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Myths and Their Similarity between Cultures

Even though we live 20 centuries after the birth of Jesus and many more since the first creation story, we still feel the need to look up a powerful tale for the explanations we still not understand. The connection between Jesus, Buddha, Dionysus, Osiris, Horus and Mithras are much deeper than you realize because they all represent the same entity. The entity that is giving, forgiving, magical and powerful. Even intellectual atheists find those texts amazing, secretly believing they are the almighty entity in the unfolding legend. The aim of all religions since the beginning of time was to guide the people, to expose their true potential and to make them realize the bigger picture. That’s why all myths and legends represent Gods instead of common men. Because they want to portray the ideal man, the model according to which everyone should grow and evolve. Everybody reads these stories differently. Some might be even offended that we call them stories. Nevertheless, you’re about to read the similarities between different myths in different cultures and time periods.

The First Man, the First Woman and the Creation

The Visayan Islands can be found near the Philippines, where the ancient Visayan culture, language and historical affinity are still nurtured to this day. This ethnic group tells the story of the first man and woman created from a bamboo stick. The goddess Magwayen was the personification of a nurturing mother, the provider of food on earth and the ruler of the sea. Her partner was the god Kaptan, the ruler of the sky. They got married, and planted the earth with bamboo trees, rice, sugarcanes and corn. Kaptan gave the seeds to Magwayen and told her to grow a beautiful garden. After many marital fights, Magwayen decided to leave her husband and vanished into the sea. The Visayan folklore often describes them as eternal rivals. Magwayen was known to be quick-tempered and violent if she got angry. She often caused hurricanes, heavy rains, floods and giant tsunamis whenever she wanted to get back at her ex-husband. Their garden grew more beautiful each day, until one day the god Kaptan couldn’t take care of the plants himself and decided to craft creatures to take care of the garden for him. Once this idea got in his mind, one branch of the biggest bamboo tree split in half and the first man stepped out of it. He named it Sikalak, which means the sturdy one. From the other half of the branch stepped out a woman and Sikabay called her Sikabay, meaning beautiful partner of the sturdy one. Kaptan left those two creatures to tend his garden, while he went to look for his ex-wife. Sikalak asked his sister Sikabay to marry him and to give birth to his children, so they can all take care of the garden together, but Sikabay refused because they were born from the same branch. After a long argument, they decided to ask the doves, fishes and the earthquake and they all approved of their marriage. After this marriage, Kaptan and Magwayen ended their battles and ruled the universe together.

There is a different Visayan myth about the creation of the first people on earth. Kaptan and Magwayen had a son and a daughter. Kaptan’s son was the wind, who he called Likalibuta, and Magwayen’s daughter was the sea and she called her Lidagat. They got married and had 3 sons (Likalibutan, Libutan and Ladlaw) and a daughter (Lisuga). Likalibutan as the strongest of all four was made of rocks. Ladlaw was the happy, careless one and he was made of gold. Libutan was weak and fearful, with body carved out of copper and most beautiful of all was the gods’ daughter Lisuga, whose body was made of silver. Likalibutan expressed his wish to be the ruler of the universe, so he planned to attack the sky. Libulan and Ladlaw were afraid of Likalibutan, so they granted him his wish, while Lisuga wasn’t there for the arrangement. When the three brothers got to the heavens, they found it locked with steel gates. They used the wind to open it but there they found Kaptan, who got so mad, that he killed his grandsons with lightning bolts. Lisuga saw her brothers aren’t home, so she went to the sky to ask her grandfather for help. In his fury, he sends a lightning and kills her too. After his anger subsided he transformed Ladlaw and Libulan into the sun and the moon. Likalibutan became the earth where all plants started growing and Lisuga's body was torn into two pieces, creating the first man and woman.

