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The Egyptian Neters - Part V

by Billie Walker-John

We have now come to the last stage of the journey of the message from heaven on its descent to earth. At Thebes with Amun, we shall see the result of this journey, and what has 'become' of the message through its successive differentiations, as enacted at Heliopolis, Memphis and Hermopolis.

For Thebes - and Amun - can be seen as the Egyptian Malkuth. Here, too, we must recall Kem-atef - 'he who has accomplished his time' - and remember that though his time was accomplished he does not disappear into the void. Through the work of his 'son' Ir-ta, 'the Creator of the Earth' and the creator of the Eight at Hermopolis, Kem-atef is reborn - as one of the Eight.

The Eight, whose names were not given in full in the preceding article, will now be named, as they are given in Egyptian Mysteries:

Amun

Naun and Naunet: 'the initial waters' and/or 'inertia'

Heh and Hehet: 'spatial infinity'

Kek and Keket: 'the darkness'

Amun and Amunet: 'that which is hidden' [1].

Now the reborn Kem-atef declares that he is Amun and furthermore states he is that first serpent - Kem-atef - but in a new form. He is also not only Amun, but Amunet as well, androgynous, incorporating the 'feminine, nourishing aspect as well as the virile, procreative character' [2] within this new form. And, as if to add to what 'all' Amun is, he is always - and foremost - that which is hidden. <p>The message from heaven and its descent through Heliopolis, Memphis and Hermopolis is the materialisation of Amun - 'The Hidden One' - at A least according to the teachings of the Theban priesthood. This emphasis on rnen Ra Amun is not meant to diminish the names or contributions of Atum, Ptah or Thoth, or to claim that Amun was greater or more powerful than his predecessors - for remember also - "Three gods are all the gods: Amun, Re, Ptah, who have no equal. Amun-Re-Ptah, Unity-Trinity" <A NAME=" />[3]. Rather this is the way of defining the Eternal, through the countless qualities - or differentiations -which alone can be named. Amun, Re, Ptah and Thoth are Neters - "cosmic or vital powers which find expression as the genesis of the world unfolds" [4].

Amun is a paradox. He is hidden, yet like light passing through the refracting quality of a prism, he is visible in many forms, and these forms underscore or highlight his various functions. As Amun, he is the breath of life in all living things - just as the unseen breath in our bodies is a visible sign of life.

As Amun-Ra he is the light of the sun - yet not the sun itself. As Min-Amun he is the celestial fire which, through successive descents sets creation in motion. It is his feminine side, Mut, which receives his creative seed and gives it form 'reveals the face of the father through the son'.

It is important to state at this point that Mut, too, has undergone successive transformations and differentiations. She began as Nut at Heliopolis, then became Sekhmet at Memphis. Now at Thebes she is revealed as Mut - the Mother. She will give birth to the equally evolving son Khonsu who, in his turn, in the triple descent, Atum, then Nerfertum at Memphis. At Thebes, he is reborn as Khonsu, who R A Schwaller de Lubicz calls "a more spiritualised Atum" who will, in turn "make Horus reappear in all his glory". [5]

As any student of the Qabalah learns, as spirit descends into the material, it becomes more complex, in both form and function. So, too, do the Theban teachings regarding Amun. Yet the purpose behind the various stages the message from heaven has undergone is simply stated as "the cosmic cycle of Creation, Becoming and Return". [6]

In the teaching given at Thebes, Amun has accomplished creation, 'becoming' in successive forms through the Three Worlds and through the versions given at the four initiatic centres in Egypt. His return is less clear, or rather less clearly stated. Perhaps we are to understand that his return is bound up with his hidden essence - only his effects are known. Thus he serves as a sublime sign-post for the human soul, which also enters creation to become, through successive lives and lived experience, conscious - and then, less graphically, to return to the source from whence it originally descended.

Schwaller de Lubicz adds an interesting post-script to the Theban teaching:

"This is the Pharaonic Opus Magnum. It ends in the Christic revelation which is founded on the human incarnation of the divine, revealing the ultimate phase. In the Pharaonic Mysteries, this phase was called 'the reconciliation of Seth and Horus', but it was not actually realised in Egypt's own historical gestation. This explains why the Pharaonic sages considered the precessional transition from Aries to Pisces a natural genesis - foreseen by the temple - toward Christianity." [7]

Now while this might have been clear to the Egyptian initiates at the close of Pharaonic history, it is no longer so for us today - at least on the surface of the matter. The successive becoming that Christianity could have been - became instead the instrument and vehicle of the uninitiated, who grounded the Christic revelation, claiming that the Christ was theirs alone and through faith alone; thus setting up temporal 'thou shalt nots' as the only way to return to heaven. As a consequence, this insistence upon the misunderstanding of the Christic revelation means that those who adhere to it will run the risk of losing sight of their own way back to heaven. Those who have wearied of the limitations of blind fundamentalism, and sense its inherent evils, may find that the Mysteries of Egypt can offer illuminating insights into the Christic revelation, albeit rendered in Egyptian terms and symbols, for, as Sacred Science so succinctly adds, "whoever wants to see them". [8] Schwaller de Lubicz, ever the guiding light in these articles, summarises the Mysteries of Egypt:

'Through its figurations, the teachings of Pharaonic Egypt become a marvellous history which speaks of what has always been, what always shall be the essential knowledge concerning origin, aim and finality of life'.[9]

This, in essence, is the purpose of the Mysteries, of any country and time. Those in Egypt expressed themselves through the Neters - the erroneously called 'gods' - the reflections of divine action in the Three Worlds, and in the human heart and soul.

Epilogue

Sources:

[1] Lucie Lamy - Egyptian Mysteries: New Light on Ancient Knowledge
Thames & Hudson, 1981, (page 10)

[2] Ibid., (page 12)

[3] Ibid., (Page 13)

[4] Ibid., (page 8)

[5] R A Schwaller de Lubicz - Sacred Science,
Inner Traditions Intemational Ltd, Rochester, VT, 1982 (page 196)

[6] Egyptian Mysteries, (page 8)

[7] Sacred Science, (page 197)

[8] Ibid., (page 199)

[9] Ibid., (page 199)



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