The light of the world


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At the “last judgment” in the mysteries those who had failed to make the word of Osiris truth against his enemies, as the formula runs, were doomed to die a second death. The first was in the body on the earth, the second in the spirit. The enemies of justice, law, truth, and right were doomed to be destroyed for ever in the lake of fire or tank of flame. They were annihilated once for all (Rit., ch. 1). The doctrine crops up in the Pauline Epistles and in Revelation, where the end of all is with a destruction in the lake of fire. In the Epistle to the Hebrews the destruction of lost souls is compared with that of vegetable matter being consumed by fire. The doctrine, like so many others, was Egyptian, upon which the haze of ignorance settled down, to cause confusion ever since. Take away the Kamite devil, and the Christian world would suffer sad bereavement. The devil was of Egyptian origin, both as “that old serpent” the Apap reptile, the devil with a long tail, and as Sut, who was Satan in an anthropomorphic guise. Sut, the power of drought and darkness in

physical phenomena, becomes the dark-hearted evil one, and is then described as causing storms and tempests, going round the horizon of heaven “like one whose heart is veiled” (Rit., ch. 39, Renouf), as the adversary of Osiris the Good Being. The darkness, fire, and chains are all Egyptian. Darkness was mythically represented by the Apap dragon, also as the domain of Sut in the later theology. Darkness in the nether world is identical with the tunnels of Sut in Amenta. The chains are likewise Egyptian, but not for human wear. Apap and the Sebau, Sut and the Sami are bound in chains. It is said to the pre-anthropomorphic devil, “Chains are cast upon thee by the scorpion goddess” (Rit., ch. 39). Sut is also imprisoned with a chain upon his neck (ch. 108). As already explained, the Sebau and the Sami represent the physical forces in external nature that made for evil and were for ever opposed to the Good Being and to the peace of the world. These were always rising in impotent revolt as the hosts of darkness and spawn of Apap, headed by the evil-hearted Sut. They had to be kept under; hence the necessity for prisons, bonds, and chains. The mythical imagery has been continued in the Christian eschatology, and the sinners put in the place of the Sebau, whereas in the Egyptian teaching the sinners, once human, who were irretrievably bad, were put an end to once for all, at the time of the second death, in the region of annihilation (Rit., ch. 18). Coming to an end for ever was, to the Egyptian mind, a prospect worse than everlasting pains, so profound was their appreciation of life, so powerful their will to persist. They represented evil as negation. Apap is evil and a type of negation in the natural phenomena that were opposed to good. In the eschatology Sut represents negation as non-existence. Evil culminated in annihilation and non-being for the Manes, and the negation of being, of life, of good, was the ultimate form of evil. The Egyptian purgatory, called the Meskat, is a place of purgation where the primitive mode of purifying may be compared with that of Fulling. It is effected by beating. Hence the Meskat is the place of scourging. The Manes pleads that he may not fall under the knives of the executioners in the place of extermination, as he has “passed through the place of purification in the middle of the Meskat.” In chapter 72 the Manes prays that he may “not be stopped at the Meskat,” or in purgatory, but may pass on to the divine dwelling-place prepared for him by Tum “above the earth,” where he can “join his two hands together,” and eat the bread and drink the beer upon the table of Osiris. The same plea, “Let me not be stopped at the Meskat,” or kept in purgatory, is also uttered by the speaker in chapter 99. The enemies of the Good Being were likewise pilloried. Hence the Manes says, “Deliver me from the gods of the pillory, who fasten (the guilty) to their posts” (ch. 180).

A late attempt has been made on behalf of the Roman Catholic religion to lure people into Hades by showing that it is only a mitigated mourning department; that the devil himself is not so black as hitherto painted; and that there is really a tolerable amount of happiness to be obtained in hell. But this is only looking a little closer into the traditions of Amenta which survived in Rome. They belong to the same original source as that from which the Church derived its doctrines of purgatory, the second death, and other

