The light of the world


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In the lower paradise was the land of gold, not as metal, but as the glory of the sun by night. The sun god rising from this land that was yellow with gold is thus addressed, “Adoration to thee, who arisest out of the golden and givest light to the earth” (Rit., ch. 15, Renouf). Still, mining for metals had commenced when Ptah and
his pygmy workers hollowed out the under-world. Amenta was based upon the mine. It was the secret earth in which the treasures were concealed. These were guarded by the dragon, but they were likewise known to the dwarfs, the wee folk, the fairies, the Tuatha de Danan. Amenta was the land of precious metals and the furnace of the solar fire. Hence Ptah, the miner, became the blacksmith of the gods, the Kamite Vulcan. Some missing details respecting the work of Ptah the metallurgist may be found in the Greek rendering of this god as Hephaistos. Ptah, working in concert with the goddess Maati, built the great double hall of Truth and Justice, which was gilded and glorified with his precious metal. Hephaistos is the architect of the house of the gods. As a proof that his place and work are in the nether earth, Hephaistos does not know what occurs until he learns it from the coming sun.

Following the burial on earth, the deceased enters as a manes into Amenta, the land of the living. He seeks to get on board the boat of souls. The priest says, “O ye seamen of Ra, at the closing of day let the Osiris live after death as Ra does daily.” Here the helmsman: “As Ra is born from yesterday, so he too is born from yesterday, and as every god exults in life so shall the Osiris exult even as they exult in life.” (Ch. 3, Renouf.)

A subterranean pleasaunce opened to the eastward of the mount of earth called now, the earth of eternity. This is a paradise to which the manes look forward on their path of progress. It was the field in which they had to till and grow the divine harvest as the food of the gods. For Aarru was apportioned on the small allotment system. Each one had a share of arable land to cultivate, and by the fruit was known and judged at the great harvest-home as a true worker or a lazy one; and by their labour in this spirit-world Egyptians earned their living for the life hereafter. The lower Aarru, the garden eastward in Amenta, is that earthly paradise of legendary lore in search of which so many heroes sailed. In the Erik Saga, Erik sets out in search of Odainsakr, a form of the Norse paradise, which is said to be encircled by a wall of fire. He enters a dark forest-land in which the stars are seen by day. A dragon bars his way across the river—the Apap of darkness in the valley of darkness (Rit., ch. 7). He rushes into the monster’s mouth and passes through its body—a common way with the solar hero. Erik emerges with his companions in the land of light, the lower paradise of the mythos. After awhile they come to a tower that is suspended in the air without any visible supports; access to it was obtained by means of a ladder that enabled the seekers to reach the top of the tower, which had neither foundations nor pillars. They had now attained Odainsakr, the earth of living men, the Egyptian land of the living, but not the upper paradise, the place of spirits perfected, which is said to be so glorious that Odainsakr in comparison was but a desert. Erik’s is but the journey of the nocturnal sun or the annual sun in the inferior hemisphere represented in the primitive form of a passage through the nether-earth.

The aim and end of the Osiris on the journey by water or by land is to reach the circumpolar paradise and secure a place among the stars that never set, the glorious ones that “beacon from the abodes

where the eternals are.” The mount of earth was the point of emergence in the mythology. It was the place of birth for the sun upon the mount to the east where the temple of Sebek-Horus stood. In the eschatology it was the place of rebirth for the souls or manes who ascended by the mount or by the tree of dawn to the summit from which they entered the bark of the sun to make the voyage over the waters round to Manu in the region of the west. This under-world, with its mount of birth as a point of departure for the sun and manes in the east, became the traditional birthplace and point of departure in the legends of various supposed ethnical migrations of a similar nature to that of the Jews in the exodus from Egypt.

The passage from the mount or island of earth to the mount of the upper paradise across the water was already mapped out in the time of Pepi I., as the following extract from his pyramid shows: “Hail thou who (at thy will) makest to pass over to the field Aarru the soul that is right and true, or dost make shipwreck of it (if wrong). Pepi is right and true in respect of the island of the earth, whither he swimmeth and where he ariseth.” (Budge.)

