these far-extending waters,
Endlessly repeated billows.

"Better had it been for me
To have stayed the airy virgin
Than to be as I am now
Drifting as the water-mother.

Ifs too cold for me to stay here,
Painful to be drifting here,
Wallowing in this watery waste.

"0 thou Ukko, lord of all,
Hear me, thou the all-sustainer:
Come, 0 come where thou art needed;
Come, 0 come where thou art called!
Loose the maiden from her misery

Then a bit of time passed over
When the honest bird,
Came on hovering here and there
Searching for a nesting place,

She flew eastward, she flew westward,
Flew to northwest and to southward
But she cannot find a spot

"Must I make my home on wind,
Build my hut upon the billows
Where the wind can blow it over
Or a wave can wash away?"

So the mother of the water,
Water mother, airy maiden,
Raised her knee above the surface
And her shoulder from the wave
As a refuge for the honest bird
And a nesting place.

Then that lovely bird,
Fluttering round and hovering over
Spied the water-mother's knee
Lifted from the sea's blue surface;
Took it for a grassy tussock
Or a tuft of new-grown turf.

Settles on the lifted kneecap.
It is there she builds her nest,
There she laid her golden eggs -

Six were the golden eggs she laid,
But the seventh was of iron.

She began to hatch the eggs there,
Brooded one day, brooded two days,
Even on the third day brooding.

Then the mother of the water,
Little mother, airy maiden,
Felt the rising heat upon her,
Felt as if her skin were scorching,
Thought her kneecap was on fire,
That her very veins were melting.

All at once she jerked her knee,
Agitating every member,
And the eggs rolled in the water
To the tumbling of the tides;

Into bits the eggs were broken,
Shattered into crumbs and pieces.

But the eggs and pieces were not
Mixed up with the mud and water
For at once the crumbs grew comely
And the pieces beautiful.

One egg's lower half transformed
And became the earth below,

And its upper half transmuted
And became the sky above;

From the yolk the sun was made,
From the white the moon was formed,

All the colored brighter bits
Rose to be the stars of heaven

And the darker crumbs changed into
Clouds and cloudlets in the sky.

Quickly now the time goes forward
While the newborn sun is shining
And the newborn moon is gleaming.

Still the mother goes on swimming,
Water mother, airy maiden,
Swimming on those peaceful waters

Before her flowed the liquid deep,
Behind her shone the empty heaven.

In the ninth year, tenth of summers,
Raised her head out of the sea,
Lifts her crown above the water;
Set to work on her creations,
Hastens on her handiwork,
Out upon the open ocean.

Where she gave her hand a turn
There she put the capes in order;

Where her foot struck bottom, there
Grottoes for the fish were formed;

Where the bubbles reached the surface
There the deeps were made still deeper.

Where her side had scraped the land
There the level shores appeared;

Where she turned her foot to landward
There the salmon grounds were formed,

And wherever her head touched land
There the broad bays opened out.

Swimming farther out from shore
She halted on the smooth sea surface
Where she made the little islands.

Then she raised the hidden reefs
Where the grounded ships would founder,
Many a seaman lose his life.

Now the islands were in order
And the small isles of the sea;
Pillars for the sky were planted,
Lands and continents created;

On the rocks the writs were written,
And the signs drawn on the cliffs.

Yet Vainamoinen is unborn,
Poet eternal not emerged.

Old reliable Vainamoinen
Traveled in his mother's womb,
Traveled there for thirty summers
And as many winters too

He is pondering, he is thinking,
How to live or how survive
In this dismal hiding place,
In this narrowest of dwellings

Where he never saw the moon,
Never got a glimpse of sunlight.

So he speaks out in these words,
Says it in these sentences:

"Free me. Moon, and Sun, release me!
Thou, Great Bear, do ever guide me,
Lead a man through strange doors,
Through these unfamiliar gates.

Release me from this narrow nest,
Guide the traveler to the land,
Child of mankind to the open

To behold the moon in heaven
And to wonder at the daylight,
Get to know the Great Bear's grandeur
Or just to stare up at the stars!"

Since the moon did not arrive
Nor the sun come to release him,
Alienated from his birth time,
Impatient of this dull existence,
He pushed against his prison lock
Pressing with his nameless finger,
Slid the bony bolt aside,
With his left toe opened it;
Scrabbling with his nails he came
Crawling through the exit door.

There the man was left alone
In the rough care of the billows.

There he floated for five years,
Six, seven, even eight years,
Stopped at last upon the surface

There beside a nameless headland,
On a treeless continent.

Struggling up with knee and elbow
He stood up to see the world:

To behold the moon in heaven
And to wonder at the daylight,
Get to know the Great Bear's grandeur
Or just to stare up at the stars.

That was the birth of Vainamoinen.
Such the daring poet's descent
From the beautiful who bore him,
From his mother, Ilmatar.

....

