Anyone who has been following events in Egypt – the riots and demonstrations, fanaticism on the rise, chaos wherever you look – might easily forget that Egypt was once a beacon of high culture and civilisation. Once, it was heir to the lost civilisation of Atlantis, a land where priest and Pharaoh both were guided by true occult wisdom. Let us look back many thousands of years to Egypt’s heyday, and learn about a way of life that was defined by spirituality, not money.
Men are mortal gods and gods are immortal men. Happy the man who understands these words, for he holds the key to all things.The Mystery of Osiris
It is a promise kept. It is the father who supports you life-long, the mother who feeds you. It is as the breath of God, breathing life into emptiness. If you ever wish to see the allegory of life with your own eyes, then head for the banks of the Nile, that most mystical of all rivers, that incomparable stream, more than 4,000 miles in length, rising in deepest Africa and flowing to the Mediterranean, becoming ever mightier, its waters expanding though fed by not a single tributary. If you ever wish to experience how water gives birth to water, then sail the Nile, where you will also find peace, and the tranquillity that your soul longs for, and the beauty of the simple life: children playing on the banks, the green fields full of people tilling, a smattering of cattle or water buffaloes, and little mud-brick houses set beneath palm trees. Palms all along the riverside, here and there the point of a minaret, stretching towards God, and on the near horizon the golden-yellow sand dunes of the Sahara. You see dark-skinned men in their long jellabiyas, and then, when you least expect it, behind the next gentle bend in this majestic river, the proud columns of an ancient temple.
How must life have been back then, when the land was in its prime? Certainly, the Egypt of today is the very image of decline. The narrow, dirty alleyways with their bawling donkey drivers and people squatting on the ground, peddling their wares. They are no more than the last transient shadow of something that at one distant time lived, and burned bright. They are as the ancient in his final hour, anticipating the consolation of resurrection.
Back then, thousands of years ago, this land was one of the most highly-developed on Earth – together with a handful of others in South America, and some parts of Greece. All were heirs of Atlantis; refuges for those who had fled in the wake of the Flood. The man we know from the Bible as “Noah” touched land where the Nile flows into the Mediterranean. He had brought with him a precious cargo, one that was necessary for humanity’s higher development. We are dealing, then, with an era at least twelve, if not fourteen thousand years in the past1 , al-though the kingdom on the Nile had in all probability surpassed its peak even before this point. A passage from “The Mahatma Letters” strongly hints at this: “That History catches but a few stray, hazy glimpses of Egypt, some 12,000 years back; when, having already reached the apex of its cycle thousands of years before, the latter had begun going down.” One of the rolls of papyrus written by the sage and historian known as Manetho claimed that wise men from Atlantis had ruled Egypt for 13,900 years. This papyrus placed the highpoint of Atlantean civilisation at the beginning of Egyptian history, roughly 16,000 years ago. Therefore, everything that we know of Egypt, everything that has been excavated, has been left to us from an epoch of decline.
