Genesis creation story as informed by Ancient Egypt

05 Feb, 2017 - 00:02 0 Views

The Sunday Mail

#ChiselingtheDebris Shingai Rukwata Ndoro  —
We are still tracking what informed and shaped the thinking of those who compiled the Hebrew Scriptures (“Old Testament” to Christians). So far we have looked into India and Sumer texts.

We are still in ancient Egypt where hierophants (those who were initiated to be members of the priestly class who interpreted mysteries and esoteric principles) learnt that there are four orders of creation:

First Order of Nature consisted of eight divinities that is “neter” (NTR) and its feminine form “netert/netri” or cosmic energies of nature (Neter-Netri).

These are Nun (Space, the inert, dark, chaotic primordial deep, vast and limitless waters representing an infinite sea of possibilities or potentiality) and Atum/Amun/Amen (Infinity, the self-creating genetic possibility); Shu (Space filled with Air) and Tefnut (Order/Moist); Nut (Sky) and Geb (Earth); and Asir/Osiris (Will/Masculine or Solar Principle) and Aset/Isis (Wisdom/Feminine or Lunar Principle). The eight divinities were four males and four females.

These eight divinities are mentioned in the 17th chapter of the “Book of the Dead.”

Second Order of Nature, the “Great Ennead” is the Great Council of the nine cosmic forces of nature or divinities of ancient Egypt that created the universe and the human being: Atum-Re, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Asir, Aset, Seth/Typhon (Ego/Obstinacy/Insolence and Pride/Destruction/Decay/Principle of Contraction) and Nephthys (Matter).

The term “Ennead” is a Greek term for nine, whose ancient Egyptian equivalence was the “Great Pesedjet.”

The centre of their reverence was Heliopolis (ancient Egyptian, “A-Nu,” a place of pillars). Re/Ra (the primordial light-spark or life-giving light for consciousness) of Atum/Amun/Amen.

In the physical body, Asir is the brain; Aset the major endocrine glands; Ra the pineal gland; and Heru the eye of wisdom or insight.

The various names of forces of nature in ancient Egyptian mythology were expressions of qualities, attributes and functions of a single but dualistic Essence. This is also related to the perceived idolatry or polytheism in Hinduism and the 72 names of the Divine in Judaism, which are themselves expressions of the qualities, attributes and functions of a single but dualistic Essence.

If the ‘Great Ennead,’ all these forces of nature, are considered energies that created and still create. The ‘Divine’ is the sum of all the energies in the cosmos, which can be classified as physical, mental and intuitive, the real trinity.

The sum of the energies gets manifested invisibly and visibly in the form of matter or density. It is these sum of energies that makes ancient Egypt and Hinduism be perceived by those of the Abrahamic faiths to be polytheistic.

Third Order of Nature was considered as composed of twelve divinities or forces and this is equivalent to the year. “The Egyptians were the first who fixed the number of their (divinities) as well as that of the months of the year at twelve”.

This identifies them with the Zodiacal Signs. The word “zodiac” consists of the Greek root, “zoe” (#G2222) meaning “life,” and “dia” (#G1223) meaning “through or on account of.” Combined, “zodiac” means through “through life” or “path through life.”

The seasonal changes of the year corresponded with the physical stages of nature and humanity – Winter (North) > Spring (East) > Summer (South) > Autumn (West) as being equivalent to Conception and Birth > Infancy and Growth > Adolescence and Maturity/Prime > Old Age and Death, respectively.

The zodiac was a cryptic language expressing the inner nature and constitution of humanity. The sun “travels” around the sky and completes the circle of 360 degrees in “twelve 30 degrees divisions of celestial longitude, which are centred upon the ecliptic.” The “degrees,” “divisions” and “circle” are the days and months (moons) and year, respectively.

Fourth Order of Nature consisted of seven divinities or natural forces and this is equivalent to the number of days in a week and the sevenfold nature of the human being.

The day (“the period of time necessary for the earth’s revolution on its axis”) was measured by the movement of the sun (sunrise, midday and sunset), the seven days in a week were to do with the seven stages of human development corresponding to the seven planetary bodies, the twelve months (‘moon-ths’) (“the changes in the relative positions of the moon and the earth”) were measured and based on the successive phases of the moon while the year was the measurement of the passage of the sun through the zodiacal circle consisting of twelve equal portions or “the time occupied by the earth in its revolution around the sun.”

There “seven days of creation” are stages of development of the human body because “the venerable Scriptures are (NOT to be) envisaged as literal history of one ancient people, instead of typegraphs of the form and meaning of human life.”

There “seven days of creation” are stages of development of the human body. They correspond inversely to the single totality of a human being who is formed of the seven aspects:

1)         One physical, five beyond space (astral, breath, desire, intellect and awareness) and one infinite (essential, real or true self which is the higher self); or

2)         Animal or gross (physical, astral, breath and desire) and subtle (intellect, awareness and infinity).

The seven days are figurative of “all the different aspects of the universe in all its dimensions in relation to the human” — Gnosis: The Science of Mysticism.


  1. James P. Allen and Peter Der Manuelian, “The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts (Writings from the Ancient World)” (2015)
  2. “The Pyramid Texts,” translation by Samuel A. B. Mercer (1952)
  3. “The Pyramid Texts” online
  4. “The Egyptian Coffin Texts,” edited by Adrian De Buck and Alan Gardiner
  5. E.A. Wallis Budge, “Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life” (1908)

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