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The Pyramid Texts: Guide to the Afterlife

The Pyramid Texts: Guide to the Afterlife



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The Pyramid Texts are the oldest religious writings in the world and make up the principal funerary literature of ancient Egypt. They comprise the texts which were inscribed on the sarcophogi and walls of the pyramids at Saqqara in the 5th and 6th Dynasties of the Old Kingdom (c. 2613-2181 BCE).

The texts were reserved for the soul of the deceased king by his scribes and priests and were a series of spells and incantations designed to free the soul of the king from the body and help it ascend toward the heavens. These texts are considered primary sources on the lives of the kings they were written for and have provided Egyptologists with information on the role the king played in the life of Egyptian civilization, specific accomplishments of a ruler, and even details on the individual's personality. The inscriptions also relate mythical allusions, the names of the gods, and instructions for the deceased regarding the after-life and the journey of the ka (the soul) from the body to eternal life among "the imperishable stars" where he would live with the gods.

Over two hundred gods and goddesses are mentioned in the Pyramid Texts from the most famous (such as Ra, Thoth, Osiris, and Isis) to lesser known deities. These allusions, as with all of the inscriptions, were intended to help the soul of the pharaoh in his transition from earthly life to the afterlife (known as the Field of Reeds) where he would live eternally.

The Field of Reeds was a mirror image of one's life on earth but without sickness, disappointment, or - of course - death. One would live eternally the life one enjoyed on earth but, first, one had to elude dark spirits which could lead one astray and pass through the judgment of Osiris and the Forty-Two Judges in the Hall of Truth.

The gods were clearly on the side of the king in his struggle to free himself from the former home of his body and find his way to eternal joy. They are invoked as his allies against the forces of darkness and chaos (evil spirits or demons) and as guides in the unfamiliar realm which followed life on earth.

The Utterances

These inscriptions do not relate the myths of Egypt in full but only allude to events in the mythology or iconic moments which would symbolize concepts such as harmony, restoration, stability, and order. Potent gods such as Thoth (god of wisdom and writing) or Horus (restorer of order) are invoked to help the king and the allusions to the myths (such as The Contentions Between Horus and Set in which order overcomes chaos) would remind his soul of the presence of the gods and their good will. The sun god Ra is mentioned repeatedly, assuring the soul of continued light, warmth, and comfort. The pyramid texts also provide the first written reference to the great god Osiris, king of the dead, and the concept of the judgement of the soul in the Hall of Truth and, in doing so, try to assure the king that he will pass through this judgment safely.

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The pyramid texts provide the first written reference to the great god Osiris, king of the dead.

The so-called "utterances" are inscriptions meant to be spoken out loud (hence their designation) and, by the way in which they are written, most likely chanted. According to the scholar Geraldine Pinch, "Many were composed in the first person and would have been highly drmatic when spoken or chanted aloud" (10).

In the utterance which details the deceased pharaoh's journey into the sky, for example, verbs like "flieth", "rusheth", "kissed" and "leapt" are written to be emphasized: "He that flieth, flieth! He flieth away from you, ye men. He is no longer in the earth. He is in the sky. He rusheth at the sky as a heron. He hath kissed the sky as a hawk. He hath leapt skyward as a grasshopper" (Nardo, 113). Each utterance corresponds to a chapter in a book; a book to be read aloud to the soul of the deceased. This `book', however, was no doubt originally an oral tradition which in time came to be written on the walls of tombs.

Creation & Use of the Texts

The priests of the Old Kingdom are credited with the creation of these works and inter-textual evidence strongly suggests that they did so in order to provide the king's soul with detailed knowledge of the after-life and how to arrive there safely. Some utterances, which call upon the gods to help and guide, also comfort the soul and assure it that this passage from the body is natural and not to be feared.

Other utterances seem to assure those living (and chanting the words) that the soul has arrived safely: "He hath gone up into the sky and hath found Ra, who standeth up when he draweth nigh unto him. He sitteth down beside him, for Ra suffereth him not to seat himself on the ground, knowing that he is greater than Ra. He hath taken his stand with Ra" (Nardo, 115). Geraldine Pinch notes:

The main purpose of assembling these texts and inscribing them inside pyramids was to help the body of the deceased king to escape the horror of putrefaction and his spirit to ascend to the celestial realm where he would take his place among the gods. Some of the texts were probably recited during the king's funeral or as part of the mortuary cult that continued after his death. Others may have been intended to be spoken by the deceased king as he entered the afterlife. (11)

The soul of the deceased could fly or run or walk or even row to the Field of Reeds in a ship as this passage indicates: "A ramp to the sky is built for him that he may go up to the sky thereon. He goeth up upon the smoke of the great exhalation. He flieth as a bird and he settleth as a beetle on an empty seat on the ship of Ra… He roweth in the sky in thy ship, O Ra! And he cometh to the land in thy ship, O Ra!"

The soul's flight, of course, could only take place after the deceased had passed through the judgement of Osiris in the Hall of Truth and had the heart weighed in the golden balances against the white feather of Truth (the feather of Ma'at, goddess of harmony and balance). While the Pyramid Texts are the first to mention the Judgement of Osiris, the concept would be fully developed in writing later in the Book of Coming Forth By Day, better known as The Egyptian Book of the Dead which drew on the Pyramid Texts.

The Journey of the Soul

The ship of Ra was closely associated with the sun and the texts indicate that the soul, having passed through the judgement, would travel with the ship of Ra through the dark underworld but, always, would rise toward the zenith of heaven with the morning and proceed on to the Field of Reeds where one would enjoy eternal life in a land very like that which the spirit knew on earth, ever in the benevolent presence of the great gods and goddesses like Osiris, Ra, Isis, and Ma'at.

This boat, known as the Ship of a Million Souls, was the sun barge which the justified dead would help Ra to defend from the serpent Apep (also known as Apophis) who tried to destroy it each night. This is only one version of the vision of the afterlife the texts present with another being the better known judgment in the Hall of Truth followed by a journey across the water rowed by the boatman Hraf-haf ("He Who Looks Behind Him") who brought the justified souls to the Field of Reeds.

The Egyptians believed that their earthly journey was only a part of an eternal life lived in the presence of the gods. The gods imbued their daily lives with meaning and the promise that death was not the end. All of Egypt was alive with the presence of these gods and the people held the land so dearly that they disliked extensive travel or military campaigns which would take them beyond its borders because of their belief that, should they die outside Egypt, they would have a harder time reaching the Field of Reeds - or may never reach it at all.

Even for those who died within the country's borders, however, it was recognized that the transition to the afterlife would be a frightening change from what one was used to. The Pyramid Texts served as assurances that, in the end, all would be well because the gods were there in death as they had been in life, and would guide the soul safely to its eternal home.


Pyramid Texts

The Pyramid Texts are a collection of funerary inscriptions written on the walls of nine Fifth and Sixth Dynasty pyramids (generally dated to around 2350 B.C.E).

The earliest known version of the texts is from the pyramid of Unas, but it is generally thought that the texts were already very old at that time. It is often suggested that they were composed around 3000-3100 B.C.E, making them the oldest sacred texts in the world. For example, Utterances 273-4 (also known as the Cannibal Hymn) refer to a funerary cult that predates the pyramids (thought to have been constructed around 2500-2560 B.C.E).

There are around 760 spells but none of the pyramids contain a full set of spells and some are duplicates. The most complete set can be found in the pyramid of Pepi II whose collection contains 675 “utterances”. The spells are known as utterances because each section begins with the phrase “words to be spoken” (except the text in Unas pyramid in which the phrase only appears at the beginning of the text). The language is fairly archaic and includes redundant terminology.

The texts also include the earliest example of retrograde writing (where the figures of animals and people face the wrong way – i.e. they do not indicate the direction of the text as they normally do). Also many of the figures of animals and people have been left incomplete, to limit their power and prevent them from harming the deceased pharaoh.

It is not clear whether they were intended to be read in a specific order and there seems to be no relationship between the content of each utterance and its position in relation to the cardinal points of the compass.

The texts describe the afterlife, and the resurrection of the pharaoh. In some texts, the pharaoh travels on the sun barque with Ra, while in others the king flies to heaven in the form of a falcon or a goose or climbs up a ladder to reach the sky.

Whatever their differences, all texts agree that the deceased king lives again in the sky with the sun-god Ra and the imperishable stars of the night sky. The aim of the text is to help the king in this journey by invoking the assistance of a number of deities. This assistance is necessary partly because of the large number of evil forces who inhabit the afterworld.

The texts also include the first reference to the “opening of the mouth” ceremony which was a central part of the mummification ritual throughout Egyptian history.

The texts assert the prime position of Ra, but also form the first reference to the god Osiris as the ruler of the underworld. They describe how Osiris is murdered by Set and resurrected by Isis, Nephthys, and Horus. The texts also reference to the continuous battle between Horus and Set.

Three fairly distinct theologies are merged together in the texts the stellar theology led by Horus the Elder in which the pharaoh becomes a star in the heavens the stellar/ lunar theology in which the pharaoh as Osiris travels through underworld and the solar theology in which the pharaoh becomes one with the sun god, Ra.

The first two theologies were easily synchronized when Horus the Elder was to some degree absorbed by Horus son of Isis. However, the slightly uneasy alliance between the solar theology of Ra and the stellar theology of Horus / Osiris is still very apparent.

It is thought that the scribes of Heliopolis were the first to compose texts describing their philosophy but that even before the construction of the pyramids the Osirian myths had been introduced into their theology (the Ennead). By the time the texts were inscribed within the pyramids, this merger had been underway for a considerable period of time, yet there is little evidence of the underworld as it normally appears in the Osirian myths. The bulk of the texts favour the solar religion.

