Entering into Light: part two
An occult investigation of the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead in three parts
In the first part of this investigation published in July 2023 we told you about the discovery of the Papyrus of Ani, the antiquity of the Book of the Dead and the problems of interpretation the texts raise. In this second part we shall analyse the Hymn to Ra and part of The Chapters of Coming Forth by Day. In our second afterword, we continue the story of Isis and Osiris and their son Horus. We conclude this investigation in part three. If you have not read part one please do so before continuing, otherwise you will not obtain a complete understanding of the subjects under discussion.
The Hymn to Ra
We now come to our analysis proper, commencing with Chapter XV, 'A Hymn of Praise to Ra when He riseth in the Eastern part of Heaven.' Ere we do so, we should point out that the arrangement and numbering of the chapters of the Book of the Dead was made by Carl Lepsius in 1842 and has been largely retained ever since. This is not without its problems for, as the attentive reader will have noted, the Hymn to Ra which Lepsius numbered XV, is the first chapter in the Papyrus of Ani, not the fifteenth. But as we are concerned with the esoteric meaning of the book this does not matter overmuch. Moreover, it is doubtful, as Budge thought, if the book can be arranged on any definite plan, either occult or scholarly, especially since no complete copy of all the chapters of the book has so far been found.
Anon. — Hymn to Ra the Sun-God — gouache on board. 1986.
The Hymn to Ra, or others like it, was sung at dawn by a chorus of men and maidens belonging to the temple musicians and choristers. This was a most impressive ceremony indeed during the XVIIIth dynasty as you can see from the illustration reproduced above. Ani's wife, Tutu, mentioned in part one, would have been among the lovely maidens in their shimmering, silvery dresses. The artist who painted this scene in the 1980s was well known to the writer; together we shared many lively reminiscences about the departed glories of Egypt. The artist explained that it often happened on certain important occasions, that behind the choir we see in his painting, there was erected a sort of stage, or platform, on which the priests enacted some of the Sacred Mysteries connected with the life and resurrection of Osiris we discuss in our afterword. These ceremonies were never open to outsiders at any time, for they were considered to be of such a holy character that only the priests and great nobles, as well as the king himself, were permitted to attend.
If you possess a copy of the Book of the Dead in one of the editions we recommended in our introduction to part one, now is the time to take it out if you wish to follow our analysis of the Hymn to Ra. We shall spend some considerable time examining this as it contains more hidden truths than almost any other chapter in the Papyrus of Ani. It is accompanied by the vignette (Budge's Plate I) shown below.
Papyrus of Ani. — Hymn in honour of the Sun-God Ra at his rising — papyrus, ca. 1500 B.C.
When the Hymn to Ra was used in the funerary text, the name of the deceased was invariably preceded by the name of Osiris because the deceased was presumed to be 'Osirified'. In other words, his Higher Mind was supposed to have been purified from the illusions of life on earth and resurrected in a body of light, thus becoming the equal, to a very small extent, of the god Osiris himself. And so the first thing we read in this Hymn is: "Behold, the Osiris Ani, the scribe of the holy offerings to all the gods saith: Homage to thee, O thou who hast become as Khepera, Khepera the creator of the gods." The symbol of Khepera is the scarab beetle (Scarabaeus sacer) which collects a ball of excrementitious matter by rolling it along to the place where its larva is so it may feed upon it. The Egyptian Sages chose their symbols with great care. Could there be a more apt or simple allegory than this? The Sun rolling along its orbit as the collector, sustainer and dispenser of life to the Kosmos. What is even more remarkable is the choice of a ball of excrementitious matter to symbolise what was, until H. P. Blavatsky revealed it in The Secret Doctrine, an occult truth unknown in the West, even to occultists, and still unknown to material science today. Here is what she wrote in 1888, quoting the ancient Commentary to the Stanzas of Dzyan:
"Eight houses were built by Mother. Eight houses for her Eight Divine sons; four large and four small ones. Eight brilliant suns, according to their age and merits. Bal-i-u (Marrtanda) was not satisfied, though his house was the largest. He began (to work) as the huge elephants do. He breathed (drew in) into his stomach the vital airs of his brothers. He sought to devour them. The larger four were far away; far, on the margin of their kingdom. They were not robbed (affected), and laughed. Do your worst, Sir, you cannot reach us, they said. But the smaller wept. They complained to the Mother. She exiled Bal-i-lu to the centre of her Kingdom, from whence he could not move. (Since then) he (only) watches and threatens. He pursues them, turning slowly around himself, they turning swiftly from him, and he following from afar the direction in which his brothers move on the path that encircles their houses. From that day he feeds on the sweat of the Mother's body. He fills himself with her breath and refuse. Therefore, she rejected him."
