The light of the world


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Amenta in one aspect was the world of the dead, the Kâsu or burial-place in the Osirian cult. In this it was claimed to be “the great resting-place” of Osiris the mummy-god, which it became. But it had been created by Ptah for his son Atum before the Osirian dynasty was founded at Abydos. It was the way of the Egyptians to put all they knew into all they did in bringing on and aggregating their wisdom of the past. Thus the circumpolar paradise is repeated in the earthly paradise of Amenta. The stellar mount of glory in the north was reproduced as solar in the east. The Heptanomis with its seven entrances; the twenty-eight lunar stations, fourteen in the upper and fourteen in the lower hemisphere; the house of Osiris with its thirty-six gates. Various stars and constellations known on high, such as Orion, Sothis, and Polaris, were repeated as the guiding stars in this firmament of the lower earth to which the looks of the manes were directed in death. Amongst other reproductions in Amenta we find the Aarru garden; the abyss of the Nun as the womb of earth; the tree or edible plants in the water of the abyss; the dragon of drought or the serpent of darkness; the old first mother; the warring twins, Sut and Horus; the company of seven elemental powers; the lower firmament; the two pillars of Sut and Horus erected in Tattu, the house of eternity; Taht, the bearer of the lunar light; the Sebau, or powers of darkness, fog, mist, cloud, plague, storm, and eclipse—all of which were pre-extant before Amenta had been made by Ptah. The primary group of seven elemental powers was succeeded by the eight great gods, and the eight by the Put-circle of nine. Ptah was then considered to be the one supreme god, begotten by his own becoming, the maker of all things, who himself was not made. The eight were looked upon as his children. The nine formed the Put-circle or cycle of Ptah, who are equivalent to the Elohim of Genesis. In this connection we may
note that No. 9 was the full Egyptian plural. The word for nine is Put, and Putah (or Ptah) is of a ninefold nature. Ptah was indeed the full Egyptian plural as a group or Put of powers that were combined in a supreme self-originating force whose mode of becoming was by transforming from the elemental power or powers through the human into the divine. As “creators,” Ptah and his company of artizans did not originate in that which had no previous existence. They were the transformers of that which had always been as elemental in matter. The element of earth was pre-extant, likewise the power that brought forth life from the earth in water. This power operated by transformation, and one of its types was the serpent of Rannut (a form of the Mother-earth), which was a type of transformation because it periodically sloughed its skin and renewed itself. The element of water was pre-extant, also the power that transformed in the water to bring forth life in food. This transforming power in the water was objectified by the tadpole visibly turning into the frog. It was the same all nature through. The “creators” were the formers and transformers as unseen forces operating in the physical domain, with each one traceable to an elemental origin. First the elements themselves. Next the elemental forces or self-originators in two categories, the baleful and the beneficent. Then the goddesses and gods that were portrayed totemically, and afterwards personalized as divinities in the human likeness.

Ptah was the divine artizan. In his time the masons, builders, potters, blacksmiths were at work, each in their companionship, or brotherhood, as they are seen, hard at it, when the workers in the valley of the Nile come into view. He is especially called the father of beginnings. He was the former in the likeness of the scarabæus, the transformer in the image of a frog, and as the embryo in utero Ptah exhibits the earliest attempt at imposing the human likeness upon the shaping power that was previously imaged by means of the typical insect, or symbolical animal, as in totemism. There is a group of primeval powers described in later times who are said to be “the first company of the gods of Aarru,” or the fields of heaven. They are addressed as the mighty ones, the beneficent ones, the divine ones, who test by their level the words of men as the lords of law, justice, and right; or as the lords of Maat. They are saluted in these words, “Hail to you, ye gods, ye associate-gods, who are without body, ye who rule that which is born from the earth, and that which is produced in the house of your cradles. Ye prototypes of the image of all that exists; ye forms, ye great ones, ye mighty ones, first company of the gods of Aarru, who generated men and shaped the type of every form, ye lords of all things. Hail to you, ye lords of everlasting” (Louvre Papyrus, 3283; Renouf, Hib. Lectures, pp. 208-209). In this text the Aarru is celestial, not the Aarru in Amenta, but the Aarru of the fields above, of which the goddess Apt is said to have been the mother as the bringer-forth of the seven primeval powers in their stellar character. As lords of Maat they are identical with the seven lords of rule or divine governors who are called “the arms of the balance on the night when the eye is fixed” (Rit., ch. 71). This first company of the gods in the fields of heaven were the Ali or Ari (as

