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WHY EGYPT?

Egypt provides the closest link we have with the ancient past. While the Sumerians and other people left records they did not provide a similar legacy of culture that came down into historic times. In spite of upheavals of dynasties and outside invasions, Egypt clung to its social system, essentially unbroken from before predynastic times, circa 4,000 BC. This continuity was not lost until Christian decrees in the Roman era forever removed their links with their pagan past.

Thus it is possible to follow more closely the ties to Adam and Eve.

This is not to say that the Egyptian culture did not evolve. It did. But the conservative nature of the people maintained traditions that help us to connect more concretely with the past. They evolved through increase in material wealth, while at the same time deteriorating into mechanistic religious forms. They changed from simple cultured life-styles with high religious devotion to later sophisticated social stratification and, alas, spiritual degeneracy.

Walther Wolf, in Die Kunst  gyptens: Gestalt und Geschichte, Stuttgart, 1957, describing the opulence displayed in the tomb of Ramose, a high administrative official under Amenophis III and Akhnaton, circa 1350 BC, stated:


Group of Four Youths from the tomb
of Ramose, circa 1500 BC.

"The fine harmonious faces, the dazzle of the wigs and the marvelous sheer pleated garments all belong to the most refined and most intellectualized metropolitan society, the sensitive, but almost morbid representatives of an over-ripe culture approaching its end.  These people lived enshrouded in beauty and dignity, celebrating a never-ending banquet. Their attitude toward life is expressed in beautiful, softly rounded lines . . . One suspects that the age must have had a fin de siécle mood, and that boredom with life itself threatened to break through the balanced delicacy of these beautiful faces."

 


Rahotep and Nofret, a Prince and Princess
of the Fourth Dynasty, circa 2700 BC.

 

Beauty of face and of body, and beauty of artistic expression mark the unique features of those ancient people.

We should understand that the genetic attributes of these people did not appear miraculously in the Nile Valley, but were inherited from ancestors. From the earliest appearances of human groups, about 6,000 BC, three millennia after the devastating destructions of the “Wild Nile” at the end of the last great ice age recession, down to Roman times, the record of their beauty was continuous.

Importantly for testimony to their culture, the social stratification and material wealth permitted assignment of manpower to the largest construction projects in human history. Not only were they the largest in human history — they were also the earliest, between 3,000 and 2,500 BC. Through the skillful use of social resources, that ancient society gave us concrete evidence of their high intellect and superior knowledge.

 

Members of that society created a plan to show generations on the far horizon, after recovery from the depths of social and intellectual decline, the high level of their existence. They were aware of this coming general decline; they knew their seed would deteriorate, and that their masterful intellectual abilities would similarly disappear. Hence, the goals of that immense project included expectation that some future civilization would have the ability to decipher their designs. They created the immense project of the Great Pyramids of the Fourth Dynasty to achieve that goal.

The religious nature of Egyptian culture is important to our study. Without understanding of that crucial element in Egyptian society we would not be able to grasp the social conditions that permitted the grand pyramid projects. Such knowledge also opens windows into the strong religious influences from our planetary past. That religious influence reflected a social force from prehistoric times that forever conditioned Egypt's social expressions. As stated by Siegfried Morenz in Egyptian Religion, translated from the German by Ann E. Keep, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1960:

. . . behind all aspects of life of those who dwelt on the Nile in ancient times - behind their art, political structure, and cultural achievements - one may sense forces at work which are religious in origin.

Morenz mentions the many German and English works on religion in Egypt that describe the expression of its people. In his opinion the focal point of these phenomena is man's relationship with God, and that a personal experience of God's existence is essential for us to understand Egyptian personal and social psychology. We cannot properly evaluate Egyptian beginnings nor social evolution if we look at them through cult mind sets. Tragically, this is the primary element missing in modern godless attitudes. Furthermore, if we were to concentrate on later Egyptian religious expression as indicative of the entire history of the people, and focus that on the Pyramid Age, we would delude ourselves. The devolution in religious devotion, with its decay into ritualistic and mechanical forms, the creation of a large retinue of pagan gods, together with purely cult observances, must be understood within the context of more noble beginnings.

The Egyptian example provides understanding of how men turn more and more to mechanistic religious expressions when deprived of actual contact with the celestial realms. Men increasingly focus their attention on material forms until they lose contact with living religious experience. Only the intervention of God, through his prophets, or through his personal life on this world, can hope to renew devotion to him.

This conflict and decay has been our history.

In the coming ages godless regimes will be discarded, to put us back once again into living contact with the celestial worlds, and true devotion to God.

Therefore, when modern scholars describe the unique religious literature of ancient Egypt, they do so from this mechanistic view. They can only perceive it in terms of their own godless notions. They do not, and cannot, recognize that the life, death and resurrection of Osiris described in the ancient Egyptian texts was a veritable prediction of the life of Jesus, a revelation that was preserved in many of its true elements from very ancient times.

Morenz summarizes this direction in our planetary history:

. . . the existence of mythology in prehistoric times indicates that an evolution was taking place in religious thought, leading to the emergence of (pagan) deities; yet the fact that mythology then became subordinated to other concerns and modes of expression shows that the emphasis was shifting and that a new development was under way. . . . Thus Egyptian sculpture, which had once served religious needs alone, was in the New Kingdom elevated to an independent aesthetic plane: inscriptions by visitors praise the beauty of monuments in tourist fashion. This represents a process which we call profanization or secularization, and which in its sway, characterizes the course of all history, including that of Egypt.

While Morenz views the emergence of deities as a primitive expression from human evolution we should understand that those deities were substitutions for a heavenly administration, and the presence of immortal beings who had long since left this world. What once was known in reality devolved to pagan memory.

