THE Kamite mythos of the old lost garden may be seen transforming into Hebrew legendary lore when Ezekiel describes an Eden that was sunk and buried in the lowermost parts of the earth. “Thus saith the Lord . . . When I cast him (Pharaoh) down to Sheol with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, . . . and all that drink water were comforted in the nether parts of the earth. . . .” “To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? Yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden into the nether parts of the earth; thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised.” (Ez. XXXI. 15, 16, 18.) This is the Garden of Eden in Sheol, and Sheol is a Semitic version of the Egyptian Amenta. That is why the lost Gan-Eden is to be found in the nether parts of the earth as an outcast of the later theology.
When the word Sheol in the Old Testament is rendered in English by “the grave,” it is inadequate times out of number. The Hebrew writers were not always speaking or thinking of the grave when they wrote of Sheol, which has to be bottomed in Amenta, the divine nether-earth, not simply in the tomb. The grave is not identical with hell, nor the pit-hole with the bottomless pit. The pangs and sorrows of Sheol, like the purging pangs of the Romish purgatory, have to be studied in the Egyptian Ritual. Many of the moanings and the groanings in the Psalms are the utterances of Osiris or the Osiris suffering in Amenta. They are the cries for assistance in Sheol. The appeals in the house of bondage for help from on high, and for deliverance from afflictions and maladies more than human, were uttered in Amenta before they were heard in Sheol, and the Psalmist who first wrote the supplications on behalf of the manes was known as the divine scribe Taht before the Psalms in Hebrew were ascribed to David. The speaker of Psalm XVI is talking pure Egyptian doctrine in Amenta concerning his soul and body when he says, “My flesh shall dwell in safety, for thou wilt not leave my soul in Sheol; neither wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption; thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is the fulness of joy, in thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” As we see from the Ritual, this is the manes expressing his confidence in the duration of his personality, the persistence of his sahu or mummy-soul in
Amenta, and his hope of being vivified for ever by the Holy Spirit and led along the pathway of eternal life by Horus the Redeemer to the right hand of his father, Atum-Ra. He is the sleeper in Amenta when he says, “I shall behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied with thy likeness when I awake” (Ps. XVII. 15). The Osiris woke in Sekhem, where he saw the likeness of his Lord who left his picture there; his true likeness as the risen one transformed, transfigured, and divinely glorified, that looked upon the manes, smiling sun-wise through the defecating mist of death, for the Osiris to come forth and follow him. The speaker was in Amenta as the land of bondage when the “cords of Sheol” were bound about him. He was assimilated to the suffering Horus, sitting blind and helpless in the utter darkness, pierced and torn and bleeding from the wounds inflicted on him by Sut, who had been his own familiar friend, his twin-brother, and who had turned against him and betrayed him to his death. The most memorable sayings in the Psalms, and the most misleading when misunderstood, are uttered in this character of Osiris, who was the typical victim in Amenta, where he was tormented by the followers of Sut, the forsaken sufferer who was piteously left to cry, “My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me?” The sufferer is in Sheol, the miry pit, when he says, “I sink in deep mire.” “Deliver me out of the mire, and let not Sheol shut her mouth upon me” (Ps. LXIX. 2, 14, 15).
Sheol, then, is one with Amenta, and the drama with its characters and teachings belongs to the mysteries of Amenta, which are attributed to Taht, the Egyptian psalmist, who is the great chief in Sekhem, the place where Horus suffered or Osiris died. Taht was the writer of the sayings attributed to Horus in his dual character of the human sufferer in Amenta and of Horus-Tema, the divine avenger of the sufferings that were inflicted on Osiris by the “wicked,” the Sami, the co-conspirators with Sut, the Egyptian Judas. This will account for the non-natural imagery and hugely inhuman language ascribed to the supposed historic David, who as writer was primarily the psalmist Taht, and who called down the divine wrath upon the accursed Typhonians for what they had done in binding, torturing, and piercing Horus (or Osiris) and pursuing him to death. So far as the language of Taht remains in the Psalms of David, it is inhuman because the characters of the drama were originally non-human. This is one of the many misrenderings that have to be rectified by means of the Egyptian Ritual, when we have discriminated between the earth of time and the earth of eternity, between the denizens of Judea and the manes in Sheol, and learned that the Hebrew and Christian histories of these mystical matters have been compounded out of the Egyptian eschatology.
