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slide2
The “flood myth” is common to many cultures, partly because floods, like earthquakes and other natural disasters, are destructive; and the loss may be so much as to suggest a cosmic conspiracy. Nevertheless, some scholars also suggest that “flood myth” may imply the hope of a new beginning. The “flood myth” that emerges from the human psyche, thus, tend to be dual in nature, as Carl Jung wrote “the Noah’s Ark” that crosses the waters of death and leads to a rebirth of all life.”
  • (Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, p353).
slide3
The “Flood” cleanses and gives birth to new forms even though it destroys the old. The “flood myth” reminds us that life depends on death, that without death there can be no cycle, no birth. That the new creation is preceded by a flood is understandable and appropriate, since the first life itself emerged from water. The Christian baptized sinners immersed in water —— “The flood……was an image which baptism come to fulfill.”
  • (J.Danielous, Sacramentum Futuri, p65).
slide4
古代各地「洪水神話」,例如︰《聖經》的「挪亞方舟」(Noah’s Ark)、希臘的 “Deucalion’s Flood”、及中國的「女媧、共工、鯀、及禹治水」有以下一些相似的情節︰
  • 人類道德敗壞、淪亡,神發怒因而以洪水懲罰人類;
  • 神憐恤善良的人,暗中通知他製造方舟,或派英雄治水。
slide5
“Noah’s Ark”
  • 「 Yaweh (Jehovah) (耶和華)見人在地上罪惡太多,後悔在地上造人……;因而要將所造的人、走獸、昆蟲等都消滅……。但因Noah是唯一的善良人,所以悄悄地吩咐Noah建造一只方舟……」
  • 一些神話學家認為《挪亞方舟》是從原始神話走向宗教故事的演變,其主要思想有著「神本主義」的特色。
slide6
希臘神話的 “Deucalion’s Flood”則混合著希伯來 (《聖經》),巴比倫的神話,又加進古希臘民族的人倫心理,其主要思想帶有明顯的希臘民族之「人本主義」思想特色︰
slide7
“…….men grew wicked and arrogant. …….Zeus finally decided to destroy them all. Prometheus, (普羅米修斯)〔creator of mankind〕, was warned of this coming flood and he in turn warned his human son, Deucalion, and Deucalion’s wife, Pyrrha. Prometheus placed the two of them in a large wooden chest. It rained for 9 days and 9 nights until the entire world was flooded except for the two mountain peaks in Greece: Mount Parnassus and Mount Olympus. ……
slide8
When the water subsides, Deucalion and Pyrrha went to Delphi (temple) to pray to Themis (正義女神) who told them to throw over their shoulders the bones of the being from whom they were descended. —— their Mother ——stones of Mother Earth. Those stones thrown by Deucalion became men, and those thrown by Pyrrha became women. The human race was thus re-created.”
  • (Ovid, Metamorphoses)
slide9
希臘的洪水神話並不依靠Zeus的恩賜去躲避洪水,而以「與Zeus神對抗」的形式和洪水抗爭。當Zeus決定用洪水消滅人類時,Prometheus把消息告訴Deucalion並令他準備方舟。洪水過後,Deucalion看見四周陸地荒廢死寂,不禁流淚,並對妻子Pyrrha說︰「我看不見一個生物,我們兩人是大地上殘留下的人類,其餘的都淹沒在洪水裡!」Deucalion這番說話,一些神學家認為是人類對神(Zeus)摧殘人類而提出抗議。Deucalion向正義女神祈求,重新創造人類(亦即表示Zeus發洪水對付人類並不正義)。希臘的洪水神話並不依靠Zeus的恩賜去躲避洪水,而以「與Zeus神對抗」的形式和洪水抗爭。當Zeus決定用洪水消滅人類時,Prometheus把消息告訴Deucalion並令他準備方舟。洪水過後,Deucalion看見四周陸地荒廢死寂,不禁流淚,並對妻子Pyrrha說︰「我看不見一個生物,我們兩人是大地上殘留下的人類,其餘的都淹沒在洪水裡!」Deucalion這番說話,一些神學家認為是人類對神(Zeus)摧殘人類而提出抗議。Deucalion向正義女神祈求,重新創造人類(亦即表示Zeus發洪水對付人類並不正義)。
slide10
希臘神話把人類的地位分為「五紀」︰
  • 第一紀是「黃金」人類︰(Cronus時代);黃金人類不生病、不衰老,神給人類豐收和牲畜。命運女神判定他們離開大地時,他們便受慈祥的神保護;
  • 第二紀是「銀」人類︰能百年保持童年而受母親愛護;但一到壯年就不節制感情,放肆行動,成為魔鬼在地上漫遊;
slide11
第三紀是「銅」人類︰人類的頑強意志如銅般堅強,並用銅工具、器皿;茹毛飲血,習慣戰鬥。當人類離開光明的大地,便下降到地府;第三紀是「銅」人類︰人類的頑強意志如銅般堅強,並用銅工具、器皿;茹毛飲血,習慣戰鬥。當人類離開光明的大地,便下降到地府;
  • 第四紀是「英雄」人類︰當半神半人的英雄,在戰鬥和災禍中結束了地上的生命時,便到Zeus留給他們在極樂島上過幸福的生活;
  • 第五紀是「鐵」人類︰這時的人類,父子不相愛,強權得勢,善良的人被壓迫,神不再到人間。留給人類是看不見邊際的悲慘。
slide13
中國「洪水神話」
  • Birrell, Anne. “The Four Flood Myth Traditions of Classical China, “ T’oung Pao LXXXIII (1997), pp213-259.