The Secret Doctrine, Vol.1, Book 1, page 100.
The 'sweat' of the 'Mother' in this rich allegory is, of course, the Prima Materia or First Matter of the Alchemists which we discussed in our article on Why matter matters. It fills all Space, unseen and undetected by any of the instruments of science, and the Egyptian Sages knew all about it or they would not have chosen a ball of excrementitious matter to symbolize the Sun that 'feeds' on 'refuse'. Blavatsky goes on to say that this matter is "totally different from any of the chemical or physical characteristics with which modern science is acquainted. It is homogeneous in its primitive form beyond the Solar Systems, and differentiates entirely once it crosses the boundaries of our Earth’s region, vitiated by the atmospheres of the planets and the already compound matter of the interplanetary stuff, heterogeneous only in our manifested world." Here she is alluding to the 'food' that the Sun sends out upon which the rest of our solar system exists, in the form of cosmic rays, etc. When these rays reach the magnetic field of the Earth, they generate heat, as we discussed in our article on the Occult Sun. In it we explained that the rays which strike the Earth in a vertical manner produce the most heat, for around the meridian the magnetic field is most dense, and when they reach the Earth obliquely, less heat is produced, while at the poles there is almost no heating at all. So far we have discussed just one sentence of the Hymn to Ra, and look what is concealed within it! Ra, the great God of that fiery orb in the sky. The Elder Brother of all the planets within our Solar System, large and small, and Khepera, which The Golden Star calls "the hidden, concealed Spiritual Sun...the Light and Life-Giver of the Spiritual and Psychic Realms." In The Secret Doctrine, Madame Blavatsky tells us: "The Sun is the heart of the solar system and its brain is hidden behind the (visible) Sun. From thence, sensation is radiated into every nerve-centre of the great body, and the waves of the life-essence flow into each artery and vein." We have said in many of our articles that the great Occult Truths are so simple that they need no fantastic frills, embroidered by the cold intellect, to reveal and explain them. What a grand picture this very first sentence of the Hymn to Ra paints before the inner eye of our Higher Minds. No wonder the Egyptians adored and worshipped His Majesty, as did many other nations, such as the Inca, who sang praises to the Sun daily.
We said in part one that we would explain the occult meaning of the term Heru-khuti, the Horus of the two horizons. This is also rendered as Heru-em-aakhuti, which means the same and is the same. The word 'Heru' (notice the similarity to 'Hero'), is the Egyptian name of Horus while khuti and aakhuti are the singular and plural nouns for 'horizon.' This duality was imaged in the symbolism of the Sphinx, with its tail to the West and its head to the East, pointing to the equinox each way. Horus of the double horizon was also the Horus of the two lions. In the Book of the Dead Horus is made to say: "I am the twin lions, the heir of Ra. I go out from the dwelling of the two lions to the house of Isis the divine." In a vignette to the Chapter in which this speech occurs shown at left, the sun of today rises between two lions, which represent Safra, the sun of yesterday (facing right), and Tuau, the sun of tomorrow (facing left). These two horizons have been a source of endless perplexity to Egyptologists and Biblical scholars alike. They reappear in the New Testament Gospels as the two opposite countries, Judea and Galilee. Both have been used independently; the result is that one writer localises the works of Jesus in one region, whilst another places the scenes in the opposite country, as if they didn't know which leg to stand on, or "on which horizon to take their stand," as Gerald Massey expresses it in his masterly exposition of the Ancient Egyptian Wisdom — Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World.
