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Rated: E · Short Story · Fantasy · #1897371
This ancient myth explains the fundamental building-blocks of the universe.
Long, long ago, between the times of the Third and the Fourth Dreaming, Iblis and Khaliq were playing cards in Khaliq's den. Iblis said, "All of the universes that you create are so boring. You should be more whimsical when creating a universe. Do something fun!"

Khaliq considered this a moment, and asked, "Well, a universe must have rules in order to function as a complete and coherent system. But I suppose I could be playful about the manner in which I come up with those rules. Did you have any suggestions?"

So Iblis looked around the room for inspiration. They were in a Divine Room, of course, since no universe existed at this time, and therefore it is not like any room that you can imagine. However, within this Divine Room, Khaliq had a number of things that he/she found comforting and fun. Among these were six pets: a cat, a wolf, a hen, a fly, a cow and a school of fish. So, with a sly look on his/her face, Iblis said, "How about in the next universe that you create, you base the principles that govern all of existence on your six pets?"

Khaliq, who enjoyed challenging intellectual games, smiled and said: "This I shall do."

First, Khaliq looked at the cat and said: "You are so moody. Depending on whether you are sleepy or awake, hungry or fed, happy or angry, it is like you become an entirely different cat. Therefore, in this universe elementary particles will be distinguished from one another by fundamental properties: so, the only way to determine what something is will be to look at its characteristics. Because of this inspiration you have given me, from now on you will be known as the What Cat."

Next, Khaliq looked at the wolf and said: "You are always roaming, all of the time. I never know exactly where you are, but I always know that you are moving. Without locations to explore, you would be very unhappy, and therefore, in addition to elementary particles, this new universe must have space! Because of this inspiration that you have given me, from now on you will be known as the Where Wolf."

Then it was time for Khaliq to look at the hen, and said: "You have such a regular schedule, everything in your life happens so precisely. You wake up, you lay eggs, you feed, you frolic, and then you sleep again. Therefore, in this universe there must be not only elementary particles and space, but also time, so that things can change and schedules can be kept. Because of this inspiration that you have given me, from now on you will be known as the When Hen."

It was then the fly's turn. Khaliq looked at the fly, and said: "You are such a reactive creature. I love you dearly, but it is like you have no initiative of your own. When you do something, it is always obvious why it happens. You react to a light, or to a hand, or to the smell of food. Therefore, in this universe, I recognize that it is not enough to simply have elementary particles, space and time, but also causality! Because of this inspiration that you have given me, from now on you will be known as the Why Fly."

Getting impatient, and worried about being left out, the cow let out a little snort of dissatisfaction. Khaliq laughed, and said: "Yes, I will do you next, my friend cow. All of the universes that I create would feel lonely and empty if they were not populated by curious, emotional, and intelligent beings such as yourself. Therefore, in this universe, it is not enough to simply have elementary particles, space, time, and causality, but it also must have conscious beings who can experience it all! Because of this inspiration that you have given me, from now on you will be known as the Who Cow."

Finally, Khaliq turned his/her gaze lovingly upon the school of fish. "You are all so lovely, but you all look the same. I can never tell which one of you is which. This makes me realize how important it is for beings to not only observe the environment, but to classify, categorize, name, and learn. So a complete universe must not only have elementary particles, space, time, causality and consciousness, it must also allow those conscious beings who inhabit it to make distinctions in the environment in order to learn and survive. Because of this inspiration that you have given me, from now on you will be known as the Which Fish!"

Thus began the universe that we now refer to as the Fourth Dreaming. Iblis was impressed with Khaliq's creativity and response, but because Iblis has always been mischievous, he/she was not to be out-done.

So, under the guise of simply enforcing the rules of the game, Iblis interfered with the universe of the Fourth Dreaming, in order to make sure that each of these properties of the universe truly was, in a more complete way, inspired by the pets of Khaliq.

To elementary particles, inspired by Khaliq's cat, Iblis gave an unpredictable and random nature so that their actions could never be pinned down.

Space and time, inspired by Khaliq's wolf and hen, Iblis made forever enemies, so that any advantage that was given to space would take away from time, and the only way to give an advantage to time would be to lock out space.

In the case of causality, inspired by Khaliq's fly, Iblis made sure that it would be short-lived and very difficult to capture.

With consciousness, inspired by Khaliq's cow, Iblis made sure that it would be slow and difficult to change.

As for the characteristics of perception, decision, and categorization, inspired by Khaliq's fish, Iblis imbued them with a tendency to herd in groups and reproduce at a frightening speed, so that the basic principle of categorization would always be in danger of growing into the dysfunctional behavior of stereotyping.

Khaliq saw that Iblis had done these things, and saw the danger of them. However, he/she did not try to negotiate or undo the works of Iblis, because he/she saw that they did abide by the terms of the agreement.

Over time, as civilizations came and went, tiny fragments of these tales would be hinted at or discovered: they would inevitably rise to consciousness, for they were built into the very fabric of the universe itself. In one civilization, a philosopher might realize that elementary particles are cat-like in their unpredictability. In another civilization, a mathematician might suddenly realize that causality is as fragile as the flapping of the wings of an insect. And of course, in many civilizations since ancient times, both shaman and warrior have peered out into the darkness of space and fearfully uttered the name, "..... Where Wolf!"
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