This goes on in lenght, how Vainamoinen put the moon and sun in place, formed the continents, seas, oceans, rocks etc. And he planted seads, plowed the fields, with the help of the elemental beings, who are not strangers to most Finns, they help humans and tend gardens, sit in trees, look after fire, take care of the animals and guard homes. That way it all makes sense, how elemental beings were a very important part when creating the world.

Here is the 2nd rune: http://kalevala.gov.karelia.ru/songs/song2_e.shtml

Then there is this beautiful Finnish folksong concerning the creation of the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usDgBw8oy-U

If you are interested, read Kalevala's runes. It is the oldest book in the world, sadly people aren't interested in it.

Mark Miller's picture

Dear Lycanthrope,

I wrote the article. Thanks so much for posting these verses from the Kalevala. Strange and beautiful.

Best wishes,

Mark Miller

 

 

Thank you, Mark Miller, you are one of the few who mentions Finland in connection with Pre-Christian history.

When Kalevala was published in Finland, most Finns didn't even buy the book. Finns have Kalevala in their souls.

Väinämöinen was a wise man, he saw the future and how Finland would be destroyed and looted by the Christian Crusaders. So he stored his divine wisdom inside Finnish people's DNA. Spells, healing of diseases and history.

After the crusade all wizards, seers, healers and sorcerers were burned or dismembered as "witches" and it was carried out by the "good" Christian bishops. Folk-healing was forbidden for a century.

Finland's national treasures and temples were destroyed or stolen. Sweden determined our history, in other words wiped it out.

Kalevala's last Rune tells how Väinämöinen left Finland when Christianity arrived, but he gave a promise he would return in the future..

Some exerpts from the Epilogue

(It is easier to read when knowing the rhythm - :Vaka Vanha Väinämöinen, Tietäjä iänikuinen
(Old reliable Väinömöinen, the eternal Sorcerer)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8UfdehDqm4

(Marjatta, a virgin maiden, ate a lingonberry and got pregnant. People saw her as a bad woman and forbid her to give birth in the sauna. Her only option was to give birth in a stable, because the horse's vapour is like sauna steam.

In the stable Marjatta gives birth to a Man-Child, Jesus, who attacks and shames Väinämöinen and kicks him out from Finland. )

Vainamoinen, shamed and angry,
Walked away down to the seashore.
There he sang his last enchantment:
Conjured up a copper boat,
Closed-in vessel decked with copper.

There he sat, steering seaward
As he sailed he went on speaking,
And he said as he was leaving:

"Let the rope of time run out-
One day go, another come-
And again I will be needed.

"They'll be waiting, yearning for me
To bring back another Sampo,
To invent another harp,
Set a new moon in the sky,
Free a new sun in the heavens
When there is no moon, no sun
And no gladness on the earth.

So old Vainamoinen sailed,
Sailed out in his copper vessel,
To the upper worldly regions,
To the lowest levels of the heavens.

There he halted with his vessel,
Rested weary in his boat.
But he left his harp behind,
Graceful instrument to Finland,
Joy eternal to the nation
And the great songs to its children.

"To hold back a song is better
Than to cut it short halfway.
So I'll cease and stop and end it,
In a ball I'll wind my verses,
Twist them in a tangled skein;
Put them in the storehouse loft,
Bolted there in bony locks

"That they cannot be released,
Never, never be untangled
Till the bones themselves are loosened,
Teeth pulled out and jaws pried open
And the tongue be freed once more.

" Now indeed there's many a one,
Many a one who scolds at me,
Speaks to me in angry accents,
Sharply in a voice unfriendly.

"Someone finds fault with my voicing,
Someone curses out my accent;
Someone says I'm out of rhythm
And my singing's out of tune,
That I sang too much and badly,
That my verse is badly turned.

"I have never been instructed
Nor have learned in wizard lands,
Borrowed charm-words from outsiders
Nor my spells from far-off places.
All the others learned from teachers.

"I have skied a trail for singers,
Skied the trail, snapped the brush tips,
Broke the branches, showed the way.

"That way now will run the future,
On the new course, cleared and ready
For new poets of greater power,

"Singing songs of mightier magic
For the rising younger people,
For the new and growing nation.

The End.

God: Only single name for the absolute place or Nature or God or Dark energy or absolute time sole dimension or sole dimension of power of the things of the universe, great space or the location the center of the connectors between the great world or the great universes, location of the beginning or ending or the most deepest place, same location of place period or the matter, location of the big black hole or primordial black hole or before big bang, huge reserve of the natural force etc, Or What was God doing before He created the universe? Before creating the universe, the God Imagined about it. The God or That the field of single dimension or dark energy or nature how occurred? In or under no circumstances: In that case there is no answer because it is not possible to take our imagination power or philosophical reflection before it.

You really want to know. Or are you just trying a way out of yourself? You are nothing, but ego. Free from ego and find out.
Face your fears and search for Jiddu Khrisnamurti in Youtube.

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