in the seven Kab-ari) by name, and the Ali are a group of companions who are herein set forth as co-creators of all that exists in heaven or in earth. The primordial nature-powers are mentioned under several types and names. They are the seven Uræus-gods, born of Mother-earth as non-sentient elemental powers (Rit., ch. 83). They are the seven Khus or glorious ones whose place in heaven was appointed by Anup on the day of “come thou to me” (Rit., ch. 17). They are the seven who assist the great judge in the Maat at the pole on the night of the judgment day, called “the seven arms of the balance,” as executioners of the guilty, who accomplish the slaughter in the tank of flame when the condemned are exterminated (ch. 71, 7). They are the seven wise masters of arts and sciences who assisted Taht in his measurements of earth and heaven. In the solar mythos they are to be seen in several characters with Horus, Ptah, and Ra. They were portrayed as the seven with Horus, in the eight great stars of Orion. They are the seven souls of Ra, also the seven divine ancestors in the boat of the sun, the seven who support Osiris in Amenta. In whichever phase of phenomena, they are a group, a brotherhood, a companionship of powers originally seven in number. It is now proposed to identify this “first company” of creators who passed through these several phases in the Egyptian mythos as seven elementals, seven with the ancient Genetrix, seven with Anup, seven with Taht, seven with Horus, seven with Ptah, as the group of companions called the Elohim in the Hebrew Genesis, who were known to the Gnostics and Kabalists as seven in number, with Ialdabaoth, a form of Sut, at their head.

The word Elohim in Hebrew is employed both as a singular and a plural noun for god and gods, or spirits, with no known origin in phenomena by which the plurality could be explained. For this we must consult the Egyptian wisdom in the mythos which preceded the eschatology. In the “Dispatches from Palestine” there is a perfect parallel to the twofold use of Elohim in the plural and singular forms employed in the Hebrew book. The scribe addressing the Egyptian Pharaoh says, “To the king, my lord, my gods, my sun-god.” (Records of the Past, vol. II, p. 62, 2nd series.) Here the gods were the powers gathered into the one god as supreme. These when sevenfold were called the souls of Ra. They become the eight in the paradise of Am-Khemen. They are nine in the Put-cycle of Ptah, they were ten as the Sephiroth of the Kabalists, they are twelve in the final heaven of Atum-Ra. In a word, they are the Elohim as a form of the Egyptian Ali or Ari, a companionship of workers, and later creators. “In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth.” The astronomical mythology of Egypt, from the time of Sut to that of Ptah, is involved in that brief statement. There are at least three different groups of the Elohim–that is, the Ali or Ili–with the plural ending of the name as Semitic. The first group of these creators was seven in number, with Sut at their head. The second was that of the eight in Am-Khemen, with Anup added to the seven. The third is the company of Ptah, who formed the Put-circle of the nine. These preceded Atum, who was Ra in his first sovereignty. And to show how the past of Egypt opens into immensity, Ptah is credited with being the supreme ruler for 9,000 years. Still earlier

the followers of Horus reigned for 14,000 years; and, as the astronomical legends show, the primary seven creators had previously marked out one great year in the circle of precession before they could become those lords of eternity at the north celestial pole, which were represented by a group of seven stars that never set. Under the title of Elohim, both the one god and the company of gods are present, though concealed, just as Ptah and his associates the Ali were included in the Put-cycle, as Ptah the god, Iu the son of god, and the paut as the group of gods. And if the Put-cycle of the Ali, as now maintained, are the originals of the Phœnician and Hebrew Elohim, it follows that the deity Ptah is the one god of the group in the Genesis as well as in the original mythos. Although the name of Ptah may not be given, yet the creator as the worker in earth, the potter, the moulder or carver, is plainly apparent in the Hebrew Genesis. Also it may be parenthetically remarked that the Hebrew word t[, puth, or peth, for the opening, is identical with Put, in Egyptian, to open; and that Ptah or (Putah) was named from this root as the opener, whether as opener of the nether earth for the sun to pass through, or for the resurrection of the manes from Amenta in the coming forth to day. Moreover, there is a biblical name, that of Puthahiah (hyht[), which apparently proclaims the fact that Iah is the opener, or that he is identical with Ptah (I Chron. XXIV. 16; Ezra X. 23; Neh. IX. 5 and XI. 24). The same root enters into the name of Pethuel, which is equivalent to Ptah-El or the divine opener, who was the Egyptian god Ptah (Joel I. 1).

