After reading five myths about the creation of the universe, I can
identify several similarities and differences that appear in the stories.
The most obvious similarity in the stories is the presence of a god (or
goddess) t hat brought the universe to its present state. He or she
brought light from darkness, produced sea and land to make the Earth, and
populated it with plant and animal life.
Differences are easy to spot too. Different landscapes being developed
are e mphasized by groups of people living in different regions. The
Winnebago Indians of Wisconsin mention creation of forests, streams, and
lakes, while The Pelasgian Myth mentions Mount Olympus and the Teutonic
myth mentions the Northern Sea.
From the way the stories are written, one can guess at the way that the
cultures think and live. The Wisconsin Indians seem to think simply,
talking about tangible things. The Pelasgian myth talks about people and
their feelings. The Hindu story looks at ideas and reasons behind
intangible objects like death, day, and God. The Teutonic myth hints that
the writers were having a war or had had one in the past because a war is
mentioned in the story. The Christians feel that faith and trust in God
are important to live with.
Looking at the same sort of story written by very different cultures is
an interesting way to learn about different ways that people can and do
think. If one knows about different ways of thought, one can break out of
the shell of regu larity and do something different that is still a
reasonable, possible way of life.