The pyramid texts also contain references to the theology of Memphis (Sekhmet, Ptah, and Nefertum) and Hermopolis (Nun and Naunet, Heh and Hauhet, Kuk and Kuaket, Amun and Amaunet, Thoth and Anubis). The texts later evolved into the “Coffin Texts” and the “Book of the Dead”.


The Pyramid Texts: Guide to the Afterlife - History

on precreation in the Pyramid Texts
everlasting Abyss and eternal Pleroma

1 The earliest literary source : the Wenis Texts.
2 The Book of Nun.
3 Approaching Nun.
4 Everlasting Abyss and eternal Pleroma.

Abstract

In Ancient Egyptian thought, there is something before creation. This state-of-no-state is approached using two fundamental concepts : the limitless waters (Nun) and the autogenous potential of precreation (Atum). Both form a dual-union and express opposite ideas : Nun is lifeless, inert, dark and everlasting, Atum is life, differentiation, light and eternal recurrence (eternity-in-everlastingness). These notions are as old as the Pyramid Texts (ca. 2348 to 2205 BCE) and probably older.

In this paper, all Pyramid Text utterances containing the word "Nun" have been translated. In the Old Kingdom, Nun is also the "place" where creation started, namely when Atum self-creates and initiates the "first occurrence" (zep tepi). Because of the pre-rational mode of cognition at work in these texts, the distinction between Nun and this first time is not clearly made yet. Arguments are presented to interprete precreation in terms of Nun, the Abyss, hand in hand with Atum, the Pleroma of the deities.

The Pyramid Texts of Ancient Egypt are the oldest extensive body of written material in the world. They are incised on limestone in thousands of lines of hieroglyphics, containing fragments of myths and legends, historical references and astronomical lore, geography and cosmology, religion and rituals, systems of theology, festivals, magic and morals. This was done with literary skills capable of expressing subtle religious and refined ethical thoughts, albeit in an ante-rational mode of cognition.

Technically, this royal funerary corpus consists of a series of "utterances" or "spells", so called because the expression "Dd mdw" ("Dd" = "words" "mdw" = "speech"), "to say" or "words to be said", i.e. "to be recited" is, as a rule, at the head of most. Nearly three centuries after the Old Kingdom began (ca. 2670 BCE), these important ritual sayings were recorded and entombed for the first time by Pharaoh Wenis (ca. 2378 - 2348 BCE) of the Vth Dynasty and Pharaohs Teti, Pepi I, Merenre & Pepi II (ca. 2270 - 2205 BCE) of the VIth Dynasty. These pyramids were erected and inscribed between the years about 2348 to 2205 BCE.

Additional texts, parallel and complementary, have been found in the pyramids of Oudjebten, Neit, and Apouit, queens of Pepi II, Pharaoh Aba of the VIIth Dynasty, of whom little historically is known, and Sen-Wosret-Ankh, an official of the XIIth Dynasty. The abbreviations of the pyramids in which texts so far have been found are : W. = Wenis, T. = Teti, P. = Pepi I, M. = Merenre, N. = Pepi II (Neferkare), Nt. = Neit, Ip. = Apouit, Wd. = Oudjebten, Ib. = Aba and Sen. = Sen-Wosret-Ankh.

This "eternalized" body of texts includes drama, hymns, litanies, glorifications, magical texts, offering rituals, prayers, charms, divine offerings, the ascension of Pharaoh, the arrival of Pharaoh in heaven, Pharaoh settled in heaven, and miscellaneous texts. It is the oldest body of theology in the world, and precedes the textualization of the Vedas.

". from internal references in the Vedic literature we can now state with some certainty that the Rig-Veda was not composed, as maintained by many scholars under the spell of the Aryan invasion model, around 1200 BC, but at least more than eight centuries earlier. The hymn composers knew of an environment that simply ceased to exist around 1900 BC. What more concrete evidence could anyone wish for ?" - Feuerstein, Kak & Frawley , 1995, p.105.

Auguste Mariette (1821 - 1881) was the modern discoverer of the inscribed pyramids at Saqqara. However, in 1880, Gaston Maspero (1846 - 1916), working under Mariette's direction, discovered the first set of Pyramid Texts. They were those inscribed on the walls of the sarcophagus chamber of the pyramid of Pepi I. Following that, he found texts in the pyramids of Wenis, as well as in the pyramids of Teti, Merenre, and Pepi II. Pharaoh Teti's pyramid followed the prototype established by Pharaoh Wenis. Its dimensions are practically identical with those of the pyramids of Pepi I, Merenre & Pepi II.

This search for texts in pyramids did not find a continuation until the years 1920 and 1936, when Gustave Jéquier (1868 - 1946), besides clearing the pyramid of Pepi II (Neferkare), discovered additional texts, parallel and complementary. All these and other additional texts may be drawn upon (cf. Allen , 1950).

When Pharaoh Wenis decided to adorn his tomb with sacred hieroglyphs, in order to assure for himself -through the magic of his great speech - his ultimate realization in the afterlife, Osirian faith was already very popular and its incorporation in the royal funerary rituals had already begun. The name "Osiris" was inserted before Pharaoh's name wherever it stood at the head of a spell. It was omitted in all cases when it occurs in the text (except in Utterances 25 & 38). Breasted (1912) concluded the editor must have been "Osirian", working hastily and mechanically .

"While there is some effort here to correlate the functions of Re and Osiris, it can hardly be called an attempt at harmonization of conflicting doctrines. This is practically unknown in the Pyramid Texts. (. ) But the fact that both Re and Osiris appear as supreme king of the hereafter cannot be reconciled, and such mutually irreconcilable beliefs caused the Egyptian no more discomfort than was felt by any early civilization in the maintenance of a group of religious teachings side by side with others involving varying and totally inconsistent suppositions. Even Christianity itself has not escaped this experience." - Breasted , 1972, pp.163-164.

Although historical traces of Osirian faith predating the Pyramid Texts are sparse, popular Osirian beliefs had, during the previous Dynasties, already slowly infiltrated the Solar state religion. Had predynastic religion identified Osiris with the fertile waters of the inundation, with soil and vegetation (cf. Orion and the Dog-Star in the South, the direction of the inundation) ? The ever-waning and ever-reviving life of Egypt's soil through the Nile was entrenched by the story of the murder & resurrection of Osiris and the triumph of his son Horus over Seth, the evil uncle. As a result, and despite its popular origin, Osirian faith entered into the most intimate relationship with the ideology of divine kingship, causing a fundamental tension to be resolved later, when Osiris, as god of the dead and king of the netherworld, was increasingly seen as the nocturnal aspect of Re (cf. the New Kingdom Solar theology and Netherworld literature ).

So, although the religion of the state was a Solar faith focused on Pharaoh, the Pyramid Texts evidence an ambiguous relationship with Osiris, the god of the common people and popular beliefs. The Terminal Predynastic Osirian cult, probably local to the Delta, involved a forbidding, stern & repellent hereafter. Osiris was a Nile-god and a spirit of vegetable life, a harvest-god. But, as a King of Egypt, he had been killed by his brother Seth, recovered and restored by his wife Isis (with the help of the secret great name of Re) and resurrected by his son Horus, who avenged his father by overcoming Seth in a battle presided by Thoth. When Osiris migrated up the Nile from the Delta, he was identified with the old mortuary jackal-god of the South, "the First of the Westeners" (Abydos, Assiut). His kingdom was conceived as situated below the western horizon, where it merged with the netherworld. He became the "King of the dead" below the earth, the "Lord of the Duat", monarch of a subterranean kingdom.

". in the Solar faith we have a state theology, with all the splendor and the prestige of its royal patrons behind it while in that of Osiris we are confronted by a religion of the people, which made a strong appeal to the individual believer. (. ) In the mergence of these two faiths we discern for the first time in history the age-old struggle between the state form of religion and the popular faith of the masses." - Breasted , 1972, pp.140-141.

According to Breasted, and there is no reason to disagree, nothing in these primordial myths proved Osiris to have a celestial afterlife. Indeed, the Pyramid Texts evidence survivals from a period when Osiris was even hostile to the Solar dead (cf. the exorcisms intended to retain Osiris from entering the Solar tomb with evil intent). However, the popularity of Osiris among the common people forced the Heliopolitan theologians to incorporate him into the Solar creed. In this way, Heliopolitan Solar theology got slowly Osirianized, a fact we witness in the Pyramid Texts.

The resurrection of Osiris by Horus and the restoration of his body was affirmed to be Pharaoh's privilege. The Osirian hereafter was celestialized. Osiris was called "Lord of the sky" and Pharaoh was announced to Osiris in the sky precisely in the same way as he had been announced to Re in the Solar theology. Hence, we find Pharaoh ascending to the sky and then descending among the dwellers in the netherworld, implying that the Duat became somehow accessible from the sky. In the Osirian cult, the netherworld became the lower region of the sky, in the vincinity of the horizon, below which it is also extended (Breasted). An important link between Re and Osiris was the former's death every day in the West, the place of the dead. The dead Pharaoh and the dying Sun corresponded well, as did the resurrection of Osiris (as king of the dead) and the dawning of the Sun (as the child Harpocrates).

"The fact remains, then, that the celestial doctrines of the hereafter dominate the Pyramid Texts throughout, and the later subterranean kingdom of Osiris and Re's voyage through it are still entirely in the background in these royal mortuary teachings. Among the people Re is later, as it were, dragged into the Nether World to illumine there the subjects of Osiris in his mortuary kingdom, and this is one of the most convincing evidences of the power of Osiris among the lower classes. In the royal and state temple theology, Osiris is lifted to the sky, and while he is there Solarized, we have just shown he also tinctures the Solar teaching of the celestial kingdom of the dead with Osirian doctrines. The result was thus inevitable confusion, as the two faiths interpenetrated." - Breasted , 1972, pp.159-160.