dogmas not to be found in the Gospels. There is no everlasting bonfire of eternal torture in the Egyptian hells, of which there are ten, known as the ten circles of the condemned, in the inferno or divine nether region. The utterly worthless suffer a second death upon the highways of the damned, and are spoken of as those who are no more. The Roman Church continued the dogma of a second death, and then somewhat nullified it by adding punishment of an infinite duration, as being more coercive to all who did or did not zealously believe. There was no other identifiable source for the Christian eschatology than the Egyptian wisdom. The Roman Church was founded on the Ritual. Possibly a version of the original may one day be found preserved in the secret archives of Rome, the text of which would explain numerous pictures in the Catacombs and other works of the gnostic artists who were the actual authors of the Egypto-Christian iconography, not the “few poor fishermen.” The Roman Church will yet find that she is at root Egyptian, and will then seek to slough off the spurious history which by that time will be looked upon as solely incremental.

The Egyptians were the greatest realists that ever lived. For thousands and thousands of years it was their obvious endeavour at full stretch to reach the ultimate reality of eternal truth. Their interrogation of nature was like the questioning of children, very much in earnest: “But is it really true?” The real was the quest of their unceasing inquiry. To be real was the end and aim; that was living in truth. The only one god was the real god. Horus in spirit was the real Horus. Reality was royalty. In the time of the fifth dynasty a certain Tep-en-ankh claims to be “the real judge and scribe,” the “real nearest friend of the king.” For them eternal life was the ultimate reality. The Egyptian was pre-eminently a manly religion, and therefore calculated to develop manhood. In the hall of the last judgment the deceased expects justice and equity. His god is a just and righteous judge. He does not pray for mercy or writhe in the dust to seek a sentimental forgiveness for sins, or sue for clemency. His was not a creed of that nature. He knows it is the life, the character, the conduct that will count in the scales of Maati for the life hereafter. The human Horus put in no plea for sinners on account of his sufferings. Divine Horus throws no make-weight into the scale. The deceased is judged by what he has done and by what he has not done in the life on earth. He must be sound at heart. He must have spoken and acted the truth. The word of god must have been made truth by him to be of any avail at the bar of judgment. That was the object of all the teaching in all the mysteries and writings which were held to be divine. The standard of law without and within was set up under the name of Maati or Maat, a name denoting the fixed, undeviating law and eternal rule of right. Hence the same word signifies law, truth, justice, rightfulness, and the later righteousness. The foremost and the final article of the Egyptian creed was to fulfil Maati. This is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the moral law. The deity enthroned by them for worship was the god of Maati, the name, which has the fourfold meaning of law, justice, truth, and right, which are one as well as synonymous. Judgment with justice was their aim, their alpha and

omega, in administering the law which their religious sense had divinized for human use; and its supreme type, erected at the pole, in the equinox, or the Hall of Judgment, was the pair of scales at perfect equipoise, for with them the equilibrium of the universe was dependent on eternal equity.

It may look like taking a flying leap in the dark to pass from the Egyptian Book of the Dead to Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, but whencesoever Bunyan derived the tradition, the Pilgrim’s Progress contains an outline of the matter in the Egyptian Ritual. Christian personates the Manes on his journey through the nether earth, with the roll in his hand containing the word of life. The escape from the City of Destruction may be seen in the escape of the deceased from the destruction threatened in Amenta, when he exclaims, “I come from the lake of flame, from the lake of fire and from the field of flame” (ch. 98). The wicket-gate corresponds to the secret doorway of the mysteries; the “Slough of Despond” to the marshes in the mythos; the “Hill of Difficulty” to the Mount of Ascent up which the Osiris climbs with “his staff in his hand.” The Manes forgets his name; Christian forgets his roll, the roll that was his guide book for the journey and his passport to the celestial city. The prototypal valley of the shadow of death is the Aar-en-tet in Amenta. This is the valley of darkness and death (Rit., ch. 19; 130, 6). The Ritual says, “Let not the Osiris advance into the valley of darkness” where the twice-dead were buried for ever by the great annihilator Seb. The monster Apap is the original Apollyon. The equipment of Christian in his armour for his conflict with Apollyon in the Valley of Humiliation is one with the equipment of the Osiris, who enters the valley “glorious and well equipped” for the battle with his adversary the dragon. The fight of Christian and Apollyon is identical with the contest between Ra and Apap. All the time of his struggle Apollyon fought with yells and hideous roarings; Apap with “the voice of strong bellowings” (Rit., ch. 39). Christian passes by the mouth of hell; the Osiris passes by the ten hells, with all of them, as it were, making mouths at him for their prey. There are two lions at the gate of the Palace Beautiful, and in the Ritual the two lions crouch at the beautiful gate of exit from Amenta (vig. to ch. 18). The waters of the river of life, the green meadows, the delectable mountains, the land of Beulah, the paradise of peace, the celestial city on the summit, all belong to the mythology of Hetep or the Mount of Glory—a bare outline, the mere skeleton of which has been clothed at different times in various forms, including this of the Pilgrim’s Progress. Possibly Bunyan the tinker derived the tradition from those travelling tinkers the gipsies. However this may be, the Egyptian Ritual is the verifiable source of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.