This is not very clear, but the island of the earth is the mount on the eastern summit of which the manes joined the solar bark to make the voyage from Mount Bakhu east to Mount Manu in the west on their way to the mount of glory at the north celestial pole. Thus the pathway for the dead from this life to the upper paradise was laid down by the Egyptians. It was they who tunnelled the mount of earth and hollowed out Amenta with its places of purgatory, its hells, its paradise of plenty in the Aarru meadows; its means of ascent for the Manes by the mount or up the tree; its solar bark and boat of souls that voyaged over the waters of the Nun from east to west; its steps or ladder that was raised at the landing-place by night for the ascent to heaven in the upper Aarru paradise. This pathway of the dead is well-nigh universal in mythology, and it can be traced from beginning to end by means of the Egyptian mythology and the eschatology. Led by the jackal Anup as guide through all the ways of darkness, and lighted by Taht, the lunar god, who carries in his hand the lamp of light and eye of Horus as the moon of Amenta shining through the night, we emerge at length from underneath the upper earth. We are now outside the mount of earth, which stands upon a vast illimitable plain of the nether-world. We thus retain our foothold in the Nun where upper earth comes to an end. We follow the track of the sun and therefore issue on the eastern side of the mountain, which the solar god ascends at sunrise when seen by the dwellers on the upper earth. Now we are facing the solar east and the garden eastward, which originated in the oasis of Inner Africa.

The Book of the Dead is primarily based on the Amenta and the journey through its under-world. The track of the all-conquering sun is followed by the soul of the deceased. He enters the mount in the west by the opening in the rock, or at a later stage is carried on the boat. He is accompanied by those who have gone before as guides. He does battle with the adversary, and is victorious in the character of Horus. He opens all the paths and gates with his words of magic power and spells of might. He cleaves open the earth for

the resurrection. He is delivered from the devouring demon who lurks invisibly in the lake of fire and feeds upon the damned (ch. 17). The caverns of Putrata, where the dead fall into darkness, are opened for him. He is supported by the eye of Horus or lighted by the moon. Apuat, the opener of roads, raises him up and acts the part of the giant Christopher in carrying him across the waters (ch. 44). He wanders in the wilderness where nothing grows. He obtains command of the water in the nether-world and prevails over the deluge. He escapes the second death (ch. 58). The double doors of heaven are opened for his coming forth (ch. 68). Still following the course of the sun, the passage of Amenta endeth with the garden eastward and the ascent by which the Manes enter the bark of Ra. “O great one in thy bark,” says the suppliant, “let me be lifted into the bark,” “let me make head for thy staircase” (ch. 102). The deceased has here attained the summit of the solar mount of glory on his way to the circumpolar heaven and the stars that do not set. There is a voyage now in heaven from east to west, and as the sun was lifted up to enter the maatit bark at dawn, so is it in the eschatological rendering. The souls of the departed who were pure enough in the presence of the sun now entered the maatit bark to continue the voyage round the mountain to the region of Manu. They were now the westerners in another sense which was eschatological. All day the manes make their voyage in the solar bark, and come at sunset to the land of the west about which the song was sung in the funeral procession, “To the west! To the west!” At this landing-stage they leave the maatit for the sektit bark. The sun goes down to Amenta in the west each night, but their sun sets no more. They have done with the mount of earth in the mythology, and come to the mount belonging to the heavens. But there is a great gulf fixed between the mount of Amenta and the stellar mount of glory. This is the lake of darkness and the lair of the Apap-dragon. The void is spoken of as the cavern of Putrata, where the dead fall into darkness. It is also called the void of Apap. In strict accordance with natural phenomena, the gulf or void of Putrata lay betwixt the place of sunset on the western side of the mount of earth and the heaven of the setting stars. It is the prototype of the abyss or lake of outer darkness, the pit, in the Christian version of the legend; the great gulf that was fixed betwixt those who remained in the lower Amenta and those who had attained the bosom of Ra, an Egyptian expression for the boat. On the other side of the water “Shu standeth erect, and the non-setting stars are instantly active in raising the ladder” by which the sinking souls or setting stars are saved from destruction in the lake of outer darkness. These steps are carried round from east to west for that purpose on board the solar bark. (Vignettes to Ritual.)

