Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World
EGYPTIAN WISDOM AND THE HEBREW GENESIS
[Page 398] The Egyptian system of uranographic representation has been outlined and many of its details have been identified in the chapters on the astronomical mythology. It has now to be shown that the socalled "legends of creation" chiefly known as Semitic are the detritus of the Egyptian wisdom. These legends did not wait for their beginning until the Mosaic Pentateuch had been carried round the wide circumference of the world either by the scattered Jewish people or the Christian missionaries. As we have seen, the Semitic theologians did not know enough of the ancient sign-language to distinguish the evil serpent from the good, the great Earth-mother from the chimerical dragon of the deep, or the beneficent spirits of elemental nature from the Sebau, the Sami or fiendish forces of external phenomena. The Semitic versions of the legends, Babylonian, Assyrian, or Hebrew, mainly reproduce the débris of the astronomical mythology, which has so often been reduced to the status of the nursery-tale.
It is their fatal defect that they are not the original documents, and have no first-hand authority. In these the primitive wisdom of old Egypt has been perverted, and the mythical beginnings, which had their own meaning, have been transmogrified into what is herein termed a cosmogonical creation. For example, the mythical abyss or deep was not the mother of all things. That was the Mother-earth in the abyss, the nun, or firmamental water. As the Mother-earth she brought forth her elemental progeny in and from the abyss. Hence she was the wateress, or wet-nurse who suckled her young within the earth, as it is said of the monster Tiamat, because, as primordial bringer-forth, she was the Mother-earth. In the Babylonian legends of creation the seven associate-gods, who are the creators in the Egyptian mythos, have been converted into the seven evil spirits of a later theology. And on one of the tablets (W.A.I.4.I.I.36, 37) it is said of these seven evil spirits, "The woman from the loins of the man they bring forth". Thus the creation of woman is made to be the work of seven evil spirits, who, as the Kamite wisdom witnesses, did not originate as wicked spirits or as powers of evil. (Sayce, H. L., p. 395.) The legends of creation are known, more or less, as Hebrew, Phoenician, Babylonian, and Assyrian, but as Kamite they have not been known. And when the mythical representations of natural phenomena first [Page 399] portrayed by the Egyptians were turned into cosmo graphical creations by the Semites, they had no verifiable meaning either as history or mythology. Even Lenormant held that the Chaldaic and Hebrew versions had one common origin and we not derived from each other, but he made no attempt to trace the origin to the Egyptian astronomical mythology, which was to him a sealed and secret book. Egypt's knowledge of beginnings was laboriously derived by the long, unceasing verification of scientific naturalists. Their ancient wisdom did not fall from heaven ready-made, nor had it any claims to a miraculous birth. It was dug for and quarried out from the rock of reality.It was smelted, shaped, stamped, and warranted for current coin as perpetual symbol of the truth, however primitive. It was and is, to-day and for ever, a coinage genuinely golden, though the figures on it may be sometimes difficult to decipher. The ancient wisdom in the Hebrew books has been converted into a spurious specie, and passed off on the ignorant and unsuspecting as a brand-new issue from the mint of God. According to Egyptian thought, "creation" was mainly limited to the bringing forth of life - the life of water, fish and fowl, animal, reptile, and other forms from the meskhen or creatory of earth, when this was represented by the womb of Apt the pregnant water-cow. This idea of birth from the womb is portrayed in Apt the first Great Mother (fig., P.124). Next the idea of birth from the womb is repeated in the making of Amenta with the Tuat as the creatory or the place of rebirth for the manes. And thirdly, in the astronomical mythology the meskhen, womb or place of birth, was constellated in the "thigh" of the cow as the sign of rebirth in the celestial rebirth place. We have now to formulate the Egyptian origins of the creation legends that have come to us in a Semitic guise or disguise.
In their account of "the beginnings" the Egyptians make no pretence of knowing anything about a cosmical creation. Theirs is the natural genesis. A common Egyptian phrase for creation was "of the first time", and the expression is well represented in the opening words of the Hebrew book of Genesis, which are rendered "in the beginning" (Stele of the Sphinx, "Of the first time"). This beginning was "in the domain of Sut", "that sacred place of the first time". This first time, says the inscription, goes back to the domain of Sut and to the days of the masters of Khar, the later Akar and,Neter-kar of the under-world.
Darkness was the domain of Sut, as a condition of commencement, and the birthplace was where light broke forth from out the darkness. It was the African birthplace of the black and white twins of night and day. Otherwise the beginning in "the first time" described by the Ritual was with birth from the abyss, which was the birthplace of water within the earth. It is portrayed as "the Tuat which nobody can fathom", the place that "sent out light in the dark night", which was the birthplace of water and of eatable plants (Rit., ch. 172) Thus we have the Deep, the darkness on the face of the deep, the light breaking out of the darkness; the waters and the life springing forth from the waters in eatable plants, grouped together in Amenta the earth of eternity. Water had revealed the secret of creation in the life which came as food by water from the Mother-earth in the unfathomable deep. The [Page 400] secret of water as the source of life
was the primal mystery to the Egyptians, as is shown by Kep (or Apt), the ancient mother of mystery, when the mystery was that of fertilization by means of water, as in the inundation of Egypt by the river Nile.
That secret of the precious water-source, the divulgence of which was the cause of the deluge at Lake Tanganyika, the secret that is so persistently preserved as a matter of life or death by the Bushmen amongst other African races, had been entrusted with occult significance to the keeping of the Sphinx.
The Sphinx was a figure of the primitive abyss called Akar, the unfathomable deep of earth or womb of life, and it is a monument that marked the sacred place of creation or "the first time". As the inscription says, "The Sphinx reposes in this very place" - the place, that is, where life came into the world by water with food from the unfathomable abyss and light from the primeval darkness. This was also the sacred way by which the elemental powers or gods came into being, who originated as the masters of the nether earth. The number is not given, but these are known under several types and names as the primordial seven powers, the seven spirits of earth, or seven Uraeus divinities, who were born in the lower earth before this had been hollowed out by Ptah in the making of Amenta.
In the several Semitic accounts of the first time, or in the beginning more especially that of the Hebrew Genesis, the astro-mythological representation has been merged in a material creation, as the result of a later and more literal rendering of the subject matter; the later the version, the more exoteric the rendering. In the Assyrian epic the upper and lower firmaments called "Ansar and Kisar" are described as a cosmogonical creation. "Ansar and Kisar were created". This is identical with the creation of the upper and lower firmament in the Hebrew Genesis. But in the Egyptian wisdom only can we make out what "creation" means as a mode of representation in the ancient sign-language. There are some remains, however, of the astronomical mythology in the Babylonian and Assyrian legends. One of these is the beginning with a world all water as an image of the firmament, or when otherwise expressed, with the lands that were wholly sea. This is followed by the stream that divided the celestial Okeanos and the consequent formation of a firmamental abyss, where the lower waters were gathered together into one place. In the Babylonian account of creation there was a time when the upper region was not yet called heaven; the lower region was not yet called earth and the abyss was not yet formed. So, in the "non-Semitic” version the abyss had not been fashioned, the waters had not been gathered into one place; the whole of the lands were sea, and there was no stream yet configurated in the celestial ocean (Talbot, Records of the Past. . vol. ix.; Pinches, Records of the Past, 2nd series, vol. vi.). Beginning in the heavens was with the uncreated Nun. When this was divided into an upper and lower firmament so called "creation"' had commenced. When the waters were gathered into one place the firmamental abyss had been opened, and a basis laid for the astronomical mythology or uranographic representation. The same beginning with the uncreated undivided Nun as in the Egyptian myth and Babylonian legend, is apparent in the book of Genesis. The Nun, or Nnu. was the firmamental [Page 401] water. This is "the water " of the Hebrew "version"; the water on which darkness brooded and from which the spirit of the Elohim emerged; the water that was divided into the upper and lower firmaments, as an act of so-called "creation". The Nun was likewise the celestial water of the Akkadians and Babylonians, as well as the Egyptians. When Nuna or Anuna signifies the sky that is as the primordial water, the same as in the Kamite Nnu or Nun. The Irish firmament or celestial water is also called the Nion, an equivalent for the Kamite Nun.
The first three of the seven powers born of the Kamite mother of the elements were represented by Sut the power of darkness, Horus the power of light, and Shu the power of the air or breathing force. These three Ali or Elohim appear in the opening statement of Genesis. Though unpersonified, they are present as the primary elemental powers. In the Hebrew beginning, darkness brooded on the face of the deep, and the spirit of the Elohim moved upon the waters. The beginning, therefore, is with night or darkness.
The spirit of Elohim was the breathing force of Shu or the breeze of dawn. The name of Tefnut, who was born twin with him, denotes the dews of dawn. Thus the powers or elements of dawn emerged from out the darkness of the firmamental deep with Shu and Tefnut as the elemental powers of breath and liquid life. The next two offspring of Neb-er-ter, the AIl-one in the Egyptian account of creation, are Seb and Nut, or earth and heaven. These were unformulated by night, but the two were separated by Shu at dawn when Nut was lifted up from Seb, and heaven and earth were thus created or distinguished in the only possible way. It is this "beginning" that was followed in the book of Genesis and in what has been made to look like a cosmical creation of the physical universe.
This creation is a representation of natural phenomena which might have been seen any day and night.
But the gods of Egypt have been defeatured and dislimned and resolved into their elements of darkness and the firmamental deep, the breeze of Shu, the moisture of Tefnut; and the earth of Seb distinguished from the heaven of Nut. The action of the spirit moving on the waters had been perfectly expressed in the Egyptian version, when Neb-er-ter says that he created by means of divine soul, and that in founding a place where he could obtain foothold, he "worked with the spirit which was in his breast". This, according to Egyptian thought, was the breathing spirit first divinized in Shu as the power of the air or animistic soul of life. In the Hebrew version the elements of earth, heaven, darkness, light, water, spirit (or breathing force) are directly called into being, whereas in the Egyptian, four of these come into existence or are made apparent by means of divine types. Shu was the figure of breathing force with which the darkness
was dispersed at dawn. This likewise was the breathing spirit with which Neb-er-ter created. In a vignette copied by Maspero ( Dawn of Civilization, p. 169) Shu is accompanied by a group of gods in lifting up the firmament. There are seven altogether, chief of whom is Shu himself standing underneath the upraised heaven. These seven as the Ali who are co-workers with Shu are equivalent to the Elohim in the Hebrew book. Shu is called the separator of heaven from the [Page 402] earth, the elevator of heaven for millions of years above the earth. He is the conqueror of chaos and the progeny of darkness. Instead of the Elohim saying, "Let there be light" with this uplifting of the firmament, the Egyptian version represents Shu first as raising the firmament and next as bringing Ra his eyes to see with after the nocturnal heaven had been raised. In a Japanese account of creation the starting-point is also with the uplifting of the
heaven from the earth. In the preface to the Japanese Kojiki this beginning with the separation of heaven and earth is described by Yasumaro, the editor: "Heaven and earth first parted, and the three Kami performed the commencement of creation. The passive and active essences then developed, and the two spirits became the ancestors of all things". These two are identified with Izanagi and Izanami in the Japanese system, and with the Yin and Yang in the Chinese. The three Kami called the "alone born Kami, who hid their beings", are one with Sut, Horus, and Shu, whilst the twin brother and sister are identical with Shu and Tefnut, who represented breathing power, or air, and moisture, as the two halves of a soul of life - Shu of breathing, Tefnut of liquid life, the active and passive essences which blended and became the creative spirit moving on the face of the firmament. In Genesis the powers of darkness and light are present when the drama opens, not as powers personified, but as elements. "Darkness was upon the face of the deep", and the Elohim said, "Let there be light". These, as Sut and Horus, were the first of the primordial powers in an elemental phase, the black Neh being the bird of night or Sut, and the solar hawk of Horus the bird of day. There was Sut the power of darkness on the one hand, and on the other Horus the hawk of light; these are equivalent to "there was evening and there was morning one day". It is noticeable, too, that the Hebrew word for evening, <> ברע is also the name for the raven, the black bird of Sut. It is said in later texts that these nature-powers were derived from the primeval stuff or matter of the Nun, which means that they originated in and were embodied from the physical elements,
such as Sut from darkness, Horus from light, Shu from air, Hapi from water, Kabhsenuf from the solar fire, Tuamutef from earth, Amsta from the mother-blood.