So what are these two 'horizons'? Simply the two 'Earths', one familiar to us all as the physical world we dwell in, or seem to, and the other its counterpart in the astral world. This, as we explain in our article of the same name is no less 'solid' to the dwellers there than our world seems to us. Moreover, conditions in those parts nearest to this world are almost indistinguishable from conditions here. The Egyptians knew this, just as they knew that conditions on Earth are a reflection of things and beings in the Other World. Today, some psychics and sensitives suspect this may be true for they have seen and experienced this duality, either during so-called 'astral projection' or in lucid dreams. The discussions which form our Astral Conversations series of articles take place in what we may call the astral 'counterpart' of the Earth. Some of our readers have written to us to say they, too, have visited those parts of the astral world which most closely resemble conditions here on Earth. In some cases they have seen and explored duplicates of their own homes, which appear to be either larger and more luxurious than their earthly counterparts, or smaller and more squalid. This difference is faithfully reproduced in the Book of the Dead where some regions of the Tuat are described as decidedly dark, ugly and unpleasant and others as light, beautiful and welcoming. This explains the perplexity which the term Heru-khuti engenders among Egyptologists. Most overcome the difficulty with the trite explanation that "Horus of the two horizons" was the god of the rising and setting sun. So he is, but this fails to explain why he is given this appellation and exactly what is signified by these two 'suns'. You now have the answers, namely that man has two minds, each pulling him in the opposite direction, or we might say horizon, towards either light (the rising sun) or darkness (the setting sun). Simple, is it not?
Once we know this it becomes clear that the Book of the Dead is primarily based on the journey of the deceased through the Other World, or Amentet. The track of Ra, the all-conquering Sun-God, is faithfully followed by the soul (Higher Mind) of the deceased. He is accompanied by those who have gone before as guides. He does battle and is delivered from the devouring demon who lurks invisibly in the lake of fire and feeds upon the damned (the lower self). He is supported by the Eye of Horus or lighted up by the Moon. After many adventures, still following the course of the Sun, he reaches the region called Sekhet-Hetepet by the Egyptians, meaning the 'Fields of Peace'. All day the souls of the departed make their voyage in the Boat of the Sun and figuratively speaking, come at sunset to the land of the west the Egyptians called Amentet. At this landing-stage they leave the Maatet (day) boat for the Sektet (night) boat. The sun goes down to Amentet in the west each night, but their sun sets no more. They have done with life on Earth and all its illusions and commence a new life in the higher spiritual realms. But there is still a great gulf fixed between the two Horizons of Earth and Heaven. This is the lake of darkness and the lair of the Apap–dragon. The void is spoken of as the cavern of Putrata in the Book of the Dead, where the dead fall into darkness. It is also called the void of Apap. It is the prototype of the dreaded Abyss which so terrified (and still terrifies) a certain breed of Western 'occultist' and 'magician.' In the Christian version of the legend it was the great gulf that was fixed between those who remained in the lower Amentet and those who had attained the upper Paradise and the bosom of Ra, to dwell among the Blessed there. Here then, you have the simple explanation of what the Book of the Dead is about and why it was thought indispensable for the liberation and salvation of the soul. For without its instructions the deceased was liable to wander through the Other World with no clear idea of where he was, whither he was going, and no defence against any enemies who might assail him, or protection from any dangers he might encounter along the way.
Some readers may say this describes the situation of the average human being on Earth, who is equally lost and directionless and at the mercy of God knows what unseen foes and dangers, and they would be right! From this, it will also be clear that the Book of the Dead was intended as much for the living as the dead, or rather it was requisite for the living to be familiar with its themes if they wished to free themselves from the bonds of illusion and attain liberation from the cycles of rebirth on Earth. In short, the book was a course of instruction in the Occult Sciences and a map of the Other World for those who were, or wished to become Initiates. This explains why so much of the book is an enigma to both Egyptologists and lay readers alike. Before we continue our analysis of the Hymn to Ra, we would like to say something about the Apap–dragon mentioned earlier and the various fiends and monsters described in the book.
