The Lost Light 5
Alvin Boyd Kuhn
SUNS OF INTELLECT
As the human eye recoils before the overpowering splendor of the solar disk in the sky, so the human mind strives in vain to realize the marvel of sublime grandeur in the ancient religious myth of the sun-gods. This was no curious faith of a diminutive Parsee sect; it was the universal form and dress of religion. The sun-myth was the heart’s core of all religion and philosophy everywhere before the Dark Ages obscured the vision of truth. And world religion will not fulfill its original function of dispelling from the soul of mankind the dark earth-born vapors that envelop it until the mind once again is irradiated with the light of that transcendent knowledge. Christianity forsook its high station on the mount illuminated by solar radiance when it submerged the Christly sun-glory under the limitations of a fleshly personage and dismissed solar religion as “pagan.” In converting the typical man into a man of history, it forswore its early privilege of basking in the rays of the great solar doctrine. Light, fire, the sun, spiritual glory – all went out in eclipse under the clouds of mental fog that arose when the direct radiance of the solar myth had been blanketed. Christianity passed forthwith out of the light into the dreadful shadows of the Dark Ages. And that dismal period will not end until the bright glow of the solar wisdom is released once more to enlighten benighted modernity. Ajax crying for the light is still the appropriate heraldic figure on the modern shield, and until the myth of the sun-gods is restored to its place in knowledge, there will be no response to the cry but the echo.
Near the end of November, 1932, the public press reported the announcement of Dr. George W. Crile, noted scientist of the Cleveland laboratories, that he had discovered in the heart of every cell of protoplasm tiny centers or foci of energy which he called “hot points” or “radiogens,” with estimated temperatures of from 3,000 to 6,000 degrees of heat. Protoplasm emitted radiations of various wave lengths, “some as powerful as those emitted by the sun.” “The sun ‘shines’ in the protoplasm of animals and plants, and therefore animals and plants can confer on atoms chemical affinities such as are conferred by the sun.”
“Who would think that there are ‘hot points’ in man and animals on the order of the temperature of the surface of the sun? . . . If one could look into protoplasm with an eye capable of infinite magnification, one might expect to see the radiogens spaced like stars as suns in infinite miniature . . . Without exaggeration the concept may be taken to mean . . . that within the very flesh of man burns the fierce fire of the sun, and that within man’s body glow infinitely small counterparts of the stars.”1
This report, which fell more or less unheeded upon millions of minds racked with economic fear, at last marks the discovery of the direct point of contact between “science and religion,” of which the world has so long stood in such desperate need. It provides that common ground of a mutual datum on which both can meet with perfect accord at last. For this discovery of modern science posits, after sixteen or more centuries of obscuration, the fundamental authenticity of the solar myth, out of which all religions took their rise. Science has now restored to religion its basic principle, of which it had been bereft by nearly two millennia of ignorance. Religion now returns to its place in the sun, because the sun returns to its place in religion. Sunlight builds all things that are the subjects of scientific scrutiny; sunlight is also the Christly excellence in man’s life and body. Science and religion meet at last in the happy glow of sunlight. The Christ in man is a god of solar energy.
One is permitted to wonder what would be the amazement of Dr. Crile and his fellow-moderns if it was shown to them that in an old book on the Rosicrucians published about 1872 the following brief sentence has stood in the silence of scientific scorn for nearly seventy years:
“Every man has a little spark of the sun in his own bosom . . . A spark of the original light is supposed to remain deep down in the interior of every atom.”2
The secret purpose of the “Fire Philosophers,” whom modern savants still like to class with imbeciles and children, was to release that spark of solar flame from its trammels of the flesh and unite it once again with the radix or point of emanation in “heaven.” This was the mysterious aim of the alchemical science, whose “gold” was that Lux or Light of the Ineffable Source, into which all baser forms of conscious manifestation had to be transmuted. The sun was typed as gold and the moon as silver, a poetization to which nature has been a party in the coloring of the two orbs. For the gold was the radiant energy of the sun embosomed in man’s interior being. It was his spiritual fire, that true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world; while the silvery moon typed the feminine or bodily nature which was to be raised by the alchemy of spiritual vibration into the golden glow.
A spark of the sun in the inner heart of every human! That is the center of light about which all religion and philosophy can again rally their disconcerted forces of interpretation. That is the point of gravity toward which all meanings can be seen to tend with perfect constancy. This is the radiant gleam of mental light, by which mankind may again see to read aright the ancient books of wisdom. And this is the torch that will in our day illumine the darkened portals of the temple of religion, so that the menacing hordes of materialistic devastators will see its beauty in time to stay their impious hands. It is only because a benighted ecclesiasticism permitted religion to be divorced from its basic principle which roots it in science, that the partisans of a modern “scientific” interpretation of life have been able to see no beauty or utility to it. To them religion has seemed a delusion of fancy, a hallucination thrown over feebler minds. To them it is not basically or structurally related to nature. On the whole their repugnance to the system was legitimate, for religion had been distorted into the unnatural thing it has come to be. But with the restoration of religion and philosophy to their ancient bases in true science, and the god seen as the solar fire within man’s bosom, resentment against it can no longer find apology. For science now finds itself on bended knee before this tiny glint of solar light at the heart of every atom; and when religion finds that it, too, worships the counterpart of the same fire in man’s heart, the two estranged brothers, science and religion, will find themselves kneeling side by side at the same altar at last.
Not only is there a spark of solar fire in every particle of matter, but every higher organism partakes of the empyreal largesse in proportion to its grade of being. Thus every man harbors a solar god or fiery spirit within him! Above man, the planets are cosmic beings with resplendent souls of unimaginable glory. The suns are the glowing hearts of the bodies of gods!
The sun was the center of religious ideology because it was the center of all life. Religion was once organically constructed about a nucleus of profound teaching directly related to the phenomena of life. It was no detached scheme of emotionalism. It was an alignment of devotion and conduct in relation to knowledge of the elements and facts of life itself. The central fact was the presence of a solar fragment, a spark of deity, in the inner soul of every being, unintelligent below man, intelligent for the first time in Atum, the Man. The immortal soul was a beam from the eternal Sun, a spark of divine fire, an irradiation of the essence of God’s own being. This spark of cosmic intelligence was, as shown, the seventh emanation crowning the elementary six, and summing their powers all in itself. Man, in whom this spark was for the first time made local in nature, was the crown and summation of all precedent expression. All lower kingdoms are in him, the three sub-mineral, the mineral, vegetable, animal and human thus far evolved. They are comprehended in him in the constituency of his four lower vehicles, which make him the composite being he is. His physical form is from the earth, his emotion body from the moon, his mind from the race evolved on Venus, and his spiritual soul from the sun. The sun-spark was then the guiding intelligence, the king, within him. By his body and his senses he was linked with the earth, with nature; by his mind and soul he was tied to the stars of heaven. Head in heaven, body on the earth, said Egypt. “I am a child of earth and the starry skies, but my race is of heaven alone,” seconded the Orphic philosophy. By virtue of the two lower creatures within him he is a mortal being, doomed to temporal extinction; by the higher two he is constituted an immortal entity, facing a future of endless glorification. The lower rose from the earth by the force of the expansion of powers elemental in the atom of matter, and was a product of “natural” evolution. The higher was “the Lord from heaven,” as Paul names it. And the union of the two in one organism gave to humanity a local habitation and a name, a form, a character and a cosmic stage for its activities.
But the ancients knew that the history of each fragment of solar light impounded in a corral of flesh on earth was a reflected miniature of that of the great solar orb itself. And the growth and progress of the tiny spark that had got individualized in each man was studied in the light of its parental analogue in the heavens. Hence the basis of religion was the course of the sun through the solar year, which course again reflected the round of the sun through the 25,868 years of the Great Year of precession, and both were marked by the orb’s passage through the twelve stages of zodiacal meaning. He who will interpret the zodiac with full intelligibility will depict the life of man in all its reaches. The knowledge of this stellar script, this book with seven, then twelve great seals, was imparted in full or in part in the sacred Mysteries of old. It is gravely doubtful if anyone now living knows the import of the entire wheel. We catch fragmentary glimpses of its meaning, but the deeper connotation of the structure eludes the mind. Its profundity is next to fathomless. We can but follow the hints given us by the archaic sages in their writings.
It is clear, in outline, that the solar year is a marvelously precise reflection in outer nature of the spiritual life of man the individual and man the race. It is particularly a vivid typograph of the history of the soul in and out of incarnation. The two groups of upper signs, three air and three fire (symbolically), represent the life of the soul when out of body in the empyrean. The six lower signs, dubbed the six “water” signs, cover the life of the soul in the watery physical body. The lower six are a reflection or image of the upper six, as water reflects what is above it in the air and the light! That is to say that the life of man below is a reflected counterpart of his life in spirit above. And the soul’s journey round the wheel through the alternate realms of incarnate and discarnate life comprises its cyclical history in this aeon. As nature sets the norm in her life-method by her alternations of day and night in the physical and astronomical domains, these are seen to be typical of the experience undergone by the soul in its successive sojourns in the realms of spiritual “day” and material “night.” The systole and diastole of the heart’s action, the inhalation and exhalation of breath, are but the common evidence and confirmation of the universal modus of living procedure. The conscious immortal spirit in man swings endlessly through the two phases of the zodiac, upper and lower, of which circulation the daily and annual phenomenon of the sun’s movements is an exact miniature copy. Solar religion was based solidly on the ground fact that the sun was not only the type, but the essential essence of the divine soul of man, and that its annual course was graphically pictorial of the soul’s cyclical history. The sun’s annual round is typical, first, of a single life history; secondly, of the entire series of single lives making up the complete experience of the human cycle. Like the stars, the galaxies and the super-galaxies now seen by astronomy, many individual life cycles constitute a larger cycle, and many of those a still larger one. It is futile for the little mind of man to quarrel with the limitless expansiveness of the Universe of Life. Such quarrel has already cost us the loss of our clearest understanding of cosmic processes, which by reflection open our minds to the meaning of the lesser processes of our life here. Life is vast, and its vastness would crush our thinking if philosophy did not fortify us with the consideration that the little repeats the immense and is identical with it. Each man is a solar universe, a planetary system, comprised of infinite cells or minor systems, and the spiritual light glowing at the center of his being is the central sun of his system. And if he learns to control this universe, he will be put in charge of larger spheres. “My mind to me a kingdom is,” and if one be found faithful in the governance of that world of self, one will be made ruler over many things. “The Framer made the creations six in number and for the seventh he threw into the midst the fire of the sun,” is ancient truth. Likewise the seventh outgush of creative force threw the sun of intellect into the midst of the six lower natural energies, to become their head and ruler. This was the work of the divine Father implanting the seminal seed of his fiery spiritual consciousness into the body of Mother Nature, and so closing her unfruitful womb and stopping her wastage to make her pregnant with Christ child. Hence the antipathy, detected in ancient texts, between the menstruating woman and the sun or fire. A verse in the Shayast La-Shayast (Ch. 2:29) runs:
“A fiend so violent is that fiend of menstruation” that “where another fiend does not smite anything with a look (akhsh) it smites with a look,” so that “the sun and other luminaries are not to be looked at by her, and conversation with a righteous man is not to be held by her. She must not look on fire, and a fire must not be kindled in the same house that she is in.” Wilson in his Parsee Religion (p. 224) writes:
“The flow was looked upon as the Azi-damp by which the devil desired to extinguish the fire that Zarathustra brought from heaven.”
This is in the realm of symbolism, of course, intimating the general significance of the divine soul, as fire, being extinguished by the water of the body. It may not be utterly fantastic to suggest that the fire of spirit that dries up the “red sea” of the menstrual flow in the allegory may be the subtle meaning behind the Exodus story of the drying up of the Red Sea, alleged to be on the map. As we have seen, however, modern translation has made it the “Reed Sea.”
Leprosy was spoken of as the result of an offense against the sun. Amenta, the realm of the six elementary powers, both in nature and in the human body, was a land of chaos and darkness until lighted up by the nocturnal sun, or the spirit buried in the flesh. Hor-Apollo observes that the star which bears the name of Seb signifies, amongst other things, the soul of the male or virile adult. “This is the star of soul,” they said; “let us keep it pure and bright and shining star-like.”
“This is the sun within us, the seminal source of life; do not dim its lustre or cause it to suffer eclipse. Save your soul (seminal) and do not sin against the sun of light.”
And it is said of Osiris in the Ritual:
“Give ye glory as to the Sun; he is the chief, the only one ever coming from the body, the head of those who belong to the race of the Sun.”
In the Clementine Gospel the Christ is portrayed in the character of the sun-god. This eastern Christ says:
“I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work. When I am in the world I am the light of the world.”
The world was represented as being created from the drops of bloody Gethsemanic sweat, or male seminal essence which fell from the phallus of Ra, Tem, Atum or Khepera onto the earth. The male creative fluid became the type of spiritual creative power. It is the concentrated essence of the blood, which in turn is highly charged with the electric soul of spiritual energy. It was the seed of the gods’ creative essence. It was therefore held to be a condensation of solar energy. It is said that the holy emanation which proceeds from Osiris vivifies gods, men, cattle and creeping things, and that in his season he flows forth from his cavern in order to “pour out the seed of his soul which produces offerings in abundance for his Ka, and vivifies both gods and men.” The expulsion of the seeds of deity into lower realms of matter was a part of the dismemberment or mutilation. In the case of Bata, the younger brother of Anup, in the tale of the Two Brothers, the phallus is torn away and thrown into the water and devoured by a fish. The “masturbating deity” matched on the male side the virgin mother and the immaculate conception on the female side. He was Khepera, and his symbol was the male beetle, which produced new life from his own body without conjunction with the female.
“To denote an Only Begotten,” says Hor-Apollo, “the Egyptians delineate a Scarabaeus, because the Scarabaeus is a creature self-produced, being unconceived by a female. The Scarabaeus also symbolizes generation and a father, because it is engendered by the father solely.” Massey adds: “Khepr, the beetle, buried himself, with his seed, in the earth; there he transformed, and the father issued forth as the son.”
The sun was the type of the male creative power in the universe, but he was portrayed with feminine attributes to indicate his subjection under matter when involving his energies in creation. He was a kind of male-mother. His growing weak in the autumn was likened to the feminine weakness in menstruation. “When the sun becomes weak, he lets fall the sweat of his members and this changes to a liquid; he bleeds much.” Then he was called the sun bound in linen, and wrapped as a woman. He was known as Osiris Tesh-Tesh, in his bloody sweat in Smen. The male as sole reproducer was spoken of in female terms. He is god the mother. Num, Egyptian deity, was the Mother of Mothers as well as the Father of Fathers. “In like manner Jove is designated by Orpheus ‘the mother of the gods.’ He was Ju-matter, or Jupiter creatress.” Proclus in Timaeus says: “All things are contained in the womb of Jupiter.” Brahm is likewise feminized. “The great Brahm is the womb of all those forms which are conceived in every natural womb.” “The great Brahm,” says Krishna, “is my womb and in it I place my foetus and from it is the procreation of all nature” (Moor’s Pantheon: Krishna, p. 211). Baal and Astarte exchange genders in the Assyrian books. Nu was the original mother-heaven, the feminine celestial firmament. Yet she is masculinized: “It is the water or Nu who is the father of the gods. I am the great God creating himself.” Creative power was conceived as feminine during the first creations. But when the sun, Helios, came to govern planetary revolutions, the gender was conceived as male. Life was androgyne before the bifurcation. The only quarrel in ancient religions was over the question whether deity was male or female in its first manifestations. Deity frequently had to carry the functions of both sexes.
The hidden purport back of the Egyptian symbolism of the beetle and the self-begetting god was that which was really the nub of the dispute in the early Christian Church over the creedal rendering of the Greek term monogenes (Latin: unigenitus), translated “only-begotten” in the Bible. It led to the great Arius-Athanasius controversy which rent the early Church into factions, which have not yet united. Had Egyptian symbolism been envisaged understandingly, that grievous dispute could have been avoided. The god who poured out and mixed his life blood with earth, and the beetle that goes underground to come forth renewed, are two vivid symbols of bright angelic spirit incarnating in human life. Life buried itself to be born anew. It is quite possible that Onan’s sin was a reference to the first group of five legions of angels who, as it were, poured out their spiritual substance in the direction of incarnation, but who nevertheless failed to plant their seed fully in the soil of mortal flesh. Their effort proved abortive. The old books recite the story.
It is possible to see that the monogenetic theory was current in early Christian times and could have been comprehended by Christian exegetists if they had not already begun to look with scorn upon all things pagan. Irenaeus alludes to the belief in an excerpt from his book Against Heresies (I, Ch. 2:1, 4, Ante-Nicene Library): “It was also taught by the Egyptian Valentinus that the father produced in his own image without conjunction with the female.” Had a little analogical penetration been displayed by the somber Fathers of the Church, there might have been intelligence enough extant to save the translators from perpetrating the damaging rendering of monogenes as “only-begotten.” The term meant, of course, simply born of the father or male principle alone, without birthing in the womb of matter. Yet it was at the same time the story of the father or spirit incarnating in matter and reissuing on the opposite horizon as his transformed son. The fatality of the incorrect translation can’t be seen until it is realized that the term “only-begotten,” misapplied to a single man in history, has operated to dispossess every mortal in Christendom of the consciousness of his own inborn divinity, the one inestimable boon that religion was designed to extend to all the race.
The famous Litany of Ra describes Atum as the supreme sun-god in man. In his descent into Amenta, which is at sunset, “his form is that of an old man,” while later in his resurrection it is that of a lion. He sets as Ra; he rises again as Horus. Atum in Amenta is the hidden soul of spiritual life, imaged by the nocturnal sun, buried in darkness. He suffers dethronement and exile in material darkness in order that he may “cause the principles to arise.” He brings the new generation of solar power to birth, as in dying he is reborn from himself.
There is involved herein the secret of one of the most inexplicable and, at first sight, most irrational customs, the explanation of which has baffled anthropologists without end. This was the couvade. When the student or casual reader encounters the historical evidence establishing the fact that many tribes in different parts of the world in archaic times observed the strange custom of sending the father, instead of the parturient mother, to the bed of confinement at childbirth, the impression is that human mental processes had gone sadly awry. But it is only necessary to keep ever in mind that the sages and formulators of conventional practice were before all else typologists, to see that the eccentric custom was only an outward ritual of a very high spiritual commemoration indeed. The practice was only a symbolic act to dramatize the fact that in the birth of a son or daughter the father had injected his seminal spirit into the bosom of matter, had buried his seed in incarnation in the body of the babe, or had himself gone into confinement or “under cover” of flesh in the new babe! It only adumbrated the eternal fact of the incarnation. The sun went into retirement each evening, to be reborn on the morrow. Couvade means “going under cover.”
The Litany of Ra contains an apostrophe to the great sun-god:
“Homage to thee, Ra, the beetle (Khepr), that folds his wings, that rests in the Empyrean, that is born as his own son!” Khepr is designated “the Scarabaeus which enters life as its own son.” Ptah, who was an embodiment of Khepr-Ra, is thus addressed:
“O God, architect of the world, thou are without a father, begotten by thine own becoming; thou art without a mother, being born through repetition of thyself.”
In another text we read:
“O divine Substance, created from itself! O God, who hath made the substance which is in him. O God, who hast made his own father and impregnated his own mother.”3
Some accompaniments of the couvade are of great interest. In the custom, as carried out by some Carib tribes, the father ate neither fish nor fowl for six months. Here we have a direct reference to the god, or father, as being deprived of water and air, or any higher element than that of earth, during its incubation period.
Hor-Apollo interestingly observes again: “They say also that the beetle lives six months underground and six above.” If he does, nature surely has cast him in the role of Proserpina, not to say that of the human soul, figuratively. The six lower signs typify incarnate life.
But the beetle has further instruction for us. He observes that the beetle deposits its ball of eggs rolled in dung in the earth for the space of twenty-eight days – a lunar cycle – during which the moon passes through its smaller round of the twelve zodiacal signs. But on the twenty-ninth day, the day of the resurrection according to lunar markings, there occurs the baptism of the beetle. The Scarabaeus then casts his ball into the water. It opens to give birth to the young beetle. This immersion and baptism leads to renewal and regeneration. So Taht, the lunar god, was always declared to be self-created, never born.
The egg, as a primitive type of birth and rebirth, finds intriguing relation to this exegesis. As the couvade figured the return of the father’s powers in the embryo of his child, incarnation betokened the return of the soul to its egg state. “Oh! Sun in his egg!” is an exclamation in the Ritual. The image used represented the return of “the sun or the dead” (Massey) to the egg-state in the underworld for the rehatching, or the couvade. And this furnishes the answer to Nicodemus’ question: the soul must return again and again to the egg- state, to be rehatched – which is what has again been intimated in the ark symbolism. Man – the god in man – is as it were a grub worm hatched in the earth, and, expanding his wings of spirit as he emerges like the chrysalis, flies away with body glistening in the golden light of morning. The sun-god arising is thus addressed: “Adoration to thee, who arisest out of the golden and givest light to the earth!” The sun was emblemed as the winged scarab. And the beetle follows the sun, keeping in the angle of its direct rays, from morning till evening. The Christ is the “sun of righteousness.”
In Gnostic iconography the child Horus reappears as the mummy-babe wearing the solar disk. The sun is again typified by the hawk, with a disk encircled by an uraeus on its head. Seven apes stand, four in front and three behind, denoting that the sun has put under or behind him three of the elementary powers, but faces the conquest of the other four in man.
The “Ur” from which Abraham, the first emanation from the Father, came forth, means the original sea of elemental fire. And when the emanation has gone to its death and rebirth in matter, it has become a new creature and is given a new name. The injection of the solar principle into material creation lends to mythology or primitive theology its most striking analogies and types. This is confirmed by Max Müller, who writes (Selected Essays, Vol. I, 604): “As soon as Suryas or Helios appears as a masculine form, we are in the very thick of mythology.” Suryas or Helios is the sun. Mythology deals with the presence of this kingly force in life, its fight for sovereignty and its dominance over the lower powers. It is the central personage in all earthly myth and drama. The phoenix, dying and being reborn from its own ashes, depicts the death of the sun power in mortality and its renaissance from the grave.
The Egypto-Gnostics affirmed: “Seven powers glorify the Word.” These were the seven nature spirits, which out of gratitude to the Propator, had each contributed of his best gift to the production of the most perfect being, the Christ aeon. Like the golden bough and the star atop the Christmas tree, he became the beauteous flower at the summit of creation, comprehending and synthesizing all lower elements in himself. He was thus the King of Glory.
After this consummation the heaven of seven divisions is described as rolling up like a scroll and passing away. Then the new heaven and the new earth are inaugurated. When the contents of the seventh bowl are poured out, the book of life is sealed with the seven seals, and the angel announces: “Behold I make all things new.” A zodiac of twelve signs was then requisite to portray the life experience of the god in man. In the Book of Exodus we see the one God Ihuh superseding all the other gods, El-Shadai and the Elohim, when he assumes the suzerainty and orders that a sanctuary be built in which he shall be lifted up. This shrine or tabernacle was to be the hitherto unknown body of solar glory, or body of the resurrection, that temple not to be built with hands, eternal in the heavens of consciousness. “He subdues the dwellers in the darkness and there is none who can resist his power in the horizon.” “He shineth like a new king in the East.” “The great god who is there is Ra himself . . . the water of Maati is the road by which Atum-Ra goes to traverse the fields of divine harvest.”
