Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World

A Work of Reclamation and Restitution in Twelve Books

Book Twelve - The Last Supper: the Crucifixion and the Resurrection

As the legend is related by Plutarch, the death of Osiris was preceded by his betrayal, and the betrayal, which was the work of his twin brother, Sut, took place in the banqueting-room. Sut, having framed a curious ark just the size of Osiris’s body, brought it to a certain banquet. As this was on the last night of Osiris’s life or reign, and on the last night of the year, the meal may fairly be called the Last Supper (Of Isis and Osiris, 13). Now this mystery of the Last Supper can be traced in the Ritual as the first of a series acted in Amenta. Sut and his associates had renewed the assault upon Osiris on the night of laying the evening provisions upon the altar, called the night of the battle in which the powers of drought and darkness were defeated and extinguished. The coffin of Osiris is the earth of Amenta. Dawn upon the coffin was the resurrection; and this provender is imaged as “the dawn upon the coffin of Osiris”, which shows that the evening meal, or eucharist, was eaten in celebration of the resurrection and the transubstantiation of the body into spirit. The night of laying provisions on the altar is mentioned twice: once when Osiris is in the coffin, provided by Sut and his associates, the Sebau, who entrapped him in the ark. The second mention follows the erection of the Tat-sign which denoted the resurrection; hence the “dawn upon the coffin of Osiris”, which is equivalent to the resurrection morn. The resurrection on the third day originated in lunar phenomena. Twenty-eight days was the length of a moon, and this is no doubt the source of the statement that Osiris was in his eight-and-twentieth year at the time of his betrayal. The moon is invisible during two nights, which completed the luni-solar month of thirty days.
The assault upon Osiris the Good Being made by Sut was periodically renewed. This has just occurred when the first of the ten mysteries is enacted (Rit., ch. 18). The scene is in the house of Annu (Heliopolis), where Osiris lay buried and Horus was reborn. The triumph of Osiris over his adversaries is in the resurrection following the dramatized death of the inviolate god. This is called the night of the battle, when there befell the defeat of the Sebau and the extinction of the adversaries of Osiris. It is also described as “the night of provisioning the altar”, otherwise stated “the night of the Last Supper”, when “the calf of the sacrificial herd” was eaten at “the mortuary meal”, which represented the body and blood of Osiris, “the bull of eternity” (Rit., ch. 1).
The second mystery of the ten is solemnized upon the night when the Tat-pillar was set up in Tattu, or when Osiris in his resurrection [Page 869] was raised up again as a type of the eternal. The third mystery is on the night of the things that were laid upon the altar in Sekhem which imaged the altar and the offering in one. This was the circle of Horus in the dark, the sufferer made blind by Sut, the victim in the Tat who was the prototype of Jesus on the cross, and representative of the god in matter.
As we have seen, a great Memphian festival, answering to the Christmas-tide of later times, was periodically solemnized at the temple of Medinet Habu in the last decade of the month Choiak (from December 20th to 30th), which lasted for ten days. One day, the 26th of the month=December 24th, was kept as the feast of Sekari, the god who rose again from the mummy, and this was the principal feast-day of the ten. In all likelihood the whole ten mysteries were performed during the ten days of the festival that was celebrated at Memphis (Erman, Life in Ancient Egypt, Eng. translation, pp. 277-9). Prominent among these was the feast of the erection or re-erection of the Tat-pillar of stability, which was an image of Ptah- Sekari, the coffined one who rose again, and who in the later religion becomes Osiris-Sekari, “Lord of resurrections, whose birth is from the house of death”. The resurrection of Osiris, which, like other
doctrines, was based on the realities of nature, would be appropriately celebrated in the winter solstice.
At that time the powers of darkness, drought, decay and death, now personalized in Sut, were dominant, as was shown in the lessening water and the waning light of the enfeebled sun. The tat-type of stability was temporarily overthrown, by the adversary of Osiris and his co-conspirators, the Sebau. Here begins the great drama of the Osirian mysteries, in ten acts, which is outlined in the Ritual. The putting of Osiris to death — so far as a god could suffer — was followed by the funeral, and the burial by the resurrection.
The opening chapters of the Ritual, called the Coming forth to day, are said to contain “the words which bring about the resurrection and the glory”, also the words to be recited on the day of burial that confer the power of coming forth from the death on earth, and of entering into the new life of the manes in Amenta. Horus is described as covering Tesh-Tesh (a title of the mutilated Osiris); as opening the lifefountains of the god whose heart is motionless, and as closing the entrance to the hidden things in Rusta (ch. 1, 18-20). The two divine sisters are present as mourners over their brother in the tomb. They are called the mourners who weep for Osiris in Rekhet (line 15, 16). The mysteries thus commence with the burial of Osiris in Amenta — as a mummy. The mummy-making that was first applied to preserving the bones and body of the human being had been afterwards applied to the god or sun of life in matter, imaged as the typical mummy of Osiris that was buried to await the resurrection in and afterwards from Amenta. In both phases it is Osiris, as the god in matter, who is represented in the nether-earth. And the re-arising of the human soul and its blending with the eternal spirit were dramatically rendered in the mysteries as the resurrection of the Osiris or the soul of mortal Horus re-arisen in Amenta as the son of Ra.
In the Gospels, Judas the brother of Jesus in one character, elsewhere called the familiar friend, is the betrayer on the night of the last [Page 870] supper, and Judas “the son of perdition” answers to Sut the twin-brother of Osiris (in the later Egyptian mythos), who was his betrayer at the last supper called the messiu or evening meal that was eaten on the last night of the Old Year, or the reign of Osiris. The twelve disciples only are present at the last supper in the Gospels. In the betrayal of Osiris by Sut the number present in the banqueting-hall is seventy-two. These were officers who had been appointed by Osiris.
The number shows they represent the seventy-two duo-decans as rulers in the planisphere, but the twelve have been chosen to sit at supper with the doomed victim in the Gospels instead of the seventytwo who were also appointed by the Lord, and are dimly apparent in their astronomical guise, as the seventy-two (or seventy) who are present in the scene where Jesus triumphs over Satan as he falls like lightning from his place in heaven (Luke X. 17).
One of the most striking of the various episodes in the Gospel narrative is that scene at the Last Supper in which Jesus washes the feet of the disciples, compared with “the washing” that is performed by the Great One in the Ritual. In the Gospel Judas is waiting to betray his master. Jesus says to the betrayer, “That thou doest, do quickly”. Now it should be borne in mind that the Ritual, as it comes to us, consists to a large extent of allusions to the matter that was made out more fully in performing the drama of the mysteries. Washing the feet was one of the mysteries pertaining to the funeral of Osiris, when the feet of the disciples or followers of Horus were washed. It was one of the funeral ceremonies. As it is said in the Ritual (ch. 172), “Thou washest thy feet in silver basins made by the skilful artificer Ptah-Sekari”. This was preparatory to the funeral feast, as is shown by the context (ch. 172). In the Gospel (John XIII.) the funeral feast becomes the “Last Supper” when Jesus “riseth from supper and layeth aside his garments; and he took a towel and girded himself. Then he poureth water into a basin and began to wash the disciples feet”. And here is a passage of three lines, called the chapter by which the person is not devoured by the serpent in Amenta. “O Shu, here is Tattu, and conversely, under the hair of Hathor. They scent Osiris. Here is the one who is to devour me. They wait apart. The serpent Seksek passeth over me.
