Chapter Three: The Pharaoh’s Journey to the Afterlife
…The adventures of Alexander and his search for the Immortal Ancestors clearly comprised elements which simulated their experiences: caverns, angels, subterranean fires, fiery horses and Chariots of Fire. But it is equally clear that in the centuries preceding the Christian era, it was believed (by Alexander or by his historians or by both) that if one wished to attain Immortality, one had to emulate the Egyptian Pharaohs.
…Egyptian traditions held that in times immemorial "Gods of Heaven" came to Earth from the Celestial Disk (represented by a winged globe). When Egypt was inundated by waters, "a very great god who came forth (to Earth) in the earliest times" arrived in Egypt and literally raised it from under the waters and mud, by damming the waters of the Nile and undertaking extensive dyking and land reclamation works (it was therefore that Egypt was nicknamed "The Raised Land"). This olden god was named PTAH – "The Developer". He was considered to have been a great scientist, a master engineer and architect, the chief Craftsman of the gods, who even had a hand in creating and shaping Man. His staff was frequently depicted as a graduated stick – very much like the graduated rod which surveyors employ for field measuring nowadays.
…The Egyptians believed that Ptah eventually retired south, where he could continue to control the waters of the Nile with sluices he had installed in a secret cavern, located at the first cataract of the Nile (the site of today’s Aswan Dam). But before leaving Egypt, he built its first hallowed city and named it AN, in honor of the God of the Heavens (the biblical On, whom the Greeks called Heliopolis). There he installed as Egypt’s first Divine ruler his own son RA (so named in honor of the Celestial Globe).
…Ra, a great "God of Heaven and Earth," caused a special shrine to be built at An; it housed the Ben-Ben – a "secret object" in which Ra had purportedly come down to Earth from the heavens.
…In time Ra divided the kingdom between the gods OSIRIS and SETH. But the sharing of the kingdom between the two divine brothers "did not work."
…The place of Osiris on the throne of Egypt was taken over by his son HORUS.
…Growing up, Horus challenged Seth for the throne. The struggle ranged far and wide, the gods pursuing each other in the skies. Horus attacked Seth from a Nar, a term which in the ancient Near East meant "Fiery Pillar"… Depictions from pre-dynastic showed this celestial chariot as a long, cylindrical object with a funnel-like tail and a bulkhead from which rays are spewed out, a kind of a celestial submarine. In front the Nar had two headlights or "eyes," which according to the Egyptian tales changed color from blue to red.
The battle ends with Seth losing his testicles, and Horus losing an eye.
…The great gods called a truce and met in council. After some wavering and indecision, the Lord of Earth ruled in favor of giving the throne of Egypt to Horus, declaring him the legitimate heir in the Ra-Osiris line of succession. Thereafter, Horus was usually depicted with the attributes of a falcon, while Seth was shown as an Asiatic deity, symbolized by the ass, the burden animal of the nomads.
Kingship was established then in the Two Lands (Upper and Lower Egypt) for its perpetual divine connection;
…For every Pharaoh was deemed a successor of Horus and the occupier of the throne of Osiris.
After a period of chaos and decline:
…Finally, circa 3200 B.C., a "dynastic race" arrived in Egypt and a man named Menes ascended the throne of a reunited Egypt. It was then that the gods granted Egypt civilization and what we now call Religion. The kingship that was begun by Menes continued through twenty-six dynasties of Pharaohs until the Persian domination in 525 B.C., and then through Greek and Roman times (when the famed Cleopatra reigned).
Mr. Sitchin explains the circle of gods and god-like Pharaohs that Alexander longed to join. Among them AMEN, "The Hidden One" the very god Ammon whom Alexander had searched out as his true divine father. As supreme deity he was worshipped as Amen-Ra, "The Hidden Ra"; and it is not clear whether he was the very same Ra but now somehow unseen or "hidden," or another deity.
…The belief was that Ra and the other immortal gods managed to live forever because he kept rejuvenating itself. Accordingly, the Pharaohs bore names meaning, for example, "He Who Repeats Births" and "Repeater of Births." The gods rejuvenated themselves by partaking of divine food and beverage at their abode.
…The ancient incantations appealed to the gods to share with the deceased king their divine food… And more specifically, as in a text for the pyramid of King Pepi:
Give thou sustenance to this King Pepi
From thy eternal sustenance;
Thy everlasting beverage.
…The departed Pharaoh hoped to draw his everlasting sustenance in the celestial realm of Ra, on the "Imperishable Star," there grew the "Plant of Life."
