First I'd like to talk to the few people who have been following this little project of mine and to explain why the last installment of this Collective Unconscious series (part 4) was published on May 5 2011 and why it has taken me until September of this year to publish part 5.
Of all of our civilizations for as long as we've been recording historical carvings, documents, stories, myths and so forth no other peoples has fascinated me more than the ancient Egyptians. There is so much inaccurate and conflicting information out there on this subject that I wanted to really take my time in researching this. I feel that the importance of this particular time in the history of the human race is very important. I also believe that a thorough investigation of this early stage of collective human psychological growth can greatly improve our understanding of the times we live in now. My goal is to tackle this and to provide a view of the ancient Egyptian Empire that has not already been written about a bazillion times before.
In "Collective Unconscious (part 4)" we considered the wisdom of far eastern philosophy and compared it with the views of scientists who were the "founding fathers" of quantum mechanics. We looked at a major myth from ancient India. We also looked at the 4 Noble Truths and the "Eightfold Path of self-development which leads to the state of Buddhahood"...
..and now part 5: The Origin Of The Empire...
In physics, the law of conservation of energy states that the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant. Based on this law, scientists have come to conclude that, in an isolated system, energy is neither created nor destroyed, but it may change form. For example, potential energy can be converted to kinetic energy, and kinetic energy can become thermal energy.
By understanding this law, engineers can design machines that can use energy to produce work. For example, thermal energy (or the heat produced by burning a fuel) can be used to drive a turbine, which in turn can be used to generate electricity. In addition, based on this law, one can conclude that perpetual motion machines can operate only if they deliver no energy to their surroundings, and devices that produce more energy than is put into them are impossible. However, with Albert Einstein's formulation of the theory of special relativity, scientists now view the conservation of energy as part of a larger law, namely, the conservation of "mass-energy." (source: New World Encyclopedia)
Some have credited the ancient Greeks as the originators of Western thought, government and science. Obviously I could be wrong however I do not think that this is accurate. As we've already seen in the previous articles in this series (at least as far as we know from historical documents) all civilization began in ancient Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). There are no written documents older than that which were found in ancient Sumer. The ancient Babylonians and Egyptians all learned from each other. According to several of the ancient Greek historians and philosophers many of their ideas and religious symbols were borrowed from ealier cultures which includes the Egyptians...
"...But as to those matters which concern men, the priests agreed with one another in saying that the Egyptians were the first of all men on earth to find out the course of the year, having divided the seasons into twelve parts to make up the whole; and this they said they found out from the stars: and they reckon to this extent more wisely than the Hellenes, as it seems to me, inasmuch as the Hellenes throw in an intercalated month every other year, to make the seasons right, whereas the Egyptians, reckoning the twelve months at thirty days each, bring in also every year five days beyond number, and thus the circle of their season is completed and comes round to the same point whence it set out.
They said moreover that the Egyptians were the first who brought into use appellations for the twelve gods and the Hellenes took up the use from them; and that they were the first who assigned altars and images and temples to the gods, and who engraved figures on stones; and with regard to the greater number of these things they showed me by actual facts that they had happened so..." (- Herodotus of Halicarnassus)
This is evident in their pantheon of gods (e.g. Osiris, Horus, Isis, Hermes vs Dionysus, Apollo, Aphrodite and Mercury etc.)
"...Moreover the naming of almost all the gods has come to Hellas from Egypt: for that it has come from the Barbarians I find by inquiry is true, and I am of opinion that most probably it has come from Egypt, because, except in the case of Poseidon and the Dioscuroi (in accordance with that which I have said before), and also of Hera and Hestia and Themis and the Charites and Nereids, the Egyptians say themselves: but as for the gods whose names they profess that they do not know, these I think received their naming from the Pelasgians, except Poiseidon; but about this god the Hellenes learnt from the Libyans, for no people except the Libyans have had the name of Poseidon from the first and have paid honour to this god always. Nor, it may be added, have the Egyptians any custom of worshipping heroes.
