The main part of this article was originally published as “The Wonder That Was Egypt” in the January, February, and March 2006 issues of “The Theosophical Movement” magazine produced by the United Lodge of Theosophists in India.
Words like Egypt and Egyptian Civilization at once bring to our mind the images of a great nation of marvellous achievements and mighty civilization showing tremendous advancement in arts and sciences. Our proud, modern mind is amazed to find that these ancient people possessed such fantastic knowledge in so many areas, some of which the science of today is unable to duplicate. When we say Egypt, the image of great pyramids immediately comes to our mind. That the Egyptian civilization has many unique achievements to its credit is beyond doubt. Thanks to the conscientious archaeologists, Egyptologists and sincere historians who have spent their lifetime in its study, the enigma of Egypt stands partially revealed to us. But it is to Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine one ought to turn for better understanding of what has reached us as little understood mass of information.
The great Pyramid of Cheops [i.e. better known nowadays as the Great Pyramid of Giza] stood 82,111,000 feet tall and weighed 63,16,000 tons. Exhibiting unparalleled skill of Egyptian quarrymen, it was made up of immense number of square stones, the joints of which were barely perceptible, united by indestructible cement, which holds the mammoth blocks together even today. Obelisks ninety feet high and statues forty feet were each made out of one stone. And we are told that there are many such. It is believed that each successive king erected a pyramid to commemorate his reign, and serve as his sepulchre. But the real purpose, inner significance and symbology of the pyramids is explained by H.P.B. as follows:
“Externally, it symbolized the creative principle of nature, and illustrated also the principles of geometry, mathematics, astrology, and astronomy. Internally, it was a majestic fane, in whose sombre recesses were performed the Mysteries, and whose walls had often witnessed the initiation-scenes of members of the royal family. The porphyry sarcophagus, which Professor Piazzi Smyth, Astronomer Royal of Scotland, degrades into a corn-bin, was the baptismal font, upon emerging from which, the neophyte was “born again,” and became an adept.” (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, I, 519)
“The Egyptian Pyramid also symbolically represents this idea of the mundane tree. Its apex is the mystic link between heaven and earth, and stands for the root, while the base represents the spreading branches, extending to the four cardinal points of the universe of matter. It conveys the idea that all things had their origin in spirit—evolution having originally begun from above and proceeded downward, instead of the reverse, as taught in the Darwinian theory.” (Isis Unveiled, I, 154)
“The peculiar architecture of the Pyramids shows in itself the drift of the metaphysical thought of their builders. The apex is lost in the clear blue sky of the land of the Pharaohs, and typifies the primordial point lost in the unseen universe from whence started the first race of the spiritual prototypes of man. Each mummy, from the moment that it was embalmed, lost its physical individuality in one sense; it symbolized the human race. Placed in such a way as was best calculated to aid the exit of the “soul,” the latter had to pass through the seven planetary chambers before it made its exit through the symbolical apex. Each chamber typified, at the same time, one of the seven spheres, and one of the seven higher types of physico-spiritual humanity alleged to be above our own.” (Isis Unveiled, I, 296-97)
With their superior knowledge of hydrostatics and hydraulic engineering, Egyptians are credited with having changed the course of the three principal branches of the river Nile to bring it to Memphis during the reign of Menes. They were versed in the art and practice of war, constructed war-engines and war weapons. Egypt is called the birthplace and cradle of chemistry. Chemistry of colours seems to have been well known in that country. They were proficient in mathematical sciences and medicine—with which they brought about wonderful and almost magical cures. Circulation of the blood was known to them. They had their dentists and occulists, and no doctor was allowed to practise more than one speciality. They had knowledge of the heliocentric system, spherical shape of the earth, starry composition of the Milky Way and the fact of borrowed light of the moon. They divided time, knew the true length of the year, and the precession of the equinoxes.
The art of making linen and fine fabrics was one of their skills. The linen of Egypt was famous throughout the world. The mummies are all wrapped in it and the linen is beautifully preserved. Linen worn by priests is spun and dyed in brilliant and gorgeous colours, the secret of which is likewise now among the lost arts. All the ornamental arts seem to have been known to the Egyptians. Their imitation of precious stones in glass is far above anything done at the present day.
Likewise, most of the Egyptians cultivated the musical arts, and understood well the effects of musical harmony and its influence on the human spirit. We can find on the oldest sculptures and carvings, scenes in which musicians play on various instruments.