The Book of the Dead is primarily a sketch of the journey of the solar spark through the underworld across the Pool of Pant, or Lake of Maati, by night. The soul follows the track of the all-conquering sun, who is the cleaver of the way or opener of roads through the tangled thickets of sense life. He builds a dwelling of light for those who dwell in the darkness. The “Egyptians” are in gloom, but the “Israelites have light in their dwellings.” The home of light for the glorified is Ammah, the place of no more night. When we realize that the Israelites were not an earth race, but a host of sun-fragments of intellect in incarnation, we can catch the sublime imputations in these figurative details of scripture.
The six (later seven) supplanted powers that come under the sway of the central sun of mind become the “attendants” or “companions” or “associates” of the sun-god. They are depicted as seven doves that hover around Jesus in utero, the seven solar rays that flash about his head, the seven lambs or rams with him in the mount, the seven as stars with Jesus in their midst, the seven as fishers in his boat, and finally the seven who as communicants solemnized the Eucharist with the loaves and fishes in the mortuary meal of the Roman catacombs.
The Pistis Sophia, furnishing much valuable material deleted from the Gospels, describes Jesus, after superseding the seven foundation pillars of the world, as passing through the twelve signs of the zodiac, mentioning each by name, and gathering a portion of the light from each to incorporate in his own person. He says that he took the twelve saviors of the treasure of light and bound them into the bodies of your mothers. This is to say that he circumscribed the operation of the twelve deific powers in bodies of mortal flesh. He was thus to judge the twelve “tribes of Israel,” or twelve segmentations of divine intelligence; those rays of cosmic mind which figure as the twelve tribes, sons, stars, brothers, kings, reapers, rowers, fishermen, sowers, and twelve voices and teachers. All these had begun as powers of light in the physical domain, and were in the end endowed with spiritual status with Jesus in the Father’s kingdom. The Christ became the rose in the center of twelve knights. And, says Paul, the whole creation groaneth and travaileth to bring forth these twelve Sons of God, or powers of spiritual light.
The Rig-Veda asks:
“Who has seen the primordial at the time of his being born? What is that endowed with substance, which the unsubstantial sustains? From the earth are the breath and blood, but where is the soul? What is that one alone who has upheld these six spheres in the shape of the unborn?”
And the answer is given by Egypt in the person of the solar deity who was at last made the base and support of the six spheres. When the fire that enlightens supplanted the powers of Seb and Sut, there was present a new type of power as soul or Sol. This unborn power was personalized as Ptah, in the form of an embryo that transformed like the beetle to reproduce itself. It is the sun-god performing his couvade to raise up both the six spheres and himself. He is the hidden light, Amen-Ra, the unborn god, the support and rock of the whole creation. He is the unsubstantial, that nevertheless sustains substance.
Massey well expounds that “the Savior who came by spirit was the soul of the sun.” “This suffering deity was the god in matter.” When plunged into matter and ensouling creation, he became Osiris. In this phase he was the stricken one, the dead, lying inert in his mummy-case. He is figured as the “little old child,” with finger at mouth, wizened, impotent, decadent, as the sun-god losing his power. He is the Jack of nursery legends, the Scottish Assiepet, the Danish Askepot, the German Aschenpüttel, who pokes in the ashes and blows up the fire, the solar fire which he has to rekindle from dying embers. He is the male Cinderella, the ash or ember maiden. Before descending below the horizon of incarnation these souls are denominated in Egypt the Hamemmet Beings. They originated as the germs of souls emanating from the sun, whence Scipio saw them abstracted in his vision. “Hamemmet” signifies “that which is unembodied,” not yet incorporated in material bodies. This matches the “virgins” and the “Innocents” of Biblical terminology. They are the embryonic souls of future beings, children of the sun or Ra. They were the “children of Israel.” If the monster Apap or Herut could slay them “in the egg” he would avert his later doom of having his head crushed under their heel. At enmity with the sun, the dragon of darkness seeks to devour the new-born sons of the light-god who are destined to overthrow his rule in nature. So he lies in wait at the bight of Amenta until the woman clothed with the sun shall give birth to them. They are called, in addition to other names already given, “the issue of Horus.” Their slaughter is to be prevented, as is indicated by the title of Chapter 42 of the Ritual: “Chapter by which one hindreth the slaughter which is in Suten-Khen,” the birthplace. The Manes at this stage is the child-Horus himself, and he says four times over: “I am the babe.” As the child of the incorruptible sun, no power can harm him, and so “he steppeth onward through eternity,” gathering up all the manifold powers of ineffable Light. “Not to be seen is my nest. Not to be broken is my egg.” “I have made my nest in the confines of heaven” (Rit., Ch. 85).
Lower Egypt was called “the desert in which the flocks of Ra were shepherded and fed.” Horus says to them:
“Protection for you, flocks of Ra, born of the great one who is in the heavens. Breath to your nostrils, overthrowal of your coffins” (Book of Hades, 5th Div., Legend D).
Horus indicates how he steps onward through eternity in the statement: “I live in Tattu and I repeat daily my life after death, like the sun.”
It need hardly be repeated that the Christos was represented under a different title and character during each 2155 years of a cycle of precession. In Leo he was the lion of the house of Judah (Iu-dah), and his whelp; in Cancer he was the “Good Scarabaeus,” ever renewing himself, the crab emerging from the water onto the land; in Gemini he was the twins, the two opposite phases of life contending in the womb of being for supremacy; in Taurus, the shining bull and golden calf; in Aries, the ram, the lamb of God and the golden fleece; in Pisces the great whale and the little fish with the gold in its mouth, the fisher of souls, the food in the water; in Aquarius the emanator of the water of life in two streams; in Capricorn the dual god again, half goat or land animal, half fish or sea animal, duplicating the sign of Cancer opposite, only that the crab is emerging from the water and the goat is in the water; in Sagittarius again double as the Centaur, half man and half horse, the archer aiming at the eye of Horus to put it out on the downward course of the autumnal sun, when deity is going blind; in Scorpio, double again as the scorpion that stings divine power to “death” and the eagle that soars aloft again; in Libra as the god of the two horizons holding the scales of the balance between spirit and matter in exact equilibrium; in Virgo double as the divine child of the mother and the wheat for the bread of Christ, as well as the branch of the true vine that was constellated in Virgo.
The Ritual states that Horus “is united at sunset with his Father Ra, who goeth round the heavens” in the zodiacal cycles. Perhaps the Gospels retain a parallel to this in the life of Jesus in his retirement each night to the mountains to commune with his Father. Horus says: “I see my father, the lord of the gloaming, and I breathe.” Horus again is called “the Lord of the Staircase, at the top of which his father sat enthroned.” He is lord of the evolutionary ladder, the planes by which the soul mounts up to godhead. Again he says: “I seek my father at sunset in silence and I feed on life.” Be it noted that he feeds on life after his descent into embodiment, or in this world. And once more the Ritual dispenses wisdom of transcendent importance in the statement: “Thou settest as a living being within the dark portal; . . . thou becomest a divine being in the earth. Thou wakest as thou settest . . .”
The declarations of ancient wisdom that we are divinized on earth and that the soul awakes as it sets, or incarnates, are mighty items of knowledge for benighted mortals. But it has been set forth that the descent is a swoon and a going into oblivion, the very sleep of “death.” Now it is pictured as an awakening. Here again is exemplified the doubleness of esoteric methodology in picturing the two aspects and movements of being. But the paradox in all these reversals of imagery is readily resolvable. The soul does fall under a spell of Lethe when enshrouded in dense body; nevertheless it finds in that very state the beginning of its true awakening to a higher sense of reality than ever before. This world is “the place of establishing forever,” of bringing purely latent capacity to dynamic realization. There is involved here the ultimate mystery of life, which is the necessity of the soul’s “death” in matter to gain a new birth.
The Egyptians, observes Plutarch, offer incense to the sun three times a day: resin at its rising; myrrh when it is at midheaven; and kyphi about the time of its setting. Here is the “gold, frankincense and myrrh” of the later Hebrew myth, brought by the solar triad of Atma-Buddhi-Manas, the three Magi or knowledge-principles. The trident of Neptune was a Greek symbol of the three-forked spiritual sun-power. The sun at mid-day zenith is Ra; at the evening is Tum (Atum); at rising on the morrow he is Khepr, renewing himself.
The three most celebrated emblems used in the Greek Mysteries were the Phallus (I), the Egg (O) and the Serpent, symboled by the Greek letter Phi, being the O bisected by the I. These are the male symbol, the female and the two united. The union of the two yields the great “serpent power” or the driving force of life itself. It was this serpent power that the Ophite sect of early Christianity elevated to dominant place in their system, paying homage thus to the creative energy and power of endless renewal, the serpent in this conception being by no means the malefic principle “with the vulgar downward literal meaning that we ascribe to it.” Ra tells Seb to “be the guardian of the serpents which are in thee,” referring to the swirling elementary life principles enwombed in the earth and matter.
The sun’s might as Jupiter was triform: Jupiter in the heavens, Neptune in the sea, and Pluto in the underworld. Sunlight itself has three primary colors, before it breaks into the seven. The gods are male, but the three regions are made female, holding the shakti powers that implemented their activity. The great Hindu Mother Mahadevi divides into three colors, black, red and white, to become Sarasvati, the shakti of Brahma; Lacksmi, that of Vishnu; and Parvati, the consort of Siva. There is the Hecate triad in Greece. The three Parcae or Fates of Greece are matched by the Egyptian Neith, spinner of the web (net), and her two sisters, Isis and Nephthys, and by the three Norns of the Norse pantheon. Of the three Fates Atropos conferred the solar power of generation; Clotho was lodged in the moon, as she who joins, mingles and unites the light with the dark, spirit with flesh; Lachesis is on the earth supervising the flow of mortal events, “and with her does fortune very much participate.”
The ancients conjoined the twin male and female triads and from the union produced the interlaced triangles, or Solomon’s Seal, the six-rayed star which is a perfect numerical typograph of the linking of the three spiritual with the three physical principles, the apices pointing in opposite directions. Their inextricable interlinking bespeaks the incarnation or entanglement of soul with body.
The Clementine Homilies set forth that the body of man consists of three parts and derives its origin from the female; the spirit consists of three parts and derives its origin from the male. The sperm-cell of the male creative fluid is three-ply. The union of the two triads in man makes him the sextuple being he is. His life has six facets and manifests in a world where any object has six faces, as a cube. The seventh principle is that which subsumes the six of the cube in a higher synthesis, which is achieved, however, on the plane of the dimension above it. The seventh principle always lifts a creation up to the next plane above it. It resolves the formation of the six into soul and meaning. Its day is the Sun-day, crowning the natural or secular operations with their apotheosis into spiritual being. The mystic AUM is a concealed glyph of the trinity, we are told. Our word “triumph,” seen particularly well in its French form, triomphe, is composed of the root tri, “three”; om, the shortened AUM, the triple Logos; and phe, from the Greek, meaning “spoken.” Our cry of triumph will then be our ability to unify again the “thrice-spoken word,” or bring the three primary rays of divine mind back to unity.
The two sexes are not only marked in man by the division into male and female persons; there is another segmentation into sex which is one of the great keys in theology. The division of humanity into male and female is only an outward mark of an inner sacrament which is the main theme of religion. The most important sex division is that which inheres in man’s individual life, whereby everyone is male on the spiritual side, and female on the physical. The diaphragm is the horizon line in man physiologically, for the individual is male above it and female below it. The marriage of the Bride and the Lamb is to take place between these two parties. The dividing wall is to be broken down and the two united. The great Sphinx of Egypt depicts this duality in man, proclaiming under the zodiacal sign of the Lion that each human is spirit-male and matter-female in himself, facing the evolutionary duty of wedding the two. The three psychic centers below the diaphragm are concerned with the reproduction of body; the three above deal with spiritual destiny, and the crowning one in the head will unify all seven. Mythology teems with half-man, half-animal creatures, male in front and female behind. And says the Hebrew Psalmist (Ps. 139:5): “Thou hast fashioned me Behind and Before.” This must be translated to say that we are humans in our upper half and beast in the lower. This is the incontestable reading of the symbology. The female is assigned the creation of the animal body of man. The female’s interests are infinitely more directly centered in the body than are the male’s. Man is, in the large, the intellectual creator; woman the physical.
The ancients in their stellar configuration represented the great Divine Man as facing the south, his back to the north. Hence the south was male, the north female. The constellation of the Great Bear the lower, hinder part, the thigh or womb, of nature. The gods of the four quarters, the bases of the human pyramid, the four “Sons of Horus,” “are they who are behind the thigh in the northern sky.” They are the hind quarter of the heavenly man and are the four lower elements in man’s constitution. The haunch of the lion that is carried on the head of Anhur is a sign of natural fecundity. The fore part, the face and head of the lion, denotes the glory of solar radiance. “The Lord God is a sun and shield,” says the Psalm; and man is made in his image. The rear material part shields mortal eye from the too great effulgence of solar glory. But Samson sets fire to the tails of 300 foxes, as a suggestion that the fire of soul must light up and transform the rear or lower half of our nature.
In the Ritual chapter “of making the transformation into the god that giveth light in the darkness,” the Manes says he is the robe of light that dispels the darkness, “which uniteth the two fighting deities that dwell in my body through the mighty spell of the words of my mouth.” Two fighting deities in our bodies! The robe alluded to is called elsewhere “the garment without a seam,” since the marriage obliterates the seam or dividing line. The unification of these two war- ring elements is each individual’s specific task, the main reason for his incarnate existence and a pursuit worth all its hardship.
In one of the hymns to Osiris the god is greeted:
“Hail to thee, Osiris, Lord of Eternity! When thou art in heaven thou appearest as the sun, and thou renewest thyself in the moon.”
The soul of life, we have seen, renews itself by eternal rebirth following cyclical death in matter. The moon is ancient symbol for the physical half of human nature, since the two lower elements and man’s two lower bodies, the physical and emotional, were the products of a precedent evolution on the moon. And sun and moon, in their interaction each lunar month, enact the whole drama of human evolution with such graphic fidelity that the delineation of it becomes a perpetual marvel. No graphology of mythicism has excelled nature herself in vivid portrayal of the dual history of the human being upon the very face of the moon, where the story, endlessly repeated, has been enacted before the eyes of successive generations of mortals, but never read since the days of ancient Egypt. In the various phases and aspects of the registration of the sun’s light upon its body, the moon stages the entire symbolic drama of the blended physico-spiritual life of mortal man with a precision so astonishing that a mind which once follows the analogies can hardly escape the conclusion that Intelligence presided at the ordering of the movements of the three bodies, sun, moon and earth, in their interrelation. As seen from the earth, the sun and moon together depict in the heavens each month the record of man’s typical life so fully that it becomes a prime enigma to account for the loss of the wisdom to interpret this sky-book after it had once been known. The rejection of paganism by Roman Christianity cost the world the forfeiture of its ability to read this elementary textbook and its story written in characters of light and darkness.
As spirit was reborn periodically in matter, so the sun was reborn monthly in the moon, matter’s planetary symbol. Both Horus and Khunsu, two characters representing the renewed solar deity, as well as Taht, were depicted in the disk of the full moon. The planisphere of Denderah shows the two in this position. Khunsu’s father is Amen, the hidden god, the youthful Khunsu being his visible representative reborn in the new moon. Horus was the renewed Ra, Osiris or Atum. That divine self which in solar symbolism was reborn in the vernal equinox or the eastern rim of morning, was re-dramatized in lunar symbolism as finding its rebirth in the young crescent moon. Osiris, Atum or Ra, sinking to feebleness and death in the cycle of waning moon, came to their renaissance between the two horns of the crescent in the west at nightfall. The moon repeated thirteen times the death and resurrection story while the sun traced it once. Ages of intelligence have gazed upon this monthly drama without once descrying its tacit narrative. Yet the Egyptians discoursed about the meaning of this phenomenon in chapter after chapter. Must we conclude, therefore, that ancient eyes penetrated deeper into nature’s secrets than modern? The evidence is before us. This datum may become again the bulwark of religion, rendering it impregnable to materialistic or agnostic assault. For while sacred Bibles may be brushed aside with scorn, the chart of man’s spiritual constitution, written ineradicably on the open sheet of the nightly sky, can’t be gainsaid. Here is an indelible scripture whose ever-turning pages the atheist must read alike with the theist. Here is a book which no mind dare flout. Here are the heavens themselves preaching a sermon and reciting a gospel narrative that no mortal can contemn.
The story is by no means easy in the telling. It must be lived with and be given time to mellow in the mind, ere it will bestir the profoundest psychic intuitions. Only the groundwork for the structure of beautiful meaning can be given in a series of facts, relations and phenomena. Each one must in the end be his own poet.
We have seen the sun-god pictured as passing through the dark underworld at night. His voyage is made amid spiritual darkness. The body is the soul’s dark prison, grave and tomb. The god is then the sun in the dark underworld. Therefore it is a light in the darkness. His mission is to bring light into this dark region. Come to earth, his light ceased shining in heaven, as the Chinese said, and shone only in the underworld for the benighted inhabitants thereof. Jesus is the light of the world by night.
Yet it is by no means his true full splendor that shines on our darkness. It is a sadly diminished light that he shows, his full radiance being dimmed by the veil of matter which is thrown between it and our eyes. It is therefore a light, which, itself hidden from sight, shines through an intermediary body, or shines by reflection or indirect transmission. Now in the first chapter of John’s Gospel there is that note- worthy statement that there was a man sent of God to bear witness to that “light that shineth in the darkness.” “He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.” He was himself not the full or true light, but only the harbinger of it. This was John the Baptizer, or leader of souls into the waters of generation in the dark lower half of evolution. He was typed as Anup, and again as Taht-Aan, the dark phase of the moon, or the moon itself as the sun’s witness when it is not itself shining on us. So the Christ-light within us is that secondary or transmitted radiance which shines into our prisons when the full glory of divinity is cut off from us and out of our sight. If God is the full ineffable Sun of Divinity, then the Christos is, as it were, the reflected radiance from that Sun coming second-hand to us from the surface of bodies of matter.
In the interpretation, this intermediary is the physical human body, with its emotion apparatus. In the realm of astronomy it is the moon. The lighted moon, then, is the symbol, representative, vice-regent, of the sun when the orb is buried in darkness. It holds the proxy of its power. It is the transmitter of solar light when that itself is out of sight. It is the only witness and evidence of the sun’s light when that luminary is unable to shine on the world. It is the sun’s lower or secondary self. The moon is the sun by night. So the Christos is that reduced and reflected ray of the Father’s infinite glory. When the sun is in full panoply in the heavens of day, the moon is eclipsed. It is man’s “noon.” But she comes into her glory in the night. The moon stands between man and total darkness, yet she has no light to give of herself. She but transmits the brightness of one higher than herself. So the body stands between man and his god and transmits what can’t be received directly.
Here, then, we have the two great characters in the drama, with man the spectator and interpreter, and as he finally realizes to his amazement, the ultimate actor. Meaning begins to rise as soon as we have fixed the two chief dramatis personae and their roles. The sun and moon play the parts of man’s soul and his body respectively, and their interaction will be found to depict in detail the connected history of the two on earth in the world of the body.
These determinations lead to the second great fact, which opens wide the door into a world of new meaning. If the sun represents spirit and the soul body, the deduction is that the sun is male and the moon female. The stage is then set to register the play of the two great interacting forces of life, the positive and negative poles. The evolutionary conflict between the two, the battle between Sut and Horus, the twins, which is reproduced everywhere in nature, is transferred now to the lunar surface and re-enacted there for man’s eternal behoof. As the moon encircles her lord in monthly course, she traces a stream of significant interrelations. From dark to full moon, it is the story of man’s deification and glorification, his en-light-enment, through repeated life in body; the nightly increase of the area of light is the sealed promise of our ultimate divinization. By analogy, the increase night by night endorses the postulate of the soul’s reincarnations. It is the cycle of evolution. From full moon to total obscuration it writes the record of involution, or the spirit’s descent into matter. The following tabulation is suggested for the readier tracing of the analogies:
Upper body. Lower body.
The god. The animal.
In its complete cycle the moon analogizes the conception, birth, growth, perfection, decline, death and rebirth of the sun-god in his incarnating cycle. The moon records the progress of the rebegettal or divinization. Hence the principal moon-deity of Egypt, Taht-Aan, is known as the recorder or scribe for Horus. He keeps the record of the advance or decline of spiritual light. And the moon’s function of bearing witness to the sun when the latter was out of sight, constitutes Taht-Aan and Anup the “two witnesses” for the hidden Christ. In the court of life the body holds the record and bears witness of the character of the deity who is buried out of sight within us!
The Greeks regarded the moon as “the self-revealing emblem of nature.” As bringer of the hidden sun to light the moon was named the goddess Diana, who, says Proclus, “presides over the whole of generation into natural existence, leads forth into light all natural reasons, and extends a prolific power from on high even to the subterranean realms.”4 And we are told that “the sexual parts of this god are denominated by theologists, Diana,” for no more subtle reason apparently than that it is sex which brings all things to outward birth. The moon is Diana because the orb brings all to light, as the woman who reflects, regenerates and reproduces the hidden germ of life. Spirit would be inchoate and lost to view if some matrix did not give it birth as concrete form. That the moon is in affinity with the natural creation rather than with the spiritual world is also attested by the Chaldean Oracles, one of which recites that “the moon rides on every thing generated, and all these terrestrial natures are manifestly governed by her, as the Oracle says.” She is the nature power, the woman, who becomes clothed with the sun of intelligence, which lights up her head finally with twelve facets of divine radiance.
The moon, then, is the register of solar or spiritual history, and the fact of crowning pertinence for us is that the nightly increase of light area on her dark surface is nature’s cosmic hieroglyph recording our growth toward full divinization. It marks to what extent divine light has spread over and through the physical body. From total darkness the sun-god begins to impregnate the lunar body with his bright power, until finally her whole body becomes irradiated with his glory. So the sun-deity of mind meets the physical man, first Adam, at the dawn of racial history, and finds no spiritual light in him. He then implants his tiny seed, and life after life he adds to the growth until at the end of the aeon the whole being of physical man is irradiated with intellectual light. He lights the darkened prison from within with that shining power that Jesus said his disciples had in themselves. Each night of incarnation increases the area of light. And the material body, like the moon, records the measure of the god’s occupancy of the vehicle. Even in ordinary social judgment, that countenance is most beautiful through or upon which the most of soul shines forth.
The nightly spectacle of the waxing moon should impress every mortal that nature bears incontestable evidence of the gradual divinization of humanity. “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light,” is the Biblical assurance to this effect. The supreme message of lunar symbology to man is that divine light is measurably spreading over our whole being. At the fullness of his perfection the Manes cries: “There is no part of me that is without a god. I am the god entire.” In phallic terms it would be said that the moon, female, being impregnated by the active germ of solar, masculine, light, registers the growth of the babe of the sun in her womb by the swelling of the gestating foetus night by night, till its birth at the full moon. Then the child is delivered, and the mother returns to normal condition.