Certain matters of mythology were differently manipulated in various versions of the mythos. The process had already begun in Egypt. In the creation performed by Kheper-Neb-er-ter the first two powers produced as breathing force and moisture, or wind and water ,are divinized in Shu and Tefnut. The next two are Seb the god of earth and Nut the goddess of heaven. These are now portrayed in the afterthought as having been emaned or emitted from the body of the one Supreme Being who had now become the Lord over all, whereas in an earlier myth the earth and heaven came into existence or were discreted when Shu upraised the heaven, or Nut, and separated her from Seb the god of earth. The
coming into being of these four, Shu and Tefnut, Seb and Nut, is traceable in the Hebrew Genesis, but in a different mode and order of setting forth. "In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth".
These in the original are Nut and Seb, who were divided from each other (not created) and permanently propped apart by Shu and the supporting [Page 403] powers or Elohim. But, instead of a cosmogonical creation, the Egyptian wisdom shows that the making of heaven and earth was a mode of representation in the astronomical mythology. Some hints of this natural origin may be gathered from the Babylonian fragments of legendary lore. In the first tablet of the Chaldean account of creation, rendered by Talbot, the process is partially described (Records of the Past, vol. ix. I 17). It is said of the Creator, "He fixed up constellations, whose figures were like animals". It is also said on the seventh tablet, "At that time the gods in their assembly created (the beasts). They made perfect the mighty (monsters)". These, as is
shown by the context, were figures of the constellations. But in the Hebrew rendering the living creatures of the water, air, earth, or other element have been literalized, whereas they were as much figures in the astronomical mythology as were the two firmaments, the abyss, or the constellated lights of heaven. The Chaldean account of creation also describes the construction of "dwellings for the great gods”. These were celestial habitations, as we say "houses" of the sun and moon. In the Kamite creation by Ptah they are called the shrines of the gods. "He formed the gods, he made the towns, he designed the nomes, he placed the gods in their shrines which he had prepared for them"
(Inscription of Shabaka, lines 6, 7).
Thus "creation" in this phase was a mode of representation in the heavens. It began with the abyss and the water, the creatures of the abyss, such as the southern fish and ketos, the water-serpent, and other "constellations whose figures were in the likeness of animals": and the habitations of the gods that were built upon "a glorious foundation". When the abyss had not been made, and Eridu had not yet been constructed, it is said that the whole of the lands were water. But when a stream was figured within the firmamental sea, "in that day Eridu was made; E-Sagila was constructed which the god Lugal-Du-Azaga had founded within the abyss". Two earthly cities were built upon a heavenly model, and the earthly Eridu corresponded to a celestial or divine original. Thus the earliest seats of civilization founded in Babylonia
were modelled on cities that were already celestial and therefore considered to be of divine origin; the seats in heaven that were founded first in the astronomical mythology, as we hold, of Egypt.
But it was not the genesis of the universe that is imaged in astronomical mythology. The firmament was there; already waiting to be distinguished as upper and lower, and divided into the domains of night and day, or Sut and Horus, or Ansar and Kisar. The constellations were not created from nothing when they were figured out of stars. The firmamental water was not created by being divided into upper and lower.
The earth was not created because distinguished from water as ground to go upon. Darkness was not created when it was portrayed as a devouring dragon. The pole of heaven was not created in being represented by a tree or mount or altar-mound. Heaven and earth existed when these were nameless, and did not come into existence on account of being named. Things were not created when images were assigned to them, nor because names were conferred upon them. The confusion of names and things is modern, not ancient; Aryan, not African. [Page 404]
The starting-point of a beginning was from the Nun, the firmamental water, which encircled all the world with the aerial ocean of surrounding space. This was the world all water. The earth was imaged mentally, thence figured mythically, as a fixed and solid substance in the waters of the Nun. These have been mixed up together by recent writers in a watery mass or mush of primordial matter, from which the cosmos is assumed to have been solidified or created out of chaos. But that is an exoteric misinterpretation of the ancient wisdom. There was no such creation. The earth stood on its own
foundation in the lower Nun. The name of earth or land in Egyptian is Ta. Hence, land or earth in the Nun is "Ta-nen", which is the name of the earth in the waters of the Nun, the lower earth of the Egyptian Tanen. Tanen as a locality was earlier than Amenta, and the name was continued in the title of Ptah-Tanen, the opener of the earth, which had been founded in the Nun by the order of gods or powers called the "Nunu", as fellow-males, and a form of the first company, who were seven in number. In the Hebrew account of creation, the earth and firmament were already extant, but "the earth was waste and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep". Therefore the beginning is with the formlessness of the unfeatured Nun. Darkness existed. Light came forth. The light was then divided from the darkness as a mode of differentiating and describing day and night. Next, the upper firmament was separated from the lower, or, as it is otherwise stated, the waters above were divided from the waters below; whereas in the genuine mythos the upper and lower waters were the upper and lower firmament because the water was a figure of the firmament. Then follows the formation of the abyss, the waters "under heaven" being gathered together unto one "place" - the same as in the Chaldean account of creation (first tablet, line 5).
The dry land is made to appear. "And the Elohim called the dry land, earth, and the gathering together of the waters they called seas".
In the beginning, then, was the unformed firmament or uncreated Nun. This was the universal, undivided water of the mythos and the legends. Creation, as uranographic formation, followed in the astronomical sign-Ianguage. A stream was seen and figured in the atmospheric ocean as a dividing line. The firmament was discreted into upper and lower. In the lower the celestial abyss was formed. This was figured, as the Chaldean and Semitic legends tell us, when the waters were gathered into one place and were given the constellation of The Water as their uranographic sign in astronomical mythology.
According to Esdras (2 Es. vi. 41-2), the waters were "gathered in the seventh part of the earth". In this seventh part, "where the waters were gathered together", the two monsters of the deep were figured, which are here called "Enoch and Leviathan", who represent the water and dry land, as do Leviathan and Behemoth in the book of Enoch, and whose images, as we have suggested, still survive in "the southern fish" and the monster "Ketos". Taking the foothold of earth as a basis of beginning, there was nought around it but the firmamental water of space. This was without form or void throughout pre-constellational time. In an Aztec version of the beginning earth is separated from the waters in the form or under the type of shell-fish emerging from the deep. [Page 405] In other legends, one of which is Japanese, this
shell-fish was the earth-tortoise amidst the waters. The earth emerging from the waters under the fish type is constellated, as we show, in the gasping "Ketos", or it was represented by the hippopotamus which came up from the water to bring forth its young upon dry ground.
The firmament at first was thought of as water raised on high. In the Hebrew Genesis the water is one with the firmament. This celestial water was figured by the Egyptians as a lake, the largest water known to Inner Africa. In Greece the firmamental water became the Okeanos of Homer, flowing round the earth.
It is the water that was first divided in twain. If we call the one water a lake, we find the one was divided into two lakes, one to the south and one to the north of the circumpolar enclosure. The Okeanos was divided by a river that encircled all the earth. This is visible in the river of the Milky Way. In the Ritual it is called "the stream which has no end". It is also described as "the stream of the lake in Sekhet-Hetep" or paradise (ch. 149). Further, the two lakes are portrayed as "the lake of Sa and the lake of the northern sky (Rit. ch. 153, A). It was observed that a stream came forth from the great lake in a white river that divided the one water into two great lakes. In this we see "the stream of the lake in the Sekhet-Hetep", just as "the river went out of Eden to water the garden".
As previously said, the Babylonian accounts of the so-called creation did not begin as cosmogonical.
They are legends of the first time, when as yet the heavens were not mapped out to illustrate the mythology. There were no types yet constellated in the firmament. The glorious dwelling of the gods was not yet built. The abyss was not yet formed; the waters were not yet gathered into one place. They were universal. The whole of the lands were sea, or the celestial water of the Nun. There was no stream or Via Lactea limned in the aerial vast. The upper region was not yet called heaven; the lower region was not yet called earth. Then the dwellings were constructed (in heaven) for the great gods. Constellations were fixed up whose figures were like animals. One of the figures constellated is that of the Great Mother, Tiamat. As it is said in the Assyrian story, "Then the Lord measured the offspring of the deep (Tiamat); the chief prophet made of her image the house of the firmament ". So in the Egyptian mythos the house of the firmament had been made in the image of Nut, the cow of heaven, or previously of Apt, the watercow.
In the Egyptian documents creation generally is attributed to Ptah, the first form of the god who was lord of all; one of whose zootypes was the beetle, as a figure of the former or the moulder of matter, which preceded the anthropomorphic image of the potter. Kheper was a title of Ptah as the former. The Egyptian word Kheper signifies formation, causing to assume a shape, as when the potter moulds his clay or the beetle rolls its eggs up in a ball of earth. Ptah is portrayed as a beetle in the matrix of matter shaping the product. At this stage the seven elemental forces enter his service as the moulders who are called his seven assistants or associate-gods, the Ali = Elohim. In one of the hymns it is said to Ptah, as Tanen, "There was given to thee a power over the things of earth that were in a state of inertness, and thou didst gather them together after thou didst exist in thy form of [Page 406] Ta-tanen, in becoming the uniter of the double earth, which thy word of mouth begot and which thy hands have fashioned". This was in making the lower earth of the Nun as the ground floor of Amenta, when the command to "let the earth come into being" was uttered by the God. It is also said, "When the heaven and earth were not as yet created, and when the waters had not yet come forth, thou didst knit together the earth; thou didst find thyself in the condition of the one who made his seat and who fashioned, or moulded, the two earths" (Budge, Gods of the Egyptians, vol. i., pages 509to 510) or who duplicated the earth.
In the Egyptian mythos Ptah was the great architect of the universe. But not the universe as a cosmological creation. The building, so to call it, was begun when the two pillars of the south and north were raised up by Sut and Horus, in that creation '"of the first time" which is ascribed to Sut on the stele of the Sphinx, and in the creations that were indicated by the "upliftings of Shu" or the uniting of the double horizon by Har-Makhu. Various structures and structural alterations preceded the work of Ptah, the architect of the double earth and finisher of the building on a new foundation perfected for all eternity.
Creation in the book of Genesis is described as an event, or a series of events, occurring once upon a time and once for all, whereas the genuine mythos represents the natural phenomena as constantly recurring. The earth was seen emerging every morning from the firmamental water, but not once for all.
Darkness was seen rising up and coiling like some black reptile round about the earth at night, but not once for all. When Shu divided heaven and earth, or Nut from Seb at morning, this went on for ever: Nut descended on a visit to her lover every night. There was a first time to the uranographic representation of the myth as Egyptian, but not to the phenomena in external nature. In a sense there was no Horus or Orion in the heavens either figured or named until the type was constellated by the mystery-teachers, but the group of stars was always there ready to be called into being by name in what is termed "creation", or the astronomical mythology. As Egyptian, then, the only creation of the heavens and the earth was mythical, not cosmological. It was uranographic formation, not the making of matter. But to show how the mythical creation was rendered cosmogonically we have only to take the title of Kheper-Ptah in his character of "Let-the-earth-be", or let the hidden earth come into being. This in the Genesis becomes "Let the dry land appear (i. 9,10), and the Elohim called the dry land earth".
