The Origins of Evil
Back before the Earth was round and before the sky was far away and before the water was cold and deep, our Universe was one big place.
There was no Sun and Moon. No humans or animals or Gods or plants. There were Lights – unyielding and brilliant balls of energy that surfed around the Universe happily.
The Lights travelled separately, never staying too long in one place, but always met together with the intent of sharing good news from around the Universe. This council was held weekly, and all of the Lights from the farthest stretches gathered together. The Lights loved attending council and being together. They would seat themselves among the tops of mountains and speak about their home and their travels, admiring each others fiery brightness and sharing gratitude for their existence and the flourishing nature of their home.
One council began as any others. The Lights spoke of undulating oceans and howling winds and large stones breaking from the surface of the waters. The Lights spoke of the darkness that followed their tails and the way the malleable Earth reacted to the heat of their bodies when they touched it’s form. One Light, indistinguishable from the others, interrupted the others and said that they had been thinking.
“Why are we here?” the Light mused.
“Is all of this for us?” the Light asked.
“What are we meant to do with it? the Light wondered.
“Surely we’re meant to do more than just sail around and look at it” the Light asserted.
The other Lights murmured quietly, each respecting each other’s opinions but having no answers for this bold Light. The council ended then, and the Lights dispersed for another week of exploration and consideration.
In one week’s time the council met again, but this time more Lights had questions.
“What will happen if I stop moving?” one proposed.
“What will happen if I fly up and up and up until I can’t see any more?” another puzzled.
Again, the Lights murmured quietly. The first Light who had started asking questions sat silently. Though the other Lights asked the Light for their opinion, the Light stared silently at their amassed glowing brightness. The council ended then, and the Lights dispersed for another week of exploration and consideration.
When the council met for the third time, the first Light, the one who had started asking questions in the first place, spoke excitedly about their ideas for the Universe. The Light had no more questions, only answers. The Light explained, “We are all too similar. How are we supposed to do anything meaningful for the Universe if we are all the same?”
The other Lights gently nodded.
The Light continued, “The Universe was put here for us, I know it. I have thought long about this and I am certain. If it was put here for us we are to use it, we are wasting it. Am I correct?”
The other Lights gently nodded.
The Light said, “We all need jobs. It is not enough to fly around and talk and visit. We are lazy. If you love the Universe, you will work for it!”
The other Lights nodded enthusiastically. They did love their Universe.
The Light pointed to group of Lights, “You will become a big ball of light in the sky that shines all the time on the Universe”. The Lights agreed.
The Light assigned more jobs to his friends. “You will become a great wind that makes the Earth round, so that there is no underside, and you will spin it so that the ball of light may always shine on one side”. The Light agreed.
“You will become plants. The light from the sky will make you grow tall and green”
“You will become animals. You will make your home on Earth and work hard to use it’s gifts”
The Lights agreed. The bold Light continued to share his ideas. The Light spoke of the greatness that will come to them from a world where the land is worked. The Light spoke of his great dream where everything can work together and benefit greatly. The more the Light spoke, he greater his voice became. Every other Light was enamoured with his story. They would have it all, the Earth was theirs. While the bold Light’s voice grew loud, the other’s voices grew quiet. The power of the Light’s story overtook them, and soon they had no story or thought of their own.
From the corner of the Universe one small voice whispered, “And who will you be, Light?”
The Light answered, “I will be the overseer of all the Universe and it’s operations. If you forget why you are here or what your job is, I will remind you. I will decide what happens and I will take and use what I want so that our Earth will be as great as I see in my mind. You will all work hard to make the Earth as prosperous as I imagine, and we will all benefit from it’s riches. You cannot argue with me because it was I who gave to us this plan and you must always do as I say, even if you do not like it. We need to work together.”
The quiet voice, almost silent under the roar of the Light’s energy asked, “And what will you call yourself?”
And the Light said,
Once the Light’s great story about the Earth and it’s usefulness was told, it couldn’t be called back. The other Light’s did not know how to protest and could only believe, and the bold Light could only hear the voice that urged it to realize it’s own dream. Once told, the Light’s story was loosed upon the world.
Telling the story:
- I made this story a little long, so finding willing participants was difficult.
- Who I am as a storyteller also changed people’s perceptions of the story I was telling. I am a loud and proud vegetarian and I refuse to participate in anthropocentrism – the believe that the world revolves around humans and is here for our exploitation. (I love this interview excerpt with moral philosopher Gary Steiner –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK3kbl75-xc ) – As a result of this, my Mother is “sick and tired” of all my “opinions” (ahem – facts*) about the ways in which anthropocentrism negatively affects the environment, animals and even other humans. These feelings obviously coloured her interpretation of this story, because after she rolled her eyes and said, “Yep. I get it. Humans suck”. (Note: I’m close to cracking her, I can feel it) – My boyfriend, on the other hand, shares most of the same ideas and beliefs as me regarding the treatment of animals and the environment to satisfy human greed, and he liked the story. Take that Mom.
- Truth be told, I don’t know where this story came from. I sat down to write this and it was finished in 15 minutes. I’m wondering if anyone else found it that easy to finish their story? I think it was so easy because I am familiar with the sense and style of creation stories in general, and found it really easy to mimic that and apply it to my own ideas. When looking for other examples of creation stories, I found this cool (and free) website that makes creation stories accessible for teachers and young students, and presents them in a fun and memorable way. http://www.bigmyth.com/2_eng_myths.html