A most striking series of analogies extends further this parallelism between the moon and the mother, body, nature. The bodily world of incarnation, is, as has been demonstrated by the table of the four elements, typed by the two planes of earth and water, which two are often generalized under the one, water. The body is chiefly water, and this is the first unassailable confirmation of the legitimacy of the symbol. Its life of sensation and emotion is most aptly pictured by the shifty, ceaseless mobility of water. All bodily processes are in constant flux. Therefore if the sun is typified by fire, the moon is just as fitly emblemed by water. Is it by “coincidence” then, or by an amazing natural endorsement of the meet character of the symbol, that there is found to be that mysterious affinity between the moon and the water of earth? For it is the moon that draws the seas of earth toward it in the daily tides!
But even that remarkable vindication of the analogies involved is dwarfed by the magnitude of another natural relationship, – that between the moon and the female. It need hardly be elaborated that it is the physiological function of the female, and not that of the male, that is rendered periodic by the cycle of the moon! Does it need any smart juggling of poetic fancies to relate the woman to the moon, when the very periodicity of her bodily functions is fixed by the twenty-eight days’ cycle of the orb? And the function energized by the moon has everything to do with body and procreation, nothing directly with the woman’s mind or higher nature. The moon affects the woman, not the man; and her body, not her spirit.
Together moon and woman repeat each month in identical manner the story of descent, incarnation and rebirth of the soul. From the night of the full moon the light of the sun-god visible on its face begins to wane, going down again into darkness. Its movement is downward across the sphere, as the direction of its increase is from the under surface to the upper. At the lowest ebb of the cycle the light is totally hidden for three days! While in this dark underworld which lies below the horizon, the virgin moon is met by the sun, who has entered the underworld with it at early evening, or the time of his descent! Let this fact be noted carefully, since it is of great import. The sun and moon meet and are conjoined in wedlock while both are buried out of sight in the west below the horizon, or in the dark of night. Transposing this situation to the kingdom of man, we find that nature has reproduced the story of incarnation and its collateral values once more. For here again nature records that it is in the dark underworld of this nether earth that the only conjunction of spirit (soul) and matter (body) takes place. This world is that place of darkness wherein alone the sun of spirit and the moon of matter can meet and copulate for reproduction. Says Massey: “It is only in the darkness of Amenta that the two ever meet.” Sun and moon meet and embrace just at the end of her dark period, and while both are in the nether earth. Man’s soul and his body meet in the same dark period in the lower world of earth. Immediately the mother, impregnated, begins to swell until she delivers the sun’s child on the fifteenth day.
The Egyptians said that Osiris copulated with the dead body of Isis and impregnated it and that the touch of his sperm revived it – all in the dark, out of sight. Another version is that Isis drew the seed from Osiris’ dead body and impregnated herself, giving birth to Horus. The Egyptians were not evil-minded pagans, but beautifully pictured truth and need not be defended against the charge of a revolting sacrilege. Nor do we need to ascribe posthumous sexual rapacity to their favorite god and goddess. Isis, typed by the dark moon, was nature unspiritualized, unfructified, barren, dead. It required the touch of the sun-god’s vivifying rays, the implantation of the germinal light of spirit in her inert body, to awaken her to fruitfulness. The other version reads that Isis was fecundated by the god dead and buried in matter. He fructifies her when he has gone to his “death” in matter.
With incredible exactness human biology matches this procedure of sun and moon. Each month during the “dark” period of the female cycle, when nature runs to waste unchecked by male fecundation, there descends from the “upper room” of the Fallopian tubes the ovum, or foetal nucleus, which falls, as does the unfertilized earth soul, into the belly of darkness in the lower body, the prison, cave, tomb or womb. What then happens? Hither, also descending into the dark cavern, but from outside, is projected the seed of the male, the seminal essence, typical ever of the solar light, threefold like the solar triad; and once again in nature’s economy “sun” and “moon” copulate in the dark cave of the underworld to engender a new birth.
The seed is placed in the ground, its underworld, and lies there inert until the sun penetrates into that hidden womb and warms it to life.
The tale of the Sleeping Beauty is but a form of this tropology. The beautiful maiden is the moon-goddess, waiting in a state of negativity until awakened to reproductive life by the lover’s kiss – the sun’s rays.
Tracing analogies further, we find that the new moon is born in the west, and, like the “Innocents” which it types, it is immediately threatened with extinction by the power of darkness. Each night it becomes more able to combat and outlive the assaults of the enemy. The west is the place of entry into lower life, and the soul was endangered at the beginning of its immersion in the body. But what about the fully-divinized sun-child at full moon? Where is he born as the finished mortal made immortal? Surely at a place where danger lurks no more for him. Majestically he rises in the east! No longer now is he subject to the attack of darkness, for he rides in full glory across the sky by night. He is not plunged into the earth, but is the “sky-runner,” the ancient term for a god. Born as man on the west, he is now born anew as god on the east, “where the gods are born,” and reincarnation is over.
Some of the legends poetize the moon as seducing the sun in the darkness of night to be impregnated with his light. Some say the sun was in love with the moon. A kiss in mythical language was a euphemism for copulation. Judas betrayed his Lord with a kiss, which is the Gospel’s continuation of former Egyptian imagery by which the betrayer, seducer – matter – the woman, lured the sun or soul into her darkened realm to give her the seed of light. The allegory was later applied to the resurrection, in which the slumbering soul was awakened by the kiss of Horus. The Prince awakens Snow-White with a kiss.
The great Egyptian symbol, the Eye, stands for the solar light. Sut, who swallows it at evening, restores it at morning. Nature, earth, the mother, all of whom absorb the sunlight, are made to reproduce it again in new beauty! Says Massey: “Thus the lunar orb was the consort of the sun; his Eye by night as the reproducer of his light when he was in the underworld; and in reproducing the light she was the mother bringing forth her child” – his child, he might have said.5
The “Cow-Goddess” Hathor is portrayed with the solar disk between her horns, the imagery denoting the mother-moon as bearer of the sun, or rebegetter of his light. The eye reproduces objects by reflection; the moon reproduces the sun. Here indeed is the woman clothed with the sun, bathed in its splendor, and periodically bringing forth her man-child, with the great dragon of darkness ready to devour him, re-enacting endlessly the type of that Christ-birth that occurs to man once. For three days the father’s dwindling light disappeared in the belly of the great fish. Jonah issues from the great fish, constellated in Pisces, in the form of the Christ, who stills the storm on the sea of carnality. As the moon retired out of sight of men in her dark period to copulate with the sun, so woman, the moon’s human counterpart, was made by early religious usage to retire from the sight of men during her period. Nor was she to come into the presence of the sun or fire, a restriction perpetuated in some quarters to this day.
The Egyptians, it will have been noticed, manifested an uncanny penchant for discerning in the characteristic traits of animals many striking analogies with spiritual or creational verities. If their work was restored to religion, it would revitalize the latter by establishing a knowledge of the fundamental affinity between man and his environing universe. In no one respect, perhaps, have they revealed a more astonishing correspondence between animal trait and cosmical philosophy than in the case of the cynocephalus or dog-headed ape. This animal, be it recalled, is the zoötype of the moon-god Taht-Aan. To avoid faulty presentation of this parallel it is desirable to quote the datum from its ancient source in the writing of Hor-Apollo, as cited by Massey:
“Hor-Apollo says of the cynocephalus, the personified speaker, singer and later writer, that the Egyptians symbolized the moon by it on account of a kind of sympathy which the ape had with it at the time of its conjunction with the god. ‘For at the exact instant of the conjunction of the moon with the sun, when the moon became unillumined, then the male cynocephalus neither sees nor eats, but is bowed down to the earth with grief, as if lamenting the ravishment of the moon. The female also, in addition to its being unable to see, and being afflicted in the same manner as the male, ex genitalibus sanguinem emittit;6 hence even to this day Cynocephali are brought up in the temples, in order that from them may be ascertained the exact instant of the conjunction of the sun and moon. And when they would denote the renovation of the moon, they again portray a cenocephalus in the posture of standing upright, and raising its hands to heaven, with a diadem on its head.’”7
Any attempt to add point to this natural fact seems inadvisable. It speaks volumes of rebuke for those who blatantly decry the suggestion of astrological influences upon our earth and its citizenry. Plutarch, it will be remembered, stated that the “astral” or emotion body of man came from the moon, as the spiritual one came from the sun. These counterparts in man retain an affinity with their source, as they are of kindred essence with their progenitors. Hence powerful currents from the parent bodies must vitally affect their offspring even down here. Distance imposes little obstacle to such forces as cosmic rays.
The ape sets mankind another singular example of harmony with nature which we will be amazed to ponder. There is a widespread ancient tradition that certain species of apes assemble at the time of sunrise on an elevation or river bank facing the east, and with cries, prostrations and “clicking” salute the lord of day as he appears above the horizon. Biologically the ape heralded the coming of the man with the sun of intellect, and with ability to express the motions of thought by speech. How astonishing that nature has dramatized this event in the matutinal hailing by the apes of the physical symbol and embodiment of that intellect! The advent of divinity gave man speech; the rise of the solar lord sets the apes to clicking!
The ibis, sacred to Taht, the moon-god, emblemed the dark and light aspects of the moon in its two colors of white and black. The dark of the moon types the unspiritualized state of the first Adam, the Gentile, Sut, Anup, Krishna and the little Bambino or Italian Christ-child, were depicted as black.
The Biblical narrative of Samson and his consort Delilah seems quite definitely to be a growth from lunar typology. With the sun (in Hebrew) for his name, Samson is the sun-god; Delilah is traced (by Massey) to mean the feeble, waning, drooping aspect of lunar light, or the dark of the moon, its obscuration, and the menstruation. Conjunction with the woman during the dark period meant negation, abortion, waste of virile power, as in Onan’s case. Delilah represented the wretched sun-god in his reduced and fallen state of incarnation. As with Horus, Samson’s eyes are put out, his light is lost. Delilah causes his ruin, as her allurements lead to his being bound and shorn of his hair (a general type for solar rays). Ishtar is also the ruin of her solar lovers, and is charged with being an enchantress, a poisoner, a destroyer of male potency. Izdubar, the sun-god, reproaches her with witchcraft and seductive murderous lust, and saves himself by refusing to be her lover. The havoc wrought by Aholah and Aholibah, the two unholy sisters in harlotry portrayed in Ezekiel (23), upon the mighty sun-men of “Egypt” and “Babylon,” is depicted without restraint of language. They, like Delilah, lure young men to their “destruction,” that is, to union with matter and descent into it.
In old texts the date on which Osiris is affirmed to descend into the underworld is given as the seventeenth of the month Athor or Athyr. This was to match the date of the autumn equinox. Zodiacally it was the time of his entering the six lower signs for the “three days of navigation.” Significantly the ark in which he was to be borne across the waters was a boat in the shape of the crescent moon. Then on the nineteenth of the same month, or after two (i.e., three) days, the priests proclaimed that he was re-found, or that his bark had come to view after being lost sight of.
The lunar phase of the meaning back of the term “Bull of his Mother,” applied to Horus, is readily glimpsed. As the growing light of the new sun-child spreads over the body of the moon, his mother, he is said to impregnate her and fill her body with his virility. The old light re-begets itself on its own mother. The horn is a type of male power, as witness the rhinoceros (nose-horn) and the unicorn. The “horned moon” represented the virile young sun-god exercising his function of begetting light on his mother. Horus impregnated his mother Isis.
The context makes it appropriate to introduce here the figure of another animal used by the ancients in symbolism – the ass. His mythical usage has brought much of his own reputed quality, asininity, into the interpretations. Much, if not all, of his typical significance can be seen in relation to lunar imagery. Anup, the god of the dark moon, was figured by the ass, as well as by the jackal. As the lunar orb becomes illumined with light, the mythicists framed the allegory of the sun-god’s riding into full glory on the back of the dark moon, Anup, the ass, or ass-headed god, as he is depicted on the tomb of Rameses Sixth. Hence Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the city of heavenly glory, is only a fabulous construction of the mythicist to portray the final triumph of the sun-god or soul in man over his lower world. The climactic act in mundane life is the departure from mortal flesh and the entry into the kingdom of spirit, the Aarru-Salem or Fields of Peace. And nothing so decisively betrays the befuddlement into which exoteric literalism has thrown Christian practice than the Church’s placing the triumphal entry of Jesus chronologically ahead of the crucifixion, death and burial. The victorious entry into spirit, to join the glorious company of the gods, ends all earthly crucifixion. By no jugglery of sense can the triumph precede the crucifixion, in the same cycle.
The god rides into glory on the back of the lower animal self. The Ritual has told us that Horus would be set on Sut’s back, to be upborne safely by him. The spiritual world rests upon the physical, which fact let idealists never forget. Without being carried patiently by these ascetically despised bodies of ours we could never reach the gates of the celestial city.
That the ass-riding legend is purely a mythical drama past all contradiction on the basis of the Biblical context is evident from the fact that the Gospels state Jesus would be found “sitting on an ass and a colt, the foal of an ass.” Impossibilities that can pass as myth prove ruinous when myth is turned into history. Picture Jesus physically astride the two animals at once! And this is a fair sample of the ludicrousness which the entire theology has taken on in modern presentation from the sheer despoiling of the mighty allegories of past wisdom. Nothing but the derided pagan mythology can eradicate the buffoonery of this scene and restore it to dignity. Theology has gone far to reduce the mind of Western humanity to imbecility; let mythology be called upon to restore it to sanity.
In this connection the linking of the symbol of the palm branch with the triumphal entry also indicates the luni-solar path to meaning. For, says Massey, the palm branch was an ancient type of time and periodicity. And Hor-Apollo avers that it was adopted as a symbol of a month or “moonth,” because it alone reproduces an additional branch at each renovation of the moon. One might call a lunar month the period of a palm branch. In the degree of subtlety and refinement to which the sages carried the art of natural portrayal of truth, they seem to have far overshot the capacity of later, even modern, mind to evaluate their constructions.
We have Balaam riding the ass, and Samson slaying the Philistines with the jaw-bone of an ass. The jaw is the lower and moveable part of the head, working up and down against a stable unmoved counterpart. In this bit of anatomy nature has typed again our duality and the deep truth that over against a stable and unmoved eternal nature within, an activity in the lower levels of life moves out and back, to and fro, to nourish and express life’s inner attributes. Only by the activity of this lower part can the inner soul slay its adversaries.
Another revelation of hidden Bible typology comes to light through lunar representation. The jackal of Anup and the cynocephalus of Taht-Aan, which figured as types of the dark lunation, were conceived as having stolen the light from the bright moon. As the dark period before and that after the illumination, they stood on either side of the Christ light on the moon. They were dubbed “thieves of the light,” in contrast to the twelve solar characters who were guardians of the treasure of light. Hermes, cognate with Anup, was in Greek mythology the thief. In the zodiac of Denderah just where Horus is shown on the cross or at the crossing of the vernal equinox, these two thieves Anup and Aan are drawn on either side of the sun-god. Here would appear to be the authentic pre-Christian prototype of the Gospel crucifixion between two thieves. Incarnation steals away the divine light – only to add to its brightness.
Orion, the mighty hunter, type of the sun-god, is represented as pursuing the moon which leaps ahead one hour’s jump each night, like a hare. In his chase of the hare he is accompanied by his two dogs, constellated as the stars Cyon (Greek kuon (cyon), “dog”) and Procyon. On emerging from the darkness of Amenta Osiris says: “I come forth as a Bennu (the Phoenix-type of the Dog-star Sirius) at dawn. I urge on the dogs of Horus.” These again may be Anup and Aan, the dog and the dog-headed ape, symbols of man in his early evolutionary state as animal, then as half animal and half man, the ape, before becoming full man. The god in man urges on in his evolution the animal part of himself.
We are now in position to understand a detail of Sut’s dismember- ment of Osiris passed over before. The dark power cut the god’s body into fourteen pieces! The meaning is under our eye in the lunar symbolism. To reduce full moon to dark moon, the Sut power must cut off the light in fourteen separate pieces, one each night! The lunar phenomena likewise dramatize the companion idea of the disrobing of the soul at each step of her descent into matter, as she loses a portion of her robe of light at each of fourteen steps.
The moon phases and periods furnish the actual origin of ancient and some modern festivals in a manner known to few. If not entirely a growth out of lunar periodicities, our Sabbath on the seventh day and the Jewish one on the sixth day, are traceable to origins in identical ancient festivals commemorating the sixth and seventh days of the lunar month. The early civilizations marked off three dates in the lunar cycle as worthy of celebration, the first, the sixth (or seventh) and the fifteenth. These were apparently all festivals in honor of Ra (or Osiris), though in conjunction with Luna. The feasts on the first and fifteenth were lunar festivals corresponding to the solar Christmas and the solar Easter, or the sun-god’s birth and resurrection. The new moon might be thought of as born on the first day. He completed his conquest of darkness in full light on the fifteenth (fourteenth). But there was a feast day set for the sixth and seventh days of the lunar month. This was the Feast of the Tenait. The word denotes a measure of time, a division, week or fortnight. It was primarily associated with the seventh day of the month. The Ritual recites (Ch. I): “I am with Horus on the day when the Festivals of Osiris are celebrated, and when offerings are made on the sixth day of the month, and on the Feast of the Tenait in Heliopolis” (city of the sun). The significant basic datum here is that, according to the old texts, “Osiris entered the moon on the sixth day of the month.”
Now a great quantity of material could be adduced to support the contention that the sixth day was named as the date of the god’s entrance into the moon, picturing his entry into earthly body, because the implantation of the seed in the material womb could not be made until the day after the completion of the five days of menstruation! A lunar dark period was three days; but the reckoning was made on the basis of the woman’s actual period of five days. This five-day period of female non-productivity looms large in primitive number types of meaning. Indeed some African creation legends set a secular creation of five days with a Sabbath on the sixth. The five days signifying negation, it is curiously found that the Egyptian Nun, the abyss of nothingness, is written with five successive N’s. We have seen how ancient law insisted on woman’s playing the part of negation, disappearance, retirement, during the five days. In Parsee law even a woman who became clean in three days was not to be washed until the fifth day. On this account five became considered the evil or untoward number, and the five intercalary days injected into the year at the end to make the difference between the 360 days of twelve solar months (of 30 days) and the 365 (364) of the thirteen lunar months of 28 days each, were charactered as the unlucky days of ill and darkness. They came at the winter solstice, the era of yearly darkness.
Hence it was that the sixth day, the first succeeding the five days of taboo, was the time of a new impregnation, connoting new birth and renewal. Hence the first five days of the moon cycle were made memorial of the preliminary natural cycles of life in the kingdoms of darkness before the advent of the mind principle, solar intelligence, in the world. The sixth was considered to have deified the early five as later the seventh deified the first six. At any rate this was the figure of representation when the female period was the norm of typing and measurement. Thus Osiris, the seminal seed of divinity, entered the womb of matter to fecundate life on the first day after the dark period, which is incidentally the most fertile period of the month’s cycle. And this is indeed notable, for it is undoubtedly the origin of the Jewish eve. The commencement of the Sabbath at sunset is attributable to the symbolism of the setting sun, which figuratively marked the time of the god’s descent into the underworld for the night – of incarnation. This gave a Sabbath beginning on the evening of the fifth day, but covering mainly the sixth day, Saturday. This was the true Sun-day under lunar typism, because it marked the birth of the new sun in the moon.
But the festival of the full moon came on the fifteenth, bringing another Sun-day eight days later, – if on the fourteenth, then seven days later. But if the seventh was a solar day, the sixth was dedicated to Saturn, and on the night of it the love-feast or Agapae began at six o’clock to commemorate the conjunction of the sun and moon, or Horus with Hathor-Isis. This day was a phallic festival celebrated in symbolic appropriateness by the conjunction of male and female, the basis of the Saturnalia. Merely typical significance was given concrete dramatization in the actual union of males and females; for it is said that “couplings did abound.” It was Saturn’s day to conjoin with his mother. From being held once a month, the two-day soli-lunar celebration was later repeated every seven days, or weekly.
Annu was the Egyptian city where festivals were held in honor of Osiris. One of these was kept on the sixth day of the month. The Speaker in the Ritual says that he is with Horus on the festival of Osiris on the sixth day of the month. As Annu became Beth-Annu (Bethany), it is instructive to compare with this the following from the Gospels (John 12): “Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus raised from the dead. So they made him a supper there,” at which were present the two women, Mary and Martha, as the two Meri’s or Merti (Mertae) were present at Beth-Anu in Egypt. This was the mortuary meal at Annu, corresponding to the supper at Bethany.
The festival of the sixth day is clearly the one known as the Hakera (as well as the Tenait), that was solemnized on the sixth night of the Ten Mysteries. At this great festival was commemorated the resurrection of Osiris. This one of the Ten Mysteries was celebrated “before the great circle of the gods in Abydos [city of death and rebirth] on the night of the Hakera when the glorious ones are rightly judged; when the evil dead are parted off and ‘joy goeth its rounds in Thinis’” (Ch. 18, Renouf). This was the festival of “Come thou to me,” or the resurrection. On this day the solar healer and deliverer of the Manes in Amenta rides in glory as the “divine one that dwelleth in heaven and who sitteth on the eastern side of heaven” (Rit., Ch. 25).
The goddess-mother Ishtar (the Hebrew Esther!) of Akkad was, like Venus and Hathor, designated “the Goddess Fifteen”: being named from the date of the full moon or her productive heyday. The Egyptian goddess exclaims (Ch. 80): “I have made the eye of Horus when it was not coming on the festival of the fifteenth day.” This is perhaps a reminder that at an early day the moon revolution was more definitely known than the solar cycle, and the fourteenth was counted as the date of the full moon. Ishtar is described as ascending and descending the steps of the moon, fifteen up and down in consonance with her title of Goddess Fifteen. In Pseudo-Matthew (Ch. 4) we learn that when the Virgin was an infant, just weaned, she ran up the fifteen steps of the temple at full speed without once looking back. In the History of Joseph the Carpenter Jesus says that Mary gave him birth in the fifteenth year of her age, by a mystery that no creature can understand except the Trinity. And Mary is the Egyptian Meri, who was Hathor, the Goddess Fifteen.
The Pistis Sophia dates the Transfiguration of Jesus on the fifteenth day of the month Tybi, the day of the full moon. The resurrection, or new birth, was always reckoned in Egypt on the full moon of this month, and as it came close after the winter solstice, about December 27 (Massey), it points to the Christmas nativity as being either ignorantly confused or knowingly identified with both the Transfiguration and the Resurrection. An address to Isis in the Ritual runs:
“I have come to see thee and thy beauties within the Utcha in thy name of Heb-enti-ses (i.e., the sixth-day festival). Thou hast conquered heaven by the greatness of thy majesty in thy name of ‘Prince of the festival of the fifteenth day!’ . . . Gods and men live at sight of thee. Thou risest to us . . .”
In the Ritual the Mother is she who “gives thee water on every first and every fifteenth day of the month.”
A considerable amount of mythic construction has grown up around the poetic conception of the crescent moon as shaped like a tortoise shell, across which seven strings were drawn to form a lyre or harp. Many gods and goddesses play upon a harp of seven strings, Orpheus notably. Man must learn to draw consummate music from his evolutionary instrument of seven keys.
The moon is the source of much numerology, especially that dealing with the quantity: four times seven equals twenty-eight. The circuit of twenty-eight days found a natural division into four weeks of seven days each, the basis of a thirteen-month lunar year, or 364 days. Here was the meat for a veritable feast of mythological and numerological revelry. Man is founded, we have seen, on a natural basic structure composed of the four elements, each of which provide the substrate for one of his four bodies. His upper three principles rest on these four. Man is a spiritual triangle resting on a natural quadrilateral – the Pyramid. Each one of the four elemental strata is itself subdivided into seven sub-planes. Hence man’s foundation is numerically a fourfold seven, or four times seven, or twenty-eight. In Hindu literature one finds this distinctly confirmed in a statement which says “the last of the Buddhas advanced by 28 steps, seven toward each of the four quarters.” Man has thus far established himself on four of the total seven platforms of the mount, with seven sub-steps to each.
