Some say that all gods and all living creatures originated in the stream of Oceanus which girdles the world, and that Tethys was the mother of all his children.
But the Orphics say that black-winged Night, a goddess of whom even Zeus stands in awe, was courted by the Wind and laid a silver egg in the womb of Darkness; and that Eros, whom some call Phanes, was hatched from this egg and set the universe in motion.
Eros was double-sexed and golden-winged and, having four heads, sometimes roared like a bull, or lion, sometimes hissed like a serpent or bleated like a ram.
Night, who named him Ericepaius and Phaethon Protogenus, lived in a cave with him, displaying herself in triad: Night, Order and Justice. Before this cave sat the inescapable mother Rhea, playing on a brazen drum, and compelling man’s attention to the oracles of the goddess. Phanes created earth, sky, sun and moon, but the triple-goddess ruled the universe, until her sceptre passed to Uranus.
The Homeric and Orphic Creation Myths, Robert Graves
A steely light darted from this monkey’s eyes and flashed as far as the Palace of the Pole Star. This shaft of light astonished the Jade Emperor as he sat in the Cloud Palace of the Golden Gates, in the Treasure Hall of the Holy Mists, surrounded by his fairy ministers.
Seeing this strange light flashing, he ordered Thousand-league Eye and Down-the-wind Ears to open the gate of the Southern Heaven and look out. At his bidding these two captains went out to the gate and looked so sharply and listened so well that presently they were able to report:
‘This steely light comes from the borders of the small country of Ao-lai, that lies to the east of the Holy Continent, from the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. On this mountain is a magic rock, which gave birth to an egg. This egg changed into a stone monkey, and when he made his bow to the four quarters a steely light flashed from his eyes with a beam that reached the Palace of the Pole Star. But now he is taking a drink, and the light is growing dim.
The Jade Emperor condescended to take an indulgent view. ‘These creatures in the world below,’ he said, ‘ were compounded of the essence of heaven and earth, and nothing that goes on there should surprise us.’
Monkey, Wu Ch’eng-en