Music was used in the healing department of the temples for the cure of nervous disorders. Further:
“But it is in the process of preparing mummies that the skill of this wonderful people is exemplified in the highest degree. None but those who have made special study of the subject, can estimate the amount of skill, patience, and knowledge exacted for the accomplishment of this indestructible work, which occupied several months. Both chemistry and surgery were called into requisition. The mummies, if left in the dry climate of Egypt, seem to be practically imperishable; and even when removed after a repose of several thousand years, show no signs of change. “The body,” says the anonymous writer, “was filled with myrrh, cassia, and other gums, and after that, saturated with natron….Then followed the marvellous swathings of the embalmed body, so artistically executed, that professional modern bandagists are lost in admiration at its excellency.” Says Dr. Grandville: “…there is not a single form of bandage known to modern surgery, of which far better and cleverer examples are not seen in the swathings of the Egyptian mummies. The strips of linen are found without one single joint, extending to 1,000 yards in length.”…There was not a fracture in the human body that could not be repaired successfully by the sacerdotal physician of those remote days.” (Isis Unveiled, I, 539)
According to Herodotus, Greece owes everything to Egypt. Moses was raised by an Egyptian princess and was taught by the wife of Pharaoh, Batria, an initiate, all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Similarly, Plato learnt secrets from priests of Egypt and imparted the same to his initiated disciples orally. Pythagoras spent some twenty-two years in the temples of Egypt. He learned music in Egypt and made a regular science of it in Italy. He studied esoteric sciences with the Brahmins of India and astronomy and astrology in Chaldea and Egypt. Profound facts arouse our respect and make us wonder as to who really were the Egyptians and whence their learning. We are told that Egypt owes her learning to pre-Vedic India.
“Egypt furnished Greece with her civilization, and the latter bequeathed hers to Rome. Egypt herself had, in those unknown ages when Menes reigned, received her laws, her social institutions, her arts and her sciences, from pre-Vedic India. And when we say, indiscriminately, “India,” we do not mean the India of our modern days, but that of the archaic period. In those ancient times countries which are now known to us by other names were all called India. There was an Upper, a Lower, and a Western India, the latter of which is now Persia-Iran. The countries now named Thibet, Mongolia, and Great Tartary, were also considered by the ancient writers as India.” (Isis Unveiled, I, 589)
“Bunsen and Champollion have already shown that the Egyptian sacred books are by far older than the oldest parts of the Book of Genesis. And now a more careful research seems to warrant the suspicion—which with us amounts to a certainty, that the laws of Moses are copies from the code of the Brahmanic Manu. Thus, according to every probability, Egypt owes her civilization, her civil institutions, and her arts, to India.” (Isis Unveiled, II, 431)
H.P.B. points out that the Egyptians were the ancient Indians. She draws our attention to the fact that until very recently nothing was known of Old India and that these two nations, India and Egypt, were quite similar. The Eastern Aethiopians – the mighty builders – had come from India as a matured people, bringing their civilization with them, and colonizing the then unoccupied Egyptian territory.
“Egypt owes her civilization, commonwealth and arts – especially the art of building, to pre-Vedic India…it was a colony of the dark-skinned Aryans, or those whom Homer and Herodotus term the eastern Aethiopians, i.e., the inhabitants of Southern India, who brought to it their ready-made civilization in the ante-chronological ages, of what Bunsen calls the preMenite, but nevertheless epochal history.” (Isis Unveiled, II, 435)
“These Hindus are supposed to have entered the country from the northwest; they are conjectured by some to have brought with them the Brahmanical religion, and the language of the conquerors was probably the Sanskrit.” (Isis Unveiled, II, 435)
Tracing the origin of Egyptian civilization, H.P.B. says :“It was the latest, seventh sub-race of the Atlanteans, already swallowed up in one of the early sub-races of the Aryan stock, one that had been gradually spreading over the continent and islands of Europe, as soon as they had begun to emerge from the seas. Descending from the high plateaux of Asia, where the two Races had sought refuge in the days of the agony of Atlantis, it had been slowly settling and colonizing the freshly emerged lands. The emigrant sub-race had rapidly increased and multiplied on that virgin soil; had divided into many families, which in their turn divided into nations. Egypt and Greece, the Phoenicians, and the Northern stocks, had thus proceeded from that one sub-race.” (H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, II, 743)
Having seen how ancient India influenced the Egyptian civilization, when we study and compare the traditions and beliefs of the people of this mighty civilization with those of the East, we find a great deal of similarity.
