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When the Cosmic Egg broke…

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Pángǔ, the first living being, emerged. He cracked the egg because it was dark and being enclosed for 18,000 years he felt suffocating. And out of the chaos within the egg, the primordial forces and elements divided: the light and bright parts ascended and formed Heaven (Yang), the heavy and dim parts descended, accumulated and thus formed the Earth (Yin).

But Pángǔ feared that Heaven and Earth might merge and wrap him up again. So he kept them separated – and thus Yang and Yin in balance – with all his physical power and thereby grew and grew, each day ninefold his size.

Finally, when being totally exhausted, he slipped to the ground, closed his eyes and died.

But while deceasing, a magical transformation took place:

Pángǔ´s breath turned into a balmy spring air, winds and clouds; his voice into thunder and lightning; from his left eye the bright sun emerged and from his right eye the tender moon; head hair and beard turned into planets and the sparkling stars; hands and feet became the four corners of the world, i.e. South, North, East and West; they together with his torso form the Five Sacred Mountains supporting Heaven; his blood and tears formed rivers and waters; his nerves and veins became interconnected paths and roads leading in all cardinal directions; muscles and flesh turned into soil and fertile farmland; his teeth, skeleton and bone marrow transformed into white jade, metal and abundant treasures of the soil; his bodily hair became all the plants; his sweat were brisk rain and mist – and all the fleas on his body were slightly touched by the wind and transformed into the seeds of the human race.

Isn´t that beautiful?

Of course, there are quite some variations to this version: sometimes the fleas are transformed into fish and animals and there is no word about people. In that case the goddess Nüwa created human beings – but that is a different story. In another version of the story Pángǔ was the dog of a king in Southern China who in the end married his daughter to him making their children the first of the human race. And sometimes he is accompanied and supported by supernatural animal beings, the Phoenix, a Dragon or a tortoise.

Further bits:
Chinese creation myth (wiki).
Pángǔ (wiki).
Creation according to Daoism (Blogpost).
Book: Als das Weltenei zerbrach. Mythen und Legenden Chinas; by Astrid Zimmermann, Andreas Gruschke (in German language).

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