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Emergence or Procreation from a Primal Substance or Being


When we look at the history of religions, we discover several categories of cosmogonies. The first that your text deals with is the emergence or procreation from a primal substance. These creation stories portray creation as a process which happens spontaneously as one or more divine beings come out of the primal substance (mud, water, chaos, non-being, etc). A very common theme in these stories is the emanation of primal elements from a watery chaos. The divine being then creates other beings and object through a variety of means.

Such stories are found in ancient Egyptian texts, later Egyptian texts, and some Hindu scriptures. The reference to the Hindu scriptures merits a word of caution. Hinduism is a very diverse and complex collection of scriptures. The creation story cited in Livingston is simply one of the cosmogonies present in the Hindu scriptures. There are many others that fall into other categories.