Slow evolutionary processes evolved various kingdoms of nature from the simplest form to the most complex. Man is the crown piece of evolution. But infant humanity was not left alone to work out its future progress. The human child is cared for by its parents and elders. The child is given its education by elders at home and in school. This knowledge is passed on from elder to younger, from senior to junior, older generation to younger generation. Similarly, when for the first time man became a thinking being, there were divine instructors to guide him. These divine beings had already undergone evolutionary progress and perfected themselves in earlier worlds. They were like our graduates and post-graduates who come back to schools and colleges to teach others. These god-like beings guided and instructed early humanity until it produced its own guides and elders to carry on this tradition. They taught to mankind the arts and sciences, astrology, agriculture, architecture, mathematics and astronomy.
Confirming this tradition, Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Gita that it is he who gave the divine wisdom to Vivaswat, which was passed on to Manu and then to Ikshwaku. Ikshwaku “founded the line of Solar Kings, who in early times in India were men of supreme knowledge. They were adepts every one, and ruled the lands as only adepts could” (William Q. Judge, Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita, p. 103). The great body of knowledge has come down to us from gods and demi-gods through our great adept-kings. Pharaohs were the adept-kings of Egypt. Egypt also had its divine instructors in Isis-Osiris. Prosperity and advancement of Egypt is attributed to Isis-Osiris.
“As Bosuage shows, the Egyptians themselves confessed that science flourished in their country only since Isis-Osiris, whom they continue to adore as gods, “though they had become Princes in human form.” And he adds of Osiris-Isis (the divine androgyne): “It is said that this Prince (Isis-Osiris) built cities in Egypt, stopped the overflowing of the Nile; invented agriculture, the use of the vine, astronomy, and geometry.” (The Secret Doctrine, II, 366)
“Not only Herodotus—the “father of History”—tells us of the marvellous dynasties of gods that preceded the reign of mortals, followed by the dynasties of demi-gods, Heroes, and finally men, but the whole series of classics support him; Diodorus, Eratosthenes, Plato, Manetho, etc., etc., repeat the same, and never vary the order given.” (The Secret Doctrine, II, 367)
“Herodotus was shown by the priests of Egypt the statues of their human Kings and Pontiffs-piromis (the archi-prophets or Maha-Chohans of the temples), born one from the other (without the intervention of woman) who had reigned before Menes, their first human King. These statues, he says, were enormous colossi in wood, three hundred and forty-five in number, each of which had his name, his history and his annals. And they assured Herodotus…that no historian could ever understand or write an account of these superhuman Kings, unless he had studied and learned the history of the three dynasties that preceded the human—namely, the DYNASTIES OF THE GODS, that of demi-gods, and of the Heroes, or giants. These “three dynasties” are the three Races.” (The Secret Doctrine, II, 369)
In the Egyptian tradition, Osiris and Isis hold a sacred and special position. On a pre-cosmic level, they represent Spirit-matter or ideation-form aspect, giving birth to Logos or son—Horus or Thoth. According to the Osiris-Isis myth, Osiris was an earthly ruler, who was popular with his subjects. His brother, Set (or Typhon), was jealous of this popularity and plotted against Osiris. He secretly obtained his brother’s measurements and had a magnificent casket made to fit. This casket was in the form of a human-shaped box. Set then organized a large feast to which Osiris and a number of others were invited. At the height of the festivities Set produced the casket and announced that it would be given to whoever it fitted. All the guests tried the casket for size, but none fitted until finally Osiris stepped into it. Set immediately slammed the lid shut and sealed the casket. The sealed coffin was then thrown into the Nile. Isis was devastated at the loss of her husband and searched for the casket and eventually found it. Before burial, for safekeeping she concealed it in the marshes beside the Nile. Unfortunately for Isis, Set found the casket and he chopped the body of Osiris into 14 pieces, and scattered the parts throughout the land of Egypt. Isis had then to set out again, looking for the parts of her husband. Eventually she reassembled Osiris and wrapped him in bandages. Isis breathed life back into Osiris’ body and it was then that Horus was conceived. As we shall see, the myth can be interpreted in various ways.