  • The Nu kua (女媧) Flood Myth;
  • The Kung kung (共工) Flood Myth;
  • The Kun (鯀) Flood Myth;
  • The Yu (禹) Flood Myth.
slide14
一些神話學家認為希臘的洪水神話發生於「銅」人類時期(即氏族社會的初期);而中國的洪水神話則發生於堯、舜、禹時代。一些神話學家認為希臘的洪水神話發生於「銅」人類時期(即氏族社會的初期);而中國的洪水神話則發生於堯、舜、禹時代。
  • 《淮南子‧本經訓》︰
  • 「舜之時,共工振滔洪水,以薄空桑。」
slide15
莊子《繕性篇》︰
  • 「古之人,在混茫之中……當是時也,陰陽和靜,鬼神不擾,四時得令,萬物不傷,群生不夭。……當是時也,……逮德下衰,及燧人,伏羲始為天下,是故順而不一德又下衰,及神農黃帝始為天下,是故安而不順,德又下衰,……」
  • 莊子《繕性篇》和希臘神話中的「人類五紀」有很多相似的地方,例如︰中國和希臘的神話都指出混沌初開時,是人類的黃金時代(「陰陽和靜,鬼神不擾,四時得令,萬物不傷」的時代)。之後,一代不如一代,而且,人類文明的進步亦帶來人類德性的淪亡。
slide16
希臘神話的「銅」人類是習於戰鬥;而中國神話中的堯、舜、禹時代是興治行化,是開始主動去改造自然環境的年代,希臘和中國神話都把這時的自然災禍和水災寫進了“Deucalion Flood” 和「女媧、鯀、禹」等洪水神話之中。
  • 一些神話學家認為︰「希臘(及希伯萊)神話,是人神對立的,中國神話則是”天人合一”」
slide17
中國神話中,天帝降災,往往是由於受天神委託治理人間的君王有失職,而不是懲罰人民不信天神。中國神話中,天帝降災,往往是由於受天神委託治理人間的君王有失職,而不是懲罰人民不信天神。
  • 中華民族的宇宙觀是強調「和諧發展」的,認為自然災禍的出現是「失調」所致。而「失調」除了自然因素之外,亦有人為因素 —— 人間統治者失德引起;因而引來妖怪作亂、洪水猛獸的出現。《淮南子‧天文訓》︰「當其(女媧)末年也,諸侯有共工氏,任智刑以強,霸而不王,以水乘木,……」共工氏「霸而不王」,是有失天道,「以水乘木」是破壞了宇宙的和諧。世風日下,天道不同,於是出現了「世與道交相喪」的失調局面,中國的洪水神話 —— 強調恢復宇宙和諧發展,加強統治者的品德修養。
slide18
《淮南子‧覽冥訓》中便詳細敘述了女媧恢復萬物和睦生長的方法︰「……和春、陽夏、殺秋、約冬、……陰陽之所壅沈不通者竊理之。逆氣戾物傷民厚積者絕止之,……」,使「侗然皆得其和」,「浮游不知所求,魍魎不知所往。當此之時,禽獸蝮蛇無不匿爪牙,藏其螯毒,無有攫噬之心」。《淮南子‧覽冥訓》中便詳細敘述了女媧恢復萬物和睦生長的方法︰「……和春、陽夏、殺秋、約冬、……陰陽之所壅沈不通者竊理之。逆氣戾物傷民厚積者絕止之,……」,使「侗然皆得其和」,「浮游不知所求,魍魎不知所往。當此之時,禽獸蝮蛇無不匿爪牙,藏其螯毒,無有攫噬之心」。
  • 中國洪水神話在災後出現的寧靜和諧之描繪,與希臘(及希伯萊)洪水神話災後的淒涼景象,頓成強烈對比。
slide19
希臘(及希伯萊)的洪水神話,著重於帶有 (宗教性) 的懲罰人類的教訓,所以有方舟式的災情描寫,使人有所警戒;中國的洪水神話則著重於講述救民於災難的情節,更強調英雄/神如何令到「失調」的情況,恢復回「和諧」的狀況,令人增強改造自然的信心。
slide20
Myths on “Flood” (compiled by Fred Cheung)
  • (Source: mainly from Powell, Classical Myth)
  • In the biblical flood story, “the Lord [Yahweh] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, ‘I will blot out man, whom I have created from the face of the ground, man and beast and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’” Only Noah, because of his goodness, was saved from the flood that God sent. When the waters receded, Noah sent out a dove, which first returned because it found no place to rest. He released it again; this time it came back with an olive twig. He let it go a third time, but by now it had no need of the ark and disappeared for good (Genesis 6-8). The waters receded, and Noah built an altar and sacrificed to God.
