Monday, December 28, 2009

Online Resource: Egyptian Initiation (article)

NWO Library

Carolyn Harris

Egyptologists like Morenz, Piankoff, Mercer, Frankfort, Faulkner, Assmann, Hornung or Allen have good reasons to stress the difference between the Greek and the Pharaonic perspective on initiation (from the Latin "initio", introduce into a new life). The Egyptians maintained a series of rituals aimed at "a constantly renewed regeneration" (Hornung, 2001, p.14). At best, the Greeks induced the point of death in order to glimpse into its darkness, to "see the goddess" and renew. But they had no "science of the Hades" as in the Amduat. The active continuity between life and death found in Egypt, contradicts the closed and separated interpretation of the Greeks, fostering "escapism" (the "body" as a "prison" out of which one needs to escape). In Egypt, no "new" life was necessary. Death could bring "more" life. For both life and the afterlife depended on identical conditions : offerings ; either directly to the deities through Pharaoh or indirectly to the Ka of the deceased. If dualism fits the Greeks, triadism is Egyptian.

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