PDA

View Full Version : Akhenaten



Awani
01-11-2009, 04:38 AM
http://www.crystalinks.com/akhenatenhat.jpg (http://www.crystalinks.com/akhenaten.html)

Akhenaten has always been a source of passion and mystery for me. For those who don't know much about this great Pharaoh let me just say that he was the King of Egypt during the 18th Dynasty (about 1375 to 1358 B.C.E.). Akhenaten is the earliest known creator of a new religion, and this fact alone makes him extremely important for all kinds of studies.

Both pre- and post-Akhenaten Egypt worshipped many different gods, but he introduced the concept of One God (the Sun, or Aten). Of course he was murdered!

Below I have posted a hymn that shows the essence of this single god. This hymn was discovered in 1890. I have underlined or put in bold the passages I think are the most interesting.


The Great Hymn to the Aten

Thou appearest beautifully on the horizon of heaven,
Thou living Aton, the beginning of life!
When thou art risen on the eastern horizon,
Thou hast filled every land with thy beauty.
Thou art gracious, great, glistening, and high over every land;
Thy rays encompass the lands to the limit of all that thou hast made:
As thou art Re, thou reachest to the end of them;
(Thou) subduest them (for) thy beloved son.
Though thou art far away, thy rays are on earth;
Though thou art in their faces, no one knows thy going.

When thou settest in the western horizon,
The land is in darkness, in the manner of death.
They sleep in a room, with heads wrapped up,
Nor sees one eye the other.
All their goods which are under their heads might be stolen,
(But) they would not perceive (it).
Every lion is come forth from his den;
All creeping things, they sting.
Darkness is a shroud, and the earth is in stillness,
For he who made them rests in his horizon.

At daybreak, when thou arisest on the horizon,
When thou shinest as the Aton by day,
Thou drivest away the darkness and givest thy rays.
The Two Lands are in festivity every day,
Awake and standing upon (their) feet,
For thou hast raised them up.
Washing their bodies, taking (their) clothing,
Their arms are (raised) in praise at thy appearance.
All the world, they do their work.

All beasts are content with their pasturage;
Trees and plants are flourishing.
The birds which fly from their nests,
Their wings are (stretched out) in praise to thy ka.
All beasts spring upon (their) feeet.
Whatever flies and alights,
They live when thou hast risen (for) them.
The ships are sailing north and south as well,
For every way is open at thy appearance.
The fish in the river dart before thy face;
Thy rays are in the midst of the great green sea.

Creator of seed in women,
Thou who makest fluid into man,
Who maintainest the son in the womb of his mother,
Who soothest him with that which stills his weeping,
Thou nurse (even) in the womb,
Who givest breath to sustain all that he has made!
When he descends from the womb to breathe
On the day when he is born,
Thou openest his mouth completely,
Thou suppliest his necessities.
When the chick in the egg speaks within the shell,
Thou givest him breath within it to maintain him.
When thou hast made him his fulfillment within the egg, to break it,
He comes forth from the egg to speak at his completed (time);
He walks upon his legs when he comes forth from it.

How manifold it is, what thou hast made!
They are hidden from the face (of man).
O sole god, like whom there is no other!
Thou didst create the world according to thy desire,
Whilst thou wert alone: All men, cattle, and wild beasts,
Whatever is on earth, going upon (its) feet,
And what is on high, flying with its wings.

The countries of Syria and Nubia, the land of Egypt,
Thou settest every man in his place,
Thou suppliest their necessities:
Everyone has his food, and his time of life is reckoned.
Their tongues are separate in speech,
And their natures as well;
Their skins are distinguished,
As thou distinguishest the foreign peoples.
Thou makest a Nile in the underworld,
Thou bringest forth as thou desirest
To maintain the people (of Egypt)
According as thou madest them for thyself,
The lord of all of them, wearying (himself) with them,
The lord of every land, rising for them,
The Aton of the day, great of majesty.

All distant foreign countries, thou makest their life (also),
For thou hast set a Nile in heaven,
That it may descend for them and make waves upon the mountains,
Like the great green sea,
To water their fields in their towns.
How effective they are, thy plans, O lord of eternity!
The Nile in heaven, it is for the foreign peoples
And for the beasts of every desert that go upon (their) feet;
(While the true) Nile comes from the underworld for Egypt.