Many illustrations might also be given to show that the mysteries of Amenta, which were finally summed up as “Osirian,” have been carried to the other side of the world. In the mythology of the
aborigines of New Holland, “Grogoragally, the divine son, is the active agent of his father, who immovably presides over all nature (like Osiris, the mummy god of the motionless heart). The son watches the actions of men, and quickens the dead immediately upon their earthly interment. He acts as mediator for the souls to the great god, to whom the good and bad actions of all are known. His office is chiefly to bring at the close of every day the spirits of the dead from all parts of the world to the judgment-seat of his father, where alone there is eternal light. There he acts as intercessor for those who have only spent some portion of their lives in wickedness. Bayma, listening to the mediation of his son, allows Grogoragally to admit some such into Ballima,” or heaven (Manning, Notes on the Aborigines of New Holland, Sydney, 1883, copy from the author). Grogoragally is one with the hawk-headed Horus, the paraclete or advocate who pleads for the Manes before the judgment-seat of his father. Again, the aborigines of the McDonnell Ranges have a tradition that the sky was at one time inhabited by three persons. One of these was a woman, one was a child who always remained a child and never developed beyond childhood; the third was a man of gigantic stature called Ulthaana—that is a spirit. He had an enormous foot shaped like that of an emu. When a native dies he is said to ascend to the home of Ulthaana the spirit (Gillen, Notes, Horn Expedition, vol. IV, p. 183). This is a far-off folk tale that may be traced back home to the Egyptian myth. In this Child-Horus never developed beyond childhood, and so remained the eternal child. This was Horus of the incarnation who made his transformation into the Horus that rose again as the adult, the great man, Horus in spirit, the prototype of “Ulthaana.” The bird type is repeated. Horus has the head of the hawk, as a figure of the man in spirit; Ulthaana, as a spirit, has the foot of an enormous emu.

The Arunta also have a kind of Amenta or world of spirits under ground. About fourteen miles to the south of Alice Springs there is a cave in a range of hills which rises to the north. This cave, like all others in the range, is supposed to be occupied by the Iruntarinia or spirit individuals, each one of whom is in reality the double of one of the ancestors of the tribe who lived in the Alcheringa. The individual spirits are supposed to live within the cave in perpetual sunshine and among streams of running water, as in the Egyptian meadows of Aarru. Here, as in Amenta, the reconstitution of the deceased takes place. Within the cave the Iruntarinia remove all the internal organs, and provide the man with a completely new set, after which operation has been successfully performed he presently comes to life again, but in a condition of insanity. This, however, is of short duration, and the coming round is equivalent to the recovery of memory by the Manes in the Ritual, when he remembers his name and who he is in the great house of the other world (Spencer and Gillen, p. 525). There are bird-souls also in this nether earth, which are favoured with unlimited supplies of down or undattha, with which they are fond of decorating their bodies as spirits. The mysteries of Amenta are more or less extant in the totemic ceremonies of the Central Australians at a more rudimentary stage of development, which means, according to the present reading

of the data, that the same primitive wisdom was carried out from the same central birthplace in Africa to the islands of the Southern Sea, and there fossilized during long ages of isolation, which had been carried down the Nile to take living root and grow and flourish as the mythology and eschatology of ancient Egypt.

