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Author Topic: Primordial reality?  (Read 2560 times)

EnderDragonFire

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Primordial reality?
« on: December 29, 2018, 06:48:19 am »
I was wondering how various religious traditions address, or don't address, the concept of primordial reality. The question of 'what came before' the ordered world we know now is one that people have been trying to answer for a rather long time.

The Greek Theogony posits the existence of a singular, primordial diety called Chaos; the the Babylonians, the first Gods were Tiamat and Abzu; the Norse may have believed in Ginnungagap, a great primordial void at the dawn of time.

Many such stories and myths exist across the world; what does your tradition say about the state of the universe before the creation of the current world?
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

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Re: Primordial reality?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2018, 05:46:35 pm »
Many such stories and myths exist across the world; what does your tradition say about the state of the universe before the creation of the current world?

Well, Kemetic cosmology has the primordial ocean, Nun, in which sort of everything exists but nothing exists, because there's no differentiation between one thing and another. I'm not explaining this very well. Everything that exists emerged from Nun, so it gets invoked in Kemetic rituals as a source of creation.

Even though the primordial state is usually said to exist before the existent world, I associate Nun with the future, since the future does not yet exist.

Riothamus12

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Re: Primordial reality?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2019, 01:46:34 pm »
I was wondering how various religious traditions address, or don't address, the concept of primordial reality. The question of 'what came before' the ordered world we know now is one that people have been trying to answer for a rather long time.

The Greek Theogony posits the existence of a singular, primordial diety called Chaos; the the Babylonians, the first Gods were Tiamat and Abzu; the Norse may have believed in Ginnungagap, a great primordial void at the dawn of time.

Many such stories and myths exist across the world; what does your tradition say about the state of the universe before the creation of the current world?

Mine is rather boring compared to many. It posits that the physical universe as well as the Spirit world very likely always existed in some form. It may not have a beginning or end as mortals often conceive of it. If this universe did have a beginning it's likely just another incarnation in a long series of iterations. If it did "begin", it likely went something like this. In the beginning there was Dryghten and everything flowed from them as a the logical end result of their existence. Then it's pretty much the scientific understanding of how things began from there except for the part where humans suddenly appeared, threw some stuff out of balance and thus we're now dealing with problems which it is our responsibility to clean since our early ancestors caused them and then their descendants up to the present day have chosen to perpetuate them.

Though it should also be noted, that the primordial reality never really went away. It's all pervasive. When one sends their consciousness out into the Spirit world they are experiencing a more primordial reality. What I call the Xarthic mind or if you prefer, higher self is constantly aware of this and can see this reality more clearly as it is. The Xarthic mind is human consciousness in a more spiritually aware form. To someone tuned into it, the sight of such things can seem shockingly mundane, but rapturously beautiful once one retains to a more "normal" state of mind. It is to one who is in what many would call a normal state of consciousness, very strange and complex, a massive vortex of energies and forces wandered by Spirits with a landscape that shifts and yet has a recognizable geography, but this geography will also appear differently to do different beings depending on what they're used to, for each soul tunes into these things in a fashion that varies. When experiencing it when tuned into the Xarthic mind, it sort of feels that this is how it always is, because really, that is how it always is, it's just that were not normally consciously aware of it. Such a thing isn't exactly a stretch. When people talk about their religions cosmology, they are talking about things as they always are, but they aren't always keenly tuned into.

For example, for a Christian, when they talk about God being in Heaven, the devil being in Hell, and there being Angels and various malign forces, in that vision of the cosmos, that is how it always is, they just aren't constantly in contact with such things.
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Jainarayan

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Re: Primordial reality?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2019, 10:27:38 am »
...what does your tradition say about the state of the universe before the creation of the current world?

Have you seen the Nasadiya Sukta (lit. "Hymn [of] Not the Non-existent") of the Rig Veda? It would make many traditions' heads explode because it questions creation. It's one of my favorites. Very trippy!  ;D

Then even nothingness was not, nor existence, nā́sad āsīn nó sád āsīt tadā́nīṃ closer to "then [there was] neither existence nor non-existence".
There was no air then, nor the heavens beyond it.
What covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping?
Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed?
10.129.1

Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation?
The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?"
10.129.6

Whence all creation had its origin,
the creator, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
the creator, who surveys it all from highest heaven,
he knows — or maybe even he does not know.
10.129.7
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

EnderDragonFire

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Re: Primordial reality?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2019, 12:30:15 pm »
Have you seen the Nasadiya Sukta (lit. "Hymn [of] Not the Non-existent") of the Rig Veda? It would make many traditions' heads explode because it questions creation. It's one of my favorites. Very trippy!