“The Egyptians,” says Dunlap, “distinguish between an older and younger Horus, the former the brother of Osiris, the latter the son of Osiris and Isis.” The first is the Idea of the world remaining in the Demiurgic Mind, “born in darkness before the creation of the world.” The second Horus is this “idea” going forth from the Logos, becoming clothed with matter, and assuming an actual existence.” (Isis Unveiled, I, 56)
“The Sun (the Father), the Moon (the Mother), and Mercury-Thoth (the Son), were the earliest Trinity of the Egyptians, who personified them in Osiris, Isis, and Thoth (Hermes).” (The Secret Doctrine, II, 462)
Thus, Horus represents “unexpressed thought” as well as the physical manifested universe, and Sun corresponds to Jiva [or Prana] and Osiris. This is very suggestive, as Osiris corresponds to Jiva, “the one Life,” and various principles are but modifications of Jiva. Thus:
“The four chief aspects of Osiris were—Osiris-Phtah (Light), the spiritual aspect; Osiris-Horus (Mind), the intellectual manasic aspect; Osiris-Lunus, the “Lunar” or psychic, astral aspect; Osiris-Typhon, Daimonic, or physical, material, therefore passional, turbulent aspect. In these four aspects he symbolizes the dual EGO—the divine and the human, the cosmicospiritual and terrestrial.” (The Theosophical Glossary)
Osiris is also considered to be the greatest god of Egypt, the first manifesting deity, third logos, identical with Ahura Mazda of Zoroastrian religion. Osiris, when differentiated and personified, becomes Typhon, his brother, Isis and Nephtys his sisters, Horus his son and his other aspects. In Zoroastrian religion, Ahura Mazda and Ahriman (Angra Mainyu) are the representatives of Good and Evil, of Light and Darkness, of Spiritual and material elements in man. So are the Egyptian Osiris and Typhon. They are the two opposite poles of one creative power, the eternal pair of good and (necessary) evil, God and Devil, Sura and Asura, Deva and Danava. In various religious traditions, these two are shown warring against each other. As for the inner meaning of “Wars in Heaven,” we are told:
“The great “Wars in Heaven,” in the Puranas; the wars of the Titans, in Hesiod and other classical writers; the “struggles,” also in the Egyptian legend between Osiris and Typhon, and even those in the Scandinavian legends, all refer to the same subject….They relate severally to astronomical, theogonical and human struggles; to the adjustment of orbs, and the supremacy among nations and tribes. The “Struggle for Existence” and the “Survival of the Fittest” reigned supreme from the moment that Kosmos manifested into being, and could hardly escape the observant eye of the ancient Sages.” (The Secret Doctrine, I, 202)
At another level, it represents the war within the disciple. When for the first time a disciple resolves to walk the spiritual path, his own evil tendencies, threatened with dethronement, line up as a mighty army in the war, as the evil Kauravas did against the Pandavas in the great epic of Mahabharata. It is the struggle of man’s good nature against the force of his own evil propensities and that of his own race. Explaining this allegory of the opposing forces of Osiris and Typhon, we are further told:
“Typhon was also called Set. He is simply the dark side of Osiris, his brother, as Angra Mainyu is the black shadow of Ahuramazda. Terrestrially, all these allegories were connected with the trials of adeptship and initiation. Astronomically, they referred to the Solar and Lunar eclipses, the mythical explanations of which we find to this day in India and Ceylon, where anyone can study the allegorical narratives and traditions which have remained unchanged for many thousands of years.” (The Secret Doctrine, II, 380)
“Typhon was but a symbol for the lower quaternary, the ever conflicting and turbulent principles of differentiated chaotic matter, whether in the Universe or in Man, while Osiris symbolized the higher spiritual triad.” (H. P. Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary)
The greatest mystery, the mystery of man’s true nature, was known to the Egyptians. They knew that man is not just his body, which dies. They believed man to be made up of seven souls, seven constituents. According to Egyptologists, sevenfold constitution of man was the cardinal doctrine of old Egyptians. H.P.B. confirms that Seven Souls of Pharaoh often mentioned in Egyptian texts refer to seven principles of man. Mr. G. Massey shows striking similarity between Esoteric and Egyptian teaching with regard to the constitution of man in the following tabulation:
1. Rupa, body or element of form.
2. Prana, the breath of life.
3. Linga Sharira, Astral Body.
4. Manas—or Intelligence.
5. Kama–rupa, or animal soul.*
6. Buddhi, Spiritual Soul.
7. Atma, pure spirit.
1. Kha, body.
2. Ba, the Soul of Breath.
3. Khaba, the shade.
4. Akhu, Intelligence or Perception.
5. Seb, ancestral Soul.
6. Putah, the first intellectual father.
7. Atmu, divine or eternal soul.
* “This is a great mistake made in the Esoteric enumeration. Manas is the fifth, not the fourth; and Manas corresponds precisely with Seb, the Egyptian fifth principle, for that portion of Manas, which follows the two higher principles, is the ancestral soul, indeed, the bright, immortal thread of the higher Ego, to which clings the Spiritual aroma of all the lives or births.” (The Secret Doctrine, II, 632)
They compared man’s sevenfold nature with seven cubits of wheat. Wheat was sacred to the Egyptians and they even placed wheat with their mummies in the coffins. Wheat was, with the Egyptians, the symbol of the Law of Retribution or Karma. The mystery of what happens to man after death is explained in detail in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. When a man dies, he is considered to be still sevenfold—“a direct reference to the esoteric division of man’s principles symbolized by the divine wheat.” This is represented by wheat seven cubits high in the region of the Manes (disembodied men). But after an interval, his higher three principles separate from the lower four and reach the heaven world represented by wheat three cubits high in the land of Aanroo. Now Aanroo is the heaven world or Swarga or Devachan. Thus, “Egyptians had the same esoteric philosophy which is now taught by the cis-Himalayan adepts, who, when buried, have corn and wheat placed over them.” (The Secret Doctrine, II, 374 fn.)
Egyptians firmly believed in immortality of the soul and its reincarnation. The “Soul” or the Ego of the defunct is said to be living in Eternity. The soul is said to join the living on earth by day and return to Tiaou (the realm of the cause of life) by night, in the Book of the Dead. This expresses the periodical existence of the immortal Ego. Egyptians believed that the soul of the mummified defunct remained attached to the body by a magnetic thread which could be broken by its own exertion. They placed an ever-burning lamp in the tomb—the symbol of incorruptible and immortal spirit, to help the soul to leave its body and unite forever with its Divine SELF.
“In Kircher’s Oedipus Egyptiacus (vol. iii., p. 124) one can see, on the papyrus engraved in it, an egg floating above the mummy. This is the symbol of hope and the promise of a second birth for the Osirified dead; his Soul, after due purification in the Amenti, will gestate in this egg of immortality, to be reborn from it into a new life on earth. For this egg, in the esoteric Doctrine, is the Devachan, the abode of Bliss; the winged scarabeus being alike a symbol of it.
“The Spirit of Life and Immortality was everywhere symbolized by a circle…the globe, with two wings added to it, which then became the sacred Scarabæus of the Egyptians, its very name being suggestive of the secret idea attached to it. For the Scarabæus is called in Egypt (in the papyri) Khopirron and Khopri from the verb Khopron “to become,” and has thus been made a symbol and an emblem of human life and of the successive becomings of man, through the various peregrinations and metempsychoses (reincarnations) of the liberated Soul.” (The Secret Doctrine, II, 552)
In the after-death state of man, Osiris plays a significant role as the Judge of the defunct in the region of Amenti. It reminds us of the Hindu doctrine of Yama (Dharmaraja) judging the man on the basis of the record of the actions of the dead man read out by Chitragupta. Man is responsible for his actions and is answerable to God. A complete record of all his actions is maintained by the record-keepers of the god, known also as Lipikas. As already seen, Osiris was killed by his brother Typhon (also called Seth) and dismembered. He was brought back to life by Isis—his wife and sister (Mulaprakriti). Death and resurrection of Osiris thus became a model for every human being. The mummy became identified with the body of the god, and the dead person became an Osiris. Osiris having died and risen became the god and judge of the dead and ruled over the underworld.