It is noteworthy that certain of the Psalms, in two different groups (XLII to XLIX and LXXXIV to LXXXVIII), are specialized as “Psalms of the Sons of Korah.” These were the rebels, once upon a time, who, according to Hebrew tradition, disappeared when the earth opened and swallowed them up alive. This is a legend of Amenta. The only earth that ever swallowed human beings was the nether-earth of Sheol; and if we take our stand with the sons of Korah in Amenta we can
read these Psalms and see how they should especially apply to those who were swallowed by Sheol in the nether-world. “One thing,” says a commentator, “which added to this surprising occurrence, is that when Korah was swallowed in the earth his sons were preserved.” They went down to the pit in death, but lived on as did the manes in Amenta. The sons of Korah are in Sheol. But, says the speaker, “God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol” (Ps. XLIX. 15). He exclaims, “Bring me unto thy holy hill and to thy tabernacles.” Psalm XLV is a Psalm addressed to the anointed son, the king=the royal Horus, who comes as a conqueror of death and Sheol. Psalm XLVII is a song of the resurrection from Amenta. “God is gone up with a shout,” to sit upon his holy throne, in the eternal city” on his holy mountain,” which was the way up from the dark valley for those who, like “the sons of Korah,” sank into the nether-earth, but who lived on to rise again and reach the summit of the sacred mount. The Kamite steps of ascent were buried as a fetish figure in the coffins with the dead for use, typically, when they woke to life in Amenta. It is said to the Osiris in the Ritual, “Osiris, thou hast received thy sceptre, thy pedestal, and the flight of stairs beneath thee”; this was in readiness for his resurrection. These images of the stand on which the gods were elevated, like Anup at the pole, the tat of stability, and the steps of ascent to heaven, were buried with the mummy as emblems of divine protection which are with him when he emerges from the comatose state of the dead. The steps thus buried stand for the mountain of ascent. We are reminded of this by the Psalmist when he sings, “O Lord, thou has brought up my soul from Sheol. Thou, Lord, of thy favour hadst made my mountain to stand strong” (Ps. XXX. 37)—the mountain that was imaged in the tomb by the steps with the aid of which the deceased makes the ascent from Amenta, and can say, “I am the lord of the stairs. I have made my nest on the horizon” (Rit., ch. 85). The Pharaoh Unas exults that the ladder or steps have been supplied to him by his father, Ra, as means of ascent to spirit world. When King Pepi makes his exodus from the lower earth to the Elysian Fields Sut sets up his maket, or ladder, in Amenta by which the manes reaches the horizon; and, secondly, Horus erects his ladder by which the spirit of Pepi reaches up to heaven. This divides the steps of ascent into halves of seven each as these are figured in the seven steps of the solar boat. Thus the total number is fourteen, as it was in the lunar mythos when the eye of the full moon was attained at the summit of fourteen steps or top of the staircase. The number, as may be explained, was fifteen in the soli-lunar reckoning of the month. Thus in one computation there were fifteen steps to the ladder of ascent from the depths of Amenta to the summit of the mount. Now, fifteen of the Psalms (CXX to CXXXIV) are termed “Psalms of degrees.” In the Hebrew they are called “a Song of ascents.” In the Chaldee they were designated “a song that was sung upon the steps of the abyss.” These are the steps from the abyss or depths of Sheol mentioned by the speaker, who says, “Thou shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth” (Ps. LXXI. 20). “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord” (Ps. CXXX. 1). Thus the steps constituted a means of ascent from Sheol or Amenta,
and in the song of ascents we can identify the staircase of the great god by which the summit of the mount was attained. The speaker has dwelt long in the death-dark land. He will lift up his eyes to the mountains, or the mount: “Unto thee do I lift up mine eyes, O thou that sittest in the heavens.” “The Lord hath chosen Zion: he hath desired it for his habitation”—as he had already done when his name was Khnum, or Osiris, the lord of Sheni (Rit., ch. 36). The celestial mountain is the place where the throne was prepared for the last judgment in the mysteries of Amenta, and figured in the maat upon the summit of the mount. It was there Osiris sat “in his throne judging righteously” “as king for ever.” The mount was also called the staircase of the great god. Osiris is said to sit at the head of the staircase, surrounded by his circle of gods (Rit., ch. 22). In the pre-Osirian cult it was Atum-Ra who sat as the great judge in the maat, the hall of truth, law, and justice. As we have seen, the mount on high was also imaged by other types of the ascent to heaven.
