Genesis of Existence

How did humans come into existence? How did life itself come into existence? Where did the universe we live in, come from? Where did existence itself come from? There are many beliefs from those who have attempted to answer these questions. Humans want to know the origin story of existence, including their own existence.

Origin Stories

There is a pattern in religious origin stories. Existence tends to start out with 1 or 2 things. This applies to pagan religions as well. If you go up the family tree of gods, you typically find that it all started with 1 or 2 things. There is not as of a big difference between polytheism and monotheism as one may initially think. In fact, it's believed that Judaism was originally polytheistic, which would explain the 1st commandment "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me". It doesn't say there are no other gods, but that you shouldn't place any gods before Him.

Keep in mind that there are often different versions of origin stories and they often change over time. Don't take this list as the only explanations.

Apsu and Tiamet (Sumerian)

It beings with a cosmic ocean. The primordial water filled the universe; freshwater (Apsu) and saltwater (Tiamet). They were lovers and created other gods who eventually killed them. The Heavens and Earth were made from the body of Tiamet. Today, we know the universe is mostly space, not water, and thus the world we live in is surrounded by space, not water.

Atum and Nu (Egyptian)

The sun was considered Khepri when it rose, Ra in mid-day, and Atum as it set. There are two creation myths, one is Khepri as the creator and the other is Atum as the creator. Which both were said to have created everything from a swirling watery chaos known as Nu. Although Khepri was said to have created Nu while Atum was said to have arose from it.

Chaos (Greek)

Chaos, Greek for "Gaping Void", was the foundation of all things. From Chaos came the first three primordial gods: Gaea (Earth), Tartarus (Underworld), and Eros (Love). Later on, Erebus (Darkness) and Nyx (night) were also were created.

Ginnungagap (Norse)

Ginnungaga, Norse for "Gaping Abyss" or "Yawning Void". In the northern part of Ginnungagap lay the intense cold of Niflheim, and in the southern part lay the equally intense heat of Muspelheim. Creation began when the two met in the middle. From this came the first giant Ymir. The gods Odin, Vili and VĂ© fashioned the Earth from his flesh, from his blood the ocean, from his bones the mountains, from his hair the trees, from his brains the clouds, from his skull the heavens, and from his eyebrows the middle realm in which mankind lives, Midgard.

El (Canaanite)

Known as "The Bull," the Father of Men, the Kindly One, the Compassionate. Creator of all things, greatest of all the gods, father of the divine family, head of the divine assembly.

Elohim (Hebrew)

Believed to have created all things. Worshipped by Jews and Christians. Follows the Sumerian idea of a cosmic ocean, wherein the Heavens and Earth needed to be created.

Izanagi and Izanami (Japan)

Creator god and goddess sent down from heaven to build the earth. The other gods and goddesses are their descendants.

Awonawilona, hermaphrodite (Pueblo Indians)

"The One Who Contains Everything." The Supreme God, the Creator of All. Before the creation there was only Awonawilona; all else was darkness and emptiness. Both male and female, Awonawilona created everything from itself and taking form became the maker of light, the Sun.

How Did Existence Start?

The first thing that ever existed either always existed or came into existence at a certain time. But there really is no time until something exists, right? So that leaves us with... existence of some sort has always existed? However, you could measure it from the time that has passed. And say the first thing to exist poofed into existence, say 1 trillion years ago, which would be when time started. Maybe time itself poofed into existence.

Nothing you can think of is really going to be a universal intuition. If God has always existed, then what has he been doing for eternity? What has he been doing for an infinite amount of time? At what point in eternity did God create Earth? If the past is infinite, then at what point of time did this creation event happen? You have no scale.

It God poofed into existence 1 trillion years ago, then you could place creation events at certain times on the scale. But then, you would be asking, why was it 1 trillion years ago? Why was it (x) amount of time ago? How did something poof into existence from nothing? Still, is it better than asking how does something exist for eternity, and then poof something into existence at a certain point in time when the past is infinite in time?

Perhaps there is no time as we perceive it. And everything has always existed. There was no first thing that existed. Instead, everything has always existed. Everything that happens has always happened. And we're just experiencing one wave, one arrow, of time that is moving through existence. Perhaps there is an infinite number of these forward-moving waves/arrows of time, and everything that has ever happened is always happening an infinite amount of times for eternity.

The point of this inquiry is that there are different beliefs to choose from. None of these beliefs can be scientifically explained. Some people say God exists because he is the prime-mover and everything needs a cause. But if that cause is eternal, then it has no cause, it simply is. There is no easy way to answer the question of where existence came from or why things exist in the first place, be it a supreme god or otherwise.