Here are wormwood bruised and reeds. Osiris is he who prayeth that he may be buried. The eyes of the great one are bent down, and he doeth for thee the work of washing, marking out what is conformable to law and balancing the issues” (Rit., ch. 35, Renouf). This brief excerpt contains the situation and character of the great one, who with eyes bent down in his humility does “the work of washing”, and explains why this ceremony has to be performed by him in person. The “washer” is he who is in presence of the one who waits to betray him, devour him, or compass his destruction, and he beseeches a speedy burial. Osiris in this scene is a form of the typical “lowly one” who had been in type as such for ages previously. But the most arresting fact of all is hidden in the words “O Shu, here is Tattu (the place of reestablishing) under the wig (or hair) of Hatho”, the goddess of dawn, one of whose names is Meri. And it
is here, beneath the hair of Hathor-Meri, they perfume and anoint Osiris for his burial. This when written out as “history” [Page 871] contains the anointing and perfuming of the feet of Jesus by Mary, who wiped them with her hair (Luke VII. 38). The two bathings of the feet are separate items in the Gospels, whereas both occur in this one short chapter of the Ritual in which Osiris is anointed for his burial, and at the same time he does for others the work of washing and purifying, “marking out what is conformable to law and balancing the issues”.
Osiris also is “he who prayeth that he may be buried”, and Jesus, “knowing that his hour has come”, says to Judas the betrayer, “That thou doest, do quickly”. And later, “Friend, do that for which thou art come” (Matt. XXVI. 50), which is the equivalent of Osiris praying that he may be buried. The wormwood bruised, or crushed, and the reeds are utilized in the crucifixion for furnishing the bitter drink, which was offered to the victim with a sponge placed upon a reed. A reed was also put in his right hand. These things were portrayed in the drama of Amenta. They were acted in the mysteries and explained by the mysteryteachers.
The Osiris passes through the same scenes and makes continual allusion to the sufferings of Osiris (or Horus) his great forerunner, and finally the drama was staged on earth and reproduced as history in the Gospels. That is the one final and sufficient explanation of episode after episode belonging to the mysteries of Amenta reproduced according to the canon as veritable Gospel history.
The scene in Gethsemane may be compared with the scene in Pa, where Horus suffered his agony and bloody sweat when wounded by the black boar Sut. Pa was an ancient name of Sesennu, a locality in the lunar mythos, which was also called Khemen, later Smen, a word signifying number eight, applied to the enclosure of the eight; and the suffering of the wounded Horus in Am-Smen is, as now suggested, the Osirian original of Jesus bleeding in Gethsemane. Pa is not called “a garden”, but it is described as a “place of repose” for Horus that was given to him by his father for his place of rest. Ra says, “I have given Pa to Horus as the place of his repose. Let him prosper”. The story is told in “the chapter of knowing the powers of Pa” (Rit., ch. 112). The question is asked, “Know ye why Pa hath been given to Horus?” The answer is, It was Ra who gave it to him in amends of the blindness in his eye, in consequence of what Ra said to Horus: “Let me look at what is happening in thine eye to-day”, and he looked at it. Ra said to Horus, “Pray, look at that black swine”. He looked, and a grievous mishap befell his eye. Horus said to Ra, “Lo, mine eye is as though Sut had made a wound in it”. And wrath devoured his heart. Then Ra said to the gods, “Let him be laid upon his bed that he may recover”. “It was Sut who had taken the form of a black swine, and he wrought the wound which was made in the eye of Horus. And Ra said to the gods, “The swine is an abomination to Horus; may he get well” And the swine became an abomination to Horus. (Rit., ch. 112, Renouf.) It was in Pa that Horus was keeping his watch for Ra by night when the grievous mishap befell his eye. He was watching by command of Ra, who had said to Horus, “Keep your
eye on the black pig”. The eye was lunar, with which Horus kept the watch for Ra; and Sut in the form of the black boar of darkness pierced [Page 872] the eye of Horus with his tusk, the moon being the eye of Horus as the watcher by night for Ra. Sut on whom he kept the watch transformed himself into a black boar, and wounded Horus in the eye whilst he was watching on behalf of Ra as his nocturnal eye in the darkness. Jesus in the Gospels keeps the watch by night in Gethsemane, as is shown by the disciples failing to keep it. The watch by Horus was necessitated on account of Sut, who is the typical betrayer in the Kamite mythos, as Judas is in the Christian version. Sut knew the place in the original rendering and sought out Horus there when he caused the agony and bloody sweat by mutilating him. “Now Judas also which betrayed him knew the place” (to which Jesus “often restored’‘ with his disciples) and there the betrayer seeks him out to betray him, not in the form of a black boar that put out the eye which was the light of the world, but as a dark-hearted person befitting the supposed historical nature of the narrative.
The scene of the drowsy watchers in Gethsemane is apparently derived from a scene in the mysteries.
There is a reference in the Ritual (ch. 89) to “those undrowsy watchers who keep watch in Annu”. In the Gospels Jesus asks his followers to watch with him in the garden, and on both occasions he found them sleeping. The moral is pointed by the “undrowsy watchers in Annu” being turned into the drowsy watchers who slept in Gethsemane, and who failed to keep the watch. “I know the powers in Pa”, says the speaker; “they are Horus, Amsta and Hapi”. That is, Horus and the “two brothers”, who correspond to the two brethren James and John, the sons of Zebedee, in the Gospels, and who are here the two with Jesus in the garden. The conversation betwixt Horus the son and Ra the father, the watching by night, and the bloody sweat are followed by the glorification of Horus. Ra gives back the eye, the sight of which was restored in the new moon. In the Gospel (John XVII.) this glorification of Horus as the son of the father — Horus, who had previously been the son of the mother, Har-si-Hesi only — is anticipated and described as about to occur when the torment and the trial are over. “These things spake Jesus; and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy son, that thy son may glorify thee; even as thou gavest him authority over all flesh” — that was in the character of Horus the mortal — “Now, O Father, glorify me with thine own self” — in the character of Horus divinized or glorified. The temporary triumph of the treacherous Sut (the power of darkness) is acknowledged by Jesus when Judas betrays him with a kiss and he succumbs. “This”, he says to his captors, “this is your hour, and the power of darkness (Sut). And they seized him” (Luke XXII. 53, 54). But when the associates of Sut saw the double-crown of Horus on his forehead they fell to the ground upon their faces (Rit., ch. 134, 11). And when the associates of Judas=Sut the betrayer, came to take “Jesus of Nazareth”, and he said “I am!” (not I am he!) “They went backward and fell to the ground”. Scene for scene, they are the same. One of the titles of Horus is “Lord of the Crown” (ch. 141, 9), which possibly led to Jesus being crowned “King of the Jews”. In this scene the title of “Jesus of Nazareth” has the same effect on the associates of Judas that the [Page 873] assuming of his crown by Horus had upon the associates of Sut when it caused them to fall on their faces before him. The crowning of Jesus on the cross is as Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. The crown of triumph is assigned to Horus by his father Atum, and all the adversaries of the Good Being fall on their faces at the sight of it (Rit., ch. 19).
The scene in the garden of Gethsemane, and the cry to the father from the sufferer on the cross are very pitiful — the essence of the tragedy working most subtly on account of the supplication that was all in vain, which makes all the more profound appeal to human sympathy. In the Egyptian representation there is no such cruel desertion by the father of his suffering son in his agony of great darkness. It is far otherwise in the Ritual. When Horus suffers his agony in the darkness, after being pierced and made blind by Sut, Ra, the father-God, is with him to comfort and sustain him. He tenderly examines the bleeding wound and soothes him in his great affliction. Ra charges his angels concerning Horus, or bids the gods to look to his safety and see to his welfare. Ra said to the gods, “Let him be laid upon his couch that he may recover”. He also gives the eye of Horus fire to protect him, and consume the black boar of darkness. There is no sightless sufferer groping helplessly with empty hands outstretched and left unclasped in the dark void of death; no vain and unavailing cry of the forsaken son that stuns the brain and scars the human conscience, and is of itself sufficient to empty the Christian heaven of all fatherhood, and ought to be sufficient to empty earth of all faith in such a father.