In the Egyptian divine dynasties Ptah is god the father in one character and Iu the son in the other. In the person of Iu he is the youthful deity who rises from the dead both as the sun-god and as the soul which was imaged for the resurrection in the form of a sahu-mummy risen with the solar hawk for its head, as symbol of the soul issuing from the body of Kheper-Ptah. Iu, in the character of the son, is also representative of the Put-cycle, that is of the Elohim or company of the creators. Thus the Elohim are represented in the first creation of man by the maker=Ptah, and in the second by Iu the son of Ptah; and Iu the son of Ptah is equivalent to Iahu-Elohim, who becomes the creator of the second Adam in the second chapter of the Hebrew Genesis. In the first of two creations Ptah and the Ali who are his associate-gods, the Ali or Elohim, are the creators of Atum, the Hebrew Adam, who in the first phase was created male and female, man and woman in one. The associate-gods or Elohim are said to become the lips, the teeth, the joints, the hands, of Atum the son of Ptah. In another version they are the seven souls of man. In the second creation it is Atum and his associate-gods who are the creators of man, the same as Iahu-Elohim in the Genesis. The parallel is perfect; only in the Hebrew rendering the gnosis is omitted. Still there are two Adams, man the mortal on earth, and man the manes in Amenta. It is the present writer’s contention that the Elohim in the plural are the Ali or associate-gods of Ptah, and that Iahu-Elohim is the deity Iu, who was a form of Ptah as god the son, and who afterwards became the father god in Israel under the name of Ihuh or Jehovah. Iu or Iu-em-hetep, he who comes with

peace, is the Kamite original of the promised prince of peace, whose coming was periodic and æonian for ever and ever, or from generation to generation. The writer further maintains that the creation in the first chapter answers to the creation of Kheper-Ptah and his Ali, that the creation of Iahu in the second chapter is identical with that of Iu or Atum and his associate-gods, and that the garden in Eden is the Aarru garden which Ptah and his Ali or Elohim created for Atum the son to cultivate as the earthly paradise in Amenta.

Thus, the two different creations in the first two chapters of Genesis are in their proper order. In the first “the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” Man, or Adam, also was made. All through this chapter the creators are the associate-gods, the Egyptian Ali, the Phœnician Elohim. In the second chapter, one of the Elohim is individualized by name as Iahu or Iahu-Elohim, translated “the Lord God,” which might be rendered the god Iahu=Iu-em-hetep. After the Elohim had finished their work, it is said in the second chapter of Genesis that Iahu-Elohim now made the earth and heaven which had already been assigned to the Elohim as makers in the pervious chapter. This also may be explained by the Egyptian mythos. Ptah the creator and father of the Ali, or Elohim, was one with Iu in the person of the son. Ptah, the speaker for the group in the first chapter, is the father, and Iahu in the second chapter is the same one god continued as the son, Iu, Iusa, or Iu-em-hetep. Thus the dual character of Ptah-Iu was continued in Atum-Iu as the divine father and son. Also, there are two Atums, corresponding to the two types of Adam, one human, one divine. One was the Atum who died=the Adam in whom all men die, as Paul expresses the doctrine; the other is the second Atum called Nefer-Atum, or Iu the son, who rose again to change the earthly into the heavenly man, in whom the dead were to be made alive again in Amenta, as it was taught in Egypt some ten thousand years ago. In the Hebrew version Atum-Iu has been divided and brought on in two characters which really correspond to the two Adams, human and divine, the first Adam or man, who was of the earth earthly, the second Adam or man, who is of heaven heavenly, the “life-giving spirit,” who became Atum-Ra the “holy spirit” in the Kamite eschatology. More of the Genesis survived amongst the Kabalists.

