ANCIENT EGYPT THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
EGYPTIAN WISDOM AND THE HEBREW GENESIS
The Egyptian system of uranographic representation has been outlined and many of its details have been identified in the chapters on the astronomical mythology. It has now to be shown that the so-called 'legends of creation' chiefly known as Semitic are the detritus of the Egyptian wisdom. These legends did not wait for their beginning until the Mosaic Pentateuch had been carried round the wide circumference of the world either by the scattered Jewish people or the Christian missionaries. As we have seen, the Semitic theologians did not know enough of the ancient sign-language to distinguish the evil serpent from the good, the great Earth-mother from the chimerical dragon of the deep, or the beneficent spirits of elemental nature from the sebau, the sami or fiendish forces of external phenomena. The Semitic versions of the legends, Babylonian, Assyrian, or Hebrew mainly reproduce the debris of the astronomical mythology, which has so often been reduced to the status of the nursery-tale. It is their fatal defect that they are not the original documents, and have no firsthand authority. In these the primitive wisdom of old Egypt has been perverted, and the mythical beginnings, which had their own meaning, have been transmogrified into what is herein termed a cosmogonical creation. For example, the mythical abyss or deep was not the mother of all things. That was the Mother-earth in the abyss, the nun, or firmamental water. As the Mother-earth she brought forth her elemental progeny in and from the abyss. Hence she was the wateress, or wet-nurse who suckled her young within the earth, as it is said of the monster Tiamat, because, as primordial bringer-forth, she was the Mother-earth. In the Babylonian legends of creation the seven associate-gods, who are the creators in the Egyptian mythos, have been converted into the seven evil spirits of a later theology. And on one of the tablets it is said of these seven evil spirits, 'The woman from the loins of the man they bring forth.' Thus the creation of woman is made to be the work of seven evil spirits, who, as the Kamite wisdom witnesses, did not originate as wicked spirits or as powers of evil. The legends of creation are known, more or less, as Hebrew, Phoenician, Babylonian, and Assyrian, but as Kamite they have not been known. And when the mythical representations of natural phenomena first [p.399] portrayed by the Egyptians were turned into cosmographical creations by the Semites, they had no verifiable meaning either as history or mythology. Even Lenormant held that the Chaldaic and Hebrew versions had one common origin and were not derived from each other, but he made no attempt to trace that origin to the Egyptian astronomical mythology, which was to him a sealed and secret book. Egypt's knowledge of beginnings was laboriously derived by the long, unceasing verification of scientific naturalists. Their ancient wisdom did not fall from heaven readymade, nor had it any claims to a miraculous birth. It was dug for and quarried out from the rock of reality. It was smelted, shaped, stamped, and warranted for current coin as perpetual symbol of the truth, however primitive. It was and is, today and for ever, a coinage genuinely golden, though the figures on it may be sometimes difficult to decipher. The ancient wisdom in the Hebrew books has been converted into a spurious specie, and passed off on the ignorant and unsuspecting as a brand-new issue from the mint of God. According to Egyptian thought, 'creation' was mainly limited to the bringing forth of life—the life of water, fish and fowl, animal, reptile, and other forms from the meskhen or creatory of earth, when this was represented by the womb of Apt the pregnant water-cow. This idea of birth from the womb portrayed in Apt the first Great Mother (fig., p. 124). Next the idea of birth from the womb is repeated in the making of Amenta with the tuat as the creatory or the place of rebirth for the manes. And thirdly, in the astronomical mythology the meskhen, womb or place of birth, was constellated in the 'thigh' of the cow as the sign of rebirth in the celestial rebirth place. We have now to formulate the Egyptian origins of the creation legends that have come to us in a Semitic guise or disguise.
In their account of 'the beginnings' the Egyptians make no pretence of knowing anything about a cosmical creation. Theirs is the natural genesis. A common Egyptian phrase for creation was 'of the first time,' and the expression is well represented in the opening words of the Hebrew Book of Genesis, which are rendered 'in the beginning.' This beginning was 'in the domain of Sut,' 'that sacred place of the first time.' This first time, says the inscription, goes back to the domain of Sut and to the days of the masters of Khar, the later Akar and Neter-kar of the underworld. Darkness was the domain of Sut, as a condition of commencement, and the birthplace was where light broke forth from out the darkness. It was the African birthplace of the black and white twins of night and day. Otherwise the beginning in 'the first time' described by the Ritual was with birth from the abyss, which was the birthplace of water within the earth. It is portrayed as 'the Tuat which nobody can fathom,' the place that 'sent out light in the dark night,' which was the birthplace of water and of eatable plants. Thus we have the deep, the darkness on the face of the deep, the light breaking out of the darkness; the waters and the life springing forth from the waters in eatable plants, grouped together in Amenta the earth of eternity. Water had revealed the secret of creation in the life which came as food by water from the Mother-earth in the unfathomable deep. The [p.400] secret of water as the source of life was the primal mystery to the Egyptians, as is shown by Kep (or Apt), the ancient mother of mystery, when the mystery was that of fertilization by means of water, as in the inundation of Egypt by the river Nile.
That secret of the precious water-source, the divulgence of which was the cause of the deluge at Lake Tanganyika, the secret that is so persistently preserved as a matter of life or death by the Bushmen amongst other African races, had been entrusted with occult significance to the keeping of the sphinx. The sphinx was a figure of the primitive abyss called Akar, the unfathomable deep of earth or womb of life, and it is a monument that marked the sacred place of creation or 'the first time.' As the inscription says, 'the sphinx reposes in this very place'—the place, that is, where life came into the world by water with food from the unfathomable abyss and light from the primeval darkness. This was also the sacred way by which the elemental powers or gods came into being, who originated as the masters of the nether earth. The number is not given, but these are known under several types and names as the primordial seven powers, the seven spirits of earth, or seven uraeus divinities, who were born in the lower earth before this had been hollowed out by Ptah in the making of Amenta.
In the several Semitic accounts of the first time, or in the beginning, more especially that of the Hebrew Genesis, the astro-mythological representation has been merged in a material creation, as the result of a later and more literal rendering of the subject matter; the later the version, the more exoteric the rendering. In the Assyrian epic the upper and lower firmaments, called 'Ansar and Kisar,' are described as a cosmogonical creation. 'Ansar and Kisar were created.' This is identical with the creation of the upper and lower firmament in the Hebrew Genesis. But in the Egyptian wisdom only can we make out what 'creation' means as a mode of representation in the ancient sign-language. There are some remains, however, of the astronomical mythology in the Babylonian and Assyrian legends. One of these is the beginning with a world all water as an image of the firmament, or, when otherwise expressed, with the lands that were wholly sea. This is followed by the stream that divided the celestial Okeanos, and the consequent formation of a firmamental abyss, where the lower waters were gathered together into one place. In the Babylonian account of creation there was a time when the upper region was not yet called heaven; the lower region was not yet called earth, and the abyss was not yet formed. So, in the 'non-Semitic' version the abyss had not been fashioned, the waters had not been gathered into one place; the whole of the lands were sea, and there was no stream yet configurated in the celestial ocean. Beginning in the heavens was with the uncreated Nun. When this was divided into an upper and lower firmament so-called 'creation' had commenced. When the waters were gathered into one place the firmamental abyss had been opened, and a basis laid for the astronomical mythology or uranographic representation. The same beginning with the uncreated undivided Nun, as in the Egyptian myth and Babylonian legend, is apparent in the Book of Genesis. The Nun, or Nnu, was the firma- [p.401] mental water. This is 'the water' of the Hebrew version; the water on which darkness brooded and from which the spirit of the Elohim emerged; the water that was divided into the upper and lower firmaments, as an act of so-called 'creation.' The Nun was likewise the celestial water of the Akkadians and Babylonians, as well as the Egyptians. When Nuna or Anuna signifies the sky that is as the primordial water, the same as in the Kamite Nnu or Nun. The Irish firmament or celestial water is also called the Nion, an equivalent for the Kamite Nun.
The first three of the seven powers born of the Kamite mother of the elements were represented by Sut the power of darkness, Horus the power of light, and Shu the power of the air or breathing force. These three Ali or Elohim appear in the opening statement of Genesis. Though unpersonified, they are present as the primary elemental powers. In the Hebrew beginning, darkness brooded on the face of the deep, and the spirit of the Elohim moved upon the waters. The beginning, therefore, is with night or darkness. The spirit of Elohim was the breathing force of Shu or the breeze of dawn. The name of Tefnut, who was born twin with him, denotes the dews of dawn. Thus the powers or elements of dawn emerged from out the darkness of the firmamental deep with Shu and Tefnut as the elemental powers of breath and liquid life. The next two offspring of Neb-er-ter, the All-one in the Egyptian account of creation, are Seb and Nut, or earth and heaven. These were unformulated by night, but the two were separated by Shu at dawn when Nut was lifted up from Seb, and heaven and earth were thus created or distinguished in the only possible way. It is this 'beginning' that was followed in the Book of Genesis and in what has been made to look like a cosmical creation of the physical universe.
This creation is a representation of natural phenomena which might have been seen any day and night. But the gods of Egypt have been defeatured and dislimned and resolved into their elements of darkness and the firmamental deep, the breeze of Shu, the moisture of Tefnut; and the earth of Seb distinguished from the heaven of Nut. The action of the spirit moving on the waters had been perfectly expressed in the Egyptian version, when Neb-er-ter says that he created by means of divine soul, and that in founding a place where he could obtain foothold, he 'worked with the spirit which was in his breast.' This, according to Egyptian thought, was the breathing spirit first divinized in Shu as the power of the air or animistic soul of life. In the Hebrew version the elements of earth, heaven, darkness, light, water, spirit (or breathing force) are directly called into being, whereas in the Egyptian, four of these come into existence or are made apparent by means of divine types. Shu was the figure of breathing force with which the darkness was dispersed at dawn. This likewise was the breathing spirit with which Neb-er-ter created. In a vignette copied by Maspero Shu is accompanied by a group of gods in lifting up the firmament. There are seven altogether, chief of whom is Shu himself standing underneath the upraised heaven. These seven as the Ali who are co-workers with Shu are equivalent to the Elohim in the Hebrew book. Shu is called the separator of heaven from the [p.402] earth, the elevator of heaven for millions of years above the earth. He is the conqueror of chaos and the progeny of darkness. Instead of the Elohim saying, 'Let there be light' with this uplifting of the firmament, the Egyptian version represents Shu first as raising the firmament and next as bringing Ra his eyes to see with after the nocturnal heaven had been raised. In a Japanese account of creation the starting-point is also with the uplifting of the heaven from the earth. In the preface to the Japanese Kojiki this beginning with the separation of heaven and earth is described by Yasumaro, the editor: 'Heaven and earth first parted, and the three Kami performed the commencement of creation. The passive and active essences then developed, and the two spirits became the ancestors of all things.' These two are identified with izanagi and izanami in the Japanese system, and with the yin and yang in the Chinese [. The three kami called the 'alone born Kami, who hid their beings,' are one with Sut, Horus, and Shu, whilst the twin brother and sister are identical with Shu and Tefnut, who represented breathing power, or air, and moisture, as the two halves of a soul of life—Shu of breathing, Tefnut of liquid life, the active and passive essences which blended and became the creative spirit moving on the face of the firmament. In Genesis the powers of darkness and light are present when the drama opens; not as powers personified, but as elements. 'Darkness was upon the face of the deep,' and the Elohim said, 'Let there be light.' These, as Sut and Horus, were the first of the primordial powers in an elemental phase, the black Neh being the bird of night or Sut, and the solar hawk of Horus the bird of day. There was Sut the power of darkness on the one hand, and on the other Horus the hawk of light; these are equivalent to 'there was evening and there was morning one day.' It is noticeable, too, that the Hebrew word for evening, ברע, is also the name for the raven, the black bird of Sut. It is said in later texts that these nature-powers were derived from the primeval stuff or matter of the Nun, which means that they originated in and were embodied from the physical elements, such as Sut from darkness, Horus from light, Shu from air, Hapi from water, Kabhsenuf from the solar fire, Tuamutef from earth, Amsta from the mother-blood.
Certain matters of mythology were differently manipulated in various versions of the mythos. The process had already begun in Egypt. In the creation performed by Kheper-Neb-er-ter the first two powers produced as breathing force and moisture, or wind and water are divinized in Shu and Tefnut. The next two are Seb the god of earth and Nut the goddess of heaven. These are now portrayed in the afterthought as having been emaned or emitted from the body of the one Supreme Being who had now become the Lord over all, whereas in an earlier myth the earth and heaven came into existence or were discreted when Shu upraised the heaven, or Nut, and separated her from Seb the god of earth. The coming into being of these four, Shu and Tefnut, Seb and Nut, is traceable in the Hebrew Genesis, but in a different mode and order of setting forth. 'In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth.' These in the original are Nut and Seb, who were divided from each other (not created) and permanently propped apart by Shu and the supporting [p.403] powers or Elohim. But, instead of a cosmogonical creation, the Egyptian wisdom shows that the making of heaven and earth was a mode of representation in the astronomical mythology. Some hints of this natural origin may be gathered from the Babylonian fragments of legendary lore. In the first tablet of the Chaldean account of creation, rendered by Talbot, the process is partially described. It is said of the Creator, 'He fixed up constellations, whose figures were like animals.' It is also said on the seventh tablet, 'At that time the gods in their assembly created (the beasts). They made perfect the mighty (monsters).' These, as is shown by the context, were figures of the constellations. But in the Hebrew rendering the living creatures of the water, air, earth, or other element have been literalized, whereas they were as much figures in the astronomical mythology as were the two firmaments, the abyss, or the constellated lights of heaven. The Chaldean account of creation also describes the construction of 'dwellings for the great gods.' These were celestial habitations, as we say 'houses' of the sun and moon. In the Kamite creation by Ptah they are called the shrines of the gods. 'He formed the gods, he made the towns, he designed the nomes, he placed the gods in their shrines which he had prepared for them.' Thus 'creation' in this phase was a mode of representation in the heavens. It began with the abyss and the water, the creatures of the abyss, such as the southern fish and ketos, the water-serpent, and other 'constellations whose figures were in the likeness of animals:' and the habitations of the gods that were built upon 'a glorious foundation.' When the abyss had not been made, and Eridu had not yet been constructed, it is said that the whole of the lands were water. But when a stream was figured within the firmamental sea, 'in that day Eridu was made; E-Sagila was constructed which the god Lugal-Du-Azaga had founded within the abyss.' Two earthly cities were built upon a heavenly model, and the earthly Eridu corresponded to a celestial or divine original. Thus the earliest seats of civilization founded in Babylonia were modelled on cities that were already celestial and therefore considered to be of divine origin; the seats in heaven that were founded first in the astronomical mythology, as we hold, of Egypt.
But it was not the genesis of the universe that is imaged in astronomical mythology. The firmament was there, already waiting to be distinguished as upper and lower, and divided into the domains of night and day, or Sut and Horus, or Ansar and Kisar. The constellations were not created from nothing when they were figured out of stars. The firmamental water was not created by being divided into upper and lower. The earth was not created because distinguished from water as ground to go upon. Darkness was not created when it was portrayed as a devouring dragon. The pole of heaven was not created in being represented by a tree or mount or altar-mound. Heaven and earth existed when these were nameless, and did not come into existence on account of being named. Things were not created when images were assigned to them, nor because names were conferred upon them. The confusion of names and things is modern, not ancient; Aryan, not African.
The starting-point of a beginning was from the Nun, the firmamental water, which encircled all the world with the aerial ocean of surrounding space. This was the world all water. The earth was imaged mentally, thence figured mythically, as a fixed and solid substance in the waters of the Nun. These have been mixed up together by recent writers in a watery mass or mush of primordial matter, from which the cosmos is assumed to have been solidified or created out of chaos. But that is an exoteric misinterpretation of the ancient wisdom. There was no such creation. The earth stood on its own foundation in the lower Nun. The name of earth or land in Egyptian is ta. Hence, land or earth in the Nun is 'Ta-nen' which is the name of the earth in the waters of the Nun, the lower earth of the Egyptian Tanen. Tanen as a locality was earlier than Amenta, and the name was continued in the title of Ptah-Tanen, the opener of the earth, which had been founded in the Nun by the order of gods or powers called the 'Nunu,' as fellow-males, and a form of the first company, who were seven in number. In the Hebrew account of creation, the earth and firmament were already extant, but the earth was waste and void; 'and darkness was on the face of the deep.' Therefore the beginning is with the formlessness of the unfeatured Nun. Darkness existed. Light came forth. The light was then divided from the darkness as a mode of differentiating and describing day and night. Next, the upper firmament was separated from the lower, or, as it is otherwise stated, the waters above were divided from the waters below; whereas in the genuine mythos the upper and lower waters were the upper and lower firmament because the water was a figure of the firmament. Then follows the formation of the abyss, the waters 'under heaven' being gathered together unto one 'place'—the same as in the Chaldean account of creation. The dry land is made to appear. 'And the Elohim called the dry land, earth, and the gathering together of the waters they called seas.'
In the beginning, then, was the unformed firmament or uncreated Nun. This was the universal, undivided water of the mythos and the legends. Creation, as uranographic formation, followed in the astronomical sign-language. A stream was seen and figured in the atmospheric ocean as a dividing line. The firmament was discreted into upper and lower. In the lower the celestial abyss was formed. This was figured, as the Chaldean and Semitic legends tell us, when the waters were gathered into one place and were given the constellation of The Water as their uranographic sign in astronomical mythology. According to Esdras, the waters were 'gathered in the seventh part of the earth.' In this seventh part, 'where the waters were gathered together,' the two monsters of the deep were figured, which are here called 'Enoch and Leviathan,' who represent the water and dry land, as do Leviathan and Behemoth in the Book of Enoch, and whose images, as we have suggested, still survive in 'the southern fish' and the monster 'Ketos.' Taking the foothold of earth as a basis of beginning, there was nought around it but the firmamental water of space. This was without form or void throughout pre-constellational time. In an Aztec version of the beginning earth is separated from the waters in the form or under the type of shell-fish emerging from the deep. In [p.405] other legends one of which is Japanese, this shell-fish was the earth-tortoise amidst the waters. The earth emerging from the waters under the fish-type is constellated, as we show, in the gasping 'Ketos,' or it was represented by the hippopotamus which came up from the water to bring forth its young upon dry ground.
The firmament at first was thought of as water raised on high. In the Hebrew Genesis the water is one with the firmament. This celestial water was figured by the Egyptians as a lake, the largest water known to Inner Africa. In Greece the firmamental water became the Okeanos of Homer, flowing round the earth. It is the water that was first divided in twain. If we call the one water a lake, we find the one was divided into two lakes, one to the south and one to the north of the circumpolar enclosure. The Okeanos was divided by a river that encircled all the earth. This is visible in the river of the Milky Way. In the Ritual it is called 'the stream which has no end.' It is also described as 'the stream of the lake in Sekhet-Hetep' or paradise. Further, the two lakes are portrayed as 'the lake of Sa and the lake of the northern sky.' It was observed that a stream came forth from the great lake in a white river that divided the one water into two great lakes. In this we see 'the stream of the lake in the Sekhet-Hetep,' just as 'the river went out of Eden to water the garden.'
As previously said, the Babylonian accounts of the so-called creation did not begin as cosmogonical. They are legends of the first time, when as yet the heavens were not mapped out to illustrate the mythology. There were no types yet constellated in the firmament. The glorious dwelling of the gods was not yet built. The abyss was not yet formed; the waters were not yet gathered into one place. They were universal. The whole of the lands were sea, or the celestial water of the Nun. There was no stream or Via Lactea limned in the aerial vast. The upper region was not yet called heaven; the lower region was not yet called earth. Then the dwellings were constructed (in heaven) for the great gods. Constellations were fixed up whose figures were like animals. One of the figures constellated is that of the Great Mother, Tiamat. As it is said in the Assyrian story, 'Then the Lord measured the offspring of the deep (Tiamat); the chief prophet made of her image the house of the firmament.' So in the Egyptian mythos the house of the firmament had been made in the image of Nut, the cow of heaven, or previously of Apt, the water-cow. In the Egyptian documents creation generally is attributed to Ptah, the first form of the god who was lord of all; one of whose zootypes was the beetle, as a figure of the former or the moulder of matter, which preceded the anthropomorphic image of the potter. Kheper was a title of Ptah as the former. The Egyptian word kheper signifies formation, causing to assume a shape, as when the potter moulds his clay or the beetle rolls its eggs up in a ball of earth. At this stage the seven elemental forces enter his service as the moulders who are called his seven assistants or associate-gods, the Ali = Elohim. Ptah is portrayed as a beetle in the matrix of matter shaping the product. In one of the hymns it is said to Ptah, as Tanen, 'There was given to thee a power over the things of earth that were in a state of inertness, and thou didst gather them together after thou didst exist in thy form of [p.406] Ta-tanen, in becoming the uniter of the double earth, which thy word of mouth begot and which thy hands have fashioned.' This was in making the lower earth of the Nun as the ground floor of Amenta, when the command to 'let the earth come into being' was uttered by the God. It is also said, 'When the heaven and earth were not as yet created, and when the waters had not yet come forth, thou didst knit together the earth; thou didst find thyself in the condition of the one who made his seat and who fashioned, or moulded, the two earths,' or who duplicated the earth.