According to the synoptists, Jesus did not carry his own cross to the place of execution; it was borne thither by one Simon of Cyrene. This is denied in the Gospel attributed to John, who declares that Jesus went out from the Judgment Hall “bearing the cross for himself”. John is generally truest to the Egyptian original, and here the figure of Jesus bearing his own cross is equivalent to the figure of Ptah-Sekari or Osiris-Tat. The Tat of a fourfold foundation was the prototype of the cross, and the victim extended or standing with arms akimbo is equivalent to the victim stretched upon the cross of suffering. Sekari was the sufferer in, or on, or as the Tat, and Osiris was raised in, or as the Tat where Jesus carries the cross.
The scourging of Jesus previous to his being crucified has never been explained. According to the record he was not condemned to both modes of punishment. It is probably a detail derived from the mysteries of Osiris-Sekari, Jesus scourged at the pillar being an image of Osiris or Ptah as the suffering Sekari in or on the Tat, the pillar with arms, that was superseded by the cross in the Christian iconography. In the Egyptian drama of the passion Horus was blinded by Sut and his accomplices, in suffering his change from being the human Horus to becoming Horus in spirit. The incident that is almost omitted from the Gospel account was preserved in the mysteries. It is a common subject in the passion-play and in religious pictures for the Christ to be blindfolded and brutally buffeted by the soldiers before he is crucified. This occurs in the Townley mysteries and in the Coventry mysteries, and is referred to in the “Legends of the holy rood” (pp. 178, 179, E. E. Text Society). [Page 874] Christ blindfolded to be made a mockery of suggests a likeness of Horus without sight in An-arar-ef, the region of the blind. In one representation Horus has a bandage over his eyes, and the grotesque image of the humorous Bes appears to introduce a comic element into the tragedy of the blind sufferer. The blinding, buffeting and scourging, practiced in the mysteries, as in passing through fire and water, was evidently continued and extended in the sports and pastimes. Still, the blindfolding of the victim for the buffeting is implied in the Gospel according to Matthew. “Then did they spit in his face and buffet him; and some smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ: who is he that struck thee?” (Matt. XXVI. 68).
It was a common popular tradition that the Christ was of a red complexion, like the child or calf which represented the little red sun of winter and also the Virgin’s infant in its more mystical character.
Moreover, there is a tradition of a crucified child-Christ who was coloured red like “the calf in the paintings”. Among “the portraits of God the son” Didron cites one in a manuscript of the fourteenth century which answers to the red Christ as a co-type of the red calf. The manuscript “contains a miniature of the priest Eleazar sacrificing a red cow”, and “opposite to this miniature is one of Christ on the cross”. “Jesus is entirely naked, and the colour of his skin is red; he is human, poor and ugly”. The red Christ, equivalent to the red Horus, is here identified with the red cow and therefore with the red calf of the Ritual, which was a symbol of the little red sufferer, the “afflicted one” in the winter solstice. In some of the mystery-plays the Christ wore a close-fitting, flesh-coloured garment, through which the nails were driven into the wood of the cross. The resurrection robe was always red. Satan wants to know who this man in the “red coat” may be. And when Horus rises again, in the character of the avenger, it is as the “red god”. The manes thus addresses him, “O fearsome one, who art over the two earths; Red God, who orderest the block of execution!” (Rit., ch. 17, Renouf). Jesus likewise appears to have been represented as the red God, or the god in red. For “they stripped him and put on him a scarlet robe” (Matt. XXVII. 28). A papyrus reed was the throne and sceptre of Horus, the sign of his sovereignty. In the pictures he is supported by the reed, and one of his titles is “Horus on his papyrus” (Rit., ch. 112, Renouf). The reed also has been turned to historic account in making a mockery-king of Jesus. “And they plaited a crown of thorns and put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand; and they kneeled down before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, king of the Jews! and they spat upon him, and took the reed and smote him on the head” (Matt. XXVII. 27, 29, 30). Jesus is posed in another form of the Osirian sacrificial victim. One meaning of the word “sekari” is the silent. This is the typical victim that opened not his mouth, as the inarticulate Horus. So, having been assigned the character of the silent one before Pilate, “Jesus no more answered anything”.
It is possible that the crown of thorns placed upon the head of the crucified was derived from the thornbush of Unbu, the solar god, especially if we take it in connection with the papyrus reed, another [Page 875] type of Horus, And they plaited a crown of thorns and put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand” (Matt. XXVII. 29). The god and the branch, which is a bush of flowering thorn, are identified, the one with the other, under the name of Unbu, and the god in the Unbu-thorn is equivalent to the crucified in the crown of thorn. Moreover, Unbu, the branch, was a title of the Egyptian Jesus. “I am Unbu of Anarar-ef, the flower in the abode of occultation” or eclipse (Rit., ch. 71). And if Horus was not figured on a cross with the Unbu-thorn upon his head, as the crown was afterwards made out, he is the sacrificial victim in the place of utter darkness or sightlessness. Horus in An-arar-ef is Horus, Lord of Sekhem — Horus in the dark. He is also “Unbu”, that is, Horus in the thorn-bush. Thus the Unbu-thorn was typical of the god, who was personified as Unbu by name, and who is Unbu as Horus the sufferer in the dark, equivalent to and the prototype of the victim on the cross as wearer of the crown of thorn. It is also possible that Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” may now be answered for the first time. Jesus says, “I come into the world that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice” (John XVIII. 37, 38). And, in his second character, Horus the king, Horus the anointed and beloved son, not only came into the world as testifier to the truth, he was also given the title of Har-Makheru, the name of the Word that was made truth by the doing of it in his death and resurrection, and the
demonstration of a life hereafter at his second coming.
The typical darkness at the time of the crucifixion might be nocturnal, or annual, according to the mythos.
When Atum, god of the evening sun, is setting from the land of life, at the point of equinox, with his hands drooping, which is equivalent to the victim who was extended on the cross, a great darkness overspread the earth, and Nut, the mother, is said to be obscured as she receives the dying deity in her supporting arms. The figure is the same, whether the scene be on the cross or at the crossing (Rit., ch. 15). Still more express is the darkness spoken of in the Egyptian faith, or gospel (ch. 17), which contains the kernel of the credo. Here we learn that “the darkness is of Sekari”. Sekari is a title of Osiris as the mutilated and dismembered god. It is explained that this darkness of Sekari, the god who is pierced, wounded, cut in pieces, is caused by Sut “the slayer”, who has “terrified by prostrating”. Sekari is Osiris in
the sekru, or coffin; and to be in the coffin, or in the cruciform figure of the mummy, has the same meaning (with a change of type) as if the divine victim might be embodied in the Tat, or extended on the cross. The darkness of sekari was in the coffin; the darkness of Jesus is on the cross.
It is observable that the sixth division of the Tuat in Amenta, corresponding to the sixth hour of the night, has no representation of Ra the solar god, and in his absence naturally there was darkness. But the three hours’ darkness that was over all the earth at the time of the crucifixion has no witness in the world to its being an historic event. In the mythical representation it was natural enough. As the night began at six o’clock, the sixth hour according to that reckoning was midnight, and from twelve to three there was dense darkness. This was then applied to the dying sufferer in the eschatology, and [Page 876] there was darkness for three hours in the mysteries. The great darkness is described in the Ritual as the shutting up of Seb and Nut, or heaven and earth, and the Resurrection as the rending asunder. The manes saith, “I am Osiris, who shut up his father and his mother when (or whilst) the great slaughter took place. I am Horus, the eldest of Ra, as he riseth. I am Anup on the day of rending asunder” (Rit., ch. 69, Renouf).