Thy rays suckle every meadow.
When thou risest, they live, they grow for thee.
Thou makest the seasons in order to rear all that thou hast made,
The winter to cool them,
And the heat that they may taste thee.
Thou hast made the distant sky in order to rise therein,
In order to see all that thou dost make.
Whilst thou wert alone,
Rising in thy form as the living Aton,
Appearing, shining, withdrawing or aproaching,
Thou madest millions of forms of thyself alone.
Cities, towns, fields, road, and river --
Every eye beholds thee over against them,
For thou art the Aton of the day over the earth....

Thou are in my heart,
And there is no other that knows thee
Save thy son Nefer-kheperu-Re Wa-en-Re,
For thou hast made him well-versed in thy plans and in thy strength.

The world came into being by thy hand,
According as thou hast made them.
When thou hast risen they live,
When thou settest they die.
Thou art lifetime thy own self,
For one lives (only) through thee.
Eyes are (fixed) on beauty until thou settest.
All work is laid aside when thou settest in the west.
(But) when (thou) risest (again),
[Everything is] made to flourish for the king,...
Since thou didst found the earth
And raise them up for thy son,
Who came forth from thy body: the King of Upper and Lower Egypt,
... Ak-en-Aton, ... and the Chief Wife of the King ... Nefert-iti, living and youthful forever and ever. - source (http://www.touregypt.net/hymntoaten.htm)

The original text:
http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h18/deviadah/forum/Aye1-7.gif (http://www.rostau.org.uk/Aye/high_res.html)

Great Hymn to the Aten - the monotheism of light without darkness & the Aten of Pharaoh Akhenaten (http://www.sofiatopia.org/maat/aten.htm) by Wim van den Dungen

Awani
01-11-2009, 04:41 AM
Aten is often portrayed like this (the Orb in the center):
http://www.bluedolphinpublishing.com/Egyptian/Aten.jpg

And Jesus like this (and the halo can be seen in Hinduism and Buddhism as well):
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c9/Christus_Ravenna_Mosaic.jpg/217px-Christus_Ravenna_Mosaic.jpg

And the halo kind of reminds me of the Solar Cross:
http://www.guide-to-symbols.com/_images_sn/solarcross2.gif

Which reminds me of:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/34/Broken_crossed_circle.svg/124px-Broken_crossed_circle.svg.png

The big difference is that in Akhenaten's day god was not behind man, but above. Seems like latter religions pulled god down towards earth (as seen in the halo behind Jesus).


"Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child." - Robert Heinlein

Aten differs in this respect since Aten is only a divine light!

Also an interesting timeline point is that Akhenatens son-in-law Tutankaten (Servant of Aten) changed his name (strongly influenced by the fundamental priests) to Tutankamen (Servant of Amen) after the murder/disappearance of Akhenaten.

One, or the only, surviving architectural reference to Aten is the great Sphinx on the Giza Plain:

http://www.edu.pe.ca/rural/class_webs/art/images/sphinx.jpg

A one hour documentary about the rule of Akhenaten: Egypts Golden Empire - Pharaohs of the Sun (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6294243724629616364)

Also a related subject: Moses and the Serpent (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=16)

:cool:

solomon levi
05-26-2012, 11:29 PM
I've been fascinated by Ahkenaton as well Dev.
There's some controversy that he may have been alien and the
Aton was a craft. Of course we have a lot of parallels in the bible too
with craft communicating with prophets.
But Ahkenaton had that big head and hips.
Some have made connections between Ahkenaton and Abraham.
Ibri/Ivri, the root of Abra-ham, means alien, other, foreigner.
Both started a new religion based on monotheism.

zoas23
05-27-2012, 03:34 AM
I've been fascinated by Ahkenaton as well Dev.
There's some controversy that he may have been alien and the
Aton was a craft. Of course we have a lot of parallels in the bible too
with craft communicating with prophets.
But Ahkenaton had that big head and hips.
Some have made connections between Ahkenaton and Abraham.
Ibri/Ivri, the root of Abra-ham, means alien, other, foreigner.
Both started a new religion based on monotheism.