With the change of boat another voyage begins by night, along the great stream of the Milky Way. This is described as “that most conspicuous but inaccessible stream” when contemplated from the earth. (Rit., ch. 98.) When the departed reach the starry shore, the seven steps or ladder for ascending the mount of heaven is now erected in the boat. This ladder, as Egyptian, was double in the time of King Pepi. It is called the ladder of Sut for the ascent from

Amenta, and the ladder of Horus for the ascent to heaven. A bark that can ascend the stream awaits the voyagers. This picture of the bark that made its glorious journey upward to the circumpolar paradise was obviously constellated as the Argo Navis, which is figured in the position of ascending backwards on the white waters of the Milky Way. The cavern and gulf of Putrata no doubt existed when there was as yet no boat or bride extant. Hence in various legends the manes have to spring from one side of the chasm to the other. The “jumping-off place” for departed spirits is known in several legends of the aboriginal races, and this was the rock on the western side of the mount. There is a stone at the west end of Upolu called “the leaping-stone,” from which departed spirits in their course leaped into the sea, swam to Manono, sprang from another stone on that island, crossed to Savaii and went overland to the Faf~, at Falealupo, as the western entrance to their other world is called. (Turner, Samoa, p. 257.) With the Greeks, “to leap from the Leucadian Rock” was a proverbial equivalent for death. In the Khond representation, the souls of the dead “have to jump across the black unfathomable gulf to gain a footing on the slippery leaping rock, where Dinga Pennu, the judge of the dead, sits writing his register of all men’s daily lives and actions.” The Guinea negroes tell of a divine judge whose judgment seat was on the other side of the water that spirits crossed in death, analogous to the Egyptian maat in the circumpolar region. Those who had religiously kept the laws of tabu were conducted into paradise, whereas those who had not were sunk headlong in the waters like the damned that went down headlong in the waters of Putrata. (Bosman, Pinkerton, vol. XVI, p. 401; Rit., ch. 44.)

The souls that ascended from the mount of Amenta by the Milky Way, the path of spirits, were hawk-headed like the Horus-soul, and with the Lithuanians this way of souls was called the “road of birds,” along which the departed went like birds, or AS birds in the Kamite representation, to the regions of eternal rest. As Egyptian, this road was a great stream, because with them the water was their earliest way (ch. 86). Another Egyptian name for the heaven as water is urnas or uranus. This we claim to be the Kamite original of the Greek uranus. Dr. Birch renders it in his dictionary “Urnas, Ouranos, the celestial water.” The Egyptians did not personalize it under that name; still, the urnas is the celestial water, and urnas=uranos. The okeanus that flows around the world was neither a fabulous sea nor a stream of water, but the firmament itself, that was figured as the celestial water surrounding the mount of earth. Through this ocean ran the great stream of the white water or the Milky Way. Thus we have the okeanos and the ocean stream of Homer for the first time separately identified. Again, the water appeared divided into two lakes at the head of the celestial river united to form one stream in the Via Lactea. The system of the waters in the Bundahish is identical with the Egyptian. It is said that all the waters in heaven and earth had their origin in the heavenly mount of Ardvi Sura at the summit of Alborz upon which the red cow rested. There is but one source and only place of discharge for all the rivers in the world. This was the river of the Milky Way, which the Egyptians figured as

descending from the celestial lakes to be continued in the lakes and in the Nile below. In China the Yellow River is looked upon as a continuation of the Tien Ho, or Milky Way, the river of heaven continued as the river of earth (Mayers’ Manual, p. 98).

The Osirian looking heavenward in death exclaims, “O very high mountain! I hold myself in thy enclosure” (Rit., 149, 14). He also says, “A divine domain hath been constructed for me. I know the name of it; the name of it is the garden of Aarru.” (Rit., ch. 109, Renouf.) But the enclosure at the summit of the mount was not only figured as a paradise of plenty. It was a dwelling-place which had expanded to a city; the city of the blessed, the holy city, the city of the great king, the heavenly city, the eternal city, that was the model of Memphis and Annu, Thebes and Abydos, Eridu and Babylon, Rome, Jerusalem, and other sacred cities of the world. On approaching this, the Osirian says, “I stand erect in the bark which the god is piloting, at the head of Aarru, and the non-setting stars open to receive me, and my fellow-citizens present to me the sacred cakes with flesh” (ch. 98, Renouf). In an earlier chapter he had said, “I arrive at my own city” (ch. 17). On the Stele of Beka the speaker says, “I reach the city of those who are in eternity.” That is the eternal city. When the Osiris has attained the land of eternity he says his future is in Annu. That is Annu as a celestial locality, Annu as the eternal city, not Heliopolis in Egypt. (Rit., ch. 133.) Annu, like Tattu, was a form of the celestial city at the pole. An is a name of the mount and the column, the pole, and in Annu was the pillar, fortress, or rock of eternity.