But when the solar reckoning had supplanted the lunar there was a new basis of division. Thirty days were taken to the month and these were divided into three decads, or 3 X 10 = 30. This was in conformity with the new constitution of man, presided over, as he now was, by the solar light as a trinity or triad. The sun of intellect added its three crowning rays to the seven lower forces, making the tenfold man, the perfect type. A week on this basis would be composed of ten days, and three would make the month. Spiritual light is amenable to the same decomposition as is sunlight in passing through a three-sided medium, and it goes into seven divisions, which, united with the three primal ones, make the ten.
The study yields a sudden and unexpected return on effort expended by revealing to the world at last the true origin of the superstition of ill luck or sinister influence attaching to the number thirteen. It was the number of lunar months in the solar year. This was the year as founded on lunar or feminine determination. When the father’s part in parenthood came to be known, and the moon’s light was discovered to come from the hidden father of lights, the great differentiation between the two sexual hemispheres of humanity became established, with the ascription of every high and favorable, right and propitious influence to the spiritual male side, and the ominous, unfavorable, sinister and left-handed (Latin: sinister means “left-handed”) to the material or female. Hence a thirteen-month year, as the final numerical basis of the new heaven in man’s constitution, was the accepted sign of everything desirable. Thirteen is sinister, then, because it was governed by luni-feminine influence, always redolent to the mythicist of the baser elements of the human frame. “Left” in Latin is “sinister,” in French it is “gauche,” which works into gaucherie, awkwardness.
The moon sent the hare to tell mankind that as the lunar god died and rose again, so should mortals also be renewed and rise again. So runs a tribal tradition of the Khoi-Khoi. They regarded the moon as the deity that promises man immortality. We would do well to keep a hold on that Khoi-Khoi suggestion. As with obvious design and precise calculation of times and cycles, the silvery orb is set in the sky as a perpetual object-lesson to the human race, a reminder to man that in the darkness of the night of his earthly burial, the solar light of divinity is still shining gloriously upon him, and shining more brightly unto the day of perfection. So comprehensive is that allegory that twenty pages have scarcely sufficed to outline the main facts involved. When the history written in soli-lunar language on the sky of night is read once again, a race distracted by loss of fontal wisdom may gain a foothold for peace and sanity on the ground of the knowledge there revealed.
The light of the sun on the moon shows spirit transfiguring body. And this nocturnal stage-play is far from being merely allegorical. The final word of crowning moment in the whole presentation of solar symbolism has not yet been spoken. At the heart of every living organism is a nucleus of solar light and energy. That is the sublime beginning of knowledge. Half of the task of liberating the modern mind from its hangover of medieval darkness will be achieved by the propagation anew of that fountain truth. But the still unuttered word that will complete the enfranchisement of thought from its present shackles has been hidden away amid the neglected pages of Neo-Platonic literature. From that grave of oblivion we drag it forth and set it beside the other luminous fact so that the two may be seen as the twin lights of the modern renaissance of wisdom. The light of the sun has been proclaimed as the essence of the deity within us. The sunlight on the moon has been heralded as the symbol of our growing godhood. How infinitely more it is than essence and symbol, and how much closer sun-worship has been to truth than modern superciliousness has ever dreamed, is disclosed in the short but mighty sentence of Proclus:
“The light of the sun is the pure energy of intellect.”8
Here is the vital link of knowledge, long missing, that has been needed to join matter with spirit, nature with God, science with religion, and mind with the universe. For if, then, there is a nucleus of radiant light at the core of every life, the long puzzle as to how mind became introduced into body is indeed solved. That unquenchable spark of intense light glowing at the center of all life is itself the pure energy of intellect! The body does not generate intellect; intellect is the force that generates the body! The Faerie Queen has intimated that soul shapes the body’s form over its own inner model. Matter and mind are never found disjoined, for mind is the primal energy and builds a body to be its instrument in this arena of life. The substance, or body, of any organic unit is only an accretion of matter about a fiery nucleus, itself non-physical, which is mind itself. Mind is the energy of solar light; or solar light is the effect of mental energy. Can we imagine the stupendous power of that thinking energy of cosmic Mind which engenders a light like that of the sun! Mind is the core and cornerstone of every creature. Its light is blinded in lower orders, but shines forth in men and gods. Here is the beginning of wisdom and the re-beginning of religion. Could Christians have been persuaded to understand and accept their own Bible, this matter would have been established long ago. For the Psalms (84) stated this truth to an uncomprehending world centuries ago: “The Lord God is a sun. . . .” Nor less has the New Testament given witness to the same truth, for it has proclaimed that the son of the Father of Lights is the “sun of righteousness, risen with healing in his wings.” The face of Jesus did “shine as the sun” in his transfiguration; and the ultimate promise given to sincere mortals is that at the end of earthly struggle, with victory won, – “then shall the righteous shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”
1. From an article in the New York Times of Nov. 25, 1932.
2. The Rosicrucians: Their Rites and Mysteries; Hargrave Jennings, p. 211.
3. From a papyrus rendered by M. Chabas.
4. Thomas Taylor: Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries, p. 145.
5. Lecture on Luniolatry, p. 14.
6. Latin: “Emits blood from the genitals.”
7. The Natural Genesis, I, pp. 44.
8. The Six Books of Proclus on the Theology of Plato, II, p. 148.
AT THE EAST OF HEAVEN
The human drama ends with the sunrise of Easter. The voyage across the underworld sea by night terminates on the rim of the eastern horizon at break of Easter light. The somber cross turns into the garlanded maypole of Merry Mount. The ark shrine of Horus reaches at last that other shore, and its enthralled crew disembarks, to take at last that other boat, the majestic ship of Ra, beginning its voyage across the crystal sea. The door of the cabin is flung wide open to let the King of Glory emerge. He advances amid the joyous acclaim of gods and men as they hail him who has arisen victorious over the underworld.
To limn the reality of that experience is beyond the power of language. This fact explains indeed why the ancients did not attempt to describe it. They strove to present it under forms of typology that would impress the mind through subtle powers of suggestion not open to language. All religious ceremonial grew out of typal operations which wrought their influence through the hidden potencies of sound and rhythm. And long contemplation of zoötypes and living natural symbols of truth produced repercussions in psychic awakening and vivid realization that may well be regarded as magical. The continued consideration of any living embodiment of truth will achieve a transformation into a new birth of spiritual vision and a liberation of currents of power not dreamed of before. If we are to effectuate some measure of this release of latent efficacy, we must revive the ancient figurative typology. We must align truth once again with natural processes, so as to view it under the forms of its endorsement by outward reality. The human psyche, tortured too long under the strain of sheer unsupported faith, will leap forward in gladness if again it can find the proffered truths of religion cast in harmony with living veracity. The outer world is itself living mind come to view in its own for- mations, which must then be the veridical images of truth. In conformity with this axiom the effort must now be made to portray the later phases of the arc of the human cycle, in which the soul undergoes processes that find vivid analogues in the realm of lower nature.
The soul or god in man has been represented as in actuality the foetus of a great divine being in the womb of earthly nature and individually in the body of each human, awaiting delivery. The task of evolution in the human round is to bring this embryo to the consummation of its pre-natal period, and to give it birth at last into the kingdom of the celestials. Birth is delivery from some womb. Matter is the mother of the gods and the body of physical man is the womb of the god who is struggling to come to being in it. It groans and travails in pain until the Christ is formed within it. All nature is in labor to generate the mind principle. Paul says that “even we ourselves groan within ourselves,” waiting for our redemption through the new birth. The Apostle adds that the body is the temple of the living God, and emphasizes that “the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (I Cor. 3:17). With all this direct force of literal statement to empower his utterance, a stupid world has never yet seemed to grasp that Paul was delineating an actual physiological fact. He fairly shrieks at our dullness with the cry: “Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is within you?”
One of the variety of natural symbols under which the sages pictured the generation of the embryo god was that of “germination.” We have seen how pointedly the seed in the ground was employed to type this new birth. Germination was a vivid mirror of an inner experience.
Budge, in his introductory treatise to the Book of the Dead, writes that the Egyptians conceived the sahu, or spiritual body, the ka, or double, the ba, or soul, the ab, or heart, the khu, or shining spirit, the sekhem, or vital force, the ren, or name, and the khabit, or shade, all as coming forth into existence after death. With no better conception of what was meant by “death” than the scholastics have had, it would be assumed on the basis of this interpretation that man has none but his physical organism while living, and that the various higher bodies come into being after his demise. But these inner bodies are vital to the very existence of the physical, and must subsist with it. Man is on earth to bring these subtle bodies into development, for they can’t evolve without the solar essence resident in the core of the bodily cells to furnish them their texture of light. They readily interpenetrate the coarser bodies and subsist on them. What is to be understood as the coming forth of these bodies after death, as formulated by Budge, is the fact that at the consummation of the long series of lives – which are themselves the “death” spoken of, these bodies, having been born, formed and matured within the womb of the outer body, then step forth through the rent in the veil, the opened tomb door, and float free of their old mother-womb, or “bird-cage of the soul.” The ones below the body of immortal essence, disintegrate in turn, to be nucleated again about the new physical body of the next generation. The higher ones persist intact through the “Flood” of dissolution and return to embodiment. But these bodies are not fully formed and perfected until after many “deaths,” and it is their final liberation at the termination of the climactic life in flesh that the seers of old are commenting upon. Budge concludes his statement by saying that “it seems that the various ethereal bodies which we have enumerated together made up the spiritual body, which ‘germinated’ in the khat, or material body.”
The Ritual (Ch. 56) gives this utterance of the Manes: “I keep watch over the egg of Kenken-Ur (the Great Cackler); I germinate as it germinateth; I live as it liveth, and my breath is its breath.” And in Chapter 64 he says:
“I hide with the god Ala-aaiu, who will walk behind me, and my members shall germinate and my khu shall be as an amulet for my body and as one who watcheth to protect my soul and to defend it and to converse therewith; . . .”
In chapter 129, the book of making perfect the Khu, it is stated that “the goddess Menqet shall make plants to germinate upon his body; . . .” And in chapter 165, called significantly the “chapter of arriving in port,” the text to be recited is designed to “make the body germinate, and to drink water and not disappear.” The prayer to be recited pleads as follows: “Grant thou that all his members may repose in Neter-khertet (the underworld) . . . let his whole body become like that of a god.” The sequence of the phrases indicates that the sprouting of the seed of divinity in the body was integrally a part of the process of becoming like a god.
In the “chapter of making the transformation into the bennu bird,” Nu saith: “I am come into being from unformed matter. I come into existence like the god Khepera; I have germinated like things which germinate (i.e., plants) and I have dressed myself like the tortoise. I am the germs of every god . . . I have come by day and I have risen in the footsteps of the gods.”
The doctrine of the “virgin birth” as from “unformed matter” is concisely stated in the first sentence, and the germination of every god is clearly asserted. The roots of the profoundest of all Christian doctrines can be discerned in these Egyptian discourses.
Germination parallels closely the other symbol of “quickening” touched on earlier. Sent to die in matter, the latent power of the seed bestirs itself in the tomb, and sends out its first tendrils to take hold of the soil below, and others to woo the air above. It begins at once to “cultivate the crops on both sides of the horizon,” the upper and lower worlds, simultaneously. This is indeed a graphic picture of how life reaches both upwards and downwards, linking two kingdoms. It must root itself in the lower in order to get a firm hold to aspire upward. Without its rootage in the soil below it could not evolve the organism by which it reaches aloft to air and sun. Out of the cruder elements of the underworld it absorbs the material which the magic power of the sun is able to transmute into finer body, crowning the whole with the soul of beauty and glory in the flower at the summit. Germination is the analogue of man’s life in every general aspect and in many minor particulars. Our souls must germinate in the khat or physical body, and the transaction is one of the larger regenerations undergone by the incarnate Ego, as described by the students of the past.
Germination is a step antecedent and preparatory to emergence from the buried state of any seed, earthly or celestial. It is introductory to the resurrection, to a more realistic appreciation of which one can best be led through the gate of the mighty Kamite wisdom. The sacred books of Egypt deal mainly with the two segments of the arc of life, embodiment in flesh and resurrection therefrom. The first chapter of the Book of the Dead deals with the resurrection, and the title of this great antique script is itself but a term for the resurrection: The Coming Forth by Day. The title obviously refers to the coming of a living entity out of some state of darkness and imprisonment into the light of day and freedom. It is the book of the resurrection of the “dead.” It is the book for the living “dead” on earth. It has little reference to the experiences or conditions beyond the grave. It concerns the birth, burial, incubation, baptism, purgation, circumcision, temptation, crucifixion; the bleeding, the shame, the nakedness, the suffering; and then the quickening, germination, rebirth, reconstitution and final transfiguration and resurrection of the divine-human psyche in this life.
Lewis Spence very justly, amid his complete misconception of Egyptian mythology, states:
“It is probable that the name had a significance for the Egyptians which is incapable of being rendered in any modern language, and this is borne out by another of its (sub)-titles – “The chapter of making perfect the Khu’ (or spirit). Osiris had now become the god of the dead par excellence, and his dogma taught that from the preserved corpse would spring a beautiful astral body, the future home of the spirit of the deceased.”
The only real difficulty in rendering the name in other languages, however, has been the complete ignorance of the reversed meaning of the word “death.” Naturally enough the translation and the sense would seem to be complicated with difficulties when nothing of the cosmic history of the soul, the evolutionary states from and into which it is to be resurrected, and other basic data, are known. Difficulty vanishes when these fundamenta are taken into account.
The name – “Coming forth by day” – demands a moment’s scrutiny. The question arises as to just what the Egyptians mean by “day.” Is it the “day” of our life here in body or the brighter “day” that follows this life? Is the coming forth to be reckoned as from the darkness of non-existence into this life, or as from the darkness of earth into the bright “day” of celestial being? With all its bright sunshine and vivid sense of reality, this life is still the dark night of the soul, the twilight of the gods, the burial in death and hell. The coming forth by day then must refer to the final transfer of the imprisoned soul from this darkness to the Elysian meadows of supernal delight. This interpretation is inherent in every implication of the great mass of typology.
A statement from Massey is interpolated here because it repeats so faithfully the typical language of Egyptian texts:
“Resurrection in the Ritual is the coming forth to day (Peri-em-heru) whether from the life on earth, or to the life attainable in the heaven of eternity. [Why not both? – we ask.] The first resurrection is, as it were, an ascension from the tomb in the nether earth by means of the secret doorway. But this coming forth is in, not from, Amenta, after the burial in the upper earth. He issues from the valley of darkness and the shadow of death.”1
The reader will doubtless share our own inability to assign definite location to Massey’s “nether earth” and “upper earth.” They were terms hit upon by him to go on talking without committing himself to anything definitely meaningful. As locations they are perfectly pointless and fictional, in his usage. Nether and upper earth are the two realms of man’s nature, and surely in his resurrection he rises out of or from the lower and ascends into the upper. If Amenta is this life and not some semi-ghostly existence after demise, then the resurrection must be from Amenta into heaven. But if a prisoner is released from a cell his release at least starts in the cell. So our resurrection is both in and from Amenta, and to a kingdom above. It must be described as in and from this life to a higher. Yet in reality it is an apotheosis in consciousness which plays havoc with the strict sense of in, from and to. Three dimensional directions become synthesized in a new direction on the plane above this type of consciousness. Our arising then is from lower to higher state of being.
We call the Ritual itself to witness the correctness of the exegesis. In the Rubric to chapter 18 directions are given: “Now if this chapter be recited over him, he shall come forth upon earth and shall escape from every fire.” What could be more explicit? Not less decisive is the chapter 64 title: “The chapter of coming forth by day in the underworld.” The soul is itself hailed as “Lord of the shrine that standeth in the middle of the earth.” And again definiteness is seen in the title to chapter 188: “Chapter of the coming in of the soul to build an abode and to come forth by day in human form.” This might at first glance seem to be a denial of the resurrection in a spiritual body; yet it is not. Massey himself understood this clearly. He writes:
“But the individual is shown to persist [after demise] in human form. He comes forth by day and is living after death in the figure, but not as the mummy, that he wore on earth.”
“Also the ka-image of man the immortal is portrayed in the likeness of man the mortal. The human form is never lost to view through all the phantasmagoria of transformation.”2 Though a spirit and no longer a mortal, Jesus came forth from the grave in human form. As Massey well says, the resurrected Manes appears in the figure of, but not as, the mummy or earth body. The soul steps forth in a garment that has the form but not the substance of physical man. Why? Because the outer physical form was in the first place shaped over the mold of that inner invisible body. When the latter has divested itself of the former, it appears in its original and characteristic shape.
The Manes asserts that he rises as “a god amongst men,” which must be on earth. The resurrecting entity was styled “he who cometh forth from the dusk and whose birth is in the house of death” – which is the physical body. Chapter 65 bears further succinct testimony: “Behold me, I am born and I come forth in the form of a living Khu, and the human beings who are upon the earth ascribe praise unto me.” He must be where human beings can perceive him to render him this praise.
It may fall with disconcerting effect upon religionists who so sharply differentiate between Old and New Testaments to be told that the Old Testament exodus is identical in meaning with the New Testament resurrection! To be sure, it is set forth under vastly different forms of typology in the two versions. The Hebrew representation perhaps also depicts the entire scope of the cycle rather than just the concluding or climactic stage of it. Massey’s words will make this clear:
“Thus the origin of the exodus, as Egyptian, was in the coming forth of the heavenly bodies from below the horizon as the mythical representation. This was followed by the coming forth of the Manes from dark to day, from death to life, from bondage to liberty, from Lower Egypt to Upper Egypt in the eschatology.”3
The exodus, he says, is the experience of the Manes in making their journey through, and their exit from, Amenta.
Luke’s “multitude of the heavenly host praising God” fills also the Book of the Dead with celestial chorus: “They rejoice at his beautiful coming forth from the womb of Nut,” or, as it might be rendered, the womb of Meri (Mary), for Meri is another name for the Mother-heaven. And as the glory appeared to the shepherds in such effulgence that they were sore afraid, so “the coming forth to day is attended by a great flood of light that emanated from the solar glory and enveloped him entirely.” When Horus has revived his dead father, he says: “I am Horus on this fair day at the beautiful coming forth of thy powers, who lifteth thee up with himself on this fair day as thine associate god.” Chapters 2 and 3 provide that the deceased may come forth in the underworld and “live after he hath died, even as doth Ra day by day.” And chapter 72 says that he may “come forth by day in all the forms which he pleaseth to take.” “He sails over heaven . . . he arrives at the high place of heaven . . . the storm winds of heaven bear him along and present him to Ra.” The Manes is told: “Thy soul flieth up on high to meet the soul of the gods . . .” The famous Hymn to Ra is sung “when he [Ani] riseth in the eastern part of heaven.”
It is likely that the “two men in white apparel” in the Acts (I:10) who say to the disciples, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into heaven?” are the Gospel counterparts of the two sons of Atum, Hu and Sa, who attend their father in his resurrection in the Egyptian scene.
In Job (25:14) it is asked: “How can man be clean that is born of a woman?” The resurrection followed the cleansing from earthly dross. The Manes prays that the solar glory should shine upon him and that “no pollution of my mother be upon me.” He hopes to fare across the miry lake with no stains of base defilement clinging to him. The Speaker in the Ritual is desirous of making his transformation into the glorious body of light which is at the opposite pole of manifestation from that earthy body that was engendered by the blood of the mother. At the apex of his triumph he must have sloughed off every last vestige of earthly taint if his radiance is to shine undimmed.
The coming forth implicates certain theological considerations that must be scanned. It is not the same as the “coming” which is involved in the Messianic advent. The Egyptian Amen seems to be derived from Amenu, “to come.” He was that aspect of Ra whose emergence upon earth brought the deific fire to man. This was the coming of divinity to earth, yet hardly its coming forth upon earth. They are an inceptive and a concluding phase, however, of the same large movement. The one begins, the other ends, the cycle of mortal life. The seed comes into the soil and then comes forth from it. A human comes on the day of his birth, yet he only comes in his adulthood when a man. And in a larger sense the whole of his life is his coming to what- ever he is to be. So with the theological “coming”; it is not completed until its final act is consummated. The god has not fully come until his resurrection. The coming Son is not only the Messiah whose advent is celebrated at Christmas, but is as well the buried lord re-arising at Easter.
For many thousands of years before Christ, the prototype of all coming saviors was the Egyptian Iusa. The name is from Iu (Ia, Ie, Io or Ja, Je, Jo, Ju), the original name of biune divinity, combined with the Egyptian suffix sa (or se, si, su, or saf, sef, sif, suf), meaning, with the grammatical masculine “f,” the male heir, son, successor, or prince. Iusa then means the son of the divine father Iu (Ju-piter, “father god”), or the son of Ihuh (Jehovah). He was Iu, coming as the su, or son. His mother in the Atum cult was Iusaas. He was God the son, the prince, the heir. He was the original of all Jesus figures, of whom there are some twenty or more by the name of Jesus (Joshua, Jesse, Joses, Hosea, Isaiah, Isaac, Esau, Josiah, Joash, Jehoaz, Jehoahaz, Job, Jonah, Joel and others) both in the Old Testament and outside of it. Samson, Saul and Solomon are prior types of Jesus, all bearing the solar character in their name. Iusa, Solomon and Jesus were all temple builders. Iusa was the divine modeler of the spiritual temple, and an inscription says that the temple of Edfu was “restored as it is in the book of the model composed by Prince Iusa, eldest son of Ptah.” He was Iu-em-hetep (Imhotep, Imothes) of a later cult. He was that seventh principle that came to bring peace (Hetep) by fusing and reducing to harmony the lower six powers which were anarchic until the advent of the Prince of Peace to subjugate them. The seventh principle is the savior and redeemer of creation. The Manes says: “I am one of those to whom it is said, Come, come, in peace, by those who look upon him” – that is, the company of the gods. He says again in Chapter 25, the “chapter of giving a heart to Osiris in the underworld:” “My soul shall not be fettered to my body at the gates of the underworld; but I shall enter in peace and I shall come forth in peace.” These and similar phrases of promise are to be fulfilled on that great day, the name of which is itself significant – the day of “Come thou to me,” or “the day of ‘Come unto us,’” or “Come thou hither.” This was to be the opening day of the resplendent new creation. Revelation speaks of the same grand inaugural: “The spirit and the bride say ‘Come’!” (Ch. 20:11). Spirit and matter, calling from the horizon, bid us come to the crowning.
The natural man, first Adam, the race’s ancient half-animal progenitors, prepared the way and saluted and announced the coming one. The Manes cries: “Let the fathers and their apes make way for me, that I may enter the Mount of Glory, where the great ones are” (Ch. 136B). The ape typed the pre-solar morning star that announced the coming of the human sun, and the morning star is one of the seven rewards promised to him that overcometh. The morning star (at one time) was Sothis, the watch-dog that barked to announce the coming of the Day-Star from on high, as the ape clicked at the rising sun.