These observances then, and others besides these which I shall mention, the Hellenes have adopted from the Egyptians...Moreover, it is true also that the Egyptians were the first of men who made solemn assemblies and processions and approaches to the temples, and from them the Hellenes have learnt them, and my evidence for this is that the Egyptian celebrations of these have been held from a very ancient time, whereas the Hellenic were introduced but lately. The Egyptians hold their solemn assemblies not once in the year but often, especially and with the greatest zeal and devotion at the city of Bubastis for Artemis, and next at Busiris for Isis; for in this last- named city there is a very great temple of Isis, and this city stands in the middle of the Delta of Egypt; now Isis is in the tongue of the Hellenes Demeter: thirdly, they have a solemn assembly at the city of Sais for Athene, fourthly at Heliopolis for the Sun (Helios), fifthly at the city of Buto in honour of Leto, and sixthly at the city of Papremis for Ares..." (- Herodotus source link )
Not surprisingly as the ancient Greeks learned from the Egyptians, the Egyptians gained knowledge from their neighbors and earlier civilizations (*see "Before Pythagoras: Masters of Math, From Old Babylon".
The ancient Egyptians especially in the time of the great dynasties holds a special place in my heart and mind. Not because I view them as being greatly honorable nor do I think of them as possesors of great intellect or moral fiber as they were an imperfect and primitive people. I am in awe however of how the Egyptian Pharaohs and priests managed to learn so much about how to manipulate the natural elements and how to influence the hearts and minds of the people. How did they manage to excel in engineering cities, politics and religion so effectively? To the uneducated it was known as magic. In reality the Pharoahs and priest did it with a relativly clear understanding of mathematics, natural science, psychology and "alchemy" which was highly remarkable for their time.
mid-14c., from O.Fr. alchimie (14c.), alquemie (13c.), from M.L. alkimia, from Arabic al-kimiya, from Gk. khemeioa (found c.300 C.E. in a decree of Diocletian against "the old writings of the Egyptians"), all meaning "alchemy." Perhaps from an old name for Egypt (Khemia, lit. "land of black earth," found in Plutarch), or from Gk. khymatos "that which is poured out," from khein "to pour," related to khymos"juice, sap" [Klein, citing W. Muss-Arnolt, calls this folk etymology]. The word seems to have elements of both origins.
"Mahn ... concludes, after an elaborate investigation, that Gr. khymeia was probably the original, being first applied to pharmaceutical chemistry, which was chiefly concerned with juices or infusions of plants; that the pursuits of the Alexandrian alchemists were a subsequent development of chemical study, and that the notoriety of these may have caused the name of the art to be popularly associated with the ancient name of Egypt. [OED]"
The al- is the Arabic definite article, "the." The art and the name were adopted by the Arabs from Alexandrians and thence returned to Europe via Spain. Alchemy was the "chemistry" of the Middle Ages and early modern times; since c.1600 the word has been applied distinctively to the pursuit of the transmutation of baser metals into gold, which, along with the search for the universal solvent and the panacea, were the chief occupations of early chemistry. (source: link )
"Alchemy" was to the ancient Egyptians what chemistry is for us today. There is a second meaning as well whereas alchemy is also symbolic as changing one's self or learning how to change one's own mind and soul into something more precious than gold.
In my opinion the modern world that we live in today with it's organized religions, politics, mass marketing, information manipulation, war and propaganda as well as what we call the natural sciences were all perfected under the reign of the ancient Pharaohs . They were lovers of knowledge, wealth and power. The Roman empire and the ancient Greeks simply finished what had originated in the "Land of Osiris". The modern day British and American "empires" are just a continuation of that.
-- For Your Consideration The "Myth" of...