In the Old Egyptian language of the Pyramid Texts, the composition between semantic groups is loose. Subjectivity is still objectified. Pre-operatoric activity is limited by the immediate material context. Older structures are mingled with new ones and many traces of earlier periods are left over. The extent of this layeredness has been called in to reject the possibility of Ancient Egyptian philosophy. The language, which has the style of the "records" of the Old Kingdom, is often additive and offers little self-reflection (which starts with the literature of the First Intermediate Period). Didactic poetry (precepts) and lyrics in which personal emotions & experiences are highlighted are nearly absent.

"Along with the Sumerians, the Egyptians deliver our earliest -though by no means primitive- evidence of human thought. It is thus appropriate to characterize Egyptian thought as the beginning of philosophy. As far back as the third millennium B.C., the Egyptians were concerned with questions that return in later European philosophy and that remain unanswered even today - questions about being and nonbeing, about the meaning of death, about the nature of the cosmos and man, about the essence of time, about the basis of human society and the legitimation of power." - Hornung , 1992, p.13, my italics.

In the ca. 650 years between ca. 3000 BCE (the beginning of the Dynastic Period and of writing) and ca. 2348 BCE (the death of Pharaoh Wenis), the written language had considerably developed. Nevertheless, although words could be joined together in simple sentences and the latter in groups (dealing with honors & gifts, offices, legacies, inventories, testaments, transfers, endowments, etc.), the additive, archaic quality of the literary style remained pronounced.

Various types of parallelism occur : synonymous (doubling or by repetition), symmetrical, combined, grammatical, antithetic, of contrast, of constraint, of analogy, of purpose and of identity. Metrical schemes of two, three, four, five, six, seven or eight lines occur (the fourfold being the most popular). The play of words is the commonest literary feature and depends on the consonantal roots of the words. Alliteration, metathesis, metaphors, ellipses, anthropomorphisms and picturesque expressions are also found.

"The only basis we have for preferring one rendering to another, when once the exigencies of grammar and dictionary have been satisfied -and these leave a large margin for divergencies- is an intuitive appreciation of the trend of the ancient writer's mind." - Gardiner , 1925, p.5.

The Pyramid Texts pose their own particular problems and difficulties. From a thematical point of view, they are a set of symbolical "heraldic" spells which mainly deal with the promotion of Pharaoh's welfare in the afterlife. These spells were recited at various ceremonies, mostly religious and especially in connection with the birth, death, resurrection and ascension of Pharaoh. These texts are to a large extent compositions, a compilation and joining of earlier texts which must have circulated orally or were written down on papyrus many centuries earlier. Some of these probably go back to the oral tradition of the Predynastic Period, for they suggest the political context of Egypt before its final unification (as Sethe pointed out). Others, although the archeological record is limited, were used in this-life rituals, and have initiatoric connotations . The relative rarity of corruptions, which cannot be said of later compositions as the Coffin Texts, is another important fact which makes their study rewarding.

"The Pyramid Texts were not the work of a single man or of a single age. They are entirely anonymous and of uncertain date. And they are religious literature which reflect more or less clearly the conditions of religious thought in ancient Egypt previous to the Seventh Dynasty - more like the Psalms than any other book of the Old Testament." - Mercer , 1956, p.2.

The contemporary school of egyptological literalism equates the earliest temporal layer of any text with its historical date of composition, mistrusting the presence of literary antecedents. In the case of the Pyramid Texts, they would agree to push the date of inception with a few centuries (the margin of error for this period being ca. 100 years) but try to avoid a Predynastic figure. But, comparisons with the architectural language of the period, makes it likely that under Pharaoh Djoser (ca. 2654 - 2635 BCE), the Egyptians had the conceptual framework of the Pyramid Texts at their disposal. King Djoser, the "inventor of stone" and his Leonardo da Vinci, Imhotep, the "great seer" (or prophet) of Re at Iunu, "the Pillar", 40km northeast of Memphis (the Greek Heliopolis, the Coptic area of contemporary Cairo), layed the foundations of the Old Kingdom "canon" which ruled all aspects of the life of the Ancient Egyptian elite, including writing, art & religion.

The Pyramid Texts evidence the emergence of a composite mortuary doctrine. But what used to be viewed as a separate "Osirian" destiny of the king "has more recently been recognized as one aspect of his celestial cycle - the regenerative phase through which he passes before 'rising in the eastern side of sky like the Sun' (Pyr. 1465d-e)." ( Allen , 1989, p.1).

1. The earliest literary source : the Wenis Texts.

"O You, the Great God, whose name is unknown."
Pharaoh Wenis (PT 276c - ca. 2350 BCE)

Pharaoh Wenis, Unis or Unas (ca. 2378 - 2348 BCE) was the last Pharaoh of the Vth Dynasty. His pyramid at Saqqara is at the South-western corner of Djoser's enclosure. The complex, a model for subsequent rulers, is almost diagionally opposed to the pyramid of Userkaf (ca. 2487 - 2480 BCE), the founder of this Heliopolitan Dynasty. Pharaoh Wenis is the first to include hieroglyphic inscriptions in the tomb, namely in his antechamber and burial-chamber (not in the Ka-chamber).

Cartouche of Pharaoh Wenis.

The inscriptions carved and filled with blue pigment on most walls of the royal tomb underneath the pyramid of Wenis, contain, in 234 of the 759 known utterances, the first historical account of the (Heliopolitan) religion of the Old Kingdom.

Text-fragment in the tomb of Wenis.

The texts from the tomb of Wenis are available online . So is Sethe ' s standard edition of the Pyramid Texts (1910) and Mercer 's translation (1952). In Sethe 's edition, 714 Utterances are given, whereas Faulkner 's standard edition of 1969 brings the total to 759.

Plan of the Pyramid-complex of Wenis (ca. 2378 - 2348 BCE).
The Pyramid was 57.75 m², 43 m high, with a slope of 56°.

The causeway to the pyramid of Wenis was 750 m long and was equal to Pharaoh Khufu's. In its roof, a slit was left open, so a shaft of light could illuminate the gallery of brightly painted reliefs, of which only fragments survived. A wide array of scenes once covered the wall : boats transporting granite palm columns, craftsmen working gold & copper, harvesting scenes (grain, figs & honey), offering bearers, battles with enemies, bearded "Aziatics" . Two boat graves (each 45 m long) lay side by side South of it. By the New Kingdom, the complex had fallen into ruins.

The antechamber of the pyramid tomb lies directly under the centre axis of the pyramid. In the East, a doorway opens to the uninscribed Ka-chamber with three recesses. The middle recess of this Ka-chapel (intended for sitting statues of Pharaoh Wenis ?), lies exactly behind the false door of the mortuary temple.

The sitting statue is attested in the funerary domain from the Early Dynastic Period onwards. It is the three-dimensional realization of the picture of the Slab-stela, representing the enthroned tomb owner in front of an offering table, to which he is stretching out one hand. The stretched (mostly right) hand is shown resting on the thigh, the left hand often on the breast (but variants in gesture and garment exist). During the IVth Dynasty, the sitting statue is a formal part of the Giza cemetery. It was placed in a closed "serdab" (the Arabic for "cellar"). In this "inner" cult place -dedicated to the provision cult for the deceased- the Ka-statue is the "double" of the tomb owner, representing the latter as corporally intact, provided and able to receive provisions by way of the mummy enshrined in the sarcophagus, and by way of the Ka and/or Ba visiting the tomb and recognizing its own image in the Ka-statue.

On the ceiling of the tomb, golden, pentagram-like stars were carved in relief on a sky-blue background. The tomb is made of Tura limestone, except for the West wall of the burial-chamber and the western halves of its North and South walls, opposite the ends of the granite sarcophagus, which are in albaster, cised and painted to represent a reed-mat and a wood-frame enclosure (cf. the Early Dynastic Period and earlier). Sunk in the floor to the left of the foot of the sarcophagus was the canopic chest (near the South Wall).

Burial-chamber - pyramid of Pharaoh Wenis.
Sarcophagus West, western half of North & South walls in albaster.
Canopic chest to the left (South) of the foot of the sarcophagus.

For Sethe (1908), the texts found in these pyramids were a free collection of magical utterances, which, by virtue of their presence, assisted Pharaoh in his resurrection & ascension de opere operato, dispensing with the need for daily priestly offerings to his Ka.

"Food offerings alone, however, even when they conformed to the prescriptions regarding purity and dietary taboos (e.g. no pork, no fish), did not suffice to maintain the divine forces. These forces were nothing without ritual and efficacious speech." - Traunecker , 2001, p.40.

The presence of offering-texts feeds the subtle bodies of the deceased. Sacred words not only describe objects, but embody their double (cf. the Lascaux pictures and the Eastern desert petroglyphs). Hence, once properly recited (by the dead and/or the living, the so-called "voice-offerings"), they become efficient (for all of eternity). The hidden, secret, dark potential of hieroglyphs is evidenced by the sacrificial rituals found in the extended mortuary literature. The Ba of the deceased reads the words and the latter manifest their meaning.

"We have already pointed out that the spells of the so-called sacrificial ritual, i.e. the texts used in the provision of supplies, were inscribed in a prominent place where they could be seen by the dead person resting in his sarcophagus. (. ) In other words, texts were written down so that the dead themselves could 'proclaim the provision of supplies' ("nis dbHt-Htp") instead of this being done by unreliable priests. This was the nucleus around which the texts crystallized." - Morenz , 1996, p.229.