There is an Egyptian account of "creation" to be found in the Papyrus of Nes-Amsu (British Museum, No.10, 188), which was written for a priest of Panopolis in the thirteenth year of "Alexander the son of Alexander", or about B.C. 312. It is called "The Book of Knowing the Evolutions of Ra, and the Overthrowal of Apap". It purports to contain the words that were spoken by Neb-er-ter, a title of Osiris, the entire or all-one god, as lord over all. There are two versions of the legend. In the first the creator-god is Kheper-Ptah. In the second he is Osiris; the same legend being applied in two different cults, at Memphis and Abydos. In the second version Osiris-Neb-er-ter is the speaker as creator. He says, "I produced [Page 407] myself from primeval matter. Osiris is my name. There existed no created things in this land". A land is here described in which the plants and creeping things of earth had no existence. Neb-er-ter was alone by himself in that land, and there was no other being who worked with him in that land. This was in Tanen, the nether earth of Ptah. The beetle-headed Ptah was the Egyptian creator in his primary form, the so-called maker of the heaven and the earth, but in a creation that was not cosmogonical. These, then, are the words that were also spoken in the first version by Kheper-Ptah, who formed the earth of eternity and discreted the two earths in the making of Amenta, on his coming into existence, when, according to the current phraseology, neither heaven nor earth was yet extant, and when the soil of earth, the plants and creeping things of earth, had not yet been created in that land. Kheper-Ptah then found a co-worker in the goddess M<>ā, the Egyptian Wisdom, whom the present writer had previously identified with the Hebrew Kochmah in "A Book of the Beginnings". Working with Mã denotes creation according to eternal law or undeviating rule.
Evidence for the non-cosmogonical nature of Kheper-Ptah's creation may be gathered from the fact that
the celestial bodies, sun, moon, and stars, were not among the things that were called into being by him.
The sun as "the eye of Nu", the Nun or firmament, and the primeval matter of the paut were pre-extant.
Nor does either of the two versions mention the creation of birds, or beasts, or cattle. Moreover, a malegod
who existed alone in the Nun as Kheper the begetter or father-god is impossible on the face of the
inscription, because Nu the god of the celestial water was already extant in the character of a begetter.
Kheper calls him "my father Nu", and the solar orb is also called "the eye of Nu". Besides which Kheper-
Ptah was preceded by several dynasties of deities, lunar, stellar, or elemental. The Put-company of the
nine gods was preceded by that of the eight; the eight by that of the seven Ali, or associates; the seven
Uraeus-divinities; the seven Khuti; and these by the mothers Apt, Neith, Tefnut, and the seven cows or
The foundation of monotheism was laid when the various powers were combined in a single deity to be worshipped as the one true eternal spirit. These were primarily the Great Mother and her seven elemental powers. And when the goddess was superseded by the god Ptah, both sexes were included in the one Supreme Being who was now the Lord over all. It was the same with Osiris, as the pictures show. Asar was the mother and child (Hes-Ar) in one, and the perfect triune type was completed in God the father. There was no God the father without God the mother and God the child. In the mythological text from Memphis we read of Ptah in his divine forms. In one of these he is designated "Ptah of the earth". "The Mother giving birth to Atum and his associate-gods" (line 14). Ptah of the earth was then "in the great resting-place" as the maker of Amenta. This was the place of that new creation and rearrangement of the things that were pre-extant before the time of Ptah the opener, and this one god who was latest is now considered to be the source of all the gods and goddesses who had preceded him.
Ptah became the god who was born of his own becoming, or of his own self-originating [Page 408] force, and who came into existence in the person of his own son - as a mode of representing the eternal manifesting in the sphere of time. According to the school of thought, the male had been substituted for the mother as the begetter in matter. Hence the beetle of Kheper was solely male, that is, as the type of a divine parent; and the female now became subsidiary to the male. Illustrations of Kheper in this phase of male-creator can be seen in the great French work on Egypt, a copy of which may be consulted in the British Museum. In these pictures, as in the legend of creation translated by Dr. Budge, the imagery shows with sufficient plainness how creative source was figured in the likeness of male nature. This has
been rendered with all its naked crudity, but needs the gnosis for an explanation. By the gnosis here is meant that science of Egyptian symbolism which alone enables us to read the palimpsest of the past that was scribbled over and over again by the teachers of the ancient wisdom. For example, Kheper in the pictures is the male, as beetle, who emanes the matter of creation from his own body, as does the spider or the silkworm. In the later legend of Ra and Apap the anthropomorphic type replaced the beetle; Kheper has been imaged in the likeness of a masturbating male, and then the act has been attributed in reality to the black-skinned race ( Budge, Gods of the Egyptians, vol. i., p. 3040) But as the beetle was a pre-anthropomorphic type of Kheper, we might ask if that also was a masturbating male, as the producer of matter from itself? So necessary is the gnosis of the primitive sign-language for the reading of these remains, to prevent debasement of the type and perversion of the meaning.
After coming into being himself Kheper-Ptah is called the creator of all things that came into being. And here, if anywhere, we may identify the Word that was in the beginning, and was God. For Kheper says he brought his name into his own mouth; he uttered it as the word that was in the beginning. Other things were spoken or called into being by the word of his mouth. Of these things he says, "I raised them up from out the Nun (or Nu) and from a state of inertia". He had found no place where he could stand. But he laid a foundation with Mã, who, as we know, became the co-worker with Ptah the divine artificer. In version B. of the Egyptian document the creator, as Kheper, says, "I made what I made by means of divine soul; I worked with the spirit", which is the action assigned to the Elohim, however differently stated. Soul, it is said in one of the texts, is "the breath of the gods" (Budge, Gods of the Egyptians, Vol.I.. i., ch. 8). Creation by means of the word was the work of Ptah in his character of "Let the earth exist". Stated in modern language, he might be said to have called his creations into being by word of mouth in uttering the word to his co-workers. This word, as Egyptian, was the well-known Hekau or great magical word of power, which was female before it was assigned to the deity as male; the living word of Apt; the great magic power of Isis or of Mã, before it was ascribed to Ptah in the monotheism of Memphis. Creation by the word is calling into being things which did not pre-exist or were not previously entified, figured, or known by name. In the Ritual the word of power becomes a ceremonial act, and, as a
mode of sign - [Page 409] language, to be said or uttered magically, is to be performed. Creation by the word is expressed in the character of Ptah by his title of "Let-the-earth-be". This is the creation by fiat, or the word, in the book of Genesis, when the Elohim say, "Let there be light" -"Let there be a firmament" - "Let the dry land appear" - "Let the earth put forth grass" - "Let the earth bring forth" - "Let us make man in our image" - and it was so. The word and act were one. And this was the Kamite creation by the word that was in the beginning; the word of Kheper-Ptah, who said, "Let the earth come into existence" that is, the lower of the two, called Amenta, the secret earth. This mode of calling and coming into being by means of the word explains how the god could issue forth from silence as a word, how created things or beings could be said to have emanated from the mouth of the god, and how the divine wisdom, whether as Mã or Kochmah, could be said to come out of the mouth of the most high. It is known that the name
was often held to be an equivalent for the thing, the act, or person, and in the text from Memphis the creation by Ptah is in a measure resolved into a process of naming. In this it is said, "Now the creation of all the gods (that is to say, of Atum and his associate-gods) was when proclamation was made of all the divine names in his wisdom" - the wisdom of Ptah. Thus things, in this case gods, or powers, were created when names were given to them. The principle is applied in the book of Genesis, when it is said that "out of the ground lahu-Elohim formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field" (ch. ii. 19-20). In these and other texts creation is reduced to a process of naming as a mode of representation, and in this way the uranographic mythology was founded on the figuring and naming of the constellations.
When the Supreme Being had been imaged or personified, the powers previously extant were represented as his offspring, his names, or members of his body. Hence the seven associate-gods, the Ali or Elohim, are now called the limbs, joints, the hands, the fingers, the lips, the teeth, the breath of the god, or, reversely stated, these parts of the one god become the associate gods, as a seven-fold emanation from Kheper-Ptah. "Now Ptah was satisfied after his making of all things, and conferring all the divine names. He formed the gods, he made the towns, he designed the nomes, he placed the gods in their shrines. He made their company flourish", "All the limbs moved when he uttered the word of
wisdom which came forth from the tongue and worked a blessing upon all things". The word (lit Speech) became the making of men and the creation of gods for Ptah- Tatanen-Sepu.
"Let-the-earth-be" is one of the titles of Ptah as the god who calls the earth into existence. Which looks, at first sight, like a cosmo-graphical creation. But the earth which was evolved by Ptah and his associate gods, the Ali, Phoenician Elohim, is not this world, not our earth. If it were, it would not be the double earth, the earth that was duplicated in the making of Amenta. In the text from Memphis (line 6) it is said that "Ptah was satisfied after making all things, all the divine names". He saw that it was good, and this [Page 410] satisfaction of the creator in his work is repeated in the book of Genesis. Seven times over Elohim saw that the work was good, and like Ptah, or the Put-company of gods, he or they were satisfied.
But the making of Amenta by Ptah and the great paut of gods or Ali was an actual creation of imagination, not a mere "calling" of things into existence by naming them. It was also the creation of an earth, but not of the earth on which we stand. It was known as Ta-nen, the earth in the Nun; also as the lower earth distinguished from the upper earth, to which it was added when the earth was duplicated as the work of Ptah and the associate-gods. The firmament of upper earth was raised aloft by Shu, when establishing the pole of Am Khemen. The firmament of the nether earth was lifted up by Ptah. This was celebrated as his suspension of the sky. But the lower firmament is the sky that was raised up by him in Amenta, the earth of eternity, not in the upper earth of time.
Thus, the creation of Amenta was not the commencement of the external universe, although another heaven and earth were then called into being. At first there was no heaven and no earth in this unformulated realm of desert darkness. Or, as the Hebrew version has it, "the earth was waste and void".
There was no light of day or lamp of night, as neither sun nor moon could pass that way until the earth was hollowed out and a sky suspended overhead by Ptah the opener and his Ali, or companions, who were afterwards repeated in the Elohim of the Hebrew Genesis. So in the enclosure of Yima there was at first no light of stars, or moon, or sun. This was the condition of primeval darkness in which the Elohim said, "Let there be light, and there was light". The question being where and how? In the making of Amenta Ptah was the uplifter of the lower firmament, with which he roofed the under-world within the earth. This is recognized in the Ritual (ch. 64), when the speaker down in Amenta says, "Mine is the radiance in which Ptah floateth over his firmament" - that is, the light of this new heaven and earth, which were solely a creation of the astronomical mythology. In another text we read, "Hail to thee, Ptah-Tanen.
The heaven was yet uncreated, uncreated was the earth, the water flowed not; thou hast put together the earth, thou hast united thy limbs, thou hast reckoned thy members; what thou hast found apart, thou hast put into its place. O let us give glory to the god who hath raised up the sky, and who causeth his disk to float over the bosom of Nut, who hath made the gods and men and all their generations, who hath made all lands and countries, and the great sea, in his name of Let-the-earth-be" (cited by Renouf, Hibbert Lectures, pp. 222-3). This, being late, has the look of cosmology. But the sky raised up by Ptah was over the earth in Amenta; the sky that was imaged by the sign of heaven reversed. When Ra is being exalted above all previous gods in the glosses to the seventeenth chapter of the Ritual it is said that he had
exercised his sovereignty as Unen the opener when there was as yet no firmament. That is before Ptah had created the firmament below the earth, which is called the "lower firmament" in the Babylonian legends of creation. This beginning with the raising of the firmament is alluded to in the name of the gatekeeper to the second hall in the House of Osiris, who is designated "Him who raised up or created [Page 411] the beginning" (Rit., 147, 7). But, as before shown, there were two upliftings of the firmament, one above the earth and one below.
There is hieroglyphic evidence that the Egyptian creation of the earth by Ptah was not cosmical but a mode of hollowing out Amenta in the lower earth", and of tunnelling the mount to make a passage through. The sign for Ta, the earth, is a hollow tube, a pipe, a reed, or the tibia (leg-bone). Thus, a passage hollowed out is an ideograph of the earth that was formed by Ptah and his Khnemmu, "the moulders. It was the tunnel of Ptah with its gates of entrance and exit that first gave significance to the expression, "the ends of the earth". The manes in the Ritual who has passed through exclaims, "I have come out of the tuat: I am come from the ends of the earth” (ch. 75, I). The opening of Amenta was a primitive mode of thinking through the ground of solid earth, as it stood in the waters of the Nun, and of making out a pathway for the sun or solar god to travel by in passing through from one horizon to the other. Thus, the making of Amenta was a work of imagination based upon a ground of natural fact.