In Indonesia, there is another story about the creation of the first wedded couple. At the beginning of time, there were only the seas and the heavens. Only one bird existed, whose wings got tired of flying and one day she decided to start a war between the heavens and the sea. In their madness, the heaven threw rocks at the sea, thus creating the earth. The bird finally had a place to rest and when she stepped on a tree, the tree split in two, creating the first man and woman.

In china, the legend of the human creation is resultant from one man, called Pan Gu. Pan Gu slept inside an egg for 18.000 years. When he woke up, he got scared because it was dark so he extended his arms and cracked the egg. The egg split into two halves, creating the heaven and the earth. Pan Gu was scared that the two might come together again, covering him in darkness, so he held the heavens with his hands for another 18.000 years. As time passed, Pan Gu got older and bigger and the distance between the earth and the heaven got vaster. When he died, the legend says everything on earth was created. His body parts became the mountains. His blood created the rivers, his breath, the wind and his sweat the rain. His muscles created the soil, while his hair transformed into stars and grass. His roar became the thunderbolt and precious gems were created from his bones. His eyes created the sun and the moon. Fleas from his body became the first people.

In Greek mythology, the name of the first woman is Pandora. She was made out of clay by the Gods and given as a bride to Prometheus's brother Epimetheus. Zeus got mad at Prometheus for stealing the fire from the gods and showing it to the people, so in order to punish him, the gods created the first woman and gave her a jar full of evil spirits and hope. When she entered the house of Prometheus's brother, she opened the jar and all diseases, dearth and human sufferings came out, only the spirit of hope left behind. Prometheus was the father of the first man, Deucalion.

In Norse mythology, the first man and woman are Ask and Embla. Three gods were walking along a beach, when they saw two beautiful trees. They made the first man and woman out of the trees. The first brother gave them the breath of life, the other one made them move and gave them their intellect and the third god shape them and gave them their senses and speech.

In the bible, there are two different stories about the creation of the world and the first man and woman. The book of Genesis 1:1-2:3 describes that, God made the earth, animals and humans in 7 days. The heavens and the earth, the day and the night were created the very first day. The second day he separates the earth and the heaven with the sky. Dry land and plants are crafted during the third day. The fourth day the stars, the sun and moon were designed. The fifth and sixth day was designated for the creation of birds, water creatures and animals, and of course the human kind. The number of human beings in this text is not clearly specified. The second creation story is found in the Genesis 2:4-25. Here the creation is not separated in days. The heaven and earth were created first, then God creates the first man from dust and he calls him Adam. He then, creates the Garden of Eden, with the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. He tells him not to eat the fruits from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because he will die, and then creates animals to keep him company. Adam gets lonely in the garden and asks God for a human partner. When he falls asleep, God pulls out a rib out of Adam and creates the first woman. At the time, the garden is a place full of joy and happiness, where suffering and pain don’t exist. After they commit the original sin-eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they get expelled from the garden and start their lives as mortal humans.

A very similar story about the troubling human nature originates from Africa. According to this myth, all humans and animals were created by the god of all life, called Kaang. When he created humans and animals, they live peacefully underground. Even though, there was no sun or moon underground, their residence was always full of light. While they lived together in harmony, this African god started planting the earth. After he grew a large tree, he dug a hole next to it and started pulling the people and animals to see their new, wondrous habitat. He told them that they can enjoy their new home far and wide, but ordered them to never light a fire. When the evening came and the sun was gone, instead of staying close to keep each other warm, they light a fire. The animals got very scared of the flames, so they run to the wilderness and never communicated with humans again because of their disobedience.

The Connection in All Creation Myths and Legends

However you look at it, all creation stories prove more or less the same point. There is always a divine object, creating everything from plants and soil to humans and their punishment. The idea is to keep the moral standards high, so that we can avoid eternal anguish. Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, lighting fire even though it’s forbidden or yearning to rule over something that is not designed to be ours all resulted in punishment. Adam and Eve did not die immediately after they eat the fruit, but they were taken their immortality and got kicked out of the only place where pain is not known. The three brothers got killed for they did not appreciate the gifts the gods gave them and went for something that is not theirs to have. The animals abandoned the human habitat and became strangers to each other. The idea of each myth is to arouse a moral and spiritual awareness. Every religion has the purpose to show us that we are all equal and coming from the same place. Whether that is dirt, a bamboo branch, a hole in the ground or an egg in the cosmos.

