I have always had a fascination with history, as far back as I can remember. My great passion for the subject happened in the spring of 1976 when I was given a birthday gift from my Mother of a book on Egyptian Mythology ( incidentally I still have this prize possession to this day and it sits on my bedroom bookcase with other non fictional gems). The myriad of Egyptian gods spread out before me in dazzling technicolour glory was wonderful. Such an ancient civilisation and I was smitten! The detail of information I had found at my fingertips was truly breathtaking. that first book opened up a door of wonders to me. Thank you WH Smiths hahaha.
From that point on my thirst for knowledge of classical histories knew no bounds. That first book compelled me to explore. I do have a way of focussing on a particular subject till I feel I have exhausted any further avenues of study and still do to this day. Usually whilst studying it takes me on a tangent to another fascinating world.. and I am once again immersed. I think with Egyptology i took it from Narmer to the 18th Dynasty and the lives of Akhenaton and Nefertiti (hence my alter ego account if you can find it on twitter! ) In Akhenaton I had found a Pharaoh who turned away from his old gods and searched for one. He couldn’t understand why there would be a need for many…..
He was a man who struggled to find the answers, a dreamer, but most definitely a poet. He wrote The Great Poem to Aten ( far too long to post here but please follow the link below and read it) compare it to the much later written Psalm 104 – possibly an early case of plagiarism?
To this day I have folders and folders of work written in book form with illustrations and photography. All written between the ages of 13-17 (which was the length of my obsession with Ancient Egypt) and that I have enjoyed re-reading over the years. I have loaned my little treasures to friends so although not published I do have a limited readership hahahha. Boxed away now in my attic I suspect they are due for an airing any day now. You my find they creep into my blogs from time to time…..
Going back to Akhenaton and his sun god, of course I have read the books on the one god of the Abrahamic religions, but these had never held a fascination for me. They seemed as far-fetched as Tolkiens Lord of the Rings ( a childhood favourite) and as sinister tome. this Egyptian Pharaoh ws the first man with a monotheistic view and I was intrigued.
Here began my interest in the vast array of religions around the world
- How similar were the religions to each other?
I stuck with the classical civilisations at first to find the answer, spreading from Greek to Roman mythologies and histories that seemed so romantic. Their ideas of creationism have so many similarities. Coincidence?
GREEK AND ROMAN
Prometheus sculpted man out of a clump of earth to resemble gods, since the earth still contained divine properties so did man. So human beings differed from animals by walking upright
Hephestus created woman in the likeness of the goddesses. The first woman was called Pandora, and we know that story!
Still I decided to go further afield away from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Hoping here would be a new world to explore of new myths and creationist ideas. I travelled north to the Norse Gods.
NORSE AND PAGAN
The Norse peoples of Scandinavia had lots of Gods. Their chief god being Odin, sometimes called Woden, from which we get our ‘Wednesday’ and Thor from which we get our ‘Thursday’
One day Odin was walking alone by the seashore with his brother, and they came across two tree trunks. One they turned into a man and called him ‘Ask’ and the other they turned into a woman and called her ‘Embla’
Unlike the Hebrews they didn’t wait and make animals for ‘Adam’ first then as an afterthought make ‘Eve’ from Adams rib. I guess women were thought of a little higher up the scale hahahha.
I did carry on and crossed the ocean to South America and Mexico, to Australia and all had similar creation of man stories.
Finally I realised there were enough similarities to conclude they had all originated from the same area. This of course made perfect sense and fitted in with our knowledge of mankind and evolution. One ancient tribe, their elders telling stories by the fire on an evening. We have always loved stories told by our elders. Of course the original storytellers and their listeners were aware they were stories, but passed down from generation to generation they became entrenched in myth and mystery, to the point people thought them fact! Moving across the globe as the tribes separated we have regional variations and changes to capture the imagination of the local populace. To fit their lives, their hopes, their dreams, their fears. Ultimately a tool used by the men in power to control the population.
This is how we stand today. Religion still used to control and cause turmoil in our world. How wonderful if the world shared our view of the religious mythologies. As somewhat colourful stories for an evenings entertainment.
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