Before the earth was known to float and revolve in space, it was thought of as a fixture like a mountain or an island, a tree or a stalk of papyrus standing in the firmamental water. Then it was made out, as mythically rendered, that somehow the sun passed through the under-world of earth by night. This was portrayed in several ways. In one, a tortoise was the type. With Kheper-Ptah, the beetle was the burrower in and through the hidden earth. Ptah, as the divine worker, shaper, or creator in this subterranean world, was also imaged by an embryo-in-utero as way-maker in the womb of matter, or the earth. Fire was another solar type. Hence Ptah was the worker with that element, and his associate-gods became the blacksmiths and metallurgists, who blazed their way below from west to east through Tanen,
earlier Tanun, termed the earth of Ptah. Then followed Ra in his primordial sovereignty as Atum, son of Ptah. He crosses (later) in the solar bark that sailed the Urnas water by night. But first of all he had to wriggle through the mud of the abyss in the likeness of an eel.
Before Amenta had been moulded by the Put-cycle of powers there was a secret and infertile earth conceived of in the Nun, where nothing grew and nought was cultivated, as no soil or sata had been yet prepared, and no light had then appeared. But this earth of eternity was not the world of human life, and consequently no human beings were created in Amenta. Atum, though a man in form, was not a human being. This will explain why neither man nor woman was created or formed by Kheper-Ptah, in the Book of Knowing the Evolutions of Ra. There was no man or woman in the genuine mythos. These only came into existence when the gods and manes had been euhemerized and creation was set forth as
cosmogonical through literalization of the astronomical mythology and adulteration of the ancient wisdom.
It has been assumed by some Egyptologists that the two earths, or the double earth, were limited to the division of space into south and north by the passage of the sun from east to west. But in the making of Amenta the one earth was divided into upper and lower, with a firmament or sky to each, and thus the earth was duplicated; [Page 412] hence the making of Amenta was the creation of a double earth or an earth that was doubled. An apt illustration of this double earth may be seen in the vignettes to the papyrus of Ani, where scenes in the upper earth life are portrayed at the head of the page, with scenes in the life of Amenta underneath. Thus on pages 5 and 6 the funeral procession of Ani is to be seen wending its way to the sepulchre, carrying the laid-out mummy, whilst Ani as the manes is to be seen on his journey through the nether earth accompanied by Tutu, his wife in spirit-world.
The nether earth, when not yet excavated, was a world of solid darkness, because unvisited by sun or moon. When Amenta was hollowed out by Ptah it was for his son Atum, who is Ra at his first appearance in Amenta as the solar god, the first to pass through this realm of subterranean night. Naturally when the sun appeared "there was light", and darkness with its host of evil powers fled, as related in the legendary lore. It is to this old netherland of darkness, with no outlet, that the goddess Ishtar descended in search of the water of life. It was a land without an exit, through which no passage had been made; from whose visitants, the dead, the light was shut out. "The light they behold not, in darkness they dwell". "Dust is their bread; their food is mud". Still the secret source of water, and thence of life, was hidden in that land.
This was the world of the gnomes, the goblins, and other elemental sprites, which, as Egyptian, are summed up, under the serpent-type, as seven Uraeus-powers born in the nether earth (Rit., ch. 83). As Babylonian they were the seven "spirits of earth", or anunnaki. The beginning in this region was with the abyss inside the earth from whence the water welled that was to be most sacredly preserved as very source itself. This subterranean realm had somewhat the character of a mine with the water welling upward from the unplumbed depths below. It was a mine of hidden treasure, one form of which was gold.
But first of all the treasure was water, the primary element of life. Hence a fount of the water of life was localized in the well of this under-world which the Egyptians divinized as the Neter-Kar because it was the source of water and the way by which life came into the world. Here the spirits of earth, the powers of Khar, the Assyrian anunnaki, were portrayed as watchers over the water of life and protectors of the hidden treasures underground. It was these spirits of earth that peopled our mines and became the jealous guardians of their metals. These were the elemental spirits, not the spirits of the dead who were worshipped as the human ancestors; the gods, not the glorified. It is distinctly stated in the great Harris papyrus (plate 44, lines 4 and 6) that Ptah the opener "formed the hollow of the under-world, so that the sun could pass through as revivifier of the dead , and that he also encircled the earth with the firmamental water on which the solar bark might ride all round". The sun-god here was Atum in his eschatological character. Also, in a hymn to the earlier elemental powers found upon the walls of the temple in the oasis of El-Khargeh, it is said to Ptah, "Thou hast made the double earth. Thou hast placed thy throne in the life of the double earth. Thy soul is the four-fold pillar and the ark of the two heavens".
Ptah the excavator of the nether earth is now the builder of the ark in which the dead are borne [Page 413] across the waters of Amenta to the other world. The speaker in this character (Rit., ch. I) says, "I am the arch-craftsman on the day in which the ship of Sekari, or the coffined one (whether as Ptah or Osiris), is laid upon the stocks". This was represented in a ceremony at Memphis, where the coffin, ark, or shrine of the god was placed upon a sledge and drawn in a procession round and round the great sanctuary when the drama of the resurrection was performed. It was as the maker of Amenta that Ptah became the architect of the universe. When completed, the Egyptian universe consisted of heaven, earth, and the under-world, but it was not finished until he had formed the under-world or made the nether earth and heaven. Then Ptah, as the maker of Amenta, was called the architect of the universe. The tat-symbol, which was erected in Amenta as a type of eternal stability, was the backbone of Ptah as a figure of the god who was now the vertebral column and sustaining power, under, as well as over, all. The tat was also duplicated to form the gateway of eternity in the region of Tattu, when the double tats took the place of the two pillars of Sut and Horus in the house of Ptah. Ptah is described as the former of the egg of the sun and the moon. He is depicted in one of the representations, at Philae, sitting at the potter's wheel in the act of giving shape to an egg (Rosellini, Mon. del Culto, 21). But this is not to be taken literally. The representation is symbolical. Ptah was the creator of the circle in which the sun and moon revolved, when the passage through the under-world was finished; and the egg is a hieroglyphic sign of the circle, which , circle was also a figure of the eternal pathway. This solar pathway made by Ptah reminds one of Vaughan's magnificent image:
"I saw eternity the other night,
Like a vast ring of pure and endless light”.
Now, no Egyptologist whose work is known to the present writer has ever discriminated betwixt the "making of Amenta" and the cosmological creation in the Hebrew book of Genesis, which is a chief object of the present section. In his work on The Dawn of Civilization (Eng. Tr., pp. 16-19) M. Maspero has given a version of what he supposes the Egyptians thought of the earth. He tells us "they imagined the whole universe to be a large box, nearly rectangular in form, whose greatest diameter was from south to north, and its least from east to west. The earth with its alternate continents and seas formed the bottom of the box; it was a narrow, oblong, and slightly concave floor, with Egypt in its centre". M. Maspero's oblong box, which is longest from the south to the north, is just a figure of the Nile valley, reproduced in the nether earth of Amenta as a mythical locality, not as a picture of the universe. He has taken the cover
off Amenta and exposed its depths to the stars of heaven, as if it were the cavity of an immeasurable crater, and has left no ceiling to the lower earth, no nether sky of Nut for the sun to traverse when it was day in the under-world; consequently he has failed to reproduce the double earth that was the creation of Ptah and his co-workers.
The creation of Amenta by Ptah the opener was the cutting, carving, and hollowing out of the earth as tunnel for the heavenly bodies and the manes,. which were now to make the passage through [Page 414] instead of round the mount. This for the first time renders the fundamental meaning of the Hebrew Bara (אךפ ) to create, as when it is said (Gen. i. I) that the Elohim created the heaven and the earth. Bara, applied to the creation of the world by the Elohim, signifies to cut, carve, fashion, and, in the form of Bari, to divide. The Elohim are the Ali or companions who, as the Khnemmu or moulders with Ptah the opener, were the cutters, carvers, or potters, as fashioners of Amenta in the work of dividing the upper from the lower earth. The divine creation of the world resolves itself into the creation attributed to Ptah the opener and his co-workers the Ali, who divided the earth into upper and lower, and thus created, shaped, or moulded a nether world as the secret earth of eternity, the next world made tangible for foothold in spirit life. There was no use for one firmament above and one below until the double earth was created by the opener Ptah, and it was in the making of Amenta that the firmament was duplicated.
It was on account of this new arrangement when the double earth was formed or the house of the two earths was built by Ptah that the fresh treaty was made by Seb betwixt the two opponents Sut and Horus.
Seb, as arbitrator, calls on Sut and Horus to come from where they were born in the south and north, their original stations, to the mountain in the middle of the earth, which joined the portion of Sut to the portion of Horus in the equinox. This was the solar mount in Annu or Heliopolis. "The two earths meet in Annu, for it is the march or border-land of the two earths". Peace was there proclaimed betwixt the warring twins. "This union is in the house of Ptah"; "the house of his two earths" in which is the boundary of south and north, and also the meeting-point of the two earths, lower and upper, as well as the junction of the domains of the north and south in the earlier division of the whole. When Amenta was made out the east and west were added to the south and north, and the heaven of four quarters was thus
established on the solstices and equinoxes as the house of Ptah. The two earths are the upper earth of Seb and the lower earth of Ptah-Tatanen, lord of eternity. "Now Seb gave the inheritance (of his earth) to Horus". So Horus became the chief of the land, "which henceforth consisted of the two earths. Horus wears the double diadem as ruler of the double earth. He is now called "the traverser of the two earths" and is no longer merely the uniter of both horizons. In the preface to the inscription from Memphis he is hailed thus, "Live Horus, the traverser of the two earths; the conquering Horus, the traverser of the two earths" (Stele of Shabaka). On this the English translations of the text remark, " We are not aware that this epithet occurs elsewhere than in the titles of Shabaka". It could only apply to the solar god who shone upon the earth of time by day and on the earth of eternity in Amenta by night. The title was dependent on the creation of the two-fold earth by Ptah. Broken as is the inscription, it is evident that the Osirian mythos has been tacked on partially to an earlier version relating to Ptah, his son Atum-Horus, and the Ali or associate gods of the Put-cycle. Thus Horus, the son of Osiris, takes the place of Atum-Horus, the son of Ptah, who was the earliest traverser of the two earths. [Page 415]
Amenta was not entirely "the happy other-world"; it was a world of various states and many parts. These included an upper and lower Egypt, the seven nomes of the Heptanomis, also the fourteen domains that were based upon the lower half of the lunar circle, and the fifteen domains that belonged to the solar reckoning (Rit., ch. 142). The inferno, the purgatory, and the paradise of Dante Alighieri are extant recognizably in the Book of the Dead as domains of Amenta. The manes had to go through the purgatory and pass by, if not through, the hells before they came to the outlet from the mount of earth in Amenta.
This outlet was to the east; and here the Aarru field was planted to produce the harvest of eternity. In this field, which the garden followed as a type of tillage, stood the sycamore-tree of wisdom. We also meet with the two sycamores of the north and south that correspond to the tree of knowledge and the tree of life in the Garden of Eden. The tree of dawn was figured rising up above the horizon of earth with its rootage in the secret earth of Amenta. Here also rose the mount of rebirth, and either by climbing the mount or the tree in the wake of the sun-god the manes made their ascent to the upper paradise of Aarru in the fields of heaven. When Horus, or lu, the Egyptian Jesus, came up from Amenta for his manifestation in the vernal equinox, it was from the terrestrial paradise of the lower Aarru.
If we would get a glimpse of the old lost earthly paradise we must descend in thought with the sun or manes in the west and traverse the subterranean passage to the east. There we emerge in the Aarrufields to find ourselves in the Eden of Egypt glorified as the nether land of dawn. The great tree that towers evergreen above the horizon has its rootage here, and underneath this tree the blessed find rest and drink of the divine life-giving liquor which was afterwards called the homa, the soma, nepenthe, nectar, or other name for the drink which made immortal. In the mythology it was Hathor the goddess of dawn who gave the dew of the tree for drink and the fruit of the tree for food; which tree in Egypt was the
sycamore fig. In the eschatology it is the heaven-mother Nut who pours out the liquid of life from the tree.