The speaker in the song of ascents or the psalms of fifteen degrees is at the base of the mythical mount in Sheol=Amenta. The lord whom he addresses is upon the summit of his holy hill, just as Osiris, or Atum or Sebek, is the great god seated at the head of the staircase. In his distress he cries unto the Lord for deliverance from the enemy, who is Sut the liar and deceiver; “him that hateth peace.” “My soul,” he says, “Hath long had her dwelling with him that hateth peace. I am for peace.” “Woe is me!” he cries, “that I sojourn in Meshech” (Ps. CXX. 5). Meshech, or meska in the Egyptian, as a place-name signifies the place of scourging and purifying in Suten-Khen. It is the Kamite purgatory as a place of rebirth in Amenta (Rit., ch. 17) for the soul, on its resurrection from the dead prior to the ascent of the steps, the ladder, staircase, column, or mount. On passing through the sixth abode of Amenta (Rit., chs. 72 and 149) the speaker pleads, “Let me not be stopped at the meska; let not the wicked have mastery over me.” “Let me join my two hands together in the divine dwelling which my father Atum hath given me, he who hath established an abode for me above the earth, wherein is wheat and barley of untold quantity, which the son of my own body offereth to me there as oblations upon my festivals.” And when the manes has passed through the meska or place of purifying he prays to be delivered from the hells that await the damned. In Meshech or the meska the sufferer says he will lift up his eyes unto the mountains from whence his help shall come. The mount is pluralized, but it is the summit upon which stands the heavenly Jerusalem, “builded as a city that is compact together, whither the tribes go up, even the tribes of Ihuh, to give thanks unto the Lord.” There were set “the thrones for judgment, the thrones of the house of David,” which are the twelve thrones in heaven, as described in the book of Revelation. The single mount is Zion, the Egyptian shennu, or hetep, the mount of rest.
“For the Lord hath chosen Zion,
He hath desired it for His habitation;
This is my resting-place for ever.”—Ps., CXXXII
On the last of the fifteen steps of ascent a call is made upon the starry luminaries to praise the Lord. “Bless ye the Lord, all ye
servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands to the sanctuary, and bless ye the Lord. The Lord bless thee out of Zion” (Ps. CXXXIV). These are they who stand by night around the throne at the top of the steps, and this last finishing touch is very definitely astronomical. As Egyptian, there was an upper circle of the great spirits round the throne upon the summit of the mount, who were called the shennu, and the mount of the shennu=Mount Zion.
Under one of its Egyptian names the valley of Amenta or Sheol is called “Akar.” This valley of Akar we identify with Achor, the valley of sorrow in the Hebrew. ‘Achor’s gloomy vale” is sung of in the Christian hymn, and this is the essential character of Akar. It has been observed by Renouf that the notion of obscurity is connected with Akar, whereas the notion of brightness is essentially associated with the mount (Proc. Soc. Bib. Arch., March 7, 1893, p. 223). The two gates of Akar are mentioned in the pyramid texts of Pepi (line 72) as equivalent in sense to the two gates of Seb or the earth (Renouf, Rit., ch. 39, note). The difference lies betwixt the mythical and eschatological application. The gates of Seb refer to our earth, and the gates of Akar to Amenta, the land of shades in the earth of eternity. When the valley of Achor is to become a door of hope it is in the wake of the solar god who goes forth from the gate of Akar to the summit of the mount. Israel was to be judged and to make answer in the judgment hall (which stood at the place of exit in the topography of Amenta), “as in the day when she (previously) came up out of the land of Egypt,” which was one and the same thing in the mythical representation of the Exodus (Hosea II. 15). In fact, the supposed history is identified with the mythos by Esdras, who portrays the last judgment, which is to be as it was in the time of Achan when he was doomed to die in the valley of Achor, the Egyptian valley of the shadow of Akar (II Es. VII. 26-37). In this valley was the sepulchre of Osiris, betwixt the two mountains or horizons of the west and east. So the graves of the Hottentot deity Heitsi-Eibib were made in a valley or narrow pass between two mountains, and from these he, like Osiris, rose again and made his transformation in the tree of dawn.