Schott (1945) & Ricke (1950) advanced the thesis that at the time of the funeral, these texts were recited in the various chambers, corridors and courts through which the procession passed on its way to the pyramid. But it was not easy to identify which spell was recited were ! For Spiegel (1953 & 1971) the texts were an integral part of the funerary ritual performed in the tomb and hence were recited in the area were they were inscribed. They reflect the royal burial ritual. This hypothesis was criticized. In 1960, Morenz wrote :

"This bold, learned and ingenious interpretation can properly be accessed only by one who has examined it in terms of the vast and diverse material. When this is done, it appears that quite serious objections may be levelled against numerous points in the argumentation and thus against the thesis as such." - Morenz , 1996, p.228-229.

Nevertheless, Altenmüller (1972) agrees with Schott & Ricke that these texts were recited in the mortuary temple, as well as in the pyramid, involving priests assuming the god-forms of Re, Horus, Seth and Thoth. Recently, Eyre (2002) suggests the training and initiation of these priests points to this-life rituals.

"The promise of divine assistance, resurrection, and safe passage to the afterlife is not, however, a concern purely of funerary ritual, and the markedly initiatory form of parts of the mortuary literature must be taken as a pointer to contemporary 'this-life' ritual that is otherwise lost from the archaeological record." - Eyre , 2002, p.72.

In "Reading a Pyramid", Allen (1988) compared the location of the texts within the tomb of Wenis with other Old Kingdom pyramids and tombs (cf. Morenz , 1960). He was able to establish a coherent model describing the funerary ideology of these royal tombs. T he position of particular groups of texts within Wenis' pyramid corresponds with the placement of the same texts in other pyramids. Spells recited during the burial ritual were thus eternalized as divine words on the walls, further compl e menting the symbolism of the general layout of the mortuary complex in general and the royal tomb in particular. Assmann (1983, 1989) notes :

"The Egyptian describes this function of the spoken word with the causative derivation of the phonetic root (i)Ax, thus arriving at s-Ax 'to transfigure'." - Assmann , 1989, p.137.

A combination of all these elements is likely. The overall Egyptian funerary mentality seems to favour an enduring canon of broad schemes adaptable to immediate circumstances. As each Pharaoh had his own titulary, he had his own burial ritual and mortuary complex, reflecting a variety of local (nomic) traditions at work around him. They existed by the grace of the "good Nile" he alone, being divine, could guarantee. His death was thus a major calamity, and could perturbate the agricultural cycle, leading to famine, conflicts and death. His burial provided him with a ladder between heaven and Earth, and so the first thing he would do, arriving in the Field of Offering, was to provide Egypt with a new king and a "good Nile".

The reciprocal function of the tomb has to be emphasized. The Ba returned and the Ka could be reanimated. The liberated "Akh" has freedom of movement and time. It is bright, light and radiant. While it stays in the sky, the spirits make their souls and doubles come down and unite with their statues. The destruction of a tomb, implied the end of its role as "interphase" with "the other side" of the false door.

Plan of the royal tomb underneath the pyramid of Wenis.

"Allen's analysis of the sequence of spells in the pyramid of Wenis defines the architecture as a material representation of the passage of the king through death to resurrection, exploiting themes familiar in the Underworld Books of the New Kingdom. From the darkness of the earth he passes to life in the light of the sky, progressing from the burial chamber as underworld (duat) through the antechamber as horizon (akht) where he becomes Akh, through the doorway leading to the corridor -ascending by ladder- to heaven (pet), or passing like the setting sun from the west to his rising from the mouth of the horizon in the east, or exploiting the image of the king passing from his sarcophagus -the womb of Nut- through her vulva to birth at the door of the horizon. (. ) Allen's analysis focuses on the principle whereby the position of discrete units of ritual text asserts a functional identity between the theology of the text and the architectural symbolism of the pyramid substructure, and so the reality of the king's passage to resurrection". - Eyre , 2002, p.44-45 & 47.

The direction of the texts was thus identical with the soul's path through the tomb, moving from the innermost parts of the burial- chamber (the "Duat" in the West) , through the a ntechamber (the Eastern horizon or "Akhet") , to the outside of the pyramid via the second northern tunnel, flying to the Northern, circumpolar (imperishable) Stars, reaching the Field of Offering .

On Nun
end Vth - VIth Dynasty - ca. 2378 - 2205 BCE

The hieroglyphs were gathered from the standard edition of Sethe (1908 - 1960) and digitally enhanced. The translation was done anew, but inspired by German ( Sethe , 1935 - 1962), English ( Faulkner , 1969) and French ( Jacq , 1998) efforts.

The waters of precreation and their personifications are mentioned in 37 Utterances of the Pyramid Texts, of which 7 are additional or fragmentary. These have not been included in the present Book of Nun. They are :

Utterance 458A - § 1034 :
"Nun <--- I have protected>Osiris from his brother Seth . "
Utterance 493 - § 1062 :
"I have seen Nun, I appear upon my road . "
Utterance 539 - § 1304 :
" and Nun . "
Utterance 586 - § 1583 :
"Open the gates which are in Nun."
Utterance 704 - § 2206 :
". the King has flown up and alighted on the vertex of the beetle in the bow of the bark which is in Nun."
Utterance 719 - § 2236 :
"They commend You to Him who presides over the Enneads as Lord of the heritage of Geb which Nun places under your feet for You . "
Utterance 729 - § 2257 :
"O You who are on your nAwt-bush, crawl away because of Nun !"

(. ) : additions in English
<. >: fragmentary, uncertain or corrupt but restored

I, King Wenis, was conceived in the night.
I was born in the night.
I belong to the Followers of Re,
who are before the Morning Star. 1
I was conceived in Nun.
I was born in Nun.
I have come and
I have brought to You the bread of those I found there !

Cast off your impurity for Atum in Heliopolis and go down 2 with him. Assign the needs of the Lower Sky 3 and succeed to the thrones of Nun. 4 "

To say the words :
Fall, serpent that came forth from the Earth !
Fall, flame that came forth from Nun !

Fall down !
Crawl away !

Utterance 233, § 237.

That is King Wenis, I am Sia 5 who is at the West of Re,
<reserved> of heart,
at the fore of the Cavern of Nun.

Utterance 250, § 268.

King Wenis is the one who is <on his own>, the eldest of the gods : his bread-offering is for above with Re, his feast is from Nun !

Utterance 258, § 310.

. this King Teti's meal is in Nun,
for this King Teti is one who goes to and fro . "

For judgment between the orphan and the orphaness has been made for me. The Two Truths have heard (the case), while Shu was witness and the Two Truths commanded that the thrones of Geb revert to me, so that I raise myself to what I have desired, my limbs -which were in concealment- join, I unite those who are in Nun and put a stop to the affair in Heliopolis. 6

Now that I go forth today in the real form of a living Akh, I shall break up the fight and punish strife. I have come forth for Maat, (so) that I may bring her, she being with me. Wrath will depart for me and those who are in Nun will assign life to me.

Utterance 260, §§ 318-319.

To say the words :
O Height that will not be penetrated, Gate of Nun, I, King Unas, have come to You, have this opened to me !

Utterance 272, § 392.

To say the words :
You have your bread-loaf, O Nun and Naunet 7 !
You pair of the gods, 8
who joined the gods with their shadow.

You have your bread-loaf, O Amun and Amaunet !
You pair of the gods,
who joined the gods with their shadow.

You have your bread-loaf, O Atum and Double-Lion !
Who yourselves created your two gods and their bodies,
that is Shu and Tefenet, who made the gods,
who begot the gods and established the gods.

Utterance 301, § 446.

To say the words :
O hunger, do not come to me, King Teti.
Go away to Nun, depart to the flood !

Utterance 338, § 551.

To say the words :
O First-born of Shu,
your fetters are loosed by the two Lords of Nun.

Utterance 358, § 593.

To say the words :
O height which is not sharpened, gate of Nut, I, King Teti, am Shu who came forth from Atum.
O Nun, let these (gates) be opened for me, for behold I have come, a god-like soul."

Utterance 360, § 603.

To say the words :
Nun has recommended King Teti to Atum .

Utterance 361, § 604.

To say the words :
O my father, O my father in darkness ! O my father Atum in darkness ! Fetch me, King Teti, to your side, so that I may kindle a light for You and protect You, even as Nun protected these four goddesses on the day when they protected the throne, (namely) Isis, Nephthys, Neith and Serket-hetu . 9

To say the words :
O King Merenre (. ) may You ascend as the Morning Star, may You be rowed as the lake-dweller. May those who are in Nun fear You, may You give orders to the spirits. (. )

O You of Nun, O You of Nun, beware of the Great Lake !

To say the words :
Hail to You, You waters which Shu brought, which Mendjef lifted up, in which Geb bathed his limbs. Hearts were pervaded with fear, hearts were pervaded with terror when I was born in Nun before the sky existed, before the Earth existed, before that which was to be made form existed, before turmoil existed, before that fear which arose on account of the Eye of Horus existed.

Utterance 486, §§ 1039-1040.

I, King Pepi, am he who knelt in Nun, I am he who sat down in .

To say the words :
Opened is the sky ! Opened is the Earth ! Opened are the apertures of the celestial windows ! Opened are the steps of Nun ! Released are the movements of the light of the Sun, by that one who endures every day.

Sit on your iron throne, take your mace and your sceptre, that You may lead those who are in Nun, give orders to the gods, and set a spirit in its spirit-state.

He has heard my appeal, he has done what I have said, and I have removed myself from the Tribunal of the Magistrates of Nun at the head of the Great Ennead.

Utterance 513, § 1174.

