also from  The story briefly (very briefly) discusses 10 creation myths from Europe, Middle East, Egypt, India, China, and Aztec origins.  

These myths come from widely diverse cultures around the world.  It's hard to see how there can be any connection between, say, the Chinese myth, and the Aztec; or the Norse and the Egyptian.  They speak to common desires in the human mind, for explanation and connection to something greater.

My personal favorite comes from Zoroastrianism - in part,... the world created by the deity Ahura Mazda. The great mountain, Alburz, grew for 800 years until it touched the sky. From that point, rain fell, forming the Vourukasha sea and two great rivers. The first animal, the white bull, lived on the bank of the river Veh Rod. However, the evil spirit, Angra Mainyu, killed it. Its seed (I assume that means semen) was carried to the moon and purified, creating many animals and plants. Across the river lived the first man, Gayomard, bright as the sun. Angra Mainyu also killed him (that was mean!)....The sun purified his seed (more semen...  I think this is an obsession here) for forty years, which then sprouted a rhubarb plant (This is my favorite part.  I have a rhubarb plant in my yard - I LOVE rhubarb.  Yum!  Wait - rhubarb comes from 40 year old bull semen?  Ick!)). This plant grew into Mashya and Mashyanag, the first mortals. (I had no idea rhubarb could do that!)  Instead of killing them, Angra Mainyu deceived them into worshipping him. After 50 years they bore twins, but they ate the twins (yum!), owing to their sin (what sin?). After a very long time, two more twins were born, and from them came all humans (but specifically Persians).

I need to look into this story further, it's too good to be true.

The Aztec story is also really cool - 

Coatlicue was impregnated by an obsidian knife and gave birth to Coyolxauhqui, goddess of the moon, and to 400 sons (that's better than Octomom!), who became the stars of the southern sky. Later, a ball of feathers fell from the sky which, upon Coatlicue finding it and placing it in her waistband, caused her to become pregnant again (a ball of feathers?  I think someone is trying to cover up a romp in the hay). Coyolxauhqui and her brothers turned against their mother, whose unusual pregnancy shocked and outraged them, the origin being unknown (Yes - they beleived the obsidium knife, but not the feathers - just too suspious.  Good thin her name wasn't "Mary"). However, the child inside Coatlique, Huitzilopochtli, the god of war and the sun god, sprang from his mother's womb, fully-grown and armored. He attacked Coyolxauhqui, killing her with the aid of a fire serpent ("Hi sis!  Nice to meet you.  Look at my little friend here - isn't he cute?)

All of the stories are very interesting.  They would make great tabloid reading.  Much better than Brangelina and Jennifer, although those stories are our modern "gods and goddesses".  Also fun for family gatherings and office chat.  Plus, they tell us that everywhere, people seek meaning in existence.

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A little more on the Zorastrian myth, since I thought it was really cool. From Wikipedia,

"Although the principle of a creator divinity was not new to the two Indo-Iranian cultures, Zoroaster gives Ahura Mazda an entirely new dimension by characterizing the Creator as the one uncreated God (Kind of like Abrahamic religions)....

Central to Zoroaster's perception of Ahura Mazda is the concept of asha, literally "truth", and in the extended sense, the equitable law of the universe, which governed the life of Zoroaster's people, the nomadic herdsmen of the Central Asian steppes.
(Kind of like the nomadic Hebrews? and Arabs? Maybe this nomadic life plays into monotheistic myth.) For these, asha was the course of everything observable, the motion of the planets and astral bodies, the progression of the seasons, the pattern of daily nomadic herdsman life, governed by regular metronomic events such as sunrise and sunset. All physical creation (geti) was thus a product of - and ran according to - a master plan, inherent to Ahura Mazda, and violations of the order (druj) were violations against creation, and thus violations against Ahura Mazda.

Nothing there about rhubarb, however. Or semen. I did a google search and came up with this version: "The first myth about Androgynes belongs to Zoroastrianism also. So, according to "Bundahishnu",after Gayomart death, solitary unforked stem of rhubarb grew up from his semen and on that stem first human beings - Mashyoi and Mashyana. Later they parted from each other and took human appearance. They didn't follow Ahura Mazda teaching, but followed after Angra Mainyu and were banished to hell to eternal punishment for their crimes. " I think I had that wrong about the bull semen. It was Gayomarts.
Slightly off topic but I think interesting to note, Zoroastrianism version of Hell is rather democratic and more realistic (once you get past Hell being make-believe that is). Basically, since all humans are flawed we all sin. Everyone goes to hell. However, you only go for as long as it takes to "burn" your sin off. Once pure, everyone goes to the Zoroastrian version of Heaven.

Personal note:
My uncle was born and raised in Mumbai, India. Though his nationality was Indian he was part of one of the numerous minority groups: Parsi. Ethnically Persian and religiously Zoroastrian
Wow, Zoroastrian hell actually does make some sense. Like you say - as make-believe afterlives go.

Makes a whole lot more sense than "I'm going to torture you for all eternity with no hope of salvation because you were gay/Democrat/weren't a virgin when you got married/ate shrimp/wore polyester/listened to Ozzy Osbourne/weren't the right denomination/..."
Moreover, any school that insists on teaching ID must include a variety, and these would be good to pick from. It is in this way I say go ahead and teach Creationism in school. Make sure and apply scientific method to each. "Where is the physical evidence? Where is the reproducible experiment? Let the kids see just how their bible story holds no more water than the Aztec story.

I'm quite fond of the Hopi prophecies and tales of rising and falling 'worlds.' At least they try to have some root in reality. I gave the bullet points once while conducting a tour in the Arizona Desert. "The Hopi prophecies say there will be seven different 'worlds' or phases of humanity, of which we're currently in the fourth. The first world was destroyed by fire and earthquake. The second world was destroyed by ice. The third by flooding. Now, if you think about how these legends might come about, if you've ever been in an earthquake or seen a volcano, it doesn't take a science degree to suppose this is how the land came together..."

One of the young boys in the family I was giving the tour to spoke up. "Well then the ice would be an ice age, and the Indians came here during the last ice age."

His little brother chimed in. "And after an ice age all the lakes and rivers get bigger, so that would be the flooding."

Me? I about wept with joy with all these young brains following concepts to their logical conclusions!



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