The nature of Achor is indicated by Hosea when he says of Israel (II. 14, 15), “I will allure her and bring her into the wilderness, and I will give her the valley of Achor for a door of hope, and she shall make answer in the judgment there.” It was in Achor that the stoning of Achan occurred, in the valley of vengeance, and it is there that Israel was to answer for all her iniquities. Thus, whatsoever events had occurred in Achor’s gloomy vale took place in the Akar or Aukerti of the nether-earth, which was a place of passage for the manes through Amenta. In the distance lay the Aarru-paradise with the seven cows called the providers of plenty resting in the green meadows, and out of these arose the mountain of the Lord, upon the summit of which was the place of rebirth in the upper paradise, the abode of the blessed. This is the imagery made use of by Isaiah (LXV. 9, 12): “Thus saith the Lord: I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountain; and my chosen
shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there. And Sharon shall be a pasture for flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me. But ye that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for fortune and that fill up mingled wine unto destiny, I will destine you to the sword.” This is the mountain of Amenta. Fortune and Destiny are two Egyptian deities who are mentioned here by the name of Gad and Meni, but only mentioned to be abjured. As Egyptian the goddess of fortune was Rannut, who was also the giver of good fortune in the harvest. The god of destiny or fate was Shai, the apportioner of the lot. These are to be cast out and their worshippers destroyed, but the mould of the imagery remains in the valley of Achor. Indeed, the chart of Judea looks like a copy of the scenery in Amenta as it would be if the land had been originally mapped out by the emigrants from Egypt. Amenta and the Aarru-paradise, with its heaven on the summit of the mount, have been repeated at innumerable sacred places of the world, such as the Garden of the Gods and the holy mountain of Shasta in Colorado.
The first resurrection of two and the coming forth to day occur in the valley of Akar. The valley of passengers, the burial-place for Gog and his multitude; the valley of Elah, the valley of giants, the valley of the Rephaim, the valley of death, the valley of judgment, the valley of Siddim, the valley of Hinom—are all figures of Amenta in the nether-earth of the mythos and eschatology, and therefore of the Hebrew Sheol. The “valley of decision” (Joel III. 14) is likewise the valley of Amenta associated with the mount of the Lord, the valley of the lower earth in which the great judgment was delivered at the end of the world, or age, or cycle of time, which was annual in the mysteries, as it still is in the Jewish ceremonies celebrated at the end of every year. The Lord is about to judge the whole world in the valley of judgment, here called Jehosaphat. “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision, for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. And the Lord shall roar (as the god in lion form—Rit., 54, 1) from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens shall shake; but the Lord will be a refuge unto his people, and a stronghold to the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion my holy mountain. And it shall come to pass in that day that the mountain shall drop down sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall run with waters, and a fountain shall come forth out of the house of the Lord and water the valley of the acacias.” Every feature of this imagery is and ever had been Egyptian. The valley of decision is the Egyptian valley of judgment in which the great hall of mati, the house of the Lord in the solar mythos, was the judgment-seat. The lord who sat in judgment was Atum, in his lion form as lord of terrors. The lord enthroned upon his holy mountain was Atum-Ra upon the mountain of Amenta which the manes climbed for their rebirth in heaven. The mountain that souls are commanded to flee to for safety in the time of trouble and threatened destruction–which is repeated in the New Testament–is the mountain of the manes, who fled to its summit in the likeness of
birds. This is expressed in Psalm XI, “In the Lord put I my trust. How say ye to my soul—flee as a bird (or birds) to your mountain. For lo, the wicked bend the bow; they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may shoot in darkness at the upright of heart. The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord, his throne is in heaven,” on the summit of the solar mount to which the hawk-headed manes fled and were out of the reach of the rebels, the Sebau, the wicked, the Sut-Typhonians who pursued and shot at them in the darkness, and who were rained upon with fire and brimstone and the burning blast, or overwhelmed with the inundation in the Red Sea or lake of Putrata in Amenta. According to the ancient Osirian mythos, there was a cleft in the hill-side at Abydos, through which the manes passed as human-headed birds in the shape of hawks or herons. This was a prototypal representation of the souls fleeing for refuge to the mountain, that was afterwards repeated in Semitic legends, Hebrew and Arabic.
The typical valley, then, goes with the mythical mountain or mountains in the Hebrew writings. The valley of Amenta is the dwelling-place of the manes, which are represented as the rephaim who answer to the Egyptian repait. The repait, or pait, are the dead below the earth who are in the custody of Seb. The rephaim are the dead in the Hebrew Sheol. In the day of vengeance, says Isaiah, “it shall be as when the corn is reaped and the ears are gleaned in the valley of Rephaim.” In the valley of Amenta was the field of divine harvest and the vintage of vengeance. In tracing the Israelites on their journey out of Lower Egypt we shall meet with the rephaim, who are the giants and at the same time shades of enormous stature. Meanwhile, whatsoever battles were fought or vast events occurred in the valley of the rephaim, they took place in the earth of the dead, and not upon the upper earth. The giant king of Bashan was one of the rephaim; Goliath, the colossus, was another of the rephaim; and these giants dwelt in the valley of the rephaim. Consequently, the conquerors of the rephaim, whether called Moses or Abraham, Joshua or David, who warred with the giants as shades of the dead in the valley of the rephaim, could no more be historical characters than were the rephaim themselves.