The evidence for the Egyptian origin is four-fold. First, the green dawn is African, without parallel. Next, the tree is the sycamore fig, the tree of knowledge and of life in one. Thirdly, the imagery belongs to the mythical representation of the beginning; and lastly, it is repeated for a religious purpose in the eschatology. It is a common charge brought against the paradise of theology that it does not provide for progress and development in the life hereafter. But the Egyptian paradise in Amenta was not a place of unchanging bliss considered to be a kind of unearned increment. For them the world to come in Amenta was what they made it here. And the world to be in the upper paradise was what they made it by hard labour and by purification in Amenta. The sub-terrestrial paradise was mapped out for the manes to work in and work out their salvation from the ills of the flesh and blemishes of the life on earth. This was the promised land depicted at the end of the journey through the nether-world, whether as a garden, a vineyard, a harvest-field, or a table-mountain piled with food and drink. Every purpose of the primitive paradise had been summed up in the [Page 416] promise of everlasting plenty, but in the Egyptian Aarru the plenty was the reward of industry. This was the field of divine harvest, no mere pleasure ground, where abundance was the result of toil. The soil was apportioned by the Lord of Eternity , and each one had to cultivate his share, no one lived upon another's labour (164, 13). Indeed, the allotment in this life was cultivated magically whilst the workers were yet upon the upper earth. The Egyptians had out-grown the African custom of killing slaves for the purpose of sending their spirits as avant courriers to prepare the way for the potentate in spirit-world, but the modus operandi was symbolically practised.
Amenta may be said to open with the funeral valley in the west, and to end with the mount of resurrection in the east. In the Osirian mythos when the sun god enters the under-world it is as the mummy or the "coffined one" upon his way to the great resting-place.
Except when lighted by the sun of night, Amenta was a land of darkness and a valley of the shadow of death. It remained thus, as it was at first, to those who could not escape from the custody of Seb, the god of earth, "the great annihilator who resideth in the valley" (Rit., ch. 19). The resurrection in this nether region was the issuing forth to day which followed the burial on earth.
As it comes to us, the Ritual is comparatively late. The pre-Osirian mythos. solar, lunar, and stellar, is obscured by the Osirian eschatology. It lives on, however, in the Litanies and other fragments, which show that Atum-Horus, the son of Ptah, was the earliest representative of the nocturnal sun that made the passage of Amenta and rose again upon the horizon of the resurrection as the master; and, as was also said, the maker of eternity, by perfecting the circle through and round the double earth. Amenta, in the solar mythos, was looked on as the graveyard of the buried sun that died or became inert upon his journey through the under world. In the eschatology it was also depicted as a sort of cemetery or burialplace.
Hence the chapter of "introducing the mummy into the tuat on the day of burial" (Naville, Todt. Kap. I. B) not the earthly mummy, but the mummy of the dramatic mystery as a figure of the living personality. In the book of knowing that which is in Amenta there is a description of the sandy realm of Sekari and of those who are resting on their sand. This points to the sandy district as a primitive burialplace in which the bodies of the dead were first preserved from corruption and decay. Before the mummies could have been embalmed in Egypt, the dead were buried in the sand for preservation of the body; and the burial-place in a sandy district was repeated in Amenta as the sandy realm of Sekari, the silent or the coffined one, who was Ptah-Sekari in the pre-Osirian religion.
It is the creation of Amenta, then, not of the universe, that is the subject of the mythos which was made cosmical in the Hebrew book of Genesis. The speaker is the god who came into being in the form of Kheper the creator or maker of all things that came into existence after he came into being. He was in Tanen, the earth of the Nun, the abyss within the upper earth. This was a land of darkness, the place where nothing grew, a type of which was preserved in the region of Anrutef. In this land there was no heaven, no sun or moon over-head, nor earth beneath the feet. Or, as the text has it, there was [Page 417] nothing to stand on. And as there was no earth, there were no plants nor creeping things of earth. No created things yet existed in this land, this lower earth that was waste and void; and there was only darkness on the face of the deep. There was nothing but the primeval matter for Kheper-Ptah and his assistants to mould into shape for the making of the secondary earth in Amenta. Whilst the under-world was yet the primordial abyss, it was the void of Apap, the dwelling-place of the things of darkness; but now it was the work of Atum as the master of Amenta to make war on Apap; to protect the tree or plants and the water of life; to bruise the serpent's head or slay the dragon of drought and the destroyer of vegetation.
Now , according to a very ancient myth, there had been war in heaven from the time when the slayer of the dragon was female, and the Great Mother protected her child from the devouring reptile of the dark with her arrow or lance of light in the moon. This is seen when Isis pierces the head of Apap in the firmamental water. Also when Hemt-Nu, the lady of heaven, lightens up the firmament by overthrowing the devouring monster of the dark (Rit., ch. 80). The two opponents Sut and Horus also fought their battle in heaven when an eclipse befell the moon, and when Sut flung his filth upon the face of Horus, and Horus seized the genitals of Sut with his own fingers to emasculate him (Rit., ch. 17). But when Amenta was formed the scene of strife was shifted to the new earth that was shaped by Ptah the divine artificer.
As it is said in the Book of the Dead (ch. 17), when Amenta was created, and Ra assumed the sovereignty, Amenta also became "the scene of strife among the gods". The speaker, who is Atum-Ra, says, "I am Ra at his first appearance. I am the great god self-produced. A scene of strife arose among the gods when I assumed command" (ch. 17). The great cause of strife in Amenta is depicted as the Apap-reptile, of whom it is said, "Eternal devourer is his name". It is the serpent of darkness, the fiery dragon of drought, the destroyer of vegetable life. Night by night the evil reptile attacks the tree of life in the midst of the garden, as shown in the vignettes to the Ritual. This, in the eschatology, is the adversary of Osiris and the enemy of souls. The nocturnal sun as seer in the darkness of Amenta is depicted as the great cat in conflict with the evil serpent. Ra says, "I am the great cat who frequenteth the persea-tree (of life) in Annu, on the night of battle when the defeat of the Sebau is effected and the adversaries of the inviolate god (Osiris) are exterminated". On the night of conflict occurs the defeat of the children of failure. And it is added, "There was conflict in the whole universe, in heaven and upon the earth". The conflict betwixt Ra and the Apap is identified as being fought for the water as well as for the light; the mortal enemy of man being drought as well as darkness. The strife in heaven, earth, and Amenta was the raison d' être of his coming who is called the prince of peace, and, who, as Iu-em-hetep, is the bringer of peace because he came to stop the war that was elemental, not tribal or racial, but the war of darkness against light, the war of drought against water, the war of famine against fertility, or, as mythically rendered, the war of Apap against Ra, the Sebau against Un-Nefer, Sut against Horus, or the serpent against the seed of the woman. The types had been evolved in the [Page 418] mythology which were continued in theology. Horus of the inundation had come as the prince of peace who slew the dragon of drought as the young solar god he pierced the serpent of darkness. As prince of peace he passed into the eschatology. This is he who in his incarnation says, "I am the lord on high, and I descend to the earth of Seb that I may put a stop to evil. I come that I may overthrow my adversaries upon the earth, though my dead body may be buried” (Rit., ch. 85). lu-em-hetep, as is indicated by the name, comes to bring peace and goodwill to earth as conqueror of drought, and dearth, and darkness. He grapples with the dragon in the constellation Hydra, and vanquishes it with the water of the inundation.
He bruises the serpent of darkness as "Ophiucus”; he wrestles with the evil Sut and overcomes him in the constellation of the Twins.
The first chapter of the Book of the Dead was repeated on the day when the Osiris N. was buried. His entrance into the under-world as a manes corresponds to that of Osiris the mummy of Amenta, who represents the inert or breathless god, and who also enters the place of burial called the KГўsu. In the absence of the sun there would be nought but darkness visible, in this the land of the dead, but for the presence of Taht the moon-god. In this character the manes greets Osiris, saying, "O bull of Amenta, it is Taht the everlasting king who is here! '' as the night-light of the sufferer dying in the dark. "I am the great god in the bark who have fought for thee" that is, against Apap and all the powers of evil. Apuat is also present to uplift and save the manes who might otherwise fall headlong into the lake of Putrata, where the monster lies in wait to devour its prey. (Rit., ch. 44.) It was as the moon in Amenta that Ra is said to have created Taht - a far older god - as a beautiful light to show the face of Apap, his evil enemy. But this was not the moon that was made and hung up in the Hebrew Genesis as a creation of four-and-twenty hours. Taht carried the lunar lamp called "the eye of Horus” in the darkness of the nether earth, to show the hidden lurking-place of the adversary. Thus, in the opening chapter of the Ritual the manes rises in Amenta after death on earth in the character of Taht the god who is the lunar light as representative of the supreme god in the dark of death and in the ways of darkness in the under-world, which means that the Osiris N. deceased enters the nether earth, in the likeness of Taht, to make war upon the dragon on behalf of the sun-god struggling with the monster coiling round him in the darkness of Amenta. In this way the war that is fought out in the night of the nether earth was dramatized in the Book of the Dead, where the souls of the deceased carry on the battle on behalf of the good Unnefer, whether as Horus or Osiris-Ra.
After the making of Amenta there followed a re-division of the earth betwixt the two contending twins, which, as herein maintained, was now the double earth of day and night, of Seb and Ptah, of time and eternity. The war that broke out in Amenta, when Atum took possession of this nether earth that was prepared for him by Ptah includes the conflict of Ra and the Apap-reptile which is portrayed in the vignettes to the Ritual, and the battles of the twin-brothers Sut and Horus for possession of the Aarrugarden, the same that they had fought in external nature. [Page 419] In a document translated by Chabas there is an account of the agreement between Horus and Sut. This is a calendar of lucky and unlucky days with mythological allusions. Under the date of Athyr 27th, it is said that Kamit, the cultivated land, was given to Horus as his domain; and the Tesherit, the red land or desert, was given to Sut as his domain (Papyrus Sallier, IV., Chabas, Le Calendrier des jours fastes). The black land of rich fertile loam, and the red land, or desert, thus divided were a form of the double earth as the upper and lower land which followed on the founding of Amenta; the division being no longer limited to south and north, or to the two halves of the lunation. The upper and lower crowns, white and red, were also brought to bear as symbols of the upper and lower earth.
Hence we are told in this papyrus that on the 29th of Athyr the white crown was given to Horus and the red crown to Sut, as the rulers of the two territories here assigned to the two opponents warring for supremacy in the Egypt of Amenta. The red and white crowns had been previously given to Sut and Horus as the rulers of the south and north; Sut being Suten in the south, and Horus king of the north. But in the Sallier Papyrus a change is made in the disposition of the two crowns. The white crown was now given to Horus and the red crown to Sut, as the symbols of the upper and lower lands, the desert of Sut and the fertile land of Horus, or the wilderness of Anrutef and the paradise of plenty in the Sekhet-Aarru.
In one of his battles with Sut, Horus, having got the better of him, takes possession of both the upper and lower land. He says, "I am Horus, the lord of Kamit (the black land) and the heir of Tesherit (the red land), which I have also seized. I who am the invincible one" (Rit., ch. 138). It is also said to Horus in "the crown of triumph" (Rit., ch. 19), "Thy father Seb hath decreed that thou shouldst be his heir. He hath decreed for thee the two earths, absolutely and without condition". Horus thus becomes the ruler of the double earth and the wearer of the double diadem, who united the white and red crown of the upper and lower earths, not merely as the two crowns of the north and south in the earlier mythos.
A new type of deity had been evolved in Atum-Horus, the son of Ptah. As solar god, he was the first that went both under and over in making the eternal round of night and day. "It is thou who hast created eternity", is said to Atum-Ra, the divider and traverser of the double earth. This is the god "who goeth round in his orb, and giveth light to the whole circumference which the solar orb enlighteneth”. He who had been Horus of the two horizons and also Kheper the self-originating force was now the traverser and enlightener of the double earth with his rays (Rit.. ch. 15).