In one form the polar mount was called the white mountain. It was Mont Blanc in heaven. The Koreans term it “mount everwhite.” As a house it was the white house. As a city it was the city of the white wall. As the seat it was the great white throne of the eternal. As a country it is the land of the silver sky. It is also known as the mountain of white limestone, the stone of Sut. The house constructed by Ptah was double-storied, a house of the lower and upper paradise combined in one. Finally, the heaven of astronomical mythology was figured as the great house of Osiris. This included all the previous formations: the circle of the Bear; the heaven of Sut and Horus, south and north; the triangular heaven of the ecliptic; the heaven built on the square; the double house of Amenta below the earth, and the eternal dwelling-place above, whence the house of Osiris at Abydos, called the mansion of Seb and Nu, or earth and heaven, was built in two stories. (Magical Texts, p. 6; Records, vol. VI, p. 118.) “In the year 22 of the reign of King Aahmes, his majesty gave the order to open the rock-chambers anew, and to cut out thence the best white stone (limestone) of the hill-country (called) Annu, for the houses of the gods,” including the house of Ptah at Memphis (Brugsch, Egypt under the Pharaohs, Eng. trans. in one vol., p. 130). The mountain of white limestone was an actual fact on earth to the Egyptians. It was in a spur of the Arabian range which projected in a straight line towards the Nile as far as the village of Troiu, and contained an inexhaustible supply of the finest and whitest limestone. The Egyptians had quarried the white limestone mountain from the earliest ages to obtain materials
for their pyramids. (Maspero, Dawn of Civilization, Eng. trans., p. 383.) It furnished the limestone for building the city of the white wall, which represented the celestial city on the summit of the mount in heaven. The name of Troiu, modern Turah, is suggestive of the Greek city of Troy, which in its mythical aspect was another form of the city on the mount. The deceased are lifted up in the white house or within the circle of the white wall by Sekhet the lioness-consort of Ptah (Rit., chs. 42 and 106), which was an astronomical foundation that followed the heaven of the eight great gods. The Osiris says, “May Sekhet the divine one lift me up, so that I may arise in heaven and deliver my behest in Memphis” (Rit., ch. 26, Renouf). With the Chinese Taoists the city on the summit of the mount is “the metropolis of pearl mountain.” (Edkins, Religion in China, p. 151, 2nd. ed.) This corresponds to the Kamite city of the white wall, the celestial Ha-Ptah-Ka. To the dweller in Annu the eternal city was Annu on the summit of the celestial mount. To the dweller in Thebes the eternal city was Thebes on high. To the dweller in Jerusalem the eternal city was Jerusalem above. Only once was there a mundane original for the paradise or later city set in heaven at the pole. That is demonstrably derived from the land, the river, the Annu, the Troy or Teriu of Egypt. The Egyptians set “the pattern in the mount,” and from this the later builders of the sacred cities, the ark cities, on the mount of heaven, derived the plan. The city of Troy on earth was a type of the eternal Troy upon the summit of the mount. Both city and name are demonstrably Egyptian, as Troy=Terui. Terui denotes the circumference or enclosure, and this was a name of Sesennu, and consequently of Am-Khemen—the paradise of the eight, the enclosure on the mount of heaven which afterwards supplied a name for the city of Troy in Greece. The “Tale of Troy” is based on the downfall of the great city on the summit, which was the lofty dwelling-place of those whom we may term the people of the pole. The Greeks are solarites, with the sun-god Achilles as their leader. This fall occurred when the stellar representation was followed by the luni-solar mythos. The fall of Babylon in the book of Revelation is another form of the tale of Troy; and both were representations of the one great original in the astronomical mythos. The Semites would have had no heaven on the summit of the mount to go to if the Egyptians had not enclosed it and planted it, and showed the way in their astronomy. They would have had no Sheol if the Egyptians had not excavated the Amenta for the passage of the sun in their mythology and for the souls in the eschatology. And it is by means of the Egyptian imagery that we shall be able to restore something of the lapsed sense to the Hebrew writings.

Entrance into the eternal city was preceded by baptism, with Anup, father of the inundation, as the baptiser and sprinkler both in one. On approaching the two lakes the speaker says, “Lo, I come that I may purify this soul of mine in the most high degree. Let me be purified in the lake of propitiation and equipoise. Let me plunge into the divine pool beneath the two divine sycamores of heaven and earth.” (Rit., ch. 97, Renouf.) This precedes the sacrament or eating of the sacrifice consisting of bread, beer, and meat. He also