On entering the dark valley of Amenta the Egyptian manes most assiduously seeks for the place of refuge and safety provided by the great god, and for the entrance to the ark or tabernacle of Osiris-Ra. This is a secret covert in the midst of Akar. Osiris is denominated “lord of the shrine which standeth at the centre of the earth” (Rit., ch. 64). It is said by the speaker in the Litany of Ra, “Here is the Osiris; carry him into the hidden sanctuary of Osiris, lord of eternity, who is under the care of the two divine sisters that give protection in the tomb! Carry him into the hidden dwelling where Osiris resides, and which is in Amenta, the mysterious sanctuary of the god at rest. Bear him, open your arms to him, stretch out your hands to him, take off your veils before him, for he is the great essence whom the dead spirits do not know,” but to whom they are indebted for the resurrection to new life. In the Psalms the tabernacle or sanctuary in Sheol takes the place of the ark or secret shrine of Osiris in Amenta. “Lord, who shall sojourn in thy Tabernacle?” (Ps. XV. 1). “In the court of his tabernacle shall he hide me” (Ps.
XXVII. 5). “In Salem is his tabernacle, and his dwelling-place in Zion” (Ps. LXXVI. 2). The resurrection of the manes took place in Sheol or Amenta. And it is as the risen manes in Sheol that the speaker seeks to dwell in the sanctuary of the Lord and to contemplate his temple. Hence he says, “In the covert of his tabernacle (or dwelling) shall he hide me. He shall lift me upon a rock. I will offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy” (Ps. XXVII). Such sacrifices or offerings are made to Osiris in his shrine of earth or tabernacle in Amenta, as shown by the vignettes to the Ritual. This was the “stronghold of salvation to his anointed” in the earth of eternity. This we take to be the tabernacle, sanctuary, or house of the lord in Sheol, of which it is said, “Who shall sojourn in the tabernacle?” “In the day of trouble he shall keep me secretly in his pavilion. In the covert of his tabernacle shall he hide me” (Ps. XXVII. 5, 6), “in the place where the divine glory dwelleth” (Ps. XXVI. 6).
The mummy-Osiris in Amenta is the figure of a sleeping deity. This, as the mummy-Ptah or Putah, we hold to have been the prototype of the sleeping Buddha. The mummy-image of divinity was continued in Osiris-Sekeri. He is the inert in matter, the sleeping or resting divinity, the breathless one; Urt-Hat, the god of the non-beating heart, the silent Sekari. Such also is the divine sleeper who is piteously appealed to by the human sufferer in Sheol, and who is identical with Osiris sleeping in Amenta. The speaker in the Psalms cries “unto the Lord with his voice,” “Arise, O Lord! save me, O my God!” “Arise, O God, judge the earth. O God, keep not thou silence. Hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God” (Ps. LXXXII. 8, LXXXIII. 1). The waking preceded the great judgment. “Arise, O Lord, in thine anger; lift up thyself against the rage of mine adversaries, and awake for me. Thou hast commanded judgment” (Ps. VII. 6). “O Lord, when thou awakest thou shalt despise their help” (Ps. XLIV. 23, 26). “Then the Lord awaked as one out of a sleep, and he smote his adversaries backward” (Ps. LXXVIII. 65). This is the awaking of the god as Amsu, whip in hand, when he arises and asserts his sovereignty over all the opposing powers. The speaker is in the position of the Osiris, as the mummy sleeping in Amenta when he pleads with the protecting power, “Keep me as the apple of the eye. Hide me under the shadow of thy wings from the wicked that spoil me, my deadly enemies that compass me about.” “As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied with thy likeness when I awake” (Ps. XVII. 8-15). In these passages Osiris the mummy-god as sleeper in Amenta and the Osiris as a manes are both represented, and are both distinguishable each from the other. The speaker in Psalm XVII is in Sheol waiting to awake in the living likeness of this redeemer from death, and he is surrounded by “the wicked,” who are the “deadly enemies” that compass him about. He cries, “Deliver my soul from the wicked which is thy sword”—as power of punishment (XVII. 13). It is the wicked who come upon the sufferer “to eat up his flesh,” not as cannibals on earth, but as evil spirit-powers of prey (Ps. XXVII. 2). The opponents of the sun and the manes appear in the Psalms as the adversary and the adversaries. The individual adversary is discriminated from the