Egg, Mundane

Egg, Mundane.

In the cosmogonies of many heathen nations, both ancient and modern, the egg occupies a very prominent place, representing the world in its transition from the chaotic to the fully organized and orderly condition. In the Rig-Veda of ancient Hinduism the supreme spirit is represented as producing an egg, and from the egg is evolved a world. At a later period Brahma is said to have deposited in the primordial waters an egg shining like gold. In ancient Egypt we find Cneph, the creator, producing an egg, the symbol of the world. In the Sandwich Islands an eagle is represented as depositing an egg in the primordial waters, and among the Finns an aquatic bird. In the ancient Celtic legends the mundane egg was produced by a serpent, which had no sooner brought it forth than it hastened to devour it. But while the mundane egg represents the world in its first creation, it is often found also as emblematic of its renovation, after having been purified by fire. So Herodotus relates that the phoenix buried the body of its father in a mass of myrrh of the form of an egg. Similar fables are related as to the origin of man.

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