In the Egyptian mythos Ptah was the great architect of the universe. But not the universe as a cosmological creation. The building, so to call it, was begun when the two pillars of the south and north were raised up by Sut and Horus, in that creation 'of the first time' which is ascribed to Sut on the Stele of the Sphinx, and in the creations that were indicated by the 'upliftings of Shu' or the uniting of the double horizon by Har-Makhu. Various structures and structural alterations preceded the work of Ptah, the architect of the double earth and finisher of the building on a new foundation perfected for all eternity. Creation in the Book of Genesis is described as an event, or a series of events, occurring once upon a time and once for all, whereas the genuine mythos represents the natural phenomena as constantly recurring. The earth was seen emerging every morning from the firmamental water, but not once for all. Darkness was seen rising up and coiling like some black reptile round about the earth at night, but not once for all. When Shu divided heaven and earth, or Nut from Seb at morning, this went on for ever: Nut descended on a visit to her lover every night. There was a first time to the uranographic representation of the myth as Egyptian, but not to the phenomena in external nature. In a sense there was no Horus or Orion in the heavens either figured or named until the type was constellated by the mystery-teachers, but the group of stars was always there ready to be called into being by name in what is termed 'creation,' or the astronomical mythology. As Egyptian, then, the only creation of the heavens and the earth was mythical, not cosmological. It was uranographic formation, not the making of matter. But to show how the mythical creation was rendered cosmogonically we have only to take the title of Kheper-Ptah in his character of 'Let-the-earth-be,' or let the hidden earth come into being. This in the Genesis becomes 'Let the dry land appear, and the Elohim called the dry land earth.'
There is an Egyptian account of 'creation' to be found in the papyrus of Nes-Amsu, which was written for a priest of Panopolis in the thirteenth year of 'Alexander the son of Alexander,' or about BC 312. It is called The Book of Knowing the Evolutions of Ra, and the Overthrowal of Apap. It purports to contain the words that were spoken by Neb-er-ter, a title of Osiris, the entire or all-one god, as lord over all. There are two versions of the legend. In the first the creator-god is Kheper-Ptah. In the second he is Osiris the same legend being applied in two different cults, at Memphis and Abydos. In the second version Osiris-Neb-er-ter is the speaker as creator. He says, 'I produced [p.407] myself from primeval matter. Osiris is my name. There existed no created things in this land.' A land is here described in which the plants and creeping things of earth had no existence. Neb-er-ter was alone by himself in that land, and there was no other being who worked with him in that land. This was in Tanen, the nether earth of Ptah. The beetle-headed Ptah was the Egyptian creator in his primary form, the so-called maker of the heaven and the earth, but in a creation that was not cosmogonical. These, then, are the words that were also spoken in the first version by Kheper-Ptah, who formed the earth of eternity and discreted the two earths in the making of Amenta, on his coming into existence, when, according to the current phraseology, neither heaven nor earth was yet extant, and when the soil of earth, the plants and creeping things of earth, had not yet been created in that land. Kheper-Ptah then found a co-worker in the goddess Mā, the Egyptian Wisdom, whom the present writer had previously identified with the Hebrew Chokmah in A Book of the Beginnings. Working with Ma denotes creation according to eternal law or undeviating rule.
Evidence for the non-cosmogonical nature of Kheper-Ptah's creation may be gathered from the fact that the celestial bodies, sun, moon, and stars, were not among the things that were called into being by him. The sun as 'the eye of Nu,' the Nun or firmament, and the primeval matter of the paut were pre-extant. Nor does either of the two versions mention the creation of birds, or beasts, or cattle. Moreover, a male-god who existed alone in the Nun as Kheper the begetter or father-god is impossible on the face of the inscription, because Nu the god of the celestial water was already extant in the character of a begetter. Kheper calls him 'my father Nu,' and the solar orb is also called 'the eye of Nu.' Besides which Kheper-Ptah was preceded by several dynasties of deities, lunar, stellar, or elemental. The put-company of the nine gods was preceded by that of the eight; the eight by that of the seven Ali, or associates; the seven uraeus-divinities; the seven khuti; and these by the mothers Apt, Neith, Tefnut, and the seven cows or Hathors.
The foundation of monotheism was laid when the various powers were combined in a single deity to be worshipped as the one true eternal spirit. These were primarily the Great Mother and her seven elemental powers. And when the goddess was superseded by the god Ptah, both sexes were included in the one Supreme Being who was now the Lord over all. It was the same with Osiris, as the pictures show. Asar was the mother and child (Hes-Ar) in one, and the perfect triune type was completed in God the father. There was no God the father without God the mother and God the child. In the mythological text from Memphis we read of Ptah in his divine forms. In one of these he is designated 'Ptah of the earth.' 'The mother giving birth to Atum and his associate-gods.' Ptah of the earth was then 'in the great resting-place' as the maker of Amenta. This was the place of that new creation and rearrangement of the things that were pre-extant before the time of Ptah the opener, and this one god who was latest is now considered to be the source of all the gods and goddesses who had preceded him. Ptah became the god who was born of his own becoming, or of his own self- [p.408] originating force, and who came into existence in the person of his own son—as a mode of representing the eternal manifesting in the sphere of time. According to the school of thought, the male had been substituted for the mother as the begetter in matter. Hence the beetle of Kheper was solely male, that is, as the type of a divine parent; and the female now became subsidiary to the male. Illustrations of Kheper in this phase of male-creator can be seen in the great French work on Egypt, a copy of which may be consulted in the British Museum. In these pictures, as in the legend of creation translated by Dr. Budge, the imagery shows with sufficient plainness how creative source was figured in the likeness of male nature. This has been rendered with all its naked crudity, but needs the gnosis for an explanation. By the gnosis here is meant that science of Egyptian symbolism which alone enables us to read the palimpsest of the past that was scribbled over and over again by the teachers of the ancient wisdom. For example, Kheper in the pictures is the male, as beetle, who emanes the matter of creation from his own body, as does the spider or the silkworm. In the later legend of Ra and Apap the anthropomorphic type replaced the beetle; Kheper has been imaged in the likeness of a masturbating male, and then the act has been attributed in reality to the black-skinned race. But as the beetle was a preanthropomorphic type of Kheper, we might ask if that also was a masturbating male, as the producer of matter from itself? So necessary is the gnosis of the primitive sign-language for the reading of these remains, to prevent debasement of the type and perversion of the meaning.
After coming into being himself Kheper-Ptah is called the creator of all things that came into being. And here, if anywhere, we may identify the word that was in the beginning, and was God. For Kheper says he brought his name into his own mouth; he uttered it as the word that was in the beginning. Other things were spoken or called into being by the word of his mouth. Of these things he says, 'I raised them up from out the Nun (or Nu) and from a state of inertia.' He had found no place where he could stand. But he laid a foundation with Ma, who, as we know, became the co-worker with Ptah the divine artificer. In version B of the Egyptian document the creator, as Kheper, says, 'I made what I made by means of divine soul; I worked with the spirit,' which is the action assigned to the Elohim, however differently stated. Soul, it is said in one of the texts, is 'the breath of the gods.' Creation by means of the word was the work of Ptah in his character of 'Let the earth exist.' Stated in modern language, he might be said to have called his creations into being by word of mouth in uttering the word to his co-workers. This word, as Egyptian, was the well-known hekau or great magical word of power, which was female before it was assigned to the deity as male; the living word of Apt; the great magic power of Isis or of Ma, before it was ascribed to Ptah in the monotheism of Memphis. Creation by the word is calling into being things which did not pre-exist or were not previously entified, figured, or known by name. In the Ritual the word of power becomes a ceremonial act, and, as a mode of sign- [p.409] language, to be said or uttered magically, is to be performed. Creation by the word is expressed in the character of Ptah by his title of 'Let-the-earth-be.' This is the creation by fiat, or the word, in the Book of Genesis, when the Elohim say, 'Let there be light'—'Let there be a firmament'—'Let the dry land appear'—'Let the earth put forth grass'—'Let the earth bring forth'—'Let us make man in our image'—and it was so. The word and act were one. And this was the Kamite creation by the word that was in the beginning; the word of Kheper-Ptah, who said, 'Let the earth come into existence'—that is, the lower of the two, called Amenta, the secret earth. This mode of calling and coming into being by means of the word explains how the god could issue forth from silence as a word, how created things or beings could be said to have emanated from the mouth of the god, and how the divine wisdom, whether as Mā or Chokmah, could be said to come out of the mouth of the most high. It is known that the name was often held to be an equivalent for the thing, the act, or person, and in the text from Memphis the creation by Ptah is in a measure resolved into a process of naming. In this it is said, 'Now the creation of all the gods (that is to say, of Atum and his associate-gods) was when proclamation was made of all the divine names in his wisdom'—the wisdom of Ptah. Thus things, in this case gods, or powers, were created when names were given to them. The principle is applied in the Book of Genesis, when it is said that 'out of the ground Iahu-Elohim formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field.' In these and other texts creation is reduced to a process of naming as a mode of representation, and in this way the uranographic mythology was founded on the figuring and naming of the constellations.
When the Supreme Being had been imaged or personified, the powers previously extant were represented as his offspring, his names, or members of his body. Hence the seven associate-gods, the Ali or Elohim, are now called the limbs, joints, the hands, the fingers, the lips, the teeth, the breath of the god, or, reversely stated, these parts of the one god become the associate gods, as a sevenfold emanation from Kheper-Ptah. 'Now Ptah was satisfied after his making of all things, and conferring all the divine names. He formed the gods, he made the towns, he designed the nomes, he placed the gods in their shrines. He made their company flourish.' 'All the limbs moved when he uttered the word of wisdom which came forth from the tongue and worked a blessing upon all things.' The word (lit. speech) became the making of men and the creation of gods for Ptah-Tatanen-Sepu.
'Let-the-earth-be' is one of the titles of Ptah as the god who calls the earth into existence. Which looks, at first sight, like a cosmographical creation. But the earth which was evolved by Ptah and his associate-gods, the Ali, Phoenician Elohim, is not this world, not our earth. If it were, it would not be the double earth, the earth that was duplicated in the making of Amenta. In the text from Memphis it is said that 'Ptah was satisfied after making all things, all the divine names.' He saw that it was good, and this [p.410] satisfaction of the creator in his work is repeated in the Book of Genesis. Seven times over Elohim saw that the work was good, and like Ptah, or the put-company of gods, he or they were satisfied. But the making of Amenta by Ptah and the great paut of gods or Ali was an actual creation of imagination, not a mere 'calling' of things into existence by naming them. It was also the creation of an earth, but not of the earth on which we stand. It was known as Ta-nen, the earth in the Nun; also as the lower earth distinguished from the upper earth, to which it was added when the earth was duplicated as the work of Ptah and the associate-gods. The firmament of upper earth was raised aloft by Shu, when establishing the pole of Am-Khemen. The firmament of the nether earth was lifted up by Ptah. This was celebrated as his suspension of the sky. But the lower firmament is the sky that was raised up by him in Amenta, the earth of eternity, not in the upper earth of time.
Thus, the creation of Amenta was not the commencement of the external universe, although another heaven and earth were then called into being. At first there was no heaven and no earth in this unformulated realm of desert darkness. Or, as the Hebrew version has it, 'the earth was waste and void.' There was no light of day or lamp of night, as neither sun nor moon could pass that way until the earth was hollowed out and a sky suspended overhead by Ptah the opener and his Ali, or companions, who were afterwards repeated in the Elohim of the Hebrew Genesis. So in the enclosure of Yima there was at first no light of stars, or moon, or sun. This was the condition of primeval darkness in which the Elohim said, 'Let there be light, and there was light.' The question being where and how? In the making of Amenta Ptah was the uplifter of the lower firmament, with which he roofed the underworld within the earth. This is recognized in the Ritual, when the speaker down in Amenta says, 'Mine is the radiance in which Ptah floateth over his firmament'—that is, the light of this new heaven and earth, which were solely a creation of the astronomical mythology. In another text we read, 'Hail to thee, Ptah-Tanen. The heaven was yet uncreated, uncreated was the earth, the water flowed not thou hast put together the earth, thou hast united thy limbs, thou hast reckoned thy members; what thou hast found apart, thou hast put into its place. O let us give glory to the god who hath raised up the sky, and who causeth his disk to float over the bosom of Nut, who hath made the gods and men and all their generations, who hath made all lands and countries, and the great sea, in his name of Let-the-earth-be'. This, being late, has the look of cosmology. But the sky raised up by Ptah was over the earth in Amenta; the sky that was imaged by the sign of heaven reversed. When Ra is being exalted above all previous gods in the glosses to the seventeenth chapter of the Ritual it is said that he had exercised his sovereignty as Unen the opener when there was as yet no firmament. That is before Ptah had created the firmament below the earth, which is called the 'lower firmament' in the Babylonian legends of creation. This beginning with the raising of the firmament is alluded to in the name of the gatekeeper to the second hall in the House of Osiris, who is designated 'Him who raised up or created [p.411] the beginning.' But, as before shown, there were two upliftings of the firmament, one above the earth and one below.
There is hieroglyphic evidence that the Egyptian creation of the earth by Ptah was not cosmical but a mode of hollowing out Amenta in the lower earth, and of tunnelling the mount to make a passage through. The sign for ta, the earth, is a hollow tube, a pipe, a reed, or the tibia (leg-bone). Thus, a passage hollowed out is an ideograph of the earth that was formed by Ptah and his Khnemmu, the moulders. It was the tunnel of Ptah with its gates of entrance and exit that first gave significance to the expression, 'the ends of the earth.' The manes in the Ritual who has passed through exclaims, 'I have come out of the Tuat: I am come from the ends of the earth.' The opening of Amenta was a primitive mode of thinking through the ground of solid earth, as it stood in the waters of the Nun, and of making out a pathway for the sun or solar god to travel by in passing through from one horizon to the other. Thus, the making of Amenta was a work of imagination based upon a ground of natural fact. Before the earth was known to float and revolve in space, it was thought of as a fixture like a mountain or an island, a tree or a stalk of papyrus standing in the firmamental water. Then it was made out, as mythically rendered, that somehow the sun passed through the underworld of earth by night. This was portrayed in several ways. In one, a tortoise was the type. With Kheper-Ptah, the beetle was the burrower in and through the hidden earth. Ptah, as the divine worker, shaper, or creator in this subterranean world, was also imaged by an embryo in utero as way-maker in the womb of matter, or the earth. Fire was another solar type. Hence Ptah was the worker with that element, and his associate-gods became the blacksmiths and metallurgists, who blazed their way below from west to east through Tanen, earlier Tanun, termed the earth of Ptah. Then followed Ra in his primordial sovereignty as Atum, son of Ptah. He crosses (later) in the solar bark that sailed the Urnas water by night. But first of all he had to wriggle through the mud of the abyss in the likeness of an eel.
Before Amenta had been moulded by the put-cycle of powers there was a secret and infertile earth conceived of in the Nun, where nothing grew and nought was cultivated, as no soil or sata had been yet prepared, and no light had then appeared. But this earth of eternity was not the world of human life, and consequently no human beings were created in Amenta. Atum, though a man in form, was not a human being. This will explain why neither man nor woman was created or formed by Kheper-Ptah, in the Book of Knowing the Evolutions of Ra. There was no man or woman in the genuine mythos. These only came into existence when the gods and manes had been euhemerized and creation was set forth as cosmogonical through literalization of the astronomical mythology and adulteration of the ancient wisdom.
It has been assumed by some Egyptologists that the two earths, or the double earth, were limited to the division of space into south and north by the passage of the sun from east to west. But in the making of Amenta the one earth was divided into upper and lower, with a firmament or sky to each, and thus the earth was duplicated; [p.412] hence the making of Amenta was the creation of a double earth or an earth that was doubled. An apt illustration of this double earth may be seen in the vignettes to the Papyrus of Ani, where scenes in the upper-earth life are portrayed at the head of the page, with scenes in the life of Amenta underneath. Thus on pages 5i and 6i the funeral procession of Ani is to be seen wending its way to the sepulchre, carrying the laid-out mummy, whilst Ani as the manes is to be seen on his journey through the nether earth accompanied by Tutu, his wife in spirit-world.
The nether earth, when not yet excavated, was a world of solid darkness, because unvisited by sun or moon. When Amenta was hollowed out by Ptah it was for his son Atum, who is Ra at his first appearance in Amenta as the solar god, the first to pass through this realm of subterranean night. Naturally when the sun appeared 'there was light,' and darkness with its host of evil powers fled, as related in the legendary lore. It is to this old netherland of darkness, with no outlet, that the goddess Ishtar descended in search of the water of life. It was a land without an exit, through which no passage had been made from whose visitants, the dead, the light was shut out. The light they behold not, in darkness they dwell. 'Dust is their bread; their food is mud.' Still the secret source of water, and thence of life, was hidden in that land. This was the world of the gnomes, the goblins, and other elemental sprites, which, as Egyptian, are summed up, under the serpent-type, as seven uraeus-powers born in the nether earth. As Babylonian they were the seven 'spirits of earth,' or anunnaki. The beginning in this region was with the abyss inside the earth from whence the water welled that was to be most sacredly preserved as very source itself. This subterranean realm had somewhat the character of a mine with the water welling upward from the unplumbed depths below. It was a mine of hidden treasure, one form of which was gold. But first of all the treasure was water, the primary element of life. Hence a fount of the water of life was localized in the well of this underworld which the Egyptians divinized as the Neter-Kar because it was the source of water and the way by which life came into the world. Here the spirits of earth, the powers of Khar, the Assyrian anunnaki, were portrayed as watchers over the water of life and protectors of the hidden treasures underground. It was these spirits of earth that peopled our mines and became the jealous guardians of their metals. These were the elemental spirits, not the spirits of the dead who were worshipped as the human ancestors; the gods, not the glorified. It is distinctly stated in the Great Harris Papyrus that Ptah the opener 'formed the hollow of the underworld, so that the sun could pass through as revivifier of the dead; and that he also encircled the earth with the firmamental water on which the solar bark might ride all round.' The sun-god here was Atum in his eschatological character. Also, in a hymn to the earlier elemental powers found upon the walls of the temple in the oasis of El-Khargeh, it is said to Ptah, 'Thou hast made the double earth. Thou hast placed thy throne in the life of the double earth. Thy soul is the fourfold pillar and the ark of the two heavens.' Ptah the excavator of the nether earth is now the builder of the ark in which the dead are borne [p.413] across the waters of Amenta to the other world. The speaker in this character says, 'I am the arch-craftsman on the day in which the ship of Sekari, or the coffìned one (whether as Ptah or Osiris), is laid upon the stocks.' This was represented in a ceremony at Memphis, where the coffin, ark, or shrine of the god was placed upon a sledge and drawn in a procession round and round the great sanctuary when the drama of the resurrection was performed.
It was as the maker of Amenta that Ptah became the architect of the universe. When completed, the Egyptian universe consisted of heaven, earth and the underworld, but it was not finished until he had formed the underworld or made the nether earth and heaven. Then Ptah, as the maker of Amenta, was called the architect of the universe. The tat-symbol, which was erected in Amenta as a type of eternal stability, was the backbone of Ptah as a figure of the god who was now the vertebral column and sustaining power, under, as well as over, all. The tat was also duplicated to form the gateway of eternity in the region of Tattu, when the double tats took the place of the two pillars of Sut and Horus in the house of Ptah. Ptah is described as the former of the egg of the sun and the moon. He is depicted in one of the representations, at Philae sitting at the potter's wheel in the act of giving shape to an egg. But this is not to be taken literally. The representation is symbolical. Ptah was the creator of the circle in which the sun and moon revolved, when the passage through the underworld was finished; and the egg is a hieroglyphic sign of the circle, which circle was also a figure of the eternal pathway. This solar pathway made by Ptah reminds one of Vaughan's magnificent image:
'I saw eternity the other night,
Like a vast ring of pure and endless light.'
Now, no Egyptologist whose work is known to the present writer has ever discriminated between the 'making of Amenta' and the cosmological creation in the Hebrew Book of Genesis, which is a chief object of the present section. In his work, The Dawn of Civilization, M. Maspero has given a version of what he supposes the Egyptians thought of the earth. He tells us 'they imagined the whole universe to be a large box, nearly rectangular in form, whose greatest diameter was from south to north, and its least from east to west. The earth with its alternate continents and seas formed the bottom of the box it was a narrow, oblong, and slightly concave floor, with Egypt in its centre.'i M. Maspero's oblong box, which is longest from the south to the north, is just a figure of the Nile valley, reproduced in the nether earth of Amenta as a mythical locality, not as a picture of the universe. He has taken the cover off Amenta and exposed its depths to the stars of heaven, as if it were the cavity of an immeasurable crater, and has left no ceiling to the lower earth, no nether sky of Nut for the sun to traverse when it was day in the underworld; consequently he has failed to reproduce the double earth that was the creation of Ptah and his co-workers.
The creation of Amenta by Ptah the opener was the cutting, carving, and hollowing out of the earth as tunnel for the heavenly bodies and the manes, which were now to make the passage through [p.414] instead of round the mount. This for the first time renders the fundamental meaning of the Hebrew bara (ארב) to create, as when it is said that the Elohim created the heaven and the earth. Bara, applied to the creation of the world by the Elohim, signifies to cut, carve, fashion, and, in the form of ban, to divide. The Elohim are the Ali or companions who, as the Khnemmu or moulders with Ptah the opener, were the cutters, carvers, or potters, as fashioners of Amenta in the work of dividing the upper from the lower earth. The divine creation of the world resolves itself into the creation attributed to Ptah the opener and his co-workers the Ali, who divided the earth into upper and lower, and thus created, shaped, or moulded a nether world as the secret earth of eternity, the next world made tangible for foothold in spirit life. There was no use for one firmament above and one below until the double earth was created by the opener Ptah, and it was in the making of Amenta that the firmament was duplicated.
