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An Active and a Passive Creator

To humans looking out on the world it seemed an amazing feat that an individual was capable of creating the universe. This could be one reason why so many myths had at least two creators. One was usually more passive than the other. The passive creator was often there at the beginning, telling the other creator what to do and then fading into the background. Sometimes the reasoning behind this is that the passive god would have to change its shape to accomplish the role of the active creator.

According to Greek mythology Zeus called his sons, Prometheus and Epimetheus, to him and instructed them to make animals and men on earth. He gave them a box of gifts to give to their creations. They followed his instructions, thus becoming the active creators. Zeus, who had no direct role in the shaping of humans or animals, was the passive creator.

The Aborigine myth had two creators. The Father of All Spirits was the only one awake in the beginning. He woke the Sun Mother and told her to go, wake the spirits and give them forms. She followed his instructions and each time she thought she was done he came back and told her to do more. Finally her work pleased him and her task was finished until she was forced to return to fix the damage her creatures had caused. The Sun Mother is the active creator and the Father of All Spirits plays an important yet inactive role. He is therefore the passive creator.

In the Japanese myth one god created all the other gods. Two of the gods he created were Izanagi and Izanami. They created Japan, which is the only land mentioned in the myth. The god that created the other gods could be considered a passive creator because he was necessary to the work, but didn't have an actual role in creating earth. His creations were the active gods.

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