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Humans are gods?
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Chitu
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:40 am    Post subject: Humans are gods? Reply with quote

“My hair is the hair of Nu. My face is the face of the Disk. My eyes are the eyes of Hathor. My ears are the ears of Ap-uat....My phallus is the phallus of Osiris...There is no member of my body which is not the member of a god. The god Thoth shieldeth my body wholly, and I am Ra day by day.”

-The Papyrus of Nu (Brit. Mus., No. 10,477, sheet 6)

Just wondering what drove the AEs to arrive at this conclusion. Exactly what are/were these gods? Could they be atoms perhaps?
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: Humans are gods? Reply with quote

Chitu wrote:
... Just wondering what drove the AEs to arrive at this conclusion. ...

This kind of texts is called "Gliegvergottung" ("body part deification"). It is a word from the German Egyptology, I do not know if there is an English equivalent. Neseret? We know them from funerary literature and magical texts on the protection of the body and for medicinal purposes. Their origin is suspected in the embalming ritual.

In almost all the texts, the list starts with the head and ending at the feet. Not every time all body parts are called. The gods may also vary. The body parts are identified with a deity or with the corresponding body portion of this deity to obtain and protect them. The funerary texts identify the body part with the deity, magical texts emphasize the expected protection from the deity.

("Lexikon der Ägyptologie - Bd. II". - Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 1977. - Hartwig Altenmüller : Gliedvergottung. - col. 624 - 627)

Chitu wrote:
... Could they be atoms perhaps?

I do not understand this question.

Greetings, Lutz.
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Chitu
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 9:59 am    Post subject: Re: Humans are gods? Reply with quote

Lutz wrote:

This kind of texts is called "Gliegvergottung" ("body part deification").

Thanks. But would you happen to have any idea why the Egyptians deified the body parts of an individual? Was there a reason why the human body was identified with the various deities? Was there a relationship between a deity and the human body part it was identified with?
Lutz wrote:
Chitu wrote:
... Could they be atoms perhaps?

I do not understand this question.

That question was a follow-up to the preceding question. It was a suggestive question.
Chitu wrote:
Exactly what are/were these gods? Could they be atoms perhaps?

Basically, I'm trying to find out what or who exactly the Ancient Egyptian deities were, and why they were identified with human body parts.
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Re: Humans are gods? Reply with quote

Chitu wrote:
... Basically, I'm trying to find out what or who exactly the Ancient Egyptian deities were, and why they were identified with human body parts.

Not the gods were identified with human body parts, the body parts were identified with a god. Thats a difference I think. The identification was clearly for reasons of protection, preservation or healing. There were not real rules, the gods could diversify from text to text.

Very generally, I would say the Egyptian (and more or less all) gods are personifications (created by humans) of forces and phenomena of the world in which humans live.

Greetings, Lutz.
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Montuhotep88
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In this, as with much or most of Egyptian thought and culture, it's important to refrain from reading our own connotations and associated meanings of words back onto the Egyptians. The word/words conventionally translated as "god/gods" may not be precisely the same concept as the Greek gods or the various modern conceptions of God or gods. We translate the word as "gods" because it's traditionally considered to be relatively close to the meaning, but it's not a one-to-one correspondence.

(This is true with nearly all translation from language to language... some meaning is lost in the translation and sometimes additional/unintended meaning is added.)
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Chitu
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I do understand that. However, the fact still remains that they're certain cosmic principles resident in man, that are pervasive throughout the universe and distinguishable enough as to be allotted distinct features and characteristics, that were deemed worthy of worship and reverence by the AEs. The Egyptians were a highly civilized culture, even by today's standards, so surely they must have been something important about these principles.
On the other hand, we have what G. James in his Stolen Legacy described as the "Immortals"--only perceived when one has astral-projected:

"The earliest theory of salvation is the Egyptian theory. The Egyptian Mystery System had as its most important object, the deification of man, and taught that the soul of man if liberated from its bodily fetters, could enable him to become godlike and see the Gods in this life and attain the beatific vision and hold communion with the Immortals (Ancient Mysteries, C. H. Vail, P. 25)."

http://www.sacred-texts.com/afr/stle/stle07.htm
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Va Phenix
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe what you are speaking about is their practice of faith. But in essence, faith in all cultures has its own uniqueness and many commonalities.

Do I think the AE thought about "atoms" as we know them? No, I don't. But I do think they had a sense and wisdom about science that we are now just trying to understand. If you can, watch the documentary/movie What the Bleep Do We know. It has nothing to do with AE, but it is along the lines I think you are looking for.
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Chitu
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Va Phenix wrote:
If you can, watch the documentary/movie What the Bleep Do We know.
Smile Thanks Beth. Already watched it. Smile Quantum Physics is cool. Cool
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chitu wrote:
Va Phenix wrote:
If you can, watch the documentary/movie What the Bleep Do We know.
Smile Thanks Beth. Already watched it. Smile Quantum Physics is cool. Cool

Cool! It's my thought that AE thought in a similar manner.

