CREATION MYTHOS

By G.A. Scheinoha

      Something there is in every human being which loves a story, an all- encompassing explanation for how we came to be. Okay, that’s an over-simplification. Make it how everything originated. There are, of course, various mythologies across myriad cultures with their equally diverse and often bizarre legends. Bizarre perhaps to an outsider, but well within the belief system of each man’s heritage, culture and tradition.
     For the purposes of this essay, I will detail just three that fall under the auspices of its title, taken respectively from Christianity, science and the Kabbala. To start at the beginning (double entendre intended), we have the Bible, which some define as the divine words of God. Others refer to it as mere Hebrew myths.
     Under the timeline from Genesis to Revelations and the millennia since then, our earth is eight thousand years old, give or take a few centuries. Miracles rile some to disclaimers of impossibility. For the rest of us, belief is a matter of the heart, not head, an unfathomable but trusting imitation of Kierkegaard’s “leap of faith into the arms of God”.
     Those who decry what they see as glitches, errors or gaps in religion turn instead to science, in particular Darwin’s theory of evolution. Their world view is formed from the ascension of life from simple microbes, single cell amoebas advanced into sentient homo sapiens over billions of years. Likewise their system is complete with its own omissions and lucky chances others might term beyond the realm of the most far-flung probability. And it’s the hypothesis given for the inexplicable, the dicey nature of genes or the more broad cover-all shield, survival of the fittest. A Jack London/Call of the Wild scenario.
     Finally we come to an old legend of a mythical Jewish sect, the Kabbala. Its roots are anchored in 16th Century Prague, where the Rabbi Loew molded a man from the riverbank clay of the Vitava. When a slip of paper with the sacred name of God was inserted into its mouth, the golem came to life. Its purpose was to defend the besieged Jewish ghetto Josefov from surrounding Gentile neighbors driven to near madness by the blood libel, claims Jewish children were murdered for orthodox rites. Eventually the golem ran amok and the rabbi destroyed it and hid the remains in the synagogue where the lifeless being remains to this day.
     The last tale is fanciful at best, certainly neither holy nor empirical by any means, but it clearly fits under the category near miss to the creation as narrated in the Bible. Except the rabbi took on the forbidden role of bringing the inanimate to life. Yet there are a few who might actually put stock in such an inconceivable act.
     Pick one of the triumvirate. If you think it’s likely, credence isn’t hard to arrive at. Stand pat but know when the eschatological clock’s rung out the eleventh hour, the truth, whether it’s the one you chose or not, will be revealed. As Don MacLean sang, “Do you believe in rock and roll? Then music save your mortal soul.”
     Or ghost in the machine.

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