O Nun 10 , hear it, this word which I say to You. Be informed concerning me, that I, King Pepi, am a great one, the son of a great one.

Utterance 570, § 1446.

. may You gather together those who are in Nun, may You assemble those who are in the celestial expanses.

Utterance 574, § 1486.

O Nun, raise King Pepi's arm to the sky, that he may support the Earth which he has given to You.

'Here comes the Dweller in Nun', says Atum. 'We have come', say they, say the gods to You, O Osiris.

. he has come that he may rule towns and govern settlements, and give orders to those who are in Nun.

Utterance 603, § 1678.

These two great and mighty gods who preside over the Field of Rushes install You upon the throne of Horus as their first-born. They set Shu for You on your East side and Tefnut on your West side, Nun on your South side and Naunet on your North side. They guide You to these fair and pure seats of theirs which they made for Re when they set him upon their thrones.

Utterance 606, §§ 1690 - 1693.

King Merenre was fashioned by Nun at his left hand when he was a child who had no wisdom. He has saved him from harmful gods, and he will not give him over to harmful gods.

Utterance 607, § 1701.

King Neferkare is a great falcon which is on the battlements of Him-whose-Name-is-Hidden, taking what belongs to Atum to Him who separates the sky from the Earth and Nun.

Utterance 627, § 1778.

. authority is given King Neferkare from Him whose face suffers greatly in the presence of Him who is in Nun.

Utterance 627, § 1780.

. when Isis spoke to Nun : 'You have borne him, You have shaped him, You have spat him out, but he has no legs, he has no arms wherewith can he be knit together ?'

Utterance 669, §§ 1964 - 1965.

Those who are in Nun come to You, the Sun-folk go to and fro for You, (so) that You may be Horus .

Utterance 694, § 2147.

The stellar naturalism put into evidence by the architecture of the pyramids is also found in the literature they have immortalized. Early Egyptian thought caught the natural, impersonal differential (the outstanding difference with its co-relative energy potential). Its aim was to understand all the forces and elements of nature, the "totality" of creation. In ante-rational thought, especially in its incipient stage, confuses personal and objective conditions. This leads to the personalization of natural process. Like "Nun", "the gloomy infinity of dark water" ( Traunecker , 2001, p.73), "Nut", "Geb", "Maat", "Re", "Ptah" and "Amun" are other examples of impersonal archetypes of nature promoted to imaginal godforms, namely sky, Earth, order, light, artefaction and hiddenness respectively.

". the Egyptians lived in a universe composed not of things, but of beings. Each element is not merely a physical component, but a distinct individual with a unique personality and will. The sky is not an inanimated vault, but a goddess who conceives the sun each night and gives birth to him in the morning. The atmosphere that separates sky from earth is not an empty void, but a god. The Duat is not merely a mysterious region through which the sun passes at night, but the god Osiris. Even the vast and lifeless outer waters have an identity, as the god Nu." - Allen , 1988, p.8.

Like in many other cases, the notion of precreation, given a special virtual adverb clause, involved a conceptualization, in strong imaginal thought, of a common physical process, in this case, the facts of water surging up as the result of the water table of the alluvial plain of the Nile and rain falling down through "leaks" in the sky. It was also linked with the source of the Nile, and the dynamics of the inundation, with its dangerous extremes. The idea conveyed is simple : from the outside as well as from the inside, creation is surrounded by the original primordial state of this primordial, preexistent and everlasting inert, watery darkness, and this in all directions and all the time. In Egyptian thought, this liquid space is not a focus of creative light, but a vast chaos, like a gloomy night and an limitless expanse.

Nun is a threatening state of affairs into which order could relapse at any moment. It is the opposite of order, light and life. In fact, the cosmos, or ordered natural whole, is constantly balancing "on the edge" of this abyss of chaos, although periods of extended peace are possible. The constant war of the forces and the elements (divine & human) does not lead to the destruction of the world, because, for its safeguard, "truth and justice" are offered to its creator. Because the laws of the eternal cycle of Re are respected, creation will endure, despite Nun, and as long as Atum wills creation.

Nonexistent precreation, or the omnipresence of an everlasting, pre-existent, virtual state-of-no-state, is the first concept of traditional Egyptian theology, as evidenced by its founding role in the Heliopolitan, Memphite, Hermopolitan, Osirian & Theban branches of Egyptian thought. Each branch is an approach of "He-whose-Name-is-Hidden" characterized by a single principle.

Although ontologically, precreation is isomorphic, homogeneous, unknown, insubstantial, void, undifferentiated and without organization, the need to characterize it is already felt in the Pyramid Texts.

These authors approach Nun by giving negative descriptions of the non-presences based on the real (a cosmo-teleological procedure of sorts). The terra firma of Earth is opposed to the liquid, dark, nocturnal nature of Nun.

In the Coffin Texts of the Middle Kingdom (ca. 1938 - 1759 BCE), four entities represent the unorganized : Nun (water), Hehu (liquid space), Keku (darkness) and Tenmu (disorder). The positive descriptions of creation, namely solidity, delimitation, light, nearness and knowledge are reversed : liquid, infinite space, dark, hidden and the unknown.

► linguistics : the virtual clause

In the Old Kingdom (ca. 2670 - 2198 BCE), the virtual clause "n SDmt.f", i.e. "before he has (had) . " or "he has (had) not yet . " ( Gardiner , § 402), was used to denote a prior, potential nonexistent state, namely one before the actuality of that state had happened. To be nonexistent, precludes existence, but does not preclude the possibility of becoming existent (expressed by the verb "kpr", "kheper", "to become", which also means "to transform").

Examples of this virtual clause are : "I am sorry for her children, I grieve for her children broken in the egg, who have seen the face of Khenty (the crocodile-god) before they have lived !" (in Discourse of a Man with his Ba ) or ". do not rejoice over what has not (yet) happened." (cf. "m Haw n ntt n xprt" in The Eloquent Peasant, a Middle Kingdom text).

► the virtual clause applied to precreation

There is something before every thing, before the order, the architecture and the life of creation, manifested as a transformation or change from a nonexistent, virtual state to an existing actuality. The virtual state is not actual, but confirms possibility, latency and potentiality. As a potency anterior to creation, it was conceived as a nonexistent object, before "form", i.e. anterior to space and time, and before the creation of sky, Earth, horizon and their "natural" dynamics. In the Pyramid Texts, Pharaoh is said to originate from beyond the natural order, beyond creation of space (Shu) and moist (Tefnut), sky (Nut) and Earth (Geb), life and order.

"I was born in Nun before the sky existed, before the Earth existed, before that which was to be made form existed, before turmoil existed, before that fear which arose on account of the Eye of Horus existed."
Pyramid Texts, utterance 486.

"I was conceived in Nun. I was born in Nun. I have come and I have brought to You the bread which I found there."
Pyramid Texts, utterance 211.

► semantics and variant writings

Precreation was imagined as a limitless, everlasting water (sea or ocean), called by various names : "nw" (Nu), "nww" (Nuu), "nnw" (Nenu), "nnww" (Nenuu), "nnnww" (Nenenuu), "niw" (Niu). In the Pyramid Texts, "nnw(w)" (Nenu) is the most frequent form (22/30). The core sound, the biliteral "nw", was vocalized in Coptic as "Noyn" or "Noun" ("Y" = "U"), from which the English "Nun" has been derived. Two distinct forms of the name exist, namely, on the one hand, " nw", "nww" and "niw" , and on the other hand, "nnw", "nnww" and "nnnww".

The Pyramid Texts invite us to make the difference between :

the female personification of "nw", the so-called "lower sky", as in "nt" and "nnt" : the primeval waters are also present below the Earth. These waters are in the deep of the netherworld. Situated beyond the Duat, which is still part of creation, they nevertheless are the source of the Nile on Earth. This deep sky has been translated as "lower sky", and appears as the feminine counterpart of "nw", n(w)t, mostly written as "nt", with the determinatives for place (O49) and the reversed vault of the sky (A40), suggestive of the "lower" counterpart of the "normal" upper (diurnal) sky.

This reversal of the vault of heaven is suggestive of the complete enclosure of the netherworld by preexisting nonexistence. In one case only is this inversion of the vault of the sky part of the writing of the masculine "nw", namely in the pyramid of Merenre (cf. § 21 ). A scribal error ?

Like the masculine forms of the name, "nw" and "niw", the two feminine forms ("nt" and "nnt") refer to the same entity : Nun. In the Pyramid Texts, confusion ensues between this deep, precreational sky and the sky of the Osirian netherworld (for this lower sky and the "Imperishable Stars" are identified). Only later theologies clarify this. In New Kingdom texts (like from the cenotaph of Seti I), the Nun is deemed "unknown", whereas the Duat or netherworld is included among the elements of the known world. Perhaps the imperishables are the created gates leading to the uncreated "deep" sky of the netherworld (the potential kept by precreation) ?

The lower sky as "nt" is mentioned in four Utterances, and in all cases it is translated as "lower sky" :

Utterance 214 - § 149 :
"You demand that You descend to the lower sky and You shall descend . "
Utterance 570 - §§ 1456 - 1458 (3 identical clauses) :
"I live beside You, (O) You gods of the lower sky, the Imperishable Stars . "
Utterance 571 - §§ 1466 - 1467 :
"The King's mother was pregnant with him, (even he) who was in the lower sky, the King was fashioned by his father Atum before the sky existed, before Earth existed, before men existed, before the gods were born, before death existed."
Utterance 574 - § 1485 :
"Hail to You, You tree which encloses the god, under which the gods of the lower sky stand, the end of which is cooked, the inside of which is burnt, which sends out the pains of death : may You gather together those who are in Nun, may You assemble those who are in the celestial expanses."