In the beginning of the cycle, “the god comes to his body”; in the end Horus exclaims: “I have come to an end for the lord of heaven, I rest at the table of my father Osiris.” This immediately precedes his piercing the veil of the tabernacle and coming forth as the divine hawk or soul.
A quite instructive statement stands at the end of the “chapter by which the soul of Osiris is perfected in the bosom of Ra”:
“By this book the soul of the deceased shall make its exodus with the living and prevail amongst, or as, the gods. By this book he shall know the secrets of that which happened in the beginning. No one else has ever known this mystical book or any part of it. It has not been spoken by men. No eye hath deciphered it. No ear hath heard of it. It must only be seen by thee and the man who unfolded its secrets to thee. Do not add to its chapters or make commentaries on it from the imagination or from memory. Carry it out in the judgment hall. This is a true Mystery unknown anywhere to those who are uninitiated.” (Rubric to Chapter 149, Birch).
It is singular that Paul (Ephesians 3:3 ff) speaks in quite similar terms of a mystery made known to him “which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men; as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the spirit” – that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs and partakers of the promise of Christhood. It would seem, then, that the great aeonial mystery of this portion of the universe was the coming of the solar deities to link with the animal races and lift them up. This is the theme of our book. It is for men the greatest of all mysteries, since it is the mystery of his own being. We, unspiritualized, are the Gentiles. As the heir of Seb, Horus says that he was suckled at the breast of Isis, the spouse of Seb, “who gave him his theophanies,” or manifestations (Rit., Ch. 82). “Horus on earth lies down to embrace the old man who keeps the light of earth, and who is Seb, the earth-father” (Ch. 84). It is notable here that it is Seb, earth-power, that gives to undeveloped solar intelligence, its “theophanies” or actualization in concrete worlds.
The Messianic Son came ever as the manifester and witness for the father, who had sunk his life in matter to reproduce himself in his next generation. According to Herodotus (2:43) the Egyptian Jesus with the title of Iu-em-hetep was one of the eight great gods who were in the papyri twenty thousand years ago! He bore a different name according to the cult. To the sages of old time the coming was a constantly recurring and only typical event. The ancient Messiah was a representative figure coming from age to age, cycle to cycle. He came “each day” in the Ritual; he came periodically; he came “regularly and continuously.” He came once through the cycle; but his solar and lunar and natural types came cyclically and in eternal renewal. The Egyptian Messiah was one whose historical coming was not expected at any date, at any epoch. The type of his coming was manifest in some phenomenon repeated as often as the day, the year, or the lunation came around. The constant repetition of type was the assurance of its unfailing fulfillment. For the ancients, the idea of a fulfillment “once for all” would have been to accept the possibility of stopping dead the march of the universe. And for one to be saved in a final sense for all eternity, would have been to drop out of step with the rhythmic pulse of life. To them salvation meant to consummate the present step or cycle and keep marching on with nature. Viciously the corrupt notion has undermined the wholesome spirit of natural progress, that one may attain final bliss and drop out of the movement of life into eternal rest. It is a fatuity, and it has partly paralyzed the instinctive sympathy between man and his world of nature. We have torn our life asunder from its basic symphonic relation to the seasons and the elements, and lost thereby our sensitiveness to currents of subtle force that were designed to carry us onward.
The coming was taking place in the life of every man at all times. Each man had his evolutionary solstice, his Christmas; and he would have his Easter. The symbols were annuals; the actual events they typed in mankind’s history were perennials. In nature every process is but typical and repetitive. But it is typical of all other process and of life in its entirety.
Horus, a form of Iu-em-hetep, was not an individual historical person. For he says: “I am Horus, the Prince of Eternity.” Jesus was with the Father before the foundation of the worlds. Horus calls himself “the persistent traveler on the highways of heaven,” and “the everlasting one.” “I am Horus who steppeth onward through eternity.” Here is wisdom to nourish the mind and lead it out of its infantile stage into maturity of view. Horus declares himself forever above the character of a time-bound personage, an indestructible spirit that advances onward through one embodiment after another to endless days. He is the Ancient of Days, who eternally renews himself in cycle after cycle. Let moderns ponder his other mighty pronouncement: “I am a soul, and my soul is divine. It is the self-originating force.” It can perpetually renew itself, entering the womb of its mother, wife, sister, Isis, mother-nature, to be born again and again.
His career in any life cycle was typified by the ancients under the phases of the rolling year. Being himself the sun-god, his life was analogous to the sun’s movements round its cycle. He was born or baptized in the water signs below and rebaptized in the air and fire signs above the horizon. His typical reign was the period of one year! This was “the acceptable year of the Lord.” Tradition has carried the legend of a one-year ministry. The Gnostics Ptolemaeus and Herakleon, as well as the two great Christian philosophers Clement and Origen, held the view of a reign of Jesus that lasted one year.
The ancients used other cycles than the solar year to represent the comings of the perennial traveler. One was the Great Year of 25,868 years, during which the sun traversed the entire twelve signs of the zodiac in the precession of the equinoxes. A lesser one was a twelfth of this year, or the cycle of one sign, 2155 years. Another was the “house of a thousand years,” which was calculated to mean fourteen average lifetimes of 71 years each, 994 years. A surprising reference to the division or cycle of fourteen generations is found in Matthew (I:17), where those who may dispute the significance of the number fourteen will find themselves forced to reckon with it again:
“So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen genera- tions; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.”
Even if this statement matched no facts of veridical history, it marks a specific cycle of fourteen generations, and once more the Bible is found to hold to “pagan” usages. The Magi, the Zoroastrians, Chaldeans, Jews, Gnostics, Essenes and others kept the reckonings of the great religious cycles that were astronomical from the first. There were the Phoenix Cycle of 500 years and the great Cycle of Neros of 600; also the Egyptian Sothiac Cycle of 1461 years. The 1260 “days” of Revelation became the basis of another measurement.
Horus, Iusa, Iu-em-hetep and the Jesus of the “Infancy” Gospels all wrought miracles of resurrection in their childhood. At three years of age Iusa performed the wonder of making a dead fish (Pisces, the house of the birth of Christs) come to life (Latin Gospel of Thomas, Bk. 3, Ch. I). At five years of age he takes clay and molds twelve sparrows, which he commanded to fly, and not in vain. Here is a beautiful little allegory of bringing the dead divinity to life in twelve aspects of evolving intelligence. Papias emphatically declares that the Gospels originated in the Logia, or Sayings of Mu, or Ma. Mythoi were also Ma-ti (-ti being an Egyptian plural ending). Mati, the goddess of the Hall of the Two Truths or the equipoise of truth, would be the deity who uttered the true sayings or Logia. Research discloses that all the salient features of the life and character of Jesus were anticipated in the person of Horus, including the virgin motherhood, the divine sonship, the miracles, the self-immolation, the compassion, the discourses, the resurrection and a host of minor particulars. Egypt was the cradle of the Jesus figure, and in that cradle lay Iusa and Iu-em-hetep, Khunsu and Horus, Amsu, Khepr and Aten, all resurrected sons of dead fathers. In a sense both humorously and ironically unsuspected, the proclamation of the God of Christendom has been true: “Out of Egypt have I called my son.” God sent his sons into this “Egypt” of the flesh-pots to gain what such an experience alone could yield; but in the turn of the cycle he called them home to him.
The coming of the ancient Christs was not historical. They did not come as persons, but as principles. Being spiritual light, their coming is in the form of an intenser glowing, as man feeds their flame with truth and love. They are the fire that burns with unquenchable per- sistence and gradually transforms the body itself into more ethereal substance. They come to transubstantiate the body that is host to them. These processes were embodied in several theological doctrines, which have become misread, misconceived and disastrously misapplied, through their ascription to the lone experience of one man.
There was the basic doctrine of transubstantiation. In the performance of the Mystery ritual an actual transformation might take place in more or less ample measure. Always there was the release of a psychic force through the powerfully suggestive nature of the rites and symbols. Symbolic ceremony need not stop at the portals of the mind, but might, through repetition, penetrate to the seat of the deeper consciousness and effect a liberation of latent power. Sincere performance of the ceremony might bring surprising repercussions in the organism. Continued cultivation of the presence and power of the god would gradually transmute baser elements into spiritual gold, and end by elevating one to the rank and number of the gods.
The god himself, fallen into carnal mire, buried and inert, had to be raised and restored to sound condition. As he awakened his faculties and sloughed off the imprisoning vesture of decay, it was as if every member of his body was resuscitated and made over. He is to come forth as a god in the form of a man. It is the mystery of life that he was to realize his latent divinity in the lower manger of the mortal body. It is said of him: “The secret dwelling is in darkness in order that the transformation of this god may take place.” The seed must germinate in the dark earth. Not only the beetle, but the tadpole, the moth, the serpent, the human foetus, the boy at puberty, all were images of the great transformation which should at some late day metamorphose the man into the god. This work is gradual and is accomplished piecemeal. The god finds his glorification coming day by day, feature by feature; he is reconstituted limb by limb, member by member, until he says there is no part of him that remains mortal. He is given the hair of Nu or heaven (solar rays); the eyes of Hathor; the ears of Apuat; the nose of Khenti-Kas; the lips of Anup; the teeth of Serkh; the neck of Isis; the hands of the mighty lord of Tattu; the shoulders of Neith; the back of Sut; the phallus of Osiris; the legs and thighs of Nut; the feet of Ptah; and the nails and bones of the living Uraei “until there is not a limb of him that is without a god.” “My leg-bones are the leg-bones of the living gods. There is no member of my body that is not a member of some god. I am Yesterday, and Seer of Millions of Years is my name.” Here is notice to man that he must traverse every kingdom in order that he may absorb and embody in himself every aspect of nature’s power, the efficacy of every god. Mighty truth is this.
In the Gospels this reconstitution is hinted at in the passage in which the acceptable year of the Lord is announced, when the Messiah shall preach recovery of sight to “the blind” and bind up the “brokenhearted.” Horus goes “wherever there lieth a wreck in the field of eternity.” This reminder is announced with joy:
“Hail, Osiris! Horus makes thee to be joined to the gods. . . . He brings to thee the gods in a body. None among them escapes from his hand. Horus loves thee more than his own offspring, he unites thee to those of his own body. Horus makes his Ka to be in thee. . . . He makes a spirit to be in thee.”
And the Manes again is hailed:
“Ho, Ho! thou art raised up! Thou hast received thy head, thou hast embraced thy bones, thou hast collected thy flesh, thou hast searched the earth for thy body.”
Here is strong assertion again that man is to summarize in himself the qualities of the whole scale of being, denominated gods. All their powers and virtue have to be embodied in man’s organic wholeness to make him, like the resuscitated Osiris, “Neb-er-ter, the god entire.” Every member of the old Atum, deceased and defunct, had to be fashioned anew in a fresh creation. Like a person recovering from amnesia, he had to recollect his former knowledge, reassemble the component elements of his dismembered integrity. He was so long the lifeless mummy he had forgotten to walk; so long mute he had forgotten how to speak. “Let me,” he says, “come forth to day and walk upon my legs. Let me have the feet of the glorified.” He says again: “I have come myself and delivered the god from great pain and suffering that were in trunk and shoulder and leg. I have come and healed the trunk and fastened the shoulder and made firm the leg.” He remembers his name. A new heart is given him. His jaws are parted, his eyes reopened. Power is given to his arms, the constricting bandages being removed by Horus-Amsu, the freer of the arm. He is no longer bound to the khat at the gate of Amenta. Clad in bright new vesture, his Easter morning finery, he prepares to take passage on board the boat of the sun. “Behold me,” he exclaims; “I have come to you and have carried off and put together my forms.” Perfected in his unified septenary nature, he is ready to ascend to the Father in his original glory. For he has prayed that the Father may give unto him that glory which he had with him from the creation of the world. He has been told that he may behold his Ka. This was that soul that came forth from the hand of God at the beginning of his individual career, was in attendance on him all life through as a genius or daemon, and reabsorbed the lower personality to itself at the dissolution of the various elements. When honors were paid to a Pharaoh, offerings were made to his Ka, not to his mortal self, which could not be permanent.
In the Seventh Book of Hermes, which is entitled “His secret sermon in the Mount of regeneration and the profession of silence,” Hermes instructs Taht in the nature of the “tabernacle of the zodiacal circle.” There is often more enlightenment in an Egyptian phrase or name than in whole works on theology. Peter wished, we are told, to build three tabernacles on the Mount, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elias. These must be taken for the three spiritual aspects of the solar triad. But Hermes then defines the transfiguration in terms of a philosophy of superior wisdom. “This is regeneration, O son, that we should not any longer fix our imagination upon the body, subject to the three dimensions.”
To Horus it is said: “Thou dost renew thy youth”; and his rising to life is declared to make men and women alive. “I went in as a hawk,” he sings; “I came out as a phoenix” – that is, transformed. Says Job: “I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days like the phoenix.” “My transformations are those of the double god, Horus-Set” (Ch. 180). He became “the lord of both parts,” with the atonement made. Jesus in matter and the Christ in spirit are identical with the two Horus phases. In the Gnostic writings the two meet in Tattu and blend in the mystery of a divine union. They unite in one divine soul “which dwelleth in the place of establishing a soul that is to live forever” (Ch. 17). The scene of this transformation, as in the case of the Buddha, is beneath the tree; the tree of dawn; the tamarisk, persea, olive or sycamore-fig. Horus reborn as the sun of morning says: “I am the babe. I am the god within the tamarisk tree” (Ch. 42). Chapter 84 of the Ritual is that “of making the transformation into a heron”:
“I have gotten dominion over the beasts that are brought for sacrifice. . . . I have set the gods upon their paths . . . the light is beyond your knowledge and yet cannot fetter it; the times and seasons are in my body.”
To know of a certainty that with all our stupidity we can’t fetter the light, is a truth that should be republished and pondered by an age intent only upon outward accomplishment and heedless of the light within.
The soul is rescued from animal incarnation when it consummates its Easter. We are indeed blind if we fail to catch the significance of the animal typology of the zodiac. Massey informs us that it was not more than three or four centuries since in England the zodiac was called “the Bestiary.” The sun was represented as passing through a series of animal forms. This is of Egyptian origin. Horus in the Pool of Persea made his transformation into the cat, the lion, the hawk and the phoenix, the heron and the swallow, each a type of a stage of progression – for deeply recondite reasons. The soul transforms into the various animals, fishes, birds; and his emphatic words are to the effect that he becomes these animals. He crawls as a serpent, burrows as a mole, sees in the dark of death as a cat or owl or hare, swims the water as a fish, hibernates as a bear, follows the lost spiritual scent in the night as a dog, fox or jackal (Anup), divides his nature like the ape, floats on the water of life like a swan, undergoes transformations like a beetle and breaks his eggshell like a chick. The passage of the sun through the bestial signs was depicted as a series of transformations denoted by the signs. The Manes says: “I establish myself forever in my transformations that I choose.” As he was to sum and unify the total powers of the living kingdoms, he was to gather up in his journey through earth the typical qualities and nature of every animal, and transform them into their spiritual form. He was thus to become king over nature, and the angels from their seats would envy him. In John’s and Ezekiel’s visions he was to rule the gods of the four corners of life’s temple, the lion, eagle, bull and animal man. He was to convert animality into divinity.
The misty specter of an unsolved problem in anthropology arises here to twit us with our ignorance. Totemism is the most perplexing riddle of archaeology, and in want of a single decisive datum to elucidate it we have ascribed it to “primitive superstition,” our most convenient limbo into which to consign a thing we can’t solve. By this resort we do but pit modern superstition against ancient knowledge. So far as can be discerned, there has been hardly a single word uttered by learned anthropologists or sociologists that betrays the slightest hint of an approach to solid ground as to the rationale of Totemism. An institution that was world-wide in prevalence and profound in relation to social life, is set down as due to nothing more germane to actual life than caprice of primitive imagination.
But no student can bring his mind to grips with the implications of Egyptian religion without confronting the steady insistence of an inference from the old data which, however incredible it may appear, at least furnishes the first rational or plausible ground for an understanding of Totemism. Even through the corruption of originally pure conception can be traced the outline of the profoundest intimation of evolutionary truth.
Many ancient texts advance the suggestion that early man and the animals were practically kindred. Perhaps the central fact of archaic anthropology is the declaration that the sons of God took incarnation in the bodies of animals. Genesis (6:4) assures that they had intercourse, in contravention of their demiurgic commission, with the females of the animal races. Whole groups of the sense-blinded gods may have taken residence in the bodies of particular species, thus making their blood cognate with that of the animal in each case. Groups seized upon different species, and the various animal natures thus became distributed amongst the incoming humans. The particular animal would be reverenced as the progenitor of the tribe, the present members of the species would be regarded as brothers, and except at the sacrificial Eucharist, when the beast’s virtues were to be incorporated by eating its flesh, its body would be sacrosanct. Oriental ideas of the inviolability of animal life may spring from such an early conception of kinship and sanctity. It is certain that the line of division between animal and human was at the start quite inappreciable. There are legends of interminglings and cross-breedings without end. As life distributed its manifold qualities out amid its multiplicity of creatures, and man was to gather them all up and unify them again under intelligent rule, it is no wild conception to assume that the sages spread some knowledge amongst the early races that different tribes were manifesting the qualities of this or the other animal, which they would transmute to grander expression when mind wrought its miracle upon them. Whether Totemism commemorated the incorporation of raw animal quality-germs in man by actual incarnation in animal forms or by typal representation only, is a matter to be specifically determined. That the higher aspect of the allegorical rituals may have been known to but few, or lost entirely for long stretches, does not impugn the validity of the original meaning. The sharp line of distinction between that which is purely representative in symbolic act and its esoteric true meaning is easily transgressed when perception flags and insight grows dull; and idolatry and superstition are the result when confusion thickens. But man, who exhibits the results of his incorporation in the animal orders in his tigerish ferocity, his foxy cunning, his leonine courage, his eel-like slipperiness, his serpent-wise slyness, his scorpion sting of anger, his sheepish meekness, his dogged pertinacity, his wolfish rapacity, his cat-like stealth, his beaver persistency, his dove-like dreams of sweet purity, or his phoenix-like aspiration to soar aloft at times – with his obvious embodiment of the attributes of lower orders within himself – man may not rationally repudiate the theory of his sometimes kinship with those grades of life. Man is weaving a pattern composed of the commingled strands of every species of experience, which must be consciously had to be appropriated. If there never was at any primordial time a living link with these animal creatures, then there is a problem of explaining how the obvious parallelism between human and animal characteristic traits arose. The Ritual of Egypt states that the “seven Uraeus divinities are my body.” This is to say that man’s physical nature is a compound of the seven natural powers that formulated the material creation. It must be summed up, then, that man’s composite life is an epitome and codification, as it were, of all the precedent powers of creation, including the animal traits, but now sublimated by the mystic and magic operation of the superior solar intelligence which glows in his brain alone on earth. Totemism would have a very real foundation.
It seems that the final and climactic episode in the transformation of man into god was considered in isolation and named the Transfiguration. This majestic initiation is a harbinger of the resurrection, if not indeed a part of that epochal experience itself. It is no less splendid. Much instruction is gained in reading the account of this great mystery as given in the Gnostic Pistis Sophia. It is in the first place of tremendous importance to note that the Transfiguration here follows, not precedes, the resurrection. For in this and other Apocryphal Gospels it is given that when Jesus had risen from the dead in his first advent, he passed eleven (or twelve) years speaking with the disciples and instructing them up to the stage of the first statutes only (the Lesser Mysteries):
“It came to pass, therefore, that the disciples were sitting together on the Mount of Olives speaking of these things, rejoicing with great joy and being exceedingly glad, and saying one to another, ‘Blessed are we before all men who are on earth, for the Savior hath revealed this unto us, and we have received all fulness and all perfection’” – as these had been received likewise upon Mt. Bakhu, the Egyptian Mount of Olives, in the ascent of Horus from Amenta.
“And while they were saying these things the one to the other, Jesus sat a little apart from them. It came to pass, therefore, on the fifteenth day of the month Tybi, the day of the full moon, on that day when the sun had risen in its going, that there came forth a great stream of light shining exceedingly. It came forth from the light of lights. And this stream of light poured over Jesus and surrounded him. He was seated apart from his disciples and was shining exceedingly. But the disciples saw not Jesus because of the great light in which he sat, for their eyes were blinded by the great light.” (Mead’s Translation, p. 4, 5.)
The calendar position of the Transfiguration on the full moon of Tybi (about December 27 in the Christian calendar) aligns the event with the Christmas Nativity. This only indicates that the imagery of an outburst of sun-glory had been intertwined with the suggestion of “quickening” at the winter solstice. We have seen that the early Christians celebrated the “birth” on March 25. The full moon can type nothing but the completion of a process of divinization. This may be associated with the quickening from inert death at Christmas or with the birth of full glory at Easter. Let it be established beyond cavil that the varied imagery of ancient representation comprises many forms of depicting that which is but one grand event, any critical epoch of which is typal in a measure of the whole experience. The statement of the disciples that they had “received the fulness of all perfection” would point to the consummative nature of the events comprising the climactic transition from mortal to divine. The fact that the Transfiguration took place on the Mount of Olives on the east would indicate the culminative value of it. The eastern mount was the point of departure from earth, all values won.
The Ritual of Egypt speaks of the same illuminative power of solar deity: “Horus gives thee the gods, he makes them come to thee, they illumine thy face.” On the Mount of Transfiguration in the Gospels Jesus’ “face did shine as the sun and his garments became white as the light.” When the deceased mortal climbs out of matter and approaches the verge of the Paradisical Aarru, or Hetep, “his members become like those of the gods. He goeth forth pure spirit.”
It is to be noted that this great transaction is described as instantaneous. When in the Ritual it is stated to Ra that “thy rays are upon all faces,” and the transition into spirit is described, the conclusion is given as follows: “This thou doest in one little moment of time.” Says Evans-Wentz in elucidating the Tibetan Book of the Dead (p. 168): “In a moment of time a marked differentiation is created; in a moment of time perfect enlightenment is obtained.” When the mummy comes forth and assumes the likeness of Ra, the statement in the Ritual is that Osiris “is renewed in an instant.” It is the consummation of his second birth, when “he raises his soul and hides his body.” We have Paul’s similar statement that we are changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. These statements either are descriptive of the flooding luminosity of the very last moment of our deification, or the “little moment of time” may be in terms of fourth-dimensional consciousness.
The misconstruction of the resurrection by Christian theology has been most lamentably serious and fatal. The imagery of the rent veil, the discarded swathings, the rolled stone and the opened tomb were converted into occurrence and attached to a personal life. As the figure of the Christos was nailed on a wooden cross, so was his body consigned to a rocky tomb. And what may be asserted to have been gained in gruesome realism by the maneuver has been more than overbalanced by the loss of the universality of the experience and of its ineffable beauty as a spiritual mystery. There was neither reason, justification nor need for the literalization of the crucifixion and the resurrection. People who were children in intellect took the grand parables and allegories of arcane science and fed them to other infantile minds as veritable history. The Logos was declared to have come as the man Jesus, born as a babe in Judea, and walking the lanes, lake strands and hills as any peasant. It is the good fortune of humanity, however, that enough of the material embodying the ancient intellectual achievement has survived the bigotry of that movement to enable us to rekindle the lamp that once burned so luminously. While the blinded worshippers of the carnalized Logos were obliterating in frenzied zeal all traces of a more spiritual philosophy, there lay securely buried from their devastating hands the great Egyptian wisdom, safe from their predatory fury by reason of their own inability to decipher the writings, as well as by their sorry misjudgment of the value of that “pagan rubbish.” Now the discovery of a slab of stone by one of Napoleon’s soldiers has arisen to confound their design after centuries. And Christianity can now be seen as a sad travesty of original knowledge. Only the restoration of its esoteric meaning by the keys of that despised paganism can save it.
