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张在新

John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

日志

 
 

Egg Symbolism  

2009-02-26 18:06:08|  分类: +短篇小说第二课 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Chevalier, Jean and Alain Gheerbrant. A Dictionary of Symbols. Trans. John     Buchanan-Brown. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994.

337

       “If the egg is regarded as holding the SEED from which manifestation will spring, it is a universal and self-explanatory symbol. The idea that the Earth hatched from an egg is common to Celts, Greeks, Egyptians,…Chinese…. Nevertheless, the fashion in which the manifestation occurs takes several different forms. There the celtic ‘SERPENT’S egg,’ represented by the fossil SEA-URCHIN, the egg vomited by the Egyptian Kneph and even the Chinese DRAGON, each standing for the production of manifestation by the WORD. Elsewhere the first man hatches from an egg, as is the case of …P’an-ku…. More often, again, the Cosmic Egg rises to the surface of the primal waters, where it is incubated – in Hindu belief by the GOOSE, Hamsa, which is the Spirit or BREATH of God – and splits into two halves to give birth to Heaven and Earth…. Chinese YIN-YANG, a polarization of Primal Oneness, offers the same symbolism with its two halves, one black, the other white.”

337-8

       “The general symbolism which links the egg with the CREATION of the world and with its gradual differentiation, deserves detailed description. The egg is a primeval reality containing within itself the germs of a multiplicity of beings. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the activities of a Demiurge caused a hillock to emerge from Nun, personification of the [338] primeval ocean, ‘water in its absolute state containing the seeds of creation in a suspended state.’ And that on this hillock an egg was hatched. From this egg – the noun is feminine in Egyptian – sprang the god who brought order out of CHAOS by giving birth to differentiated beings.”

338

       “In Chinese tradition, before Heaven and Earth began to separate, Chaos itself resembled an enormous egg. After 18,000 years – the numerical symbol for an infinite length of time – the Chaos-egg broke open, its heavier elements forming the Earth (yin) and its lighter and purer elements the Heavens (yang). Every day the space between them widened and after another 18,000 years, P’an-ku measured the distance.”

339

       “There is no separate evidence from the Celtic world of the symbolism of eggs since that symbolism is comprised within that of the fossil sea-urchin, the Cosmic Egg which contains the seeds of every potentiality.”

339-40

       “The egg may also be regarded as one of the symbols of the seasonal renewal of nature, whence arise the traditions of Easter eggs and of coloured eggs in so many countries. They illustrate ‘the myth of periodic creation.’ Mircea Eliade takes exception to [340] any empirical or rationalistic interpretation of the egg looked upon as a seed: … the symbol embodied in the egg [drawn from the mystical and ritual gatherings from many religions] bears not so much upon birth as upon rebirth modelled on the creation of the world…. The egg strengthens and assists the resurrection which, again, is not a birth, but a ‘return,’ a ‘repetition.’ (ELIT pp.    414-15)

340

       “Eggs also share in the symbolic qualites [sic] of quietude like the home, the nest, the shell or the mother’s womb (BACE pp. 51-130). However, the interior of the egg is as much a battleground of freedom and constraint as the womb itself. The living being seeks to escape a cloying security, the hatchling to break the cozy warmth of the eggshell. Like the mother, the egg might become the symbol of the hidden conflicts which lurk within all human beings; between the hunger for home-loving comfort and the challenge of confrontation and risk, as well as between intro- and extroversion.”

341

       “Both the laying and the hatching of eggs contain aspects of symbolism which deserve to be noticed. Buddhist contemplatives consider the broody hen to be the symbol of spiritual concentration and of its spiritually fruitful powers. Chuang Tzu compares purely externalized, theoretical teaching with addled or unfertilized eggs. When the schoolmen questioned which came first, the chicken or the egg, Angelus Silesius replied, ‘The chicken was in the egg and the egg was in the chicken.’ Duality is potentially contained within unity, and is resolved in unity.”

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