Creation Myths

By Stefan Stenudd

Stefan Stenudd

About me

I'm a Swedish writer and historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. I've also written books about Tao Te ching, the Taoist classic, and other East Asian traditions. Here's my personal website: stenudd.com

Creation Myths - menu.

Creation Myths Around the World
How Stories of the Beginning Began

Creation in Rig Veda 10:129
The Paradox of Origin

Genesis 1
The First Creation Story of the Bible

Enuma Elish
Babylonian Creation

Xingu Creation of Man
Insoluble Solitude

Archetypes in Myths
Meanings of Mythological Symbols

The Logics of Myth
Patterns of Creation

Psychoanalysis of Myth
Freud and Jung

Myth of Creation
An Introduction

Cosmos of the Ancients
The Greek Philosophers

Life Energy Ideas
Essence of Vitality

Contact




My Other Websites:

Life Energy

The many life force beliefs all over the world, ancient and modern, explained.


Taoistic

The ancient Chinese cosmology and philosophy of life, based on Tao, the Way, and its source texts explained.


Tarot Meaning

All about the old deck of Tarot cards traditionally used for divination, and the archetype symbolism of each card.


My Books:

Life Energy Encyclopedia, by Stefan Stenudd.

Life Energy Encyclopedia

Qi, prana, spirit, ruach, pneuma, and many other life forces around the world explained and compared, by Stefan Stenudd. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Cosmos of the Ancients, by Stefan Stenudd.

Cosmos of the Ancients

The Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods, by Stefan Stenudd. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained, by Stefan Stenudd.

Tao Te Ching

The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained
The great Chinese classic, translated and extensively commented by Stefan Stenudd. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Tarot Unfolded, by Stefan Stenudd.

Tarot Unfolded

This book presents an imaginative reading of the divination cards, which is the most appropriate for the Tarot since it consists of symbolic images. Several spreads are introduced, as well as the meanings of all the 78 cards and their pictures. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.



Creation Myths

Stories about How the World Began



Creation myths are stories about the birth of the world. They exist in just about every culture and reveal how people in ancient times speculated about how the world may have emerged. Creation stories were their kind of cosmological research, albeit of a very speculative nature.



     Therefore, the creation myths reveal a lot about the thoughts of human beings in the very distant past - how they saw the world and tried to understand it. Since their minds were not very different from ours, their myths also teach us a lot about ourselves.


Creation Myths Around the World

How stories of the beginning might have begun. An introduction in depth to my ongoing dissertation on creation myths, where I speculate on how the myths emerged at the dawn of human civilization and what shaped them.

     Creations stories have appeared in just about every culture and mythological tradition. They differ tremendously, but also have several patterns and ingredients seemingly in common. These similarities can be traced down to how human speculation about the birth of the world was likely to begin and what inspired it. Also, many similarities between creation myths have to do with the narrative, the rules of telling a story - especially one dependent on oral tradition.

Click here to read more about it.


Genesis 1: The first creation of the Bible.

Genesis 1: The First Creation Story of the Bible

The Bible begins with two separate creation stories, differing significantly from one another, Genesis 1 and 2. Genesis 1 is the first and probably the oldest one. In this text I discuss how to analyze and understand the myth, especially the cosmology it indicates.

     I also present some of the Genesis commentaries made by St. Augustine and Martin Luther, who both contribute to shed light on how the Bible has been perceived in the past.

Click here to read more about it.


Enuma Elish, the Babylonian Creation Myth.

Enuma Elish: Babylonian Creation

One of the very oldest creation myths we have documented in its ancient form is Enuma Elish, the Babylonian creation story. Here I write at some length about its content and how to interpret it, especially its introductory part in which the world is created and the gods have their initial battle for sovereignity - also a theme that can be recognized in many other creation myths.

     In Enuma Elish, the babylonian god Marduk defeats the gods of old, inherited from neighboring cultures, including the divine couple making the world appear.

Click here to read more about it.


The creation in Rig Veda 10.129.

The Paradox of Origin - Rig Veda 10:129

Every creation myth wrestles with the same problem as science does, when it comes to how the world began: What was before it? Rig Veda, the ancient collection of hymns from India, also speculates about it - with thoughts that are perfectly relevant to us today as well. It's in the hymn Rig Veda 10:129, which ends in what almost seems like a joke.
Click here to read more about it.


Xingu Creation of Man.

Insoluble Solitude - Xingu Creation of Man

The Xingu Indians in Brazil seem not to have a myth about the world creation, or it has not yet been revealed by the anthropologists. But they do have other emergence myths. Here is the one about the birth of man, which is quite a sad story.
Click here to read more about it.


The Logics of Myth

Basic patterns and structures of myths in general, and creation myths in particular. Discussion on what constitutes a myth and what the rules are for its form and content. Six criteria are used to decide what is and what is not a myth, and these criteria also define the necessary structure of it.

     There are two kinds of myth: explanatory (like creation myths) and adventures (mainly hero stories). As for the former, there are additional rules regarding dramaturgy and time-space dimensions.

Click here to read more about it.


Psychoanalysis of Myth: Sigmund Freud and Carl G. Jung.

Psychoanalysis of Myth

The theories of Sigmund Freud and Carl G. Jung on myths and their origins. Both pioneers of psychoanalysis wrote extensively about myth and its significance in human culture, speculating quite daringly about how myth emerges and what can be learned about our past and our present from it.

     Freud was particularly interested in myths about the appearance of gods and men, whereas Jung saw a pattern of archetypes in every myth of whatever content. This text is on my personal website stenudd.com.

Click here to read more about it.


Myth of Creation

Introduction to the nature of creation myths, their structure and the thoughts behind them. This is a short article explaining my angle on creation myths, their structure, meaning, and what can be learned from them about human thinking in the distant past as well as the present. The text is on my personal website stenudd.com.
Click here to read more about it.


Parthenon. Cosmos of the Ancients.

Cosmos of the Ancients

The Greek Philosophers on Myth and Cosmology. The legendary philosophers of Ancient Greece pondered the gods and the origin of the world at depth. Although they lived in a time when the gods were feared and worshipped as if very real indeed, most of them doubted their existence - at least in the way they were portrayed in mythology. The Greek philosophers had alternative views on cosmos and the divine, being much more similar to present day understanding of such matters.

     Here the cosmological ideas of each one of the Greek philosophers is presented and compared. The texts are on my personal website stenudd.com.

Click here to read more about it.


Life Energy Ideas

There are countless examples of life energy ideas in the many cultures of the world, from the dawn of human civilization to the present. I've gathered all these concepts and similar ones (it took a few years), listing them in a little Life Energy Encyclopedia.

     There are indeed many near-synonyms to the life energy concept, as we know it from the Latin spiritus, the Greek pneuma, the Indian prana, the Chinese qi (or chi), and so on. But here are also many concepts that have been regarded as examples of a life energy, although at closer examination it's clear that they are not. Beliefs from distant times and cultures are not that easy to comprehend, so we frequently fall into the trap of expecting them to be exact counterparts to old ideas of ours. That's far from always the case.

     Those concepts that are indeed examples of a life energy, though, show several similarities - but still some significant differences, which help us to understand the life energy idea in the mind of man. The texts are on my website devoted to life energy ideas, the-lifeenergy.com.

Click here to read more about it.

Stefan Stenudd