Osiris rose on the third day under lunar or cosmical typology. The germinal seed of divine consciousness, buried for three aeons or kingdoms in lower matter, rose in the middle of the fourth day. Aeons of anthropological history were dramatized by the three dark days of the lunar month. The seed of seminal light spent three “days” in the bowels of earth and matter, and rose in the fourth round, or “watch of the night.” As history the resurrection after three literal days in the tomb falls into absurdity; but as ritual symbolism it stands in such grandeur as the mind can only vainly struggle to conceive.
Much Biblical reference to the period of three days has been quoted, but there is a remarkable forecast of resurrection imagery in Hosea (6:1-3):
“Come let us return unto the Lord [who is described in the preceding chapter as the double lion!] for he hath torn and he shall heal us; he hath smitten and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us; on the third day he will raise us up; and we shall live for him. . . . His going forth is sure as the morning; . . .”
The essential truth of the resurrection is the central Egyptian conception of the one life force, the one soul of being, the self-generating, self-sustaining power, ever renewing itself in phenomena. The grossest error of conventional religionism is the prevalent idea of a static etern- ity for man’s spirit after departure from earth. This is one of those dreary delusions with which the despoiling of esotericism has afflicted the mass of humanity. Immortality we have, but it is not static. The placid “at peace” and “at rest” on gravestones is but a temporary interlude between active lives. Life is immortal, but its immortality is won by the effort of an endless succession of cycles of birth and death, manifestation and retirement. Immortality is through repetition of cycle; and that is why the cycles of nature that are endlessly repeated before our eyes are set as the symbols of our life. The imperishable spark of life that goes into and out of matter was typed as the breath of God, the spirit of the Father, the mind of the Logos, the pillar of earth, the salt of the earth, the ark of heaven, the elixir of life, the fount of youth, the backbone of the universe, the water of life, the oil of anointing, the spark of eternal fire, the bread of life, the river of blessing and the resurrecting soul. Each rhythmic renewal of itself in matter was called its own son. It forever bred itself anew as its own child.
That the festival of the resurrection was an astronomical event used as a type of spiritual truth is attested by the date set for it. In the Gospel account it was by one calculation on the fourteenth of the month Nisan, on the eve of the vernal Passover. This was the date of the full moon in a lunar month of 28 days. Yet by another reckoning the feast of the Passover preceded the morn of resurrection and fell on the fifteenth of the month Nisan. The fifteenth brings the full moon of a solar month. The resurrection being the result of the union of male and female principles, both a feminine (lunar) and a masculine (solar) dating had to be combined in fixing it. Therefore it falls on the first Sun-day following the first full-moon-day after the vernal equinox.
The ancient type of resurrection and rebirth was the tree. The tamarisk, persea, sycamore-fig, olive, oak, pine, ash, palm, acacia, cypress, banyan, juniper and others were made emblems of the eternal renewal. The vernal rebirth of the tree could hardly be surpassed for beauty in its miracle of annual resurrection of “dead” life. Massey’s statement as to the purely typical character of the doctrine is clear:
“There is no possible question of a corporeal resurrection. The mummy of the god in matter or mortality rises from the tomb transubstantiated into spirit. The Egyptians had no doctrine of a physical resurrection of the dead.”
Obviously not, when we see, as Massey did not, that they spoke not at all of the dead as the defunct mortal. Budge lends corroboration:
“The educated Egyptian never believed that the material body would rise again and take up a new life, for he well understood that flesh and blood could not inherit immortality.”4
The truth is, alleges Massey again, that the Christian religion is the only one in religious history that is based on the resuscitated corpse instead of a spiritual transformation. In no other religion is continuity in spirit made dependent on the resurrection of the earthly body. The spirit rose from the corpse, not in it. It was the soul emerging radiant from its grave in matter. All religion must rest for ultimate values on the resurrection, as Paul says; but the rising again is not that of the cadaver. Paul himself says that man re-arises in spirit body.
The deceased prays that he may emerge from the world of the dead and revisit the earth. This has been taken by many to mean a return of the spirit to earth in the ghostly sense. It hardly seems to mean this, though it may not be necessarily excluded. It seems rather to point directly to its return in future embodiments in the cycles. The living soul on earth and not the wraith in its celestial rest is the chief and central concern of religion. Misguided pietism has tended to contemn earth and glorify heaven. Egypt answers this false discrimination decisively when the Manes says (Ch. 30A, Renouf): “Although he is buried in the deep, deep grave, and bowed down with the reign of annihilation, he is glorified [even] there.”
After his 40 days in the desert of Amenta, tried under Satanic power, the Manes prays: “Let me reach the land of ages, let me gain the land of eternity, for thou, my Lord, hast destined them for me” (Ch. 13). Osiris passed into Amenta as the Lord of Transformations, and he was therefore to emerge transformed in the resurrection. He was the power of renewal, able to overcome death and bring life and immortality to light. As the Lord of Transformations he carried the magic wand, symbol of divine power, by which he could effect the chrysalis-like alterations of his followers’ nature, as he opened one door of initiation after another. He became the magician of folk-tales.
The term Sekhem, the name of the place in which magical opera- tions were performed upon the Manes, denotes the power of erectile force. It was therefore the region in which all that had been thrown down in incarnation was re-erected in new birth. In Sekhem the weak mortal nature was quickened and established firmly. It is not difficult to see the application here of one of the common phallic emblems, the erection of the male member to become creative. All phallism was originally purely symbolic. Massey’s statement is appropriate here:
“The self-erecting member was the type of the resurrection, as the image of Khem-Horus, the re-arising sun, and of Khepr-Ra, the re-erector of the dead.”5
The power to raise up fallen divinity and unspiritualized nature was supplied only by the Sekhem or virile force. Without it the Manes could not have stood upon his feet, as Paul was told to stand on his feet after being thrown down on the way to Damascus. Horus was called the Prince of Sekhem. The Ritual contains two chapters, one concerning the arranging of the funeral couch, the other concerning its being made to stand up. This ritual is made into a miracle in the Gospels, when the dead are raised and the paralytic takes up his bed and walks. Chapter 170 says to the Manes: “Horus causes thee to stand up at the risings.” “Thou art raised up, thou art not dead,” exults the Papyrus of Teta. “Thy (spiritual) body to heaven, the empty case of Horus to the earth,” indicates the release of the immortal soul from the now empty shell of the corpse. “Thou shalt not be imprisoned by those . . . who shut up the shades of the dead. It is heaven alone that shall hold thee” (Ch. 92). Imprisonment was over; the liberty of the sons of God was won at last.
Tedium in quotation is risked for the sake of the majestic nobility of such a verse as this from the Ritual: “I am the bright one in glory, whom Atum-Ra hath called into being, and my origin is from the apple of his eye. Verily before Isis was I grew up and waxed old and was honored before those who were with me in glory” (Rit., Ch. 78, Renouf). Again it is the voice of the cosmic Aeon and not that of a man of flesh. And here is the affirmation that Horus existed before his mother! “The soul is more ancient than the body,” is the parallel dictum of Greek philosophy. The womb of nature that the soul enters is a new formation; but the entering soul is a spark of primordial fire that existed from beyond time itself. “The soul that rises with us, our life star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar.”
The riddle offers no greater complexity than to understand that an aged man may be much older than the house he lives in, having lived elsewhere before.
In one of the scenes in the Ritual Horus is enjoined to perform his eastern task. He is addressed: “Rise up, Horus, son of Isis, and restore thy father Osiris,” the mummy. Then he bids his father: “Rise up, then, Osiris. I have stricken down thine enemies for thee; I have delivered thee from them.” He opens his father’s two eyes and raises him to stand among the living. All this is outward allegorism, outlining the truth that the son brings the inert power of his father to new life in his youthful splendor. Then it is that the Hebrew Horus, that is, Jesus, concludes his address to his Father – Horus had given forty addresses to Osiris – with “Now I come to thee.” “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy son that thy son may glorify thee.”
“I glorified thee on earth, having accomplished the work which thou hast given me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I manifested thy name unto the men whom thou gavest me out of the world. I am no more in the world. But now I come to thee. I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me. I guided them and not one of them perished, but the son of perdition” (John 17:5-12).
Could purblind Christian theology have rightly divined the cosmogenetic and anthropogenetic truth so plainly expressed in this passage, it need not have left its following to grope in darkness for futile centuries. It is a clear statement of the coming and return of the solar ray of the Logos, who was from all time in the bosom of the universal Father, Ra, and suffered death in matter to glorify a race of men whom the Father gave him to uplift in nature. The work accomplished, this son of Ra asks that he may again be restored to his pristine effulgence, nay, that he may be raised to a superior station above the angels who had not descended to courageous adventure in lower worlds. The soul, by incarnation, becomes mightier than the virgin deities that have never been wedded to matter. In the texts of Unas there is described the terror of the gods when they see Teta (the soul) arriving triumphant. They discover that he is mightier than they. Likewise Pepi, fresh from his conquest of the Two Lands,
“comes forth to heaven. He finds Ra; standing up he meets him. He sits upon his shoulders. Ra permits him not to rest upon the ground, (for) he knows that Pepi is greater than he. Pepi is more a Spirit than the Spirits, more Perfect than the Perfect Ones, more stable than the stable ones. Pepi takes possession of the Two Lands like a king of his gods.”
Again the returning soul is beautifully apostrophized:
“The Comer! The Comer! This Pepi cometh! The Lady of Tep is agitated and the heart of the goddess dwelling in Nekheb fluttereth on this day when Pepi cometh in the place of Ra. Pepi hath carried away for himself thy light under his feet.”
The part that old earth has played in this mighty consummation is shown in these passages:
“Behold, Keb taketh Pepi by the hand and he guideth him in through the doors of heaven like a god into his place; beautiful is the god in his place . . . he cometh to the gods of heaven . . . he goeth to the gods of earth.”
“Pepi is raised up and passes into his spirit.”
“This Pepi is the Eye of Horus, which is stronger than men and mightier than the gods.”
“Horus hath taken his Eye, he hath given it to this Pepi.”
“Heaven saluteth him joyfully; the earth trembleth before him.”
This is part of the word picture of the first-born Horus divinized and upraised in his second birth, when human suffering has brought its guerdon of glory. And when he rises up, like Jesus he lifts up all men with him. He says: “I have raised up the exalted ones who dwell in their shrines,” who slumber in their mummy bodies unawakened. Three or four of our main theses find corroboration in the following short excerpt:
“Each day right and truth come into my eyebrows. At night taketh place the festival of those that are dead; the Aged One who is in ward in the earth.”
Chapters 96 and 97 are entitled: “of being nigh unto Thoth and of giving glory unto a man in the underworld.” Says the soul: “I have made myself clean in the Lake of Making to be at peace and in the Lake of weighing in the balance, and I have bathed myself in Netert-utchat, which is under the holy sycamore tree of heaven. Behold, I am bathed. . . .”
“Now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept.” Likewise Horus, “the Lord of Resurrections” from the house of death, is the first of them that slept in darkness to wake as a “soul most mighty.”
Chapter 92 of the Ritual is entitled” “of opening the tomb to the soul and to the shade of Osiris . . . so that he may come forth by day and have dominion over his feet,” or lower self. The vignettes represent the deceased as having opened the tomb door, with his soul by his side, or as standing before the open door with hand stretch out to embrace his soul. The chapter reads: “That which was shut hath been opened, that is to say, he that lay down in death hath been awakened.” The Manes has prayed that his soul “may not be kept captive, but that a way may be opened for its release.”
In the fragment of an Egypto-Gnostic gospel assigned to Peter, one of many such discovered in the East, the resurrection scene pictures two men descending and entering the tomb, and three coming forth. Two powers united and brought forth a third.
“They beheld three men coming out of the tomb, and two of them were supporting a third, and a cross was following them; and the heads of the two men reached to heaven, but the head of him that was being led along by them was higher than heaven.”
And they heard a voice from heaven which said: “Hast thou preached to them that are asleep?” And the response of “Yea” was heard from the cross. This scene is a version of the rising of Osiris or Ptah with the Tat cross, coming forth supported by his two sons, Hu and Sa. The critical question put to the god when leaving earth was whether he had preached to the souls imprisoned in the underworld and awakened them. For this was that commission which he had taken an oath to perform with diligence and despatch.
Hosea (13:14) sings of the release of the captive soul from mundane thralldom: “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O Death, I will be thy plagues; O Grave, I will be thy destruction.”
This brings to mind Paul’s rapturous refrain in his resurrection chapter in Corinthians. Another triumphant resurrection shout rises from the divine scribe in Revelation (I:18): “I am he that liveth and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore.” The Prodigal Son “was dead, and is alive again; he was lost and is found,” like the Tat cross. “I am the resurrection and the life,” announces Jesus; “he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live”; “I will raise him up at the last day.”
An expressive symbol of the release of the captives was the unwrapping of the burial bandages. Horus frees the sleeping mummies from their cerements, which he rends asunder. “Thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,” rejoices the soul. This speaks of the divestiture of the soul’s various physical sheaths or “coats of skin” preparatory to his return clothed in imperishable light. In the Kamite rite the bandages of burial were cast aside so that the mummy might be invested with a lighter and brighter robe. Horus burst the funeral bonds and rent asunder the coffin in his awakening. He freed himself from every bond and strode forth on uncramped legs, the most triumphant figure in “history.” The dead were “the bandaged ones.” Jesus, the child, was wrapped meanly in swaddling bands. The rising Egyptian savior exclaims: “O my father! my sister! my mother Isis! I am freed from my bandages! I can see! I am one of those who are freed from their bandages to see Seb” (Ch. 158). Matthew states that with the rent veil and loosened rocks and quaking earth, the graves were raised.” This is more truly the fact of the resurrection, of which Jesus’ rising is but a symbol; but all is figurative.
When the left arm of Horus is freed, the fan, typical of the mind (air), or of the Khu spirit, is held in its grasp. This is “the arm of the Lord” which hath gotten him the victory. It is the arm of which it is asked, while inert in death: “Is his arm foreshortened that it cannot save?”
Jesus is born in Bethlehem, “the house of bread” by name; Horus comes forth in (Beth)-Annu, “the place of multiplying bread!” The Gnostic Jesus says he comes now not as when they crucified him. He comes now in spirit; he has passed from the afflicted one to “the active one of Heliopolis,” the city of the sun!
The two-aspected Horus, or the infant and the adult Horus, furnish for all symbolic religion the enigma of the two births. Pagan zodiacal dramatism placed the birth of the god in matter, the first Adam, at the autumn equinox; Christianity placed it at the winter solstice, where the inert god was quickened (but not strictly born) in the womb of death. The three-months’ period of hiding the child parallels the “sixth to the ninth hour” of darkness over the earth preceding the rending of the tomb-bars. Six months or three, the meaning was the same. The Jews rejected the babe born at the winter solstice because their traditions committed them to the mysteries of Harmachis, Horus of the double horizon.
Egyptian genius described the resurrection as the “dawn upon the coffin of Osiris,” the mummy. He rose a spirit, spreading the light of divine radiance like dawn over the scene of his burial. In the Litany of Ra (34) adoration is paid to the sun-deity: “Homage to thee, Ra! Supreme power, the ray of light in the sarcophagus!”
Just previous to his asking the Father to glorify him Jesus had said to his disciples: “I know whence I came and whither I go.” “I go unto the Father.” So Horus declared: “It is I, even I. I am Horus in glory. I am the Lord of Light, and I advance to the goal of heaven” (Ch. 78). “I raise myself, I renew myself. I grow young again.” And this is the most compact statement of the resurrection that could be made. Again he says: “I am the victorious one . . . There hath been assigned to me eternity without end. Lo, I am the heir of endless time and my attribute is eternity . . . I, even I, am he that knoweth the paths of heaven. Its breezes blow upon me.”
The study now brings us face to face with a denouement in the realm of comparative religion which must be seen as fraught with the most momentous, perhaps catastrophic, consequences for the unique claims of the Christian faith and theology. This item concerns the raising of Lazarus at Bethany, which is pointed to as perhaps the highest demonstration of Jesus’ possession of divine power, his sublimest and most convincing miracle. Yet, in a word, the examination of Egyptian material reveals conclusively that it was not and could not have been, a historical occurrence! It is nothing but a dramatic etching of the resurrection. The identical transaction, with locale and actors the same in name, had been depicted or enacted in Egyptian ceremonial for perhaps ten thousand years before Christ. The story even in the Gospels stands as but another cinematograph of the resurrection. There is the same rocky tomb, the same cerements, the same lapse of time – three (four) days – in the hall of death, the same women watchers, and other similar items of the old symbology. The correlations have been outlined in the Prologue, but there are supplementary features that should not be slighted.
Origen in the second century reports that he was unable to find any trace of a “Bethany beyond Jordan” in his day.6 If the Hebrews had taken the name from inherited Egypto-Gnostic literature or from the spiritual uranograph and given it to a village alleged to be near Jerusalem, it was but another instance of their adaptation of purely representative names to places and features of their local geography. But whether there was a Bethany beyond Jordan or not, the practical identity of the miraculous event alleged to have occurred there with an Egyptian dramatization of a purely spiritual initiation that had been portrayed in Kamite ritual for some millennia prior to the time of the Christian Jesus, seems to preclude with finality the possibility of its having been the scene of the episode narrated in the Gospels as history. The name Bethany points to a distinctly Egyptian origin, as we have seen. It is proximately identical in significance with Bethlehem, sharing the latter’s meaning of “house of bread.” Both towns were scripturally the place where the divine bread was given out and “multiplied” in the persons of the Saviors, Horus and Jesus, “born” there. We cite Massey’s competent scholarship to support our claims as to the status of Anu:
“The tomb of Osiris was localized in Annu, the solar birthplace. Osiris, under one of his titles, is the great one in Annu. Annu is the place of his repose. ‘I go to rest in Annu, my dwelling,’ says Osiris. . . . Jesus goes to rest in Bethany. It was in Annu that the soul was united to its spiritual body. Annu is termed ‘where thousands reunite themselves,’ soul and body. . . . Annu is the abode of ‘those who have found their faces.’ The house or beth of Osiris, then, was in Annu. . . . The house of Osiris in Annu was . . . the abode of Horus when he came to raise Osiris from the tomb.”7 Similar are the two proceedings, the Egyptian ritual and the Gospel “miracle,” in that both Horus and Jesus first declared the mummy to be not dead, but only sleeping. Similar also are they in the reference to the already corrupt state of the corpse. Martha reminded Jesus in John’s account that “by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.” In the Ritual, when Horus comes to those who are in their cells, he utters the words of Ra to enliven them and says (Budge): “I am the herald of his (Ra’s) words to him whose throat stinketh”; meaning, to the soul suffering corruption in the tomb of the body (Ch. 38B). Paul, the Psalms, Isaiah and other sources contribute replicas of this feature of the sleeping, not dead, entity.
Similar also are the two narratives in the manner of the calling forth. All such enactments of the resurrection episode repeat the basic Egyptian summons to the mummy to awake, come to life and rise, symbolically. It is the glorious coming forth to day, the theme of the great Book of the Dead. Jesus cries at the mouth of the tomb with a loud voice: “Lazarus, come forth! and he that was dead came forth bound hand and foot with grave bands.” Horus, previously, had entered the dark grave, opened the Tuat door, recited to his father what he had done to reconstitute his shattered divinity, and bade him come forth to the sunlight and to victory. “Rise up, thou Teta! Thou art not a dead thing,” he exhorts the mummy. The inert one was called the sleeping divinity, the breathless one, Urt-Hat, the god of the non-beating heart, the silent Sekari. The sleeping god is vigorously appealed to awake and rise up. “Arise, O God, and awake for me” (Ps. 7:6). “Awake; why sleepest thou, O Lord? Rise up for an help” (Ps. 44:23). “Then the Lord awaked as one out of a sleep and he smote his adversaries backward” (Ps. 78:65). Jesus said: “This sickness is not unto death.” And Lazarus, as pointed out, is Osiris.
From an obscure corner it was our hap to unearth a bit of evidence bearing upon these conclusions which adds a strong sidelight to reinforce the identification. In the scholarly work of G. R. S. Mead, Did Jesus Live 100 Years B.C.?, there is the following footnote to page 377:
“It is somewhat strange to find Tertullian (De Corona, VIII; Oehler I:436) referring to the “linen cloth’ with which Jesus girt himself, mentioned in John 13:4, 5, as the ‘proper garment of Osiris.’ Tertullian thus appears to have picked up a phrase which he did not quite understand and used it inappropriately.” Mead’s surmise as to Tertullian’s lack of understanding of the phrase is a likely enough one, but that the Church Father used it inappropriately is not so evident. In fact this remarkable reference of Tertullian must be taken as a most direct clue of connection between Christian Bible material and Egyptian sources of the same. Justin Martyr and other second-century Fathers not only did not so suddenly conceal the traces of relationship between Christian and earlier pagan literature, but at times pressed the evidences of derivation and identity. At all events, that we are able to discover some bit of Christian support for linking together Jesus and Osiris in the resurrection ritual must be conceded to strengthen the case materially.
And as to the two women, the two sisters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha?
When Horus declaims the forty discourses to his father, in recounting the blessings he has brought him, he says: “I have given thee thy victory, I have given thee thy two eyes (Mertae), and I have given thee Isis and Nephthys.” Here we have the Egyptian prototypes of the two Maries of Gospel legend, or the sisters Mary and Martha. The much-mooted question of the identity of the “two women” of both Old and New Testament is settled by Egyptian lore at last. They are the traditional replicas of the two great divine mothers of the sun-god, Isis and Nephthys, the Apt and Hathor of an earlier cult. They are the two protectors of the hidden babe, the two eternal watchers of his growth. They are also his two sisters who weep for him in his suffering state. In Egypt Anu was also “Rem-Rem, the place of weeping” for the buried lord of life. In the Litany of Ra Horus says: “I tread the dwelling of the god Rem-Rem,” who is elsewhere denominated “Remi the Weeper.” It was at Bethany that Jesus wept! Isis lay watching in tears over her brother Osiris when he had been cut to pieces and destroyed. The two goddesses also both watch and weep over the dead body. They call him in weeping, addressing to him long supplications. Isis bewails:
“Come to thine abode! Come to thine abode!
God An, come to thine abode!
Look at me; I am thy sister that loveth thee.
Do not stay from me, O beautiful youth;
Come to thine abode, with haste, with haste.
Mine eyes seek thee; I seek thee to behold thee.
Will it be long ere I see thee?
Beholding thee is happiness.8
Isis and Nephthys, Jesus and Horus, Mary and Martha, all wept over the inert lord, El-Asar-us, at Bethany!
Then the two goddesses sing the song of the resurrection as a magical means of raising their beloved from the dead. A form of this song is to be found in the evocations addressed to the dead Osiris by the two sisters, who say:
“Thy two sisters are near thee, protecting thy funeral bed, calling thee in weeping, thou who art prostrate on thy funeral bed” (Records of the Past, Vol. 2, pp. 121-126).
