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Celebrating the Cosmic Egg2012.02.27


    The Cosmic Egg is a recurring theme in the creation myths of many cultures, and even appears in modern cosmology, the idea that the world has a beginning and in some sense emerges from an egg-like shell.


    It appears earliest in Indian Sanskrit Scriptures in the word Brahmanda (Brahm meaning “expanding cosmos” and Anda meaning “egg”). In Chinese Taoist mythology the universe is said to have emerged from an egg in the form of the god Pangu, which divided into Heaven and Earth, reminiscent of the Yin-Yang symbol for the universe. It appears in eight layers of consciousness of the Yogacara School of Buddhist thought. In Egyptian mythology the sun god Ra emerged from an egg laid by a celestial bird. Finnish mythology sings of the world being created from the fragments of an egg laid by a diving duck. In Christian tradition the Easter Egg is a symbol of resurrection. The Cosmic Egg emerged again in modern cosmology in the 1930s, with observations of an expanding universe, and theories surrounding the Big Bang, beginning 13.7 billion years ago and expanding to its current state.


    The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg is an Aesop’s Fable in which a cottager and his wife had a goose which daily laid a golden egg. Expecting to find more gold inside they killed the goose, only to find it to be like any other goose. The moral warms against greed.


    The story of the Egg of Columbus is compelling demonstration of creativity and discovery. Spanish nobles dining with Christopher Columbus were belittling his accomplishment of discovering the West Indies, saying that anyone could have done the same. Columbus responded by wagering that none of them could make an egg balance vertically on its tip, without any outside support. When none were able to do this task, he gently cracked the end of the egg so that it could stand upright. This story is used to demonstrate how the solution only becomes obvious after someone has first discovered it.


    How to Wrap Five Eggs, by Hideyuki Oka, is a classic book on Japanese traditional packaging, demonstrating the elegant art form of wrapping objects in natural materials, before the age of mass production. Published in 1975 as a book of black-and-white photographs, it is still a highly praised work on the genius of Japanese design in daily life.


    There is something immensely appealing and whole about the shape of the egg, the beauty of a self-contained curve. In geometry and technical drawing, the word oval comes from the Latin ovum, meaning “egg.” The egg is associated not only with birth, but with human potential. Emerging talent is referred to in Japanese as a “professional egg” (puro no tamago). In somewhat archaic English slang, a person may be referred to as a good egg or a bad egg, in reference to their character, and to the fact that eggs can go bad.


    The Cosmic Egg is a compelling image, which has also found its way into science fiction, Marvel and DC Comics, Pokémon pocket monsters, and the digital pet Tamagocchi. It appears in popular culture with the Australian Rock band Wolfmother, which released an album called Cosmic Egg, and there is an iPhone App by the same name.


    Eggs are cool, mysterious, and beautiful. They remind us of our own origin, and of the origin of all things. Never to late to celebrate the Cosmic Egg.



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    Article Writer

    William Reed

    William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.

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