Egyptologists have noted that laymen are not depicted in prayerful attitude in the Old Kingdom pyramid age while such representations are frequent in the New Kingdom. From this they draw conclusions that worship was prohibited to the common people in earlier times. They fail to recognize that there were true differences in biological and mental attributes, distinctions in natural class that led to differences in social class. Because of ancestry the noble classes understood relationships with the gods and worship in ways not discernible by the common people. The common people were from strictly evolutionary stock; they did not posses the same genetic endowments. Hence, they were not regarded as worthy of devotion to ancestral stock that was held in such high regard. Only later, as the holy seed became reduced through admixture with the evolutionary stock, did these distinctions fade. This difference in biological attributes has remained undetected by modern studies, simply because of our evolutionary presumptions. As a result, conclusions drawn by modern scholars have led to false interpretation of ancient societies, and especially that of the Egyptians.

Egyptologists fail to note that the gods were also not depicted. The earlier Egyptian generations had social memory of living gods; they did not create imaginary pagan gods. Then, as time drifted down, substitutions entered into social relationships, in artistic depiction, in conditions of worship, and in paganisation.

Other evidence is found in Egyptian personal names. From the earliest times they clearly express a relationship between man and God. This would not be a social practice unless those older people held a devout regard for God. This practice was remembered much later in a few isolated societies. The Hebrew people clung to literal significance of personal names as expression of a close relationship with God and with holy elements. Ezekiel, Daniel and most other Hebrew names carried a literal meaning.

Still another example is in their pictorial art. For millennia it served religious ends alone, and was not executed for secular purposes.

We should keep in mind that religion to the ancient Egyptians was not what we would understand from Christianity and Judaism. Our religions are founded upon direct intervention by God, or his agencies, and the written documents that arose out of that activity. Thus our historic religions had direct influence from holy sources. But the Egyptians did not have such direct guidance. Their relationship came out of their ancestry through oral tradition, or perhaps written documents that no longer survive. Only later were their religious beliefs set down in such surviving documents as The Book of Life, and then not as a direct inspiration but as a desire to preserve those memories and the tenets of their beliefs. The Pyramid Texts of the sixth dynasty provide an abundance of evidence to show that they were written for purely religious purposes.

Another outstanding element in Egyptian social practices was their attempt to preserve historic events as bound to religious origins. Those events were recorded emphasizing sacrosanct monarchy. The King was the representative of the gods, and had inherited his authority from times long past, as direct descendent of a (by now) mythical but real personality. As Morenz wrote:

In Egyptian there was no word for 'state.' What we understand by that term was embodied, especially in the early period, wholly in the person of the king, i.e. in the institution of monarchy. Those who attended upon the divine ruler, who looked after his clothing and his residence, gradually came to form a bureaucracy whose members performed specialized functions. These officials were at first recruited among the princes, who by virtue of their high birth were best qualified for such service. They were considered to possess some of the king's magic aura. Later officials were drawn from the aristocracy and finally from the broad masses of the population. The sacrosanct monarch is thus the representative of the Egyptian state and simultaneously the nucleus of its administration. The governmental structure was also influenced by religious factors in yet another way. The Egyptian peculiarly intense preoccupation with the service of the dead, which involved donations to secure a proper funeral and provision for the hereafter, had a very considerable impact on property relationships and thus also on economic life, administration and law. This was the case right from the feudal Pyramid period, with its vast donations and its priests employed in the service of the dead, to the very close of Egyptian history, when ordinary folk endeavored to safeguard themselves in the hereafter by making such gifts.

The king's magic aura, of course, was not only his high genetic endowment, but also his direct representation of a remote ancestor we know as Adam. He and his immediate relatives were regarded as holy because they embodied a continuity of genetic seed since those remote times. Preoccupation with the dead may be understood in that light. The Egyptians preserved memory of a holy genetic system, and it deserved that attention. Many ancient myths speak to the loss of that holy person. He was mourned by the women of the Near East during the month of July when they would sit in the streets and wail for their beloved lost god, Ezek 8:14. The Hebrews named the mid-summer month of July after him. Adam, through the Babylonian Thammuz, is still remembered in the Jewish calendar.

Justice in Egypt was rooted in another religious concept they called maat It was the core of Egyptian law. It was defined by religion, bestowed by the Creator, and defended and guaranteed by the sacrosanct king. The Egyptian texts often said that the king prescribed it instead of injustice. It was truth, loyalty to higher concepts of devotion, dedication, and responsibility.

Wherever we look in the Egyptian phenomenon we see religious forces at work. Art and science, government and law, were founded in religion. Egypt offers particular evidence because it did not see modifying outside influences until much later.

Another point deserves to be emphasized, although it is self evident: it is not the case that with the emergence of culture the force of religion is expended, that it has fulfilled its mission, so that in the further course of history it dissolved or was consumed. On the contrary, religion always remains a vital force, for it is based upon ever fresh encounters between man and God; this is eloquently demonstrated in Egypt by the continued impact which religion had upon other cultural phenomena in­ later phases of development.

This element was one of the reasons for the extreme conservatism of that society. Religious attitudes held those people firmly in grip, not through tyrannical imposition, but through respect. Social institutions were understood as beginning with the gods, and held in respect for their holy origin. The Egyptians did not worship their ancestors, as did so many other cultures, notably the Chinese, because they understood themselves as descendants of the gods, with that god-trust embodied in their personal being.

The crossroads of Egyptian evolution, both biological and social, came at the meeting between the common evolutionary people of the Nile valley, and this other seed. It occurred around the start of the fifth millennium BC. An inspiration appeared which forever conditioned its future. This inspiration was the root of the devout religious attitudes and the technical developments that led to that great culture.

 

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