The Sebau of Apap (also written Aapep) or the Sami-fiends of Set were originally the powers of the elements represented by zootypes. They might sometimes be fearsome and destructive, but they were not evil as such. They were the personifications of the inimical forces of external nature, the agents of drought, flood, earthquakes and the like. It was only in later times, and under the influence of ideas imported from Babylonia and Persia, that they appear as seven evil demons, seven serpents of death, seven evil winds, seven evil monsters, seven plagues and so on and so forth. But even these baleful and injurious foreign spirits originated as powers of the elements. The first is the scorpion of rain (or the curse of flood); the second is a monster with unbridled mouth (thunder); the third is a lightning flash (wildfires); the fourth is a serpent (the scourge of drought); the fifth is a raging dog (famine); the sixth is a tempest; the seventh is the evil wind. In Babylonia the Great Mother in her form of the crocodile type was confounded with Apap, the reptile of evil, and made to spawn the evil powers in the darkness of later ignorance and superstition. The beneficent great Mother–Earth who had been imaged by the sloughing serpent as a type of renewal and rejuvenation was transmogrified into the wicked serpent of theology, the very devil in a female guise, the author of evil that was ultimately represented as a woman who became the mother of the human race, and who doomed her offspring to eternal torment ere she gave them birth in time.
The Hebrews followed the Babylonians in confusing the serpent of life with the serpent of death. The primal curse was brought into the world by Apap, the reptile of drought, dearth, darkness, plague and disease, but in Egypt the evil serpent began and ended in physical phenomena. Apap was never a spiritual type, and was never divinised, not even as a devil. The beneficent serpent-goddess Renenet (also transliterated as 'Renenutet', 'Rennenet' and 'Ernutet') represented the mother of life, the giver of food in fruits of the earth or the tree as we can see in a vignette from the Papyrus of Ani shown at left. She is portrayed as the mother both in the form of a serpent and also as the human mother. But good and evil have been badly mixed together in the Hebrew version of the Babylonian perversion of the ancient Egyptian Wisdom. Regular readers will recall that we mentioned this goddess in connection with her role in the judgement of the dead in our article on the Weighing of the Heart.
The Hymn to Ra continues: "The Gods rejoice when they see Ra crowned upon his throne, and when his beams flood the world with light." Contrary to the opinion of some Egyptologists the Egyptians were not so ignorant as to believe that Ra sat on a throne in heaven, complete with a long and impressive beard (as some Christians believe about their god!). This, like so much of the book, is an allegory. "The majesty of this holy God setteth out on his journey, and he goeth onward until he reacheth the land of Manu; the earth becometh light at his birth each day; he proceedeth until he reacheth the place where he was yesterday." This sentence is so simple that it needs no explanation, for it refers to the seeming travels of the sun in the sky. "O be thou at peace with me. Let me gaze upon thy beauties. Let me journey above the earth. Let me smite the Ass. Let me slit asunder the Serpent-fiend Sebau. Let me destroy Aapep at the moment of his greatest power." This too is also fairly easy to understand when we know what the Serpent-fiend Sebau and Aapep stand for, namely, the inimical forces of external nature in the Eschatology and one or more aspects of the lower mind in the Mythos.
Budge rightly draws our attention to a slight error in the text here, or an omission if you like, for the Ass is a symbol of the Sun-God, and Ass is actually one of the names of Ra. It makes no sense for Ani to attack the very being who is his salvation. The solution to this contradiction is found in one of the vignettes of the Papyrus of Ani shown at left in which we see a great serpent biting the neck of an ass, and therefore the reading should be "let me smite the eater of the Ass." Aapep, who is also known as 'the serpent of many folds', is a being of an entirely malignant and fierce nature who attacks the Sun-God whenever possible, and his dwelling place is in the thundercloud. But each morning Ra casts a spell on him, and he is bound with chains and hacked to pieces which are then thrown into the fires of Ra and consumed therein. All this is a symbol of night being destroyed by day as well as the conflict between the two minds. The next line mentions two curious fishes. "Let me behold the Abtu Fish at his season, and the Ant Fish, with the Ant Boat as it piloteth it in its lake." In a footnote, Budge tells us that these two fabulous fishes are the ones that swim in front of the boat of Ra, and they warn the God whenever a fiend or demon lurks in the vicinity, ready to attack the God in the lake of the sky wherein he sails his ‘boat’. We should say these quaint fishes represent guides of all kinds, of which the greatest is of course, our own Divine Soul who will warn us of danger. The fact that so many of us ignore such warnings to our detriment does not do away with the occult fact itself which the Egyptians clothed in this colourful allegory.
