The myths are fables or allegories that make it possible to explain issues that are not objectively perceptible by humans. During a very important part of history, people watched phenomena for which they could not give an explanation, and therefore they resorted to stories that included gods, demigods, heroes, monsters or fantastic characters.
It is the attraction that figures of this type awaken, and the passion of the stories that managed to find the intergenerational repetition of the myth, which is a fundamental condition of its essence.
Different civilizations in history offer a mythology that is very striking and worth knowing. However, it is interesting that many of these mythical narratives focus on the same issues, showing that no matter how different civilizations were, some ideas affected all equally.
One of them is that of the creation of the world, which sparked a large number of stories, highlighting that man has always wondered what he is doing in the world, what he has come for and why it has been constituted. The myths aimed at explaining the origin of the planet are known as cosmogonic myths.
Cosmogonic myths are the most universally extended, fulfilling a similar function in different peoples: they offered a integrative vision of the world, they assured the psychological tranquility of the participants in the collective belief (because they explained the presence in the world from a perspective that gave an explanation, and that did not assume a very short term of life on earth), and at the same time they lowered certain values that they lent to the guarantee of a healthy life in community.
Characteristics of cosmogonic myths
The structure of the cosmogonic myth usually starts from the idea of a disorder or original chaos, a situation in which the world was not formed: the knot of history is precisely the grouping of disordered elements for the effective constitution of the world.
The creative agent of the world as we know it is always a God, or a mysterious and strange force: the apparitions are happening, and always those that occur first are those of the physical Medes, necessary for life. The most fascinating mythologies are those involving the abstract concepts in appearance, endowed with their own divinity.
It is also essential for the characterization of these myths to think about the relationship that they have with respect to people and the gods: in some occasions the relationship is one of submission, while in others it is a kind of contract by which people must live in harmony with himself and with the earth.
In no case does mythology propose a total freedom of action for men, because precisely the myths tried to order the life of the people in community.
The cosmogonic myths They offer an interpretation of the origin of life on earth, which in some cases is distant and in others it is similar. In any case, for all civilizations that have tried to find explanations for the most pressing concerns of life on earth, the origin of the planet is essential.
The big Bang Theory and scientific explanation prevails in our time, and cosmological myths seem to have been left behind, like a postcard of an era and of a behavior that man has decided to abandon.
Examples of cosmogonic myths
- Hesiod’s Theogony
- The Popol Vuh, the consolidation of the entire Mayan cosmogony.
- The set of Orphic Theogonies, of Orpheus.
- The Roman myth of creation, with a world maker.
- The Japanese cosmogony, with the gods summoning two divine creatures into existence.
- A Mesopotamian myth considers that man was born as a plant.
- The Inca cosmogony, which starts from a situation in which there was only one god and then went to polytheism.
- The common watery principle of all Egyptian mythology, where only the Nun existed and everything else was silence.
- The Nahuatl cosmogony, with a unique god who had four children (Tezcatlipoca) from whom the world originated.
- The origin of the world for the Celts, with a first substance called Manred.
- The Tibetan myth of creation, with a foundational double-ray scepter called Dorje Gyatram.
- The Aztec cosmogony, giving the gods human gifts and feelings.
- The Mormon interpretation of the Genesis myth, considering that physical reality is eternal and therefore has no origin.
- The Scandinavian myth of creation, with a large number of gods and a cult of the Sun and the Moon, very influential in Finland.
- Creation for the Yoruba, with a sky god who asked his children to create a new kingdom.
- The Australian explanation with a supernatural period known as Alchera.
- The Mapuche cosmogony, locating the origin in a great flood.
- The Chinese myth of creation, as a division of the parts of the P’an-Ku organism.
- The Judeo-Christian myth of creation, present in the biblical book of Genesis.
- The Tehuelche cosmogonic cycle with a single being that existed before the light, the sun and the earth: the God Kóoch.