The big head was a skull elongation (i.e, a body modification), similar to the Japanese fashion that made some women hace shrinked feet... or the long necks of the Karen women.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_cranial_deformation
... not really a sign of being an "alien".

He obviously enjoyed having an androgynous way of looking... which reminds me a lot of Elagabal (Elagabalus / Heliogabalus).
I'm both very busy and very tired right now, but if you like the story of Akhenaten, then you must read the story of Elagabal (which is also fascinating even if he's by far nearer to us in history).

... and if you have the chance to read Antonin Artaud's poetic biography of Elagabal (I'm sure it must be trasnlated as something that sounds close to "Elagabalus, the Crowned Anarchist" in English)... then that's probably one of the most beautiful alchemy-meets-poetry books of all time.

As for the theories that link Akenathen with the Jewish monotheist religion... it is my opinion that they are not linked, but then again, I am too sleepy and tired right now as to explain why.

MarkostheGnostic
05-27-2012, 06:21 AM
An interesting thesis, is that Moses was the banished Akhenaten. Moses, or 'Mose,' which means 'born from the water,' is an Egyptian name like Thutmose ('born from Thoth'). I am in a phase where I see all biblical stories as being essentially mythological. Clearly, the theophanies of the Pentateuch are of mythic proportion. If Julian Jaynes was correct, people in times ancient had a "bicameral mind" in which promptings of self-consciousness were experienced, not as an internalized personal ego, but as 'voices' of multiple externalized gods. http://www.amazon.com/Origin-Consciousness-Breakdown-Bicameral-Mind/dp/0618057072/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338099567&sr=8-1 That would suggest that Akhenhaten was more 'individuated' than his contemporaries, and had, to a radical extent, transcended the 'normal' stage of human development for his era. The Aten, or Solar Disk, became the singular symbol for One God.

http://i45.tinypic.com/rlak1v.jpg

solomon levi
05-27-2012, 10:15 PM
"There's some controversy that he may have been alien and the Aton was a craft."

"The big head was a skull elongation (i.e, a body modification),"

I just gave a view as an option. What makes you so certain Zoas23?

Obviously this became a practice to imitate something, someone... the gods.
So what evidence do you present that shows Ahkenaton was an imitator
and not an original?

zoas23
05-28-2012, 12:28 AM
"There's some controversy that he may have been alien and the Aton was a craft."

"The big head was a skull elongation (i.e, a body modification),"

I just gave a view as an option. What makes you so certain Zoas23?

Obviously this became a practice to imitate something, someone... the gods.
So what evidence do you present that shows Ahkenaton was an imitator
and not an original?

I'm sorry, I am very tired right now, so I will have to give a short reply (I've just returned from a wedding) trying to be very specific.

-Akhenaten was considered a God, that's right. Same thing is true for probably every leader in the ancient times (not just in Egypt). James Frazer's Golden Bough explains it in a very clear way and offers thousands of examples. It wasn't until the XVIII century that the political idea that says that the rules is not meant to represent God, but the people became more usual.

-Skull elongation was "fashionable" in Egypt during the times of Akhenaten (even if there were spiritual reasons). Akhenaten didn't "choose" to have his head elongated, it's a procedure that begins when the person is still a baby (very similar to shrinking feet). I am somehow very interested in body modifications.

-The images of Akhenaten look incredibly weird for the traditional Egyptian style, that's right. Akhenaten didn't begin ONLY a Religious revolution, but ALSO an aesthetical revolution. The Egyptian priests created a set of rules for art after the regime of Akhenaten. This is also incredibly interesting, because both what Akhenaten did and what the priests did after him are probably the two first cases in which it is possible to say that an aesthetic was CHOSEN in a conscious way (it doesn't mean that it didn't happen before, but it's hard to say if there was a conscious choice in the previous cases, since there were, of course, several cases of different styles of art before Akhenaten... but with the case of Akhenaten and the counter-revolution that followed him it is possible to talk about two aesthetical revolutions that happened in a conscious way). I find that fascinating.