“The “soul” under trial is brought before Osiris, the “Lord of Truth,” who sits decorated with the Egyptian cross, emblem of eternal life, and holding in his right hand the Vannus or the flagellum of justice. The spirit begins, in the “Hall of the Two Truths,” an earnest appeal, and enumerates its good deeds, supported by the responses of the forty-two assessors—its incarnated deeds and accusers. If justified, it is addressed as Osiris, thus assuming the appellation of the Deity whence its divine essence proceeded, and the following words, full of majesty and justice, are pronounced: “Let the Osiris go; ye see he is without fault….He lived on truth, he has fed on truth….The god has welcomed him as he desired. He has given food to my hungry, drink to my thirsty ones, clothes to my naked….He has made the sacred food of the gods the meat of the spirits.” (Isis Unveiled, II, 548)
“The Hindu Chitra-Gupta who reads out the account of every Soul’s life from his register, called Agra-Sandhani; the “Assessors” who read theirs from the heart of the defunct, which becomes an open book before (whether) Yama, Minos, Osiris, or Karma—are all so many copies of, and variants from the Lipika, and their Astral Records. Nevertheless, the Lipika are not deities connected with Death, but with Life Eternal.” (The Secret Doctrine, I, 105)
Esoterically, Amenti is said to be the dwelling of the God Amen, or Amoun. It is also a place of purification. Exoterically, it is the kingdom of Osiris divided into fourteen parts, each of which was set aside for some purpose connected with the after-state of the defunct. These divisions included the Hall of judgment and celestial field—Aanroo. The field of Aanroo is said to be covered with wheat, and the “Defunct” are represented as gleaning it, the food of divine justice—their reward or punishment, for the “Master of Eternity”; some stalks being three, others five, and the highest seven cubits high.
Regarding the mystery of mummification, not much is known. According to one view, the dead body was considered to be an earthly home for the soul and, therefore, had to be preserved. The inevitable decay of the bodies was therefore recognized as a disaster that would, if uncorrected, prevent the deceased from achieving eternal life. As a result, the whole art and science of mortuary was perfected through experimentation over generations and its secret was passed from father to son.
“It is not known what was the real origin of making mummies, as the examples we have belong to very recent periods of the Egyptians, who must have existed many thousands of years before the times we can know of their history. It has been suggested very justly that the practice began with their Adept kings for reasons of their own, and that it came to be imitated afterwards. If this is so, then it would be natural for the kings to permit it among the people so as to create a greater security for their own mummies, for if there be mummies for all, no one will bother to look for any particular mummy for some special reason, whereas if only kings were known to be mummified, then later people might want to exhume and inspect them, for the early kings were thought by the people to be Adepts, as is evident from the records. But on all this we are as yet but making assumptions.” (William Q. Judge, Forum Answers, pp. 93-94)
It was believed that mummification accompanied by the rituals and ceremonies performed by the priests, purified and restored the deceased, giving a reason for joy among the relatives who then feasted with the mummified deceased before it was finally entombed. It was also believed that in order to enter its second life, the body has to be reunited with the spiritual elements, which had previously animated it. The body had to be preserved for resurrection. This brings to our mind the teaching of Theosophy that the human soul acquires immortality by uniting itself with its higher self. Giving us the inner significance, Mr. G. Massey connects the Greek Christos with the Egyptian Karest, the “mummy type of immortality,” and proves it very thoroughly.
“The mummy-image was the preserved one, the saved, therefore a portrait of the Saviour, as a type of immortality. This was the figure of a dead man, which, as Plutarch and Herodotus tell us, was carried round at an Egyptian banquet when the guests were invited to look on it and eat and drink and be happy, because, when they died, they would become what the image symbolised—that is, they also would be immortal! This type of immortality was called the Karest, or Karust, and it was the Egyptian Christ. To Kares means to embalm, anoint, to make the Mummy as a type of the eternal; and, when made, it was called the Karest; so that this is not merely a matter of name for name, the Karest for the Christ.
“This image of the Karest was bound up in a woof without a seam, the proper vesture of the Christ! No matter what the length of the bandage might be, and some of the mummy-swathes have been unwound that were 1,000 yards in length, the woof was from beginning to end without a seam….Now, this seamless robe of the Egyptian Karest is a very tell-tale type of the mystical Christ, who becomes historic in the Gospels as the wearer of a coat or chiton, made without a seam, which neither the Greek nor the Hebrew fully explains, but which is explained by the Egyptian Ketu for the woof, and by the seamless robe or swathing without seam that was made for eternal wear and worn by the Mummy-Christ, the image of immortality in the tombs of Egypt.
“In the Gospels Jesus rises again with every member sound, like the perfectly-preserved Karest, to demonstrate the physical resurrection of the mummy. But, in the Egyptian original, the mummy transforms. The deceased says: “I am spiritualised. I am become a soul. I rise as a God.” (Gerald Massey, quoted by H. P. Blavatsky in The Esoteric Character of the Gospels)
At the end of it all, a sad thought troubles our mind, though. Is this to be the fate of all great civilizations? Are all mighty nations but counting their days to reach their doomsday? Where have those great people of Egypt disappeared? Mr. Judge points out that they have not. The egos of the great Egyptian people have long since reincarnated on the European and American continents to carry on their evolutionary progress.