The inhabitants of ancient Egypt did not just live in a different, distant epoch; they also lived in a wholly different cosmos of thought, perception, and feeling2 . They were not cut off from their neighbour by a biting, critical intellect, and clairvoyance was therefore much more common than it is with us. Their entire lives were punctuated by ceremony in a way that we can scarcely imagine today, a reality that is expressed in their complicated hieroglyphic script. It would be the worst medium imaginable for a modern newspaper, yet it gave perfect expression to esoteric wisdom and to homage paid to the gods, which often carried multiple layers of meaning.Ancient Egypt was a theocracy. The Pharaoh was God’s representative on Earth, not just in a formal sense, but also because he had passed through the highest rites of initiation. The Pharaoh was addressed as “Your Holiness”, a form of address which in the modern world is used exclusively for the Pope. This demonstrates the great extent to which the office of Pharaoh was also spiritual in nature. The hall in which the Pharaoh held his audiences was high-ceilinged; its walls and ceiling decorated in rich, soft tones with ships, animals, flowers, fruit, and heavenly creatures. The roof was supported by red columns, which at their base were carved in the form of tree roots; the column itself represented the trunk of a tree; branches and golden leaves spread across the ceiling. On entering, one received the impression of stepping into a forest of gold, the tree trunks covered in red bark. From the ceiling above, as well as from artfully constructed openings in the walls, beams of light penetrated the hall, bathing it in direct sunlight where needed, with the rest softly lit. This created an atmosphere that promoted clarity of thought, well-suited for the formulation of laws for the benefit of the people. At the room’s eastern end sat the Pharaoh, on an ornately carved throne atop three golden steps. In the course of his long life he had gathered a wealth of experience of the human condition, and his features reflected a strong, resolute character. In those times, the Pharaoh was always a man of severe self-discipline, who could be strict, even merciless, to his subjects if the situation called for it. His senses were finely honed and he was gifted with a deep sensitivity to human nature. Those whose destiny it was to one day rule as Pharaoh were required to undertake a spiritual education in the temple in their youth, where they came face to face with ancient wisdom.
Each ruling Pharaoh would themselves nominate their successor, and there is much to indicate that in Egypt’s earliest years, succession followed the female line. It is likely that a pharaonic pair ruled together, with the Pharaoh’s daughter entitled to inherit, and the man selected as her groom set to become Pharaoh in turn. If a pharaonic couple had no daughter of their own, the law as derived from Atlantis demanded that a man whose wife was of the royal family be chosen as the future Pharaoh. In ancient Egypt, according to Helena Blavatsky’s “The Secret Doctrine”, there were common people and the co-called “royals”. The second group was derived in large part from sunken Atlantis, and in many cases not of earthly origin, having once come to Earth from planets such as Venus, Mercury, or Uranus, to lead fallen mankind back to the path of light. In those early times, many Egyptians still had fair or red hair, and blue or blue-green eyes. Composer and esoteric researcher Cyril Scott too spoke of “God-men: important adepts, great royal initiates, who lived on Earth and ruled over men” – who were so superior that men would later raise them to the status of gods, just as they were to do with Buddha and Jesus.
In choosing his successor, the Pharaoh did not simply rely on his ‘free will’, but meditated in order to divine the will of the sun god. In turn, the one upon whom the choice fell had a lengthy period of prayer and meditation ahead of him before he could undergo initiation in the star temple under the pyramid, after which he would be capable of exercising his high office.
Egypt saw itself as a bastion of light amidst spiritual darkness, and the many great temples that were built during the course of its long history served not to glorify some worldly power or other, but to provide sacred focal points for the energies of the gods – so that, through Egypt, they could establish light and order on Earth. The Pharaoh’s primary role was that of a high priest, whose task it was to magnetise this divine light on Earth in tightly stipulated temple ceremonies. The ancient Egyptians knew that a people could only enjoy prosperity and wellbeing if its system of government was grounded in spiritual law. If this prerequisite was not accepted, and put into practice, from the ruler down to society’s most insignificant member, then chaos and misfortune could be the only result. In order to do away with selfishness, it was considered necessary to first impress an ideal of brotherliness on the people, to bring them together in small groups, and teach them how each individual could tune in to the spiritual plane. Many spiritually advanced Egyptians were capable of entering higher planes and recalling memories of past lives; and they would do so from time to time, not out of curiosity or for entertainment, but to learn from other cultures and experiences.