"Among the gods who were known to the Egyptians in very early times were Amen and his consort Ament...Of the attributes ascribed to Amen in the Ancient Empire nothing is known, but if we accept the meaning "hidden" which is usually given to his name, we must conclude that he was the personification of the hidden and unknown creative power which was associated with the primeval abyss gods in the creation of the world and all that is in it. The word or root amen, certainly means "what is hidden," "what is not seen," "what cannot be seen," and the like, and this fact is proved by scores of examples which may be collected from texts of all periods.
In hymns to Amen we often read that he is "hidden to his children," and "hidden to gods and men," and it has been stated that these expressions only refer to the hiding," i.e., "setting" of the sun each evening, and that they are only to be understood in a physical sense, and to mean nothing more than the disappearance of the god Amen form the sight of men at the close of the day. Now, not only is the god himself said to be "hidden," but his name also is "hidden," and his form, or similitude, is said to be "unknown;" these statements show that "hidden" when applied to Amen, the great god, has reference to something more than the "sun which has disappeared below the horizon," and that it indicates the god who cannot be seen with mortal eyes, and who is invisible, as well as inscrutable, to gods as well as men.
In the times approaching the Ptolemaic period the name Amen appears to have been connected with the root men, "to abide, to be permanent;" and one of the attributes which were applied to him was that of eternal." (source: E.A. Wallis Budge "The Gods Of The Egyptians Vol 2)
"Amen" is a word which has been used frequently by all practicing Christians to this very day. It is usually said at the end of prayer or it is proclaimed as a way of saying "I agree". As we now see the meaning of the word was originally meant to be a way to label what is hidden from the senses of sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing of the human being. What was hidden from the ancient Egyptians has been revealed to us today as energy...
"...the idea of energy and its conservation must be a primordial image that was dormant in the collective unconsciousness. Such a conclusion naturally obliges us to prove that a primordial image of this kind really did exist in the mental history of mankind and was operative through the ages. As a matter of fact, this proof can be produced without much difficulty: the most primitive religions in the most widely separated parts of the earth are founded upon this image. These are the so-called dynamistic religions whose sole and determining thought is that there exists a universal magical power about which everything revolves.
Tylor, the well-known English investigator, and Frazer likewise, misunderstood this idea as animism. In reality primitives do not mean, by their power-concept, souls or spirits at all, but something which the American investigator Lovejoy has appropriately termed "primitive energetics." This concept is equivalent to the idea of soul, spirit, God, health, bodily strength, fertility, magic, influence, power, prestige, medicine, as well as certain states of feeling which are characterized by the release of affects. Among certain Polynesians mulungu - this same primitive power-concept - means spirit, soul daemonism, magic, prestige; and when anything astonishing happens, the people cry out "Mulungu!" this power-concept is also the earliest form of a concept of God among primitives, and is an image which has undergone countless variations in the course of history." (-Jung)
As long as there is an "unknown" or mystery in the mind of humankind there will be a varient of "Amen". The final frontier for us to explore may very well be winthin our own individual psyches.
"Passing now to the consideration of the original characteristics and attributes of Osiris we find that the oldest religious texts known to us refer to him as the great god of the dead, and throughout them it is tacitly assumed that the reader will understand that he once possessed human form and lived upon earth, and that by means of some unusual power or powers he was able to bestow upon himself after his death as new life which he lived in a new body in a region over which he ruled as king, and into which he was believed to be willing to admit all such as had lived a good and correct life upon earth, and had been buried with appropriate ceremonies under the protection of certain amulets, and with the proper recital of certain "divine words" and words of power.