“The Egyptian souls who helped in planning the pyramid of Gizeh, who took part in the Egyptian government, theology, science, and civilization, departed from their old race; that race died out and the former Egyptians took up their work in the oncoming races of the West, especially in those which are now repeopling the American continents.” (William Q. Judge, The Ocean of Theosophy, p. 18)
“Great civilizations like Egypt and Babylon have gone because the souls who made them have long ago reincarnated in the great conquering nations of Europe and the present American continents. As nations and races they have been totally reincarnated and born again for greater and higher purposes than ever.” (The Ocean of Theosophy, p. 91)
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AGE OF THE PYRAMIDS
“The MIGHTY ONES perform their great works, and leave behind them everlasting monuments to commemorate their visit, every time they penetrate within our mayavic veil (atmosphere),” says a Commentary. Thus we are taught that the great Pyramids were built under their direct supervision, “when Dhruva (the then Pole-star) was at his lowest culmination, and the Krittika (Pleiades) looked over his head (were on the same meridian but above) to watch the work of the giants.” Thus, as the first Pyramids were built at the beginning of a Sidereal year, under Dhruva (Alpha Polaris), it must have been over 31,000 years (31,105) ago.” (H. P. Blavatsky, “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. 434-435)
HOW THE PYRAMIDS WERE BUILT
“Q. Is not the mastery of the air on the part of man a mystic power?
“A. No; it is not in any way a mystic power. Man’s desire to fly and to get a machine that will enable him to do so is the only power behind the mastery of the air. Any boy who flies a kite understands the primal principle of flying – that it is the angle of the impact of the air upon a plane surface that holds the machine up. But, perhaps, the desire to fly comes from something in the past – something hitherto hidden in the natures of men. The Atlantean Races, it is said, fought their battles in the air. They did not use gasoline, however, to propel their ships. They used a solar force, and they had a solar engine which had no machinery but served as a focal point – a point of impact – for the sun’s rays in several phases of operation – as a driving force, an ascending force, a descending force, or whatever force they required.
“Q. Are not the Orientals by a certain system of breathing able to overcome polarization and so to levitate the body?
“A. They concentrate upon an idea until they lose all sense of bodily existence. It is not conscious levitation. They may or may not overcome the polarization of the body, for it depends upon the knowledge of the one who is using the process, and also on the condition of the astral body and the physical body at the time. They have to know the proper way to cause levitation. But what does anyone want to levitate for? What would be the use of it?
“Q. Was not the knowledge of levitation put to good use by the Egyptians in building the pyramids?
“A. That was in older times before we became as we now are. We must remember that we are not as good as we once were, nor so wise. We have come down the stairs further, and, to use a simile, we are working now in the cellar, instead of on the first floor. When we worked in the very early Egyptian nation, we had the knowledge which enabled us to change the polarity of the immense stones and make them easy to handle. Even the bringing of them from tremendous distances was accomplished by the knowledge of polarization. In one period we used song; that is, certain methods of chanting. In other periods, we used a metal of which we have no knowledge at the present time. This metal had the effect, when placed under any heavy weight, to prevent the attraction of the earth from taking place, for that is what weight is – the attraction of the earth for certain masses of substance. Break that attraction and the weight is as nothing, or just comparatively light weight.
“Q. Mr. Judge speaks of us as the Atlanteans who were sorcerers. What is meant?
