Ancient Mysteries Egypt Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life

Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life

Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life
Catalog # SKU1897
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name E. A. Wallis Budge


Egyptian Ideas
of the Future Life

E.A. Wallis Budge

The Ancient Egyptians not only had one of the most elaborate funeral rituals, that continues to fascinate scientists and archeologists, but they also had the most imaginative and exotic - dreams and plans for their 'future' life. E.A. Wallis Budge is the greatest Egyptologist that England ever produced. His books are written for both the scientist and the layman. They are not written over-using technical lingo, but enrich the layman's learning about Egypt.

Amen is addressed as "the holy god, the lord of all the gods, Amen-Ra, the lord of the thrones of the world, the prince of Apt (i.e., Karnak), the holy soul who came into being in the beginning, the great god who liveth by right and truth, the first ennead who gave birth unto the other two enneads, the being in whom every god existeth, the One of One, the creator of the things which came into being when the earth took form in the beginning, whose births are hidden, whose forms are manifold, and whose growth cannot be known.



Excerpt from Preface

The following pages are intended to place before the reader in a handy form an account of the principal ideas and beliefs held by the ancient Egyptians concerning the resurrection and the future life, which is derived wholly from native religious works.

The literature of Egypt which deals with these subjects is large and, as was to be expected, the product of different periods which, taken together, cover several thousands of years; and it is exceedingly difficult at times to reconcile the statements and beliefs of a writer of one period with those of a writer of another. Up to the present no systematic account of the doctrine of the resurrection and of the future life has been discovered, and there is no reason for hoping that such a thing will ever be found, for the Egyptians do not appear to have thought that it was necessary to write a work of the kind.

The inherent difficulty of the subject, and the natural impossibility that different men living in different places and at different times should think alike on matters which must, after all, belong always to the region of faith, render it more than probable that no college of priests, however powerful, was able to formulate a system of beliefs which would be received throughout Egypt by the clergy and the laity alike, and would be copied by the scribes as a final and authoritative work on Egyptian eschatology.

Besides this, the genius and structure of the Egyptian language are such as to preclude the possibility of composing in it works of a philosophical or metaphysical character in the true sense of the words. In spite of these difficulties, however, it is possible to collect a great deal of important information on the subject from the funereal and religious works which have come down to us, especially concerning the great central idea of immortality, which existed unchanged for thousands of years, and formed the pivot upon which the religious and social life of the ancient Egyptians actually turned.


A study of ancient Egyptian religious texts will convince the reader that the Egyptians believed in One God, who was self-existent, immortal, invisible, eternal, omniscient, almighty, and inscrutable; the maker of the heavens, earth, and underworld; the creator of the sky and the sea, men and women, animals and birds, fish and creeping things, trees and plants, and the incorporeal beings who were the messengers that fulfilled his wish and word.

It is necessary to place this definition of the first part of the belief of the Egyptian at the beginning of the first chapter of this brief account of the principal religious ideas which he held, for the whole of his theology and religion was based upon it; and it is also necessary to add that, however far back we follow his literature, we never seem to approach a time when he was without this remarkable belief.

It is true that he also developed polytheistic ideas and beliefs, and that he cultivated them at certain periods of his history with diligence, and to such a degree that the nations around, and even the stranger in his country, were misled by his actions, and described him as a polytheistic idolater. But notwithstanding all such departures from observances, the keeping of which befitted those who believed in God and his unity, this sublime idea was never lost sight of; on the contrary, it is reproduced in the religious literature of all periods.

Whence came this remarkable characteristic of the Egyptian religion no man can say, and there is no evidence whatsoever to guide us in formulating the theory that it was brought into Egypt by immigrants from the East, as some have said, or that it was a natural product of the indigenous peoples who formed the population of the valley of the Nile some ten thousand years ago, according to the opinion of others.

All that is known is that it existed there at a period so remote that it is useless to attempt to measure by years the interval of time which has elapsed since it grew up and established itself in the minds of men, and that it is exceedingly doubtful if we shall ever have any very definite knowledge on this interesting point.

Softcover, 8¼" x 6¾, 130+ pages
Perfect-Bound - Illustrated

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