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Abstract

The Chinese believed that our world was at first an indistinguishable part of the universe. Whether a god created the earth or earth created a god is not clear because both were instrumental in creating each other. First to appear was a mysterious egg containing the most ancient deity, Pan Gu. But when he broke the egg, he created new life, the earth, from his own body. And so, in commodious harmony, the ancient story suggests how the gods and the cosmos created each other. Although this story is so firmly fixed in the Chinese tradition that people use the idiom, "Since Pan Gu created heaven and earth" to say "since the beginning of time", the story was only first written down by Xu Zheng in the Three Kingdoms period (A.D. 220--265).

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