In the coming forth from the cavern the risen one exclaims, “Let the two doors of earth be opened to me: let the bolts of Seb open to me: and let the first mansion be opened to me, that he may behold me who hath kept guard over me, and let him enclose me who hath wound his arms about me, and hath fastened his arms around me in the earth” (ch. 68). The one who had held him fast with his arms about him in the earth, and who was the keeper of the dead on earth, is Seb; hence it is he who kept guard over the body that was buried in the earth. The part of Seb is also assigned to Joseph of Arimathea, who took the body when it was embalmed with a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes, and made a mummy of, and laid it in his own tomb. The tomb of Seb, the earth (John XIX. 38-41), becomes the garden of Joseph; the “bolts of Seb” are replaced by the great stone that Joseph rolls against the door of the sepulchre (Matt. XXVII.
60), and he who kept guard over the mummy-Osiris in the sepulchre is represented by the guard who watches over the tomb in the history. “Pilate said unto them, Ye have a guard, go your way, make it sure as ye can. So they went and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, the guard being with them” (Matt. XXVII. 66). The guard that is set to keep watch and ward at the sepulchre may be compared with the “wardens of the passages”, who are “attendant upon Osiris” in the tomb. These are the powers that safeguard the body or mummy of Osiris and keep off the forces of his adversaries. The Passages are those which lead to the outlet of Rusta in the resurrection (Rit., ch. 17). In the chapter by which one arriveth at Rusta, the deceased has risen again. He says, “I am he who is born in Rusta. Glory is given to me by those who are in their mummied forms in Pa, at the sanctuary of Osiris, whom the guards receive at Rusta when they conduct (the) Osiris through the demesnes of Osiris”. In this scene of the resurrection the deceased comes forth triumphant as Osiris risen (ch. 117). The dead are there in mummied forms, and these are received by the guards as they rise and reach the place of egress in Rusta. In the Gospel according to Matthew a watch was set upon the sepulchre; the guard is spoken of as “the centurion, and they that were with him watching Jesus” (Matt. XXVII. 54). These were watching when the graves were opened and the dead “in their mummied forms” were raised to come forth from the tomb. As nothing occurs in the Gospel except by miracle, the graves are opened by an earthquake for the passages to be made, which passages were very ancient in the geography and pictures of the Egyptian nether-world.
The guards, or soldiers, in attendance on Jesus are four in number. At least it is said that they took the garments of the dead body and “made four parts, to every soldier a part” (John XIX. 23). These guards correspond to the four guardians of the coffin Hapi, Tuamutef, Kabhsenuf and Amsu, who watch by the sarcophagus [Page 877] of the dead Osiris, one at each of its four corners. In a German passion-play the four are invincible knights named Dietrich, Hildebrant, Isengrim, and Laurein.
At the time of the death upon the cross there is a resurrection which is not the resurrection. This is a general rising of the Manes, not the resurrection of the Christ. “And behold the veil of the sanctuary was rent in twain from the top to the bottom: and the rocks were rent and the tombs were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had fallen asleep were raised”.In short, a general rising must have preceded the personal resurrection of Jesus on the third day after the crucifixion. It is added, however, that the manes who had already risen came forth “out of the tombs after his resurrection and” appeared unto many”.
Therefore they stayed in the open tombs a day or two longer in order that he might have the precedence.
When Horus rises as a spirit, the Lord of Mehurit, the risen one, is represented by a hawk, and he says, “I am the hawk in the tabernacle, and I pierce through the veil”, or, in another lection, through that which is upon the veil. To pierce through the veil of the sanctuary is equivalent to rending the veil of the temple.
The hawk is a type of the sun-god in the solar mythos and of the spirit in the eschatology. Thus the veil was pierced or rent asunder when Horus rose in the shape of a divine hawk to become the Lord of heaven. In the Gospel (Matt. XXVII. 51), at the moment when Jesus “yielded up his spirit”, it is said, “and behold the veil of the sanctuary was rent in twain from top to bottom: and the earth did quake: and the rocks were rent: and the tombs were opened”, and, in brief, this was what the Ritual terms “the day of rending asunder”. when the rocks of the Tser hill were opened, which is the day of resurrection in the mysteries of Amenta. The death of Osiris was followed by the saturnalia of Sut, in a reign of misrule and lawlessness which lasted during the five black days or dies non of the Egyptian calendar when
everything was turned topsy-turvy — a saturnalia, which to all appearance, is yet celebrated in Upper Egypt (Frazer, Golden Bough, I, p. 231). The mutilation of Osiris in his coffin, the stripping of his corpse and tearing it asunder by Sut, who scattered it piecemeal, is represented by the stripping of the dead body of Jesus whilst it still hung upon the cross, and parting the garments amongst the spoilers. In John’s account the crucifixion takes place at the time of the Passover, and the victim of sacrifice in human form is substituted for, and identified with, the Paschal lamb. But, as this version further shows, the death assigned is in keeping with that of the non-human victim. Not a bone of the sufferer was to be broken.
This is supposed to be in fulfilment of prophecy. It is said by the Psalmist (XXXIV. 20), “He keepeth all his bones; not one of them is broken”. But this was in strict accordance with the law of totemic tabu. No matter what the type, from bear to lamb, no bone of the sacrificial victim was ever permitted to be broken; and the only change was in the substitution of the human type for the animal, which had been made already when human Horus became the type of sacrifice instead of the calf or lamb. When the Australian natives sacrificed their little bear, not a bone of it was ever broken; when the Iroquois sacrificed the white dog, not a bone was broken. This was a common [Page 878] custom, on account of the resurrection, as conceived by the primitive races, and the same is applied to Osiris. Every bone of the skeleton was to remain intact as a basis for the future building. After the murder and mutilation of Osiris in Sekhem, the judgment is executed on the conspirators in the mystery of ploughing the earth on the night of fertilizing the soil with the blood of the betrayer Sut and his associates. This is done before the great divine chiefs in Tattu! In the Gospels (Matt. XXVII. 6) the chief priests take the place of the divine chiefs in the mystery of ploughing the earth and fertilizing or manuring it with the blood of the wicked: they buy the potter’s field, and this was called Aceldama, the field of blood. The field of blood here bought with the price paid for the betrayal takes the place of the field that is fertilized with blood in the Ritual. In the Acts it is Judas himself, not the “chief priests”, who “purchased a field with the reward of his iniquity”. According to this version, Judas fertilizes or manures the field with his own blood, as does the betrayer Sut, on the night of fertilizing the field in Tattu. When, in his resurrection, Jesus reappeared to the disciples, they thought it an apparition. This it should have been if the life had been human, the death actual, the story true. In the Egyptian, however, the day of reappearance is termed the “day of apparition”; but reappearing=apparition is not necessarily manifesting as the human ghost. The Christ as Horus was not a human ghost reappearing on the earth; and Horus the pure spirit, the typical divine son of god, the reappearing one, might have denied being a phantom or a ghost, for he would not be manifesting to men, but to other characters in the religious drama. This being denied on behalf of the divinity, the carnalizers then had recourse to their human physics to illustrate the denial by making the risen Christ corporeal. In John’s account, which is always the nearest to the Egyptian original, there is no denial of the ghost theory, no declaration that the risen one is not a spirit but a veritable human body of flesh and bone. He merely “showed unto them his hands and side”, as Horus might have shown his wounds, and no doubt did show them, in the mysteries — the wounds that were inflicted by Sut. In fact, when Sut has wounded Horus in the eye, he shows the wound to Ra, his father (Rit., ch. 112).
