Walk like an Egyptian

Akhenaten

Q: How long will death prevail?
A: As long as women bear children.
Q: Is it wrong to bear children then?
A: Eat every plant, but avoid bitter ones.
Q: When will I know the mysteries?
A: After you have trampled on the garment of shame, when two become one, and the male and female become neither male nor female.

—Gospel of the Egyptians

 The father of King Tutankhamun, King Akhenaten, was the first monarch to install monotheism in his kingdom, but he was completely lost to history until 1907, when Edward Ayrton unearthed his tomb and discovered he was husband to Nefertiti, who was already well-known as the mother of the famous King Tut.

Akhenaten abolished the imperial religion based on a pantheon of gods and goddesses. His version of the Great Spirit was called Aten, and the sun was his eye and the world, and he was sometimes represented as a falcon head, although there were no idols to worship. For 17 years Akhenaten reigned, but he was overthrown by fundamentalists in his own court, who sought to restore the pagan pantheon. Sigmund Freud was the first to theorize Akhenaten and Moses were one-and-the-same, but that theory falls apart upon closer examination. Moses is a mythical avatar, and there never was an exodus of Jews out of Egypt.

Moses was created as a composite of Zoroaster, and Cyrus the Great,  the first Zoroastrian king of Persia, who freed the Jews from Babylonian slavery before they had a written history. In fact, it was Cyrus who told them to go back to Jerusalem and build their temple Jerusalem. He gave the funds necessary provided they pledged to write down the Torah.

Zoroaster had come to similar epiphanies as Akhenatenin, and got credit for inventing monotheism. The prophet Mani would later update Zoroaster’s monotheism by sprinkling in bits of Buddhism and Christianity, while also deploying the sun as eye of god, just as Akhenaten. Mani thought spirit moved through light, and the moon was the spirit of Jesus, just as the sun was the spirit of Jehovah. He lived a few centuries after the alleged birth of Jesus, and considered himself Jesus’ appointed agent on earth. He was the most famous Gnostic of his time, as well as the most famous portrait painter and philosoper.

The Scythians of the Caucasus Mountains had been responsible for introducing cannabis to the Zoroastrians, who soon built a trail of fire temples from Iran to India. The Scythians invented the holy grail myth and did not worship a pantheon of gods like most of the world at the time. But the Zoroastrians re-invented the grail in the form of a Eucharist-like ceremony, which later got adopted by the Christians.

We know Zoroaster had a huge influence on the development of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, and it’s his Magi who attend Christianity’s birth in Bethlehem. But I have to wonder if Buddha and Pythagoras (who studied with the Magi and wrote the rulebook for secret societies) might not have been there too.

In 1945, a writer in Finland named Mika Waltari discovered the untold story of Akhenaten and wrote a book titled The Egyptian and the novel was adapted into a Hollywood movie of the same name in 1954, and inspired David McDermott to produce a tribute to the film as part of a spectacle called New Wave Vaudeville, directed by Susan Hannaford-Rose, and staged at Irving Plaza in 1978, a show that also launched Klaus Nomi, among many others.

The ancient Egyptians had an enormous influence on religion, and Alexandria became the center for Christian theology for centuries until Rome seized it. The myth of a virgin mother may have originated with Neith, the ancient Egyptian goddess of war, who carried an ankh, the symbol of life. She is thought to have been the first goddess created by the Egyptians, although she was greatly eclipsed by Isis.

Neith’s symbol was a bow, shield and two crossed arrows, while her consort became known as Set, god of the darkness. Even so, Neith had power to birth offspring without involvement of any male energy. Strange that Neith’s ankh resembles many early Christian crosses from Alexandria and the goddess of war has a reverse doppleganger in Gnostic Christianity named Sophia, the first thought of the One, who is also a virgin mother but referred to as “wisdom” and ‘love.”