A second spelling also appears "nnt" starts with two rushes of shoots (M22) or "nn", followed by the phonetical complement "n" and "t", also ending with the determinatives for village, town (O49) and the reversed vault of the sky (A40). In a few instances, O49 is dropped. The context allows us to translate "nnt" in two cases as "Naunet", the female consort of Nun.

The lower sky as "nnt" is mentioned in five Utterances, and in two the context (coupling) allows us to translate as "Naunet" :

The variant writings of the name give us additional visual semantics : the phonetic core of the impersonal (masculine) forms, W24, the so-called "Nun-bowl", is used three times, a plural : plenty of water, a mass. In the Pyramid Texts, W24 is topped by N35, a ripple of water. In two cases, two ripples are drawn (utterances 503 & 627). A lot is apparently not enough to describe the condition at hand. In four cases, the determinative for gods (Horus on a standard, G7) is added : a divine condition.

In the Coffin Texts, variant spellings emerge, and the impersonal principle, more frequent in the Pyramid Texts, is personalized by using the determinative of the seated god (A40), absent in the latter.

"Nun" in the Coffin Texts, Utterances 76 and 334, and a later spelling.

This personalization goes hand in hand with the introduction of the hieroglyph of the vault of the sky (N1), underlining a fundamental barrier between creation and Nun. The rim of the sky in particular, refers to the unchanging region of the circumpolar stars, in the Field of Offering, beyond which Nun lies dormant and inert.

Nun : divine chaos and lifeless water as the milieu of creation and the world

In the ontology sketched in the Pyramid Texts, precreation is in the first place an undifferentiated mass of water. Only two personal instances occur, namely the coupling of "Niu" with "Naunet" in §§ 2 & 9 . In § 26 , "Naunet" and "Nun" are paired. The Egyptians gave discriptive rather than denominative qualifications. Nun is conceived as an inchoate, nonexistent state-of-no-state.

But, the ontology of precreation involves an ambivalence : precreation is both the source of regeneration (first cause of creation) and a threatening chaos, for its darkness, death and disorder encapsulate creation from all sides and all the time. Like the floods of the Nile, Nun was both origin of life (thanks to a "good Nile" with a balanced inundation) and cause of death (after long periods of too much or too little floodwater). Hidden in the deep and in the far, chaos surges up from under our feet and leaks in as rain falling on our heads from the sky. Its non-presences cannot be escaped, except to our peril. As the flood, it is a chaotic factor, implying that although its cycle can be mapped, it is impossible to determine the outcome of the function for any given place and date.

In the Coffin Texts and later, Nun is often depicted as a deity, and although no cult is attested, there were offerings and feasts in his honor (as on the 18th & 19th day of the month of Phamenoth). The vault conveyed a topological difference : not only was precreation something different (namely darkness and a nonexistent potential surrounding the cosmos), but it was also somewhere else. Precreation and creation are separated from each other.

"King Neferkare is a great falcon which is on the battlements of Him-whose-Name-is-Hidden, taking what belongs to Atum to Him who separates the sky from the Earth and Nun."
Pyramid Texts, utterance 627.

A large mass of water higher than the sky and deeper than the netherworld is the image conveyed. This virtual realm of the nonexistent is beyond the subtle, invisible strata of creation, beyond the sky and underneath the netherworld. The sky is a double vault, protecting creation from above and from below, shielding it from the omnipresent Nun (W24 is also present in the name of Nut, "nwt", the goddess of the sky), "who gives birth to the Sun every day" (Pyramid Texts, § 1688).

The double vault of heaven is topped by an everlasting limitless mass of potential energy, inimical to light, order and life. It is not kenetic and not creative.

"God said, 'Let there be a vault through the middle of the waters to divide the waters in two.' And so it was.
God made the vault, and it divided the waters under the vault from the waters above the vault. God called the vault 'heaven'."
Genesis, 1:6-7.

The green risen Earth (the outcome of the creative process - cf. infra) is surrounded by the limitless expanses of the primordial waters, permeating everything, and hidden from immediate sight. The cycle of the Sun with its horizon, divides this risen land in a diurnal and a nocturnal cycle.

The sky separates Nun from the Earth. The diurnal sky and the sky of the netherworld share in the watery nature of the limitless ocean, but this water is not infinite but navigated by the stars, the deities, the spirits and Re, both during the day as at night, both in the sky of Re as in the sky of Osiris.

Chaos being the foundation of every thing, more than a virtual clause is needed to understand how creation happened and how the natural relationships with Nun are, for this "darkness and night" is also the milieu of the matrix of light, order and life.

► before creation : Nun : the container or milieu of the "Lord of Life"

In precreation, nonexistence and nothingness are not identical. To be nonexistent is obviously to preclude actuality, but in Egyptian thought it never precludes the potentiality to come into existence, to become, transform or transmute. The latter is indicated by the verb "kpr", "Kheper". Hence, besides chaotic Nun, precreation also effectuates the capacity of autogenous creation or self-creation.

The issue of autogenous activity is another important concept. Chaos is not the origin of order. Light and life are spontaneous and without any possible determination. Precreation is the conjunction of Nun and the sheer possibility of something preexisting as a nonexistent, virtual singularity. Precreation is the dual-union of Nun and Atum, of infinite energy-field and primordial atom.

Creation emerges from a monad, floating "very weary" (CT, utterance 80) in the dark, gloomy, lifeless infinity of Nun. Within the omnipresent substance of Nun, the possibility of order, light and life subsisted : a nonexistent object capable of self-creation ex nihilo. Hence, although Nun is nowhere and everywhere, never and always, it is the primordial, irreversible and everlasting milieu in which the eternal potential of creation creates itself.

The state-of-no-state is not identical with nothingness, the void. For nothingness is absolute zero, as opposed to "virtual" zero, i.e. the virtual (empty) set V = <ø>. Z = 0 does not define anything, and hence refers to nothing. Virtual nonexistence holds the possibility of a future ordered series of elements, i.e. the idea of all possibility, but absolute zero precludes existence as well as becoming. Precreation is not the absolute zero of nothing, but the virtual oneness of a monadic, autogenous potential to complete creation within the milieu of the limitless waters.

"Les Égyptiens ne rencontrent l'unicité absolue de dieu qu'en dehors du monde et de la création, durant la transition fugace entre la non-existence et l'existence. Par ses travaux créatifs, le premier - et à l'origine le seul dieu, disperse l'unicité primordiale en une multiplicité et une diversité de manifestations : ainsi, en dépit de multiples caractéristiques communes, chaque dieu est unique et incomparable." - Hornung , 1986, p.169, my italics.

► during creation : Atum : he who is a virtual completeness

Atum, who "created what exists" and who is the "Lord of all things" (CT, utterance 306), "Lord of All" (CT, utterance 167), "Lord of Everyting" and "Lord of Life" (CT, utterance 534), is "the origin of all the forces and elements of nature" ( Allen , 1988, p.9). His name is a form of the verb "tm", probably a noun of action, meaning both "complete, finish" and "not be". Indeed, Atum completes creation without belonging to the created order.

"Sur le plan de la philologique, nous évoluons sur des bases fermes car des termes égyptiens tels que tm wnn et nn wn sont sans conteste des négations du verbe 'être' - le premier refermant un verbe négatif, le dernier une particule. Il y a ausi l'adjectif relatif négatif (jwtj / jwtt) et un substantif qui en dérive littéralement, ces termes ne peuvent signifier que 'ce qui n'est pas' ou 'ce que n'existe pas'. Les Égyptiens établissent, en outre, une distinction nette entre le verbe 'être', 'devenir' et 'vivre'." - Hornung , 1986, pp.157-158.

Anthes (1957) translates Atum as "he who is integral" , Bonnet as "he who is not yet complete" . Kees (1941) opts for "he who is not present yet" or "he who does not yet exist completely" , whereas Hornung (1986) chooses "he who is differentiated" , eliminating the important connotation of the alternation-point between a mere potential (in precreation) and its actualization .

"O Atum, raise this King Wenis up to You, enclose him within your embrace, for he is your son of your body for ever."
Coffin Texts , utterance 222 - § 213
"To say : Atum is he who (once) came into being, who masturbated in Heliopolis. He took his phallus in his grasp that he might create orgasm by means of it, and so were born the twins Shu and Tefnut."
Coffin Texts, utterance 527 - § 1248
"Content is Atum, father of the gods . "
Coffin Texts, utterance 576 - § 1521

"To say : Hail to You, Atum ! Hail to You, Kheprer, the self-created ! May You be high in this your name of 'Height'. May You come into being in this your name of Kheprer."
Coffin Texts, utterance 587 - § 1587

Both Nun and Atum received the epithet "father of the gods". E verlasting darkness and the efficient and dynamical, autogenous creativity have to be thought together and separately. Both form the dual-unity of precreation, the first of a set of equilibrated scalings, or monuments of opposites in balance (before creation, during creation, in creation and after creation). Atum spontaneously manifests as a seed floating in Nun, initiating the divine time of the deities. He completes creation by generating, before and outside creation, the forces ruling creation.

► the first occurrence

A third major concept besides Nun and Atum is introduced : the "zep tepi" or "first occurrence". It stand between the moment of Atum's self-creation and the emergence of actuality (as Earth, sky and horizon).