It was on account of this new arrangement when the double earth was formed or the house of the two earths was built by Ptah that the fresh treaty was made by Seb between the two opponents Sut and Horus. Seb, as arbitrator, calls on Sut and Horus to come from where they were born in the south and north, their original stations, to the mountain in the middle of the earth, which joined the portion of Sut to the portion of Horus in the equinox. This was the solar mount in Annu or Heliopolis. 'The two earths meet in Annu, for it is the march or borderland of the two earths.' Peace was there proclaimed between the warring twins. 'This union is in the house of Ptah;' 'the house of his two earths' in which is the boundary of south and north, and also the meeting-point of the two earths, lower and upper, as well as the junction of the domains of the north and south in the earlier division of the whole. When Amenta was made out the east and west were added to the south and north, and the heaven of four quarters was thus established on the solstices and equinoxes as the house of Ptah. The two earths are the upper earth of Seb and the lower earth of Ptah-Tatanen, lord of eternity. 'Now Seb gave the inheritance (of his earth) to Horus.' 'So Horus became the chief of the land,' which henceforth consisted of the two earths. Horus wears the double diadem as ruler of the double earth. He is now called 'the traverser of the two earths,' and is no longer merely the uniter of both horizons. In the preface to the inscription from Memphis he is hailed thus, 'Live Horus, the traverser of the two earths; the conquering Horus, the traverser of the two earths.' On this the English translators of the text remark, 'We are not aware that this epithet occurs elsewhere than in the titles of Shabaka.' It could only apply to the solar god who shone upon the earth of time by day and on the earth of eternity in Amenta by night. The title was dependent on the creation of the twofold earth by Ptah. Broken as is the inscription, it is evident that the Osirian mythos has been tacked on partially to an earlier version relating to Ptah, his son Atum-Horus, and the Ali or associate gods of the put-cycle. Thus Horus, the son of Osiris, takes the place of Atum-Horus, the son of Ptah, who was the earliest traverser of the two earths.
Amenta was not entirely the happy otherworld, it was a world of various states and many parts. These included an upper and lower Egypt, the seven nomes of the Heptanomis, also the fourteen domains that were based upon the lower half of the lunar circle, and the fifteen domains that belonged to the solar reckoning. The inferno, the purgatory, and the paradise of Dante Alighieri are extant recognizably in the Book of the Dead as domains of Amenta. The manes had to go through the purgatory and pass by, if not through, the hells before they came to the outlet from the mount of earth in Amenta. This outlet was to the east; and here the Aarru field was planted to produce the harvest of eternity. In this field, which the garden followed as a type of tillage, stood the sycamore-tree of wisdom. We also meet with the two sycamores of the north and south that correspond to the tree of knowledge and the tree of life in the Garden of Eden. The tree of dawn was figured rising up above the horizon of earth with its rootage in the secret earth of Amenta. Here also rose the mount of rebirth, and either by climbing the mount or the tree in the wake of the sun-god the manes made their ascent to the upper paradise of Aarru in the fields of heaven. When Horus, or Iu, the Egyptian Jesus, came up from Amenta for his manifestation in the vernal equinox, it was from the terrestrial paradise of the lower Aarru.
If we would get a glimpse of the old lost earthly paradise we must descend in thought with the sun or manes in the west and traverse the subterranean passage to the east. There we emerge in the Aarru-fields to find ourselves in the Eden of Egypt glorified as the nether land of dawn. The great tree that towers evergreen above the horizon has its rootage here, and underneath this tree the blessed find rest and drink of the divine life-giving liquor which was afterwards called the homa, the soma, nepenthe, nectar, or other name for the drink which made immortal. In the mythology it was Hathor the goddess of dawn who gave the dew of the tree for drink and the fruit of the tree for food; which tree in Egypt was the sycamore fig. In the eschatology it is the heaven-mother Nut who pours out the liquid of life from the tree. The evidence for the Egyptian origin is fourfold. First, the green dawn is African, without parallel. Next, the tree is the sycamore fig, the tree of knowledge and of life in one. Thirdly, the imagery belongs to the mythical representation of the beginning; and lastly, it is repeated for a religious purpose in the eschatology. It is a common charge brought against the paradise of theology that it does not provide for progress and development in the life hereafter. But the Egyptian paradise in Amenta was not a place of unchanging bliss considered to be a kind of unearned increment. For them the world to come in Amenta was what they made it here. And the world to be in the upper paradise was what they made it by hard labour and by purification in Amenta. The subterrestrial paradise was mapped out for the manes to work in and work out their salvation from the ills of the flesh and blemishes of the life on earth. This was the promised land depicted at the end of the journey through the netherworld, whether as a garden, a vineyard, a harvest-field, or a table-mountain piled with food and drink. Every purpose of the primitive paradise had been summed up in the [p.416] promise of everlasting plenty, but in the Egyptian Aarru the plenty was the reward of industry. This was the field of divine harvest, no mere pleasure ground, where abundance was the result of toil. The soil was apportioned by the Lord of Eternity, and each one had to cultivate his share, no one lived upon another's labour. Indeed, the allotment in this life was cultivated magically whilst the workers were yet upon the upper earth. The Egyptians had outgrown the African custom of killing slaves for the purpose of sending their spirits as avant courriers to prepare the way for the potentate in spirit-world, but the modus operandi was symbolically practised.
Amenta may be said to open with the funeral valley in the west, and to end with the mount of resurrection in the east. In the Osirian mythos when the sun god enters the underworld it is as the mummy or the 'coffined one' upon his way to the great resting-place.
Except when lighted by the sun of night, Amenta was a land of darkness and a valley of the shadow of death. It remained thus, as it was at first, to those who couldn't escape from the custody of Seb the god of earth, 'the great annihilator who resideth in the valley.' The resurrection in this nether region was the issuing forth to day which followed the burial on earth.
As it comes to us, the Ritual is comparatively late. The pre-Osirian mythos solar, lunar, and stellar, is obscured by the Osirian eschatology. It lives on, however, in the litanies and other fragments, which show that Atum-Horus, the son of Ptah, was the earliest representative of the nocturnal sun that made the passage of Amenta and rose again upon the horizon of the resurrection as the master, and, as was also said, the maker of eternity, by perfecting the circle through and round the double earth. Amenta, in the solar mythos, was looked on as the graveyard of the buried sun that died or became inert upon his journey through the underworld. In the eschatology it was also depicted as a sort of cemetery or burial-place. Hence the chapter of 'introducing the mummy into the tuat on the day of burial'—not the earthly mummy, but the mummy of the dramatic mystery as a figure of the living personality. In the Book of Knowing That Which is in Amenta (Am-Duat) there is a description of the sandy realm of Sekari and of those who are resting on their sand[65a]. This points to the sandy district as a primitive burial-place in which the bodies of the dead were first preserved from corruption and decay. Before the mummies could have been embalmed in Egypt, the dead were buried in the sand for preservation of the body; and the burial-place in a sandy district was repeated in Amenta as the sandy realm of Sekari, the silent or the coffined one, who was Ptah-Sekari in the pre-Osirian religion.
It is the creation of Amenta, then, not of the universe, that is the subject of the mythos which was made cosmical in the Hebrew Book of Genesis. The speaker is the god who came into being in the form of Kheper the creator or maker of all things that came into existence after he came into being. He was in Ta-nen, the earth of the Nun, the abyss within the upper earth. This was a land of darkness, the place where nothing grew, a type of which was preserved in the region of Anrutef. In this land there was no heaven, no sun or moon overhead, nor earth beneath the feet. Or, as the text has it, there was [p.417] nothing to stand on. And as there was no earth, there were no plants nor creeping things of earth. No created things yet existed in this land, this lower earth that was waste and void and there was only darkness on the face of the deep. There was nothing but the primeval matter for Kheper-Ptah and his assistants to mould into shape for the making of the secondary earth in Amenta. Whilst the underworld was yet the primordial abyss, it was the void of Apap, the dwelling-place of the things of darkness; but now it was the work of Atum as the master of Amenta to make war on Apap; to protect the tree or plants and the water of life; to bruise the serpent's head or slay the dragon of drought and the destroyer of vegetation.
Now, according to a very ancient myth, there had been war in heaven from the time when the slayer of the dragon was female, and the Great Mother protected her child from the devouring reptile of the dark with her arrow or lance of light in the moon. This is seen when Isis pierces the head of Apap in the firmamental water. Also when Hemt-Nu, the lady of heaven, lightens up the firmament by overthrowing the devouring monster of the dark. The two opponents Sut and Horus also fought their battle in heaven when an eclipse befell the moon, and when Sut flung his filth upon the face of Horus, and Horus seized the genitals of Sut with his own fingers to emasculate him. But when Amenta was formed the scene of strife was shifted to the new earth that was shaped by Ptah the divine artificer. As it is said in the Book of the Dead, when Amenta was created, and Ra assumed the sovereignty, Amenta also became 'the scene of strife among the gods.' The speaker, who is Atum-Ra, says, 'I am Ra at his first appearance. I am the great god self-produced. A scene of strife arose among the gods when I assumed command.' The great cause of strife in Amenta is depicted as the Apap-reptile, of whom it is said, 'Eternal devourer is his name.' It is the serpent of darkness, the fiery dragon of drought, the destroyer of vegetable life. Night by night the evil reptile attacks the tree of life in the midst of the garden, as shown in the vignettes to the Ritual. This, in the eschatology, is the adversary of Osiris and the enemy of souls. The nocturnal sun as seer in the darkness of Amenta is depicted as the great cat in conflict with the evil serpent. Ra says, 'I am the great cat who frequenteth the persea-tree (of life in Annu, on the night of battle when the defeat of the Sebau is effected and the adversaries of the inviolate god (Osiris) are exterminated.' On the night of conflict occurs the defeat of the children of failure. And it is added, 'There was conflict in the whole universe, in heaven and upon the earth.' The conflict between Ra and the Apap is identified as being fought for the water as well as for the light; the mortal enemy of man being drought as well as darkness. The strife in heaven, earth, and Amenta was the raison d'être of his coming who is called the prince of peace, and, who, as Iu-em-hetep, is the bringer of peace because he came to stop the war that was elemental, not tribal or racial, but the war of darkness against light, the war of drought against water, the war of famine against fertility, or, as mythically rendered, the war of Apap against Ra, the sebau against Un-Nefer, Sut against Horus, or the serpent against the seed of the woman. The types had been evolved in the [p.418] mythology which were continued in theology. Horus of the inundation had come as the prince of peace who slew the dragon of drought; as the young solar god he pierced the serpent of darkness. As prince of peace he passed into the eschatology. This is he who in his incarnation says, 'I am the lord on high, and I descend to the earth of Seb that I may put a stop to evil. I come that I may overthrow my adversaries upon the earth, though my dead body may be buried.' Iu-em-hetep, as is indicated by the name, comes to bring peace and goodwill to earth as conqueror of drought, and dearth, and darkness. He grapples with the dragon in the constellation Hydra, and vanquishes it with the water of the inundation. He bruises the serpent of darkness as 'Ophiucus;' he wrestles with the evil Sut and overcomes him in the constellation of the Twins.
The first chapter of the Book of the Dead was repeated on the day when the Osiris N. was buried. His entrance into the underworld as a manes corresponds to that of Osiris the mummy of Amenta, who represents the inert or breathless god, and who also enters the place of burial called the kâsu. In the absence of the sun there would be nought but darkness visible, in this the land of the dead, but for the presence of Taht the moon-god. In this character the manes greets Osiris, saying, 'O bull of Amenta, it is Taht the everlasting king who is here'—as the night-light of the sufferer dying in the dark. 'I am the great god in the bark who have fought for thee'—that is, against Apap and all the powers of evil. Apuat is also present to uplift and save the manes who might otherwise fall headlong into the lake of Putrata, where the monster lies in wait to devour its prey. It was as the moon in Amenta that Ra is said to have created Taht—a far older god—as a beautiful light to show the face of Apap, his evil enemy. But this was not the moon that was made and hung up in the Hebrew Genesis as a creation of twenty-four hours. Taht carried the lunar lamp called 'the eye of Horus' in the darkness of the nether earth, to show the hidden lurking-place of the adversary. Thus, in the opening chapter of the Ritual the manes rises in Amenta after death on earth in the character of Taht the god who is the lunar light as representative of the supreme god in the dark of death and in the ways of darkness in the underworld, which means that the Osiris N. deceased enters the nether earth, in the likeness of Taht, to make war upon the dragon on behalf of the sun-god struggling with the monster coiling round him in the darkness of Amenta. In this way the war that is fought out in the night of the nether earth was dramatized in the Book of the Dead, where the souls of the deceased carry on the battle on behalf of the good Un-nefer, whether as Horus or Osiris-Ra.
After the making of Amenta there followed a re-division of the earth between the two contending twins, which, as herein maintained, was now the double earth of day and night, of Seb and Ptah, of time and eternity. The war that broke out in Amenta, when Atum took possession of this nether earth that was prepared for him by Ptah, includes the conflict of Ra and the Apap-reptile which is portrayed in the vignettes to the Ritual, and the battles of the twin-brothers Sut and Horus for possession of the Aarru-garden, the same that they had fought in external nature.
In a document translated by Chabas there is an account of the agreement between Horus and Sut. This is a calendar of lucky and unlucky days with mythological allusions. Under the date of Athyr 27th, it is said that Kamit, the cultivated land, was given to Horus as his domain; and the Tesherit, the red land or desert, was given to Sut as his domain. The black land of rich fertile loam, and the red land, or desert, thus divided were a form of the double earth as the upper and lower land which followed on the founding of Amenta; the division being no longer limited to south and north, or to the two halves of the lunation. The upper and lower crowns, white and red, were also brought to bear as symbols of the upper and lower earth. Hence we are told in this papyrus that on the 29th of Athyr the white crown was given to Horus and the red crown to Sut, as the rulers of the two territories here assigned to the two opponents warring for supremacy in the Egypt of Amenta. The red and white crowns had been previously given to Sut and Horus as the rulers of the south and north; Sut being Suten in the south, and Horus king of the north. But in the Sallier Papyrus a change is made in the disposition of the two crowns. The white crown was now given to Horus and the red crown to Sut, as the symbols of the upper and lower lands, the desert of Sut and the fertile land of Horus, or the wilderness of Anrutef and the paradise of plenty in the Sekhet-Aarru. In one of his battles with Sut, Horus, having got the better of him, takes possession of both the upper and lower land. He says, 'I am Horus, the lord of Kamit (the black land) and the heir of Tesherit (the red land), which I have also seized. I who am the invincible one.' It is also said to Horus in 'the crown of triumph.' 'Thy father Seb bath decreed that thou shouldst be his heir. He hath decreed for thee the two earths, absolutely and without condition.' Horus thus becomes the ruler of the double earth and the wearer of the double diadem, who unite the white and red crown of the upper and lower earths, not merely as the two crowns of the north and south in the earlier mythos.
A new type of deity had been evolved in Atum-Horus, the son of Ptah. As solar god, he was the first that went both under and over in making the eternal round of night and day. 'It is thou who hast created eternity,' is said to Atum-Ra, the divider and traverser of the double earth. This is the god 'who goeth round in his orb, and giveth light to the whole circumference which the solar orb enlighteneth.' He who had been Horus of the two horizons and also Kheper the self-originating force was now the traverser and enlightener of the double earth with his rays. After being concealed from men by night he presents himself each day at dawn; his glories are too great to be told as he 'arises out of the golden.' 'The land of the gods, the colours of Puanta are seen in them, that men may form an estimate of that which is hidden from their faces.' He divides the earths by his passage through. He lights up the Tuat with his glories and wakens the manes in their hidden abodes by shining into their sepulchres and coffins. He opens the Tuat and disposes of all its doors in the underworld. The Litany of Ra is described as being the book of the worship of Ra and the worship of [p.420] Tum, that is Atum-Ra, in Amenta. He is worshipped as the master of the hidden spheres who himself is invisible in darkness and who causes the principles (of life) to arise. He is the only one that unites the generative substances. His body is so great that it conceals his shape. He is born of his own becoming and manifests as his own son. In The Litany of Ra it is said to Atum as he enters Amenta or 'setteth in the land of life,' 'All the gods of Amenta are in exultation at thy glory. They of the hidden abodes adore thee, and the great ones make offerings to thee, who have created for thee the soil or ground of earth.' That was in the making of the double earth, not in the making of the earth itself as a cosmogonical creation. In short, it was not earth-making, but the framing of the double earth, with Amenta as the pathway of eternity.
With the opening of Amenta, not only was a new world established in the double earth of Ptah—a new dynasty of deities was also founded. This was the Osirian group of five, consisting of Osiris, Isis and Nephthys, sightless Horus and Sut, who were called the children of Seb. Here, again, the twin opponents, Sut and Horns, were far older than Osiris, but were brought on with the great gods, the Great Mother, and the two sisters, in this newer combination of the powers effected in the underworld, the nether portion of the double earth.
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 preextant 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 [p.421] 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 artisans 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 preextant, 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 preextant, 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 artisan. 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 scarabaeus, 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.' 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.' This first company of the gods in the fields of heaven were the Ali or Ari (as [p.422] in the seven Cabiri) 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 uraeus-gods, born of Mother-earth as non-sentient elemental powers. They are the seven khus or glorious ones whose place in heaven was appointed by Anup on the day of 'come thou to me.' 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. 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 Kabbalists 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.' 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 Kabbalists, 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 [p.423] 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, In 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 Phoenician 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 תף 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 (היהתף), which apparently proclaims the fact that Iah is the opener, or that he is identical with Ptah. 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.
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 [p.424] peace, is the Kamite original of the promised prince of peace, whose coming was periodic and aeonian 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 Phoenician 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 previous chapter. This also may be explained by the Egyptian mythos. Ptah the creator and father of the Ali, or Elohim, was one with In 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 Kabbalists.
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. In 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- [p.425] 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.' 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 spirit—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, [p.426] 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 preextant 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.' 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 underworld. And consequently this character of Ptah, as the maker of Amenta, is determined by his designation of 'Ptah in the great resting-place.' 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 halfway 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 khu 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. Επτα) 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 [p.427] 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.' 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. 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, is continued among them today. '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 polestars 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 [p.428] rendering of the seven stages in precession which have yet to be explained.
The traditions show that one type of the underworld was the heptanomis, which had been mundane in Egypt and was made celestial in the astronomical mythology. This was likewise reproduced in the making of Amenta. Ptah is said to have designed the nomes. The nomes were seven in number. The Knemmu who assisted Ptah were seven. The creations that culminated in man the speaker were seven. Also in one of the rabbinical traditions concerning the lower and upper, or the earthly and heavenly paradise, it is said that before his fall Adam was the heavenly dweller in a habitation which contained seven palaces or mansions. These, according to the Zohar, were afterwards rearranged to become the abodes of the blessed. This contains a fragment of the genuine legend when rightly interpreted. Adam is here considered to have been a dweller in the paradise of the celestial heptanomis. This was repeated in Amenta when the lower paradise of the solar mythos was mapped out in seven domains for Atum = Adam, as the land of promise destined for the glorified elect. It is related by Rabbi Menasseh Ben-Israel that the souls of men were created during the six days of the beginning, independently of bodies, like the first company of the Kamite gods. These were the spirits derived from the external elements that preceded the embodiment of a special soul in human form. 'True Israelites believe,' says the rabbi, 'that all the souls which have existed from the first time, and which shall be to the end of the world, were generated in six days of creation.' These are the six souls of the fish, the fowl, the beast, the reptile, and other forms of life which preceded the seventh soul of the speaker, man, or Atum = Adam. The seventh of the elemental powers, in the human shape, is described in the gnostic systems of the Ophites and Sethians when they teach that Ialdabaoth called upon the rest of the Elohim, saying, 'Come, let us make man after our own image.' They also relate that Ialdabaoth in the character of elder brother as the would-be father created six sons, he himself being the first person in the group. They further declare that these are the seven mundane demons who always oppose and resist the human race, because it was on their account that their father (Ialdabaoth) was cast down to this lower world.
