Cosmological Myths at Mount Shasta
Mount Shasta is the starting point of many myths that have to do with creation. From the destruction of Atlantis, and Lemuria, and possibly other planets, Mount Shasta is responsible for repopulating the Western World and restarting high civilization. Mount Shasta, as a remarkable geographic locator, serves a purpose of providing an anchor in creation myths.
Cosmological myths explain how the universe is structured, and are considered truths in the culture in which they are produced. Cosmological myths include beliefs of creation, the Fall, flood myths, afterlife and the end of times. Cosmological myths do not include cosmogonic myths, which focus on origins of time and the universe. Cosmological myths are without time; myths can occur in the past, present, future or paradisiacal state. Some myths, such as those of a catastrophic nature, have no time. In cosmological myths, the harmony of people and other forms of nature are emphasized over the experiences of the individual.
Cosmological myths are not testable or repeatable because of their primordial setting and therefore, cannot be proved or disproved. Every myth is considered a factual account, regardless of how much the events are at disagreement with scientific law or ordinary experiences. The authority of a myth is only questioned when it has been rejected or defeated by another more comprehensive myth.
All cosmological myths serve a similar purpose, which is to provide a sense of security in particular place and space. The content of the important myths concerning the origin of the world reflects the dominant culture. For example, hunter-gatherer groups recount the origin of hunting and gathering customs and secular cultures rely on scientific explanations of the primordial past.
“Each Age interprets unusual events in the language of its own experience, whether it be Ezekiel describing sky objects in the symbology of angels and precious jewels, or Monk Lawrence in A.D. 776 marveling at the flaming shields from heaven spitting fire at the Saxons besieging Sigiburg, or modern men speculating the Unidentified Flying Objects are of extra-terrestrial origin.”Raymond Bernard (1969:235)
Cosmological Myths and the Big Bang Theory
In secular countries, western science postulates theories and formulas of human origins. The most popular is the Big Bang Theory that is accepted as factual, though there is little evidence and may be more easily read as a mythology. The Big Bang Theory was developed by astrophysicist George Lemaître (1894-1966) in 1927 to link Einstein’s relativity theory to the observed evidence of an expanding universe.
The Big Bang is a creation story produced by American secular culture, which also provides an apocalyptic ending of the world. The theory states that the universe began with an explosion and is slowing as it expands outward; it began in order and has been moving to a disordered state ever since. The law of entropy states that when all available energy is expended, no more activity will occur. This supports the idea the natural world and social order are fragile and numerous myths warn that unbalance can lead to chaos, disorder and wilderness.
The Big Bang Theory demonstrates our place in the universe and how the universe developed. Specifically, everything in the universe came from a common origin, or rather, a primeval fireball. Furthermore, the Big Bang Theory contains elements of myth because the experiments necessary to prove its validity would require energies that exceed any equipment existing on earth at this time.
Cosmogonic myths recount the origin of time and the universe, and are renewed through rites and rituals. Every group of people designates supernatural beings that act to create humans, social institutions, reality and the cosmos. Because the events and characters are so far removed from our present time, myths of origins are believed to be true because they are the antecedents to our present cultures and societies. Frequently, cultures speak of the act of creation as the fashioning of earth out of raw material that was already present, such as the Biblical Adam molded from dirt. Other myths explain how life came directly or indirectly from water. Creation out of nothing is a much less frequent theme in cosmogonic myths.
An example of a cosmogonic myth is the flood myth, which is known almost universally. Destructive events at end of the world destroy the population, leaving only a few survivors who must reconstruct and regenerate humanity. In this way, the cosmos are periodically destroyed and recreated, giving hope to future generations. For psychoanalysts, the flood myth represents a time before individual consciousness; only through chaos and renewal does individuation occur.
If a creation story is absent in a society, an alternative mythology is present. Usually, this type of alternative mythology recounts how the world was transformed and made habitable by a culture hero who kills monsters because they are chaotic and threaten the natural order. For example in Babylonian mythology, Marduk slays the Ocean goddess Tiamat to create humans, plants and animals. Another example is found in Christianity when Archangel Michael casts out Satan from heaven. In this Christian myth, order is only restored through Christ. This resembles an Osirian story where the villain, once beautiful, becomes the serpent and the perfect son is born to rule all in his father’s name.
Cosmogonic myths set the pattern for the way a society functions and are unique in the societies where they function. However, cosmogonic myths all have certain common characteristics. One characteristic is that cosmogonic myths are structured in dualism, such as heaven and earth, male and female. Another is that the myth always narrates events outside of normal everyday experience. Also, cosmogonic myths orient humans toward the world and are realized through the narration of primordial events.