Monday, April 4, 2016

Experiments with Mythology #1: Cosmology

Most if not all creation stories begin with some form of chaos. The Judo-Christian religion begins with darkness that is complemented with light. Ancient Greco-Roman mythology begins with chaos from which Oranous and Gaea were formed: the gods of sky and earth respectively. In the Hindu tradition, the common belief is that Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, otherwise known as the Trimurti, are the gods responsible for the creation, preservation, and destruction of the world. Keep noted that I am not as well versed in Hindu mythology and what I am about to say is based off of light research but the Trimurti are often treated as one god or come together as one. In one case they come to earth as Para Brahman, or "Highest Brahman," as the avatar Krishna. Their origins are lost to me however. I was unable to find a tradition that could tell of the creation of formation of the Trimurti with the exception of Brahma who, in some traditions, was believed to be made by Vishnu with the purpose to take the raw materials of the universe he, Vishnu, had created and build the universe. Beyond this, I cannot find a creation story for the other two. I am hoping that a beginning or some explanation can be found but for the time being I must assume that the Trimurti have always existed. However, the Trimurti, while being the most honored gods, are not the ultimate power in the Hindu tradition. That title goes to the Brahman. The Brahman is not a god or any tangible anything. The Brahman is what Hindus believe to be the one true reality, that which never changes but causes all change. The Brahman is the ultimate law of the universe and reality such that all gods follow by Brahman as well. This is not to be confused with Brahma the creator, Brahman is and abstract something that is final and eternal. In a way it's similar to Greco-Roman mythology and its chaos. This is once again a loose parallel and not to be looked into very deeply. Of course the question arises why does this matter? For you, the reader, this doesn't matter at all. For me, I want to write a mythology. I want to create a world made by supernatural powers that is believable but in order to be believable it has to be able to explain itself. Each religion believes the world started in way or another and that the gods influenced this creation or were the cause of it. For this reason I saw the importance of finding one or more gods that are not eternal but all powerful or eternal but not all powerful. i plan to use this mythology in a book or some other story telling but never completely explain the supnatural giving me space, as the writer, to play with some rules. For example, I plan to have no magic in this world, only the powers of the supernatural dieties which can be channeled through physical anchors. When a main character questions this, the answer he receives is "you want me to explain the supernatural. The supernatural is that which cannot be explained. You want me to explain the supernatural," said with all the sarcasm and sass you can picture. In making this mythology I have discovered that I don't have to have all the answers, just enough to make the story work. But why would I need to look into mythology, why not start from scratch one might ask. Because every mythology has parallels to other mythologies. Almost every culture shares stories with similar archetypes or settings. The story of the great flood for example is shared between Abrahamic and Greco-Roman mythologies. The idea of a trinity of creation is shared between the Christian and Hindu religions. In other words, myths share stories. These archetypes seem to be inherent in mankind so it is only appropriate to have these archetypes in my mythology. Granted, I won't be following them verbatim but certainly taking inspiration from them. For example, I will be having two Prometheus inspired characters named the hunter and huntress. The hunter will hunt during the day and either sleep or die when the sun falls below the horizon and the huntress with hunt at night and die or sleep once the sun past the horizon. These two will be eternally joined as beloveds but will only be with each other at duck and dawn or when there is a solar eclipse. Their purpose is to be the representatives of humans to the god. Their goal is to hunt down an immortal wolf who's purpose is to kill the hunter and huntress. Any more details will have to be revealed later.  The essence of what I wanted in this blog post has been stated, the actual mythology will certainly be made in a later post