Creation myths are founding myths that bring a community together around a commonly held view of the universe’s script. Most creation myths imply and are linked with apocalyptic myths of the destruction of the world. The world’s many religious communities have come up with a diverse array of creation and destruction myths. Creation myths can work as messages of promised renewal that help us to accept the ups and downs of life.

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The New Testament
Christian scripture

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

The Qur'an
Islamic scripture

“On that Day, We shall roll up the skies as a writer rolls up [his] scrolls. We shall reproduce creation just as We produced it the first time: this is Our binding promise. We shall certainly do all these things."

The Qur'an
Islamic scripture

“God created each animal out of [its own] fluid: some of them crawl on their bellies, some walk on two legs, and some on four. God creates whatever He will; God has power over everything."

The Qur'an
Islamic scripture

“Among His signs is the creation of the heavens and earth and all the living creatures He has scattered throughout them: He has the power to gather them all together whenever He will.”

Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism
Collection of Jewish writings

“All creation is a rotating wheel, revolving and alternating. Everything goes in cycles. Man becomes angel, and angel, man. Head becomes foot, and foot head. All these things have a single root. All interchange, raising the low, lowering the high, spinning on the wheel of creation.”

The Hebrew Bible
Jewish scripture

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."

Baha'i leader

“The world of creation has had no beginning and will have no end, because it is the arena upon which the attributes and qualities of the spirit are being manifested. Can we limit God and his power? In the same manner we cannot limit his creations and attributes."

Paramhansa Yogananda
Hindu monk and guru

“Creation is ruled by the law of duality. For every up there is a down; for every plus there is a minus. Every pleasure is balanced by an equal displeasure; every joy, by an equal sorrow."

The Bhagavad Gita
Hindu scripture

“This multitude of beings is created and destroyed again and again in the succeeding days and nights of Brahma. But beyond this formless state there is another, unmanifested reality, which is eternal and is not dissolved when the cosmos is destroyed."

Shunryu Suzuki
Zen master

"[I]f you think that God created man, and that you are somehow separate from God, you are liable to think you have the ability to create something separate, something not given by Him. For instance, we create airplanes and highways. And when we repeat, ‘I create, I create, I create,’ soon we forget who is actually the ‘I’ which creates the various things; we soon forget about God.[…]That is why we have so many problems in this world."

Lieh Tzu
Daoist sage

“The ancients said that the giant Pan-ku created the world when he separated the sky and earth with a great ax. The mountains and seas fell into their places; grass and trees sprouted from the ground, and the animals began to roam the earth. But there were no humans. Then the goddess Nü took yellow dirt, mixed it with water from the springs, and fashioned a small figure. When she put it on the ground, this little thing jumped and ran and made strange noises with its mouth. Its name is ‘humanity.’ The ancient Chinese saw life as a gift from heaven and recognized that we are made of the same material as the mountains, earth, plants, and animals."

Chuang Tzu
Daoist sage

“At the great Origin there was nothing, nothing, no name.

The One arose from it; there was One without form.

In taking different forms, it brought life, and became known as Virtue.

Before any shape was given, their roles were assigned,

varied and diverse but all linked to one another.

This was their lot.”

Lao Tzu
Daoist sage

“The Way gave birth to the One

The One gave birth to the Two

The Two gave birth to the Three

And the Three gave birth to the ten thousand things."

Julia Ching
Scholar of Chinese religions

“The Confucian Classics clearly enunciate a belief in God as the source and principle of all things, the giver of life and the protector of the human race.”

Ancient Greek philosopher
Science, Psychology, & Philosophy

“All things originate from one another and vanish into one another, according to necessity.”

E.O. Wilson
American biologist
Science, Psychology, & Philosophy

“The creation stories gave the members of each tribe an explanation for their existence. It made them feel loved and protected above all other tribes. In return, their gods demanded absolute belief and obedience. And rightly so. The creation myth was the essential bond that held the tribe together. It provided its believers with a unique identity, commanded their fidelity, strengthened order, vouchsafed law, encouraged valor and sacrifice, and offered meaning tot he cycles of life and death. No tribe could long survive without the meaning of its existence defined by a creation story. The option was to weaken, dissolve, and die. In the early history of each tribe, the myth therefore had to be set in stone."