Or, first there was time. Then there was space. Then there was us.
Once upon a time.
The ancient Egyptians had multiple creation stories, depending on the epoch and who was in power and who was in favor and where you were from. They were all true. Still are.
I like that. No need for dogmatic arguments, when every explanation of the cosmos makes sense on some level.
At first there was only black water and darkness and silence. Then a lotus formed and rose out of the muck amid perfume and light. That lotus was Amun, who created himself out of nothing. Then he separated the nothing and created moist air, the Goddess Tefnut, and dry air, the God Shu. Then he multiplied the nothing and created Geb, the earth. And so on.
Or, at first there was only black water and darkness and silence. The silence's name was Nun. This primordial watery abyss existed before all creation. Not even the gods knew the extent of Nun's realm.
Or, at first there was only black water and darkness and silence. There was only the Lady of the Place of the Beginning of Time. She is still here.
We come from a literal culture. We are very literal in our speech and language, and therefore literal in our conceptions and understanding. We talk about the ancient Egyptians as an archaic, primitive culture, but their understanding was greater than ours. They thought symbolically, and abstractly. When they wrote about the Gods and Goddesses being brother and sister, they didn't mean that they were literal, incestuous siblings. They meant that they were made out of the same primordial stuff. After all, what else was there? And they didn't have deities with animal heads and human bodies. They depicted their pantheons that way because it was the best way to depict a concept; not an actual being. To them, it was the best way to show something that had qualities way beyond the human or animal.
Can you think and speak yourself into existence? Or into a new existence? I mean, of course, once the anatomical stuff is done. My father once told me that all relationships either progress or regress. He was right. As I get older, I begin to realize that what he said applies to everything, not just relationships. There is only creation, or death.
I have learned that there are things I can depict with abstractions that I cannot depict with pictures of things, or images from the visible world.
There are many creation stories in which the first primordial deity rips itself apart, or is dismembered by later gods to create the world. It sounds violent until you remember, what else was there to use? The stars are part of us.
Some scientists say that we are not really here and nothing really exists, outside of a kind of film stretched across the opening of a black hole. All the rest is projection. So, all of what we think of as physical creation might be only symbolic, and abstract. It's all speech and thought, not matter and structure. Maybe.
Of course, all creation stories are true.
Like the Egyptians, I am finding that some things can't be depicted literally. You have to chuck your best concept into the void, and see what comes back.
As I get old, I see that there is only creation and death. Create, or die. All I have to work with is myself. I may have to rip myself apart to create something new, and all I have to build with is speech and thought. For all that I know, those might be the right tools for making pictures out of the un-picturable. It seems to have worked for the gods.
I am trying out a new Virtual Exhibit page; check it out.