After being concealed from men by night he presents himself each day at dawn; his glories are too great to be told as he "arises out of the golden". "The land of the gods, the colours of Puanta are seen in them, that men may form an estimate of that which is hidden from their faces" (ch. 15, Renouf). He divides the earths by his passage through. He lights up the tuat with his glories and wakens the manes in their hidden abodes by shining into their sepulchres and coffins. He opens the tuat and disposes of all its doors in the under-world. The Litany of Ra is described as being the book of the worship of Ra and the worship of [Page 420] Tum, that is Atum-Ra, in Amenta. He is worshipped as the master of the hidden spheres who himself is invisible in darkness and who causes the principles (of life) to arise. He is the only one that unites the generative substances. His body is so great that it conceals his shape. He is born of his own becoming and manifests as his own son. In the adoration of Ra it is said to Atum as he entereth Amenta or "setteth in the land of life". "All the gods of Amenta are in exultation at thy glory”. They of the hidden abodes adore thee, and the great ones make offerings to thee, who have created for thee the soil or ground of earth". That was in the making of the double earth, not in the making of the earth itself as a cosmogonical creation. In short, it was not earth-making, but the framing of the double earth, with Amenta as the pathway of eternity.
With the opening of Amenta, not only was a new world established in the double earth of Ptah - a new dynasty of deities was also founded. This was the Osirian group of five, consisting of Osiris, Isis and Nephthys, sightless Horus and Sut, who were called the children of Seb. Here, again, the twin opponents, Sut and Horus, were far older than Osiris, but were brought on with the great gods, the Great Mother, and the two sisters, in this newer combination of the powers effected in the under-world, the nether portion of the double earth.
Amenta in one aspect was the world of the dead, the Kâsu or burial-place in the Osirian cult. In this it was claimed to be "the great resting-place" of Osiris the mummy-god, which it became. But it had been created by Ptah for his son Atum before the Osirian dynasty was founded at Abydos. It was the way of the Egyptians to put all they knew into all they did in bringing on and aggregating their wisdom of the past. Thus the circumpolar paradise is repeated in the earthly paradise of Amenta. The stellar mount of glory in the north was reproduced as solar in the east. The Heptanomis with its seven entrances; the twenty-eight lunar stations, fourteen in the upper and fourteen in the lower hemisphere; the house of Osiris with its thirty-six gates. Various stars and constellations known on high, such as Orion, Sothis, and Polaris, were repeated as the guiding stars in this firmament of the lower earth to which the looks of the manes were directed in death. Amongst other reproductions in Amenta we find the Aarru garden; the abyss of the Nun as the womb of earth; the tree or edible plants in the water of the abyss; the dragon of drought or the serpent of darkness; the old first mother; the warring twins, Sut and Horus; the company of seven elemental powers; the lower firmament; the two pillars of Sut and Horus erected in Tattu, the house of eternity; Taht, the bearer of the lunar light; the Sebau, or powers of darkness, fog, mist, cloud, plague, storm, and eclipse - all of which were pre-extant before Amenta had been made by Ptah. The primary group of seven elemental powers was succeeded by the eight great gods, and the eight by the Put-circle of nine. Ptah was then considered to be the one supreme god, begotten by his own becoming, the maker of all things, who himself was not made. The eight were looked upon as his children. The nine formed the Put-circle or cycle of Ptah, who are equivalent to the Elohim of Genesis. In this connection we may [Page 421] note that No.9 was the full Egyptian plural. The word for nine is Put, and Putah (or Ptah) is of a nine-fold nature. Ptah was indeed the full Egyptian plural as a group or Put of powers that were combined in a supreme self-originating force whose mode of becoming was by transforming from the elemental power or powers through the human into the divine. As "creators", Ptah and his company of artisans did not originate in that which had no previous existence. They were the transformers of that which had always been as elemental in matter. The element of earth was pre-extant, likewise the power that brought forth life from the earth in water. This power operated by transformation, and one of its types was the serpent of Rannut (a form of the Mother-earth), which was a type of transformation because it periodically sloughed its skin and renewed itself. The element of water was pre-extant, also the power that transformed in the water to bring forth life in food. This transforming power in the water was objectified by the tadpole visibly turning into the frog. It was the same all nature through. The "creators" were the formers and transformers as unseen forces operating in the physical domain, with each one traceable to an elemental origin. First the elements themselves. Next the elemental forces or self originators
in two categories, the baleful and the beneficent. Then the goddesses and gods that were portrayed totemically, and afterwards personalized as divinities in the human likeness.
Ptah was the divine artisan. In his time the masons, builders, potters, blacksmiths were at work, each in their companionship, or brotherhood, as they are seen, hard at it, when the workers in the valley of the Nile come into view. He is especially called the father of beginnings. He was the former in the likeness of the scarabeus, the transformer in the image of a frog, and as the embryo in utero Ptah exhibits the earliest attempt at imposing the human likeness upon the shaping power that was previously imaged by means of the typical insect, or symbolical animal, as in totemism. There is a group of primeval powers described in later times who are said to be "the first company of the gods of Aarru", or the fields of heaven. They are addressed as the mighty ones, the beneficent ones, the divine ones, who test by their level the words of men as the lords of law, justice, and right; or as the lords of Maat. They are saluted in these words, "Hail to you, ye gods, ye associate-gods, who are without body, ye who rule that which is born from the earth, and that which is produced in the house of your cradles. Ye prototypes of the image of all that exists; ye forms, ye great ones, ye mighty ones, first company of the gods of Aarru, who generated men and shaped the type of every form, ye lords of all things. Hail to you, ye lords of everlasting" (Louvre Papyrus, 3283; Renouf, Hib. Lectures, pp. 208-209). In this text the Aarru is celestial, not the Aarru in Amenta, but the Aarru of the fields above, of which the goddess Apt is said to have been the mother as the bringer-forth of the seven primeval powers in their stellar character. As lords of Maat they are identical with the seven lords of rule or divine governors who are called "the arms of the balance on the night when the eye is fixed" (Rit., ch. 71). This first company of the gods in the fields of heaven were the Ali or Ari as [Page 422] in the seven Kab-ari) by name, and the Ali are a group of companions who are herein set forth as co-creators of all that exists in heaven or in earth. The primordial nature-powers are mentioned under several types and names. They are the seven Uraeus-gods, born of Mother-earth as non-sentient elemental powers (Rit., ch. 83). They are the seven Khus or glorious ones whose place in heaven was appointed by Anup on the day of "come thou to me" (Rit., ch. 17). They are the seven who assist the great judge in the Maat at the pole on the night of the judgment day, called "the seven arms of the balance", as executioners of the guilty, who accomplish the slaughter in the tank of
flame when the condemned are exterminated (ch. 71,7). They are the seven wise masters of arts and sciences who assisted Taht in his measurements of earth and heaven. In the solar mythos they are to be seen in several characters with Horus, Ptah, and Ra. They were portrayed as the seven with Horus, in the eight great stars of Orion. They are the seven souls of Ra, also the seven divine ancestors in the boat of the sun, the seven who support Osiris in Amenta. In whichever phase of phenomena, they are a group, a brotherhood, a companionship of powers originally seven in number. It is now proposed to identify this "first company" of creators who passed through these several phases in the Egyptian mythos as seven elementals, seven with the ancient Genetrix, seven with Anup, seven with Taht, seven with Horus, seven with Ptah, as the group of companions called the Elohim in the Hebrew Genesis, who were known to the Gnostics and Kabalists as seven in number, with Ialdabaoth, a form of Sut, at their head.
The word Elohim in Hebrew is employed both as a singular and a plural noun for god and gods, or spirits, with no known origin in phenomena by which the plurality could be explained. For this we must consult the Egyptian wisdom in the mythos which preceded the eschatology. In the "Dispatches from Palestine" there is a perfect parallel to the twofold use of Elohim in the plural and singular forms employed in the Hebrew book. The scribe addressing the Egyptian Pharaoh says, "To the king, my lord, my gods, my sungod".
(Records of the Past, vol. ii., p. 62, 2nd series.) Here the gods were the powers gathered into the one god as supreme. These when seven-fold were called the souls of Ra. They become the eight in the paradise of Am-Khemen. They are nine in the Put-cycle of Ptah, they were ten as the sephiroth of the kabalists, they are twelve in the final heaven of Atum-Ra. In a word, they are the Elohim as a form of the Egyptian Ali or Ari, a companionship of workers, and later creators. "In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth". The astronomical mythology of Egypt, from the time of Sut to that of Ptah, is involved in that brief statement. There are at least three different groups of the Elohim - that is, the Ali or Ili - with the plural ending of the name as Semitic. The first group of these creators was seven in number, with Sut at their head. The second was that of the eight in Am-Khemen, with Anup added to the seven.
The third is the company of Ptah, who formed the Put-circle of the nine. These preceded Atum, who was Ra in his first sovereignty. And to show how the past of Egypt opens into immensity, Ptah is credited with being the supreme ruler for 9,000 years. Still earlier [Page 423] the followers of Horus reigned for 14,000 years and, as the astronomical legends show, the primary seven creators had previously marked out one great year in the circle of precession before they could become those lords of eternity at, the north celestial pole, which were represented by a group of seven stars that never set. Under the title of Elohim, both the one god and the company of gods are present, though concealed, just as Ptah and his associates the Ali were included in the Put-cycle, as Ptah the god, Ιu the son of god, and the paut as the group of gods. And if the Put-cycle of the Ali, as now maintained, are the originals of the Phoenician and Hebrew Elohim, it follows that the deity Ptah is the one god of the group in the Genesis as well as in the original mythos. Although the name of Ptah may not be given, yet the creator as the worker in earth, the potter, the moulder or carver, is plainly apparent in the Hebrew Genesis. Also it may be parenthetically remarked that the Hebrew word puth, or peth, for the opening, is identical with Put, in Egyptian, to open; and that Ptah or (Putah) was named from this root as the opener, whether as opener of the nether earth for the sun to pass through, or for the resurrection of the manes from Amenta in the coming forth to day. Moreover, there is a biblical name, that of Puthahiah which apparently proclaims the fact that Iah is the opener, or that he is identical with Ptah (I Chron. xxiv. 16; Ezra x. 23; j Neh. ix. 5 and xi. 24).
The same root enters into the name of Pethuel, which is equivalent to Ptah-EI or the divine opener, who was the Egyptian god Ptah ( Joel i. I ).
In the Egyptian divine dynasties Ptah is god the father in one character and Iu the son in the other. In the person of Ιu he is the youthful deity who rises from the dead both as the sun-god and as the soul which was imaged for the resurrection in the form of a sahu-mummy risen with the solar hawk for its head, as symbol of the soul issuing from the body of Kheper-Ptah. Ιu, in the character of the son, is also representative of the Put-cycle, that is of the Elohim or company of the creators. Thus the Elohim are represented in the first creation of man by the maker = Ptah, and in the second by Iu the son of Ptah; and Iu the son of Ptah is equivalent to Iahu-Elohim, who becomes the creator of the second Adam in the second chapter of the Hebrew Genesis. In the first of two creations Ptah and the Ali who are his
associate-gods, the Ali or Elohim, are the creators of Atum, the Hebrew Adam, who in the first phase was created male and female, man and woman in one. The associate-gods or Elohim are said to become the lips, the teeth, the joints, the hands, of Atum the son of Ptah. In another version they are the seven souls of man. In the second creation it is Atum and his associate-gods who are the creators of man, the same as Iahu-Elohim in the Genesis. The parallel is perfect; only in the Hebrew rendering the gnosis is omitted.