Horus, the deliverer of his bound father, it is written, reaches him in the train of Hathor, another name of whom is Meri. He follows Meri to the place where Asar lies buried in the sepulcher, as Jesus follows Mary who had come forth to meet him on the way to Bethany. Jesus reaches the tomb in the train of Mary and Martha.
In the resurrection scene it is the two women who first see and announce the rising and the empty tomb. The risen Horus says: “The goddesses and the women proclaim me when they see me.” Everywhere in sacred scripts of old it is the world of nature that hails deity rising from its bosom. The supporters and nourishers of solar deity in matter would be the first to witness the apotheosis in their domain. But all the while the lord of life is inert in their realm they are the ones solicitous about his rebirth. They lead the way to the cave where he lies and urge his quick resuscitation. Volumes of instruction are condensed in the words they address the god slumbering in humanity:
“Thy two sisters Isis and Nephthys come to thee: they fill thee with life, health, strength and all the joy that they possess. They gather for thee all kinds of good things within their reach.”
And this proclaims the function of nature and earth in the life of spirit.
The two Eyes of Ra (or Horus) called “Mertae,” who are the two Maries, or Mary and Martha, symbolized the cosmic and the individualized divine powers of spirit-soul. Spiritual intelligence can find no focus to open its inner vision on worlds of reality save through ma- terial instrumentality. Sight must have its organ, the eye. The organ is a material construction. The cosmic and the substantial forms of matter become then the two eyes of the spirit of Ra. As eyes they are watchers, and as the two women they are likewise watchers. In their service they stand, one at the head, the other at the feet, of the body on the bier. This is where they would be assigned to stand in any dramatization of the meaning, the one functioning in heaven or at the head, the other on earth, or at the foot. They figure as mourners, also anointers and embalmers. Mary anointed Jesus for his burial. Luke’s account states that the woman who stood behind at the feet of Jesus, weeping, began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. Here again is the contacting of the head of the lower or feminine order with the feet of the Christ nature. Nephthys bears another mark of identification with Martha, as she is styled “the mistress of the house”; she carries the small replica of a house on her head, and is designated also “the benevolent saving sister.” Martha was the home economist, always represented as concerned with household affairs.
More than two women act a part as ministrants to Jesus in the Gospels. There are three Maries and Martha and others who might be enumerated to a possible seven (Massey does so enumerate them), matching the seven Hathors, or elementary powers, that, from being at one time equal with Jesus, later become subordinate and ancillary to his exalted position when he becomes lord of the new sanctuary. The seven Maries, like the seven Hathors, were superseded in their primal sovereignty in evolution; and so the Gospels, instead of saying directly that the seven Maries were cast out, has it that the seven devils were cast out of the one Mary (Magdalene).
A matter of theological consequence is that the four “sons of Horus,” who also were placed in position at the bier of Osiris to aid in the resurrection, were constellated in the four stars of the body of the Great Bear to form the astral bier or coffin of Osiris, according to Arabian astronomers.9 The Arabs called the three tail or handle stars the “Daughters of the Bier.” In the Papyrus of Teta it is given that “Isis was in front of him, Nephthys behind him.” The four sons of Horus stand facing Osiris and praise him thus:
“Glory to thee, Osiris Un-Nefer, the great god within Abydos, king of eternity, lord of everlastingness, who passeth through millions of years in his existence. Praise be unto thee . . . whose forms are manifold and whose attributes are majestic.”
These four gods were four of the seven elementaries, whose powers Horus had brought under control and raised up. They are changed from brothers among the primal seven to sons of the chief power, when he rose up as their king. An Egyptian vignette shows four fishermen drawing a net. These were the four cardinal gods, assistants to him who came under Piscean signature as the Divine Fish to feed mankind, and to make them “fishers of men.”
Many chapter titles of the Egyptian Bible deal with the resurrection. Chapter 46 is entitled: “of not perishing and of becoming alive in the underworld.” Says the Manes in it: “Like the Hamemmet beings may I arise, even as Osiris doth arise and fare forth.” Chapter 45 is headed: “A chapter of not suffering corruption in the underworld.”
The one consummate symbol of the resurrection, nature’s own resplendent heliograph of man’s moment of apotheosis, is the rise of the sun at dawn or the ascending of the sun above the line of the vernal equinox. The breaking of the morning light and the bursting from winter’s captivity of the soul of life in verdant nature are the kindred operations in the phenomenal world which were given as constant reminders to man of that unimaginable transformation into a being of light which awaits him at the summit of the mount of mundane existence. Insensible any longer to the subtle power of ancient symbolical philosophy, deadened and unreceptive to the moving efficacy of commonplace natural glories, modern life neither heeds nor exults at the poetry on the arrival of the singing birds and bursting buds of springtime. But so potent is nature’s sheer force of symbolism for the mind that has grasped the reality back of the outer show, that the daily or the annual solar, or monthly lunar, typology may work such minor transformations in the soul as the ancient Mysteries were designed to effectuate. Sunrise expresses the spirit of man’s most climactic experience, his closest rapport with the ecstatic joyousness of life. The daily or annual rising, endlessly repeated for the race’s instruction, is the type of that one consummative event of ecstasy past all transcription, which it will be the rapturous privilege of every grown son of God to undergo when the soul bursts like the morning rays from darkness into ineffable glory. Nature recapitulates without end the physical type of that transfiguration which man has experienced in ever-recurring cycles, but which on the grand scale is destined to occur once for each individual at the climax of his earthly career. At the end of each life there supervenes a momentary opening of higher vision, giving the soul a vivid if fleeting glimpse of cosmic reality, and a review of its own progress in its last adventure. This is itself a typical resurrection as the soul rises out of its seventy-years’ tomb. But this is only the faint adumbration of the final resurrection, which comes for the Manes at the summit stage of a long series of earth lives, when the soul has gathered its powers and stabilized itself in the shining immortal body. Then in one transporting thrill of expanding life it breaks loose from the (living) physical body and rises on wings of ecstasy, a phoenix, to its radiant home among the gods.
The ancient mythic poets strove right royally to signalize the potency of the rising sun symbol of the resurrection. They strove to impart some measure of the dynamic significance of nature’s gorgeous ritualism in poetry, odes to the deities and hymns to the Sun. These are majestic, and capable of wielding transforming power over the human psyche. Liberty is taken to insert Thomas Taylor’s effort to convey something of the grandeur of the coming of the lord of day.
“But you will ask, what has the rising of the sun through the Ocean from the boundaries of the earth and night to do with the adventures of Bacchus? I answer, that it is impossible to devise a symbol more beautifully accommodated to the purpose: for, in the first place, is not the ocean a proper emblem of our earthly nature, whirling and stormy, and perpetually rolling without any periods of repose? And is not the sun emerging from its boisterous deeps a perspicuous symbol of the higher spiritual nature, apparently rising from the dark and fluctuating material receptacle, and conferring form and beauty on the sensible universe through its light? . . . This description, therefore, of the rising sun is a most beautiful symbol of the new birth of Bacchus, which, as we have already observed, implies nothing more than the rising of intellectual light, and its consequent manifestation to subordinate orders of existence.”
1. Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, p. 210.
2. Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, p. 210.
3. Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, p. 639.
4. Introduction to the Book of the Dead, Ip. lxxxv.
5. The Natural Genesis, I, p. 127.
6. T. J. Thorburn: The Mythical Interpretation of the Gospels, p. 131. As Thorburn is antagonistic to the mythical interpretation, his data are therefore all the more valuable.
7. Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, p. 844.
8. Plato mentions this as one of the hymns of Isis that were ten thousand years old.
9. The story of the rich man and Lazarus, the beggar, repeated in the Gospel of Luke (Ch. 16:19), is told at length in the second tale of Kamuas, as Egyptian.
SKYLARK AT HEAVEN’S GATE
Paul asks (I Corinthians 15:35) a question which, had it been envisaged in the light of the succinct answer which he himself immediately gave to it, would have left world religion in far better case than its present position.
“But some man will say,” he argues, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” Paul’s first word of answer is a rebuke to the stupidity of such a question. He says: “Foolish man!” And by a quirk of ironic fate the rebuke administered to such ignorance of basic Greek philosophy (in which Paul was steeped) as the question implied, now falls upon the very institution which exalts him as its original propagandist and builder. By one of the most arrant perversions of clear philosophy ever to be perpetrated in world history, the Church he founded has put itself in the very place of the “some man” asking the absurd question – whether the dead rise up in their corpses or in some other form. And this in spite of the fact that the great Apostle addressed himself, in the remainder of his chapter, to as lucid an exposition of the spiritual resurrection as is to be found anywhere in sacred literature. This 15th chapter of I Corinthians marks the high point of spiritual sublimity reached in the New Testament. Its oracular grandeur should have lifted the body of Christian theology far above the mists of controversy that overhang it over the question of the corporeal resurrection. But the later formulators of orthodox theology looked askance at Paul and classed him as a heretic. They would have ousted his Epistles from the canon if they had dared. For he had grown in disfavor among them. His studies were not in line with the policy of the literalizers of religious drama; he was the exponent of that Orphic-Platonic wisdom from the Chaldean and Egyptian springs that they had come to revile. He indited more than one of the grandest chapters of their Bible; yet they frowned upon him because his writing was not in accord with their cult-Christianity. His was cosmic Christianity. It was emblemed in terms of Platonic Gnosticism, the flower of Greek rational mysticism. Orphic paganism glows throughout that 15th chapter of Corinthians. The sublimest chapter in the Christian Bible is clearly pagan philosophy.
Let us follow Paul in his exposition and see how completely he is in accord with pagan teaching. First he announces the great law of incubation, as the prelude to any understanding of the resurrection in spirit: “What you sow never comes to life unless it dies.” Then he clarifies a moot point: “And what you sow is not the body that is to be; it is a mere grain of wheat . . . or of some other seed.” But “God gives it a body . . . gives each kind of seed a body of its own. Flesh is not all the same; there is human flesh, there is flesh of beasts, flesh of birds and flesh of fish.” Has it ever been noticed that Paul here enumerates precisely the four kingdoms on which man’s life rests at its corners, matching the four figures in Egyptology, and in Ezekiel’s and John’s celestial visions? Man, animal, bird, fish. Amsta, Hapi, Tuamutef and Kabhsenuf, the four sons of Horus; the man, lion, eagle and fish (crocodile); the four quarters of the zodiac; the four bases of man’s life. Paul’s vital statement is that God plants “bare grain” (Authorized Version), that is, souls of pure spirit untried by matter in incarnation, our Hamemmet Beings, Innocents, younglings, Kumaras, Asuras, virgin souls; and he later gives to these tender spirits garments of solar glory.
Then Paul tells us that “there are heavenly bodies and also earthly bodies,” but the splendor of the one is greater than that of the other.
“There is a splendor of the sun and a splendor of the moon and a splendor of the stars – for one star differeth from another in splendor. So with the resurrection of the dead:
what is sown is mortal,
what rises is immortal;
it rises in glory;
sown in weakness,
it rises in power;
sown an animate body,
it rises a spiritual body. As there is an animate body, so there is a spiritual body. Thus it is written:
“The first man, Adam, became an animate being,
the last Adam a life-giving spirit;’
. . . . . .
Man the first is from the earth, material;
Man the second is from heaven.
Thus as we have borne the likeness of the material Man,
so we are to bear the likeness of the heavenly Man.
I tell you this, my brothers, flesh and blood cannot inherit the Realm of God, nor can the perishing inherit the imperishable . . . the dead will rise invested with the imperishable, and this mortal body invested with immortality; . . . then . . .
Death is swallowed up in victory.”
How in the face of this lucidity of statement the Church perpetrated its frightful dogmatic travesty of “the resurrection of the body,” it is hard indeed to understand. And now we can see also that the first and second Adam of Paul were the Egyptian Horus of the two horizons, the “lions of the double force” of soul and body, Horus the younger, and Horus the elder.
The seed is sown in and as the natural material body, but unless that dies, and in dying transmits its essential strength over to a finer vehicle that will be built out of its disintegrating elements, it will not live again. The old material seed will never rise again; and the physical corpus of man will not rise from the grave. But the germinal essence will come forth from decay shining in new life. That which is sown in the earth will die; but out of its death will rise the stem that bears the new generation of beauty aloft to sun and air. Well did Paul say, “Foolish man!” to ask such a question. And well may the world say “Foolish Church!” to have missed and confounded the simple clear meaning of the resurrection.
The putting on of the robe of immortality has not been adequately translated into rational comprehension. It hovers in the background of the Christian consciousness as a beautiful haze of indefinite meaning. A clearer grasp of its significance may accrue from inspection of some of the ancient material touching it.
The deceased says to Osiris: “Do thou embalm these my members; for I would not perish and come to an end, (but be) like unto my divine father Khepera, who is the divine type of him that never saw corruption. . . . Let not my body become worms, but deliver me as thou didst deliver thyself. . . . Homage to thee, Osiris; thou didst not decay, thou didst not become worms, thou didst not waste away, thou didst not become corruption, thou didst not putrefy. . . . I am the god Khepera and my members shall have an everlasting existence. I shall not decay, I shall not rot, I shall not putrefy . . . and I shall not see corruption beneath the eye of the god Shu. I shall have my being . . . I shall live . . . I shall germinate . . . I shall wake up in peace . . . I shall not suffer from any defect; mine eye shall not decay; the form of my visage shall not disappear; mine ear shall not become deaf; my head shall not be separated from my neck; my tongue shall not be carried away; my hair shall not be cut off; . . . and no baleful injury shall come to me.”
In spite of death the Manes cries: “I am, I am; I live, I live; I grow, I grow; and when I awake I shall awake, I shall awake in peace, I shall not see corruption . . . I shall not perish in the earth forever” (Ch. 154, Naville). The immortality that was previously potential in the first Adam-Horus became established at last in Tattu and secured by the resurrection of the illumined soul from the pit of Akar (Rit., Ch. 30A). At the consummation of the Mane’s victory over earthly forces it is declared to him: “Thy father Tum hath prepared for thee this beautiful crown of triumph, the living diadem which the gods love, that thou mayest live forever” (Ch. 19). The Manes says (Ch. 85):
“I am the first-born god of primeval matter, that is to say, the divine Soul, even the Soul of the god of everlastingness, and my body is eternity. My form is everlastingness, and is the lord of years and the prince of eternity.”
The soul is assured in the text: “Thou shalt never perish, thy Ka shall never perish, a Ka established.” The flow of events in time is connected with the temporal and impermanent vestures in which the seed-spark of divinity has embodied itself to travel through Amenta. Decay does not touch the core of being itself, the Ka.
But what specifically is this robe of immortality that the mortal must put on if he is to live forever? It is Paul’s “spiritual body” as contrasted with the natural or “animate body.” But what is a spiritual body, the world has been asking for these hundreds of years, and “science” has also asked contemptuously. The answer is to be found in an early chapter, in the theses that modern science itself has now reified or hypostasized matter of various grades of ethereal fineness, sublimated essence, capable of being organized into material structures in the world invisible to man. The Egyptians predicated a total of seven such successively finer bodies in man’s constitution, of which the lower or coarser four have been so far developed to function. Besides this obvious physical body, man possesses inner bodies of what a scientist called “immaterial matter.”
That sublimated vesture, then, which seems to be the “spiritual body” in which the dead specifically rise, is the Sahu, though the next higher one, the Khu, is frequently mentioned in the experience. The Khu is so high in its structure that of it is said: “Thou shalt not be imprisoned . . . it is heaven alone that shall hold thee.” Also it is written that the Khus, or glorified ones, “live on the shades of the motionless, or the souls of the dead.” This means that the highest bodies absorb and transmute into their own subtler essence the substances of the ones below, as a candle flame absorbs the tallow below it. The Khu was thus figuratively conceived of as a “ghoul” or “feeder on the shades” of the Manes in the nether worlds. It is constellated as the “Ghoul,” the star Beta in the Perseus group.
The Ka always accompanies the soul through its incarnations and returns. “Thou hast come and thy Ka with thee” is the welcome greeting on the soul’s return. The Manes passes from the state of a shade to that of a Ka when he is said to have completed his investiture. Then as a Sahu he is reincorporated in a spiritual body, and as a Khu he is invested with the robe of light and glory. No healthy child was believed to be born without this Ka, the soul of animate life; and in their pictures of it they made it resemble the physical body. They looked upon it as the “double” of the body. It did not die with the body.
In open contradiction to other reasons he had assigned elsewhere, Budge gives a motive for mummification:
“It has been urged by some that the custom of mummifying the dead, which obtained throughout Egypt for so many thousands of years, was maintained because the Egyptians believed in the resurrection of the material body, but it is not so. They mummified their dead simply because they believed that spiritual bodies would ‘germinate’ in them.” This passage is a remarkable demonstration of how a scholar can state the surface facts in a particular matter and yet tell nothing true about it. Yes, the Egyptians believed that spiritual bodies would germinate from or in the physical Khat, but while it was a living body, not the long-preserved cadaver! Germination of finer spiritual bodies would come in the living man, and in the mummy only as the ritual symbol of the body of this death.
Budge gives both “Ba” and “Sahu” as meaning “something like” “noble” or “sublime,” “chief,” “free.” The Ba, he says, was free to travel over all heavens and mix with souls there and to take any form it pleased; for such statements are found. Far more free were the higher bodies to do the same. The learned Egyptologist writes again:
“Concerning the form in which Osiris rises from the dead the texts are silent, and nothing is said as to the nature of his body in the underworld; that he dwelt in the [same] material body which was his upon earth there is no reason whatever to suppose, for there are indications in the texts which point to a definite belief in the resurrection of a spiritual body, both in the case of the god and of man.”1
When the reader has noted with us even the limited and haphazard collection of passages from these same texts describing the bodies in which Osiris lives and rises, he will be able to determine for himself whether “the texts are silent, and nothing is said as to the nature of” the body of Osiris in the underworld; also how futile seems to have been the reading of these venerable texts by such savants as Budge and others. In the present matter Spence has read somewhat more intelligently:
“The soul, ba, and the spirit, Khu, which were usually represented as a hawk and a heron in the hieroglyphics, partook of heavenly food and became one with the gods, and in time became united with the glorified body of heavenly frame, so that the soul, spirit, power, shade, double, and name of the deceased were all collected in the one heavenly body, known as the Sahu, which may be described as the spiritual body. It was considered to grow out of the dead body, and its existence became possible through the magic ceremonies performed and the words of power spoken by the priests during the burial service.”2
Budge endorses this general view in saying: “When the material body had been brought to the tomb for burial . . . it acquired the power of sending forth from itself a body called the Sahu, which was able to ascend to heaven and dwell with the gods there. The only suitable rendering for the word ‘Sahu’ is ‘spiritual body,’ and the meaning fits very well into the translation of the texts where the word is found.”
This is in the broad sense true, but thrown out of due symmetry to the scholar’s ignorance of the cardinal meaning of “death” and “the dead” in symbolic usage. The name unquestionably means “spiritual body” and “free, noble, chief” might be applicable to it. But the derivation would seem to be closer at hand than Budge presumes. The two divine sons of the great first god Tem, or Tum (meaning “total”), were the gods Sa and Hu. These two short names seem either broadly or in some particular reference to connote “spirit” and “matter,” the opposite nodes of primal energy. Souls were said to be composed of the essence of Sa, drawn in the beginning from the great “Lake of Sa” in the southern heavens. “Sa” also meant the son, or spirit born of matter. Hu was the basis of Ihuh, or Atum-Huhi (Adam-Jehovah), the spark of flame in matter. As the spiritual body was built up of spirit and matter in combination, the two basic god-names seem to have been combined to designate it. Massey says that the word “Sahu” means “to incorporate.” It is the incorporated spirit or its product. Chapter 47 of the Ritual reads: “I am a spiritual body (sah), therefore let me rise among those who follow the great god.” As Osiris-Sekari, the god was the coffined one; as Osiris-Sahu, he rose again in a spiritual body. “I am the spiritual body of the god,” cries the Manes on fleeing the grave (Ch. 99). In chapter 128 Osiris exclaims: “Horus hath made for me a spiritual body through his own soul, to take possession of that which belongeth to Osiris in the Tuat.” In the text of Unas we read: “Behold, he cometh forth this day in the real form of a living spirit.” The Chaldean Oracles say: “The powers build up the body of the holy man.”
In the Hymn to Osiris the risen soul is praised: “Thou art a shining Spirit-Body, the Governor of Spirit-Bodies.”
Luke (24:39) represents Jesus after the resurrection as calling attention to his very members: “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.” This is clarified by the knowledge that, the resurrection once consummated, the soul has power to assume what form it will and to materialize for the moment its old physical semblance. Did not Jesus pass through closed doors and appear to his disciples, so that Thomas put his hands in the wounds in the flesh to resolve his doubts? Of spiritual essence, he could yet become palpable to sense.
Budge’s assertion that the texts are silent with respect to the nature of the vesture in which the soul arose might have been modified had he seen the following from the Papyrus of Pepi: “They draw thee unto heaven in thy soul, and thou art endowed with soul among them. Thou appearest in the sky as Horus from the womb of the sky in this thy form which came forth from the mouth of Ra, as Horus, the Chief of the Spirits.” And again from the same text: “When Osiris ascended the ladder, he was covered with the coverings of Horus, he wore the apparel of Thoth.” In chapter 180 the soul says: “I stretch myself at my desire, I run forward with my strides in my spiritual form of hidden qualities.” And how striking is the following from the text of Teta: “He receives bones of a marvelous nature and a complete and imperishable body is bestowed upon him in the womb of his mother Nut!”
The Egyptians regarded the physical body as being powerless and lifeless save for the more magnetically powerful inner bodies. Of itself it could never have arisen. It could not rise as flesh and blood; it could ascend only after being transformed, like water converted into vapor, by more potent spirit. It was only the presence in it of the Ba, the Sekhem, the Khu that gave it erectile force. As says James (2:26): “the body without the spirit is dead.” So much more vital was the spirit than the body, so much “more ancient” and established, that even the destruction of the latter would not annihilate it. For well the Egyptians knew, before Paul, that “if our earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” When the deity descended to earth he put on the mask of a crocodile, an ibis, a lion, or other zootype of the primary powers. But when rising into spirit, he divested himself of these “filthy rags” and stood forth clothed in the majesty of solar light. He personates in turn each of the gods and appropriates their strength and qualities.
“Their magical powers are in his body, the Sahu do not retreat from his hands. He eats the wisdom of every god, his period of life is eternity, his limit is everlastingness in this form (sah) of his.” “I am come,” says Horus, “as a sahu in the spiritual body, glorious and well-equipped; and that is given to me which lives on amidst all overthrow.”
Here at last is that element which all philosophy, all religion, all moral feeling has been seeking for ages as the indubitable foundation of both faith and knowledge. All rationalism and mysticism alike are the search for the enduring real, that which abides amid the flux. Here it is, says Horus. Here is the ages’ Rock of Certitude.