Ani asks: "Let me behold Horus when he is in charge of the rudder of the boat Ra, with Thoth and the goddess Maat on each side of him." The Egyptians believed that it was Horus who, under the direction of Thoth and Maat, set the course of the boat each day. This has a very deep meaning on several different levels. On the one hand it refers to the Son who is for ever on his Father’s business, as we can read in the New Testament. The Gods direct and protect that great Son when thus he goes forth, just as the Gods direct and protect those who go about on their behalf in this world of ours, in order to spread the Word of Truth and bring Comfort and Salvation to those who feel the inner call and are ready for the great Liberation from rebirth on Earth. It also refers to the human Horus in the shape of our own Higher Minds. For it is the Higher Mind who should steer the boat of our life on Earth, guided by Wisdom (Thoth) and Truth (Maat), but so often falls asleep at the tiller, causing the ship to go astray or be wrecked upon the rocks of misfortune. Such is the allegory as we read it. Ani continues: "Let me lay hold of the tow-rope of the Sektet Boat, and the rope at the stern of the Maatet Boat." The Sektet Boat was used by Ra during the latter part of the day in his journey in the sky in the form of our Sun, and here Ani utters the wish to get hold of the rope which connects the two boats, the Maatet (day boat) leading and the Sektet (night boat) following. In other words, he wishes to be in complete control of his waking and sleeping life.
"Let Ra grant to me a view of the Disk, and a sight of Ah unfailingly each day." The 'Disk' means the Sun, and 'Ah' the Moon. This means that Ani was within one of the higher spiritual realms, but not so high that he couldn't still see the Moon. The prayer goes on: "Let my Ba-Soul come forth to walk about hither and thither and withersoever it pleaseth." Ba was the Egyptian term for what we call the Higher Mind or Self. Therefore Ani prays that his Higher Mind shall be free from all restrictions while wandering about in the higher spiritual realms of the astral world. "Let my name be called out, let it be found inscribed on the tablet which recordeth the name of those who are to receive offerings." This shows that the ancient Egyptians believed that there was in heaven a list containing the names of those who belonged there. Now, this is not mere poetic fancy, for such a list does exist in the memory of the Higher Mind which, as we explained in our occult studies course article on Intelligence, is a higher order of memory than that which is stored in our physical brains. Hence, being perfectly acquainted with all its previous thoughts and deeds in all its many incarnations, the Higher Mind decides for itself to which region it shall proceed after bodily death; provided it has earned the Free Will to do so. That this is the correct interpretation is confirmed in the next sentence when we read: "Let meals from the sepulchral offerings be given to me in the presence of Osiris, as to those who are in the following of Horus." Ani knows that he belongs in the spiritual region ruled by Osiris, for he makes a distinction between himself, who belongs to the House of Osiris, and others who belong to the House of Horus, which is situated in another part or region of Amentet or the Other World.
The Hymn continues: "Let there be prepared for me a seat in the Boat of the Sun on the day whereon the God saileth." This is a further way pointer to the specific region or realm Ani has reached, for the next sentence says: "Let me be received in the presence of Osiris in the Land of Truth-speaking — the Ka of Osiris Ani." The Ka is the Egyptian term for the lower mind, or self, or rather that part of the lower self which survives the death of the body as Bombast and Flitterflop discussed in their fourth Astral Conversation. Note the reference to 'Truth-speaking', for the god who worked the ferry-boat would not transport any being that did not speak Truth. Those latter ones were destined for the less pleasant parts of the Tuat mentioned earlier. This ingenious allegory of the 'Boat' is discussed by Paul G. Vaughan in his interpretation of an ancient Egyptian painting which depicts the symbolical voyage of a sacred boat through the regions of Amenta. We may compare the mythological Boat of the Sun and its 'seats' with a train and its load of passengers which starts from — say — London, and deposits the travellers along the line at those towns and cities to which they belong. The whole idea is typical of the subtle symbolism with which the Book of the Dead abounds and hence the reason why most readers can make so little sense of it. As we explain in our investigation of the Mystery Language, with the exception of such things as traffic and information signs symbols play little part in modern life, so it is not surprising people fail to recognise the presence of them in the sacred texts of Egypt, and so fail to understand anything more than their literal sense.