The worship of Osiris is, however, very much older than these views, which, it is clear, could only belong to a people who had advanced to a comparatively high state of civilization and of mental development....Among such gods (those mentioned in the "Pyramid Texts") Osiris held a very prominent place, in fact he was in respect of the dead and of the Underworld what Ra, or Ra-Tem was to the living and to this world, and in some passages he is reffered to simply as "god," without the addition of any name. No other god of the Egyptians was ever mentioned or alluded to in this manner, and no other god at any time in Egypt ever occupied exactly the same exalted position in their minds, or was thought to possess his peculiar attributes." (source: E.A. Wallis Budge "The Gods Of The Egyptians Vol 2)
Eternal life was yet another Egyptian belief that has survived to this very day. Most of us know very well the image of a man who lived a human life, died and came back to life to rule his new "kingdom" in the afterlife (Underworld). The idea that anyone can do as Osiris did if they "lived a good and correct life upon earth" is also still taught in religious institutions to this very day however the name "Osiris" has been changed.
Writer and teacher of comparative mythology Joseph Campbell notes in his book "The Hero With A Thousand Faces" that the role of "Hero" in any given myth is likely to have some form of supernatural aid...
Not infrequently, the supernatural helper is masculine in form. In fairy lore it may be some little fellow of the wood, some wizard, hermit, shepherd, or smith, who appears, to supply the amulets and advice that the hero will require. The higher mythologies develop the role in the great figure of the guide, the teacher, the ferryman, the conductor of souls to the afterworld. In classical myth this is Hermes-Mercury; in Egpyptian, usually Thoth (the ibis god, the baboon god)....
During Hellenistic times an amalgamation of Hermes and Thoth was effected in the figure of Hermes Trismegistus, "Hermes Thrice Greatest," who was regarded as the patron and teacher of all the arts, and especially of alchemy. The "hermetically" sealed retort, in which were placed the mystical metals, was regarded as a realm apart-- a special region of heightened forces comparable to the mythological realm; and therein the metals underwent strange metamorphoses and transmutations, symbolical of the transfigurations of the soul under the tutelage of the supernatural . Hermes was the master of the ancient mysteries of initiation and represented that coming-down of divine wisdom into the world which is represented also in the incarnations of divine saviors...(-Campbell)
The term "Supernatural" actually means that which transcends nature (*see "A Supernatural Mental Exercise")
-- Thoth (Hermes)
"We are now able to sum up the attributes ascribed to Thoth, and to consider how he employed them in connection with the dead. In the first place, he was held to be both the heart and the tongue of Ra, that is to say , he was the reason and the mental powers of the god, and also the means by which their will was translated into speech; from one aspect he was speech itself, and in later times he may well have represented, as Dr. Birch said, the Logos of Plato. In every legend in which Thoth takes a prominent part we see that it is he who speaks the word that results in the wishes of Ra being carried into effect, and it is evident that when he had once given the word of command that command could not fail to be carried out by one means or the other.
He spoke the words which resulted in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and he taught Isis the words which enabled her to revivify the dead body of Osiris in such wise that Osiris could beget a child by her, and he gave her the formulae which brought back her son Horus to life after he had been stung to death by a scorpion. His knowledge and powers of calculation measured out the heavens, and planned the earth, and everything which is in them; his will and power kept the forces of heaven and in earth in equilibrium; it was his great skill in celestial mathematics which made proper use of the laws upon which the foundation and maintenance of the universe rested; it was he who directed the motions of the heavenly bodies and their times and seasons; and without his words the gods, whose existence depended upon them, could not have kept their place among the followers of Ra. (source: E.A. Wallis Budge "The Gods of the Egyptians Vol 1)
According to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus the universe is constantly changing and Logos is the organizing principle that regulates movement, birth and decay in the cosmos. To the Stoics Logos exists both in the physical universe and also in the human soul. Even the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria explained the Logos as an intermediary between man and God.
We know today that the fundamental forces of nature (gravity, electro-magnetism, strong and weak nuclear forces) are responsible for motion, birth and decay in our physical universe. But these forces of nature also have their existence in the form of mathematical equations. Symbolically speaking this is where Hermes lives: in language.