Jesus, the Sun

In Roman mythology, Zeus was the supreme god, the father of all gods and men. His father, Cronus was the supreme god before him and he was told that one of his ancestors will take over his rulership. To avoid this terrible fate, Cronus eats all of his children as soon as they are born. His wife Rhea managed to hide Zeus, after which he is raised by a goat. When he grew up, Zeus and his brothers took the throne from their father and divided the kingship between them.

In the bible, King Herrod learnt that one of the newborn babies will challenge his authority, change people’s lives and became king of all Jews. The king ordered all babies under the age of 2 to be taken from their mothers and killed. Jesus’s mother hides him and we all know how history was changed forever once he grew up. Both Zeus and Jesus, encouraged people to drink wine and eat bread, a symbolic ritual for their flesh and blood. They both had virgin mothers and immortal fathers and they both resurrected three days after they died. In other religions, myths and legends, the main prophets are very similar to each other. Attis was a Greek god, whose father had both male and female genitalia. The Olympus gods found out about this and cut his penis off. Where they tossed his organ, there grew an almond tree. Attis’s mother was still a virgin when she lay under the tree and an almond fell on her lap. The almond disappeared and she became pregnant. When Attis was born on December 25th, she abandoned him and he was raised by a male goat too. His life story is about love and he also resurrected to accompany his true love, on March 25th, three days after his death. Mithra comes from India. He had 12 disciples, just like Jesus and Zeus, which traveled with him performing miracles for the common man. This deity too, was dead for three days and then resurrected. The day of worship for Mithra is Sunday, the day the bible says we should reserve for resting and prayers. All these resemblances between different messiahs are from different time periods in history and they come from different parts of the world. They all lead to an ancient God, Horus. His mother Isis also was a virgin. She gave birth to Horus on December 25th and he has been involved in eternal battle with his opponent Set, in order to protect the Egyptian people from his evil supremacy. According to the pyramid texts utterances 667 and 556, he was dead for three days and then he was resurrected as Osiris.

Greek and Roman Mythologies

Greek and Roman mythologies are heavily similar. The legend says that a soldier from Greece traveled to Italy, where he applied the myths from his culture, creating an entirely new mythology. That is why the entities from Roman mythology have the same qualities as entities Greek mythology. The Greek god Zeus is called Jupiter in Roman myths. They are both supreme gods of the sky, known to throw lightning bolts when angry. Zeus had two brothers, Poseidon and Hades, called Neptune and Pluto in Roman legends. Aphrodite is called Venus in Roman myths and they are the goddesses of beauty and love. They were very beautiful themselves, making Hera or Juno in Roman myths (the sister and wife of Zeus) very jealous. Zeus was a famous womanizer, known to seduce mortal women, which made Hera very angry assigning punishments and torture to every woman her husband fell in love with. She was the protector of marriage and her animals were peacocks and cows. The Greek and Roman myths are the most vivid stories in the mythology area. You can reap astuteness from each story about dignity, vanity, prejudice, morals or the lack of it.

The Motive behind Myths

For religious people, arguing about their religion and beliefs is preposterous. Atheists on the other hand, love a good debate. The bottom line is: you don’t have to believe anything any book tells you as long as you agree the story in it has a point and a message to be spread. If we go back in time, the people we will meet 5000 years ago will probably be very primitive, but that has nothing to do with the purpose of their philosophies. Many potential believers in the miracles of the universe or God are now atheist thanks to the false principles that the modern preachers and religionists illustrate. Again, how others perceive religion has nothing to do with your faith, morals or nature. You can come up with your own religious beliefs, as long as they agree with your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of the society.

Religion Folklore


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