Papyrus of Ani. — Ani and Tutu coming forth by Day — papyrus, ca. 1500 B.C.
Coming Forth by Day
Having seen how much there is concealed in just a single hymn of this remarkable book, let us now have a look at Chapter I of The Chapters of Coming Forth by Day. But ere we do so, we need first to try to discover what 'Coming Forth by Day' actually means. We touched on this at the beginning of our introduction to part one of this investigation, but will now delve more deeply into the subject. The most obvious meaning is coming forth into the light of the higher spiritual realms after death, the Bright Day of the 'Beautiful Amentet', meaning the 'beautiful hidden land', as the Egyptians called it. 'Hidden' because it was neither visible nor accessible to the great mass of the people, being that region so graphically described by Jesus to his disciples in the extract from the Revelation of Peter we shared with you many years ago. Here is part of that moving description: "And the Lord showed me a very great region outside this world exceeding bright with light, and the air of that place illuminated with the beams of the sun, and the earth of itself flowering with blossoms that fade not, and full of spices and plants, fair-flowering and incorruptible, and bearing blessed fruit. And so great was the blossom that the odour thereof was borne thence even unto us. And the dwellers in that place were clad with the raiment of shining angels, and their raiment was like unto their land in beauty and splendour."
It was an old and superstitious belief amongst the masses of ancient Egypt that it was unlucky to give a name to any of the higher spiritual realms. In fact, there was only one beautiful Land for them, described above in the Revelation of Peter, and no others were mentioned as being 'beautiful' in the same specific sense, though the common people did know of lower or darker realms too as we can read in the Eyes of Horus by Joan Grant. It was a dreadful thing to be condemned after death to proceed to such a realm of darkness, and rightly so. So all was done that could be done to prepare the living in such a manner that they had knowledge of certain 'words of power', to help them along on their last journey. The priests did their part too in the case of influential persons that could afford to pay for the rites in connection with the Osirified person. So there were 'Songs of Praise' or praising, and of glorifying to be recited for this coming forth, and others for entering into the Khert-Neter (the part of the higher spiritual realms where Osiris reigned in splendour), and there were hymns recited on the day of the funeral.
But 'Coming Forth' had other meanings too, one of which was a form of astral projection during initiation. These were very sacred ceremonies indeed which took place either in the Great Pyramid or similar places during which the candidate went forth, down into the lower regions of the Tuat, to give comfort to the sad dwellers there. Dr. Michaud gives a graphic description of these lost souls in one of his books which we quote on our Religious quotes and occult maxims page. After visiting the lower astral planes, the Neophyte would travel to the higher spiritual realms, in order to behold the glories of Amentet. Where he went on such journeys all depended upon his psychic abilities, purity and will. There is a further kind of 'Coming Forth' we all experience, and that is when the Higher Mind escapes the prison of the body during sleep. Then it may roam through the lower or higher planes of the astral world. The difference between the common man or woman and the Initiate was that the Higher Mind of the former had little or no say in where it might go during sleep, whereas the Initiate went forth on various errands, to help the sick in deserted places, and to learn certain Mysteries that are not taught on earth, not even by the Highest Priest to the most illuminated pupil. A very important kind of 'Coming Forth' took place during the day-time, when the Initiate was fully awake and attending to the ordinary tasks of life, connected with his duties in the Temple in which he served, or in wakeful meditation. During such excursions he remained fully aware of himself on earth and in the realm whither he had extended his consciousness. All the things we have mentioned came under the same heading of 'Coming Forth by Day.' Needless to add, with the possible exception of E. A. Wallis Budge, no other Egyptologist has (or had) the slightest clue what this phrase really means.
