A collection of insights into the esoteric meanings of ancient Egyptian religious and spiritual practices.
This extraordinary book, the product of extensive research by author and Rosicrucian lecturer de Motte (The Grail Quest, 2003), is ideal for readers who want to go beyond ancient Egypt’s pyramids, artifacts and mummies. Here, in highly readable form, the author presents the broad outlines of the ancient Egyptian spiritual belief system—from the founding cosmology of a watery, amorphous pre-creation mass to the rise of Ra, Osiris, Isis, Horus and Seth, and on to the highly developed use of symbols as keys to mystic truths, comprehended only by a chosen few. Why do ancient Egyptian renderings of human figures have bird heads? The book gives the answer: They depict, among other things, the soul in flight, freed from an earthly cage and able to access other realms of reality. The book also explains how the scarab, an insect that stores balls of dung to feed its offspring, is intimately linked to the mighty sun god Ra, who must successfully pass through the underworld each night. One of the book’s main themes is the notion that, in every age, there’s a body of secret knowledge about life, death and the afterlife known only to initiates and never preached or recorded. That knowledge is passed on exclusively by word of mouth over the millennia, lest it fall into the hands of those who would abuse it. In the Egyptian model, the priestly class served this function in so-called “mystery schools” with elaborate pageantry. Although de Motte’s prose is highly readable, some readers may find this a difficult book to absorb. The author presents a very large amount of information here, and readers not well-acquainted with his topic may find it necessary to re-read it to keep from getting lost. Only bona fide Egyptologists can render scholarly judgment on de Motte’s dazzling pages, but neophytes will appreciate the author’s liberal citation of experts, even when he doesn’t agree with them.
An impressive work that brings light to a mysterious ancient culture.