When Horus, or the Egypto-gnostic Jesus, rises in the sepulchre on coming forth to day it is in the semicorporeal form of the Karest-mummy that is not yet become pure spirit and therefore has not yet ascended to his father in the hawk-headed likeness of Ra. This figure can be studied in the tomb as that of Amsu. The scene of the resurrection is in Amenta, the earth of eternity, the earth of the manes, not on the earth of mortals. It is here the risen Horus breathes the breath of his new life into the sleeping dead to raise them from their coffins, sepulchres and cells. When the Egyptian Christ, or Karest, rose up from the tomb as Amsu-Horus it was in a likeness of the buried mummy, as regards the shape, with one arm loosened from the swathes or bandages. But this resurrection was not corporeal on earth. Osiris had been transformed into Horus, and although the mummy-shape was still retained, the texture had been
transubstantiated; the corpus was transfigured into the glorious body of the Sahu or divine mummy. The mystery of transubstantiation [Page 879] was not understood by the writers of the Gospels, who did not know whether Jesus reappeared in the body or in spirit, as a man or as a god. They carried off all they could, but were not in possession of the secret wisdom which survived amongst the Egypto-gnostics.
They wrote as carnalizers of the Christ. It follows that the risen Jesus of the canonical Gospels is not a reality in either world; neither in the sphere of time, nor as divine Horus transfigured into spirit. “Tis but a misappropriated type; the spurious spectre of an impossible Christ; a picture of nobody. The Christian history fails in rendering Horus as an apparition of Osiris. When Horus came from Sekhem he had left the earthly body behind him in the sepulchre, and was greeted as pure spirit by the glorified ones who rejoiced to see how he continued walking as the risen Horus, he who “steppeth onward through eternity” (Rit., ch. 42). Jesus in this character comes forth from the tomb in the same body that was buried and still is human, flesh and bones and all. Thus, as a phantom, he is a counterfeit; a carnalized ghost, upon the resurrection of which no real future for the human spirit ever could or ever will be permanently based. A corpse that has not made the transformation from the human Horus into Horus the pure spirit offers no foundation for belief in any known natural fact. Horus in his resurrection is described as being once more set in motion. At this point he says, “I am not known, but I am one who knoweth thee. I am not to be grasped, but I am one who graspeth thee. I am Horus, prince of eternity, a fire before your faces, which inflameth your hearts towards me. I am master of my throne, and I pass onwards”. “The path I have opened is the present time, and I have set myself free from all evil” (ch. 42, Renouf). But when he is transubstantialized, it is said of the deceased in his resurrection: “The gods shall come in touch with him, for he shall have become as one of them”. Now let us see how this was converted into history. Jesus is the prince of eternity in opposition to Satan, Sut, or Judas, the prince of this world. In his resurrection he is supposed to have opened the pathway from the tomb historically and for the first time some 1800 or 1900 years ago. When he rises from the dead he is unknown to the watchers, but he knows them. Mary knew not that the risen form was Jesus. He is not to be grasped, saying, “Touch me not”, or do not grasp me, “for I am not yet ascended unto my Father” (John XX. 14, 17). On the way to Emmaus Jesus appears and inflames the hearts of the disciples towards him, after calling them “slow of heart”, and “they said one to another, Was not our heart burning within us?” (Luke XXIV. 13, 32). Horus had opened a path from the tomb as the sun-god in the mythos, the divine son of God in the eschatology, and he ascended to his father and took his seat upon the throne of which he had become the lord and master. So Jesus goes on his way “unto the mountain”, where he had appointed to meet his followers (Matt. XXVIII. 16).
The mountain in the Ritual is the mount of rebirth in heaven, whether of the sun-god or of the enduring spirit.
The change from bodily death to future life in spirit was acted as a transformation-scene in the mysteries of the resurrection. The mummy-Osiris was an effigy of death. The Sahu-mummy [Page 880] Amsu-Horus is an image of the glorious body into which Osiris transubstantiated to go forth from Sekhem as pure spirit. It is the mummy in this second stage that is of primary import. First of all the dead body was smeared over with unguents and thus glorified. During the process of anointing it was said, “O Asar (the deceased) the thick oil which is poured upon thee furnishes thy mouth with life” (Budge, “The Mummy”, p. 163). It is also said that the anointing is done to give sight to the eyes, hearing to the ears, sense of smell to the nostrils and utterance to the mouth. To embalm the body thus was to karas it and the embalmment was a mode of making the typical Christ as the Anointed. Thus the mortal Horus was invested with the glory of the only God-begotten Son. Now this making of the Krst, or mummy-Christ, after the Egyptian fashion is apparent in the Gospels. When the woman brings the alabaster cruse of precious ointment to the house of Simon and pours it on the head of Jesus he says, “In that she poured this ointment upon my body, she did it to prepare me for my burial” (Matt. XXVI. 12). She was making the Christ as the anointed-mummy previous to interment. After the description of the crucifixion it is said that Nicodemus came and brought a “mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound” and “they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices as the custom of the Jews is to bury” (John XIX. 39, 40). This again denotes the making of the Karest-mummy=the Christ. Moreover, it is the dead mummy in one version and it is the living body in the other which is anointed, just as Horus was anointed with the
exceedingly precious Antu ointment, or oil, that was poured upon his head and face to represent his glory.
The two Mertae-sisters are the watchers over the dead Osiris. They are also the mourners who weep over him when he is anointed and prepared for his burial. It is said of Osiris that he was triumphant over his adversaries on the night when Isis lay watching in tears over her brother Osiris (ch. 18). But the Mertae-sisters both watch and both weep over the dead body. In the vignettes to the Ritual one of the two stands at the head and one at the feet of the body on the bier. These two mourners, weepers, anointers, or embalmers, appear in the Gospels as two different women. According to John it was Mary the sister of Martha who anointed Jesus for his burial. And as these are the two divine sisters in historic guise we ought to find one at the head of the victim and one at the feet, as, in fact, we do so find them. In the account furnished by Luke it is said that the woman who stood behind at the feet of Jesus weeping “began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head” (Luke VII. 38). No name is given for the woman who was “a sinner”, which seems to denote the other Mary called Magdalene.
Matthew also omits the name of the woman with an alabaster cruse or flask. In keeping with the mythos this other one of the two Mertae-sisters should be Martha, but the point is that the woman with the cruse does not anoint the feet of Jesus. She poured the ointment “upon his head as he sat at meat” (Matt. XXVI. 7). Thus we see there are two different women who anoint Jesus, one at the head, one at the feet, even as the two divine sisters of Osiris called the Mertae, or watchers, stand at the head and feet of Osiris, when preparing him for his burial, or watching in [Page 881] tears, like Isis, the prototype of the woman who never ceased to kiss the feet of Jesus since the time when he had come into the house (Luke VII. 45-6). We have identified the other sister Nephthys, the mistress of the house, with the housekeeper Martha, and as Nephthys also carries the bowl or vase upon her head, this may account for the vessel of alabaster that was carried by the “woman” who poured the ointment on the head of Jesus, whereas Mary the sister of Martha poured it on his feet. Martha is one of the two Mertae by name. In the Egyptian mythos the two Mertae are Isis, the dear lover of Horus the Lord, bowed at his feet, and Nephthys mourning at his head (Naville, Todtenbuch, v. 1, kap. 17, A. g. and B. b.).