…As supreme ruler of the Two Lands of Egypt, he enjoyed the best possible life on Earth; and the resurrection among the gods was an even more attractive prospect. Besides, it was only his earthly body that was to be embalmed and entombed. For the Egyptians believed that every person possessed a Ba akin to what we call "soul," which rose heavenward like a bird after death; and a Ka – variable translated Double, Ancestral Spirit, Essence, Personality – through which from the Pharaoh was translated into his Afterlife. Samuel Mercer, in his introduction to the Pyramid Texts, concluded that the Ka stood for mortal’s personification of a god. In other words, the concept implied the existence in Man of a divine element, a celestial or godly Double who could resume life in the Afterlife.
Mr. Sitchin then explains the long and challenging road the departed king had to traverse, and the elaborated ceremonial preparations.
…The thousands of verses that make up the Pyramid Texts seem just to be a collection of repetitious, unconnected incantations, appeals to the gods or exaltations of the king. To make some sense of the material, scholars have developed theories about shifting theologies in ancient Egypt, a conflict and then a merger between a Solar Religion and a sky religion, a priesthood of Ra and one of Osiris, and so on, pointing out that we deal with material that has been accumulated over millennia.
…The scholars who view the mass of verses as expression, of primitive mythologies, figments of the imaginations of people who covered in fear as the wind howled and the thunder roared and called these phenomena "gods" – the verses remain as puzzling and confusing as ever. But these verses all scholars agree, were extracted by the ancient scribes from older and apparently well-organized, cohesive and comprehensible scriptures.
…The scholarly theories, however, leave unexplained the magical aspects of the information offered by these texts.
Bafflingly, an Eye of Horus is an object existing independently of him – an object into whose insides the king can enter, and which can change hues to blue and red as it is "powered." There exist self-propelled ferries, doors that open by themselves, unseen gods whose faces radiate a glow. In the Underworld, supposedly inhabited by spirits only "bridge girders" and "copper cables" are featured. And the most baffling aspect of all: Why, if the Pharaoh’s transfiguration takes him to the Underworld, do the texts claim that "the king is on his way to Heaven?"
…Throughout, the verses indicate that the king is following the route of the gods, that he is crossing a lake the way a god had crossed it before, that he uses a barque that the god Ra had used, that he ascends "equipped as a god" as Osiris was, and so on and on. And the question arises: what if these texts were not primitive fantasies – mythology – but accounts of a simulated journey, wherein the deceased Pharaoh emulated what the gods had actually done? What if the texts, substituting the name of the king for that of a god, were copies of some much earlier scriptures that dealt not with the journeys of the Pharaohs, but with the journeys of the gods?
…One of the leading early Egyptologists, Gaston Maspero (L’Archeology Egyptienne and other works), judging by grammatical form and other evidence, suggested that the Pyramid Texts originated at the very beginning of Egyptian Civilization, perhaps even before they were written down hieroglyphically. J.H. Breasted has more recently concluded (Development of Religion and Thought in ancient Egypt) that "such older material existed, whether we possess it or not."
…He found in the texts information of civilization and events which enhances the veracity of the texts as conveyors of factual information and not of fantasy.
…Taken together, the texts and later illustrations describe a journey to a realm that begins above ground, that leads underground and that ends with an opening to the skies through which the gods – and the kings emulating them – were launched heavenward. Thus the hieroglyphic connotation combining a subterranean place with a celestial function.
…What, then, if the texts reflect a world which had indeed existed – what if the Pharaoh’s Journey to Immortality, even if only by emulation, indeed followed step by step actual journeys undertaken in prehistoric times?
…Let us follow in these footsteps, let us take the Route of the Gods.
Details from the tomb of Ptah.
Sculpture at Temple of Ptah “The Developer.”
Sesostris and Ptah, “Chief Craftsman of the gods.”
The Dead before Osiris “The Supreme Judge.”
Horus and Isis, his mother, top. Horus identified as a “Falcon” from the time he won the Kingdom from Seth, right
Horus, as a Falcon.
Later day Nubian Village in Upper Egypt.
Lower Egypt, where Cairo stands today, seen from Space.
Details from a temple at Memphis, where the Dynasties of Pharaohs began with Menes.
The ancient Memphis, where the First and Second Pyramids are still located. Painting by Luigi Mayer.
Alexander had searched “Amen” the very god “Ammon” “The Hidden One,” as his true divine father. Statue of Amenhotep, of the line of Pharaohs who worshipped “The Hidden One.”
King Pepi I ascends “The Stairway to Heaven,” emulating the gods.