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A New View on Creation

May 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Right now I’m taking a religion class called “Prayer, Trance, Meditation, and Ecstasy.”  It’s really a very interesting class and delves into the rituals that different cultures partake in to obtain altered states of consciousness: everything from runner’s high to yoga to meditation and beyond.

One of my readings from this week was an except from a book by Richard Katz: Boiling Energy: Community Healing Amount the Kalahari Kung.  (You can find it on Google Books here).  It talks about an African tribe called the Kung, exploring their culture and life, focusing especially on their healing dances and rituals.  (The correct pronunciation is actually that of !Kung, where the ! is a clicking sound, since the Kung people speak a Click language)

In one section, they talk about the gods that they believe in.  While religion isn’t as explicitly defined in their culture as it is in many others, they believe in a god most often referred to as Gao Na.  One story in particular caught my attention for reasons that will soon become obvious:

Even people were different in the beginning.  We were definitely not like people.  We were like animals; we were made the same way animals were made.  Animals were created just like people were.

When…[God] was on the earth, when…[God] first came to the earth, he wanted to sleep with his wife but didn’t know how.  He tried sticking his penis up her nose, he tried putting it into her ears.  He did it this way for awhile until people told him, “Don’t you know you’re supposed to do it this way?”

One day…[God] was sitting with his wife and he caught a glimpse of her crotch.  He stared and stared at it and wondered, “What’s that?  What can that be?”

The others told him, “That’s something for you to eat.” So…[God] listened to their advice and he took his wife the right way.  She gave birth, and…[God] had children.  They slept together and slept together and had a lot of children.  Then they all came out of the hole in the ground in which they lived.  “Yes,” people said to him, “This is how you take a woman.”

From there he went to create things.  He began to go about making things and giving them names.  He named his two sons Kana and Xoma.  Then he made all the other people.  At first we were not people but were something else. (Biesele, 1975, I, 46).

Yeah…

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