world’s first story

  The writer Xu Lai once asked me a question: What is the first story of human beings?
  I was at a loss for words, is it a creation myth?
  Xu came to see me with distracted eyes and said it was the story of the Seven Sisters in Greek mythology.
  According to the story, Artemis, the goddess of hunting, was always accompanied by seven fairies when she was hunting. Artemis also has a powerful hunter companion named Orion the giant. One day, Orion wanted to do something wrong to the seven sisters. Zeus heard the cries of the seven sisters when they ran away, so he took them to the sky and turned them into seven stars.
  How could this story be the first of mankind?
  He went on to say that the Seven Sisters is a blue nebula, but in ancient Greece, people could only see six stars no matter how they looked. Therefore, the second half of the story explains that the youngest of the seven sisters fell in love with Sisyphus, the king of the world, and fled privately to the lower world. The strangeness is strange here-why not say the Six Sisters at the beginning?
  There is a branch of mythology called “comparative mythology”, which mainly studies myths in different cultures and their dissemination, explores their respective characteristics and origins, and looks for things beyond words, that is, the ancients spoke by the fire. story prototype. For example, Tian Hai, a sinologist at the University of Oxford, discovered that the Chinese legend of “Grandma Tiger” spread westward to Europe in ancient times, and became the prototype story of “Little Red Riding Hood” in “The Grimm’s Fairy Tales”. Not only “Little Red Riding Hood”, but similar fairy tales in France and Italy also come from this, and they are almost certainly transmitted in oral form.
  After comparison, the story of the Seven Sisters also reveals an amazing side. Australian astronomer Ray Norris said in an article that Australian aborigines have legends that are very similar to this Greek myth. Oceania is an independent continent. Before Australia was invaded by British colonists in 1788, its aborigines could not have heard this Greek story. In addition, the native Nez Perce people of North America have similar stories. In Europe, Oceania, and North America, mountains and seas spread far and wide, how did the story pass?
  Even more amazing is behind. According to Norris’ research, there was a period of time when stories could be passed on, and at that time, people could see seven stars in this nebula in one place, that is Africa 100,000 years ago.
  That’s right, we were thinking of the same thing: Homo sapiens coming out of Africa. Now there is a theory in academia: all people in the world, regardless of nationality or color, have a common maternal ancestor-“mitochondrial Eve”. She lived 200,000 years ago in Africa, the root of the human family tree. Her descendants traveled across Africa and split into two lineages with different mutations. After a single cataclysmic extinction, only a few thousand individuals of these two lineages may remain. The world’s earliest decorative motifs, found in human caves in Africa, date from 77,000 years ago. Afterwards, they took a crucial step and took tens of thousands of years to get out of Africa and reach all over the world: some people entered the Eurasian steppe and were called the “Adam” of Europe; Asia and Siberia; the furthest group traveled to Australia… I’ve always wondered what they took with them on such a long journey. Scientist Wu Jun said that to get out of Africa, two methods must be adopted in the end. One is about energy, that is, you need to learn how to make clothes, build houses and use weapons; the other is about information, that is, you need to have a language for communication. Regarding the relics of language, we seem to have found one now: human ancestors living in Africa made up a story for the seven stars in the sky.
  According to astronomers’ calculations, tens of thousands of years ago, the two stars in the star cluster moved so close that the naked eye could no longer distinguish them. Therefore, the stories on the earth have more plots of going down to earth. These stories have accompanied mankind through tens of thousands of nights, passed down from generation to generation, and then brought to all parts of the world and integrated into different languages.
  Is the story of the Chinese “Seven Fairies” also related to this? Existing material is not sufficient to be sure. If you make a bold guess, it may indeed be related, but at some point, the key information of the story was lost, leaving only the fragment of “Seven Fairies Descending to Earth”.
  Xu said that this is the earliest story known to mankind, and it is also the most miraculous and grandest story he has heard recently.
  There is a moving force in this story that weaves together us with our ancestors tens of thousands of years ago, life on earth and celestial bodies in the vast universe, and the ups and downs of the human past. A single period of life is short and insignificant, but we can look at the starry sky, so that we cannot underestimate our own existence. Those ordinary things in daily life often contain ancient and beautiful power after detailed deduction. Now that people in the world once told a common story, we have an opportunity for reconciliation in the future.

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