Chinese riddle

11 Jul 2012

In Shorter Science and Civilisation in China:2, an abridgement by Colin A Roman of Joseph Needham's original 1981 text, we have on page 84 ...

'In ancient times Kung Kung (one of the legendary rebels) strove with Chuan Hsi (one of the legendary emperors) for the Empire.

Angered he smote the Unrotating Mountain, Heavens pillars broke, the bounds with Earth were ruptured, Heaven leaned over to the north west, hence the Sun, Moon, stars and planets shifted, and Earth became empty to the south east'

What does that mean - an axial shift? The quotation was forwarded by Lawrence Dixon, and Paul Dunbavin makes four references to Kung Kung in his book, Under Ancient Skies (available via the SIS Book Service). It seems that Kung Kung was also in dispute with a Chinese queen, Nu Wa, and she defeated Kung Kung and he was pursued all the way to the summit of a great mountain. Finding no place to hide Kung Kung beat his head in anger against the bamboo trees that supported the dome of the sky. The trees came crashing down bringin with them a part of the sky. Throught the tear in the heavens poured a great deluge of water which submerged the world. Only Nu Wa and her followers, stuck on the mountain, were saved. Subsequently, Nu Wa repaired the tear in the sky and the floods ceased. On page 16 Kung Kung is said to have struck one of the pillars holding up the sky and caused the sky to lean over. It is Dunbavin's opinion that an axial shift did occur - at around 3100BC.