The soul was released from the khat or physical body when the latter had been itself sublimated to such tenuity that it quickly vanished away. Horus, coming out of Sekhem, left his earthly body behind in the sepulcher, and was greeted as pure spirit by those who had forerun him in the glorification. They rejoiced to see him walking upright and ready to stride onward through eternity. He who had earned these salutations was the re-establisher of time “for millions of years.” He came in raiment like the dawn, as the true light of the world newly kindled in the night of death. He says he comes forth equipped with Ra’s words of power. In the Book of Teta the risen soul is greeted: “Hail, thou hast received thy robe of honor, thou hast arrayed thyself in the Hata garment. Thou art clothed with the Eye of Horus . . . which giveth thee thy apparel before the gods.” “Let love for him,” proceeds the text, “be in the body of every god who shall see him. This is the swathing which Horus made for his father Osiris,” mentioned by Tertullian. “Thou art provided with thy form, O dweller among the spirits.” “Thy movement is like that of a star. No ruin falls to thee . . . Thou art complete in thy members of crystal.” “Thou hast thy state of glory . . . thou hast thy faculty of knowledge.” “Thou art pure with the purity of the gods, who journey unceasingly.” Chapter 171 is captioned: “Of trying on the garment of purity.” In the Pepi text it is stated that as he rises he puts on the sheth garment of Horus and the apparel of Thoth. The coming forth of Jesus as a spirit, or as the Christos, is called his investiture. He says: “The times are fulfilled for me to put on my vesture. Lo, I have put on my vesture, and all power hath been given to me by the first mystery” (Pistis Sophia I:10).
In his first advent as the Virgin’s son he was the “bare grain,” the word made flesh but not yet made truth. In his second advent he re- vealed the glory of the Father through that body which God gave him. He now regains the glory he had with the Father before he laid it aside to put on the sackcloth of earth. The Ritual details how the ransomed spirits, redeemed from the mummy condition and all the ills of the corruptible flesh, put on the pure white robe of righteousness, called the vesture of truth. This is given them by the god Taht for their entrance into the boat of the sun. Earth’s apron is removed, and he receives a bandage of the finest linen “in place of the old garb of shame.” In chapter 64 there is this explicit statement: “I have made the dress which Ptah has woven out of his clay.” Spirit must draw its light from the very womb of matter. Ptah was the divine Potter, as Jesus was the Carpenter and Hiram the Mason.
When the deceased has been resuscitated he says (Ch. 85): “The seven Uraeus divinities are my body. . . . My image is eternal.” The lower elements form his material body; his spirit body is imperishable. But the soul synthesized the seven and raised them aloft to share its everlastingness. Ptah tells Rameses II that he has refashioned his flesh in vermilion. The texts speak of the dead bones being refleshed with a coating of red earth. These are references to the renewal through the soul’s bath in the pool of the body’s blood.
The Manes were of two classes, the clothed and the naked. Those were clothed who had passed the judgment trial and received their investiture of the robe of righteousness. “I hasten to the land (of Aarru) and I fasten my stole upon me,” says the Manes, “that I may come forth and take possession of the wealth assigned to me” (Ch. 110). “I range within the garden of Hetep (Aarru); I fasten my stole upon me.” “I am the glorified one coming forth in triumph.” Paul has said that we “groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven,” “clothed upon that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” “I was naked and ye clothed me,” says the Gospel Jesus himself. Isaiah (61:10) sings: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord . . . for he hath clothed me with the garment of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.” Hermes says: “I am gone out of myself into an immortal body, and am not what I was before, but am begotten in mind.” How well this describes what the Greek philosophers call the “ekstasis,” or transport of release from the physical body-tomb! Ekstasis means literally “a standing out” of the soul from the body, so that one is in truth “beside oneself” with “ecstasy.” In Iamblichus’ great work on the Mysteries of the Egyptians (p. 55) he unfolds the doctrine thus:
“The Gods, being benevolent and propitious, impart their light to theurgists in unenvying abundance, calling upon their souls, procuring them a union with themselves, and accustoming them, while they are yet in body, to be separated from bodies, to be led around to their intelligible principle.”
Thus they, too, were “begotten in mind.” Hermes tells Ptah he “would that thou also wert gone out of thyself, like them that dream in their sleep.” This is the ecstasy and transport when the soul passes from the boat of Horus to the ship of the sun, from mortal flesh to radiant spiritual glory.
In chapter 19 of the Ritual is the whole detailed struggle of the powers of intellectual light to gain the victory for Horus over his enemies “on the day of making his triumph over Set and his fiends.” For a purpose of very great importance we quote some of this chapter at length. The great final conquest is achieved by Horus –
“on the night of the battle and overthrow of the Seba-fiend in Abtu; on the night of Osiris’ triumph over his enemies; on the day of the festival of Haker (on the fifteenth of the month); on the night of setting up the Tat in Tattu in the presence of the great sovereign princes; on the night of the judgment of those who shall be annihilated in Sekhem; on the night of laying the things on the altars in Sekhem; on the night of the establishing of the inheritance by Horus of the things of the father Osiris, at the great festival of plowing and turning up the earth in Tattu or in Abtu (Abydos); on the night of the weighing of words or a weighing of looks; on the night when Isis lieth down to watch and make lamentation for her brother in Re-stau; on the night of making Osiris to triumph.”
The design in making this strange quotation is to call attention to the multiplicity of symbolic occurrences that are thrown into the period of the night preceding the Passover of the vernal equinox, which is just the “dark night of the soul” in incarnation, ending with the passing of the soul across the boundary at Easter. All processes of transformation, purifying, perfecting, glorifying, reach their consummation on the last marge of the “night” period, as it breaks into the dawn of Easter’s spiritual Sun. In the yearly calendar this would be the night of the Passover of spring. Hence Egyptian drama placed the crowning of every process on this eventful “night.” Being purely symbolical, there would be no difficulty in allocating to this date any number of representations of the various aspects of the soul’s experience as it concluded its earthly history. The Christ’s trial, his bloody sweat, his battle with the fiends, his mockery and suffering, his crucifixion in its last stages, his last supper, his bearing the cross, and every other phase of his “death” and “burial” in matter could be “staged” on this night. But it would not and could not be “history.” What then would happen if at a later time symbolic events in such number were turned into alleged history? Here indeed is a point for “higher criticism,” if not for downright common sense.
It seems to be incontestable that the many events of the last night of Jesus’ life as narrated in the Gospels are a somewhat attenuated copy of this momentous nineteenth chapter of Egypt’s Ritual! Perhaps the material was not taken directly from it, but was drawn from the dramas and Mystery plays that had been based on it and worked out in consonance with it. Obviously so blind was fanatical zealotry in hurrying to crush paganism and to change spiritual allegory into history that it did not pause to reckon with the difficulty of crowding a long series of varied events into the course of a single night of clock time. So Jesus was given a busy night to close his sad career! The literalizers of drama did not scruple to ask zealotry to believe that there could actually have occurred in the brief space of one night the Last Supper with the disciples, the walk to the Mount of Olives, the long watch in the garden of Gethsemane, the incidents of the disciples falling asleep when Jesus upbraided them for not being able to watch with him one little hour, the arrest, the severed and healed ear cut off by Peter, then three separate and distinct judicial trials involving the summoning of judges, juries, attendants, officers, the populace in the dead of night (a thing impossible if considered in realism), then the mockery of the soldiers, the parting of Jesus’ garments, the forcing on him of the crown of thorns, then the march to the hill of Golgotha (“the place of the skull”), and the harrowing “crucifixion” running into the next morning. There is an obvious very meager limit to what can occur in the temporal span of one short night. The Gospels here stand helplessly exposed to the attack of plain reason in view of the patent conditions of the problem raised. The Gospels are the old manuscripts of the dramatized ritual of the incarnation and resurrection of the sun-god, which was first Egyptian, later Gnostic and Hellenic, then Hebrew and finally adopted ignorantly by the Christian movement and transferred to the arena of history. They were not history until in Christian hands the esoteric meaning had been obscured and the wisdom needed to interpret them non-historically was wanting.
An important link is the identification of the Sahu body with the sun. The Kabalah intimates that the soul in each solar system spends six aeons on planets and the seventh in the sun of the system. In the seventh or human kingdom, then, life would be preparing for the soul a body of solar essence. And solar energy is the expression of deific intellect, according to Proclus. The soul of humanity is to clothe itself in an indestructible armor of solar light, eternally self-luminous and self-perpetuating. The Bible’s statement that “the Lord God is a sun” is echoed in Egypt: “I am the lord of light, and that which is an abomination unto me is death; let me not go into the chamber of torture which is in the Tuat.” A hundred texts exalt the principle of light, and here its rebellion against being overwhelmed by the darkness of matter in incarnation is registered.
Here was the whole gist of theology outlined in terms whose significance for human life could not have been missed save by minds hopelessly warped by previous obsession of fantastic conceptions. For “death” is here distinctly defined as residence in a world where the intellectual light of deity would be sadly darkened. But we have seen how the failure properly to locate “the underworld” blocked the sway to all true comprehension of intrinsic wisdom for centuries. The appearance of the angel who descended from heaven to roll away the stone from the grave was “as lightning, and his raiment was white as snow” (Matt. 28:2). “He has come forth like the sun,” says the Osirian in his eulogy of the soul. “He comes in raiment like the dawn,” sings the sacred writer. Osiris is said to give life “to the ministers of the sun,” the sun-gods. Says Horus: “I have come like the sun through the gate . . . and have passed pure” (Rit., Ch. 148, Birch). Jesus insisted that each man had light within himself, and with its increase by spiritual cultivation, it would even supplant the sun and moon as light-givers. In man all previous powers of creative light were to be synthesized in the glory of a new order of radiant being.
We read in the Litany of Ra (Ch. 2:7): “Thou commandest the Osirified deceased to be like Khuti, the brilliant triangle which appears in the shining place.” This was the solar trinity of mind, soul, spirit. Horus is seated in the decans of the Ram, the whip of rule in his left hand and the starry “Triangula” in his right. Thus the dead god rose on the horizon of the resurrection like the sun in the vernal equinox when that sun was in Aries, bearing the triangle as symbol of the triunity of man’s spirit. “He shineth like a new being in the east,” is a tribute to the risen glory of the soul. In chapter 129 of the Ritual – the book of making perfect the Khu – we have: “And the majesty of the god Thoth lovingly shall make light to rest upon his corruptible body.” The very gods “withdraw themselves when they see thee arrayed in the awful majesty of Ra.”
In Exodus we read that the vestments worn by the children of Israel were to be woven of violet, purple and scarlet yarn. These three vivid colors likely typify the higher triad in the scale of seven colors, or the coat of many colors. Macrobius, commenting on the Orphic Hymns, speaks of the sacred dress in which those initiated into the Dionysiac Mysteries were invested, preparatory to their enthronement:
“He who desires in pomp of sacred dress
The sun’s resplendent body to express,
Should first a veil assume of purple bright,
Like fair white beams combined with fiery light.”
“I shine forth from the egg which is in the unseen world” (Ch. 22).
The mummy-swath was, like the shenti, a linen tunic, made from shena, and this was the garment woven without a seam. The “young man” who left his garment and fled naked from the resurrection scene was the figure of the rising soul that had shed its mummy-cloth and made its transformation into spirit that no longer needed earthly covering. The seam was obliterated when the two halves of man were made into one whole and new man.
Spence states that the spirits of heaven “lived upon the rays of light which fell from the eyes of Horus; that is, they were nourished upon sunlight, so that in time their bodies became wholly composed of light.”3 This is true. They emaned their own light and there was no need of external light, “for the glory of the Lord did lighten it.” The Talmud says: “There is a light which is never eclipsed or obscured, derived from the upper light, by which the first man could view the world from one end to the other” (Avodath Hakodesh). This is pre- sumably that light of the poets which never was on land or sea; the gleam, of Tennyson’s conception. “I live by reason of my splendor,” chants the emancipated soul.
The souls having attained the resurrected state in shining raiment were called the Khus or the glorified. Jesus asked the Father to glorify him with primeval radiance; Horus pleads in the same way (Ch. 175): “But let the state of the shining ones be given unto me instead of water and air. . . .” The elect “arriveth at the Aged One, on the confines of the Mount of Glory, where the crown awaiteth him” (Ch. 131).
Mt. Olympus of the Greeks was identical with Mount Hetep of the Egyptians. Hence the Kimmerians of Homer may possibly be identified with the Egyptian Khemi, or Akhemu, the dwellers in the northern heaven, as never-setting stars or spirits of the glorified, the Khus or Khuti.
The whole course of evolution on earth is designed to perfect the individualized humans, who are the crown of animal development. This perfection comes through the spiritualization of the gross animal nature by the impacting upon it of currents of intellectual and spiritual forces which gradually refine the lower self. When a certain degree of sublimation has been achieved the lower bodies become capable of affording free course to the influx of the higher influences, which then so transform the lower that a practical identity between the two is established. Greek mythology called it the union of Cupid and Psyche; in Egypt it was the embrace of Horus and Osiris; in Churchly language it was the marriage of the Bride and the Lamb. It was that welding at last in blissful harmony of the mortal and immortal elements. Of this ultimate union of male and female components, the body-soul with the spirit-soul, all marriage and sexual intercourse is only the outward sign and symbol. For its attainment the male and female natures in the individual must be “married”; the centers below and those above the diaphragm must merge in interchange of activity. The wedding or welding of these two groups of energies will divinize human nature. For it will return man to his original androgyne state which obtained before the “fall” into physical generation, when he assumed the garb of the animal nature and put on the mask of personality.
Massey concisely sums up this basic datum of theology: “The marriage of Cupid and Psyche is a fable that was founded on this union of the two souls which we have traced in the Ritual as the soul in matter, or as the human, and the soul in spirit.”4
Evolution’s work in the moral sphere was to unite a soul inherent in matter with a higher soul that was divine. This operation takes place in the body and consciousness of mankind. The divine soul was a unit of sublimated intellectual essence from beyond the skies, but temporarily united with the lower body to engraft upon it its own higher potencies. Physical evolution was impotent to pass a certain point, the boundary between sense and soul, until the germ of conscious selfhood linked with it from above. Life languished on earth until the heaven spirit descended like a dove to free it.” As soon as thou enterest the Utchau and unitest thyself thereto, the beings on earth flourish.”
A strong and moving assertion of the influence of the union of lower life with higher is seen in the following from the Book of the Dead:
“Thou joinest thyself unto the Eye of Horus and thou hidest thyself within its secret place; it destroyeth for thee all the convulsions of thy face, it maketh thee strong with life, and thou livest . . . thou joinest thyself unto the upper heaven, O luminary.”
The soul is addressed here as the luminous person of the sun, and most challenging is the statement that the force of the solar intellect released in the personal life will destroy the convulsions of the face, caused by the painful constraint of the soul under the bondage of matter. Like lovers’ kiss, the embrace between the spiritual soul and the psychic entity in the body brought harmony and expanded life. A complementary and salutary interchange of health and strength flashed between spirit and matter in the embrace, when the two met in Amenta.
Budge says that the conjunction of the lower ba, or animal soul, with its Ka, or spiritual soul, took place in Heliopolis, the city of the sun, Annu. This would correspond with the revival of Osiris, or Lazarus, at Beth-Any. The ba comes forth upon earth to do the will of its Ka. This is important, matching Jesus’ declaration that he comes to do the will of his Father.
The work of the exiled god on earth being now consummated, his effort having prevailed to overcome the flesh and transform the soul of the body into the likeness of the glorious sun-soul, the risen deity stands on the eastern threshold of heaven, ready to complete the last stages of the twelve-months’ journey, and with the waxing sun of spring to climb the steep ascent of heaven from March to June. This is the final arc of the return to the Father who stands at the apex of heaven at the gate of Cancer. The summit of the mount of the zodiac was the place of reunion and reconciliation; the paradise of perennial plenty and everlasting peace, the land where there was no more sea and no more night, where beings carried their own light eternally within them. Hither the twelve companions of Horus bring the sheaves of golden grain which they have reaped in the harvest fields of Amenta. Horus tells Osiris at the festival of the Harvest Home that he has cultivated his corn for him and reaped the golden crop in the Aarru Fields of Peace, or Hetep.
Exodus (3:12) reports the Eternal as saying to Moses: “When thou hast brought the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.” It was there called Mt. Horeb, and the first syllable, Hor-, can be equated with the Hor-, of Hor-us, the sun. The injunction to Moses precedes:
“Thou shalt bring them in and plant them in the mountain of their inheritance, the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for them to dwell in, the sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.”
Here “the Lord shall reign for ever and ever.” This was the Mount of Jerusalem, the Aarru-Salem, or Aarru-Hetep, the mount of eternal peace. In escaping from Egypt or Amenta, the goal of refuge is the Mount of Peace, as every religion on earth has attested. As spirits, not human marching columns, the children of Israel, after crossing the swampy Reed Sea of this life, are led to the celestial land flowing with water. This heavenly home was located and dramatized as the circumpolar paradise, the Homeland of exiles and captives. “I am master there,” says the beatified spirit who has attained this mansion in the skies and built his homestead there. “I am in glory there; I eat there; I plant and I reap there; I plough there; I take my fill of love.” “I net ducks and I eat dainties.” “I am united there to the god Hetep” – the seven powers completely exalted, unified and at peace.
There the risen spirit becomes one of the glorious stars that never- more shall set in ocean’s or in earth’s depths. “A divine domain hath been constructed for me: I know the name of it; the name of it is the garden of Aarru” (Ch. 109, Renouf).
Instead of being damned eternally for eating of the fruit of the tree of life and knowledge, the Manes is part by part divinized as he transmutes the substance of its food into higher essence. In the Rubric at the end of chapter 99 of the Ritual we read: “This chapter being known, the deceased appears in the fields of Aarru. He receives food there, the produce of its fields.” The cakes, corn, bread and wine which he shall partake of there are described. “And he shall come forth in Sekhet-Aarru in any form whatsoever he pleaseth, and he shall appear regularly and continually.” Chapter 110 tells of the soul’s going in and out of Sekhet-Hetep, of the coming forth by day, of becoming a glorified Khu there; of reaping, eating, drinking, making love there and “doing everything even as a man doeth upon earth.” The soul exults: “And I have sailed into the divine city of Hetep . . . I array myself in apparel and I gird myself with the sa garment of Ra.” To have attained this blessed home the soul must have undergone the earthly baptism:
“I have gone into the city of An-Aarret-f (the place where nothing groweth) and I covered my nakedness with the garments which are there.”
In the midst of Sekhet-Aarru was a door, with a sycamore of turquoise on each side of it, through which the sun-god Ra appeared every day. The outgoing and return of the celestial glory was thus depicted for the blessed each day, as it is for mortals on earth.
The soul’s reward for leaving its celestial home and spending the long toilsome cycle of necessity in dreary exile on earth is the evolutionary gain therefrom, which is vast and permanent, as is attested by the ecstasy that accompanies the return. The pitiful nostalgia which has oppressed it throughout its long sojourn among “the wild beasts” is blithesomely appeased by its nearing vision of the Father’s portals and the sunny meads and shady bowers of the Homeland. Death is indeed swallowed up in victory and the night of gloom and the Götterdämmerung are followed by the fresh sweetness of supernal dawn.
Iamblichus presents beautifully the philosophy of our escape from the iron fetters of fate and return to the liberty of the sons of God: “But neither are all things comprehended in the nature of fate, but there is another principle of the soul, which is superior to all nature and generation, and through which we are capable of being united to the Gods, of transcending the mundane order and of participating eternal life and the energy of the super-celestial gods. Through this principle, therefore, we are able to liberate ourselves from fate. For when the more excellent parts of us energize, and the soul is elevated to natures better than itself, then it is entirely separated from things which detain it in generation, departs from subordinate natures, exchanges the present for another life and gives itself to another order of things, entirely abandoning the former order with which it was connected.”5
Iamblichus says elsewhere that there is found no other dissolution of the fetters of fate and necessity than the knowledge of the gods. For to know the godly powers is felicity. Oblivion of them while in terrestrial body is the greatest source of evil to a deific nature. Knowledge of the gods preserves the true life of the soul and leads it back to the Father, the Noetic principle. For fate ties the soul to natures that are inferior, that are perpetually unstable, flowing from one impermanency to another, and prevents it at every turn from obtaining a vision of immutable good. Intellectual union with the gods alone will anchor the soul to the support of its true felicity.
Proclus is as luminously clear on the same point:
“The one salvation of the soul herself, which is extended by the Demiurgus and which liberates her from the circle of generation, from abundant wanderings and an inefficacious life, is her return to the intellectual form, and a flight from every thing which naturally adheres to us from generation.”6
For the soul, he continues, having been hurled like seed into the realms of generation, should cast aside the stubble and bark, as it were, which she accumulates about herself from contact with the fluctuations in these realms, and preserve her pristine purity. Purging herself from everything she touches, she should become the intellectual flower and fruit, delighting in the stable circles of sameness, rather than in the revolutions of difference. Having fallen from celestial harmony into the jangling diffusion of divine energies, she had, as Proclus says, become something belonging to an individual instead of to the universe. Departing from her connection with the lower irrational nature, and steering her course by reason, she will be led happily from her wanderings about the realms of sense, and from the passions which adhere to us from generation, back to the blissful contemplation of the one universal Life.
In a cosmic upper chamber the “old ones” and “the ones gone before” gather to welcome the return of the exiled souls. There are reception hosts who assemble to “welcome the pilgrims of the night.” The text of the Ritual gives some faint picture of the joy that thrills through the heavenly arches when the solar sons return triumphant from their long expatriation:
“The divine power hath risen and shineth in the horizon. . . . The Khus shine in heaven . . . for there is among them a form which is like unto themselves; and there are shouts and cries of gladness within the shrine, and the sounds of those who rejoice go round about through the underworld . . . and his majesty shineth as he shone in the primeval time, when the Utchat was first upon his head.”
The script of Teta reads:
“Thou standest at the doors. . . . Khent-Ament-f comes forth to thee; he grasps thy hand and leads thee to heaven before thy father Keb [Seb], who rejoices to meet thee and gives thee his two hands. He kisses thee, he fondles thee, he pushes thee forward at the head of the indestructible spirits . . . thou keepest the festivals of the first day of the month and the festivals of the fifteenth day of the month, according to the decree which thy father Keb made for thee.”
When Osiris, reborn as Horus, triumphs, “Joy goeth the rounds in Thinis,” the celestial city; and even earth catches the repercussion of the jubilee in the heavens. The Book of Enoch relates that the same heavenly host that met to anoint the collective angelry that was preparing to come to earth to do evolution’s work assembled again to welcome the returning victors, and that the reaches of farthest space were filled with angelic halleluiahs, as heaven and nature sang in unison.
Yet the paeans of heaven are hardly more intriguing than the more restrained pronouncements of Greek philosophy. Says Proclus:
There is “the race of men, who through a more excellent power and with piercing eyes, acutely perceive supernal light, to the vision of which they raise themselves above the clouds and darkness, as it were, of this lower world; and there abiding, despise every thing in those regions of sense; being no otherwise delighted with the place which is truly and properly their own, than he who, after many wanderings, is at length restored to his lawful country.”7
The night of earthly sorrow breaks into the morn of heavenly rejoicing, for “joy cometh in the morning.”
“The great and mighty gods cry out: ‘He hath gotten the victory.’”
. . . . . . .
Earthly dust from off thee shaken,
Soul immortal thou shalt waken,
With thy last dim journey taken, –
All through the night.
1. Introduction to the Book of the Dead, p. lxxxv.
2. Myths and Legends: Egypt, p. 126.
3. Myths and Legends: Egypt, p. 127.
4. Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, p. 223.
5. Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans and Assyrians, p. 312.
6. The Timaeus, Lib. V, p. 33.
7. The Six Books of Proclus on the Theology of Plato, II, p. 272.