It is also represented in the rabbinical writings that the souls of the Israelites had a higher origin than the souls of the Gentiles. The souls of the Goim, they say, have their origin from the external powers, the power of qlippoth or the demons, whereas the souls of the Israelites are derived from the Holy Spirit. The first originated from the elemental powers that were imaged by the zootypes, and were denounced as evil spirits by the later theology. As for Atum-Ra, the father of Iu, he was the Kamite holy spirit. The souls of the idolators were not called men, because they were born in the totemic stage of sociology and were derived from the spirits of the elements which had been imaged by the zootypes. More simply stated, they were not men only because the mode of representation was pre-anthropomorphic, and the soul of blood was not yet traced [p.429] to the maternal source, or the spirit of man to the father. In the Babylonian legends the totemic zootypes, which preceded the man derived from the soul of blood, have been confused with the beings born of the abyss as the creatures of darkness. 'Then Belos the sun-god came, and the animals died, as they were not able to bear the light. Belos seeing a vast space unoccupied, though by nature fruitful, commanded one of the gods to cut off his head and to mix the blood with the earth, and from thence to form other men and animals which should be capable of bearing the light.' This in its way is a mythical creation of the man who was made from the soul of blood. In another legend a great destruction follows a rebellion called 'the revolt in heaven,' which is only mentioned here for the sake of citing the statement that when the rebels were destroyed or driven out by the supreme god, 'in their room he created mankind.' As we understand the gnosis, a group of six totemic powers was extant before the seventh, the soul of man, was specialized as a human soul that was incarnated in the blood of the motherhood, the first soul, so to say, that could talk. This group of six zootypes with no human figure included is widely extended over the world. As the Arunta tell us, in the Alcheringa, or Auld Lang Syne, there were no men or women, only prehuman creatures designated the Inapertwa. In the Egyptian mythos the six zootypes of Sut, Horus, Shu, Hapi, Tuamutef, and Kabhsenuf are followed and completed by the human figure in Amsta the man or Horus the child. The Arunta version comes fresh from an almost unknown world. It may have been carried there from Africa, but it is certain that the Egyptians did not derive their mysteries, mythical legends, and sign-language from the natives of Central Australia. The tradition of the Inapertwa only applied to certain totems, six in number (this will bear repeating). The preliminary prehuman creatures who were made into men and women by the Ungambikula belonged to the six following totems: akakia, or plum tree; inguitchika, or grass-seed; echunpa, or large lizard; erliwatchera, or little lizard; atninpirichina, or Alexandra parakeet; and the untania, or small rat. Here are six totemic types of creatures that preceded the human voice and image. There were six groupings of elemental spirits based upon six elemental powers that were imaged by means of zootypes before ever an elemental power was imaged in the human likeness, or, as it was rendered at a later time, before the creation of man, who was seventh in a series of seven, or as the earliest human soul. Miss Kingsley gives it as the opinion of Dr. Nassau of Gaboon that the nature-spirits commonly affecting human affairs, which are believed in by the natives on the West Coast, can be classified 'fairly completely' in six orders. The Damaras derive from six prehuman powers by means of six descents or eundas. Six descents from superhuman powers would naturally follow for those who derived their descent from the powers, gods, or spirits that might be represented by six totemic zootypes such as the serpent, crocodile, hippopotamus, lion, hawk, and other figures of the elemental forces that preceded the human image as a primitive type of power. Afterwards the six powers wou1d [p.430] account for six different classes of spirits recognized in the animistic interpretation of external nature according to religion in the fetishtic phase. In India there was a first form of the Aditya, six in number, who preceded the groups of seven and eight. There was also an Egyptian 'mystery of the six' which has not been unveiled. The seventh of the series is the soul that was first considered to be human because it was the soul of man, the speaker, which in this phase was discreted from the totemic souls by means of language. No distinction could have been more natural.
As we have previously seen in Book 4, the Osiris deceased is reconstituted for the life hereafter by the blending of his seven souls, which correspond to the seven souls of Ra. And when he has become a spirit by the seven being put together at last in the likeness of the ka, it is said to him, 'Thy perfect soul, O Nefer-Uben-f, triumphant, hath the power of speech.' Speech was the property of the perfect soul—that is, the highest of the seven souls—which was consequently human. The Chinese also have the very ancient 'six honoured ones,' or six Tsung. The Zuni Indians adored the six powers that preceded the seventh in the likeness of man. In The Wisdom of Jesus or the Book of Ecclesiasticus there is a description of the creation of man. It is said that men 'received the use of the five operations of the Lord, and in the sixth place he imparted to them understanding and in the seventh speech.' This contains a fragment of the Egyptian wisdom. The creation of man from seven souls takes place in Amenta for the next life, with speech as the seventh constituent. In the mythological text from Memphis there is an account of Ptah's creation, in which it is said that all the limbs moved (i.e., as parts of the pauti or company of the gods) when he uttered the word of wisdom which came forth from the tongue and worked a blessing upon all things. Speech caused (or literally became) the making of men and the creation of the gods for Ptah. Thus the making of man qua man is attributed to speech in this Kamite creation of man as the speaker, the same as in The Wisdom of Jesus. This may account for the custom, or religious rite, performed by the Hindu father, who puts his lips to the right ear of the newborn babe and mutters three times, 'Speech Speech Speech'. This gives it a name. The previous souls were only known by totemic types and semi-human sounds, not by proper names.
Hindu sages tell us that six of the seven primordial souls were born twins; the seventh alone came into existence as a single soul. This too can be read by means of the gnosis. The six souls were prehuman. That is, they were totemic souls. Now, the totemic zootype was the representative of both sexes; the male stood for the men, the female for the women. 'Of those that are born together, sages have called the seventh single-born, for six are twins.' Totemic man was born twin as represented by the zootype of both sexes. Six of these preceded the human figure, which as homo or man was born single and had to be divided into man and woman according to the mythical representation of the cutting out in the second creation by Iahu-Elohim. [p.431] The twin-soul was what the Egyptian Ritual describes as the one soul in two bodies. One of these was male as Shu, the other female as Tefnut. This was the man or Adam of the first creation in Genesis, who was figured as both male and female. Shu and Tefnut were born twins, he as brother, she as sister, and both under one type, that of the lion. In the same way the crocodile was female as Apt and male as Sebek. Thus a single totemic type denoted a soul that was born twin when souls were prehuman. It is the same doctrine when the Kabbalists assert that in the beginning of the world souls were created by God in pairs consisting of a male and female. The twin-soul here is a product of the primary creation; the single soul belongs to the second creation. The doctrine is apparent in the first chapter of Genesis, when Adam was created in the likeness of the Elohim, and was both male and female. Whereas in the second creation man, or Adam, is not a twin soul; he is fashioned singly, and the woman is taken from the body of the man to form a consort for him. When the supreme power of seven was imaged in the human likeness this constituted a mythical man as the seventh in a series of seven prototypes. Thus Enoch, the seventh from Adam, is pre-eminently the man. Also, when the group of manes travel round the zodiac, in the Hindu astronomy, the seventh is a divine man or a Buddha. The seventh Buddha is always the man who is held to be divine. The seven Buddhas are often portrayed in the temples and monasteries of Tibet, where they better known as the seven Sang-gye, meaning increase of purity, who are named: (1) He who saw through and through, (2) he who was a crest of fire, (3) the preserver of all, (4) the dissolver of the round of life, (5) golden might, (6) the guardian of light, (7) the mighty Shakya. The seventh is that pre-eminent personage known as Sakya-Muni or Gautama, whose life and history were evolved from the preextant mythos, like those of the Christ in the gospels—the true Buddha, who could no more become historical than the Christ of the gnosis. If Buddhism could but explicate its own origins it would become apparent that it is both natural and scientific. But the blind attempt to make the Buddha historical in one personality will place it ultimately on the same level with historical Christianity at the bottom the ditch. The seventh Buddha that comes once in a phoenix-cycle of 500 years is the divine man, who can only be repeated as an astronomical figure—a measurer for the eternal in the cycles of time. But the manifestation of the seventh, the man of the group, has been made exoteric as an incarnation of the seventh Buddha in the human form on earth. The divine man as the seventh of a series is yet extant and operative in British folklore when the seventh son of a seventh son is always the great healer. The totemic soul was twin. The human soul was singly born as the soul of the man or woman. It is not as the Hebrew Adam that man was made, but as the Egyptian Atum, earlier Tum; and tum in Egyptian means 'created man.' Adam is a later rendering of the name. And this 'created man' was made as Atum son of Ptah with the aid of his Ali or co-creators. It was they who created the senses of man, the breathing of the nostrils, the sight of the eyes, the hearing of the ears, the thought of the heart, and utterance by the tongue. [p.432] Man was made according to the outline of Child-Horus sketched by Ptah; the anthro-type that was to supersede the zootype. Man that is composed of seven souls, according to the doctrine, was the product of seven elements. These were recognized at first as nature-powers that were ultimately divinized as makers or creators. They had been divinized as the first company of the associate-gods before the time of Ptah, and when Kheper-Ptah, Neb-er-ter, became supreme, the seven Ali were associated with him in the work of creation, the evolution of man, and the making of the garden in Amenta. Thus man in the Egyptian mythos was a late creation, which is in agreement with the legends of the aborigines. Man was also made twice over, once as mortal on the earth, and once as the spirit-man or manes in Amenta. Hence the first and second Adam or Atum, the man of earth and the man from heaven. These will also explain the two forms of Adam in the Book of Genesis. The seventh of the elemental powers was the soul of blood. This was represented in the elder Horus as the soul of matter by a child that was unseeing, inarticulate, and altogether imperfect. The soul of blood as paternal source was added to the rest when Atum cut himself to produce his offspring Hu and Sau. In the Assyrian legend, when the head of Belos is taken off the blood that gushes out is mingled with the soil of earth or matter. 'Thence men were formed. On this account it is that men are rational, and partake of divine knowledge.' That is as human beings born of the soul of blood, which in this later creation was added to the six prehuman souls of Mother-earth, when the human origin was recognized as higher than the earlier and prehuman source of soul, such as air, water, and earth. The blood now mixed with the soil of earth is the soul of blood united with the earth or matter in the märchen. The highest of the seven was but a soul descended from the mother-blood, with no immortal spark of spirit that was afterwards derived from God the Father who is Atum-Ra; but it was reckoned the superior of any soul that was previously derived from the external elements. The seventh alone was consequently given the human likeness in Child-Horus, or in Atum. Man is created twice over in the Book of Genesis. The first Adam is formed in the image of the Elohim or elemental powers. The Elohim said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.' In the second creation man is formed by Iahu-Elohim, who 'breathed the breath of life into his nostrils and man became a living soul.' These are the first and second Adams of Paul's doctrine. 'The first man Adam became a living soul, the last Adam a life-giving spirit. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is of heaven.' These two as Egyptian are Atum-Horus and Atum-Ra, who are identical in nature with the first and second Horus—the soul in matter and in spirit. The first man was a failure. In a gnostic version man was formed, but could not stand erect, because the seven workmen, the Ali or Elohim, were unable to inspire him with an enduring soul. He writhed and wriggled like a worm upon the ground. Then the 'power above' took pity on him, seeing the creature had been fashioned in his likeness, and shot forth a spark of life which enabled him to rise erect and live.
The seventh power in the human image can be traced in [p.433] legendary lore. For example, Apollodorus the Athenian grammarian relates that there was at one time a tradition current in heaven that the giants or Titans could only be conquered by the aid of a man; and as he wrote his work on mythology before the era called Christian, this has been taken as pointing to the incarnation of a Jewish Jesus. It was a floating fragment of old Egypt's wisdom. In the battle with the sebau or the rebels, and the Sut-Typhonians, the powers of evil are conquered by Horus, who was incarnated in the human form on earth as son of the woman, and who is victor in Amenta over death and darkness and typical rebels, in the person of Amsu-Horus the man in spirit—son of the god in human form. Thus the Titans or rebels, called the children of defeat, had already been conquered by the god, who became incarnate not as a man but in the form of man, from the time when Atum-Horus first assumed the human type as vehicle of the divine.
In the Egyptian mythology the great change in the mode of becoming and of representing was effected in the cult of Ptah—the change, that is, in the genesis of souls from the incorporation of totemic souls by the elemental powers to the creation of souls in the human image by the one god, Neb-er-ter. This change, which runs through all later mythology, is traceable in Egypt. Ptah is the link between the elemental powers and the spirit-ancestors; the link by means of which the zootype passed into the anthro-type; the gods as Elohim into the one god, Atum, called the son of Ptah, or Iahu-Elohim in the Book of Genesis. Ptah is the first one god of the Egyptian religion whose totality was compounded from the pre-existent powers. The Ali or associate-gods were now combined in him who was the one god and who comprised the group in one. The group were now the nine or the put, and Ptah, as the all-one that was named from the put. The put-cycle of gods, which was summed up in Ptah the one god, as father, will explain why and how the Elohim are plural as a company called the Ali, and single as the one in whom the powers were unified called Ptah, who was the biune parent of Atum-Horus in Amenta, and the maker of man, or Atum, with the aid of the seven powers that were previously extant. The Elohim, then, we take to be a form of the put-cycle of Ptah the opener of Amenta. As a company of associate-gods they originated in the primordial powers, which were seven in number; seven with the Great Mother; seven with Anup; seven with Taht; seven with Horus; seven with Ptah. When grouped in the put-cycle, with Ptah and Atum-Horus added as father and son, the associate-gods are nine in number; sometimes called the 'Ennead of Memphis,' or 'of Annu.' Thus Ptah and his Ali answer to the Phoenician Elohim, who were one as the highest El (in the singular) and plural in the group of the Elohim. Ptah was now portrayed as the author of becoming in the human form, and thence the mythical maker of man. He had been represented by the beetle and the frog as the transformer in matter. Afterwards he is imaged as the human embryo in utero, when he had become the creator of a human soul distinguished from the totemic or elemental soul, which had been common to man and beast.
Ptah is portrayed in the monuments as the creator of the seventh, or human soul. Wilkinson met with a very rare picture of the god [p.434] who is alone, and who was engaged in sketching with a pen the figure of Child-Horus. In other words, he is outlining an image of the human soul that was incarnated in the mother-blood and personalized in Horus as the child of Isis, one form of whom was Tum or Atum-Horus.
Ptah is also portrayed in the image of a male-mother. He is the earliest type of the god with a womb in whom the male and female nature were united in a biune parent who was divinized as the All-One. We learn from Joseph Thomson's travels that when the Masai of Central Africa get married it is a native custom for the bridegroom to dress himself in women's clothes and wear them for a month after the marriage. He is assuming the phase of parentage in the guise of the mother, and literally following suit to the female, because the maternal type and imagery of parentage are still dominant, and thus the father comes into existence, so to say, as the male-mother. The significance is the same as in the custom of couvade. The father was assuming the parentage in the likeness of both sexes. Thus Ptah, or Atum, or Osiris, presents a form of the same duality as the Australian 'man with a vulva,' who in his primitive way was a twofold figure of the All-One. To recapitulate: in the Egyptian genesis 'created man' is Tum, later Atum, the original of the first man Adam. Atum was the son of the creator Ptah, the earliest biune parent divinized. The seven primordial powers had been previously recognized in nature as the offspring of the mother. Six of these were prehuman powers or souls developed from the external elements. The seventh was the earliest human soul, born of the mother-blood. This was the blind imperfect soul in matter that was imaged in Child-Horus, An-ar-ef. The soul of all the seven was matriarchal; they were the children of the mother only. Two other powers were added to make up the total in the put-cycle or Ennead of Memphis. The 'double primitive essence' had been assigned to Ptah. Doctrinally this was the soul of blood derived from the maternal source, in combination with the spirit of the male. Thence came the human soul that was constituted in two halves, the soul in matter and in spirit. This biunity was first personified in Ptah as the mother and father in one divinity, and, as the biune parent, Ptah gave birth to man, or created his son Atum. In line 14 of the text from Memphis the god is called 'Ptah of the earth. The mother giving birth Atum.' Here Atum = Adam has a mother, an item which is omitted from the Hebrew version. Thus Atum-Horus is the product of this biune parent; and the seven powers that contributed the seven souls or constituent parts of created man with Ptah and Atum, and the seven associate-gods compose the cycle or ennead of Annu. In this way the put-cycle of the nine gods consisted of Ptah and his eight sons; an eighth one being added to the primary seven as the highest because he was the son of god the father, not merely the product of the mother, like the seven Ali or Elohim. That son of Ptah was Tum or Atum, born as Child-Horus, and one of Atum's names or titles is Iu the coming son, or Iu-em-hetep, he who comes with peace. And in this Iu we propose to identify the Jewish divinity and also the name of Iah, or Iahu, distinguished from הוהי (Ihuh). The compound title Iahu-Elohim shows that Iahu [p.435] is one of the Elohistic group who was continued in a new role as the planter of the garden in the second of the two creations in the Book of Genesis.
In the making of man by Ptah and the Ali or associate-gods, it may be said that man or Tum was created by their being converted into man, Tum, or Adam. It was they who made 'the dexterity of the hands and the walking of the feet;' also they 'created the sight of the eyes, the hearing of the ears, and the breathing of the nostrils.' In other words, they contributed those faculties to the creation of the human being. Such faculties as the sight of the hawk (Horus), the breathing force of the panting lion (Shu), the ears of the jackal (Anup), the nose or neb of the knowing ibis, the hand of the ape, and others which had been exalted as superhuman and were now made use of in the creation of man or Atum by the Kamite Elohim. These powers in themselves were indefinitely earlier than Ptah, but in the theology of Memphis they became auxiliaries to the supreme one god, and were then held to proceed from him and to become his members and his attributes. The change is indicated when it is said of Ptah, 'His associate-gods in his presence are the teeth and lips, the joints and hands of Atum, for these become the associate gods.' The same doctrinal change is apparent in the Ritual, when it is said of the supreme one god, 'It is Ra creating his members, which became those gods who are with Ra.'
Iu, the coming one, is the ever-coming son of the father who was reborn as his own son; and Iu (or Atum) with his associate-gods corresponds to Iahu-Elohim in the Hebrew Genesis, who follows the gods of the primary creation in the first chapter. Thus Ptah and his Ali are the prototypes or originals of the Elohim, in both the singular and the plural use of the word; whilst Iahu-Elohim answers to Iu and his associate-gods in the second creation. This development in the divine character may supply a rational explanation of the discrepancy concerning the name of Iahu in the first two books of the Pentateuch. It is related in Exodus that 'Iahu spake unto Moses and said unto him, "I am Iahu. I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob as El-Shaddai, but by my name Iahu I was not made known to them."' Whereas the name of Iahu had most certainly been known from the time of the second creation. This therefore must be a question of the nature, not merely of the name of the deity. If Iahu were one of the group of the Ali = Elohim he would be a son of the mother, one of the Baalim who preceded the fatherhood of Ihuh or Jehovah. The god who was known by the name of El was also one of the Baalim, Elohim, or Ali; the first company of the associate gods, who ruled under the matriarchate. Atum was born 'Iu' as the son of Ptah at Memphis, and the same god became the father as Atum-Ra at On. The development is to be traced in the fact that the first Iu as Egyptian was only a form of god the mother's son, whereas the later Ihuh had attained the status of the maker, as god the father, who was Atum-Ra in Egypt.
Chapter 5 announces that 'this is the book of the generations of Adam.' In this the previous 'generation of the heaven and the earth' are represented as the generations of Adam, who meanwhile had been transformed from the divine Atum of Egypt into the human [p.436] Adam of the Jewish writings, and the genuine mythos transmogrified into a spurious history. The translators of the Memphian text point out the extreme likelihood that there were two 'originally independent texts' which have been artificially blended to produce a deceptive appearance of unity. This agrees with the fundamental difference between the Elohistic and Jehovistic versions in the Book of Genesis, those of the Elohim and Iahu-Elohim, in which two accounts of the creation have been run into one. It is plainly apparent in the Book of Genesis that two originally independent legends of creation have been imperfectly welded together to give an appearance of unity. This is proved by the two different beginnings in which the heaven and earth are formed, and man is made twice over. The first chapter contains the generations of the heaven and the earth when these were created by the Elohim. The second contains the generations of the heaven and the earth when they were created in the day that earth and heaven were made by Iahu-Elohim. As Egyptian, these were (1) the Ali, or associate-gods with Neb-er-ter or Kheper-Ptah; and (2) Iu the son of God, who became the one god of both the Egyptians and the Jews, who, as we shall show, were the worshippers of Iu = Iahu.
The man created by the Elohim, or Ali, was totemic man, like the legendary Adam with the tail of an ape, a lion, or other zootype. It was thus the elemental powers were represented Sut by the hippopotamus; Sebek by the crocodile; Atum by the lion; Iu by the ass; Seb by the goose; Taht by the Ibis; Anup by the jackal; Kabhsenuf by the hawk, in whose likenesses totemic men were imaged. This first man was the Adam, who failed and fell from lack of the vitalizing spark of the individual fatherhood; the man who was only born of the group in communal marriage under the matriarchate. These totemic forbears of man may also account for a rabbinical tradition in which it is related that previous to the creation of Eve the man Adam entered into sexual intercourse with the animals. Which is doubtless an ignorant misinterpretation of the totemic status of man and animals made by theologians who were ignorant of totemic sign-language. Some of the rabbis asserted that the first man, Adam, was created in the Garden of Eden with a tail like that of an orang-utans. His tail was afterwards cut off to improve his appearance. The legend contains a fragment of the mythos which has been reduced to the status of Jewish märchen. This may furnish another link between the Hebrew Adam and the Egyptian Atum, as the fiery-spirited ape was a type of Atum, the solar god of the garden in Amenta.
The pre-existent superhuman powers or associate-gods contributed all that they had previously attained for themselves to constitute the higher type of god as father. Atum was born as Horus or Iu, child of the mother, and afterwards developed into Atum-Ra as god the father. Hence he became the maker or creator of gods and men as the begetter, who succeeded the transformer Kheper-Ptah. The seven primordial powers had been recognized and divinized as offspring of the old First Mother. The Great Mother was combined with the male in Ptah. Atum, or 'created man,' was formed by Ptah as an evolution from the seven elemental [p.437] powers. These became the seven souls of Atum-Ra, otherwise called the seven souls of man; the seven as elements or powers that went to the making of the manes in Amenta, or the human being when the rendering was literalized. Thus the evolution of man, according to the Egyptian wisdom, was from seven powers of the elements, on which a doctrine of the seven souls was founded. Six of these had been prehuman souls. The seventh alone attained the human type and status, whether as Child-Horus or the man as Atum the first father. These souls of life had been identified and divinized in the mythology: the soul of water as the fish of Sebek, the breathing force as the lion of Shu, the 'creeping thing' of earth as the beetle of Kheper-Ptah. Such was the creation of man according to the Egyptian wisdom. The seven elemental powers then furnished his seven constituent parts, or seven souls, as co-workers with Ptah, and merged themselves in Atum or were absorbed in created man. In the second chapter of Genesis the god Iahu succeeds the Elohim. As an Egyptian deity Iu = Iahu was the son of Ptah. The oneness of the father and son, with the son as representative of the father, is a doctrine that was founded in the cult of Ptah at Memphis and perpetuated in the religion of Atum-Ra at Annu. It is Atum who says he is both the closer and the opener, and he is but one. And it is the father, whether as Ptah or Atum, who comes into being as his own son. Also, when Osiris has been mutilated by the murderer Sut he is reconstituted by Horus, and the father lives again in and as the son. It was by his ever-coming and continual rebirth that the son brought life and immortality or continuity to light as demonstrator in phenomena on behalf of god the father.
