In Sumerian mythology the story of Marduk is particularly useful in helping us understand the relationship between thought and action for the attainment of achievement.
As the legend goes, two original gods Tiamat and Abzu (or Apsu), who represented the feminine and the masculine respectively, were joined together in an interlocking sexual embrace. This has been symbolized in many other cultures, notably by the Chinese symbol dao, which most of us recognize as the yin and yang.
This sexual embrace produced offspring. These mini-gods, so to speak, were the first primordial motivational forces such as lust, anger, rage, love, joy, boredom, and so on. These forces go out into the formless space that then existed and were running around amok, careless and noisy, until fed up, Abzu decided to put an end to their nonsense.
Catching wind of Abzu’s plans, the undergods decided to slay him. And so they did.
Learning of Abzu’s death, Tiamat flies into rage and begins to wage war with these demigods, her offspring. One after another the demigods send someone to try and defeat her, all to no avail.
Finally, another undergod emerges named Marduk. Marduk was a powerful god who had eyes all the way around his head and spoke magical words.
With a net he goes into battle with Tiamat. He ends up constraining her by throwing the net over her and ensnaring her. He then cuts her to pieces and with her remains he makes the world.
What does all this mean?
It is important to note that in other mythological stories, Tiamat is known by other names. In Greek mythology for example, Tiamat is called Khaos or Chaos, meaning “gap” or “chasm”. Thus, chaos as we know it in modern vernacular is symbolized by the feminine.
Abzu on the other hand, is represented by the masculine and is a representation of Order.
When the primordial motivational forces killed Abzu, they killed off Order. Chaos reigned supreme until another, Marduk, harnessed it and used it for the creation of Earth.
When Tiamat and Abzu (Chaos and Order) were joined together in harmony, creation in all its forms manifested into the time and space that existed.
Chaos is represented by the feminine because every living thing flows from it. Where Order and Chaos are joined, Being is created. Another way to say it is, where Order and Chaos are joined, Self is created.
This story is played out in a variety of cultures, including the judeo-christian theological story of the Creation in Genesis in the Old Testament.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
This is the story of Marduk constraining Tiamat with his net. (Tiamat was the god of salt water.)
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good…”
As God adds order to the chaos, creation from the feminine begins. Interestingly, repeatedly during this work, God stops and proclaims, “...it was good.”
What exactly was good?
It was the reality which was created where only mere potential existed before.
In its raw form, chaos can mean destruction, pain, suffering, uncertainty and mayhem. Think of it as fire, which can burn an entire city down if left unchecked.
But, that same fire can be harnessed and used to heat your home or cook your food. When harnessed, chaos takes the form of creativity, vision, dreams, hope, possibility…
It represents potential.
So, how do we harness this force? With Order.
Order is what bridges the gap between what is and what could be. It is the arbiter of Self. It is the literal Creation of that Self.
And it is in our power as sovereign individuals to realize the potential of who we could be that resides in each one of us.