The Karast-mummy was the body of the dead in Osiris who were prepared by human hands to meet their Lord in spirit when wrapt in the seamless vesture of a thousand folds, which was typically the robe of immortality, when they were baptized and purified and anointed with the unction of Horus taken from the tree of life. The process of preparing, embalming and Christifying the mummy obviously survives in the Chrisome or krisum of the Roman Catholic Church. The chrisome itself is properly a white cloth which the “minister of baptism places on the head of the newly-anointed child”. The chrisom as ointment is made of oil and balm. In the instructions for private baptism it is charged that the minister shall put the white vesture, commonly called a chrisome, upon the child. The chrism-cloth is still the vesture of immortality, for if the infant dies within a month after birth, the chrisome is its shroud and the chrisom-child becomes an image in survival of the Karast-mummy in Amenta.
Let it be assumed that to all appearance the resurrection in Amenta is corporeal. The human Horus, or the Osiris, who had passed through death, and been laid out as the mummy in the Tuat, still retains the form of the mummy that was made on earth. The difference is in Horus having risen to his feet and freed his right arm from the burial bandages. Indeed, the dead were reincorporated in Amenta as the Sahumummy.
The Egyptian word Sahu signifies to incorporate, and in this physical-looking form they were reincorporated for the resurrection in the earth of eternity. Amsu had made a change in rising to his feet, but was not yet the Horus glorified with the soul of Ra; therefore he has not yet ascended to the father. To the sense of sight he is corporeal still, and has not transubstantiated into spirit. When he does, the hawk or Menat will alight to abide upon him and he will assume the likeness of his father Ra, the bird-headed holy spirit. It is the body-soul that rises in Amenta which has to suffer purgatorial rebirth before it can become “pure spirit” as the Ritual of the resurrection has it, to attain eternal life. So far as reincorporation of the soul in Sahu-shape could go, the resurrection is corporeal. Yet this was only a dramatic mode of representation in the mystery of transubstantiation, which included several acts. It is in this character of Amsu-Horus reincorporated as the Sahu-mummy issuing from the tomb that Jesus is described by Luke: “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself” (ch. XXIV. 39). In the absence of the gnosis the reincorporation in Amenta led to the doctrine of a physical resurrection at the last day on this earth. The power of resurrection was imparted by [Page 882] Ra, the father in spirit, to the anointed and beloved son.
And Horus is said to be the “bringer of the breaths” to his “followers” (Rit., chapters on breathing 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59). Horus as he issues forth to day, in his resurrection, comes to give the breath of life to the manes in Amenta, saying, “I give the breezes to the faithful dead amid those who eat bread”. This chapter of the Ritual follows the decease of Horus, which is equivalent to the crucifixion of Jesus. In this the speaker says, “I have come to an end on behalf of the Lord of heaven. I am written down sound of heart, and I rest at the table of my father Osiris” (ch. 70). It is also said in the Rubric, “if this scripture is known upon earth he (the Osiris) will come forth to day; he will have power to walk on the earth amid the living”. Jesus in the Gospel has “come to an end for the Lord of heaven”. He likewise manifests on earth “amid the living”. He gives “the breezes to the faithful dead” when he breathes on them, saying, “Receive ye of the holy spirit”.
It is “the women” in the Gospels who announce the resurrection and proclaim that Jesus has left the tomb. According to Matthew “the woman” are “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary”, who “ran to bring the disciples word” (XXVIII. 1, 8). According to Mark (XVI. 1) the women were Mary Magdalene and Mary (the mother) of James, and Salome, who discovered that Jesus had arisen but were afraid to make it known. Here it is Mary Magdalene, who proclaims the resurrection. It is Mary Magdalene in John (XX. 1, 2) who first announces that the Lord has arisen. Luke XXIV. 10 has it that “Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary (mother) of James and other women” first found the sepulchre empty and “told these things unto the apostles”. These conflicting accounts agree in the one essential point, that it was the woman or the women who proclaimed the resurrection, and this is as it should be according to the data in the Ritual. When the deceased comes forth from the tomb and reaches the horizon of the resurrection he exclaims, “I rise as a god amongst men. The goddesses and the women proclaim me when they see me!” It is the goddesses and the women who see the risen Horus first and proclaim him to the others.
Usually the women and the female deities are identical as the two divine sisters who are represented in the Gospels by the two Marys, but in some of the scenes there are other women in attendance as well as the two sisters-Mertae. Now, as the two Marys are originally goddesses we have the same group of goddesses and “the women” (in Luke XXIV. 10) as in the Ritual (79, 11) and both agree in proclaiming the resurrection and hailing the risen Lord with jubilation. This chapter contains all the data necessary to construct the story of the “historic” resurrection in which the Christ arises as a god amongst men, and is proclaimed by the women. The allusions in the Ritual are very brief. The style of the writing is economical as that of the lapidary. The Egyptians neither used nor tolerated many words; verbosity was prohibited by one of their commandments. But these allusions refer to a drama that was represented in the mysteries, the characters and scenes of which were all as well known as are those in the Christian Gospels when the play is performed at Ammergau. And this statement, made at the moment of his resurrection —“ I rise as a god [Page 883] amongst men. The goddesses and the women proclaim me when they see me” — contained a germ that was pregnant with a whole chapter of the future Gospel “history”.
In the Gospel according to John there is but one woman weeping at the tomb. This was Mary Magdalene, who corresponds to the first great mother Apt, she who bore the seven sons that preceded the solar Horus of the pre-Osirian cult. She, like Anup, lived on in the burial-place with those that waited for the resurrection. She is called Apt, the “mistress of divine protections”. Apt is portrayed as kindler of the light for the deceased in the dark of death (ch. 137, Vig. Papyrus of Nebseni). Thus the old bringer to rebirth is the kindler of a light in the sepulchre. Mary Magdalene who takes her place comes to the tomb, “early, while it was yet dark”, and finds the stone moved away and light enough to see by kindled in the tomb. Isis also was a form of the great mother alone. She is mentioned singly as watching in tears over her brother Osiris by night in Rekhet (Rit., ch. 18). So Mary Magdalene is described as “standing without at the tomb weeping” alone as the one woman. But, according to Matthew, there were two women at the tomb. “Mary Magdalene was there and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre (ch. XXVII. 61).
And in the Osirian representation Isis and Nephthys are the two women called the “two mourners who weep and wail over Osiris in Rekhet” (ch. 1). Isis and Nephthys, the two divine sisters, are the two women at the sepulchre of Osiris. They are portrayed, one at the head the other at the feet of the mummy. They sing the song of the resurrection as a magical means of raising their dear one from the dead. A form of this is to be found in the evocations addressed to the dead Osiris by the two sisters, who say: “Thy two sisters are near thee, protecting thy funeral bed, calling thee in weeping, thou who art prostrate on thy funeral bed” (Records of the Past, vol. 2, pp. 121-126). Horus rises in his Ithyphallic form with the sign of virility erect; the member that was restored by Isis when the body had been torn in pieces by Sut. This may account for the Phallus found in the Roman Catacombs as a figure of the resurrection, which, if the Gospel story had been true, would denote the phallus of an historic Jew, instead of the typical member of Horus whose word was thus manifested with pubescent power in the person of the risen Amsu.
In the Osirian legend there are three women, or goddesses, who especially attend upon Osiris to prepare him for his burial. These are the great mother, Neith, and the two divine sisters, Isis and Nephthys. It was related in the ancient version that Neith arrayed the mummy in his grave-clothes for the funerary chamber called “the good house”, the house in which the dead were embalmed and swathed in pure white linen. This is described in the Book of the Dead (ch. 172) when it is said to the Osiris N, “Thou receivest a bandage of the finest linen from the hands of the attendant of Ra”. The raiment put on Osiris by Neith was said to be woven by the two watchers in the tomb. In the preparation of Osiris for his burial, the ointment or unguents were compounded and applied by Neith. It was these that were to preserve the mummy from decay and [Page 884] dissolution. These three may be compared with the three Marys in the
Gospels, thus: Neith, the great mother=Mary Magdalene, the great mother; Isis=Mary; Nephthys=Martha.