The earliest Egyptian type of a creator is the moulder or potter. The god Khnum, for example, is depicted as the potter in the act of forming man from the matter of earth. Ptah, sometimes called the son of Khnum, is likewise the divine potter. He is portrayed at Philae in the act of heaping plastic clay upon the potter's table from which he is about to form the image of man, which he had sketched in the likeness of Child-Horus. Previously the goddesses and gods were shaped in the likenesses of zootypes. Khnum himself was ram-headed; Kheper, the former, was beetle-headed. Up to the time of Ptah, or Bes, the negroid pygmy, the human likeness was not given to any god; and his son Atum-Horus is the earliest divinity in perfect human form. Now, as Egyptian Atum is the original of the Hebrew Adam, it follows that we are witnessing the creation of Adam from the earth in a mythical representation, when Ptah, the potter, shapes the archetypal man as his son Atum from a lump of plastic clay.
We are also witnessing the creation of man, or of Tum, the son of Ptah, in the human likeness, when 'the associate-gods as the Ali or Elohim created the sight of the eyes and the hearing of the ears, the breathing of the nostrils, and sent up that which gave pleasure to the father.' That is to Ptah, who is the father of Tum in this creation of man by the put-cycle of the primordial powers, which corresponds to the first creation of Adam by the Elohim in the first chapter of the Hebrew Genesis. 'Then was ordained the utterance of every decision of the tongue, which repeats the deliberation of the heart.'
'Now the creation of the gods,' that is to say, 'of Tum and his associate-gods, was when proclamation was made of all the divine names in his wisdom.' 'The associate-gods in his presence are as the teeth and lips, the joints and hands of Tum, for these become the associate-gods,' or the associate-gods became the members and powers of Tum, Atum or Adam the created man, who was formed in the likeness of Iahu-Elohim. We are told in the texts that 'men are mortal since the time of Ra,' that is since the time when a father in heaven or in Amenta was depicted in the image of man instead of being represented by some prehuman and totemic type. This was Atum. Atum in the solar mythos was Ra in his first sovereignty, and Atum = Hebrew Adam was primordial man. Otherwise stated, Atum was the first god delineated in the form of man. Hence men are mortal or human since the time of Atum-Ra. Previously they might be imaged as beetles and frogs in the time of Ptah, kaf-apes in the time of Taht, crocodiles in the time of Sebek, and hippopotami, giraffes, or black vultures in the time of Sut. This difference between the animal and human types is also recognized in relation to Ra when the first creatures or beings are called 'the ancestors of Ra' and 'the ancestors of Seb,' and are designated 'worms' to express their inferiority. They were mere reptiles in comparison with the human type. In the Hebrew Genesis, when the man as Adam was created he was to have dominion over all creatures of the water, air, and earth. And Atum, or Tum in the Ritual, is designated 'the Lord of all creatures,' that is when he makes his appearance in the figure of man, who is described as being 'in the form of the Lord of all creatures.' Atum, who comes as the unique one god in the form of man, is hailed in the Ritual as the lord of heaven who 'issues forth from the earth and createth whatever is begotten,' and 'who giveth vigour to the men now living.' 'I am summed up as Atum,' says the speaker. As Atum he exclaims, 'I am a soul, and my soul is divine. It is the self-originating force.' The speaker, in the character of Atum-Ra, who makes his advent as a man, explains that the seven uraeus-divinities formed his body, but his soul is divine. It is an image of the eternal. These uraei were a type of the seven primordial powers that were grouped and unified in one, whether as god or man. They are companions, seven in number, who became the associate-gods of Ptah in his creative work, and who were afterwards absorbed in Atum as constituents of his body, or the means of his embodiment as man.
The ascent of soul through various elemental phases of existence is alluded to in one of the 'sayings of Jesus' when it is said that the fowls of the air, the beasts of the earth, and the fishes of the sea all 'draw us' to the kingdom. These led the way as elemental and prehuman souls. A soul of the air was imaged by the bird; a soul of earth was imaged by the beast, or reptile; a soul of water by the fish; a soul of vegetation by the shoot or branch; and so on through the series, all of which were offspring of the Great Mother. But the highest soul was now derived from god the father as an effluence of the holy spirit. Therefore it is said, 'The kingdom of heaven is within you; and whosoever shall know himself shall find it.' 'Know yourselves (then), and you shall be aware that ye are sons of [p.439] the Father.' Horus in his resurrection, at his second advent, came to proclaim the father as the begetter of a spirit that should attain eternal life. He also came to personate that spirit in the likeness of the father to the manes in Amenta. Atum, the Egyptian holy spirit, was the author of that spirit by which totemic man became a living soul. With the Egyptians the soul was of both sexes. The divine being, as Ptah, Atum, or Osiris, was of a biune nature. Hence Ptah and Osiris are portrayed as the male and female in one image, and this one prototypal soul was discreted as human in the two sexes. In passing through Amenta the human soul is represented as the male accompanied by the female, the wife, sister, or some other female as supplemental to the male. This soul, divided in the two halves of sex, was united again in establishing an eternal soul. One form of the dual type is imaged by the twins, Shu and his sister Tefnut, who are blended in Tattu. They represent the soul that had been discreted in two sexes which is joined in one again to fulfil the likeness of the eternal spirit Atum-Ra, who was self-divided in creating the two sexes. Tefnut, the sister soul, was absorbed in Shu the brother who wears her emblem on his head, and who is the twofold type of a dual soul now unified in one. Thus the soul that lived for ever was held to be established for eternity by the female being blended with the male. Now, amongst the primitive races, African, Melanesian and others, the women will volunteer to be strangled at the funeral, or buried alive in the graves of their husbands (or the chiefs), believing it to be solely in company with the male that they can reach the realms of bliss; and the favourite wife in the abode of the blessed is held to be the one who meets her death with the greatest fortitude. That is, by the female being blended with the male in death, as Tefnut was blended with, or absorbed in, Shu.
When the human soul had been derived from the essence of the male instead of the blood of the female, the woman was naturally derived from the man, as she is in the second of the Hebrew creations described in the Book of Genesis. A soul derived from Atum was dual in sex. This soul was divided into Adam and Eve, the typical two sexes of the Hebrew legend. Adam was Atum in the original mythos, and the soul derived from Atum was discreted in Adam and Eve, as the two sexes derived from the one primordial soul, which was figured first as the soul of Shu and Tefnut in the Egyptian mythos. Tefnut was not cut out of the side of Shu, but she was depicted as the hinder half of the lion with Shu as the forepart. Atum was the lion as representative of the soul or force, and the lion was severed in two parts, head and tail, as the dual type of Shu and Tefnut, which preceded the anthropomorphic representation in Adam and Eve. So late is the Hebrew rendering compared with the Egyptian. The 'self-splitting' of Atum is shown in the mutilation of his members. Hence we have made the suggestion that in the rite of sub-incision practised by the most primitive of races, like the Australian Arunta, this 'self-splitting' of the male denoted the claim of the man to being the potential source of both sexes, and that, whereas the male was derived from the female under the matriarchate, it was now asserted that the woman was made from the man in a process of self-splitting illustrated by the practice of sub-incision, and by the later creation of the female from the male in the mythology. Queen [p.440] Hatshepsut claimed that the true image of the creator was formed by a combination of the mother and the male in one, which image she personated under her title of Mat-Ka-Ra, the true image of Ra, but gave pre-eminence to female nature as the bringer-forth from the beginning. The picture of the male endeavouring to take the place of the female as producer of the child is at times exceedingly pathetic. He carved the likeness of the female member on his own, as do the Arunta in their rites today, and masqueraded as 'the man with a vulva.' He wore the woman's garb in marriage. In the custom of couvade he went to bed to become a mother like Ptah, and to nurse the newborn little one.
In the earliest mythology the woman was dominant. Men derived their descent from the mothers. This was in the time of the first creation. In the second, when the woman was derived from the man, (even by a surgical operation), the male comes uppermost, the matriarchal woman succumbs to patriarchal man. This is glanced at obliquely in the doom pronounced upon the woman by Iahu-Elohim for 'plucking the forbidden fruit.' 'Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.' There is to be an end of matriarchal supremacy, and descent, as previously reckoned from the motherhood, is to be suppressed in this the second of two creations for the Adamic race. The two races of Adam are referred to by Esdras: 'O Lord, thou madest the world for our sakes. As for the other people, which also come of Adam, thou hast said that they are nothing, but be like unto spittle.' Both were Adamic, however, but the first came from the red earth or the mother-blood only; the second were derived from the fatherhood. In the Latin version of Esdras those who are nothing are the people of the firstborn world, whereas those of the second creation are called the 'only-begotten.' In the mythical rendering of this twofoldness the first Horus was born but not begotten. He was the child of the mother only. The second Horus is the only begotten of the father, twice born and once begotten. In the primary phase he corresponds to the totemic people who were born under the matriarchate, those of the firstborn world. In the second he is a representative of the people who are called the 'only begotten' because they are the children of the fathers. The two primary castes or classes of Aryas in India, the sons of light and the children of darkness, were based upon the same original distinction between those who were born of the matriarchate and those who are begotten under the divinized fatherhood. The rabbis have retained some fragments of totemic tradition without the gnosis. It is said in the Targum of Palestine, 'The Lord God created man in two formations.' This dual formation, or creation, is common to the märchen, which we are tracing to the original mythos. The first men recognizable were made of red earth, which, when interpreted, means that flesh was shaped from the mother's blood. Then, say the Melbourne blacks, the god Pungel blew the spirit of life into the man at his navel. The Arunta tribes likewise hold that the animistic spirit enters the navel to cause conception in their women. In the Egyptian texts it is [p.441] also said of those who derive from the mother, the Amu, the Tamehu, and the negroes, 'Sekhet has created them and she creates their souls,' the souls that were created under the matriarchate, and were only souls of blood, whereas the ruti were derived from Ra the holy spirit. In a magical text supposed to be of Akkadian origin there is a version of the 'cutting out' of the woman from the man which is a little nearer to nature than the creation of the female from a rib of the male in the Hebrew Genesis. It is said the woman was derived from the flank of the man. Scattered fragments of the ancient wisdom now identified as Kamite are often to be found in what the Christian writers ignorantly scout as the wild and foolish fables or the absurd fancies of egregious Talmudists. Here is an instance. It is related that the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam whilst he extracted something from his members which was dispersed over the globe so that the whole earth might be inhabited by his seed. This account is nearer to the original than the version given in Genesis. The creation of the human race by Atum is biological. The 'double primitive essence' of life was first assigned to Ptah. This consisted of blood and protozoa, and the twin source was personalized in Atum, who as creator was an image of the male and female blended in one person. Atum is described as producing his children by spontaneous emission, and also by the drawing of blood from his members, which was a way of showing the duality of source that was made one in the primal parent thus personified in Atum or in Adam, and in the male with the image of the female cut twice over on his member, once in the ovoid figure and once in the opening by sub-incision.
According to the second Hebrew account of creation, 'Iahu-Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,' which can have no direct relationship to aught that ever did occur in this our human world, nor had it any such signification in the esoteric version of the mystery teachers. But this can be followed in the mysteries of Amenta, in which Ptah was the vivifier of the manes for the afterlife. The process of vivification was by opening the mouth of the dead and inspiring the breath of life into the nostrils. In the chapter by which the mouth of a person is opened for him in the earth of Ptah the Osiris pleads, 'Let my mouth be opened by Ptah, and let the muzzles which are on my mouth be loosed by the god of the domain. Let my mouth be opened by Ptah with that instrument of steel or ba-metal wherewith he openeth the mouths of the gods and the manes.' Breath was restored to those who had been deprived of it. In the chapter by which air is given in the netherworld it is said, 'O Atum, let there come to me the air which is in thy nostrils.' Again, the Osiris says, 'My nostrils are opened in Tattu,' the place of being permanently established; and by these ceremonies performed in mysteries man became a breathing soul after he had passed into the land of life. For it was the man who had died on earth to reappear as a sahu-mummy in Amenta whose mouth was opened and his nostrils inspired with the breath of a second life derived from Atum-Iu = Iu-Elohim. Atum likewise is the giver of breath in the new life of [p.442] Amenta. He gives it to the spirit in the egg. This is a recreation of Adam, or man, as manes in the earth of eternity, not the creation of a human being from the dust on the surface of our earth, as it has been misrendered in the Hebrew version.
The legend of the fall is not reproduced in the first account of the Hebrew creation. In this, homo had been created male and female in the likeness of the Elohim or the powers which were imaged by zootypes. The first Adam was totemic man with a tail, who is said to have had connection with all or any of the animals. In the second chapter of Genesis the first formation by the Elohim is not recognized in the human figure as man. For it is said 'there was not a man to till the ground.' Now, the real man comes into being as 'a living soul.' Iahu-Elohim breathes into his nostrils the breath of life. Iahu-Elohim is the author of a new creation; and it is this second Adam for whom the garden eastward is planted in Eden. 'And there he put the man whom he had formed,' into the garden of Eden to cultivate it, or 'to dress it and to keep it.' These two creations answer to the two creations in the Egyptian genesis, which are the creation of Amenta by Ptah and his associate-gods the Ali = Elohim, and the creation of the garden for Atum and his associate-gods. In the Hebrew, Iahu and his Elohim take the secondary place of Tum and his associate-gods in the original. And however shadowy some of this may seem, the shadow is all there was to go upon so long as the substance was out of sight—the substance which is Egyptian.
The Litany of Ra describes itself as being 'the book of the worship of Ra,' and identifies Atum with Ra in Amenta. It is said that 'when anyone reads this book, the porcelain figures are placed upon the ground at the hour of sunset—that is, of the triumph of Ra over his enemies in Amenta.' When he arrives in the Amenta at sunset, 'his form is that of the old man;' in his resurrection his form is that of the lion. He sets as Ra; he rises again as Horus. Atum in Amenta is the hidden soul of life that was imaged by the nocturnal sun. He is the supreme power who dwells in darkness and causes the principles to arise. He is 'the pillar of Amenta,' like the tat with which Ptah supported the sky. He is manifested or born as his own son; he who was Ra as father is Horus as the son—Atum in the western mount, and Horus in the east. He is worshipped as the supreme power in seventy-five characters, under the same number of names. Atum is the one god who is always depicted in the human form, and who therefore enters Amenta in the shape of man for the overthrowal of Apap the monster and all the powers of evil.
Atum not only passed into the Hebrew legends as the earthly father in the Book of Genesis, but also as the Adam Kadmon (ןימדק־םדא) of the Kabbalah, who is the primordial, archetypal man, the heavenly man or man from heaven. The first Adam, like the first Horus, was finite and imperfect; the second was infinite and perfect. These are the first and second Adam according to the doctrine of Paul, who tells us that 'the first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is of heaven.' The first man Adam became a living soul. [p.443] The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. Howbeit, that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural. Now, as Atum is the god who followed Ptah as a birth of the put-cycle, he is the tenth, and the god of the ten circles of Ra is now called the creator of the nine. This was done in the process of compounding and unifying the powers, and of exalting the latest in the development to the position of the first in status. The present point is that in an address to Amen, a form of Atum, it is said, 'The gods proceeded from thee. Thou didst create the nine gods at the beginning of all things, and thou wast the lion-god of the twin lion-gods.' This was in the course of making the latest in development first in status, which was the common course in the evolution of Ra. Thus in the cycle of Ptah the gods were nine in number. With Atum added as Ra, the number is ten; and as Ptah was called the father of the eight, so Atum is the father of the nine. In the Hymns to Amen-Ra he is adored as one and the same with Atum; hence we infer that 'Amen' is a later title of Atum as the hidden god of Amenta, the secret earth, the garden in which was made for him by his father Ptah. The object of the present comparison is to suggest that these ten powers or potencies were the originals of the ten Sephiroth which constituted the heavenly Adam Kadmon of the Kabbalists, and which, according to the metaphysical doctrine, were the means whereby the En-Soph, the infinite or boundless, manifested within bounds. Atum, as we reckon, was the builder of the heaven in ten divisions which preceded the final one in twelve.
There is no garden of Eden created in the first chapter of Genesis. No tree of life or knowledge was planted, nor is there any prohibition against eating the fruit of the tree. On the contrary, the primal pair, the male and female, are told that every herb and every tree are given to them for food. The theology of the Elohim differs from that of Iahu-Elohim. This agrees with a non-Semitic version of the creation legend, in which there is no garden created, no mention of man being placed in the garden to tend it; no tree of life, nor tree of knowledge; and no temptation by the serpent, or story of the Fall. The primal paradise, that of Shu and the seven support-gods in Am-Khemen, is thus differentiated from the garden of Ptah in the secondary creation or representation. To reach the Kamite root of the matter we have to distinguish between the making of Amenta and the planting of the garden eastward. When 'the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them,' man was formed; then Iahu-Elohim planted a garden eastward, in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed, to dress it and to keep it. We have now to tell the story of Eden from the indefinitely older documents, legendary fragments of which have been mixed up together by the Elohistic and Jehovistic narratives in the Book of Genesis.
Amenta and the garden of rest were not created for man the mortal, as mortal, on this earth. The man who was brought into being and placed in the garden to protect the tree of life and defend it from the depredations of the evil Apap, the serpent of darkness, the dragon of drought, the devouring reptile, was man in the likeness of Atum, or [p.444] man the manes; the only man in the garden of Amenta, whether this is called the Aarru-Sekhet (field) or gan-Eden. The primal paradise was founded on the natural fact of the oasis. Following this, the fundamental idea of a paradise made by human workmanship is an enclosure in which there was a tree or plants for food and an unfathomable wellspring of water for drink. It was the oasis with some kind of fence about it, which survives in the 'little garden walled around' that is sung of in a modern hymn. Now, when the nomads of the equatorial regions wandered northward they left their primal paradise behind them as a geographical locality. This suffered a subsidence, in common with the southern pole, and was hidden beneath the horizon to become the legendary paradise that sank down under the waters and was lost, as would be indicated by the disappearing guide-stars, to become a subject of the Egyptian astro-mythology.
The legend of a paradise, or state of supreme blessedness, that was lost through the eating of forbidden food, or in not keeping the law of taboo, is indigenous to inner Africa. It is the story of the first man, Khentu, in Uganda, previously cited. Dr. Nassau offers evidence that the Bantu tribes (who extend over a quarter of the continent) have the legend of a great chief who always warned people not to eat the fruit of a certain tree, but who ate of it himself and died. In another native legend it was a woman who brought the fruit of a forbidden tree to her village. She swallowed it to hide it, and then became possessed of an evil spirit, which was the beginning of witchcraft. It is an ancient tradition that the homeland of the human race was actual at the sources of the Nile. Milton alludes to and repeats it in his 'Paradise under the Athiop line by Nilus' head.' The rabbis likewise affirm that 'Paradise is localized under the middle line of the world, where the days are always of equal length.' That is in equatorial regions. Such a tradition, however true, could only come to us by means of mythology and the folktales. The Sekhet-Aarru or field of papyrus-reed was one name of this oasis on high, which was a heaven of boundless food and drink, and therefore a paradise of plenty. The point to be established now is that water and vegetable food were the primeval elements of life in equatorial Africa in such abundance as to constitute a permanent ideal; and these were constellated later in the northern heaven by the Egyptians as a picture of an earthly paradise that 'once upon a time,' somewhere or other, had been geographical. Now, this circumpolar paradise upraised by Shu in Am-Khemen was reproduced with improvements and additions in the earthly paradise or garden of Amenta, the stellar imagery being repeated in the solar mythos. The mount of glory, the tree on the summit, the source of the water of life, the Apap-reptile of drought, the youthful hero and other types established in the upper paradise, were duplicated in the paradise below—the garden enclosed by Ptah for Atum his son to cultivate. The upper was the circumpolar paradise upon the stellar mount of glory in the region of the stars that never set. At first there was the water only, called the celestial sea or lake. The pole was imaged by the stalk, the reed or papyrus that was planted in the waters as the sign of a fixed support in a double sense. This [p.445] became the later tree in the midst of the garden or cultivated enclosure. In the Pyramid Texts it is called the khat-en-ankhu or tree of life, on the fruit of which the gods and the glorified were fed. When the garden in Amenta was created by Ptah this paradise of rest was repeated in the earth of eternity, to become the earthly paradise of the manes in the Book of the Dead.
As previously shown, the Jewish Kabbalists preserve the tradition of an upper and a lower paradise. Menasseh Ben-Israel says, 'Those who are learned in the Kabbalah affirm that there is a paradise here on earth below.' Between the two it is said there is a pillar fixed that joins the two together, which is called 'the strength of the hill Zion,' and which corresponds to the ladder and the mount in the Ritual. The upper paradise, he says, is called by seven names: (1) The bundle of life, (2) the tabernacle of the Lord, (3) the holy hill, (4) the courts of the Lord, (5) the house of the Lord, (6) the hill of the Lord, (7) the holy place. He likewise gives the seven appellations of the lower paradise: (1) The garden of Eden, (2) the palace of the Lord, (3) the land of the living, (4) the sanctuary of God, (5) the city of God, (6) the dwelling of the Lord, (7) the lands of the living. Notwithstanding the vagueness of a later generalization, we may see (1) the garden of Amenta in 'the garden of Eden;' (2) the palace of the prince in 'the palace of the Lord;' (3) the earth of the living in 'the land of the living;' (4) the shrine in the midst of the earth in 'the sanctuary of God.' The ladder that is raised up in Amenta for the glorified to get a glimpse of the gods, when the manes says, 'I raise my ladder up to the sky to see the gods,' is repeated in the pillar that is the means of communication between the lower and the upper paradise. By this they are joined together, and it is called 'the strength of the hill Zion,' the hill which touches the sky being another Egyptian figure of the means of ascent. 'By this pillar, on every Sabbath and festival, the righteous climb up, and refresh themselves with a glimpse of the divine majesty, till the end of the Sabbath or festival, when they slide down and return to the lower paradise.' The heptanomis is repeated in the plan of both the lower and upper paradise. In both there are seven mansions or dwellings for the reward of the righteous. All the glory, the excellency, the delight which the righteous obtain in the upper paradise is prepared for them in the lower paradise. In the vignettes to the Ritual the ba-soul is seen ascending and descending the ladder to visit the mummy in the tomb. In like manner it is said in Nishmath Kajim that every twelve months after leaving the body the deceased descend and visit it, because they cannot be absolutely separated from their mummies.
