Riddle: How is modern cosmology like ancient creation myths?
Answer: They both envision an exploding egg.
|Vladimir Kush, Sunrise by the Ocean|
I learned about this parallel in Rupert Sheldrake’s Science Set Free. The Cosmic Egg is featured in
many archaic stories of origins, like the Orphic creation myth of the Cosmic Egg in ancient Greece, or the Indian myth of Hiranyagarbha, the primal Golden Egg. Significantly, in all these myths the egg is both a primal unity and a primal polarity, since an egg is a unity composed of two parts, the yolk and the white, an apt symbol of the emergence of ‘many’ from ‘one.’
After Taoism became established in China, a creation myth emerged in which the universe began as an egg that contained yin-yang (female-male, cold-heat, dark-light, wet-dry, etc). The cosmic egg features in the myths of Japan, the South Pacific, and Africa also.
Georges Lemaitre, an astronomer and Roman Catholic priest, proposed in the late 1920’s that the universe was expanding. After Edwin Hubble’s observations of receding galaxies provided the evidence for Lemaitre’s theory, he went on to examine the consequences. If the universe is expanding, there must have been a moment in time when it was a single point. He described this as the “primeval atom,” or “the cosmic egg exploding at the moment of creation.” This theory became known as the “Big Bang,” and is widely accepted today.
Today, with our technological, scientific worldview, we congratulate ourselves on how far we have come from our primitive human origins. It’s refreshing to find such a profound link to our past.