Atum at Annu, like Ptah at Memphis, was the one god in the two characters of father and son; the eternal father who was personalized in time as the ever-coming son. The birth was periodic in phenomena. Horus of the inundation on his papyrus came as the shoot; Iu as the fish. Thus to have any meaning the coming son was the ever-coming one as a type of the eternal. The title of Ptah as Kheper has the meaning of becoming. The name of the son Iu signifies the coming one. This was he who came for ever, first as manifestor for the mother, “the seed of the woman,” and then as the representative of the father. In the cult of Ptah both characters of the father and son were combined in one god, and both were continued in Atum. Iu the bringer of peace was god the coming son in both religions. The coming son, we repeat, was the ever-coming one. There was no advent once for all. Food and vegeta-
tion, water and light, depended on continual repetition and renewal. This was a subject of the astronomical mythology, in which the “coming” according to time and season had perennial fulfilment. The war of Horus the son with the serpent of darkness was fought out nightly. His conflict with the dragon of drought was repeated annually. But in the Hebrew version the “coming” has been relegated to the domain of prophecy. The saviour or deliverer is to come to bruise the serpent’s head once for all; and in this passing of mythology into the later eschatology the ever-coming was changed into the long-expected and, as it turns out, never-coming son of the Holy Spirit and a mother who was ever-virgin. It was not the object of the adapters to be more explicit, but to all intents and purposes the two characters of Atum the father-god, who was designated “the father of mankind,” and of Iu the son have been reproduced in Genesis as Adam the human father and Iahu-Elohim as the god.

It is the making of Amenta by Ptah and his associate gods that has been converted into a creation of the heaven and the earth in the book of Genesis. This is shown by the firmament that was suspended in the midst of the waters which were under the firmament and separated from the waters which were over the firmament. This is the firmament that was made by Ptah when he divided the heaven of Nut below from the heaven of Nut on high, and thus suspended a lower sky above the nether earth. But when the heaven and the earth were made and the work was finished, the result was a world so unfurnished and unfit to live in that “no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up”: no rain had fallen, and “there was not a man to till the ground” (ch. II, 5). This was in Amenta, the hidden earth that was opened by Ptah for Tum (Atum) and his associate gods to cultivate. Now the impossibility of the Hebrew creation being cosmical is fixed for ever, inasmuch as the heaven and earth are made twice over. In the second chapter there is a second creation of heaven and earth, and the first creation is followed by the making of a second man. The creation of the garden, in the Egyptian mythos, is a separate and subsequent creation from the calling of a nether earth into existence. Amenta was first made, and then the Aarru-garden was planted in Amenta. This twofold creation will account for the two Adams, the man of earth and the man from heaven, or man the mortal and man the manes. In the mythology the first Atum was solar. In the eschatology the second Atum is spiritual. The garden was made for the manes to cultivate, and the manes represents the second Adam, who as Egyptian is Nefer-Atum, or Atum in sprit—otherwise man the manes in the garden of Amenta.

In the book of Genesis there are six creations or acts of creation, set forth as the work of six days or periods. (1) The light was divided from the darkness, and there was evening and morning—one day. (2) The firmamental water was divided into upper and lower, and there was a second day. (3) The waters were gathered into one place for the dry land to appear; the earth put forth grass and herbs and trees, and there was a third day. (4) The lights were set in the firmament for signs and seasons, and there was a fourth day. (5) The creatures of the waters were brought forth and the fowls of the air,
and there was a fifth day. (6) The earth brought forth the living creatures after their kind, including man, and there was a sixth day. Then in the moralizing of the mythos the work of creation being ended on the sixth day, the seventh is to be solemnized as a day of rest. In the course of literalizing the pre-extant mythos it is said that when Elohim finished his work he rested on the seventh day from all the work which he had made. “And Elohim blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because that in it he rested from all his work which Elohim had created and made” (ch. II, 2, 3). So in the book of Amenta it is said that the nether earth was created by the solar god, who rested in that which he had made, just as Ptah was satisfied after making all things, and all the divine names, when like the Elohim he had finished the work and saw that it was good.