Still there are two Adams, man the mortal on earth, and man the manes in Amenta. It is the present writer's contention that the Elohim in the plural are the Ali or associate-gods of Ptah, and that lahu-Elohim is the deity lu, who was a form of Ptah as god the son, and who afterwards became the father god in Israel under the name of Ihuh or Jehovah. Iu or lu-em-hetep, he who comes with [Page 424] peace, is the Kamite original of the promised prince of peace, whose coming was periodic and aeonian for ever and ever, or from generation to generation. The writer further maintains that the creation in the first chapter answers to the creation of Kheper-Ptah and his Ali, that the creation of lahu in the second chapter is identical with that of Iu or Atum and his associate-gods, and that the garden in Eden is the Aarru garden which Ptah and his Ali or Elohim created for Atum the son to cultivate as the earthly paradise in Amenta.
Thus, the two different creations in the first two chapters of Genesis are in their proper order. In the first "the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them". Man, or Adam, also was made. All through this chapter the creators are the associate-gods, the Egyptian Ali, the Phoenician Elohim. In the second chapter, one of the Elohim is individualized by name as lahu or lahu-Elohim, translated "the Lord God", which might be rendered the god lahu = Iu-em-hetep. After the Elohim had finished their work, it is said in the second chapter of Genesis that Iahu-Elohim now made the earth and heaven which had already been assigned to the Elohim as makers in the previous chapter. This also may be explained by the Egyptian mythos. Ptah the creator and father of the Ali, or Elohim, was one with lu in the person of the son. Ptah, the speaker for the group in the first chapter, is the father, and lahu in the second chapter is the same one god continued as the son, Iu lusa, or lu-em-hetep. Thus the dual character of Ptah-Iu was continued in Atum-Iu as the divine father and son. Also, there are two Atums, corresponding to the two types of Adam, one human, one divine. One was the Atum who died = the Adam in whom all men die, as Paul expresses the doctrine; the other is the second Atum, called Nefer-Atum, or fu the son, who rose again to change the earthly into the heavenly man, in whom the dead were to be made alive again in Amenta, as it was taught in Egypt some ten thousand years ago. In the Hebrew version Atum-Iu has been divided and brought on in two characters which really correspond to the two Adams, human and divine, the first Adam or man, who was of the earth earthly, the second Adam or man, who is of heaven heavenly, the "life-giving spirit", who became Atum-Ra the "holy spirit" in the Kamite eschatology. More of the Genesis survived amongst the Kabalists.
Atum at Annu, like Ptah at Memphis, was the one god in the two characters of father and son; the eternal father who was personalized in time as the ever-coming son. The birth was periodic in phenomena.
Horus of the inundation on his papyrus came as the shoot; lu as the fish. Thus to have any meaning the coming son was the ever-coming one as a type of the eternal. The title of Ptah as Kheper has the meaning of becoming. The name of the son Iu signifies the coming one. This was he who came for ever, first as manifestor for the mother, "the seed of the woman", and then as the representative of the father.
In the cult of Ptah both characters of the father and son were combined in one god, and both were continued in Atum. lu the bringer of peace was god the coming son in both religions. The coming son, we repeat, was the ever-coming one. There was no advent once for all. Food and vegetation,[Page 425] water and light, depended on continual repetition and renewal. This was a subject of the astronomical mythology, in which the "coming" according to time and season had perennial fulfilment. The war of Horus the son with the serpent of darkness was fought out nightly. His conflict with the dragon of drought was repeated annually. But in the Hebrew version the "coming" has been relegated to the domain of
prophecy. The saviour or deliverer is to come to bruise the serpent's head once for all; and in this passing of mythology into the later eschatology the ever-coming was changed into the long-expected and, as it turns out, never-coming son of the Holy Spirit and a mother who was ever-virgin. It was not the object of the adapters to be more explicit, but to all intents and purposes the two characters of Atum the fathergod, who was designated "the father of mankind", and of lu the son have been reproduced in Genesis as Adam the human father and lahu-Elohim as the god.
It is the making of Amenta by Ptah and his associate gods that has been converted into a creation of the heaven and the earth in the book of Genesis. This is shown by the firmament that was suspended in the midst of the waters which were under the firmament and separated from the waters which were over the firmament. This is the firmament that was made by Ptah when he divided the heaven of Nut below from the heaven of Nut on high, and thus suspended a lower sky above the nether earth. But when the heaven and the earth were made and the work was finished, the result was a world so unfurnished and unfit to live in that "no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up": no rain had fallen, and "there was not a man to till the ground" (ch. ii. 5). This was in Amenta, the hidden earth that was opened by Ptah for Tum (Atum) and his associate gods to cultivate. Now the impossibility of the Hebrew creation being cosmical is fixed for ever, inasmuch as the heaven and earth are made twice over. In the second chapter there is a second creation of heaven and earth, and the first creation is followed by the making of a second man. The creation of the garden, in the Egyptian mythos, is a separate and subsequent creation from the calling of a nether earth into existence. Amenta was first made, and then the Aarru-garden was planted in Amenta. This twofold creation will account for the two Adams, the man of earth and the man from heaven, or man the mortal and man the manes. In the
mythology the first Atum was solar. In the eschatology the second Atum is spiritual. The garden was made for the manes to cultivate, and the manes represents the second Adam, who as Egyptian is Nefer- Atum, or Atum in spirit - otherwise man the manes in the garden of Amenta.
In the book of Genesis there are six creations or acts of creation, set forth as the work of six days or periods. (I) The light was divided from the darkness, and there was evening and morning - one day. (2) The firmamental water was divided into upper and lower, and there was a second day. (3) The waters were gathered into one place for the dry land to appear; the earth put forth grass and herbs and trees, and there was a third day. (4) The lights were set in the firmament for signs and seasons, and there was a fourth day. (5) The creatures of the waters were brought forth and the fowls of the air, [Page 426] and there was a fifth day. (6) The earth brought forth the living creatures after their kind, including man, and there was a sixth day. Then in the moralizing of the mythos the work of creation being ended on the sixth day, the seventh is to be solemnized as a day of rest. In the course of literalizing the pre-extant mythos it is said that when Elohim finished his work he rested on the seventh day from all the work which he had made. "And Elohim blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because that in it he rested from all his work which Elohim had created and made" (ch. ii. 2, 3). So in the book of Amenta it is said that the nether earth was created by the solar god, who rested in that which he had made, just as Ptah was satisfied after making all things, and all the divine names, when like the Elohim he had finished the work and saw that it was good.
There is no great difficulty in discovering the origin of the day of rest which has been ascribed to the Elohim upon the seventh day of creation. Amenta was created as the place of rest for the sleeping dead, and also for the god of the resting heart. It had been the work of Ptah and his associate gods to create the great resting-place in the under-world. And consequently this character of Ptah, as the maker of Amenta, is determined by his designation of "Ptah in the great resting-place" (Stele of Shabaka, line 16).
The great resting-place was created for the god who rested there, as did Atum and later Osiris of the resting heart. This was the work which the creator or craftsman Ptah completed in seven stages or periods that were ultimately reduced to seven days. The mount called Hetep in the earthly paradise is named as the mount of rest. It was a kind of "rest-and-be-thankful" half-way up the ascent from the world of the dead to the summit on the mount of glory. The word Hetep has the various meanings of rest, peace, plenty, all of which were to be realized in Hetep, the garden of the blessed dead. The great object is "to take possession there". The manes says, "I am united there with the god of rest" - that is, with Osiris, god of the resting heart. "I take my rest in the divine domain. There is given to me the plenty which belongeth to the kau and the glorified". "Rise in Hetep (the mount) blest with the breezes, I arrive in thee, my head is uncovered. I am in my own domain". One of the blissful islands of this earthly paradise is expressly called the isle of rest or Hetep. The voyager makes fast his bark to "the block of moorage on the stream", and utters his praises to the gods who are in the garden of rest. The garden of Amenta was a place of rest in the refreshing shade of Hathor’s tree. It was called the garden of Hetep. The word Hetep is also spelt Hept. In fact, to judge from the hieroglyphical inscriptions in the Pyramid of Medum, it seems that this was the earliest spelling of the word. Thus Amenhetep would be Amenhept. Now Hept (Gr.<>Επτα) in Egyptian also signifies the number seven. This may be related to the work of creation in seven days, which according to the non-biblical Jewish legends represented the earthly paradise in
seven divisions as a figure of the celestial heptanomis, the work in seven parts being computed as a work of seven days, and Hept the place of rest transformed into the seventh day of rest. In the later Semitic märchen, Assyrian and Hebrew, a division in time has been [Page 427] substituted for the division in space - that is, the seven divisions of the astronomical heptanomis have been converted into a creation of seven days, and a great day of rest has been substituted for the great resting-place. We can perceive the Semitic Sabbath in the making and also where it was made. In the elder version of the Assyrian legend of creation there was no Sabbath. The seventh day is a day of labour, not a day of rest.
But whatsoever was signified by the seven successive divisions, acts, stages, or periods of creation that were ultimately commemorated by the festival of the seventh day, the Semitic Sabbath belongs to the superstructure, not to the foundation, and is not original, either as Hebrew or Assyrian. Time did not begin with Sunday, either as the first or the seventh day of the week. The week was preceded by the month or a moon, and a moon by the year of the inundation that was commemorated by the festival of the Great Bear's tail. In the Chaldean account of creation there is a hint of the solar origin of the Sabbath. In this it is said of the creator, "On the seventh day he appointed a holy day. And to cease from all business he commanded. Then arose the sun on the horizon of heaven". (Lines 17, 18, 19.) The day dedicated to the sun was Sunday, but the solar calendar was the latest. An indefinitely more ancient version than anything Semitic has been preserved in the Hawaiian legend of creation. This is said to have begun on the 26th day of the month, on the day of Kane, and continued during the days named Lono, Manli, Maku, Hilo, and Hoaka. In six days the creation was completed, and the seventh day, the day of Ku, became the first holy day. The first and sixth of these seven days have been kept sacred ever since by all generations of Hawaiians. Yet the Polynesians generally did not solemnize a weekly Sabbath, and had no week of seven days. (Fornander, vol. i. p. 121; Natural Genesis, vol. ii. p. 56.) More than once we meet with a sixth-day Sabbath in Africa. Dos Santos described this sixth day of rest as being observed in the ploughing season by the Monomatapa, which, according to Bent (p. 341), is continued among them today.
"At Mangwedis during the ploughing season they only work for five consecutive days. They observe the sixth and call it Muali's day. and rest in their huts and drink beer. These days are feasts of the ancestral spirits or muzimos, called "the days of the holy ones who are already dead".
A week of seven days concluding with the Sabbath, which was at first a festival, is more expressly Semitic. Not that the Egyptians had no seven-day period in their reckonings of time. The tenait was a period of seven days, as well as of fourteen days or a half-moon; but a cycle of seven days as the measure of a cosmogonical creation had no meaning. The seven periods of creation did not originate with seven days of twenty-hours each. As will be seen, when all is put together, the Egyptians reckoned time upon a scale so vast that it included the great year of the world. That is, the heptanomis founded upon seven astronomes had been repeated in the great year with its seven periods in precession which were represented by the seven changing pole-stars before the backward movement could have been calculated by the position of the equinoctial colure. The reduced scale of the Semitic seven days is but a one-inch-to-the-mile sort of [Page 428] rendering of the seven stages in precession which have yet to be explained. The traditions show that one type of the under-world was the heptanomis, which had been mundane in Egypt and was made celestial in the astronomical mythology. This was likewise reproduced in the making of Amenta. Ptah is said to have designed the Nomes (Text of Shabaka, line 6). The Nomes were seven in number. The Knemmu who assisted Ptah were seven. The creations that culminated in man the speaker were seven. Also in one of the Rabbinical traditions concerning the lower and upper, or the earthly and heavenly, paradise, it is said that before his fall Adam was the heavenly dweller in a habitation which contained seven palaces or mansions. These, according to the Sohar, were afterwards rearranged to become the abodes of the blessed. This contains a fragment of the genuine legend when rightly interpreted. Adam is here considered to have been a dweller in the paradise of the celestial heptanomis. This was repeated in Amenta when the lower paradise of the solar mythos was mapped out in seven domains for Atum = Adam, as the land of promise destined for the glorified elect. It is related by Rabbi Manasseh Ben-Israel that the souls of men were created during the six days of the beginning, independently of bodies, like the first company of the Kamite gods. These were the spirits derived from the external elements that preceded the embodiment of a special soul in human form. (Nat. Genesis, vol.
ii. p. 282.) "True Israelites believe", says the Rabbi, "that all the souls which have existed from the first time, and which shall be to the end of the world, were generated in six days of creation". These are the six souls of the fish, the fowl, the beast, the reptile, and other forms of life which preceded the seventh soul of the speaker, man, or Atum = Adam. The seventh of the elemental powers, in the human shape, is described in the gnostic systems of the Ophites and Sethians when they teach that Ialdabaoth called upon the rest of the Elohim, saying, "Come, let us make man after our own image". They also relate that Ialdabaoth in the character of elder brother as the would-be father created six sons, he himself being the first person in the group. They further declare that these are the seven mundane demons who always oppose and resist the human race, because it was on their account that their father (Ialdabaoth) was cast
down to this lower world. (Irenaeus, Bk. I. ch. 30, 8.)
