Thursday, November 07, 2019

a creation myth, part I

Back at the start of things all was possible, all was present, all was mixed up. There was no thing separated from any other thing. No one knows how long this pile of allness lasted, for the past had yet to be divided from the future.

But somehow, something became divided from nothing. East split off from west,, north split off from south. Heaven floated upwards as hell sank to the bottom. Laughter became distinct from lament. Gods and demons parted ways. The land dried up and the waters pools. Animals moved about and plants grew in one place.



All this going out and coming apart left a little piece of that original allness intact. That place, called the Center, was neither heaven nor hell, east nor west, north nor south. That's where the first people were found. This is why people are capable of both joy and misery, good and evil, song and silence. We each hold within ourselves a remnant of the time when all things were one.

The first people were thus undivided, good and evil all at once, laughing and crying all the time, male and female at the same time. The sounds of their mixed laughter and crying vexed the gods in heaven and the demons in hell, so they conspired together. On the first night when dark became separated from light, the gods and demons snuck into the Center and fell upon the people, splitting them in half with their axes. This is why most people today are male or female. But the axe blows of the gods and demons left some people either both or neither, just as today you can find people who are both happy and sad at the same time or neither.

On the morning after this attack, the first people were in a great confusion. They could not find their missing halves. "I am now male, where is my female half?" said some. "I am now happy, where did my sadness go?" said others. They did not recognize their other halves, for they did not understand their own division. But they agreed that they could no longer dwell in the Center, for they were no longer undivided.

The first people went out into the world in search of their missing halves. Those who searched the forests became the elves. Those who looked in the hills and mountains became the dwarves. Those who search the caves and chasms became the gobble-folk. And those who quickly tired of the search and lay down for a nap became the halflings.

Those who wandered south found the Mountain to Heaven. There they spoke with the gods, scolding them. "Splitting us with your axes was wrong and we are angry with you." The gods responded, "Do not be angry with us, for we will make a truce with you and share our godpower with you." This was the First Truce and the people who made peace with the gods became the original clerics.

The people who went west searched among the shadowy places and among steep cliffs. They opened the gates to the treasuries of the demons and stole their gold and gems. These people became the first thieves. The people who went east found gobble-folk there who had aligned themselves with the demons. To fight the gobble-folk, they crafted spears and shields. They became the first fighters.

The people who went north encountered the Strange Ones, neither gods nor demons. They taught the people the alphabets of power. They became the first magic-users.

end of first part

7 comments:

  1. This is delightfully reminiscent of the "Origin of Love" creation myth song from "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"! Love it, and love the mythologizing of the classes as well. Eagerly look forward to what's to come!

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    Replies
    1. You beat me to it, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zU3U7E1Odc

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    2. They're probably both based on the section in Plato's Symposium in which a character claims that people had doubled bodies, but were split in half by Zeus, and love is people looking for their other half.

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