I meant to give you this link as well ... http://www.crystalinks.com/egyptgodsindex.html

She has a wonderful assortment of information. Perhaps not as document based as it is here, which I am immensely grateful for, but a person can click all day on her site.

Cheers!
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:38 am    Post subject: Re: Humans are gods? Reply with quote

Chitu wrote:
“My hair is the hair of Nu. My face is the face of the Disk. My eyes are the eyes of Hathor. My ears are the ears of Ap-uat....My phallus is the phallus of Osiris...There is no member of my body which is not the member of a god. The god Thoth shieldeth my body wholly, and I am Ra day by day.”

-The Papyrus of Nu (Brit. Mus., No. 10,477, sheet 6)

Just wondering what drove the AEs to arrive at this conclusion. Exactly what are/were these gods? Could they be atoms perhaps?


As Lutz indicated to you, the identification of human body parts with gods usually has to do with protection or preservation. In the funerary context, from which pNu refers, the deceased is thought to "become" divine in his transitioning from a deceased human body to an akh (an eternal spirit that dwells with the gods in the Duat).

As such, Nu is likely referring to this process, since the sun (the "Disk") is a god who shines forth his face: thus Nu's face will become like the Disk's face.

The ears of Nu becoming like Wepwawet (Ap-uat) refers to the fine hearing that the wolf-god Wepwawet of Abydos has in hearing the approach of the enemies of the dead.

The phallus of Nu becoming like that of Osiris means that Nu's fertility would be restored after death, just as Osiris' fertility was restored after death, by Isis, to conceive Horus.

To be the "eyes of Hathor" refers to the myth when this goddess once stood in for the eyes of Horus, once his eyes were blinded in battle with Sutekh. The dead, in ancient Egyptian thought, are thought to have become blind as dead: if Nu takes on the "eyes of Hathor," he not only sees again, but is considered alive as well (for more on the idea that sight = being alive, see Bolshakov 1997 and Zandee 1960).

Each one of the statements of Nu (this verse can be found in a number of examples of the Books of the Dead, BTW) refers to a mythic allusion to a deity's function at one time or another. It has no other meaning than that, and it is very doubtful that it is a reference to "atoms."

See also:

Allen, T. G. and E. B. Hauser 1974. The Book of the Dead or Going Forth by Day: Ideas of the Ancient Egyptians Concerning the Hereafter as Expressed in Their Own Terms. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization. SAOC 37. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bolshakov, A. O. 1997. Man and His Double in Egyptian Ideology of the Old Kingdom. Ägypten und Altes Testament 37. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Faulkner, R. O. and C. Andrews 1985. The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. Austin: University of Texas Press/British Museum.

Hornung, E. 1992. Zur Struktur des ägyptischen Jenseitsglaubens. ZÄS 119: 124-130.

Ringgren, H. 1969. Light and Darkness in Ancient Egyptian Religion. In Unknown, Ed., Liber Amicorum: Studies in Honour of Professor Dr. C. J. Bleeker: 140-150. Studies in the History of Religions (Supplements to Numen) 17. Leiden: Brill.

Roeder, H. 1996. Mit dem Auge sehen: Studien zur Semantik der Herrschaft in den Toten- und Kulttexten. SAGA 16. Heidelberg: Heidelberger Orientverlag.

Zandee, J. 1960. Death as an Enemy According to Ancient Egyptian Conceptions. Studies in the History of Religions (Supplements to Numen) 5. W. F. Klasens, transl. Leiden: Brill.
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Chitu
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:46 am    Post subject: Re: Humans are gods? Reply with quote

neseret wrote:
Each one of the statements of Nu (this verse can be found in a number of examples of the Books of the Dead, BTW) refers to a mythic allusion to a deity's function at one time or another.

I too find it very doubtful that one possessing an intellectual prowess as the Egyptian priesthood and the Pharaohs did would occupy a good deal of their lifetime, up to the extent of ensuring an elaborate burial ceremony, with mere "mythic allusions". The Egyptian was well aware of the difference between myth and spiritual fact. Its this spiritual quintessence that was expressed in "myths" that I'm interested in.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Humans are gods? Reply with quote

Chitu wrote:
neseret wrote:
Each one of the statements of Nu (this verse can be found in a number of examples of the Books of the Dead, BTW) refers to a mythic allusion to a deity's function at one time or another.

I too find it very doubtful that one possessing an intellectual prowess as the Egyptian priesthood and the Pharaohs did would occupy a good deal of their lifetime, up to the extent of ensuring an elaborate burial ceremony, with mere "mythic allusions". The Egyptian was well aware of the difference between myth and spiritual fact. Its this spiritual quintessence that was expressed in "myths" that I'm interested in.