"Horus, son of Isis, son of Osiris," like many other forms of Horus, represented in general the rising sun, and appears to have been to the Egyptians exactly what Apollo was to the Greeks in this respect; the aspects of this god were many, and in consequence his shrines were very numerous both in the South and in the North...His principal aspects were, however, two, i.e., he represented the new Sun which was born daily, and which was the successor of Heru-khuti or Ra, and he was also the offspring of the dead man-god Osiris and his lawful successor.
Horus, the son of Isis and of Osiris, was a god whose attributes appealed strongly to the Egyptians from one end of Egypt to the other, because in him every man and woman saw the type of what he or she wished to possess, that is to say, renewed life, and life as opposed to death, and movement as opposed to inactivity, and intercourse with the living instead of with the dead. In a way Osiris and Horus were complements, each of the other, but the chief difference was that Osiris represented the past, and Horus the present, or, as we have it expressed in the Book of the Dead (xvii. 15), "Osiris is Yesterday, and Ra (Horus grown up) is to-day," (source E.A. Wallis Budge "The Gods of the Egyptians Vol 1)
Horus had a twin brother named Set who was his polar opposite. If Horus represented renewed life and movement then Set represented death and stagnation. According to ancient Egyptian myth the god Thoth kept the two gods from totally destroying each other.
"An examination of the texts of all periods proves that Isis always held in the minds of the Egyptians a position which was entirely different from that of every other goddess, and although it is certain that their views concerning her varied from time to time, and that certain aspects or phases of the goddess were worshipped more generally at one period than at another, it is correct to say that from the earliest to the latest dynasties Isis was the greatest goddess of Egypt...
Isis was the great and beneficent goddess and mother, whose influence and love pervaded all heaven, and earth, and the abode of the dead, and she was the personification of the great feminine, creative power which conceived, and brought forth every living creature, and thing, from the gods in heaven, to man on the earth, and to the insect on the ground; what she brought forth she protected, and cared for, and fed, and nourished, and she employed her life in using her power graciously and successfully, not only in creating new beings but in restoring those that were dead. She was, besides these things, the hightest type of a faithful and loving wife and mother, and it was in this capacity that the Egyptians honoured and worshipped her most. (source: E.A. Wallis Budge "The Gods Of the Egyptians Vol 2)
This is where parrallels between anceint Egyptian religion and mythology disappear when comparing modern major world religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Until very recently the "the great feminine" has been of relatively no interest to church, synagogue and mosque leaders. There is the image of Mary "mother of God" for Catholics and when you research more into the legend of Isis it becomes very obvious that Isis mother of Horus and Mary mother of Jesus are very much alike.
Because most of us have lost focus of the "feminine" side of all being our lives seem to be missing something. Modern religion does not seem to have the pull it once had on the masses. Many attend their preferred religious functions in the traditional mindless and heartless practice that we've grown accustomed to. Many have turned to objective science but alas we still have hunger, war, disease and poverty all around the globe.
The answer in my opinion is that we human beings are unbalanced and a reunion between our objective side and our subjective side, our intellectual and our intuitive/emotional selves, our "father-world" and "mother-world" need to be reunited....
"This answer of the mother-world shows that the gulf between it and the father-world is not unbridgeable, seeing that the unconscious holds the seed of the unity of both. The essence of the conscious mind is discrimination; it must, if it is to be aware of things, separate the opposites, and it does this contra naturam (against nature). In nature the opposites seek one another - les extremes se touchent - and so it is in the unconscious, and particulary in the archetype of unity, the self. Here, as in the deity, the opposites cancel out. But as soon as the unconscious begins to manifest itself they split asunder, as at the Creation; for every act of dawning consciousness is a creative act, and it is from this psychological experience that all our cosmogonic symbols are derived. (-Jung)
The only way that we can access our individual unconsious is via dreams and meditation.
-- One Thing From Several Points of View
In our world everything is relative that is, relative to the observer and filtered through individual perception with our memories (real or imagined) knowledge (or lack thereof) and emotional state at any give time. It's been said that "perception is reality" however I think that a more accurate statement would be that "your focus determines your reality".