Atum creates Atum on the first moment of the "zep tepi" ("zp tpi"), the "first occurrence" or "first time". Before that moment, no order, light or life preexisted. Precreation and Nun coincided. But on this instance, the patterns of existence were established and enacted. Creation was thus initiated by the distinction between the surrounding waters (Nun) and the primordial seed. Atum creates himself ex nihilo. He is not a transformation of a previous state. Nun is not changed because of Atum. Before this monad self-created, lifeless nonexistence prevailed. With this monad, nonexistence is divided into the chaotic waters and the seed of order, light and life. Atum represents the spontaneous potential of precreation to manifest creation, and because Atum self-creates, there is nothing anterior to this monad, except the liquid space of disorder and darkness.

This difficult notion is touched upon in this remarkable text :

"I am Nun, the sole one, without equal. That is where I (Atum) came into being on the great occasion of my floating when I came into being. I am he who flew up, who came into being <. >who is in his egg. I am the one who began therein, (in) the Nun, and see : the chaos-gods came out of me, see, I am hale. I brought my power into being through my power. I am the one who made myself and I formed myself at my will according to my desire. (. )."
Coffin Texts, utterance 714 : the second first person refers to Atum, not Nun as the rest of the passage makes clear (nowhere is the name "Atum" mentioned).

Atum creates and completes the world for his own pleasure and according to his own heart (or divine mind - cf. Memphite theology ). The reason why something came out of Nun is explained as Atum pleasing himself (the image of masturbation), not parenthood. Paradoxically, creation starts in precreation. To understand this, we need another concept, which the Egyptians derived from their sense of time : the timelessness of the eternal cycle of creation.

the Ancient Egyptian view on time

With Atum and the first occurrence, no actual thing is positioned, but only the divine structure necessary to manifest the real. Indeed, only the formal conditions of creation are given (i.e. an outline of its elements and forces). Atum as it were contemplates his creation-to-be "in his heart" before a solid place emerges (definite forms of matter exist). The "zep tepi" is the eternity of the divine mind, the demiurg or architect of creation itself. As such, it is conceived as outside creation, although it always preludes it.

The first occurrence unfolds at the moment creation starts with the spontaneous emergence of Atum ex nihilo. Atum's self-generation and the creation of space ("Shu") and moist ("Tefnut") within the substance of the monad are simultaneous and take place before actual things come into existence. Atum autogenerates for his own pleasure and by doing so immediately & simultaneously gives birth to Shu & Tefnut, the start of a chain of ordered structures (the Ennead or the sequence <1, 2, 3>U <4, 5>U <6, 7, 8, 9>). This first time is the imaginal continuum of natural parameters preparing to create and sustain reality. This is the divine mind with its infinite number of names, attributes and functions.


The Pyramid Texts are the earliest Egyptian funerary texts. They consist of approximately eight hundred spells or "utterances" which were carved on the walls and burial chambers of nine pyramids of the late Old Kingdom. The earliest surviving Pyramid Texts are found on the Fifth Dynasty pyramid of King Unas (image at left is of his burial chamber) at Saqqara. The first Pyramid Texts to be discovered were found in the pyramid of King Pepy II. None of the pyramids contains all of the utterances. The utterances evidently were not written in any particular order. The pyramid with the most belonged to King Pepy II. It held 675.

The Pyramid Texts were first discovered in 1880 by Gaston Maspero. Two years later, Maspero began the first translation of the texts. At first, scholars believed that the texts may have pre-dated the pyramids themselves by hundreds or even, thousands, of years. Now, many scholars believe that the texts are contempory to the pyramids.

In the Old Kingdom, only the pharaoh had the ability to live on beyond death. As a living god on earth, he was the connection between the divine and the mortal. The pharaoh's duty on earth was to uphold Ma'at, the principle of order and truth. At death, the Pyramid Texts stated that the pharaoh was to become the sun or the new Osiris. However, the journey of this transformation was perilous. The Pyramid Texts were a collection of spells, prayers, descriptions and instructions designed to allow the king a safe journey to the Afterlife.

The texts repeatedly refer to the cult of the sun-god. This implies that they were originally written by the priests of Heliopolis. Several of the spells are written in an archaic dialect or refer to features of the funerary cult that were no longer current at the time the pyramids were built. This indicates that at least some of the Pyramid Texts can be dated to Pre-Dynastic times.

The texts may provide clues to the thinking behind the development of the pyramid itself. The ultimate destination of the pharaoh after death was the sky. The pyramid, in its original stepped form, provided him with a staircase to the sky. In its later true pyramid form, the pyramid symbolized the sun's rays, which were another means by which the king could ascend to the heavens.

Coffin Texts

During the Old Kingdom, the afterlife was only available to the king. However, after the Old Kingdom collapsed, the people became more self-reliant. With this new development came a process by which the common people received the promise of the afterlife. Egyptologists refer to this evolution of thought as the "democratization of the afterlife."

Now that the common people had a chance at life after death, they meant to cash in on it. Therefore, they had spells carved on their coffins or sarcophagi that contained instructions and protections for living on after their death. These spells were descended from the Pyramid Texts and formed the basis of the Book of the Dead. Over 1,000 spells have been recorded. Collectively, these spells are known as the "Coffins Texts."

Like the earlier Pyramid Texts, the Coffin Texts indicate that there was more than one possible destination for the deceased. They might join the sun-god Re in the sky, or pass into the underworld of Osiris. The earlier texts subscribe to the first version, while the latter were more likely to indicate the second. This changing thought pattern led into the funerary beliefs of the New Kingdom, which Osiris dominated.

Book of the Dead (Book of Going Forth by Day)

The Book of the Dead is a New Kingdom collection of texts composed primarily from earlier funerary works such as the Pyramid and Coffin Texts. It was usually written on papyrus, however many individual chapters of the book have been found on tomb walls, scarabs, statuettes and on at least one royal mortuary temple (Rameses III).

Manuscripts of the Book of the Dead were customized with the name of each deceased person prefixed by "Osiris" (i.e. Osiris-Rameses). The books also included the deceased person's job title and family relations. Some books were written ahead of time with the spot for the deceased's name left blank. The name was filled in later when the book was purchased.

The cost of the books probably varied widely, given the range of quality found in still existing books. The book was made affordable for almost all Egyptians when abbreviated versions became available the Late Period.

The Book of the Dead is renowned in large part due to the vignettes, or small paintings, that accompany the text. Quite famous is the vignette of the "Judgement of the Dead" from Chapter 125. Some of the vignettes originally appeared in the Coffin Texts. The number of vignettes in a copy did not follow any standard. Some versions had none, while others had a drawing for almost every chapter.

It seems that in at least some cases, the layout of the book and the painting of the vignettes was done prior to the filling in of the writings. This resulted in the mislocation of the vignettes. Also, in some cases the text suffered omissions or abbreviations as the scribe ran out of space! The Book of the Dead was written in cursive hieroglyphics. The book was divided by "rubrics", or headings written in red ink. These divisions in the book are called "chapters" by modern Egyptologists.

The modern name of the Book of the Dead derives from the Arabic title, and simply refers to the fact that it usually accompanied mummies. The ancient name, "The Beginning of the Spells for Going Forth by Day" is found at the beginning of Chapter 1 (and Chapter 17). However, there is some debate concerning whether this title describes all of the book, or was meant only for that chapter.

A few chapters of the book were used widely outside of the papyrus. Chapter 30, the heart spell, was carved on the amulets placed in a mummy's body prior to wrapping it with linen. Also, chapter 6 was carved onto the shawabtis, small mummiform statuettes placed in tombs. The chapter was meant to allow the shawabtis to spring to life and do any work needed by the deceased.

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Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts : The Mystical Tradition of Ancient Egypt

To the Greek philosophers and other peoples of the ancient world, Egypt was regarded as the home of a profound mystical wisdom. While there are many today who still share that view, the consensus of most Egyptologists is that no evidence exists that Egypt possessed any mystical tradition whatsoever. Jeremy Naydler’s radical reinterpretation of the Pyramid Texts--the earliest body of religious literature to have survived from ancient Egypt--places these documents into the ritual context in which they belong.

Until now, the Pyramid Texts have been viewed primarily as royal funerary texts that were used in the liturgy of the dead pharaoh or to aid him in his afterlife journey. This emphasis on funerary interpretation has served only to externalize what were actually experiences of the living, not the dead, king. In order to understand the character and significance of the extreme psychological states the pharaoh experienced--states often involving perilous encounters with alternate realities--we need to approach them as spiritual and religious phenomena that reveal the extraordinary possibilities of human consciousness. It is the shamanic spiritual tradition, argues Naydler, that is the undercurrent of the Pyramid Texts and that holds the key to understanding both the true nature of these experiences and the basis of ancient Egyptian mysticism.


Atum who?

The ancient Egyptians viewed Atum as a solar deity (Re), and in his role as a creator-god his responsibility was to hold back the forces of chaos by destroying the evil snake called Apophis. In tomb paintings, 12 and in papyrus rolls buried with mummies&mdashcontaining spells for protection in the afterlife, called The Book of the Dead&mdashare a number of colourful images that depict Apophis being slain by Re-Atum. He is depicted in the form of a tomcat, which the Egyptians considered the natural enemy of snakes (figure 2). Re-Atum is depicted either cutting off or stamping on the head of Apophis, a ritual re-enacted by the priests of Ōn, with models of snakes. 13

In front of Re-Atum and Apophis is the sacred Ished tree, which was believed to grow on the primal mound at Heliopolis. The Ished tree was linked to wisdom, as evidenced from inscriptions at Ramesses&rsquo II temple at Thebes (c. 1300 BC ), which picture Thoth (the god of wisdom) seated on a throne and Sheshat (a goddess of writing, known as &lsquoforemost in the library&rsquo) standing alongside, writing on the tree&rsquos leaves. 14 Many of these aspects are evocative of the Fall narrative in Genesis 3, although the Egyptian telling is somewhat on its head when we consider Adam was vanquished by the serpent at the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Gospel promise is that the Last Adam would be the One to crush the serpent&rsquos head (Genesis 3:15 cf. Romans 16:20 1 Corinthians 15:25).