There was also a group of seven ministrants in attendance at the birth of Horus or rebirth of Osiris.
These, in the astronomical mythology, were constellated in the female hippopotamus — our Great Bear — as those who ministered “of their substance” to the young “bull of the seven cows” (Rit., ch. 141-3), which were seven forms of the great mother, seven Fates or Hathors in the birthplace, from the time when this was in the year of the Great Bear, with the seven in attendance on the child. In the legend related by Luke, the whole of the seven women who ministered of their substance to Jesus (or the sacrificial victim), appear to have been grouped together with the dead body in the sepulchre. “Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them” (Luke XXIV. 10). These are called “the women which had come with them out of Galilee”. They are also termed “certain women of our company” (ch. XXIV. 22). The number is not specified; this being one of those sundries that were safest if left vague. Thus we find the foremost Great Mother at the tomb; the two divine sisters; the three women with Neith included, and as we suggest, the company of ministrants, who were the seven mothers, seven Hathors, seven Meri, or seven women in three different versions of the historic resurrection.
In the version given by Matthew there is but one divine visitant at the tomb, in addition to the two women here called the two Marys. As the Sabbath day began to dawn “came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And behold there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. His appearance was as lightning, and his raiment was as white as snow” (Matt. XXVIII. 2, 3). The angel that rolls the stone away from the tomb in the Gospel for the buried Christ to rise corresponds to the god Shu in the Ritual, who is described as uplifting the heaven when the god Atum or Horus comes forth from the sarcophagus and passes through the gate of the rock to approach the land of spirits. It is said the gate of Tser is where Shu stands when he lifts up the heaven (Rit., 17, 56-7). The Tser was the rock of the horizon in which the dead body of Osiris was laid for its repose when it was buried in Annu. Shu is not only the uplifter of heaven or raiser of the gravestone, he is also the opener of the sepulchre as the bringer of breath to the newly awakened soul.
The Egyptian knew well enough that his body would remain where it was left when buried. For that it had been mummified. His difficulty was concerning his soul, and how to get this freed from its surroundings in the speediest fashion and the most enduring form. The Ritual speaks of the “shade”, the “soul” and “spirit” as being in the tomb with the mummy-Osiris who rises from stage to stage according to the evolution of his spirit from the bonds of matter. Chief of these are the body-soul and spirit-Ka. The deceased, when in the tomb, is thus addressed, “Let the way be opened to thy Ka and to thy Soul, O glorified one; thou shalt not be imprisoned by [Page 885] those who have the custody of souls and spirits and who shut up the shades of the dead” (Rit., ch. 92). Thus the body-soul and Ka made their appearance in the tomb previously to being blended in the manifesting soul, called the double of the dead which constituted the risen Horus, and which was the only one of the seven souls that bore the human lineaments (Rit., ch. 178. The god who rises again is described in the Egyptian litany of Ra (58) as “he who raises his soul and conceals his body”. His name is that of Herba, he who raises the soul.
The body being hidden as Osiris, the soul was raised as Horus. Hence, as it is said, the mummy of Osiris was not found in the sepulchre. In one sense the body vanished by transubstantiation into spirit. The night of the evening meal on which the body was eaten sacramentally is called “the night of hiding him who is supreme of attributes” (Rit., ch. 18). The body was eaten typically as a mode of converting matter into spirit; this was the motive of the eucharist from the beginning when the mother was the victim eaten.
In one of the texts cited by Birch concerning the burial of the god Osiris at Abydos, it is said the sepulchral chamber was searched but the body was not found. The “Shade, it was found” (Proceedings Bib. Archy., Dec. 2, 1884, p. 45). The shade was a primitive type of the soul; it is the shadow of an earthly body projected as it were into Amenta, and was portrayed in some of the vignettes lying black upon the ground of that earth, like the shadow of the human body on this earth. In Marcion’s account of the resurrection there is no body to be found in the tomb; only the phantom, or the shade, was visible there.
So in the Johannine version (ch. XX. 17) the buried body of Jesus is missing; the Shade is present in the tomb; but this is of a texture that must not be touched. Like Amsu it neither represents the dead corpus nor the spirit perfected. It is quite possible that we get a glimpse of the “Ka” as that personage in the sepulchre described by Mark, who relates that when the women entered the tomb they “saw a young man sitting on the right side, arrayed in a white robe and they were amazed” (ch. XVI. 5). According to the gnosis, the Ka had here taken the place of the missing mummy which had risen, or as the Egyptians said, Osiris had made his transformation into Amsu-Horus. According to Luke, when the women came to the tomb with their spices and ointments they “found not the body of the Lord Jesus”. But, “behold, two
men stood by them in dazzling apparel”, who said to them “why seek ye the Living (One) among the dead?” (Luke XXIV. 5). These, in the Johannine Gospel, are “two angels in white, sitting one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain” (John XX. 12). Now, if the “young man” represented the Ka-image in the human form we may suppose the “two men” to have been the soul and spirit called the Ka and the soul of the glorified, that were portrayed in the Egyptian sepulchre and which are to be read of in the Ritual. One of the numerous Egypto-gnostic scriptures which at one time were extant has lately been discovered in the fragment of a gospel assigned to Peter. This from the orthodox point of view is considered to be “docetic” — which is another name for non-historical. From this we learn that in the [Page 886] resurrection “the heavens opened and two men descended thence with great radiance” “and both the young men entered” the tomb. Two men entered and three figures issued forth.
“They behold three men coming out of the tomb, and two of them were supporting a third, and a cross was following them; and the heads of the two men reached to the heaven, but the head of him who was being led along by them was higher than the heavens”. And they heard a voice from heaven which said, “Hast thou preached to them that are asleep?” And a response of “Yea” was heard from the cross. This has no parallel in the canonical Gospels, but, as Egyptian, it is the scene of Atum (Ptah or Osiris) rising again in or with the two sons Hu and Sau. Also, in the pre-Osirian mythos, Hu and Sau, the two sons of Atum-Ra, support their father when he issues from the tomb and makes his exit from Amenta. These are two young men who are in the retinue of Ra, and who accompany their father in his resurrection daily (Rit., ch. 17).
To a spiritualist the doctrines of the fleshly faith are ghastly in their grossness. The foundation of the creed was laid in a physical resurrection of the body; and the flesh and blood of that body were to be eaten in the eucharistic rite as a physical mode of incorporating the divine. It is true the doctrine of transubstantiation was added to gild the dead body for eating. But the historical rendering of the matter necessitated the substitution of the physical for the spiritual interpretation. The founders only carried off the carnalized Horus, the Karast-mummy, for their Christ. They raised him from the grave corporeally; whereas the Egyptians left that type of Osiris in matter, that image of Horus on earth in the tomb. Horus did rise again, but not in matter. He spiritualized to become the superhuman or divine Horus. The Egyptians did not exhume the fleshly body, living nor dead, to eat it with the expectation of assimilating Horus to themselves or becoming Horus by assimilating the blood and body of his physical substance.