Considering that the universe is and has always been one thing what do you believe that you see when you observe the different objects and people around you? You see objects in motion. Even the things that seem to be standing still are actually in motion (e.g. the Earth is rotating, at the quantum level sub-atomic particles/waves of energy are bouncing and dancing around). If you look at another person do you see who/what that person truly is or do you see them imprinted with your shadow which is a projection of you?
"By shadow I mean the "negative" side of the personality, the sum of all those unpleasant qualities we like to hide, together with the insufficiently developed functions and the contents of the personal unconscious." (- Jung)
This is what literally makes the world go 'round. Positive vs negative, love vs hate, known vs unknown, good vs evil, hot vs cold (etc.) and all other polar opposites which is how we describe one thing from our individual points of view.
"It has become abundantly clear to me that life can flow forward only along the path of the gradient. But there is no energy unless there is a tension of opposites; hence it is necessary to discover the opposite to the attitude of the conscious mind. It is interesting to see how this compensation by opposites also plays its part in the historical theories of neurosis: Freud's theory espoused Eros, Adler's the will to power. Logically, the opposite of love is hate, and of Eros, Phobos (fear); but psychologically it is the will to power. Where love reigns, there is no will to power; and where the will to power is paramount, love is lacking. The one is but the shadow of the other: the man who adopts the standpoint of Eros finds his compensatory opposite in the will to power, and that of the man who puts the accent on power is Eros.
Seen from the one-sided point of view of the conscious attitude, the shadow is an inferior component of the personality and is consequently repressed through intensive resistance. But the repressed content must be made conscious so as to produce a tension of opposites, without which no forward movement is possible. The conscious mind is on top, the shadow underneath, and just as high always longs for low and hot for cold, so all consciousness, perhaps without being aware of it, seeks its unconscious opposite, lacking which it is doomed to stagnation, congestion, and ossification. Life is born only of the spark of opposites." (-Jung)
-- The Empire Never Ended!!!
The Empire was necessary and inevitable. We homo sapiens as social beings, in order to learn how to become more "civilized" require structure, rules and a sense of community. As the Empire grew it's leaders learned more and more how to manipulate objects, how the laws of motion work and how to obtain desired results in manipulating the objects speed and direction (or "focus"). This includes how to manipulate the average citizen of the Empire. How is this accomplished? It is done with the use of...
- Civil Laws and Traditional Customs
- Fear of Punishment
- Propaganda (news created and maintained by the leaders/powers that be)
- Create An Imaginary Threat or Enemy That only The Empire Can Save Us From.
- Rewards for Obedience
- Encouraging Consistency in Behavior and Discouraging Individuality.
- Violence or Brute Force
- Religion, Organized and Sometimes State Sponsored
- Distraction of Focus (pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!)
- Feed and Exploit Excessive Desires held by the Empire's subjects (e.g. wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony etc.)
The Empire is neither good nor evil but it is imperfect, irrational and temporary. It's an invisible prison for our minds. Some of us choose to pledge our allegiance to it while suppressing our individuality and our souls suffer for it. Some of us overcome the Empire by learning how to manipulate it thus becoming a part of the Empire (they become our secular and religious leaders). And then there are the few who choose to outwardly live in the Empire but inwardly they seek a higher level of being and consciousness. This minority are the ones who create real lasting change in our material world by winning the war of hearts and minds.
All of our lives unfold just like the myth or a great story. Like all myths "the story of us" is an evolving one and we all have a "role" to play. There is "magic" that is to say that there is something "supernatural" hidden beneath the surface that is waiting to emerge from within the minds of the producers, writers, actors and observers of our lives (you and me).
In my opinion the key(s) to either perfecting "The Empire" or completely overcoming it while choosing a better alternative begins with finding "the helper", the teacher or "The Logos" that's within each intuitive, sensing, thinking and feeling individual. If the Empire controls us from without then it seems logical to me that the Empire's opposite can be found from "within".