Swedenborg Study.com

Online works based on the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg



In the beginning, before heaven and earth were created, there existed a primeval egg, a "rude and undigested mass," an inert weight in which "the discordant atoms of things inharmonious were heaped together:" heat and cold, land, sea and air, being mingled in wild confusion. This primordial mass of heterogeneous matters was known to Hesiod and Ovid and all the ancients under the name of "Chaos," a word derived from the Sanscrit root "Cha," to yawn, to gape wide open, whence, in English, we have the word "chasm." Thus in the Graeco-Roman Chaos we find the same conception as in the Chaldean Tiamat, the Hebrew Tehom, the Scandinavian Ginungagap, viz., an immeasurable abyss, as the scene of the subsequent Divine work of creation.

When it is known that all ancient theogonies were derived from that part of the Ancient Word which is preserved in the opening chapters of Genesis, and when it is further known that the story of Creation in that Word deals not with the natural conformation of the visible heaven and the habitable earth, but with the spiritual creation, that is, the regeneration of man, and, in the internal historical sense, with the establishment of the first Church of God among men, it will be easily recognized that by "Chaos" is meant the original state of man, before his regeneration; historically it depicts the crude and almost animal condition of the first men created upon earth, the Pre-adamites, who, though furnished by the Creator with the seeds of all possible human development, yet, in the beginning, like all babes, were in a purely corporeal and sensual state, of themselves unable to distinguish or discriminate between good and evil, truth and falsity.

"To this discord God and bounteous nature put an end." What "God" was this who existed before all the known gods of the Pantheon? To this question Ovid answers, '' the Artificer of all things," "whoever of the gods He was,"—in other words, the one and only real God who had become '' the unknown God'' in the declining days of the Ancient Church. He it was who first of all brought out of Chaos the '' ample-bosomed earth,'' personified as "Gaea, the great mother of gods and men, which was expanded wide above the "gloomy Tartarus." Next out of Chaos "Erebus" and "Nyx," evening and night, were born.

Gaea, the earth, signifies the external man in general. Tartarus is the sensual proprium, Erebus and Nyx are the "darkness" and "thick darkness" reigning in that proprium. Thus the Theogony repeats in substance, and very nearly in form, the opening verses of the Ancient Word: "In the beginning God created heaven and earth. And the earth was empty and void, and thick darkness was upon the faces of the abyss."

Previous: Greek and Roman Mythology Up: Greek and Roman Mythology Next: Ouranos

Crown of Revelations
Rebirth, Reincarnation
The Holy Center
Salvation in the Gospels
Psychology of Marriage
Precious Stones
The Human Mind
The Moral Life
Saul, David & Solomon
Bible Lost & Found
The Human Soul
Genesis and Exodus
City of God
Swedenborg Cosmology
Ultimate Reality
The Pattern of Time
Means of Salvation
NC: Sex and Marriage
Book with Seven Seals
My Lord and My God
Philosopher, Metaphysician
Inspiration of Genesis
Words In Swedenborg
Book Expo
Missionary Talks
Tabernacle of Israel
A Brief View of the Heavenly Doctrines
Ancient Mythology
Odhner: Creation
Ten Commandments
Christ and The Trinity
Discrete Degrees
Body Correspondences
Language of Parable
The Ten Blessings
Creation in Genesis
The Third Source
Noble's "Appeal"
Life After Death


• Back • Home • Up • Next •


Webmaster: IJT@swedenborgstudy.com