Cyril Scott wrote that “the Egyptian religion in its pure and original form was just as spiritually elevated and philosophical as the Vedic religion, and its fundamental premise is unity with God, that man came from God and will one day return to Him. Accordingly, the Egyptian believed in the immortality of the soul and consequently that those ‘great beings’ whom he or his ancestors had loved and honoured lived on, although they had entered the higher planes3 .” As opposed to the ancient Indians, who were mystics seeking to experience spiritual bliss, the ancient Egyptian was more of a scientist or mage, who sought to acquire occult wisdom by means of his initiation rituals. The conception of the gods in Egypt was, therefore, not simply the result of deep-rooted, ignorant superstition, but a logical conclusion drawn from the knowledge acquired during initiation. Although by no means everyone was permitted to undergo initiation. “Just as you could say of the broad masses today that they do not know the truth regarding their teacher, so too were the common people of Egypt in a state of ignorance in regard to their gods,” wrote Scott. John Gardner Wilkinson postulated: “Many members of the sacerdotal order were not admitted to a participation of them […] the Egyptians neither entrusted their mysteries to every one, nor degraded the secrets of divine matters by disclosing them to the profane, reserving them for the heir apparent of the throne, and for such of the priests as excelled in virtue and wisdom4 .”
For an Egyptian, there were both the many gods to whom he owed tribute – similar to Catholic patron saints – and the fundamental teaching that there was just one God, whom he symbolically divided into his various attributes, in some cases naming and depicting them – ‘divine goodness’, ‘wisdom’, ‘power’, etc. So these figures were not seen as actual ‘divine beings’ – they were no more than symbolic representations of the various aspects of the one God.
For Egyptians during the very earliest phase of their high civilisation, reincarnation was a cultural commonplace that played a significant role in society. As already mentioned, at this point in time, highly-developed people were capable of consciously revisiting their previous lives on this planet. They worshipped the sun god as the source of all life – as did the other refugee Atlantean peoples in Central and South America. Beauty, harmony, and laughter were ever-present in their glittering lives, for they believed that Ra had bestowed a rich land upon them for their enjoyment. Festive processions of richly-decorated state barges would often proceed up and down the Nile, whose waters were also used as a power source during the construction of temples and public buildings. In the early period they had mastery of levitation, and a similar, magical power had already been used to build the pyramids, and power airships in Atlantis and on the continent of Lemuria5 (also known as Mu, but lost to the Pacific waves). With the help of this cosmic power, the masons and labourers were able to heave the pyramids’ gigantic blocks into place, where that same power would join them together practically seamlessly. During construction, everyone lived and worked in absolute obedience to an impersonal higher will, and under the guidance of a divine intelligence.
Egyptian society was strongly focused on community. Egyptian priests married, had families, and lived in spacious houses. Religion, education, child-raising, government, agriculture, poetry, music, architecture, sculpture, art, and science too – all were based on values derived from spiritual experience. Namely, the knowledge of a primary life source – the sun – that manifested its duality through the male (Ra) and female (in several aspects, one of which was called Isis) principles.
The high priests knew that people are only open to knowledge, truth, love, wisdom, and power when Ra’s light and life force flows constantly into their heart, their innermost sanctuary. For that to happen, mankind had to consciously open their heart to the sun god, by praying to him at the start of each day and asking him to make his will clear, so that his work could bear fruit.
The high priests wore white linen clothing, and a crown of soft white feathers on a gold band decorated with seven jewels. There was a stone altar in the main hall of the temple, where seven small oil lamps burned atop a stand much like a seven-armed candle tree. Above and behind the altar shone a winged gold disc – the symbol of the sun god Ra. The temples were surrounded with gardens of blossoming trees and bushes, ripening vines and flowers. They produced a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere, which helped visitors to achieve emotional and mental relaxation. Many trainees at the temples possessed second sight and could perceive the gardens in their etheric form: fairies at work in the flower beds, gnomes walking the neatly-kept paths, and elves hovering about the flowers. Inside the temple were halls of learning and of law. There, aspirants were taught the holy law of life – and how it was to be applied in the many different areas of material and spiritual existence.
