I have been reading a translation of an Egyptian Gnostic creation myth written somewhere between the 3rd and the 7th century. All cultures attempt to answer the bigger questions of the world, why and how are we here. These excerpts translated by Marie-Louise von Franz, captured my imagination:
“And the God laughed seven times. When he first laughed, light appeared, and its splendor shone through the whole universe…. The God laughed Seven times. Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha.” “Then He laughed for the seventh time, drawing breath, and while he was laughing, he cried, and thus the soul came into being. And God said, thou shalt move everything, and everything will be made happier through you.”
Laughter: energy radiated out. Spirit moved forth. Vulnerable. Open. Loud. An expelling of power. A roar. A release of stress and anxiety.
Born out of laughter. Born out of joy. Born out of the depth of a belly laugh. What if we believed and embodied that awareness, lived believing that we are creators, that we move everything, and everything will be made happier through our one life? What if we were told of our innate goodness rather than our innate sin. How would we be different? How would we engage each other differently believing that not only of ourselves but of the other?
We don’t have to look far to also understand the First Noble Truth of Buddhism, suffering is an innate characteristic of existence, as we know it in our aging bodies, our own frustrations with life not going our way, our inability to fulfill our cravings. In the depths of poverty, hunger, fear, rage, and war, we see suffering. But what if we were raised to believe in our power to relieve suffering, to bring joy, happiness, and relief while creating, life is made happier through me, through us, through you.
Would we cease to look upon each other as stranger? As one to go to war against? As one who takes from my abundance? Despite life’s heartaches could we realize that through this presence in each other’s life we birth something new?
We have within us the ability to laugh at our own existence. Our foibles, our ineptitude. Our sheer lunacy while riding through space on Mother Earth.
As she was thrust out of her warm cocoon into a world of lights and harsh sounds she held deep within her the memory of the sound of laughter. She opened her mouth and cried out then gazed into the eyes of the one who will remind her of her power, through her goodness and kind heart to heal, to love, to sing the world alive, to create, and to be light for another. Then, she opened her mouth again and, she laughed.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”Proverbs17:22
“Life is a miracle. We, all of us are creator beings. We are the joyful choice makers.”Sakshi-Chetana, from Laughing Buddha: The Alchemy of Euphoric Living
“How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all of its beauty? It felt the encouragement of light against its being, otherwise we all remain too frightened.”Hafiz
“And God said, thou shalt move everything, and everything will be made happier through you.”From Patterns of Creativity Mirrored in Creation Myths by Marie-Louise von Franz, pp 135-37 and quoted in Soul An Archaeology Edited by Phil Cousineau
On Going Resource List: Reading for Mind and Heart
- The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit
- Soul an Archaeology Edited by Phil Cousineau
- A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield
- Listening Point by Sigurd Olson
- I Sit Listening to the Wind by Judith Duerk
- Dancing Moons by Nancy Wood
- The Soul of Rumi, Translations by Coleman Barks
- Keep Going by Joseph M. Marshall III
- Arriving at your own Door by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
- The Hidden Secrets of Water by Paolo Consigli
- Conquest of Mind by Eknath Easwaran
- Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay
- Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
- I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) by Brene Brown
- Practicing Peace in Times of War by Pema Chodron
- When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
- On Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
- Unattended Sorrow by Stephen Levine
- Joy in Loving, Mother Theresa
- The Joy of Living by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
- Let Your LIfe Speak by Parker Palmer
- Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet by Thich Nhat Hanh
- The Essence of the Upanishads by Eknath Easwaran
- Welcoming the Unwelcome by Pema Chodron
- Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
- Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through The Ways Of Animals by Jamie Sams and David Carson