Yep. Things like that are a large part of what draws me to Hinduism. It leaves lots of room for questioning and uncertainty.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

arete

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Re: Primordial reality?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2019, 10:50:29 am »
I was wondering how various religious traditions address, or don't address, the concept of primordial reality. The question of 'what came before' the ordered world we know now is one that people have been trying to answer for a rather long time.

The Greek Theogony posits the existence of a singular, primordial diety called Chaos; the the Babylonians, the first Gods were Tiamat and Abzu; the Norse may have believed in Ginnungagap, a great primordial void at the dawn of time.

Many such stories and myths exist across the world; what does your tradition say about the state of the universe before the creation of the current world?
The very first God is Chaos. Beyond Chaos, there are the Supernatural Gods.

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Re: Primordial reality?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2019, 04:33:50 pm »
I was wondering how various religious traditions address, or don't address, the concept of primordial reality. The question of 'what came before' the ordered world we know now is one that people have been trying to answer for a rather long time.

And I've been kind of going crazy trying to answer it for my personal cosmology.

Quote
Many such stories and myths exist across the world; what does your tradition say about the state of the universe before the creation of the current world?

As far as Judaism goes, the Torah itself is quiet on this. It starts with God creating the world and gives little information on what came before that. Various scholars have examined Genesis to get some clues and come up with different answers. Some say that before God created the world, some elements existed--either three (water, wind, and fire) or six (light, darkness, chaos, void, wind/spirit, and water). Others say that before Creation, only God existed, as Ein Sof, the Infinite. Some commentary also observes that there are traces of the Babylonian idea that before Creation was an endless watery void--"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water."

One of the most interesting Midrashic ideas is that before God created this world, he created and destroyed many other, less satisfactory worlds; this is probably getting folded into my own cosmogony when I finally manage to create it.

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EnderDragonFire

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Re: Primordial reality?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2019, 06:30:07 pm »
One of the most interesting Midrashic ideas is that before God created this world, he created and destroyed many other, less satisfactory worlds; this is probably getting folded into my own cosmogony when I finally manage to create it.

Very interesting! I never knew that Midrashic tradition involved cyclical reality.

Also, I'm glad to see this thread getting more attention!
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

Eastling

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Re: Primordial reality?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2019, 07:12:08 pm »
Very interesting! I never knew that Midrashic tradition involved cyclical reality.

From Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism:

Quote
The verse These are the generations of the heaven and the earth when they were created (Gen. 2:4) suggested to the rabbis the creation of prior worlds, while the verse You carry them away as with a flood (Ps. 90:5) was also interpreted to refer to the destruction of these prior worlds. The Zohar (1:262b) suggests that God did not actually build these prior worlds, but only thought about building them.

That this world was not the first that God created was believed to be indicated by Isaiah 65:17: "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth and the former shall not be remembered nor come to mind." Zohar Hadash identifies the prior worlds as totaling 1,000, as does Or ha-Hayim 1:12, which states that before God created this world, He created a thousand hidden worlds. These hidden worlds were created through the first letter, aleph. THat is why the Torah, in the report of the Creation of this world, commences with the second letter, bet. The existence of the 1,000 worlds is linked to the verse You may have the thousand, O Solomon (S. of S. 8:12).

Other sources, such as Midrash Tehillim 90:13, give the number as 974 worlds, which were said to have been created and destroyed over 2,000 years. Sefer ha-Zikhronot 1:1 suggests that when it entered God's mind to create the world, He drew the plan of the world, but it would not stand until God created repentance. Thus repentance is the key element that made our world possible.

It then goes into some discussion of how one reconciles the idea that God created and destroyed worlds with the idea that God is infallible and all God's creations are perfect--which opens up some complicated ideas in Kabbalistic thought.
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ehbowen

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Re: Primordial reality?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2019, 12:21:41 am »
I was wondering how various religious traditions address, or don't address, the concept of primordial reality. The question of 'what came before' the ordered world we know now is one that people have been trying to answer for a rather long time.

The Greek Theogony posits the existence of a singular, primordial diety called Chaos; the the Babylonians, the first Gods were Tiamat and Abzu; the Norse may have believed in Ginnungagap, a great primordial void at the dawn of time.