There is a difference in the "New Age" concept that the ancient Egyptian culture was some form of "intellectual powerhouse" and the factual reality of how knowledge was conveyed in ancient Egypt.

In fact, in most estimates, the literacy rate during the entire Pharaonic period of rule come to about .4 percent [that's 4/10 of a percent] of the population (Baines 1983). The overall impression one gets is that there was a very small class of individuals who had the ability to read and write the complex hieroglyphic/hieratic system -- usually scribes, royals, and perhaps a few select nobility with administrative powers. It is thought that some skilled artisans also read to a limited degree -- such as stonemasons, sculptors, etc., in order to perform their work. Beyond that, we are talking about a totally illiterate population.

That said, ancient Egyptian instruction texts were the most widely used literary texts of antiquity, but were a vehicle for public knowledge and wisdom, not for the esoteric. They also addressed a relatively wide range of social groups. Myths were in the oral tradition and open to soceity as a whole, as a means to explain the universe and all it encompassed, but, as Baines (1990) has also noted, "...restriction of religious knowledge in Egypt should be expected, because access to religious practice was restricted, at least as regards cult, entry into the temples, and related approaches to the gods: limited physical or organizational access is a first basis for restriction...The general restriction of temple relief should be seen in rather different terms, as a precondition in the background to the most restricted forms of knowledge that were transmitted in written or pictorial form. These then form an inner layer of restriction, presumably the preserve of an inner group of initiates whose identity it is not possible to specify" (Baines 1990: 7)

In short, knowledge is power, but in ancient Egypt, it wasn't the quality of knowledge that made it valuable, but to whom in was restricted (the king, certain high officials, and some religious priests). Baines notes this, saying, in particular of religious knowledge:

Within the human sphere, as against the royal-divine one, the premise that knowledge is power - in diverse spheres - remains valuable, and can be related to the evolution of the sources. Restricted knowledge is socially competitive or divisive, enhancing competition within a social group and accentuating divisions between groups to which knowledge is available and others to which it is not. The character of the knowledge is not as significant as is the question of who knows it. Some restricted knowledge may be instrumentally significant in a narrow sense, giving the technical or informational basis for administrative or artistic activity. Most religious knowledge, however, is not of this type. (Baines 1990: 22)

Reference:

Baines, J. R. 1990. Restricted Knowledge, Hierarchy, and Decorum: Modern Perceptions and Ancient Institutions. JARCE 27: 1-23.

__________. 1983. Literacy and ancient Egyptian society. Man 18: 572-599.

HTH.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Humans are gods? Reply with quote

neseret wrote:
In fact, in most estimates, the literacy rate during the entire Pharaonic period of rule come to about .4 percent [that's 4/10 of a percent] of the population (Baines 1983).


Some books I've read have put it as high as 5.0%, but I've always felt that seemed like too much. (But even in that (over-)generous estimate, still a small minority of the population.) I'm reminded of something I just read in Barry J. Kemp's recent The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti (a darned good book if one wants to know about Amarna archaeology without going through all the actual excavation reports) where an otherwise well-made coffin had nonsense hieroglyphs on it, clearly put there because of tradition, but without any understanding of the text.

neseret wrote:
In short, knowledge is power, but in ancient Egypt, it wasn't the quality of knowledge that made it valuable, but to whom in was restricted (the king, certain high officials, and some religious priests).


Great point. I need to steal... er, use that sometime. Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:03 am    Post subject: Re: Humans are gods? Reply with quote

Chitu wrote:
“My hair is the hair of Nu. My face is the face of the Disk. My eyes are the eyes of Hathor. My ears are the ears of Ap-uat....My phallus is the phallus of Osiris...There is no member of my body which is not the member of a god. The god Thoth shieldeth my body wholly, and I am Ra day by day.”

-The Papyrus of Nu (Brit. Mus., No. 10,477, sheet 6)

Just wondering what drove the AEs to arrive at this conclusion. Exactly what are/were these gods? Could they be atoms perhaps?

Not a scholar, just a hobbits.

My understanding is that the Papyrus of Nu was in the 18 dynasty, which would have placed it near the end of the Hyksos rule. The Hyksos from Asia had been left Egypt because of Leprosy and the Canaan had filled the ruling power for the Hyksos. I think what was happening is the Hyksos was a much older Civilization but they did not use a deity in there god. God was a term for “the knowledge of mankind”. Therefore all people made up god in the Hyksos religion thoughts. In that thinking the Papyrus of Nu is correct. The Egyptians never quite caught on, with the Hyksos gone they only used some of the religion.

RA was the god and god was knowledge.

If you needed knowledge, then you prayed and honored RA.

Then RA would send you KNOWLEDGE by sunlight to your heart. Where Egyptian knowledge was kept.

RA lived in the sun or was the sun, I am not sure.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty ... But what contemporary archaeological evidence you have for your "oddities"?
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