In the mysteries of Amenta the deceased is reconstructed from seven constituent parts or souls in seven stages of development. Corresponding to these in the Arunta mysteries, seven “status-terms are applied to the initiate.” (1) He is called Ambaquerka up to the time of his being tossed in the air. (2) He is Ulpmerka until taken to the circumcision ground. (3) He is the Wurtja during the time betwixt being painted for it and the actual performance of the ceremony. (4) He is Arakurta betwixt the operations of circumcision and sub-incision. (5) He is Ertwa-kurka after circumcision until he passes through the ordeal by fire. (6) Following this he is called Illpongwura, and (7) after passing through the engwura he is designated Urliara. (Spencer and Gillen, N.T., p. 638.) In the mysteries of Amenta the mouth of the resuscitated spirit is opened and the silence of death is broken when the lips are touched by the sacred implement in the hands of Ptah. It is said in the “ceremony of opening the mouth,” “Let my mouth be opened by Ptah with the instrument of ba-metal with which he openeth the mouths of the gods” (ch. 23). The Arunta also perform the ceremony of opening the mouth by touching it with a sacred object when the initiates are released from the ban of silence (Spencer and Gillen, pp. 382, 385). A mystery of the resurrection is acted by the Arunta in the quabarra ingwurninga inkinja, or corroborree of the arisen bones, which bones imaged the dead body, whilst the performers represented the Ulthaana or spirits of the dead (p. 473). The bones were sacredly preserved by those who were as yet unable to make the mummy as a type of permanence.

Messrs. Spencer and Gillen tell us that every Australian native has to pass through certain ceremonies before he is admitted to the secrets of the tribe. The first takes place at about the age of ten or twelve years, whilst the final and most impressive one is not passed through until probably the native has reached the age of at least twenty-five, or it may be thirty years” (N.T., pp. 212, 213). These two initiations correspond to those in the mysteries of the double Horus. At twelve years of age the Child-Horus makes his transformation into the adult in his baptism or other kindred mysteries. Horus as the man of thirty years is initiated in the final mystery of the resurrection. So was it with the gnostic Jesus. The long lock of Horus, the sign of childhood, was worn by him until he attained the age of twelve years, when he was changed into a man. With the southern Arunta tribe the hair of the body is for the first time tied up at the commencement of the opening ceremony of the series by which he is made a man. His long hair is the equivalent of the Horus lock. The first act of initiation in the Arunta mysteries is that of throwing the boy up into the air—a ceremony that still survives with us in the tossing of the new-comer in a blanket! This was a primitive mode of dedication to the ancestral spirit of the totem or the tribe, whose voice is heard in the sound of the churinga or bull-roarer whirling round. It is
said by the natives that the voice of the great spirit was heard when the resounding bull-roarer spoke. The great spirit was supposed to descend and enter the body of the boy and to make him a man, just as in the mystery of Tattu the soul of Horus the adult descends upon and unites with the soul of Horus the child, or the soul of Ra the holy spirit descends upon Osiris to quicken and transform and re-erect the mummy. Where risen Horus becomes bird-headed as the adult in spirit the Arunta youth is given the appearance of flight to signify the change resulting from the descent of the spirit as the cause of transformation. When one becomes a soul in the mysteries of the Ritual by assuming the form or image of Ra, the initiate exclaims “Let me wheel round in whirls,
let me revolve like the turning one” (ch. 83). The “turning one” is the sun god Chepera (Kheper), whose name is identical with that of an Australian tribe. Kheper is the soul of “self-originating force” that was imaged under one type by the bennu, a bird that ascends the air and flies to a great height whilst circling round and round in spiral wheels (Rit., ch. 85). Whether this be the churinga, the bribbun, turndun, or whirler in a glorified form or not, the doctrine of soul-making at puberty is the same in the Australian as in the Egyptian mysteries.