Famous pharaohs:

Queen Hatshepsut – She was one of the first female pharaohs, and very successful. She expanded Egypt’s trade network, and had many different buildings constructed.
King Khufu – He had the Great Pyramid at Giza built.
King Tutankhamen – He wasn’t pharaoh for very long, and died when he was only 18. He has been one of the most well-known pharaohs since his tomb was discovered in 1922 in the Valley of the Kings.
King Rameses II – He was a very successful pharaoh Rameses helped Egypt prosper, and ruled for a long time.
Queen Cleopatra VII – She was the last pharaoh, and known for being very beautiful and very smart. She had a child with Julius Caesar and killed herself when she knew the Romans were going to conquer Egypt in 30 BC.


The Pyramid Texts: Guide to the Afterlife - History

Later texts are decidedly Gnostic in flavour, with many Christian interpolations.



The Sources of the Channelled Texts of the Ancient Egyptians

On the walls of the Edfu Temple*, the story of Zep Tepi displays the rule of we, the Archons, who came to Egypt and proceeded to give the people of the Nile the benefits of civilization and agriculture.
The bringers of this high civilisation incarnated in human form and often took on part of the shape of animals.
The Egyptians called us Neteru.

The Aeon (Neter) who had the greatest influence over ancient Egyptian was the Aeon whom the Egyptians called Horus, in hieroglyphic form ḥr.w meaning "falcon".
Additional meanings include "the distant one" (a most suitable name for all the Aeons) or "one who is above".
The Greeks called the Aeon Horus Ὧρος Hōros.
This Aeon, wishing to extend his influence over the Egyptian people, taught that new incarnations of Horus succeeded the deceased Pharaoh on earth in the form of new Pharaohs.

In reality the Aeon, during what was termed the Old Kingdom, guided the Pharaohs, who were permitted to 'channel' some of the wisdom of the great Aeon - and this accounts for the 'Pyramid Texts', and the superior culture and civilisation of the Old Kingdom when compared to later periods of Egyptian history.

The Pyramid Texts are a collection of ancient Egyptian religious texts from the time of the Old Kingdom.

The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts

The ancient Egyptian pyramid texts are old. Like really, really old. They date to around 2400-2300 BCE and were inscribed on the inner-most tombs of Pharaohs’ pyramids. Considering writing was only invented around 3000 BCE, and they must have taken

500 years to figure out it was useful for more than ju Unis is the sky’s bull, with terrorizing in his heart, who lives on the evolution of every god, who eats their bowels when they have come from the Isle of Flame with their belly filled with magic.

The ancient Egyptian pyramid texts are old. Like really, really old. They date to around 2400-2300 BCE and were inscribed on the inner-most tombs of Pharaohs’ pyramids. Considering writing was only invented around 3000 BCE, and they must have taken

500 years to figure out it was useful for more than just counting sheep or taxes, we are looking at some of the oldest literary creations in history. And unlike the prosaic “Book of the Dead” these texts are vigorous and intimidating. Mostly incantations or spells that aided a Pharaoh’s journey into the afterlife, they were not meant for human eyes: the scribes were likely killed after inscribing them and the royal tomb was sealed off forever.

I’ll be looking at one text in particular, the Cannibal Spell for King Unis. Written ca. 2325 BCE, this spell presents the now-dead Unis as a newly born star or constellation, ascending the sky and devouring the other gods for their powers. The story is violent and methodical as Unis moves inexorably across the horizon his servants aid him in butchering old gods, ending with him undisputed as king of the sky. He rules the universe and is immune from evil the old deities merely shadows in his wake. I imagine Unis to mirror the sun’s ascendancy. As stars and lesser gods litter the night sky, the Pharaoh is the sun whose blaze wipes the horizon clean, only to perch at its center during mid-day (when life is in its prime). As night creeps back and the King weakens, he must be reborn the next morning. Or replaced? Regardless, it’s a spectacular process.

The spell is super fun to pick apart. We smell themes of human sacrifice (the ritual would likely have been performed by killing oxen, but I have my suspicions) a keen sensitivity to the constellations and the sun’s supremacy a pre-civilized affinity with the natural world magic as more significant cultural phenomena than institutionalized religion political propaganda and the eternal reality of death and rebirth: sons will take from their fathers, Kings will replace one another, and day will always succeed night. The visceral fascination with the body and its power is both horrific and actually refreshing. So often does later educated, civilized life attach significance to the soul, or intellect, or even the abstract ‘heart’ that we lose a basic sense of flesh-and-blood vigor. These writers, awed by the physical wonder of the human life-force, could express it only in terms of violent cannibalism. Playful nibbles during sex, sometimes escalated in the heat of the moment, retain much of the same primal intensity.

The key here is the power of artistic imagery. It’s something we’ve seen before with cave paintings and ancient music, but I relish seeing it in this medium. The spell would not work if the scribe lazily belched out commands at an indifferent cosmos. The magic is his ability to evoke scenes in our imaginations. He hopes the imagery translates into real life, but before we get skeptical let’s consider the possibility that he was successful. An Ancient Egyptian didn’t just see the sun rising and falling day by day. He saw the kings of his past. He saw them ascend to their rightful place in the heavens and consume all lesser deities in their wake. The Ancient Egyptian looked at the most common routine in the solar system—the orbit of celestial objects—and saw a magnificent story. To envision that story is nothing short of magical, and to communicate it well leaves us spellbound. I see no reason to doubt their incantation, factual or otherwise. . more


Lunes, Oktubre 28, 2013

Oracles (Blogpost #7)

An oracle is a priest who acts as a medium through a god that will give an advice to the person in need of guidance. It is also defined as a shrine to consult or ask a god. Egyptians used oracles to ask the gods for guidance just like the fortune tellers now, they use tarot cards or crystal balls to predict the future, and priests who guide people by the words of the Lord but they do not really get to talk to God. People of different economic statuses in ancient Egypt asked of the oracles and even the king, they used the oracle for personal and on royal decisions.

Egyptians were a big influence on relying on fortune tellers to do your decisions because even the pharaohs relied on oracles to make small and big decisions, and this is included in the article The Oracle in Ancient Egypt by Marie Parsons from touregypt.net

It was also said that the oracles were used so the the thieves would confess just by a simple answer of yes or no by the god. The oracle is not defined strictly as a prophecy or to tell the future because their gods do not know everything. Hence, an oracle is more practical than prophecy because it is a request to a deity to answer a question through it's statue. It was said that it is more effective if the question could be answerable by yes or no but questions that starts like who or what could also be asked. The oracle is also used by the farmers to ask on what is proper to plant on a particular season. During the third intermediate period, their was this decree that a deity passed through an oracle which was worn around the necks by the Egyptians with small cylinder. It guarantees protection against every imaginable evil on anyone who wears it.

As evidence, there were a lot of written questions that was found on the statues of the gods. An example of a found text is this, "Plea of the servant Teshnufe (son of) Mare, who says before his master Sobek, lord of Pay, great god, and Isis, perfect of throne. If my soundest course is to plow the bank of the lake this year, year 33, and I should now sow, let this slip be brought out to me."

Several kings were treated like gods even before they died. Amenhotep I was continued to be worshiped
even after he died, people would send him prayers and his oracle was often consulted. Oracles would go on public appearances with the god in a statue form, the end of the public appearance would signal people that the oracular session is over. During the public appearance the statue is strictly protected and carefully handled. Lastly, it was said that not all Egyptians believed the oracles at first because their was this thief who tried to prove that he is innocent through three oracles but ended as guilty which he has to admit.

While I was reading the article a question was wandering on my mind that why some people sometimes would follow others opinions on their decisions. People want to know if their dreams would come true, they want to have a positive clue to have faith on what they want to achieve but not everything is positive. Some fortune tellers would give you negative clues on your future which people hate because their main purpose of wanting to read their future is to get something good from it. Instead of deciding on what you want some rely on fortune telling, this is because fortune tellers are good psychologists that can make you believe in everything they say. To answer the question, I have the article The Logic Cube by Matthew Shanahan from psychologytoday.com.

People get stressed when they are engaged on making a good decision so we sometimes rely on external sources. There are good external sources like parents, a spouse and a boss but some are dubious which are from a stranger, relying on a groups opinion or even the magic 8 ball. Magic 8 ball is a toy designed to give answers in an agreeing manner, negative or not-committal by a random choice. It was said that the people who use this are seeking solutions on decision making by using a random answer in order to move forward.

These stressful situations can cause a person to have different stress levels. The person under stress should be able to have the resources in order to handle the situation, as a result, three dimensions were classified as relevant and these are the objective assessment of resources, the subjective perception of resources and the projective value of success. In the objective dimension, the goal is to rate what is attainable and unattainable, this can be rated by external resources such as peers and family, proven situation factors and or simple objective resource. Subjective dimensions defines the person to believe if he or she has sufficient or insufficient resources, this can be brought by past experiences, knowledge, history and feelings. Lastly, the projective dimension, it indicates that the present action would lead to telling what could be the result of the action on your future.

In making decisions, you should not only rely on only one external source. Ask yourself if the decision could be really done or not. You should also know what will you get yourself in making this decision because if you rely on an external source the decision could only be good for themselves and would reflect bad on you. I think it is important to measure the risks on your decision, if the decision could change a lot of things from you or if the decision is made for you. The most important is that the decision would result to a good change and it should not only focus on yourself but around you.


Watch the video: Δημήτρης Λιαντίνης - Υπάρχει μετά θάνατον ζωή; (August 2022).