This was what was done by the Christian Sarkolatrae. Hooker asks: “Doth any man doubt that even from the flesh of Christ (eaten sacramentally) our very bodies do receive that life which shall make them glorious at the latter day?” This was an inevitable result of making the Christ historical, and of continuing the carnalized Horus in a region beyond the tomb by means of a physical resurrection of the dead. The Christians having carried off the Corpus Christi, which the Egyptians transubstantiated in the sepulchre, have never since known what to do with it. But as the Christ rose again in the material body and ascended with it into heaven, leaving no mummy in the tomb, they can but nurse the delusive hope that a physical saviour may redeem the physical corpse, so that those who believe may be raised by him at the last day and follow him bodily into paradise. In this way the foundations of the faith were corporeally laid.
Also in this way the pre-extant “types” of the Christ are supposed to have been realized: the foreshadows substantialized, and Horus the Lord who had been the anointed Christ, the immortal Son of God in the Egyptian religion for at least ten thousand years, was at last converted into a Judean peasant as [Page 887] the unique personage of the Gospels, and the veritable saviour of the world.
It is not alleged in the Gospel history that the victim was torn piecemeal as well as crucified. And yet the bread which represents his body in the eucharistic meal is religiously torn to pieces in commemoration of the event that does not occur in the Gospels; a performance that is suggestive of those poor Norway rats which lose their lives in trying to cross the waters where there was a passage once by land. Jesus is not torn in pieces, but Osiris was. When Sut did battle with Un-Nefer, the Good Being, he tore the body into fragments, and that is the sacrifice still commemorated in the Christian eucharist. Under one of his many titles in the Ritual Osiris is “the Lord of resurrections”. But this does not merely denote the periodicity of the resurrection. There were several resurrections of the god in matter and in spirit. Osiris rose again to life in the returning waters of the Nile. He rose again in the renewal of vegetation represented by Horus the branch of endless years; and as the papyrus shoot. He rose again upon the third day, in the moon; or as the sun, the supreme soul of life in physical nature. These were followed in the eschatology by the god who rose again from Amenta as Horus in spirit; as the Bennu-Osiris, or as Ra the holy spirit. Jesus is likewise portrayed as the Lord of resurrections. He is said to have risen on the third day; also on the fourth day, after being three nights in the earth; also after forty days, when he ascended into heaven from the mount; and when he rose up from the dead with power to pass where doors were shut, and to impart the Holy Spirit (John XX. 19) to his followers, the same as Horus in the Ritual (ch. 1). The first act of Horus in his resurrection is to free his right arm from the bandage of the mummy. The next is to cast aside the seamless swathe in which the body had been wrapped for burial. Now, after so much of the mythos has been established in place of the “history”, it will not be so very incredible if we suggest a mythical and recognizably Kamite origin for an episode in the Gospel according to Mark which has no record elsewhere. When Jesus is arrested in the garden or enclosure of Gethsemane preparatory to his death and resurrection it is said that: “A certain young man followed him having a linen cloth cast about him over his naked body; and they laid hold on him; but he left the linen cloth and fled naked” (Mark XIV. 51). Such a statement standing alone, purposeless and unexplained, is perfectly maniacal as history; clearly it is a fragment of something that is otherwise out of sight. The Greek word sindon represents the Egyptian shenti, a linen garment which is derived from shena, a name for the flax from which the fine linen of the mummy was made. The shenti is a linen tunic. The mummy-swathe was also made from shena, and this was the garment woven without a seam. Therefore we infer that the “young man” was a form of the manes risen with the bandages about him, and that when he “left the linen-cloth and fled naked” he had made his transformation into spirit like any other of the mummies.
So soon as the risen Lord had ascended into heaven from the summit of Mount Olivet, after the space of forty days, the disciples [Page 888] are described as meeting in the “upper chamber” with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and his brethren who were gathered together for the purpose of prayer (Acts I. 13, 14).
Now, “the upper chamber” was the cubiculum attached to the sepulchre, both in Rome and Egypt, for the meeting of the bereaved relatives and the solemnizing of the mourning for the dead. One of the inscriptions in the catacombs calls it “the upper chamber to celebrate the memory of the dead” (“Cubiculum superius ad confrequentandum memoriam quiescentium”. De Rossi, Roma Sotteranea, 3, 474.) There were two funerary chambers in the Egyptian sepulchre; one was for the mummy and one for the Ka. Also the Ka-chamber was without a door, it being held that the risen spirit could pass through matter without a doorway. This is repeated in the Gospel according to John. When Jesus came into the room, “the doors being shut”, and stood in the midst of the disciples, it was in the character of the Ka or double of the dead endowed with power to rise again, to pass through matter, and reappear to the living.
The same dual figure is to be found in the pre-Christian catacombs with the subterranean sepulchre for the mummy or corpse beneath, and the chamber above which was known as the cubiculum or cubiculum memoriae. It was the pre-Christian custom for the relatives and friends of the deceased to meet together in this upper chamber at the funeral feast, or eucharistic meal, for the purpose of celebrating the resurrection from the dead, and of making their offerings and oblations to the ancestral spirits in the mortuary sacrament.
The last scene in the personal “history” coincides with the ascent of Atum-Horus from Amenta, and the soul ascending into paradise, called the Aarru-fields. Jesus, in his final disappearance from the earth, ascends the typical mount, called Olivet, at the end of forty days. “And when he had said these things as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they were looking steadfastly into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven?” (Acts I. 9-11). The ascent of Jesus from the mount into the clouds of heaven can be traced twice over, in the two different categories, mythical and eschatological. It was made “from the mount called Olivet”. This, we repeat, was Mount Bakhu, the mount of the olive-tree of dawn. The ascent at the tree was made each day, and also yearly in the annual round, by the god in his resurrection from Amenta. Thus the sun-god in the mythos makes his ascent by the Mount of Olives, or the olive-tree of dawn, when “approaching to the land of spirits in heaven” (Rit., ch. 17). In this character Nefer-Tum the young sun-god is the Egyptian Jesus risen from the northern door of the tomb, or the northern gate of the Tuat. In the phase of eschatology it is the risen soul upon its upward journey to the circumpolar paradise “north of the olive-tree” where the eternal city was eventually attained. The olive (Bakhu) also figures in the eschatology as well as in the astronomical mythology. “He who dwelleth in the olive-tree” is a name of Horus in the burial-place; and in his resurrection the Osiris says, when coming forth from the [Page 889] judgment-hall, “I pass on to a place that is north of the olivetree”.
Or it might be the fig-tree at the meeting-place of Jesus with Nathanael. It was no earthly mount on which the typical teacher gave instruction to the four called fishermen or to the twelve as reapers of the harvest. It was the mountain of Amenta and the double earth that we have traced all through the Ritual called the mount of resurrection and of glory. This, in the mythos, was the mount of the green olive-tree of the Egyptian dawn and a figure of the ascent to heaven in the eschatology. Up this mount the risen manes attained the circle of the divine powers attached to Osiris (Rit., ch. 1 in the older MSS.). And up this mount the solar god, as Atum-Horus, makes his ascent to heaven, termed the land of spirits; that is, from the Mount of Olives, the track which is here followed by the canonical Jesus (Rit., ch. 17). Moreover, in his coming forth to day and making the ascent to heaven, Atum was attended by his two sons, Hu and Sau, who are said to accompany their father daily. The copy, in this instance, is so close to the original that it may be possible to identify the “two men in white apparel” who say to the disciples, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into heaven?” (Acts I. 10, 11). Those two men in white apparel correspond to Hu and Sau in the Ritual (ch. 17, 60-64) who accompany the sun-god in his resurrection from the place of burial in Amenta. In the vague phase, Jesus disappears into a cloud and passes out of sight. In the Ritual of the resurrection the departed spirit is received with greetings by the lords of eternity, who open their arms to embrace and bid him welcome to the table of his father at the festival that is to be eternal in the heavens.




Ancient Egypt - The Light of the World

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