Before someone was appointed to a specific office, a special ceremony was conducted. The chosen pair (not just the man!) was to prepare itself by fasting and meditating. On the day of nomination, the two entered the hall of initiation and the heavy doors closed behind them. At the eastern end of the hall, seven steps led to the Pharaoh’s throne, which was surrounded by priests and advisors. The ceremony was considered an initiation of the second grade. Its purpose was to make the candidates receptive to guidance by helpers from the unseen world. Unworldliness, however, was not desired. Rather, the candidates had to be well-versed in the technicalities of Egyptian law and have a thorough understanding of the principles that formed the basis of Egyptian education: culture, art, and agriculture, as well as home and religious life. The court counted scholars among its number, who also dealt with law, as well as a council of elders.
In silence, the officiants assembled around the throne. The Pharaoh rose, raised both arms towards heaven and called on Ra, the giver of life, that he might help the souls of these two mortals, who were now to be dedicated to the service of the Egyptian people. As a sign of humility and devotion towards the king of kings, they kneeled before the Pharaoh. In the silence that followed, the presence of unseen beings could be felt – from elementary spirits to the highest in the hierarchy of angels. They had come to lend their human brothers support. Although the ceremony was simple and few words were spoken, it expanded the consciousness of the two candidates and granted them a deeper insight into the needs of mankind, because they had opened their souls to the light and power that flowed down to them from the sun god Ra. Finally, the Pharaoh descended from his superior position, took their hands, and bade them rise. He held a scarab amulet bearing two jewels, hung on a fine gold chain; the reverse of the amulet was inscribed with a hieroglyph meaning “I serve with love.” The scarab had a wider meaning: it symbolised the creator trapped in the material world. Later, the pair was presented to the people, to be greeted with music and cheers of jubilation.
We hear from certain sources that during this early period of Egyptian civilisation, attempts were made to unite the people in one brotherhood, as had once been the case in Atlantis. They were to be led by a fraternity of enlightened souls. Anyone wishing to join had to be prepared to perform both personal and impersonal service in the community. Purity of intention was of the greatest importance; the aspirant should also have a genuine desire to overcome their own egoism, for this is the greatest barrier to spiritual perfection. The Egyptians learned that the light of the sun god can only be transmitted when the lower self – the egoism that inhabits the heart – is overcome. Each initiated brother and sister learned that the soul possesses certain qualities, which in combination with the same qualities in other brothers can serve to shine a light into the world that awakens the best in mankind. Both men and women could apply. The candidate had to prove themselves a true aspirant of the highest light through self-discipline and service to the poor and sick.
So it was that a small white-magic lodge came to be. The group’s spiritual power took the form of a six-pointed star, whose light could be projected to any given person as the need arose. Through meditation and thought projection, the members generated the image of a six-pointed star and sent its light into the darkest corners of Egypt, comforting the needy, and to illuminate their way ahead and inspire loving, just and creative thoughts.
This was just the start for a formidable body whose influence was intended to give the people better and happier living and working conditions, and more besides. Similar groups were founded in two further countries. Thanks to their unceasing efforts, the lot of the poor was improved and the lives of the well-to-do transformed by the transmission of knowledge, not to mention the spread of understanding, friendship, and tolerance. With time, the effects began to be felt throughout the social structure, in people’s political, cultural, and religious lives. It would be fair to say that at this point, the Egyptian people achieved a level of happiness and contentment that had not been seen since the days when the sages had come from the motherland of the West – Atlantis.
Many people, then, flocked to these first lodges under the leadership of the Great White Brotherhood during Egypt’s early days. They had recognised how important their own spiritual wellbeing was (unlike today, with the majority of people now preferring a life of spiritual starvation in the midst of the greatest material affluence yet seen). The initiates included people from all classes: farmers, traders, builders, teachers, and soldiers. To all outward appearances they continued to pursue their normal professions as before, but now their work was spiritually motivated. Scholars, musicians, dancers, public servants, priests, and even altar boys applied; and after a period of testing and training, many of them proved suited to the task. Together, they also went on to build temples for the Great White Brotherhood.