Many such stories and myths exist across the world; what does your tradition say about the state of the universe before the creation of the current world?

Well, for what my tradition believes, there's the first six chapters of Genesis. But for what I believe...well, define 'primordial'.

I mean, think about it. The very term presupposes linear chronology. As in, there was once this chaos/pool of muck/darkness upon the face of the deep/quantum vacuum fluctuation...and, no matter what may have sprung from it in the centuries/millennia/eons since, that beginning of beginnings will never again be revisited. I say, not so.

When you think about it, my personal awareness of events and this world goes back no further than, oh, early 1964. If you take the position that some dream images and similar spring from memories in the womb, absolutely no further back than very late 1962. Before that point, I rely completely on words and thoughts passed down from others who came before me. Yes, it's a convincing narrative, and I believe it...but I can't PROVE it from any kind of personal experience.

So, at least to me, what happened before late 1962 is chaos, which I order based upon records and writings such as the fifty or so copies of the Official Guide of the Railways which I have stashed in my bookcase. It paints a pretty good and believable picture...but I can't (and I don't) dismiss the notion that the "main track" of history diverged some time in late 1963 or so...JFK was an annoyance which had to be dealt with to facilitate the separation...and that what we're on now was intended to be the "RIP track*" of the universe for defective equipment. And possibly something similar happened in the 1930s. And about the time of the accession of Woodrow Wilson. And in and around the time of the Civil War, specifically at the beginning of Reconstruction. And so on, and so forth.

Looking in the other direction, what happens after this moment which I call "now" is also chaos. Oh, I have plans and intentions...my sister has been planning a Big Family Cruise for her fiftieth birthday which I'll be joining next month...but I can't absolutely guarantee against something like Hurricane Harvey, which sunk my plans for yet another [Alaskan] cruise in September 2017. Or against something like the job interview which I had on the calendar for tomorrow, until I got the email today saying that I was being dropped from consideration. Or complications from the over-55 procedure which will have me drinking clear liquids and other things best left unsaid this Sunday. So I have plans...and hopes [those of you who have been paying attention know quite a bit about the hopes!] for what comes after this...but no guarantees, other than the fact that I trust my God to eventually do all that he has said that he will unless he finds a way to do something even better.

Really, looking out past my own little corner of the world I can't absolutely vouch for events there either. Oh, I'm quite convinced that Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon in 1969 as I watched the images on TV...my father worked as a contractor in the Apollo and Shuttle programs, and a former NASA flight controller and author of my acquaintance has personally worked with Buzz Aldrin...but is everything which you see on CNN or read on the Drudge Report 100% believable and unbiased? Not likely. So putting together an accurate picture of outside events from the chaos...there's that word again...still takes time and effort. And what of events beyond the reach of Fox News? What could be happening on Planet Vulcan right now...or what happened long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away? Again...chaos.

So, As Far As I'm Concerned, "primordial reality" is whatever exists beyond the limits of our awareness, whether those limits be denominated by either space or time. And I believe that one of the objectives of my God is to bring order out of that chaos. So, in my view, what we currently see as "the limits" will only remain so until the present construct of Reality attains sufficient consistency to permit those limits to be further expanded.

I believe that the system of this present Reality began with a small patch of Garden about six thousand years ago. Oh, that's not where everything began...that chaos came from uncountable other systems of reality which the entity otherwise known as Satan allowed to take root, flourish for a while, and then crush out like a kid popping a piece of bubble wrap. I really don't think that there's any way in purely human terms to describe or even conceive of the sheer number of lost souls and universes which have been subsumed into chaos in the steps of the sequence which preceded that garden...but if UPG can be considered valid then I think that a googolplex to the googolplex, factorial, will at least get you into the ball park.

And so that's what I see my God doing...reaching out in the various dimensions of space and time, finding these remnants of events and beings and worlds and souls, and coming up with ways to work them into parts of the Reality he is creating which will not only make it possible for them to exist and even to find happiness, but which will be consistent with everything he has done and created before. That first Sabbath was a rest, not a retirement. As of our perspective right now he's put together a very consistent structure which reaches back thirteen billion years or so and reaches ahead...well, we'll find out.

I would call that a good start. Might be time to take something a bit longer than a Sabbath break, say a couple weeks' vacation, to take some time to enjoy it. Perhaps we could coordinate that with a certain hoped-for honeymoon?  ;)

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--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

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