says, “Give me bread and beer. Let me be made pure by the sacrificial joint, together with the white bread,” that is, by partaking of the sacrament. (Rit., ch. 106, Renouf.) Heaven as a house had been founded by Sesheta or Sefekh, a form of the old First Mother as co-worker with Taht in the lunar mythos. Atum-Ra was also a builder of the house in the solar mythos. His son Iu-em-hetep, the Egyptian Solomon, was the builder or designer of the temple to whom The Book of the Model of the Temple is ascribed (Dümichen, Temple Inschriften, vol. I, pl. 97). It was the temple in heaven that was built without the sound of workmen’s tools; “there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was building” (I Kings VI. 7). This only applies to the mythical building, which was astronomical, and which is still continued in esoteric Masonry. When such language is applied to building on earth it has no direct meaning. The eternal city was preceded by the place of assembly. Before the time of building on the mount there was a gathering-place under the tree that represented the roof of heaven. This was the Egyptian maat or judgment seat when it consisted of a stone beneath a tree. The seat of assembly, the seat of judgment on the summit of the mount, was continued as a sacred tradition by races who never saw the pole star of the northern heaven. The Australian blacks have no north pole to look to for their paradise. It sank out of sight for them long ages since, when they were emigrants from the old world, nor have they replaced it with the southern pole. But they still turn to a mount of the north as the gathering place for the souls of the departed. The Tundi, a judicial assembly of the tribe, is there—an equivalent in its way for the Egyptian maat. When an old Australian aborigine was dying he pointed upward and said, “My Tundi is up there!” (Taplin, Native Races of South Australia, p. 36). The great pyramid was built as a replica of this eternal home. One name of this is khut, a word which does not merely signify “light,” or the horizon. It was the mount of glory permanently fixed in stone; a type of heaven perfected which included all the mansions in the great house of Osiris. Earth being figured as a mount or island in the abyssal water, it seems probable that the island in the water mentioned by Herodotus (B. II, 127), where they say “the body of Cheops is laid,” was imaged in the subterranean chamber of the great pyramid. And if so, it follows that the pyramid itself is a figure of the mount that stood amidst the water of surrounding space. For example, the “Queen’s Chamber” is seven-sided, and therefore a figure of the Heptanomis. Of the “King’s Chamber” Sandys says, “The stones are so great that eight floor it, eight flag each end, and sixteen the sides.” It is therefore a figure of the lunar octonary, or the heaven of Am-Khemen. The Amenta of Ptah was imaged below as the abyss or well of the nether world. The steps or pathway to heaven were figured in the passage looking upward to the pole. In such monuments the architecture of the heavens found its supreme expression on the earth. He whom Herodotus calls “the priest of Vulcan” is obviously the deity Ptah. The Greek writer speaks of the temple of Vulcan at Memphis (II, 153), when he means the temple of Ptah. Thus the reign of the priest of Vulcan refers to the dynasty
of Ptah. Herodotus says, “The Egyptians having become free, after the reign of the priest of Vulcan–for they were at no time able to live without a king–established twelve kings, having divided all Egypt into twelve parts” (B. II, 147). This was in the Egypt of the heavens. The divisions were zodiacal. The twelve kings are those that rowed the solar bark around the twelve signs now established in the circle of the ecliptic. “The twelve kings,” continues Herodotus, “determined to leave in common a memorial of themselves, and having so determined, they built a labyrinth, a little above the lake of Mœris.” This labyrinth “surpasses even the pyramid.” It has twelve courts enclosed with walls, with doors opposite each other, six facing the north and six the south,” which points to a building that represented the heaven of the twelve kings and twelve zodiacal signs, that is, the heaven of Atum-Ra the son of Ptah. The starry roof was taken, so to say, indoors, to glorify the temples of the gods, and was reproduced more or less as in the ceiling of Denderah. This has been shallowly described as Greek, because Greek artists were employed in the workmanship when the chart was last repeated, “as it had been before,” according to the text. But the types in this planisphere are Egyptian, not Greek. To mention only a few: At the centre is the old first mother of all, the pregnant hippopotamus, Apt or Khebt, with the jackal Ap-Uat, the guide of ways in heaven; and the haunch or leg of Nut the celestial cow. Anup and Tehuti are figured back to back on the equinoctial colure; Shu and his sister Tefnut, back to back, constitute the sign of Sagittarius. Child-Horus is enthroned on his papyrus plant; he is also portrayed as Har-Makhu in the sign of the Scales. Khunsu-Horus offers up the black boar of Sut as a sacrifice in the disk of the full moon. Enough remains intact to show the origin of the constellation figures and to prove their derivation from the astronomical mythology of the Egyptians, by means of which they can be read to-day and for ever, but not as Greek or Euphratean (Book of the Beginnings, Planisphere).


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