There is no great difficulty in discovering the origin of the day of rest which has been ascribed to the Elohim upon the seventh day of creation. Amenta was created as the place of rest for the sleeping dead, and also for the god of the resting heart. It had been the work of Ptah and his associate gods to create the great resting-place in the under-world. And consequently this character of Ptah, as the maker of Amenta, is determined by his designation of “Ptah in the great resting-place” (Stele of Shabaka, line 16). The great resting-place was created for the god who rested there, as did Atum and later Osiris of the resting heart. This was the work which the creator or craftsman Ptah completed in seven stages or periods that were ultimately reduced to seven days. The mount called Hetep in the earthly paradise is named as the mount of rest. It was a kind of “rest-and-be-thankful” half-way up the ascent from the world of the dead to the summit on the mount of glory. The word Hetep has the various meanings of rest, peace, plenty, all of which were to be realized in Hetep, the garden of the blessed dead. The great object is “to take possession there.” The manes says, “I am united there with the god of rest”—that is, with Osiris, god of the resting heart. “I take my rest in the divine domain. There is given to me the plenty which belongeth to the kau and the glorified.” “Rise in Hetep (the mount) blest with the breezes, I arrive in thee, my head is uncovered. I am in my own domain.” One of the blissful islands of this earthly paradise is expressly called the isle of rest or Hetep. The voyager makes fast his bark to “the block of moorage on the stream,” and utters his praises to the gods who are in the garden of rest. The garden of Amenta was a place of rest in the refreshing shade of Hathor’s tree. It was called the garden of Hetep. The word Hetep is also spelt Hept. In fact, to judge from the hieroglyphical inscriptions in the Pyramid of Medum, it seems that this was the earliest spelling of the word. Thus Amenhetep would be Amenhept. Now Hept (Gr. Epta) in Egyptian also signifies the number seven. This may be related to the work of creation in seven days, which according to the non-biblical Jewish legends represented the earthly paradise in seven divisions as a figure of the celestial heptanomis, the work in seven parts being computed as a work of seven days, and Hept the place of rest transformed into the seventh day of rest. In the later Semitic märchen, Assyrian and Hebrew, a division in time has been

substituted for the division in space—that is, the seven divisions of the astronomical heptanomis have been converted into a creation of seven days, and a great day of rest has been substituted for the great resting-place. We can perceive the Semitic Sabbath in the making and also where it was made. In the elder version of the Assyrian legend of creation there was no Sabbath. The seventh day is a day of labour, not a day of rest. But whatsoever was signified by the seven successive divisions, acts, stages, or periods of creation that were ultimately commemorated by the festival of the seventh day, the Semitic Sabbath belongs to the superstructure, not to the foundation, and is not original, either as Hebrew or Assyrian. Time did not begin with Sunday, either as the first or the seventh day of the week. The week was preceded by the month or a moon, and a moon by the year of the inundation that was commemorated by the festival of the Great Bear’s tail. In the Chaldean account of creation there is a hint of the solar origin of the Sabbath. In this it is said of the creator, “On the seventh day he appointed a holy day. And to cease from all business he commanded. Then arose the sun on the horizon of heaven.” (Lines 17, 18, 19.) The day dedicated to the sun was Sunday, but the solar calendar was the latest. An indefinitely more ancient version than anything Semitic has been preserved in the Hawaiian legend of creation. This is said to have begun on the 26th day of the month, on the day of Kane, and continued during the days named Lono, Manli, Maku, Hilo, and Hoaka. In six days the creation was completed, and the seventh day, the day of Ku, became the first holy day. The first and sixth of these seven days have been kept sacred ever since by all generations of Hawaiians. Yet the Polynesians generally did not solemnize a weekly Sabbath, and had no week of seven days. (Fornander, vol. I, p. 121; Natural Genesis, vol. II, p. 56.) More than once we meet with a sixth-day Sabbath in Africa. Dos Santos described this sixth day of rest as being observed in the ploughing season by the Monomatapa, which, according to Bent (p. 341), is continued among them to-day. “At Mangwedis during the ploughing season they only work for five consecutive days. They observe the sixth and call it Muali’s day, and rest in their huts and drink beer. These days are feasts of the ancestral spirits or muzimos, called “the days of the holy ones who are already dead.”

A week of seven days concluding with the Sabbath, which was at first a festival, is more expressly Semitic. Not that the Egyptians had no seven-day period in their reckonings of time. The tenait was a period of seven days, as well as of fourteen days or a half-moon; but a cycle of seven days as the measure of a cosmogonical creation had no meaning. The seven periods of creation did not originate with seven days of twenty-hours each. As will be seen, when all is put together, the Egyptians reckoned time upon a scale so vast that it included the great year of the world. That is, the heptanomis founded upon seven astronomes had been repeated in the great year with its seven periods in precession which were represented by the seven changing pole-stars before the backward movement could have been calculated by the position of the equinoctial colure. The reduced scale of the Semitic seven days is but a one-inch-to-the-mile sort of

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