Chapter 14: Cosmogony
Mircea Eliade ( 1961) depicts myths as stories about the beginning of history set in the times before the beginning of ordinary, secular time. Sacred time (sacrum) is different from secular, linear time (profanum). Myths continuously recreate the sacred time as they summon it and let it be experienced by next generations. This time does not proceed from the past towards the future but lets the reader or listener experience it in many directions and in many ways. Such an experience of time enables us to recreate the primal time, the moment of the creation of everything: Myths about the beginning of the universe, cosmogonic myths, explain the creation of the world with the help of an archetypical language. Such stories are found in many mythologies, including Greek, Babylonian and Vedic. Usually cosmogonies present the events leading to the creation of the universe, as well as including its characteristics and a description of the first beings. Deities are usually treated as part of the cosmos that comes into being; they interact with it from the very beginning. The creation of the world is presented as a creative act of a deity or deities or as a long-term process of cooperation between various beings. Often the myth contains the genealogy of the first deities, with the process of creation of our familiar world inscribed into it.
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