Sunday, May 24, 2009

Creation Myth

This story was written for a college course my freshman year. We had been studying creation myths and were then assigned to write ones of our own. Mine was received to great accolades, which I found amusing, as I had written it as snarkily as I could and felt it was probably directly ripped from an amalgam of every science fiction story I had ever read. At any rate, here it is, edited only lightly (as apparently my grasp of semicolons at the age of 18 was not as flawless as I had heretofore thought):

The Creation of the World (Among Other Things)

A very long time ago, before the world had been created, there existed a spirit.
He had no name, but in later years, he has become known as The First One (for obvious reasons). This First One had no body. He was merely a spiritual being that existed in empty space. Well, not quite empty—the space had random balls of gas that gave off light, now known as stars, strewn around it, apparently randomly. The First One could not see the light given out, however, for he had no eyes, and without eyes, there is no perception of light. He was, however, perfectly fine without being able to see. He had no need to see, as he could sense where these stars were. Actually, he did not even have to sense, somehow he just knew. (Incidentally, The First One was not really a “he” either—spirits have no need of gender. He is now referred to as a “he” just to make it easier for those telling the stories, and for those to whom the stories are told.)

The First One does not know how he came into existence, so we cannot know either.
He does not remember coming into being, but he knows he has not been in existence forever. He deduced that he had to have been created by something, probably the same something that created the space and the stars, but he was not sure what this was, nor did he really care. He saw no reason why he needed to know how he came into being, as long as he had (a quite logical view, but one that humans, unfortunately, do not share).

The First One had mental abilities. He could create things just by thinking about them and willing them into existence. He discovered this one day when longing for company. Though his mind could amuse him for years, he had been in existence for thousands, or perhaps millions or billions, of years, and he now desired the company of some other being. Since his only experience was with the space (no company there), the stars (ditto), and himself, he logically began thinking of another being similar to himself. It began as an imaginary friend sort of thing, but because The First One had these powers, his “imaginary” friend became real after he had longed for it for hundreds of years. The First One was greatly shocked when, one day (though there were not really days—or years, for that matter—since there was nothing revolving or orbiting the sun, nor, in fact, a sun per se, just millions of unremarkable stars) another being popped into existence. It took him some time to figure out what was happening, as he had never before had contact with another consciousness. In fact, at first, he was a little concerned for his mental health. He did not know if this consciousness was indeed a separate entity, or if he was fooling himself into thinking it was out of some insane desire for company. Eventually, he decided it did not really matter, as long as it alleviated his loneliness and boredom.

The two spirits reveled in the company of each other for some time. Then, The Second One began probing as to her (again, not really a “she,” but the myth has evolved to refer to The Second One as “her”) origins. The First One communicated to her how he had basically thought and willed her into being. They decided to try again, and see if both of them could produce other beings. They could. The First One was naturally better at it, since he had had previous experience. However, The Second One caught on quickly. Soon, there were many spirits occupying the star-strewn space, which we now call the universe. They all enjoyed creating things out of their minds.

Since these beings were intelligent spirits, with no physical manifestation, they communicated through their consciousness. Now, it would be referred to as telepathy or mind reading; however, this is not exactly what it was. The beings basically shared a common consciousness. They knew what the others knew and sensed what the others sensed. Somehow, though, they were yet somewhat separate. We cannot comprehend fully how they were, as it is beyond our realm of experience. There was no actual sending of messages or thoughts; whatever one thought, the others sensed. They could tell that it was originating outside of their own minds, but other than that, it was very similar to the process of their own thoughts. This link existed because each of them had been constructed out of another’s mind. It is impossible to create an intelligent being without having some sort of connection with it.

One of the newest beings, The Little One, somehow made matter with his mind. It was probably an accident, as they had never really thought about matter. The only matter about was stars, which they generally ignored, as they were of no use to these spiritual beings. Nobody had ever thought to try to make anything other than company, in the form of other spirits, nor would they have known how to go about it if they had thought about it. Somehow, though, The Little One created particles of matter, which he arranged into interesting shapes. (The spirits still could not see, but The Little One could sense his matter, since it was his creation. The others could therefore sense it through him.) This accidental discovery started a fad among the younger beings, who began spending all of their time in contests to see who could make the most interesting and novel things out of this matter.

The space began to be fairly cluttered with random clumps of matter. This was not really important, since the spirits had no matter in and of themselves, so it was not as if the creations were taking up space they needed to live in. However, some of the Elders (a few of the older spirits who had created most of the others and who had more traditional mindsets) grew upset at the way the younger spirits were treating their space. They mandated that each spirit who wanted to play with matter in this manner got a specific area of the space. These areas were marked by stars. Each spirit who so desired got one star, around which he could strew his creations. If they expanded too far, the gravitational forces of someone else’s star would capture them, and the spirit would lose his creations, so they were pretty good about only taking up the space allotted to them. The spirits did not create this gravity, nor had they ever sensed it until now, when it became relevant to their existences.

The Elders were still not happy about the fad of matter creation; however, there was nothing they could do about it. They felt a vague uneasiness about the whole thing, since it was meddling with something unknown. Matter and the laws of physics had never before intruded upon their existence, and they felt no reason to be wasting time with such trivialities now. The newer beings, however, did not care about this, thinking (as many young beings do) that they knew better than the older spirits and that since their way was new, it was progress.

One day (for now that there were planets orbiting stars, there were days, years, and other measures of time, or at least the possibility of them, had anyone felt inclined to use them), another young spirit decided it would be fun to make a physical dwelling for his consciousness. He formed a body, which he then occupied with his mind. Soon, everyone was imitating this novel idea. They did not inhabit the bodies all the time, for it would be quite boring to be constantly limited by the physical laws matter was subject to. They created worlds as habitats for the creatures they inhabited, as well as other creatures to interact with the ones they inhabited.

The Elders saw the state of chaos and disrespect into which their universe had fallen, and through their superior brain power (it was closer to the original, and was therefore stronger), bound these young, irresponsible beings to the bodies they were playing with. They were now forced to remain forever in the bodies they had made only to entertain themselves. Separation of the spirits into bodies encouraged them to think more and more within themselves and less and less among the others, causing them slowly to lose their telepathic ability to communicate. In the beginning, it was their choice; they chose to sequester themselves and withdraw from the society of beings. Once they realized the consequences of that choice, they tried to reverse it, but it was too late.

These embodied spirits became the ancestors of every intelligent form of life on every planet. Each one had been embodied on his own planet, in the body he had made for himself to play in. Therefore, the beings on various planets differ widely. Some died out because they had not prepared their bodies to survive very long, and some died out because they had neglected to design a means of replication. There were many, however, who survived. Though the bodies they designed may not have been perfect, they still had enough mental powers to change them slightly before their powers dissipated. The designs for the bodies were still not flawless, but they were good enough to last, and in many cases, they could adapt over time to better fit their environments. Obviously, one of these planets where this occurred is one that we now live on. And this is the beginning of mankind as well as all the other intelligent races on other planets.

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