An egg cracker

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Creation of the Universe- A Chinese Mythical Legend
The geographical imagination of An Egg......
“In the beginning, an egg contained the entire universe.”

The Chinese observed nature and saw that things came into existence from eggs -birds, fishes, insects, reptiles and even mammals like humans.
After the egg is broken by Pangu (A Chinese mythical hero), the yin and yang separate from the chaotic mixture inside the egg and take their places in the universe.The lighter part (yang) rises to become the sky, ethereal and bright, like the air. The heavier part, (yin) sank to become the earth, heavy and dark, like rock and soil.
Pangu sacrifices himself to separate the earth and sky by standing on the ground and pushing upward. It is a slow process, and finally exhausts him. As the myth says, “He died in his sleep and his body gave substance and shape to the universe.”
Following Pangu’s death, his body parts became a group of mountains on which the sky rests, just as today there is a range of mountains named after Atlas. Thus, geographic features of the homeland are explained through myths.
Pangu’s hair and eyebrows formed the planets and the stars. His eyes formed the sun and the moon.
Pangu’s bones and teeth became the minerals and gems of the earth comparable to the Greek concept of the “bones of Mother Earth”
The hair on his body became grasses and plants, his sweat formed rain and dew, and the parasites on his body became animals and fishes.
The monster Gong-gong creates disasters like flooding and volcanic activity, cracks in the earth with fire coming out of them.