slide21
The Sumerian story begins with the creation of humans, the animals, and the foundation of five important cities. The next part of the tablet is broken; when it resumes, the gods have decreed the destruction of humankind by means of a universal flood. Some gods were opposed to their plan, and Enki intervened to save Ziusudra, “Long life,” a pious man. Enki advised Ziusudra to build a large boat: “For seven days and nights, the deluge [flood] rampaged in the land. The huge boat was slung about on the vast waters. Then Utu [the Sun god] came forth, he who sheds light on heaven and earth. Ziusudra drew open a window of the huge boat, Ziusudra, the king, threw himself down on the ground before Utu. He killed an ox, slaughtered a sheep.” Most of the tablet is lost. We learn only that Ziusudra was made to be like a god and transported to Dilmun, a mysterious land in the East where there is no pain or suffering, the Sumerian paradise.
slide22
Archaeological evidence proves that devastating floods sometimes took place in Mesopotamia when the rampaging Euphrates burst its banks and spilled across the flatland to the lower Tigris channel. The story may go back to an actual flood, …. Still, many variants of the story circulated in that region and spread to Palestine, Anatolia, and Greece. Although the basic themes are constant, details reflect different environments and national interests. The Mesopotamian story of Ziusudra/Atrahasis, in which divine powers send destruction to correct [human beings], reflects human insecurity before the capricious powers of gods…..
slide23
The Hebrew account, on the other hand, presents Gods as destroying humans because of their wickedness, their moral failure. Omnipotent though He is, after the flood God voluntarily limits His power by striking a covenant with Noah, and Noah’s descendents: He will never again destroy the human race, but He demands that certain laws be observed. If one man kills another or an animal whose flesh he then eats with the blood, he must forfeit his own life (Genesis 9.4.1-17). The biblical story also is etiological, explaining the origin of Hebrew customs concerning homicide and abstinence from blood. The story of Noah attempts to explain the origin of the special relationship between God and the Hebrews.
slide24
The myth of the flood must also be understood in the context of Mesopotamian cosmogonic myth. The universal flood is a return to the watery conditions before the creation, when Tiamat, the salt water, was mixed with Apsu, the sweet, reminiscent of the biblical description of when “darkness was upon the face of the deep,” perhaps reflected in the biblical description of the flood: “All the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened” (Genesis 7.11). The Hebrew word tehom, translated “fluid chaos” in the first chapter of Genesis, probably is related etymologically to the Akkadian name Tiamat.
slide25
In the classical tradition the earliest direct accounts of the flood are from the Roman Period, in Ovid and Apollodorus, but certainly based on much earlier Greek examples. Hearing that all men were vicious and corrupt, Zeus descended among them disguised as an ordinary man. Human wickedness was exemplified by Lycaon, king of Arcadia, who practiced human sacrifice and cannibalism. …. Ovid goes on to describe the destruction of humanity. Only Prometheus’s son Decualion and his wife, Pyrrha, a daughter of Pandora and Epimetheus, survived.
slide26
Most important of the children of Deucalian and Pyrrha was their son Hellen, who gave his name to the whole Greek race, the Hellenes. Hellen had three sons, Dorus, Aeolus, and Xuthus. Dorus and Aeolus were the founders of the Dorians and the Aeolians, peoples who spoke two of the principal Greek dialects. Xuthus, the brother of Dorus and Aeolus, was father to Ion, from which descended the Ionians, the third principal group of Greeks, which included the Athenians. These figures are eponymous ancestors of the Greeks as a whole (i.e., the Hellenes) and of the three principal ethnic divisions among the Greeks (i.e., Dorians, Aeolians, and the Ionians). Eponymous means “giving one’s name to something,” a place, people, city, or institution, and an eponym is the person whose name is so given. There are many eponyms in mythology, but most are really named after the fact.