The chapter continues: "The Osiris Ani, the Osiris the scribe Ani saith: Homage to thee, O Bull of Amentet, Thoth the king of eternity is with me. I am the great god by the side of the divine boat, I have fought for thee, I am one of those gods, those divine chiefs, who proved the truth-speaking of Osiris before his enemies on the day of the weighing of the words." This passage abounds with sublime meaning, as we shall see. The 'Bull of Amentet' was a title of Osiris in his character as lord, or ruler of Khert Neter, the part of the Other World over which he presided, and which Ani has now reached. The next line refers both to Thoth as the representative of Ra and the Soul of Ani. Since his Higher Mind and Soul are now supposed to be re-united, Ani is justified in claiming to be a 'great god', worthy to accompany the divinities who sail the Heavens in the Boat of the Sun-God. He has earned this reward because he 'fought' on behalf of the Light on earth, spreading the message of Truth to all who would listen to him. Hence he is 'one of those gods' (Holy Messengers), and a veritable 'divine chief' among men. There is no greater service than this, as we may read in the New Testament composed thousands of years later. "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven (Matthew 5:11-12).
For know, dear reader, if you have not realized it before, that every day, or every moment, a Messenger speaks on behalf of God (no matter what God), he proves the Truth that is of that God, in order to lead away from the 'enemies' of God those whom the evil ones would like to lead to destruction. He is a Light-Bringer, a Torch-Bearer, and so long as he acts in that great capacity he is one of these Gods. He weighs his words, for are they not the words of God himself, and is not every such Word of Truth truly weighed in the scale of Justice and Mercy? Therefore Ani goes on to say: "I am thy kinsman Osiris." And so he is; can there be any doubt about it? And so are YOU who reads this if it is the case that you are trying your best to shed a little light in this sorely-troubled world, however humble your position and however unsuccessful and unappreciated your efforts may seem to be. If people could only be made to realize that they are all kinsmen of God the 'Golden Age' so many mystics long for in vain would already be here and there would be no need for the constant sacrifice of those Messengers who come to Earth to be reviled and persecuted and slain in the most diabolical manner by the enemies of Right, Truth and Light.
Papyrus of Ani. — The two souls (Baie or Higher Minds) of Ani and Tutu — papyrus, ca. 1500 B.C.
Ani's work in the world is done and he is now to receive his well-earned reward. Nevertheless, he continues: "I am one of those gods who were the children of the goddess Nut, who hacked in pieces the enemies of Osiris, and who bound in fetters the legion of Sebau devils on his behalf." Here we have a highly significant sentence which means little to dry-as-dust scholars, but speaks volumes to the seeker after truth — or should do. Let us consider it. What is this 'hacking to pieces and binding in fetters' by the goddess? On a larger scale Nut does the same that Ani claims to have done on a smaller. He has hacked to pieces the turbulent emotions of his lower mind and bound it in unbreakable fetters, in order to become worthy of being Osirified; worthy of being permitted to enter the 'Beautiful Amentet' and joining with his Soul and thus becoming a 'god' in his own right. See if you can interpret what comes next. "I am thy kinsman Horus, I have fought on thy behalf, I have come to thee for thy name’s sake." The meaning is clear if you use the keys we have discussed in our articles about symbolism. Every Higher Mind is a 'Horus', as John Temple explained in his investigation of the parables of the NT gospels. Each time we win a victory over our lower self, we 'fight' on behalf of the 'god' that is our Higher Self, the incarnated half of our Divine Soul. Ani goes further and exclaims: "I am Thoth who proved the truth of the words of Osiris before his enemies on the day of the weighing of words in the great House of the Prince who dwelleth in Anu." Now, what on earth does this mean? How can Ani be Thoth?
Budge tells us in his footnotes that Thoth acted as the defender or advocate of Osiris against the lying accusations of Set; and so Thoth proved that Set was a liar and Osiris a speaker of Truth. All this is quite correct as far as it goes; for do we not consider the Devil, or Satan, a father of lies? Budge here refers to the famous trial of Osiris when he was judged before all the gods in Heliopolis; meaning a higher spiritual realm, and not the earthly town of Heliopolis as he thought. For, as we explain in our Foreword to Astral Conversations, every terrestrial location has its counterpart in a higher or lower plane of the astral world. Thoth, as we learnt earlier, stands for the representative of Ra as well as the Soul of Ani with which he is now supposed to be one. So he is quite justified in claiming identity with the God. This is one of the great stumbling blocks for those who seek to understand the Book of the Dead but lack the keys to interpret its hidden meaning. Every single god or goddess in the Egyptian pantheon possesses a double and sometimes a multiple meaning, quite apart from their function and role within the Divine Scheme of Creation. This is where the Hermetic Law of Correspondence enshrined in the well-known but poorly understood maxim 'as Above, so below' comes into its own. Each of us, as we said earlier, is a Horus in our Higher Mind, a Set in our lower mind (accompanied by a legion of 'devils', the personification of our passions and desires) and a 'god' or Thoth, in our Divine Soul. The same holds good for the feminine counterparts of these principles, namely Isis (Higher Mind), Nephthys (lower mind) and Nut (Soul). It is for these reasons, as well as others, that it is impossible to say (as some do) that such and such an Egyptian god or goddess stands for this, that or the other quality and function under every circumstance, and no other.