Like other mythical types, the twofold paradise passed on into the legendary lore of various lands. It is to be seen in the enclosure of Yima in the Avesta. In one form this is Eran Veg, the paradise that was in the beginning, or in the first time, the paradise upon the mount of glory answering to the Am-Khemen that was upraised by Shu. Amenta, the secret earth of eternity, is also identifiable when it is said the human race shall be reconstituted in Yima's enclosure; and for that reason it was made in a secret place = Amenta. [p.446] It was in Amenta, the secret earth, that Osiris and the Osirified were reconstituted for the life hereafter. The garden of Eden in the Hebrew Genesis is called the garden eastward. This is the position of the Aarru-garden in Amenta. It was on the eastern side of the mount of glory, in the very depths of dawn. According to the Ritual, life originated in the garden eastward. Hence it is there the man as manes inhales the breath of a new life, and drinks the water of life and plucks the fruit from the tree of life. An oasis is the figure that was followed by Ptah in making the garden of Aarru in Amenta. A mound or rampart is described as built around the water and the plants or tree at the centre, to protect them and to keep the Apap-serpent from the sacred precincts where Atum-Ra 'frequenteth the persea tree of life.' 'I know this field of Aarru, with the ba-enclosure,' says the Osiris in the Ritual. The enclosing wall was made of ba, a word that meant earth at one time, then iron, and lastly steel, as the rampart was characterized according to the progress made in work from earth to iron and from one metal to another. This zeriba or barrier notwithstanding, the destroyer night by night and year after year was continually breaking into the beautiful garden of Aarru, to drink up the water and to wither the tree of life. The abyss within the earth from whence the water welled with life in the beginning, the abyss that is configurated in the southern heaven, was repeated in making the garden of Amenta. It is described in the Ritual as the Tuat 'which nobody can fathom,' which 'sends forth light in the dark night,' and 'the offerings from which are eatable plants.' Also there are two lakes of water in Amenta, one of which is designated 'the great Deep.' This agrees with the abyss which nobody can fathom. Thus the beginning with the abyss, the breaking forth of light, the water welling from the abyss, and the primeval food issuing from the water were repeated and preserved. The tree of life was planted in the water of life as the persea or ash, which is the tree of life by name in Egyptian, and which had taken the place of the papyrus-reed as the sign of vegetation.
When the garden of Eden was created the tree of life is said to be in the midst of the garden, 'and a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted, and became four heads.' We shall find the same water going forth from the Aarru-garden in Amenta. The original river that issued from the lake of the abyss at the centre of the garden is determined by the 150th chapter of the Ritual, in which it is said the fourteenth division is 'the domain of Kher-aba; the deity in it is the Nile.' The river that went forth from the circumpolar paradise represented the Milky Way, whereas the water that issued from the midst of the garden in Amenta is the divinized river Nile. Also in this form the celestial Nile is traced to its earthly source in the lakes and to the powers of the inundation or high flood in the south. Thus the Egyptian Ritual, which is not to be gainsaid, indubitably shows that the river which 'went out of Eden to water the garden' in the original version of the mythos was the river Nile reproduced as the water-source of life in the garden of Amenta.
On entering the lower earth the departed spirit prays, 'May there [p.447] be given to me a homestead in the fields of Aarru.' And again, the speaker for the pair says, 'Open ye to the gods (or divinized spirits) who come to cultivate the soil and grow the food' (in this earth of eternity). 'Let the god Amsu, the divine husband man, give me the ground to till. Let the god of green things open his arms to me,' as giver of abundance. In the Egyptian original this delightful garden is the place in which the spirit was refreshed 'under any type it wished'—a mode of saying that it offered all that heart could desire, and to wish was to have. It was the typical land of grapes and peaches, where the plenty flowed in rivers of milk and honey according to the Hebrew report. But it was likewise a land of labour and industry—no lubber-land of lotus-eating laziness. In the true Egyptian representation worship is work, and in these fields of food:
'They suck no honeycomb of drowsy peace
Because ennobling natural cares all cease;
They live no life, as many dream, caressed
By some vast tideless sea of endless rest
For there, as here, unbusy is unblest.'
In proceeding to this Elysium the Osiris takes the good path to the fields of food. He says, 'A divine domain hath been constructed for me; I know the name of it, the name of it is the garden of Aarru' = Eden. 'I know the place where to plough the earth and mow the corn, to collect the harvest in it daily. I am in it, I prevail in it, I understand in it; food is in my hands from the lord of earth.' This agricultural mode of earning an eternal living was typified by every one of the shabti figures set up in the tombs with the hoe of the husbandman in their hands. It is said, 'When thou hast mowed with the souls, having kept their stride to the closed gates, thou art acquitted, and approachest thy house after thy labours, to the delight of thy two souls.'
The Aarru paradise in Amenta is also the garden of the two trees, the same as the Hebrew garden of Eden. A form of Eden is undoubtedly Babylonian, even by name. According to the native tradition, the type was localized in Eridu, the place of the eternal tree or stalk at the centre of the circumpolar paradise, or of Eridu in the firmamental water termed 'the abyss.' In the mythos the Great Mother is called 'the divine lady of Edin,' and also 'the goddess of the tree of life.' As the tree she brings forth her child, the branch, the same as Hathor does in Egypt. The name of Hathor signifies the house of Horus, as the tree. So the Great Mother Zikum is the house of Tammuz, as the tree that grew in Eridu. But the Egyptian stalk of the uat or papyrus plant is indefinitely earlier than the typical tree. One fact of itself will serve to show that the biblical Eden was not derived from the Assyrian Edin, because in this garden there is but a single tree, which is apparently the tree of life. The divine lady of Edin is the goddess of the tree of life, and there is no mention of a tree of knowledge. Secondly, the serpent as a type of evil in the Book of Genesis is not the Babylonian dragon Tiamat. The biblical dragon is of neither sex, whereas Tiamat is female. The Hebrew dragon or evil serpent is the Apap of Egypt from Genesis to Revelation. Apap is a water-reptile whose dwelling [p.448] is at the bottom of the dark waters called the void of Apap from which it rises in rebellion as the representative of drought. This is the serpent described by Amos: 'Though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them.' Another reason. The Hebrew Eden is in a land that was watered by a mist that went up from the ground, and where no rain fell on the earth. That land above all earthly prototypes was Egypt, which assuredly did not suffer like Babylonia from the 'curse of rain,' from which the Akkadian month 'Asan' was named. But there was a pre-solar paradise enclosure which had but one tree in it.
This as Egyptian is the paradise of Am-Khemen, which Shu uplifted with his two-pronged prop that images the pole, when he divided earth from heaven and raised the upper circumpolar paradise. Paradise, says Ibn Ezra, is the place of one tree. Mount Hetep in the northern heaven is a kind of typical one-tree-hill. In some of the Mexican drawings there is a point of departure by water from the mount which has a single tree upon its summit. This we look on as the tree which represents the pole, the 'one-tree-hill' of a legend that is universal. This typical one-tree-hill is also to be found at Sakapu in Manchuria, where it is represented by a mountain designated 'lone tree hill.' The Norse tree Yggdrasil is single. Nor is there more than one tree or stalk in the garden of Eridu, where the Great Mother is the lady of the eternal tree. The eternal tree was certainly the pole. Its seven branches show it to have been a numerical type of the heptanomis. Hence we infer that in the circumpolar paradise there was but one tree as a figure of the northern pole of heaven. The Chinese fu-tree, the self-supporting, is likewise a figure of the pole. Hence it is said to grow on the summit of a mountain in mid-ocean at the north, and it is 300 Chinese miles in height. There is nothing gained by calling this the tree of the universe instead of the pole. That is only to lose in vagueness all that the astronomers had gained by their definiteness.
The two trees in the garden of Eden can be accounted for upon Egyptian ground, but on no other; one being the tree of the pole in the stellar mythos, the other the tree of life or of dawn in the garden eastward. The two typical trees are recognizable as Egyptian in the Book of the Dead. In one chapter they are called the two divine sycamores of heaven and earth. The sycamore of heaven is identified as the tree of Nut. It stands in 'the lake of equipoise,' which is at the celestial pole. The tree of earth is the tree of Hathor and of dawn. Atum-Ra, the solar god, is also described as coming forth from between the two trees. 'I know those two sycamores of emerald, between which Ra cometh forth as he advances over the firmament.' The tree of earth, or Hathor, and the tree of heaven, or Nut, were brought on together and united in the tree of burial for the mummy. Wherever it was possible the Egyptian coffin was made from the wood of the sycamore tree, the khat-en-ankhu, or tree of life, so that the dead might be taken in the embrace of the mother of life, who was represented by the tree. This was Hathor as bringer to birth in the mythology, and Nut the bringer of souls to [p.449] their rebirth in the eschatology. The relative positions of these two goddesses with the tree were illustrated by the pictures painted on the coffin. Hathor as a form of the mother-earth, the tree-form, is portrayed inside the coffin on the board upon which the mummy rested, taking the dead to her embrace as the mother of life. Nut, the mother-heaven, was represented on the inner part of the coffin-lid arching over the mummy as bringer of the manes to new life above. It was burial in the tree when the tree had come to be elaborately carved in the shape of a coffin. This symbolized a resurrection of the spirit from the tree of life as Horus rose again from out the tree of dawn. Now when Amenta was planted by Ptah, the father of Atum, several features of the circumpolar paradise, as before said, were not only repeated, they were duplicated. One of these was the typical tree. The tree of the pole remained as the central support of the universe, the tree of the three worlds, i.e., of Amenta, earth and heaven (Egyptian) Arab, earth and heaven (Babylonian) hell, Midgard and heaven (Norse), and others that might be added. In Egypt this was almost superseded by the tat of Ptah, which is a pillar of the four corners based upon the tree as type of the pole when this was erected in Amenta. Thus, the primal paradise was the place of one tree. The paradise or garden in Amenta is the place of two trees—because the ground-rootage had been doubled in phenomena. These two trees appear in the Ritual as the tree of Hathor and the tree of Nut; the tree of earth and the tree of heaven; the tree of the north and the tree of the east.
The tree of Hathor was a tree of life in Egypt. It was the sycamore-fig tree, from the fruit of which a divine drink of the mysteries was made. Therefore it was a tree to make one wise, which became a tree of wisdom or abnormal knowledge. The tree of Nut was the tree of heaven and eternal life, hence it was designated the eternal tree. As herein suggested, the two trees originated as a dual symbol of the two poles in Equatoria. These were continued in two tree-pillars called Sut-and-Horus by Ptah in his making of Amenta. Again they are repeated in the garden or cultivated enclosure of Eden. Here they are called the tree of knowledge and the tree of life. As shown in the vignettes to the Book of the Dead, the tree or eatable plant and the water supplied the elements of life to the manes in the lower paradise. The goddess Nut pours out the water and offers the fruit of the tree to Ani and his wife, when he has reached the garden of Amenta. The pole had been the tree first planted in the astronomical mythology. It was the tree of Nut, or heaven, in the stellar phase, and being astronomical it was naturally the tree of knowledge. But in the making of the nether earth a second tree was planted in the garden eastward. The mythos now was solar, and this was the tree of dawn, the tree of wet or dew, which was a veritable tree of life in Egypt. It was the emerald sycamore of Hathor in her character of goddess of the leafy-green dawn. The first was the tree in the most ancient stellar mythos, the second was added as an equinoctial type, the sycamore of earth now rooted in the land of dawn. This is the tree in which Child-Horus, the young solar god, proclaims himself to be the newborn babe at his coming forth as the sun of another day, [p.450] or the offspring of Hathor. He comes forth from between the two sycamores just as the 'good shepherd' or royal Horus issues from between the two trees in the symbolism of the Roman catacombs. It is related in a legend cited by M. de Gubernatis that the tree of Adam reaches to hell, Sheol, or Amenta with its roots, and to heaven with its branches, and that the infant Jesus lives in the top of the tree, like Horus, Unbu, and Bata. This, like a thousand other things related of the divine, that is mythical, child, would be extremely interesting if the legend had not been put forth under the false pretence of its being historical. The only infant in the tree, who finally supplied the subject of a nursery song, 'Hush-a-by Baby on the Tree-Top,' was the youthful god whose cradle was the tree of dawn, and who says in the Ritual, 'I am the babe. I am the god within the tamarisk.' The tree of Adam was the tree of Atum in the garden of the lower Aarru which Horus or Jesus (the su of Atum) climbs when he goes upwards from the garden to the eastern heaven. The infant was also Horus on his uat-papyrus, a symbol of the earth amidst the waters of the Nun, and a co-type of the tree of dawn. In one representation, the child issues from the papyrus or lotus, in another from the tree. The sun as soul of life in the tree of dawn is probably the nature-type of the soul in the bush, the 'bush-soul' of various African races, i.e., the spirit of vegetation and food. The name of Heitsi-Eibib the Hottentot deity in his solar character signifies the one who appears in the tree, misrendered by Hahn as the 'one who has the appearance of a tree.' The god was not the tree itself but the Horus the Shoot of power appearing in the tree as giver of food. This tree the papyrus that springs up below the horizon on the eastward side of the earth may be meant by the bush of the Australian blacks who, on being asked by a missionary where the soul went when it left the body, said it went 'behind the bush,' the same bush that was signified in the custom of the Hottentots. Behind the bush was equivalent to our 'beyond the veil.' The typical two trees in the enclosure are both Egyptian, and both are represented in Amenta. The tree of earth is Hathor's, called the sycamore of the south. The tree of heaven is the sycamore of Nut, who pours the water from it for the revivification of the manes. Water, as the supreme element of life, retains its primacy of place in the Amenta in relation to the two waters of earth and heaven and the two goddesses Hathor and Nut. The sycamore of Hathor had been the discoverer of water with its deep rootage in the desert sand. The sycamore of Nut dropped down the liquid of life in dew and rain as water of heaven. These two are both represented by two lakes or pools of water welling in the garden of Amenta from the fount of source itself in the abyss. The tree of life is imaged standing in a pool of the water of life in the midst of the Aarru-garden and the goddess in the tree who gives the water also gives the fruit for food and sustenance to the Osirified deceased. The tree is thus portrayed with its roots in the water of earth and its branches dropping down with the life-giving dew or [p.451] divine drink of heaven. In some of the Egyptian drawings the goddess Nut is represented in the tree of knowledge, gathering baskets-full of figs from the sycamore-fig tree, and presenting them to the souls of the departed. At other times she offers fruit directly from the tree itself. Nut in the tree offering its fruit to the pair in the garden, who are Ani (male) and Tutu his wife, in the Papyrus of Ani, are the nearest likeness to the woman tempting Adam to eat the fruit of the tree; and Nut is the goddess feeding souls with the fruit of the tree of life here figured as the sycamore-fig tree. No name of species is given to the tree of knowledge in the Book of Genesis, but we assume it was the fig-tree that furnished the leaves from which the loin-girdles of the primal pair were made. And the fig-tree as now traced was the sycamore-fig of Egypt. This was the tree of Hathor in the Aarru-paradise. Moreover, the goddess Iusaas, the consort of Atum-Ra and mother of the coming son, Iusa, or Iu-em-hetep, was a form of the cow-headed or cow-eared Hathor, lady of the sycamore-tree in the temple of the sun at Annu.
Doubtless one cause of the curse pronounced upon the tree was on account of its being the tree of Hathor, the goddess of fecundity. No better or more beautiful description of Hathor in the tree could be found than the one in the Wisdom of Jesus. This Jesus, as Iu the son of Atum, was brought forth by Hathor-Iusaas from the tree. As wisdom, she identifies herself with the tree of knowledge. The paean of her exultation might be called the hymn of Hathor. Hathor was the Egyptian goddess of love, though the love first personated by her was not the sexual passion. It was the love of the mother for her offspring; the love of the mother of life who fed the child in the womb and at the breast as the divine wet-nurse. In her preanthropomorphic form she is the mother imaged as the milch-cow (this being preceded by the water-cow) and therefore not a type of sexual human love. As the wet-nurse she was also depicted in the tree of life and the tree of dawn, which dropped the dew as very drink of life. Hathor is the habitation (from hat, the abode), one primitive form of which was the tree, and hence the tree of dawn was a typical abode of the young god born of her, or from her sycamore as the branch of endless years. 'I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, and as a cypress-tree upon the mountains of Hermon. I was exalted like a palm-tree in En-gaddi, and as a rose-plant in Jericho, as a fair olive-tree in a pleasant field, and grew up as a plane-tree by the water. As the vine brought I forth pleasant savour, and my flowers are the fruit of honour and riches. I am the mother of fair love, and fear, and knowledge, and holy hope; I therefore, being eternal, am given to all my children which are named of him. Come unto me, all ye that be desirous of me, and fill yourselves with my fruits. For my memorial is sweeter than honey, and mine inheritance than the honeycomb. They that eat me shall yet be hungry, and they that drink me shall yet be thirsty.' The woman who offers the fruit of the tree of knowledge in this book of the secret doctrine is in one form the goddess Hathor, and if the Hebrew version of the tree of knowledge had been true, this would be the song of the siren tempting her lovers to perdition.
The tree of knowledge being the sycamore-fig tree of Hathor the goddess of love, we see in that fact the raison-d'être of its being degraded by the Semitic bigots and turned into the tree of temptation and the cause of the fabled fall. Very proper physiological knowledge was also taught by means of the fable, but the primary motive for the perversion of the tree was the religious hatred of the motherhood by those who exalted the fatherhood as unique and alone. Precisely the same spirit is shown in the cursing of the fig-tree, which is the sycamore-fig in the gospels. 'If ye had faith as a grain of mustard-seed, ye would say unto this sycamore tree, Be thou rooted up, and be thou planted in the sea.' Cursing and casting out the sycamore-fig was damning the tree of the woman, the emerald sycamore of the lovely Hathor, and also the sycamore of Nut, whether in the Old Testament or the New. And this was a mode of destroying 'the works of the female.'
The tree of the upper paradise was held to have been thornless. As it is said in the Persian Revelation, on the nature of plants and trees, 'before the coming of the destroyer, vegetation had no thorn or bark about it. And afterwards when the destroyer came, it was coated with bark and grew thorny.' Thus the tree in the celestial paradise was differentiated from the tree in the earthly paradise, which became thorny as the result of Adam's fatal fall. Egypt is not a cloudy land, though there is sufficient morning-mist, however thin and filamental, for the golden rays of the sun to blend with the azure tints of upper heaven and produce a greenish colour from the mixture of the two. This was represented as the great green sycamore of dawn, of Hathor or Nut, which in Egypt was a tree of life that struck its roots down to the eternal springs and would find moisture even in a Sahara of desert sand. And from this tree of heaven the earth was watered with refreshing dew. This imagery of Egypt is virtually repeated in the Book of Genesis when the writer tells us that 'Iahu-Elohim had not caused it to rain upon the earth, but there went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.' The sycamore of dawn is mentioned in the Ritual. It is also spoken of as the sycamore in the eastern sky. Few things in literature are more lovely than the way in which the imagery of dawn was thus utilized as the road to travel by in attaining the other upper land of life. So far as the Babylonian and Assyrian versions of the mythos have been recovered we find no written account of the creation of man or the placing of the man in the garden of Eden 'to dress it and to keep it.' But the garden is represented on one of the cylinders in what has been termed the scene of the temptation by those who read the subject backwards according to the Hebrew story of the Fall. The tree in Eridu is called the shrine of the two, whom we understand to be the primeval mother and her son, who as Egyptian was called the bull of the mother. The pair are also described as 'the lady of the eternal tree' and the great supreme bull, he who was both the child and consort of the mother. These two we now suggest are the male and female pair who are seated underneath the tree as the scene is pictured on the Assyrian cylinder. The bull of the mother is obviously represented by the pair of horns upon the figure of the male. A tree with seven branches is portrayed with [p.453] the pair of male and female figures seated underneath, and the serpent erect at the back of the female, as if posed and holding forth in the character of the legendary tempter. The reptile corresponds to the flat-headed Apap of the Egyptian drawings, which signifies evil because it is the serpent of darkness, drought, dearth, and negation. One cannot resist the impression that this representation may be responsible for the legend of the serpent, the temptation and the fall that is found in the Hebrew Book of Genesis. The Babylonians were such perverters of the Kamite mythology in relation to woman and the serpent. But instead of a human pair, the male and female seated under the tree are two divinities. The figure next the serpent is a form of the Great Mother. Thence we infer that the male is a form of the son, and that the pair are the well-known duad of mother and son, as in Ishtar and Dumuzi or Zikum and Tammuz, the genetrix with the son who became his own father, as did Sebek-Horus, the son who was the husband of his mother. Also, on the third tablet of the creation series there is a Babylonian prototype for the Hebrew legend of the fall that followed on the eating of forbidden fruit. In this it is said that 'the command was established in the garden of the god.' But, 'in sin one with the other in compact joined.' 'The asnan fruit they ate, they broke in two; its stalk they destroyed. Great is their sin. Themselves they exalted. To Merodach, their redeemer he (the god Sar) appointed their fate.' The doctrine of a fall and of a redemption there from is plainly apparent in this inscription which the Hebrew compilers apparently followed and in that way the later theological legend would get intermixed with the original mythos in a Semitic moralizing of the Kamite mythology.