It is also represented in the Rabbinical writings that the souls of the Israelites had a higher origin than the souls of the Gentiles. The souls of the Goim, they say, have their origin from the external powers, the power of klippoth or the demons, whereas the souls of the Israelites are derived from the Holy Spirit. The first originated from the elemental powers that were imaged by the zootypes, and were denounced as evil spirits by the later theology. As for Atum-Ra, the father of Iu, he was the Kamite holy spirit. The souls of the idolators were not called men, because they were born in the totemic stage of sociology and were derived from the spirits of the elements which had been imaged by the zootypes. More simply stated, they were not men only because the mode of representation was pre-anthropomorphic, and the soul of blood was not yet traced [Page 429] to the maternal source, or the spirit of man to the father. In the
Babylonian legends the totemic zootypes, which preceded the man derived from the soul of blood, have been confused with the beings born of the abyss as the creatures of darkness. "Then Belos the sun-god came, and the animals died, as they were not able to bear the light. Belos seeing a vast space unoccupied, though by nature fruitful, commanded one of the gods to cut off his head and to mix the blood with the earth, and from thence to form other men and animals which should be capable of bearing the light". (Eusebius, Chron. i. 4.) This in its way is a mythical creation of the man who was made from the soul of blood. In another legend a great destruction follows a rebellion called "the revolt in heaven", which is only mentioned here for the sake of citing the statement that when the rebels were destroyed or driven out by the supreme god, "in their room he created mankind". As we understand the gnosis, a group of six totemic powers was extant before the seventh, the soul of man, was specialized as a human soul that was incarnated in the blood of the motherhood, the first soul, so to say, that could talk. This group of six zootypes with no human figure included is widely extended over the world. As the Arunta tell us, in the Alcheringa, or Auld Lang Syne, there were no men or women, only pre-human creatures designated the Inapertwa. In the Egyptian mythos the six zootypes of Sut, Horus, Shu, Hapi, Tuamutef, and Kabhsenuf are followed and completed by the human figure in Amsta the man or Horus the child.
The Arunta version comes fresh from an almost unknown world. It may have been carried there from Africa, but it is certain that the Egyptians did not derive their mysteries, mythical legends, and sign language from the natives of Central Australia. The tradition of the Inapertwa only applied to certain totems, six in number (this will bear repeating). The preliminary pre-human creatures who were made into men and women by the Ungambikula belonged to the six following totems: Akakia, or plum tree; inguitchika, or grass-seed; echunpa, or large lizard; erliwatchera, or little lizard; atninpirichina, or Alexandra parakeet; and the untania, or small rat. Here are six totemic types of creatures that preceded the human voice and image. There were six groupings of elemental spirits based upon six elemental powers that were imaged by means of zootypes before ever an elemental power was imaged in the human likeness, or, as it was rendered at a later time, before the creation of man, who was seventh in a series of seven, or as the earliest human soul.
Miss Kingsley gives it as the opinion of Dr. Nassau of Gaboon that the. nature-spirits commonly affecting human affairs, which are believed in by the natives on the West Coast, can be classified "fairly completely" in six orders (Kingsley, M. H., Travels in West Africa), The Damaras derive from six prehuman powers by means of six descents or eundas. Six descents from superhuman powers would naturally follow for those who derived their descent from the powers, gods, or spirits that might be represented by six totemic zootypes such as the serpent, crocodile, hippopotamus, lion, hawk, and other figures of the elemental forces that preceded the human image as a primitive type of power. Afterwards the six powers would [Page 430] account for six different classes of spirits recognized in the animistic
interpretation of external nature according to religion in the fetishtic phase. In India there was a first form of the Aditya, six in number, who preceded the groups of seven and eight. There was also an Egyptian "mystery of the six" which has not been unveiled. The seventh of the series is the soul that was first considered to be human because it was the soul of man, the speaker, which in this phase was discreted from the totemic souls by means of language. No distinction could have been more natural. As we have previously seen in Book IV., the Osiris deceased is reconstituted for the life hereafter by the blending of his seven souls. which correspond to the seven souls of Ra. And when he has become a spirit by the seven being put together at last in the likeness of the ka, it is said to him, "Thy perfect soul, O Nefer-Uben- f triumphant. hath the power of speech" (Rit., ch. 149, 15).
Speech was the property of the perfect soul - that is, the highest of the seven souls - which was consequently human. The Chinese also have the very ancient "six honoured ones", or six Tsung. The Zuni Indians adored the six powers that preceded the seventh in the likeness of man. In "The Wisdom of Jesus" or the book of Ecclesiasticus there is a description of the creation of man. It is said that men "received the use of the five operations of the Lord, and in the sixth place he imparted to them understanding, and in the seventh speech" (Eccles.xvii. 5). This contains a fragment of the Egyptian wisdom. The creation of man from seven souls takes place in Amenta for the next life, with speech as the
seventh constituent. In the mythological text from Memphis there is an account of Ptah's creation, in which it is said that all the limbs moved (i.e., as parts of the pauti or company of the gods) when he uttered the word of wisdom which came forth from the tongue and worked a blessing upon all things.
Speech caused (or literally became) the making of men and the creation of the gods for Ptah (Proc. Soc. Bib. Arch. vol. xxiii. pts. 4 and 5, pp. 173-4). Thus the making of man qua man is attributed to speech in this Kamite creation of man as the speaker, the same as in "The Wisdom of Jesus". This may account for the custom, or religious rite, performed by the Hindu father, who puts his lips to the right ear of the newborn babe and mutters three times, "Speech! Speech! Speech!" This gives it a name. The previous souls were only known by totemic types and semi-human sounds, not by proper names. (Kelly, Indo-European Folk-Lore, pp. 145-6.)
Hindu sages tell us that six of the seven primordial souls were born twins; the seventh alone came into existence as a single soul. This too can be read by means of the gnosis. The six souls were pre-human.
That is, they were totemic souls. Now , the totemic zootype was the representative of both sexes;j the male stood for the men, the female for the women. "Of those that are born together , sages have called the seventh single-born, for six are twins" (Rig-Veda, Wilson, ii. 131, 132). Totemic man was born twin as represented by the zootype of both sexes. Six of these preceded the human figure, which as homo or man was born single and had to be divided into man and woman according to the mythical representation of the cutting out in the second creation by Iahu-Elohim [Page 431] (Gen. ch. ii). The twin-soul was what the Egyptian Ritual describes as the one soul in two bodies (ch. 17). One of these was male as Shu, the other female as Tefnut. This was the man or Adam of the first creation in Genesis, who was figured as both male and female (Gen. i. 27). Shu and Tefnut were born twins, he as brother, she as sister, and both under one type, that of the lion. In the same way the crocodile was female as Apt and male as Sebek. Thus a single totemic type denoted a soul that was born twin when souls were prehuman.
It is the same doctrine when the Kabalists assert that in the beginning of the world souls were created by God in pairs consisting of a male and female. The twin-soul here is a product of the primary creation; the single soul belongs to the second creation.The doctrine is apparent in the first chapter of Genesis, when Adam was created in the likeness of the Elohim, and was both male and female.
Whereas in the second creation (ch. ii.) man, or Adam, is not a twin soul; he is fashioned singly, and the woman is taken from the body of the man to form a consort for him. When the supreme power of seven was imaged in the human likeness this constituted a mythical man as the seventh in a series of seven prototypes. Thus Enoch, the seventh from Adam, is pre-eminently the man. Also, when the group of manes travel round the zodiac, in the Hindu astronomy, the seventh is a divine man or a Buddha. The seventh Buddha is always the man who is held to be divine. The seven Buddhas are often portrayed in the temples and monasteries of Tibet, where they are better known as the seven Sang-gye, meaning increase of purity, who are named: (I) He who saw through and through, (2) he who had a crest of fire,
(3) the preserver of all, (4) the dissolver of the round of life, (5) golden might, (6) the guardian of light, (7) the mighty Shakya. The seventh is that pre-eminent personage known as Sakya-Muni or Gautama, whose life and history were evolved from the pre-extant mythos, like those of the Christ in the gospels -the true Buddha, who could no more become historical than the Christ of the gnosis. If Buddhism could but explicate its own origins it would become apparent that it is both natural and scientific. But the blind attempt to make the Buddha historical in one personality will place it ultimately on the same level with historical Christianity at the bottom of the ditch. The seventh Buddha that comes once in a phoenix-cycle -of 500 years is the divine man, who can only be repeated as an astronomical figure - a measurer for the eternal in the cycles of time. But the manifestation of the seventh, the man of the group, has been made exoteric as an incarnation of the seventh Buddha in the human form on earth. The divine man as the seventh of a series is yet extant and operative in British folk-lore when the seventh son of a seventh son is always the great healer. The totemic soul was twin.
The human soul was singly born as the soul of the man or woman. It was not as the Hebrew Adam that man was made, but as the Egyptian Atum, earlier Tum; and Tum in Egyptian means "created man".
Adam is a later rendering of the name. And this "created man" was made as Atum son of Ptah with the aid of his Ali or co-creators. It was they who created the senses of man, the breathing of the nostrils, the sight of the eyes, the hearing of the ears, the thought of the heart, and utterance by the tongue. [Page 432]
Man was made according to the outline of Child-Horus sketched by Ptah; the anthrotype that was to supersede the zoo type. Man that is composed of seven souls, according to the doctrine, was the product of seven elements. These were recognized at first as nature-powers that were ultimately divinized as makers or creators. They had been divinized as the first company of the associate-gods before the time of Ptah, and when Kheper-Ptah, Neb-er-ter, became supreme, the seven Ali were associated with him in the work of creation, the evolution of man, and the making of the garden in Amenta. Thus man in the Egyptian mythos was a late creation, which is in agreement with the legends of the aborigines. Man was also made twice over, once as mortal on the earth, and once as the spirit-man or manes in Amenta.
Hence the first and second Adam or Atum, the man of earth and the man from heaven. These will also explain the two forms of Adam in the book of Genesis (ch. i. 27 and ii. 7). The seventh of the elemental powers was the soul of blood. This was represented in the elder Horus as the soul of matter by a child that was unseeing, inarticulate, and altogether imperfect. The soul of blood as paternal source was added to the rest when Atum cut himself to produce his offspring Hu and Sau (Rit., ch. 17). In the Assyrian legend, when the head of Belos is taken off the blood that gushes out is mingled with the soil of earth or matter. "Thence men were formed. On this account it is that men are rational, and partake of divine knowledge". That is as human beings born of the soul of blood, which in this later creation was added to the six pre-human souls of Mother-earth, when the human origin was recognized as higher than the earlier and pre-human source of soul, such as air, water, and earth. The blood now mixed with the soil of earth is the soul of blood united with the earth or matter in the märchen. The highest of the seven was but a soul descended from the mother-blood, with no immortal spark of spirit that was afterwards derived from God the Father who is Atum-Ra; but it was reckoned the superior of any soul that was previously derived from the external elements.The seventh alone was consequently given the human likeness in Child-Horus, or in Atum.