In the Egyptian mythology Horus is the blind man, or rather he is the child born blind, called Horus in the dark. He is also described as the blind Horus in the city of the blind. In his blindness he is typical of the emasculated sun in winter and of the human soul in death. At the place of his resurrection or rebirth there stands a tree up which he climbs to enter spirit life. And we are told that “near to Charlotte Waters is the tree that rose to mark the spot where a blind man died.” This tree is called the apera okilchya—that is, the blind man’s tree, and the place where it stands was the camp of the blind, the city of the blind, the world of the dead, in which the tree of life or dawn was rooted (N.T., p. 552). Should the tree be cut down the men where it grows will become blind. They would be like Horus in the dark, this being the tree of light or the dawn of eternal day. In one of their ceremonies the Arunta perform the mystery of the oruncha which existed in the Alcheringa. These were evil spirits or “devil-devil men,” malevolent and murderous to human beings, especially to the women after dark (N.T., p. 329, 331, 390-1). In this performance they are portrayed as prowling round, crawling, peering about, and seeking whom they may devour. They run backwards and forwards on all fours as beasts of prey, growling and pretending to frighten each other. The oruncha are the creatures of the dark, with horns like the mediæval devil, and they correspond to the Sebau fiends or evil spirits of the Egyptian mythos who are the enemies of the good Osiris in Amenta. These devil-devil men made war upon the lizard men, the men of the lizard totem, but there were two brothers who rushed upon them as avengers, and slew the whole of the oruncha. The evil powers were the creatures of chaos, the spawn of darkness, the devils of drought, with whom there was no law or order. The two brothers=brotherhoods belonged to the lizard totem, together with their wives. This was the earliest totem of the Arunta.

In the last of the initiation ceremonies the Arunta raise a special
mound, called the parra, on the engwura ground, where the final rites are performed and full initiation is attained. Here the nurtunga was raised, and the parra mound was, so to say, erected at the pole. Messrs. Spencer and Gillen tell us they were unable to learn the meaning of the word parra. But, as the comparison is not simply verbal, we note that para is an ancient Egyptian name for Annu, the place of the column, the mount of the pole, and of the balance in the Maat. The Chepara tribe of Southern Queensland also throw up the circular mound for their greater mystery of the kuringal, in which may be identified the baptism and rebirth by fire (Howitt, Australian Ceremonies of the Initiation). Amongst the initiatory rites of the Arunta mysteries is the purification by fire. When the initiate has passed through this trial he becomes a perfectly developed member of the tribe, and is called an urliara, or one who has been proved by fire (N.T., p. 271). The natives say that the ceremony has the effect of strengthening the character of all who pass through it. This is one of the most obvious survivals. A fire ceremony is described in the Ritual as an exceeding great mystery and a type of the hidden things in the under world. It is an application of the fires by means of which power and might are conferred upon the spirits (khu) among the stars which never set. These fires, it is said in the rubric (ch. 137, A), shall make the spirit as vigorous as divine Osiris. It is a great ordeal, and so secret is the mystery that it is only to be seen by the males. “Thou shalt not perform this ceremony before any human being, except thine own self or thy father or thy son.” Amongst other things, the fire is good for destroying evil influences and for giving power to Horus in his war with darkness. It is of interest to note the part played by the females in the ordeals by fire. In one of these the fire is prepared by the women, and when the youth squats upon the fire they place their hands upon his shoulder and gently press him down upon the smoking fuel (N.T., p. 259). Now in the Egyptian mysteries of Amenta the punishers or purifiers in the hells or furnaces are women or goddesses, and it looks as if this character had survived in the mysteries of the Arunta. When the elders shout through the darkness to the women across the river, “What are you doing?” the reply is, “We are making a fire.” “What are you going to do with the fire?” is asked, and the women shout, “We are going to burn the men.” This occurs during a pause by night in the ceremonies of initiation, which terminate with the ordeal by fire. (Spencer and Gillen.) The concluding ordeals by fire and the “final washing” in the Australian ceremonies can be paralleled in the Ritual. “Lo, I come,” says the speaker, “that I may purify this soul of mine in the most high degree” (ch. 97); and again, “I come from the lake of flame, from the lake of fire and from the field of flame, and I live.” He is now a spirit sufficiently advanced to join the ancient never-setting ones and become a fellow-citizen with them in the eternal city (ch. 98). The initiate in the Australian mysteries having passed through the initiatory ceremonies, joins the elders as a fully-developed member of his tribe.

The most sacred ceremonial object of the Arunta is called the kauaua. This is erected at the close of the engwura mysteries. A young gum-tree, 20 feet in height, is cut down, stripped of its branches

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