Various vignettes to the Ritual show us Ani and his wife, the pair, as spirits, in the Aarru-garden eating the fruit of the tree and drinking the water of life, but with no relation to a fall from paradise through plucking the forbidden fruit. The pair of beings in the Semitic versions are supposed to have fallen from the garden of the beginning through eating the forbidden fruit of the asnan tree. And according to the rendering of the myth in Hebrew, the pair are driven forth lest they should also eat of the tree of life. 'And Iahu-Elohim said, Behold, Adam is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever: therefore Iahu-Elohim sent him forth from the garden. So he drove out Adam.' As there is no mention of the woman in this expulsion, the man must have gone alone upon his 'solitary way,' unless the woman is included in Adam-homo as in the first creation. 'So he drove out Adam, and he placed at the [p.454] east of the garden of Eden the cherubim, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.' The tree of life, we repeat, was the tree of dawn with its rootage in the garden of Amenta. In the Hebrew Genesis the tree is to be protected by the flame of a sword that turns in all directions, which conveys the idea of a swordsman dexterously making the moulinet figure of defence. Now let us turn to the great original symbolism which has been so mutilated. The tree of life, the emerald sycamore of dawn, stood with its roots below the horizon in the garden eastward. It needed protection by night from the insidious assaults of the Apap of darkness, drought, and dearth, as shown in the illustrations to the Book of the Dead. The precious water and tree of life were protected within the enclosure formed by Ptah that was raised against the incursions of Apap, the eternal devourer.
The prohibition against eating the fruit of the tree would have had no meaning for Ani and his wife. They were there to eat of it and live as spirits. For that purpose the water and fruit are being given to them by Nut or Hathor in the vignettes. The protector of the tree of life by night is Atum-Ra, the solar god, whose weapon is the flaming orb of the nocturnal sun. The sword that turned in every direction is depicted in the radiating disk which is set all round as it were with sword-blades of the solar flame.
'Salutation to Ra radiating in his disk as the light that issues out of the horizon,' is a greeting made by the worshipper. In the pictures to the Ritual the sun is imaged by a radiating disk that rises up from the tree of life, the emerald sycamore-fig or the fig-tree of the garden eastward, and this is described as being a symbolical representation of Atum-Ra. The radiating life-giving disk is a sworded flame which turns every way, seeing that it is rayed and darting fire all round. The way of the tree of life is towards the eastern horizon where the sun goes out of the garden eastward, and the sworded disk is not only in the way of the tree of life, it also rises out of the tree, and is described as turning round when it rises. The 'flame of a sword which turns every way' is no doubt an adaptation of the radiating disk which is here portrayed at the summit of the tree of life. Ra 'circulating in his disk,' who 'radiates in his disk: who fashions himself in his metal and turns round so soon as Shu upraises him on the horizon.' In one passage it is said that the flame of the solar disk emblematically designed saves the god Ra from Apap, which is the prototypal equivalent of the sworded flame that revolves to keep the way of the tree of life in the Book of Genesis. The way of the tree of life that goes out of Eden can be identified with the way that goes out of the field of Aarru in Amenta. The speaker in the Ritual had travelled that way, as one of the manes, but not as a mortal. He says, 'I know the way of the field Aarru by which Atum-Ra goes forth to the east of heaven' (or from the garden eastward). The 'way of the tree of life' in Genesis is the 'road of the disk' in the Ritual. We learn from Origen that there was a certain diagram current amongst the gnostic Ophites, which contained the seven ruling demons. Amongst the other matters [p.455] mentioned is the flaming sword that kept the tree of life at the gates of paradise. Of this he says the picture in the accursed diagram was impiously unlike the figure drawn in 'Sacred Writ'. 'The flaming sword was depicted as the diameter of a flaming circle, and as if mounting guard over the tree of knowledge and of life.' From this description of the figure we perceive that the gnostic diagram contained a copy of the Egyptian original. As first pointed out in A Book of the Beginnings, the word cherub, or kerub, is Egyptian. It signifies a primary figure, a model form. The type may vary, but the word denotes primacy whatsoever the figure. The variant kherp means the first, chief, principal, forepart or foremost. Still more to the purpose the Kamite kherefu = kherebu are a pair of lion-gods joined back to back that keep the gates of dawn, or we might say, the way of the tree of life, which is the green sycamore of dawn. The Egyptian kherefu lift up the solar orb upon their backs; they form the primary figure of support for the god that preceded the ark or chariot, which consisted of an ark that rested on the boat. The twin lions or kherefu form the natural throne or seat of the solar deity 'Atum-Iu.'
According to Josephus, Moses had seen such things as the cherubs near the throne of Iahu; and here we find the kherefu, in the form of twin lions, are the throne of Atum in the Easter equinox when it coincided with the lion sign. These things are not merely matters of philology. The kherub as a determinative type passes into the griffin. A pair of griffins still keep the gate or gateway of the avenue of trees that leads up to the great house. Also the crab and the scarab still represent the kherub both by name and type. In some of the ancient Egyptian zodiacs the scarabaeus takes the place of the crab. In others the sign is represented by a pair of scarabs or beetles; and two scarabs are also equivalent to the two cherubs. Thus when the equinox had passed into the sign of Cancer the two kherefu or kherubs as lions were succeeded in the astronomical mythos by the two scarabs that now kept the way of the tree of life at the point in precession where the vernal equinox was stationed for the time being—namely, in the sign of the Crab or the beetles.
The mother of beginnings, the primordial parent in the abyss of earth and the height of heaven, was also reproduced as the Great Mother in Amenta. In the vignettes to the Ritual Apt is portrayed in both forms of the cow, the hippopotamus and the milch-cow, among the papyrus plants of the morass at the foot of the mount of Amenta, as the bringer to rebirth for the upper paradise. The mother of life on earth was now made protector of the dead in Amenta, and she who was the kindler of the stellar sparks in [p.456] heaven by night became the rekindler of the sparks of life from the eclipse of death. Thus we can identify Eve, or Chavvah, as Kefa or Kep, the Great Mother, with Adam or Atum in the garden of Amenta. The name of Eve in Hebrew (הוח), Chavvah, signifies life or living, whence Eve is the mother of life. Life, however, is a somewhat abstract term. Still the mother of life, as Egyptian, was Khep, Kep, or Kefa = Chavvah by name. Kep signifies the ferment of life, the mystery of fertilisation, the enceinte mother; and Khep, Khev, or Kefa, as Egyptian, we hold to be the original of the Hebrew Chavvah. Kefa appears along with the great scarab in the thirteenth domain of Amenta. Moreover, the lioness Kefa, or Kheft, is a form of Sekhet the solar goddess, who was the beloved consort of Ptah and the mother of Atum-Ra.
According to the Jewish legends Adam had two wives, one named Lilith, the other Chavvah, or in the English version, Eve. Atum also had two wives. These at Annu are Neb-hetep and Iusaas, the mother of the prince of peace, in her two characters of 'lady of peace' and she who is great with Iu the coming son (or su), who was the prince of peace as conqueror of the serpent and all the evil powers in earth, in heaven, and in Amenta; otherwise in drought, in darkness, and in death. We can identify the wife of Adam with the old first genetrix of gods and men and mother of beginnings in at least three of her mythical characters. In one she was imaged as Rerit the sow. In another she is Kefa, or Kheft, the lioness. Lastly, she was portrayed as the mother of life in human form, the prototype of Eve. Now, as the mother of Atum was the lioness Sekhet, as the mother of 'the princes of Israel' was a lioness who nourished young lions for her whelps, the inference is that Eve or Chavvah represents the lioness Kefa. In rabbinical tradition Lilith is known as Adam's first wife, but only Chavvah has been brought on as Eve in the garden of the beginning. The Great Mother was single in herself; but may be dual or several in type. She remained single in the fields of heaven, the upper Aarru, where the Great Bear was her constellation, but she might be represented as Rerit the sow, or Kep the hippopotamus, or Kefa the lioness, according to phenomena. Father Atum is connected with the sow. He also has two wives. One of these, Iusaas, is a form of the goddess Hathor, and in one character Hathor was Shaat the sow. The sow was sacred in Israel because it had been a zootype of the multi-mammalian Great Mother in Egypt. According to the totemic law of taboo, the eating of the sow as ordinary diet was prohibited because it was sacred to the periodic celebration which passed into the eucharistic meal, at which it was religiously eaten once a year. For a long time the Jews remained faithful to the Great Mother in their sacramental eating of swine's flesh among the graves. The graves identify the mortuary meal, and the swine's flesh will answer for the mother, who was imaged in one form as the many-teated sow, the flesh of which was prohibited in later ages because it was sacred and had originally represented the mother, who was at one time eaten with honour in propria persona. This also tends to identify Eve, or Chavvah, with Kep or Kefa, the first mother in the [p.457] Egyptian astronomical mythology. The story of Lilith, Adam's first wife, has been omitted from the Book of Genesis. There are two wives involved, however, in the two different creations, although no name is given to the first. Man, as homo, was created 'male and female' by the Elohim. The rabbinical tradition relates that the woman was created out of the ground together with the man, and was named Lilith. She obviously represented the first Great Mother, one of whose Egyptian names was Rerit = Lilith, and whose zootype was the sow as well as the hippopotamus. The submerged gnosis respecting the priority of the matriarchate comes to the surface in the story of the contention between Lilith and Adam for marital supremacy. The two wives of Adam answer to the two consorts of Atum, who were Neb-hetep, the lady of peace, and Iusaas, she who was great with Iu-em-hetep, the bringer of peace, the Kamite Jesus, as Iu-sa, the coming son.
In the Hebrew legend it is the woman Eve who offers the fruit of the tree of knowledge. In other versions, especially the Greek, the fruit is offered to the man by a serpent in the tree. Now the serpent was another type of the Great Mother, Kep, who was earlier than the serpent-woman, Rannut; and whether portrayed in the shape of a serpent or in the human form, she was the primordial giver of fruit from the tree. The serpent, the crocodile or dragon, the hippopotamus, the sow, the cow, the lioness and woman all meet as one in Kep, the earliest mother of life. The primal mother in the Kamite representation was the bringer-forth of Sut and Horus as her first two children, who were born twins. These, as the powers of darkness and light, or drought and fertility, were a pair of combatants who fought for the supremacy until one brother slew the other. This is one of those primary legends that became universal, but not because it had a hundred different origins at different times. Sut and Horus were indefinitely earlier than the solar Atum. But in the cult of Atum-Ra at On or Annu they were fathered on him and continued as his sons. Sut and Horus offer an instructive instance of evolution in mythology. They were born sons of the first Great Mother as two of the primordial powers, the twin powers of darkness and light. But in the recast of their theology the priests of Annu brought them on as the warring sons of Atum-Ra, who fought each other 'tip and down the garden' until, as here related, one of them was slain. In various inscriptions Sut and Horus are called the sons of Atum. Otherwise stated, they became two of the associate-gods, the constituent parts and powers of Atum, as the sons of Ptah and members of the put company of the Ali.
The battle in Amenta was not only fought between the Apap of darkness and the sun-god Ra. When the two brothers Sut and Horus were repeated in the solar mythos, as the sons of Atum, the conflict was continued for possession of the garden. This was now the motive of the warfare. Previously it was for the water of the inundation or light in the moon. Now it was for the water and the tree of life in the Aarru-garden. In one version of the mythos, Sut is the murderer of the good brother as Osiris. In the other, Sut pierces and puts out the eye of Horus. This is represented as the contest between Cain and Abel, the two sons of Adam, in the Book of Genesis. Sut [p.458] and Horus represented two contending nature-powers. They fought each other as the two rehus or lions in the light and dark halves of the moon, with Taht as the adjudicator of the landmarks. They also fought as two dragons, or as the crocodile of water and the dragon of drought, both of which were rightly represented in the astronomical mythology. 'Hydra' remains for all time as the 'hellish Apap' who drank up the water. And 'Draconis' is a figure of the good dragon or Horus-crocodile. Lastly, the two opponent powers were portrayed as twin-brothers, fighting for the birthright, or seeking to overcome each other. Thus they contended for possession of the garden in Amenta, where they fought upon the mount of glory or were constellated as the Gemini contending in the zodiac. The conflict of the brothers was continued in the garden of Eden, and Cain fulfils the character of the murderer Sut, the slayer of his brother. There is an attempt even to discriminate between the two domains of Sut and Horus, when it is said that 'Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.'
The Aarru-garden, or paradise, planted in Amenta by Ptah for Atum his son, was founded on food and liquid, that is on the water, and the tree, or plant, as food of life. These, in the Hebrew version, are called 'the trees in the midst of the garden,' and 'the river that went out of Eden to water the garden.' They represent the mythical tree and the water of life, which had their beginning in actual food and drink, and were afterwards repeated, on earth, in heaven, and in the making of Amenta. The well or water-spring that was the source of life to primitive man was here continued as a basis for the re-beginning of life in the earth of eternity. In the Ritual the manes, or Osiris N, says, 'I am he whose stream is secret.' This was the hidden source of water in the earth itself that was repeated as divine source in Amenta. In some of the vignettes to the Ritual Osiris, god of Amenta, is portrayed upon his throne within a shrine that rests upon the water welling from the underworld. One of his titles was the water of renewal. So supreme an element of life was water, by the aid of which the Aarru-paradise was made. 'I know the names of the streams within the garden' exclaims the manes; 'I utter my praise to the gods who are in the garden.' The water issues now from underneath the throne of Osiris. But in the earlier cult the source of life as water was the secret of the great god Ptah. In a hymn on the walls of the temple at El-Khargeh, Ptah is saluted as the lord of all, from the very beginning. It is said, 'Thou hast made the double earth.' 'Thou hast placed thy throne in the life of the double earth.' It is also said of this one god, 'Thy secret is in the depths (or the deep) of the secret waters and unknown.' This secret rests in the beginning with water. The source of water was the well within the earth, the wellspring of life in the Neter-Kar, the secret water emanating from the Nun, as if it broke up through the solid earth. It was the secret guarded by the sphinx, by the seven spirits of the earth, the seven Anunnaki seated on their golden thrones. It was the water of the Tuat in the Ritual called 'the deep which no one can fathom.' This is the beginning of life with water and vegetation now repeated at the point of a new departure in the making of Amenta by [p.459] Ptah the planter of the Aarru-garden. The four waters into which heaven was divided are portrayed in the Sekhet-hetep or fields of peace. Cool water, eatable plants, and refreshing breezes constituted the Egyptian heaven as it had been from the first time in inner Africa. And according to the pictures, paradise in Amenta is mapped out in four divisions of land amidst the cooling waters of the Aarru meadows or Elysian fields, the Semitic garden of Eden. The sign of heaven or the sky is to be seen above a vertical table which is divided into four parts. The garden is intersected by the four waters of the Book of Genesis. The great water is the celestial Nile, called the father of the gods, the giver of plenty. The other three are designated the power of the water, innumerable waters, and great place of the water.
But the paradise depicted in the vignettes to the Ritual is subterrestrial, not celestial or circumpolar; it is the earthly paradise. This is the garden of the lower Aarru, not the garden on the summit of the stellar mount of glory. In that, the one water was divided into the two lakes with the river running down from the north to the south. The terrestrial paradise in Amenta is based upon the four quarters of the sky that was suspended by Ptah, and the four quarters are equivalent to the four waters or rivers in the vignettes to the Ritual. The four rivers of Eden belong to this later heaven that was divided into four parts and are a co-type with the four quarters. Hence they are portrayed as issuing from the four sides of the mythical mount in pictures of the garden. In a Buddhist legend, cited by Hardy, a tree takes the place of the mount and four great rivers flow unceasingly from the four boughs of this tree of immensity. The river names, in the biblical version, belong to a later geography, which has to be allowed for; they are a mixture of Egyptian and Assyrian. 'A river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted and became four heads.' The first is Pishon, the second is Gihon, the third is Hiddekel, the fourth is Euphrates. Of the water or fountainhead Pishon it is said, 'That is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold, and the gold of that land is good; there (also) is bdellium and the onyx stone.' This land of the good gold corresponds to the Egyptian Puanta or Ta-Neter the divine land which is called 'the golden' in the Ritual. But this land of gold was the land of the solar glory. Adorations are offered to Atum as he rises out of 'the golden' or comes up from Puanta to illumine the earth.
Atum was the god in spirit, the one god in spirit and in truth; and Atum or Adam in the garden was the man in spirit striving as manes for assimilation to the god. The man of earth as the first Adam passes into the Amenta to become the second Adam in the garden as the heir of life eternal. Atum in Amenta represents generic man and individual manes. He is the god-man, both human and divine, the man in matter and the man in spirit. The French Egyptologist, M. Lefébure, who has lately identified Adam with the Egyptian Atum, as the present writer had done seven years earlier in A Book of the Beginnings, refers to a scene on the coffin of Penpii in the Louvre, which is similar to the history of Adam in the subterres- [p.460] trial paradise, where a naked and ithyphallic personage called 'the lord of food' (Neb-tefa) is standing before a serpent with two legs and two arms, and the reptile is offering him a red fruit, or at least a little round object painted red. The same scene is again found on the tomb of Rameses VI. And on a statue relatively recent in the museum at Turin it is to Atum = Adam that the serpent, as tempter, is offering the round object, or fruit of the tree. The same writer says, 'The tree of life and knowledge was well known in Egypt.' And 'whether the scene of Neb-tefa can be identified with the history of Adam or not, we can see that the greater number of the peculiar features of this history existed in Egypt—the tree of life and knowledge, the serpent in paradise, Eve thinking of appropriating divinity to herself; and in short Adam himself; are all there.' The entrance to the hidden earth was in the western region, founded on the pathway of the sun. The garden of Aarru was the land of promise, peace, and plenty on the eastward side of the Amenta. The manes carries the title-deeds of his allotment with him. In later copies of the Book of the Dead some lines were added to chapter 109: 'There are writings in thy possession for the grant of fields, of cornland in which there springeth corn from the effluxes or sap of Osiris.' 'Enter boldly at the mysterious portals, and be purified by those who are there.' The promise is that when the purified deceased comes forth to the Sekhet-Aarru wheat and barley shall be given to him there, and he will sow and reap it with the glorifled. In another chapter, when the speaker has arrived, he exclaims, 'I am the great owner in the garden of Aarru. O this garden of Aarru, the walls of which are steel (or ba-metal).' 'I know the inner gate of the garden of Aarru, out of which cometh Ra, in the east of the sky.' I know those two sycamores of emerald, between which he cometh forth as he advanceth to the eastern gates of the sky, through which he proceedeth.' This is the garden to the eastward of Amenta, or of Eden in Genesis. The speaker also describes it as the garden which is a field of divine harvest. 'I know this garden of Ra (Atum): the height of its wheat is seven cubits, the ears are two cubits, the stalks five cubits, the barley is seven cubits. It is the glorified ones, each of whom is nine cubits in height, who reap there in presence of the powers of the east.' Whether imaged as the garden or the harvest-field, this was the earthly paradise, the land of promise and of plenty; and Atum in the harvest-field or Aarru-garden represented not the man of earth, but the manes of Amenta, the man who died and was buried and who rose again in spirit to cultivate his plot of ground for edible plants, or the wheat that grew seven cubits high in this the earth of eternity. The manes makes his way towards those who have become the lords of eternity living for ever, the spirits made perfect, or the gods and the glorified. And it is probable that when he says, 'Let me go up to the Sekhet-Aarru and arrive in Sekhethetep,' there is a reference to the ascent from the lower to the upper paradise by way of the mount, the tree, or ladder of Ra which reaches to the sky—that is, from the garden of the vine in Amenta to the field of rest in heaven. Hence the need of the ship. [p.461] The ship of Nu is thus addressed by the manes in chapter 106: 'O thou ship of the garden of Aarru, let me be conveyed to that bread of thy canal like my father, the great one, who advanceth in the divine ship, because I know thee,' as was shown from the examination of the initiate in chapter 99.
The garden was divided into fourteen portions called domains, a number which indicates a foundation in one half of the lunar circle. The first of these is entered by the manes in the character of Atum = Adam. He enters with the crown of Atum on his head. He says, 'Doff your headdress in my presence. I am the great one. I am the lord among the gods.' 'Horus has crowned me with "the diadem of Atum."' The garden of Aarru itself is the second of the fourteen domains in Amenta. The manes in the character of Atum = Adam enters the second domain as the owner of it saying, 'I am the great proprietor in the garden of Aarru.' This he goes on to describe. It is on the horizon of the east = the garden eastward. The god who is in the garden with the manes is Har-Makhu, that is Atum. And as Atum is the Kamite original of the Hebrew Adam so the garden of Atum is the Gan-Eden of Adam. The third is the domain of 'the glorious ones,' the seven great companion-spirits who assisted Ptah as his craftsmen in the making of Amenta. In this, the third domain, the manes assumes the divinity of Atum himself saying, 'I am the lord of the red crown which is on the head of the shining one, he who gives life to mankind with the breath of his mouth.' It was Atum who gave life to mankind or the manes with the breath of his mouth. This is repeated when Iahu-Elohim breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. In the fourth domain there is a great and lofty mountain of the netherworld, the mountain of Amenta, three hundred measures in length and ten in width, the highest point of which ends with the sky. There is a serpent coiling on it seventy cubits in its windings. 'He with sharp knives is his name,' or, in a word, it is the 'piercing' serpent. 'He lives by slaughtering the glorious ones and the damned in the netherworld.' This is the Apap-reptile who may be seen in a vignette to the Ritual facing Sebek on the mount. The manes addresses the monster in the fourth domain, saying, 'I see the way towards thee. I gather myself together. I am the man who put a veil upon thy head, without being injured. I am the great magician. Thine eyes have been given to me, and through them I am glorified. Who is he that goeth on his belly? Thy strength is on thy mountain; behold, I march toward it (the mountain), and thy strength is in my hand. I am he who takes possession of thy strength. I go round the sky; thou art in thy valley, as was ordered to thee before.' He has deprived the serpent of his magical power and cast him down in the dust, or into the valley.