-The British Museum has a nice collection of elongated skulls... the procedure about how to do it is perfectly known... so I don't see why we "need" to hink of him as an Alien.

-I mostly don't like some Alien theories, specially the ones that try to explain our history by bringing "interventionist Aliens" (I am not against the idea that Aliens exist, even though I sometimes find some ideas funny... because I think the Earth itself was born from something that is beyond the Earth.... so the Earth itself is "extra-terrestrial"... the Earth has a non-Earthly origin). You and I, we are "Aliens".

-BUT I don't love the theories that bring interventionist Aliens (i.e, "the Aliens built the pyramids", "Hermes Trimegistus was an Alien", etc)..... because history is fascinating. And to "bring the Aliens" often means refusing to undersand... I think it's a way of faking history... and history is very much our biggest treasure. Our history is by far more fascinating than bringing "interventionist Aliens". We all love "miracles", but aren't our own miracles more interesting than the Miracles that we invent by btinging a "Deus ex Machina"? (i.e, the fact that we invented philosophy is by far more interesting than believing that an Alien came and gave us what philosophy is).

And, because of these reasons, I don't have any reason to believe that he was an Alien.... and such thing doesn't make him less interesting.

I'm quite sleepy right now after the wedding, so pardon haste.

solomon levi
05-28-2012, 01:16 AM
"reason to believe he was an Alien"...

This says it all, for me. Reason doesn't induce belief in me.
It may promote probability, but then you didn't say it is more probable.
You stated it as a definite fact: "The big head was a skull elongation (i.e, a body modification),"
For me, there is no such thing as a better or more preferable belief.

But to be realistic, we live in a world of believers, so yes, your arguments are more reasonable
than the alien argument. But they still don't prove anything definite so why not avoid definite
statements?

On the other matter, the alien intervention theory is more reasonable than any other I've heard
to explain why we leaped from caves to cities and the missing link between small brains with big
faces to large cerebellums and smaller faces. DNA crossing seems obvious. For me, this is the only
reasonable theory I've heard. What theory is more reasonable to you?

Krisztian
05-28-2012, 02:41 AM
I believe the name Akhetaten means "Aton's Horizon". Akhetaten was an obsessive worshipper of light and of the sunrise in general. The capital city was called Akhenaton, that's spelled with 'n' instead of 't'. He didn't believe in darkness from what the worshipping suggests. I guess, you could also say the true birthplace, Akhenaton, is the beginning of Judeo-Christianity, that of the solar church. The halo on Christianity's son, Joshua ben Josef, or what was later combined from two different names, in modern language as, 'Jesus Christ'.

Krisztian
05-28-2012, 03:00 AM
Every soul incarnating on this Planet inherits a physical form that's already extraterrestrial-in-origin. Every ruling class member is a descendent of the gods, the elongated head was a symbol of royal blood, of the high statues in society, of the power one inherited from the gods. These gods were extraterrestrial beings who were more like scientists than perhaps what we would see as spiritual.

The humanoid organism is an owned entity. The servants of the gods, who're now long gone. Their interbreeding bloodline that remained after the Deluge is what we call the royal family, the Dukes, Prince, the Baron this and that, etc. That's why when they rule, they see common people as servants, meant to serve the kingdom.

Krisztian
05-28-2012, 03:14 AM
I guess, as is the case with every good story, there're many hidden hands in this storyline. Or, should I say, many extraterrestrial hands in the making of this modern humanoid.

If one remembers their soul-memory, it's quite difficult to deny that you and I are extraterrestrial.

MarkostheGnostic
05-28-2012, 06:44 AM
With brother-sister incest, intending to recapitulate the mythic relationship of Osiris-Isis, who were brother-sister as well as husband-wife (acceptable among eternal archetypes, not of flesh and blood), it should come as no surprise that genetic deformities would abound, even among fist generation offspring. The question is, which anomalies? I'm calling upon 'Occam's Razor,' here, when making suppositions about artistic representations.

http://www.umm.edu/news/releases/akhenaten_deformities.htm

http://www.heptune.com/Marfans.html