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Man of Nature, Man of God

Updated on December 13, 2012

In Thomas Bulfinch’s telling of the story of Prometheus and Pandora, he recounts the story of the creation of man. Man would come to be created twice in this story, once by the heavens, and once by nature. Each of those forces also played the main roles of the creation of the earth out of the chaos that existed around it. The men created in the image of the gods and the divine and the men created from nature both lived and evolved in radically different ways and opens up the question, which force is more correct, or stronger in our creation? Are the heavens, with their almighty powers and wisdom, watching down over us the more responsible ones to make us, or is it the nature, the lifeblood of the planet we inhabit and call home. The creation in the image of the gods gave way to the vices and greed of crime and violence as time went on, while the created men of nature were laborers and well adapted to survive off of just the Earth.

The men created in the image of the gods by Prometheus, after being exposed to the ills released by Pandora, went through four ages of de-evolution. Illnesses of the body and ill emotions of the mind would ravage man, because in the image of the gods, the gods were jealous, angry and violent group of individuals in traditional mythology. These attributes, that had come along with the heavenly seeds used in man’s creation are now a part of him. As time and the ages progress and man needs to start working for himself, greed takes over and leads to violence that consumes man in a steady decline until man is no longer a noble, intelligent race, but a simple, primal-like animal. The dissatisfaction of not being to fulfill there want and desires, man ravaged earth of its trees, and tore up the grounds in search of metals that were given values and worth that caused men to go crazy for it. These minerals were called mischievous iron and gold.

Greed has now destroyed man and caused him to turn upon himself. The god’s image and likeness represented in such a savage, primal form really paints a picture that the gods must not have been a stable model to be based off of. Jupiter gave man Pandora out of spite for Prometheus’ actions in giving man fire. This emotion is the same emotion, combined with others that the gods had and were released upon man, would cause the world to end up “wet with slaughter”. The only reason for the first creation of man to fail was because of the gods and their own petty, jealously induced emotions of hate and violence that had carried over into man’s psyche. The gods’ solution to the failed first creation was to just destroy it all with a giant flood, much like the flood in the bible.

Two lone survivors, Parnassus and Pyrrha, who were both just and noble people, were found on top of a mountain and the waters receded to allow them passage to a temple. There an oracle told them how to re-populate Earth. To do it, they used the Earth, the almighty mother of life. Without nature, humanity would not be able to sustain its life and evolution. Man, now created from the rocks, the sturdy, well-built building blocks of mother Earth, is more humble and industrious. Man of nature appreciates the lifeblood that flows from the Earth and does not ravage and pillage it as drastically or maliciously as the men of gods did. Nature helps to influence man into the “nobler animal” that the gods had desired in the first place because nature created the animals to thrive and co-exist within it, so since man is living amongst the nature, he too must co-exist with it.

Both creations of man are both good creations; however the creation of man in the image of the gods, with their spiteful and jealous emotions, cause ruin and dam nation. Both of these creations though are both examples of how to live as a human being. The humility of nature in the second man’s creation and allotment of an appreciative attitude of what you have replaces the emotion of greed with the act of being humble. To live as a well-balanced and noble person, you need to incorporate the values and morals of nature with the curiosity and intellect of the gods. Once this can be achieved, we can be human. This is what this mythological tale was about, was not of just the creation, but the creation of how to live a noble, honorable life.


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