No sooner was Amenta made and the tree of life, which represented vegetation, planted in the water of life than the Apap-reptile, the serpent of darkness or the dragon of drought, broke into the enclosure. As the representative of drought, its fangs were fastened on the tree of food, of dew, of life. As the representative of darkness it warred against the light of Atum, Horus, Ra, and Taht. And, as the [p.462] Ritual has it, 'There was conflict now in the entire universe,' in heaven, upon earth, and in Amenta, inclusive of the garden. In the great battle between Ra and Apap, described in chapter 39 of the Ritual, Atum as Horus the son fights for the father Ra. When the victory is won Atum says, 'Lift up your countenance, ye soldiers of Ra!' The same part is taken by Atum in the garden of Aarru when he delivers Ra from Apap in the third domain. There is a scene in the vignette to chapter 17, in which Atum Ra appears as god the father and Atum-Horus as god the son. The youthful solar god is imaged in the form of a cat, the seer in the dark, and is grappling with the serpent and cutting off or bruising its head. Ra the father is intently gazing at his son whilst the battle is raging. The group of gods looking on are watching the struggle between the great cat and the serpent Apap. The god in conflict with the serpent is Iu the son of Atum, otherwise Atum in the person of the son. And here we have delved down to a taproot of the Jesus legend. Iu-em-hetep in the cult of Atum Ra is the coming son, the ever-coming su or son of the eternal and Iu the su = Iusu, or Iusa the son of Iusaas, is the original of Iusu or Jesus. In one phase the battle was fought nightly between Iu the son of Atum, or, in the Osirian version, between Horus the son of Asar and the loathly reptile. In another phase of the mythos the great battle was fought annually between the saviour-son and the serpent in the garden of Aarru hard by the tree of life, as described and portrayed in the Ritual. This war between the serpent and the son who came to save went on for ever, every night, every year, and every other period of time; hence the bruiser of the serpent's head was the saviour who for ever came as the lord of light, the giver of life, protector of the tree of life at its rootage in Amenta.
There is another personification of the woman who wars against the serpent as Sekhet, otherwise Pasht. This goddess is sometimes depicted standing at the prow of the boat in the act of spearing the serpent as he raises his head and tries to hypnotise the passengers with his evil eyes. It is Sekhet who is mistress of the water in which the Apap lurks by night, because she was a lunar goddess, the seer by night, who was also imaged as the cat that killed the serpent or the rat abominated by the sun. Thus there are two versions, lunar and solar. In one the woman or goddess is the slayer of the serpent, in the other it is the son of the woman that bruises the reptile's head. The Romish Church has perpetuated the former; the latter survives in the Protestant world, and, as here shown, both are Egyptian. Moreover, Sekhet the cat-headed consort of Ptah was the mother of Atum-Ra. When we have identified the son in this disguise of a great cat killing a serpent as defender of his father, we may perhaps experience less surprise on learning that the cat was also continued in the Christian Church as a [p.463] living type of the 'historical Christ.' At Aix, in Provence, the great cat was a representative of the newly-born Jesus. On the solemn festival of Corpus Christi the finest born cat to be found in the canton was exhibited in this character. It was wrapt up like a child in swaddling-clothes and made a show of in a gorgeous shrine. Every knee was bowed in adoration to this effigy, who was Iu in Egypt, and Iahu, cat and all, in Christendom.
In the pre-Osirian mysteries of Amenta Atum the father was reborn as his own son Iu, the bringer of peace and plenty and good luck, as manifestor for the eternal in time. The birth was periodic because the phenomena were first recurrent in external nature—in the renewal of the light, the return of the waters, the rebirth of vegetation. Hence the Messiah was known as 'the king of one year.' The son, as Horus, son of Isis, or iu the su (son) of Atum, was incorporated or incarnated in matter as a spirit from heaven to become the second Atum, Iu-em-hetep, the ever-coming son, whom we identify as the original Iu-su, the Egyptian Jesus. His mission is sufficiently set forth in the texts and pictures of the Ritual, more expressly as the opponent and the conqueror of Apap, the evil serpent. The fight is several times alluded to in which Horus, or the deceased who impersonates him, defends the enclosure against the Apap-serpent. 'He makes his way. He repulses the attack of Apap. He crosses the enclosure and repulses Apap.' 'He puts an end to the rage of Apap and protecteth Ra against him daily.' Again, he says, 'I have repulsed Apap, and healed the wounds he made.' Ra is identical with Atum, but the character is duplicative. In one Atum-Ra is the father-god, in the other Atum-Horus, or Iu, is the son; and as the son he is the protector and deliverer of his father when he staggers forth upon the horizon from his conflict with the serpent, bleeding with many wounds.
There is hardly any more precious document on the face of the earth at the present moment than the Papyrus of Ani. In this the happy garden is portrayed with the pair of souls, once human, passing through the various scenes which are depicted in the Ritual. The soul, or manes, makes the journey through Amenta in the two halves of sex; 'male and female created he them.' Thus Ani is accompanied in the pictures by his wife Tutu, who had died eight years before him, and who comes to meet him at the entrance to Amenta, to protect him on the way she travelled first, and to scare away all evil spirits with the shaking of her sistrum as she guides him to the heaven of the glorified electi. As gods, the divine pair in the garden of this late beginning, called Gan-Eden, were Atum and Iusaas. As human, they may be any pair of manes, or translated mortals like Ani and his wife, to whom an allotment in the Sekhet Aarru was given for them to cultivate. In the Hebrew version the divine pair have been humanized in Adam and Eve, as beings on this earth, and thus the mystery of Amenta loses all the meaning, which has to be restored by reading the mythos once more in the original.
The male and female pair are portrayed together in the vignettes to chapters 15, I5a, 2; I5a, 3; I5a, 4; 15b, 1; 15b, 2, all of which [p.464] scenes belong to the earth of eternity. The primal pair of human beings, who are Adam and Eve in the Semitic version of the legend, had been represented in the papyri as Ani and his wife Tutu, the man and woman that once were mortal on the earth, but have passed into the state of manes, who are on their way to or in the terrestrial paradise. They enter the Aarru-garden. They drink the water of life at its secret source in the Tuat. They eat the fruit of the tree of life, which is offered to Ani, the man, by the divine woman in the tree, who may be Nut or Hathor. If it be Hathor who offers the fruit of the tree, there is a possible link between this scene and the story of Adam's temptation by the woman in the Book of Genesis. Hathor's was the tree of earth, Nut's was the tree of heaven. The pair are pictured in the earthly paradise, and therefore in the place of Hathor's tree, the sycamore-fig tree. Now Iusaas, the wife of Atum = Adam and mother of Iu at Annu, was a form of Hathor. So that Hathor-Iusaas offering the fruit of the sycamore-fig to Atum in the Sekhet-Aarru is equivalent to Eve, who offers the fruit of the tree of knowledge to Adam in the garden of Eden, which, as shown by the apron of fig-leaves, was a fig tree.
When Ani and his spirit-consort, who had been his wife on earth, appear together in the happy garden, they drink the water of life and eat the fruit of the tree, as spirits among spirits. They nestle in the green bower of Hathor the goddess of love, and the pleasures of the earthly paradise are denoted by their playing games of draughts together in the garden. In one scene the pair are portrayed hard by the tree of life, both of them drinking the water of life that flows from beneath the tree. In the next vignette the man is kneeling alone before the tree, which is a sycamore-fig tree. A woman in the tree is offering some of its fruit to Anii. This is the goddess Nut, the lady of heaven, who presents the fruit of the tree to the man in the garden of the earthly paradise, and who has been converted into the woman that tempted Adam to eat of the tree as the cause of the fallacious fall. The biblical rendering of this representation is a blasphemy against the Ritual, against womankind, against nature, and against knowledge. The goddess Nut, who offers the fruit of the tree of knowledge to the kneeling man, is in shape a woman, and the meaning could be only too easily misread, as it has been in the legend of the first woman who tempted the first man to eat of the forbidden fruit and to cause the loss of paradise.
According to the Ritual the manes who receive food in the garden of Aarru or who eat of the fruit of the sycamore-fig tree of Hathor are empowered to make what transformation they please, and go out of it as spirits. They literally become spirits among spirits as a result of eating the fruit of the tree. The manes says, 'Let me eat under the sycamore of Hathor! Let me see the forms of my father and mother,' as he would when the spirit sight was opened for him to perceive with the beatific vision. This is sufficient as a text for the serpent when it says, 'Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then [p.465] your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.' Instead of being damned eternally through eating the fruit of the tree, the manes in Amenta are divinized piecemeal as the result of eating it. In the rubrical directions at the end of chapter 99 we read, 'This chapter being known, the deceased appears in the field (or cultivated enclosure) of Aarru. He receives food there, the produce of its fields. His members become like to those of the gods. He goes forth pure spirit.' Instead of referring to the fall of man from the terrestrial paradise, this relates to the ascent of souls from a lower heaven won by hard labour in Amenta to an upper heaven attainable at last by spirits perfected. When the manes have literally done their digging in cultivating the fields of Aarru, they ascend the mount of rebirth in heaven to enter the ark or bark of souls, and sail or row themselves to the Hesperian isles.
It follows that the hiding of the guilty pair in the garden is derived from the manes being overshadowed and concealed by the foliage of the tree of Hathor under which they were refreshed. If these do not hide themselves, they make their refuge and secret resting place beneath the tree. 'I embrace and make my asylum of the sycamore,' says the speaker in the Ritual.
In the Book of Genesis the fruit of the tree is the means of knowing good from evil, and in the Ritual both the good and evil are determined by the nature of the food presented to the cultivators of the garden, or field of divine harvest, in Amenta as it was on earth. The speaker has a choice between the good and the evil—that is, between the food offered by the Apap-serpent of evil, which is denounced as detestable, vile, excrementitious, and the fruit of the tree, upon which the gods and all good spirits feed. The speaker repudiates the typhonian diet. He only accepts that which is offered to him by a messenger who comes from the gods and not from the Apap-serpent. He subsists on the food which is the bread of Horus and Taht. 'The Osiris feeds on the fruit which is produced by the sycamore-fig tree of Hathor.' On that he is nourished in his turn. In Egyptian the wise spirits are the akeru, which are the wise spirits of the instructed dead, and in eating the fruit of the tree the eaters are to become the wise as spirits. This therefore is the tree of wisdom, or of knowledge. In this way eating of the tree is a part of the process by which the manes in the garden make their transformation into pure spirits. Certain of the baser sort of manes were represented as feeding in Amenta on the excremental foulnesses of human life. In chapter 32 the speaker exclaims, 'Back, crocodile of the east, who livest upon those that devour their own excrement!' There is a Mangaian representation of some poor wretches in Savaiki who are doomed to endure the indignity of being befouled by the faeces that fall from the more fortunate spirits who are happy in their world of plenty overhead. The doctrine is native to the Book of the Dead. The Egyptians held that those who were foul and filthy in this life would be fed on excremental matter in the next. The dirty would be dirty still. The catamite and sodomite would devour the faeces that are probably denoted figuratively by the words hesu and ushem, which [p.466] the deceased abominates when he asserts that he does not eat the dirt or drink the lye.
It is possible that hints for the story of eating that which was prohibited, and the becoming aware of their nakedness by the guilty pair, and their hiding under the trees, were taken from chapters 53 A and B and 124 of the Ritual. The speaker who has been constituted a soul by Osiris says, 'That which is forbidden I do not eat. I do not walk upon it with my sandals.' Here the forbidden thing is odious because it is evil, filthy, excremental. For those who abstain from such repulsive food, the object of unclean appetites, there are pure foods and proper nourishment provided. To these the manes, man and wife, the pair seen in the pictures, uplift their hands. The speaker for both says they eat under the trees and beautiful branches of the tree upon which the fruit grows within reach. The notion of a tree that grew forbidden fruit is probably of totemic origin, with a mystical application to sexual uncleanness. The people whose totem was a particular tree would be forbidden to eat of its fruit, or if it were eaten it must be sacramentally, because it was sacred to them. 'Do not eat forbidden food,' is a command sternly spoken to the young men in the initiation ceremonies of the Arunta tribes.
In one episode the guilty pair, having eaten of the tree that was to make them wise, perceive themselves to be naked in the garden, and are then clothed with skins by Iahu-Elohim. This also may be explicated by the gnosis. The manes in the Ritual consist of the clothed and the naked. Those who pass the judgment hall become the clothed. The beatified spirits are invested with the robe of the righteous, the stole of Ra, in the garden. There was a special investiture by the god in the garden of Aarru. This clothing in the garden is likewise a part of the process by which the manes pass into the state of spirits. The investiture in the garden of Hetep denotes a spirit made perfect in the likeness of the Lord. This is followed at a distance in the Hebrew Genesis. When the man and woman are invested in their coats of skin they also become spirits, is not as the spirits of the just made perfect. And Iahu-Elohim said, 'Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good from evil.' The deceased pleads that he may attain the 'investiture of the garden.' When clothed they issue in what is termed the 'coming forth from the swathings in the garden of Aarru, and the coming forth in exultation.' 'I hasten to the land, and I fasten my stole upon me, that I may come forth and take possession of the wealth assigned to me.' 'I range within the garden of Hetep; I fasten my stole upon me.' 'I am the girdled one, coming forth in triumph.' Now in the judgment scenes there is a skin called the nem-skin suspended over a sign that represents the ba-soul. The word nem denotes another, a second, also to repeat. Thus the nem-skin is a second skin, covering, or investiture. That which it hangs on in the vignette signifies a soul. So that the nem-skin means another garment for the soul. The lord of transformations is said to have numerous skins, as the rehabiliments of souls. A new skin was equivalent to a new lease of existence. It is this clothing [p.467] of the manes in a coat of skin that is repeated in the Book of Genesis.
Whatsoever astronomical data there may have been for the typical rendering of a fall in heaven, or from the garden of Eden, it is the Semites, not the Egyptians, who are responsible for introducing a fall into the moral domain and calling it the veritable fall of man in the beginning.
The Babylonian handling of the Egyptian wisdom was begun by falsifying it on behalf of an indefinitely later system of theology, which was continued on the Hebrew line of descent in the Book of Genesis. Besides which, if the fall of Adam from paradise is identifiable with the falling away of Atum in the astronomical mythology, it becomes at once apparent that the restoration from the effects of such a fall is equally astronomical and a matter of scientific verification. Atum, as father, sank down to Amenta every night, and every morning there was a restoration of the light made by the second Atum in his character of the youthful solar god. In the same way Atum, the closer of the year, was the autumn sun that went down in the winter solstice and rose again in the equinox as opener and restorer in the person of Nefer-Tum, the coming son, who was Iu-su = Jesus as Egyptian. So was it through all the cycles of time, including finally the cycle of the great year of the world. On the scale of precession he who made the lapse at first as Atum or Adam would naturally make the restoration as Iu at the end of 26,000 years for those who rightly kept the reckoning and did not mistake this great ending in time for an actual ending of the world. It was the subject of astronomical prophecy that Atum in person of the son (that is, the su or sa) would come again to restore that which was lost of old, when time had once more travelled to the place of the beginning in the Lion sign, the station of the sphinx in heaven, who kept the secret for the mystery teachers of the eternal, or in whichever sign the cycle was to be fulfilled, when paradise would be regained, and all would be once more as at the first; when, as Virgil sang of the great cyclical renewal, 'There shall be another ark, steered by another pilot, hearing the chosen heroes' (the twelve kings or gods that voyaged in the solar bark), 'and there shall be other wars, and great Achilles shall be sent once more to Troy.' In other words, the wandering Iu or Horus, Prince of Eternity, would travel once more round the cycle of precession as divine manifestor and fulfiller in the great year of the world. The tree of life retained its place and prominence in the new heavens of Hebrew prophecy as in the old heaven of the astronomical mythology. 'For unto you is paradise opened; the tree of life is planted, the time to come is prepared, plenteousness is made ready, a city is builded, and rest is allowed. Sorrows are passed, and in the end is shown the treasure of immortality.' All of which had been realized for the Egyptians in the garden of Hetep, the Aarru-paradise upon the stellar mount of glory.
Apart from the astronomical allegory, the only fall of man was that of the Adam whom the seven Elohim tried to make out of the red earth, but failed from lack of the immortal spark of spirit, which was ascribed to the father in heaven when the human father had been [p.468] individualized on earth. This was the man of flesh who was born, not begotten; the man who descended from the mother only—that is, totemic man, who was shaped by the apprentice hands of the seven powers, together with their mother, and who preceded the supreme being. The first-formed Adam was of the earth earthy, of the flesh fleshly, the man of matter = the mother. This was the origin of an opposition between the flesh and spirit, the man of earth and the man from heaven, which led to a doctrine of natural depravity and pollution of the flesh when compared with the purity of spirit. The doctrine of natural depravity did not originate in the moral domain, it originated in matter considered to be at enmity with the spirit. The cause of this depravity in the flesh was ascribed to the woman after the soul or spirit had been assigned to the fatherhood. The mother was the maker of flesh from her own blood or the red earth, and in one particular phase the blood of the woman was held to be vile and filthy. Job asks, 'How can man be clean that is born of a woman?' But this 'depravity' was a result of confounding the blood as virgin source of life with the menstrualia. There is a hint of the doctrine in the Ritual. In the chapter 'whereby one cometh forth to day from Amenta,' the manes says, 'Shine thou on me, O gracious power; as I draw nigh to the divine words which my ears shall hear in the Tuat, let no pollution of my mother be upon me.' The speaker is making his transformations into the glorious body of a manes who will be perfected in becoming pure spirit, which is the antithesis of the earthly body that was made flesh in the blood of the mother. 'Let no pollution of my mother be upon me' is equivalent to saying, 'Deliver me from all fleshliness of the old earth life.' Here, however, the utterer of this prayer is one of the manes who has risen in the shape of the old body, but changed in texture, and who is desirous of being purified and perfected in the likeness of the holy spirit, which is personalized in Amenta as Horus, the anointed son of god the father. A hundred times over one sees how these utterances pertaining to Amenta have been perverted through being assigned to human beings in the life on earth.
The additional features added by the Semites to the original version of the mythos consist in the introduction of a primal pair of mortals eating the forbidden fruit; the temptation and seduction of the woman by the deceiving serpent; the turning of the woman into the tempter of the man; the criminality of the first parents, who lost the world and damned the race before a child was born; the creation of an original sin which was destined to overshadow the human family with an antenatal cloud of guilt and of hereditary depravity, and thus prepare the way and the need for the Christian scheme of redemption to regain a paradisiacal condition which was never lost and never had existed. These were the crowning achievements of those who falsified the teachings of the Egyptians. Nothing could better illustrate the difference between the two versions than the opposite treatment of work. In the biblical travesty the curse is to come to the man in the shape of work and to the woman with the labour pangs of maternity. Whereas in the Ritual work is the blessing and the workers in Aarru are the blessed. They cultivate their own allotted portions in the field of divine harvest, and may be said to [p.469] make their way and win their other world by work. For the Egyptian could find his heaven in the satisfaction of accomplished work. Again, if we take Ani and his wife, Tutu, as representatives of the pair, once human, and now manes, in the garden, we shall find that so far from the 'woman' having been the cause of a fall in the Egyptian genesis, so far from her having been an agent of the evil serpent, or of Satan, as the Christian fathers ignorantly alleged and brutally maintained, she, the only one who ever had been a woman in this or in other forms of the pair, is portrayed as defender of the man all through the trials and temptations that beset him in his passage through the nether world. She is his guide and protector. She propitiates the powers with offerings on his behalf. She makes his music and his magic all the way.
The pair in Eden or the earthly paradise fulfil two characters in the Kamite myth and eschatology. They are either two of the gods, as Atum and Kefa (Kep), or two of the glorified, as Ani and Tutu. But in neither are the male and female in the garden a pair of human beings; both as the gods and the glorified they are supra-mundane and doubly nonhuman. Finally, if the 'fall' had ever been a veritable fact, the subsequent history of man might be summed up as one long, vast, unceasing, vain endeavour to remedy the disaster and the failure that befell the divine government of the universe in such a helpless way as would destroy all future trust. The vessel would have been lost in the act of being launched, and not a hand reached forth to save the victims until some nineteen centuries ago, when God himself is said to have come down in person for a long-belated rescue of shipwrecked humanity. But the Semitic story of the fall is false, and the scheme of redemption founded on it is consequently fraudulent. As it comes to us, the Book of Genesis is based on misappropriated legends. It is responsible for an utterly erroneous account of creation and the origin of evil, and its damnation of the race through Adam's fall is the sole ground on which the Christian world can now find foothold for its coming Saviour. And, however long or however short a time the imposition lasts,
'The same old lie, for ever told anew,
Will never serve to make the falsehood true.'
This page last updated: 28/01/2014