“A. The Atlanteans misused the powers that they had. But we are not saying this about the Atlanteans; we are saying it about ourselves. The old Wisdom-Religion teaches that we are the Atlanteans, in fact. We once had great powers, and we lost them through misuse in the Fourth Race, and again in the Fifth Race, as the earlier Egyptians. Now the question is, have we reached the point where we can regain our powers by rightly using the powers in our present possession?” (Robert Crosbie, “Answers to Questions on The Ocean of Theosophy” p. 217-219)
ADEPTS AND PYRAMIDS
“The Adepts or “Wise” men of the three Races (the Third, Fourth and the Fifth) dwelt in subterranean habitats, generally under some kind of pyramidal structure, if not actually under a pyramid. For such “pyramids” existed in the four corners of the world and were never the monopoly of the land of the Pharaohs, though until found scattered all over the two Americas, under and over ground, beneath and amidst virgin forests, as in plain and vale, they were supposed to be the exclusive property of Egypt. If the true geometrically correct pyramids are no longer found in European regions, many of the supposed early neolithic caves, of the colossal triangular, pyramidal and conical menhirs in the Morbihan, and Brittany generally; many of the Danish tumuli and even of the “giant tombs” of Sardinia with their inseparable companions, the nuraghi, are so many more or less clumsy copies of the pyramids.” (H. P. Blavatsky, “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 351-352)
“To crucify before (not against) the sun” is a phrase used of initiation. It comes from Egypt, and primarily from India. The enigma can be unriddled only by searching for its key in the Mysteries of Initiation. The initiated adept, who had successfully passed through all the trials, was attached, not nailed, but simply tied on a couch in the form of a tau (in Egypt) of a Svastika without the four additional prolongations [i.e. a simple cross formed of a vertical and horizontal line] plunged in a deep sleep (the “Sleep of Siloam” it is called to this day among the Initiates in Asia Minor, in Syria, and even higher Egypt). He was allowed to remain in this state for three days and three nights, during which time his Spiritual Ego was said to confabulate with the “gods,” descend into Hades, Amenti, or Pâtâla (according to the country), and do works of charity to the invisible beings, whether souls of men or Elemental Spirits; his body remaining all the time in a temple crypt or subterranean cave. In Egypt it was placed in the Sarcophagus in the King’s Chamber of the Pyramid of Cheops, and carried during the night of the approaching third day to the entrance of a gallery, where at a certain hour the beams of the rising Sun struck full on the face of the entranced candidate, who awoke to be initiated by Osiris, and Thoth the God of Wisdom.
“Let the reader who doubts the statement consult the Hebrew originals before he denies. Let him turn to some most suggestive Egyptian bas reliefs. One especially from the temple of Philœ, represents a scene of initiation. Two Gods-Hierophants, one with the head of a hawk (the Sun), the other ibis-headed (Mercury, Thoth, the god of Wisdom and secret learning, the assessor of Osiris-Sun), are standing over the body of a candidate just initiated. They are in the act of pouring on his head a double stream of water (the water of life and new birth), which stream is interlaced in the shape of a cross and full of small ansated crosses. This is allegorical of the awakening of the candidate (now an Initiate), when the beams of the morning sun (Osiris) strike the crown of his head (his entranced body being placed on its wooden tau so as to receive the rays). Then appeared the Hierophants-Initiators, and the sacramental words were pronounced, ostensibly, to the Sun-Osiris, addressed in reality to the Spirit Sun within, enlightening the newly-born man. Let the reader meditate on the connection of the Sun with the Cross in both its generative and spiritually regenerative capacities—from the highest antiquity.” (H. P. Blavatsky, “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 558-559)
WHAT IS ACTUALLY MEANT BY INITIATION?
From the end of the article Wisdom of The Druids:
These terms “Mysteries” and “Mystery Schools” are terms for Schools of Initiation and their presence and existence was documented by history throughout the whole world. The term “initiation” is used a lot by Theosophists but what does it actually mean?
In its most basic meaning, initiation is the expansion of the soul into a new and higher level of consciousness.
But in its deeper meaning, initiation is also a Path undergone over the course of numerous lifetimes by one who aspires to join that hidden esoteric Brotherhood which guides and watches over the spiritual evolution and advancement of humanity. Such initiation – presided over in its higher levels by some of the Masters belonging to the Brotherhood – confers knowledge, powers, and perceptive insight, upon the successful candidate, and all for the entirely unselfish, selfless, altruistic work of helping, guiding, and teaching one’s fellow human beings.
Genuine “Mystery Schools” still exist in various places today, albeit now operating in secrecy and silence as regards the world at large. The Brotherhoods and Fraternities of the various Masters behind the Theosophical Movement are such Mystery Schools and it was stated by HPB, Mr. Judge, and those Masters Themselves, that there is nothing to stop anyone aspiring towards them, as long as the motive is a pure one.
But it all starts with a commitment to learn, comprehend, and put into practice, the almost astoundingly vast Body of Knowledge They have given to the world under the name of “Theosophy.” For if one does not know and understand that to the deepest and most accurate extent possible, how can one expect to be able to understand or make use of anything more advanced?
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HERMES OF GOLDEN LIGHT, THE SEVEN SUB-RACES, WISDOM OF THE DRUIDS, HUMAN EVOLUTION IN THE SECRET DOCTRINE, ATLANTIS AND LEMURIA, THEOSOPHY ON SIRIUS, THE SEVENFOLD NATURE OF MAN, AND DEATH AND THE AFTERLIFE.
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