The Primordial Ocean of Chaos in Ancient Creation Stories

By: Ranilo Abando (Manila, September 28, 2020) ***

The ancients often used the metaphor of WATER to relay a very important fundamental concept. When they said “water” in a metaphorical sense, they did not refer to the common liquid with the chemical composition H2O. Rather, they were referring to a primordial substance that was not necessarily a physical substance. This presumably primordial substance is not known to science as science considers all substances as physical. So, what was it? If this physical universe is virtual, which some scientists consider as a strong probability, then that primordial substance is likely more real than physical water.

In the very ancient creation story of Hymn 129 of the Rig Veda, it is said that before the creation of the world,  “1.  Then was not non-existence nor existence, There was no realm of air, no sky beyond it. What covered it, and where was it?   And what gave it shelter?   Was water there, unfathomed depths of water?”

The hymn implies that this primordial substance that covered everything was internally undifferentiated, unlike physical water where the atoms of hydrogen can be differentiated from the atoms of oxygen. That is why, philosophically, you could say that this primordial substance cannot be considered as existing, nor non-existing, as the hymn ingeniously described it.

In science, it is nearest to the concept of singularity, which means that this primordial mass is practically singular and internally continuous. It is further described in the hymn that “Darkness there was, concealed in darkness.  This All was indiscriminate chaos.   All that existed then was void and formless.” This further description supports the earlier description. This primordial substance is in a state of total chaos or total disorder, thus without external or internal forms. Internally, it does not have any kind of separation. Thus, it is practically a void or NOTHING, yet it was there. And it is still there, which I will indicate in future posts. Please remember the phrase “total chaos”, as we will use it again later in other posts.

Please note that physical empty space is not NOTHING, as Albert Einstein had proven. It can be warped or bent. Particle physics dealing with the world of the extremely small indicates that empty space actually always contains virtual particles, so it is never empty and never internally undifferentiated.

Back to that primordial “water”. That same primordial substance is mentioned in the creation stories of ancient Mesopotamia, such as the Enuma Elish. It is mentioned as Tiamat, the deification of the primordial “waters of chaos”.  It was described as the “saltwater ocean” before the creation of the world.

In ancient Egyptian texts, the primordial watery abyss of Nun is mentioned as covering everything before the creation of the world.  

The primordial “waters” is mentioned also as the foamy ocean where the Daughter of the Ether was submerged in the creation story Birth of Wainamoinen of the Kalevala poems which was written from the ancient oral traditions of Finland. The primordial sea is also mentioned in the creation story Malakas at Maganda in the Philippines.

P.S.: The foregoing is an example of how to do deep abstract thinking and then interconnecting the abstracted concepts. This way, one will ultimately derive higher knowledge, never mind how long it would take, and gain the proverbial “elixir of life”.

(Thanks to – Simon Clayton for the photo above of a seascape)

Published by rabando

I am a Filipino and a geologist by profession but I have also been an ardent searcher for answers to the fundamental questions of human existence ever since 42 years ago. It has been a long, lonely and difficult journey. Why are we here? Where did we come from? What on earth is this world where I found my self in? Surprisingly, I found out that the answers are right there under our noses. There just need to be some adjustments in the way people think.

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