When we read the various creation stories that have appeared across cultures and religions, on the surface they are stories to explain how our outer world came into being. The world we can see, touch, and with which we interact. How those things may have truly come about was beyond the capacity of early human beings to comprehend, just as there are many questions about creation that still today are beyond our capacity to understand in spite our current grasp of modern science. So the explanation had to be in a form that could be comprehended by people of those early times – the traditional stories and myths of our creation.
In truth, our questions are not really just about the creation
of the outer world in which we live.
Rather, the desire for explanation is really more fundamental: a
universal need to answer the question “Where Did I Come From?” Which then leads to the question of “Who Am
I?” And from that, the bigger question
of “Where Am I Going?” If we think of
these various stories as simply multiple façades over a single repetitive structural
blueprint for creation, and see the stories handed to us as really a model for
how all things were created, then a creation
story can tell us a great deal about our own creation, our own selves.
For example, consider the creation story told in the
Torah, a familiar story of beginnings shared by Jewish, Christian and Islamic
faiths. The first step (day) of creation
existed in a void of nothingness but water and darkness, until God said, “Let
there be light” – and so there was light. God’s light.
In that same way, my life came from nothingness, a void until God
created my soul from a particle of God’s spirit, sparked by the illuminating
source of God’s light.
In the second step (day) of creation, God created “an
expanse in the midst of the water, [to] separate water from water,” thereby
creating “Sky” (Heaven). In that same
way, a space in that Sky was created for me, the place where my soul was originally
formed and resided; the spiritual home from which I came, and the spiritual
home to which I will return.
In the third step (day) of creation, God “gathered the
water below the sky into one area so that dry land may appear,” thereby
creating Earth and the Seas. On the
land, God then “brought forth vegetation: seed-bearing plants of every kind,
and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it.” In that same way, the egg within the woman separated
the water of the womb to become the available soil into which the seed of the
man could be planted and bear fruit.
In the fourth step (day) of creation, God said, “Let
there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate day from night [and]
serve as signs for the … days and the years … two great lights, the greater
(sun) to dominate the day and the lesser light (moon) to dominate the night,
and the stars.” It was the creation of
the dimension of “time.” In that same
way, my fertilization and development occurred within a structured process over
nine months of time; my human life has then transpired in subsequent steps
through measured time over years (versus my spiritual life, which is timeless). Each day is measured by the rise and setting
of the sun and each night’s passing of the moon. The sun is my creation father, the moon is my
creation mother. Both come together to
parent and watch over my life through each passing day.
In the fifth step (day) of creation, God said, “Let the
waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and the birds that fly above the
earth.” In that same way, my life began
in the warmth of my mother’s water, water regulated by the Mother Moon, starting
in the simplest form of a cell, yet a cell with all the capacities to
potentially support life. Around me, the
Universal Spirits traverse the world, unbounded by place, keeping watch over
all. In their flight, the birds call to the
soaring aspirations of freedom and movement that live in our hearts; remind us
of our ability to travel far beyond where we may find ourselves physically and
spiritually; and point the way to our personal connection from Earth to Sky (Heaven).
In the sixth step (day) of creation, God brought forth
“every kind of living creature: cattle, creeping things, and wild beasts of
every kind.” And God said, “Let us make
man in our image, after our likeness” …
“Male and female, God created them” … and said to them, “Be fertile and
increase, fill the earth and master it; and rule the fish of the sea, the birds
of the sky, and all the living things that creep on the earth.” In that same way, I first passed through
basic mammalian facets to develop my physical capacities and instincts. Then and only then did I begin to evolve to
my human “self,” moving inevitably toward human birth, in the image that God “image-d”
(imagined) for me. Until I emerged physically
formed, ready to begin the learning necessary to become capable and ready to master
the earth. To rule all living things in
God’s stead for whatever time period God may allow for me.
The Creation story of Earth is likewise the creation
story of each of us. It is a deliberate,
sequential, building-block process that is repeated in the appropriate way to
create all forms of life. The details,
the mechanics, the character names, the time frames may change as we continue
to learn more of the technical secrets behind God’s creations. Seen differently, our “science” is simply a
new creation story for contemporary human beings.
Our creation stories give us a shared reference for our
common existence. Read deeply and
expansively rather than superficially, they guide us to a deeper understanding
of creation beyond its mechanics, but to a fuller understanding of God’s purpose
guidance for our lives. It is up to each
of us to draw the appropriate lessons from these insights. The miracle and grandeur of The Creation is also
the miracle and grandeur of our own creation, the metaphorical answer to Where
Did I Come From. It is the miracle of
Who I Am. The grandeur of Where I Am