Ani continues: "I am Teti, the son of Teti." Teti was the name of a very ancient god whose worship was eventually merged with that of Osiris, so the connection here is obvious. Now we come to a most remarkable sentence. "My mother conceived me in Tetu, and gave birth to me in Tetu." What does this mean? Budge, bless his innocent heart, along with every other Egyptologist, past and present, says that Tetu refers to some very old and unknown town, believed to be the Delta town of Busiris, on account of the fact that in early times it was the centre of the cult of the Tet, the symbol of Osiris, representing his backbone. But, like every other statement in the book that we have examined so far, it has another and deeper meaning. The 'mother' referred to is the Divine Being who, figuratively speaking, gave 'birth' to his Soul, not the earthly woman who fashioned his physical body. That mother may well have been Nut herself, for the Egyptians believed that mankind was descended from many different gods and goddesses, not just one as the Christians, Jews and Muslims do today. This, they believed, accounted for the many differences in wisdom, goodness, ability, intelligence, and every other quality among mankind. Hence, the papyri and monuments refer to the 'Children of Nut', of Ra, of Ptah, of Osiris and even of Set.
The chapter continues. "I open the hidden water-springs for the ablutions of Urt-ab." Budge tells us that the term 'Urt-ab' ('the god whose heart is at rest') was used in connection with the dead body of Osiris, but this is the outer meaning only. Urt-ab really means one who is filled with Inner Peace. 'Ablutions' refers principally to those spiritual and mental exercises which instil Peace, such as meditation. The words 'hidden water springs' may mean that these exercises were secret, or that the source (teachings) from which they were drawn was secret. Both interpretations are possible. Ani continues: "I unbolt the door of the Shetait Shrine in Ra-stau." Here again we have a double meaning. In the outer sense it refers to the name of the most holy shrine of Seker, the God of Death, as Budge tells us in his footnote. In the inner sense it means that Ani has unbolted the door of Death itself and now comes forth into the Light by way of the place which is the habitat of the God. The next sentence bristles with hidden meanings. "I am with Horus as the protector (or defender) of the left shoulder of Osiris, the dweller in Sekhem." Once again Sekhem is both the town of Letopolos in the Delta in which was preserved as a most holy relic the left shoulder of Osiris, and at the same time, a place in Amentet, or the higher spiritual planes of the astral world. Budge tells us that the 'lifting up of the shoulder' of Osiris was the most important of the many ceremonies which were performed at Sekhem during the mystery plays which were acted in connection with the great festivals of Osiris. What he doesn't tell us, and couldn't tell us was what the 'left shoulder' of Osiris signified. Can you guess? No? Then we will tell you. The left shoulder represented the Ka or lower mind in the mystery plays, just as the right shoulder represented the Higher Mind. The left and right eye of Horus had a similar meaning, though they could also stand for the Moon and Sun respectively. In other words, Ani is affirming that he has not forgotten his lower mind which he had already 'lifted up' to a large extent during his life on Earth by means of purity of living and thinking, good works, instruction in the Sacred Mysteries, and attunement with the superior, spiritual realms. For we must remember that although the Egyptians held that the Ba or Higher Mind of a pious person was 'Osirified' at death, when a person attended to the sacred Rites, or was taught the Sacred Mysteries, or both, then he or she was already Osirified during life on earth to a large extent.
In the final part of this investigation we conclude our analysis of this chapter and end our investigation with a survey of Chapter CX, The Chapters of Sekhet-Hetepet, meaning 'fields of Peace'.
© Copyright occult-mysteries.org. Article published 17 September 2023.