Sunday, March 1, 2009

Phan Ku - P'an Ku

Of various creation stories which evolve in China, the most striking is that of P'an Ku. He is hatched from a cosmic egg. Half the shell is above him as the sky, the other half below him as the earth. He grows taller each day for 18,000 years, gradually pushing them apart until they reach their appointed places. After all this effort P'an Ku falls to pieces. His limbs become the mountains, his blood the rivers, his breath the wind and his voice the thunder. His two eyes are the sun and the moon. The parasites on his body are mankind.

Another version ... In the beginning was a huge egg containing chaos and a mixture of yin-yang (female-male, cold-heat, dark-light, wet-dry, etc). Also within this yin-yang was Phan Ku who broke forth from the egg as a giant who separated the yin-yang into many opposites, including earth and sky. With a great chisel and a huge hammer, Phan Ku carved out the mountains, rivers, valleys, and oceans. He also made the sun, moon, and stars. When he died, after 18,000 years, it is said that the fleas in his hair became human beings. In summation, the Chinese say that everything that is - is Phan Ku and everything that Phan Ku is yin-yang.

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