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THE ATLANTEAN SYMBOLISM OF THE EGYPTIAN TEMPLE (PART I)



            Turning my face to sunrise, I created a wonder for you. I made the islands of Punt come here to you, with all their fragrant flowers, to beg your peace and to breathe your air.

            Stele of Amon

Introduction

Obs.: This article is divided into two parts, both of which are included in the Old World section of this Homepage. Click on the figures to get an enlarged viewing.

Entering an Egyptian temple is an unforgettable experience, one that is certainly the most pungent a sensitive person can ever undergo. Even though all the Egyptian temples are, at present, mostly destroyed and disfigured, something of the ancient majesty remains to render the experience unique. And the reason can now be revealed: the Egyptian temple is a replica of Paradise, and entering one is equivalent to doing a ritual pilgrimage to Paradise, just as the ancient heroes such as Hercules, Gilgamesh, Ulysses and Alexander once did, long ago.

In what follows we will explain in detail the symbolism of the Egyptian temple, the symbolic meaning of its several sections and features and, above all, its connection with the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Moreover, we will explain the secret, esoteric doctrines concerning Atlantis and its identity with Paradise; as well as the meaning of Pharaoh as an alias of Osiris, the psychopompos that leads the souls back to Paradise. This identity, we will see, is so close and so detailed that it cannot be refuted in any rational way. So, the ineluctable conclusion is the legend of Atlantis and its connection with Egypt mentioned by Plato is real and compelling.

Fig 1(a) - Perspective of an Egyptian TempleThe feature that strikes the visitor of Egypt is the fact that its temples are widely different from the ones of other nations.Fig. 1(b) - Plan of an Egyptian TempleAs can be seen in Fig.1, the Egyptian temple was formed of three separated sections, each widely different from the others. An outer wall often triple surrounded the whole structure.

The first section consisted of a sacred garden permanently irrigated and kept green at all times. This garden had sacred pools intended for baptismal rituals and included trees and palm trees, as well as a great variety of plants and flowers. Some of these were incense trees imported from Punt, from the Holy Land that was the Paradise of the Egyptians. As we shall see below, this structure was followed in just about every Egyptian temple, and had a very specific symbolic purpose.Fig. 1(c) - Cross-section of an Egyptian Temple

In some temples, such as the one of Karnak, an alley of sphinxes guarded the place. In others, these were substituted by giant statues of divine guardians or of lions or some other fearful figure. Next came the pylons (or portals), which had a very characteristic shape. These pylons consist of very massive, tapering, rectangular jambs resembling a table mountain or lofty altar, on whose top certain rituals were often celebrated.

Fig. 1(d) - The procession carrying in the visiting barqueThese pylons were linked to each other by means of a lower lintel covering the entrance gateway at the center. They had recesses intended for the placement of wooden flagpoles, usually two or four. At the front of the pylons were also placed lofty obelisks, again two or four, depending on the particular temple.

Fig. 1(e) - The Egyptian Temple represented a tropical forestThe gateway of the pylons admitted to the second section, open in its central region but covered with colonnades at the three far sides of it. At the far end of this second court one enters a hypostyle hall by way of a ramp. This hall had a stone roofing supported by pillars distributed in the whole of its court.

Next came the holy of holies, the precinct of the god to whom the temple was dedicated. This small chamber was situated at the center and held, inside, a sacred barque. This inner sanctuary was surrounded by lateral chapels for subsidiary gods, small praying rooms, and storage rooms for the divine paraphernalia used in the sacred rites.


The Divine Barque

The Egyptian temple was accessed by means of barques in which the gods were processioned from temple to temple at the occasion of their festivals (see Fig.1(d)). The chapels inside the temple were usually three, as the Egyptians, like so many other peoples, worshipped triads of gods. In brief, one might say that the Egyptian temple consisted of an innermost closed sanctuary were the god, placed inside the processional barque, stood upon an altar; then an intermediate, semi-open hypostyle hall, and finally an open outer courtyard planted with a walled, well watered garden.

The king's palace was also constructed according to this sacred geometry, which was also followed in the residences of the high dignitaries. The accessibility of the different sections was also rigidly disciplined. The humbler persons were restricted to the open courtyard; the high officials were admitted to the hypostyle hall, and only the pharaoh and the high priest were admitted to the innermost sanctuary.

Accordingly, the temple structure was also rigidly linked with sunlight. The hypostyle court was in semi-darkness, except for a small skylight at the top which allowed a ray of light to enter through the opening, falling directly upon the god's statue. The hypostyle hall had columns which are invariably very thick and strong, and were obviously intended to carry a great load upon them.1

These columns were made in the likeness of a somber tropical forest composed of palm-trees, papyrus stems and lotus stalks with elaborate capitals imitating the tops of these plants. In most cases, the solid roof is made in the image of the sky, with the constellations explicitly represented in it (see Fig.1 (e)).

It is clear to any keen observer that the hypostyle hall represents a heavily forested underground realm with its subterranean "heaven" (or canopy) forming the ground floor of our own world. We shall see below that this subterranean world represents, rather literally at that, the subterranean realm of Atlantis. What else? Moreover, the lotus, palm and papyrus capitals of such hypostyle halls are closed and budding, as they would be at night or before they are a button ready to open.

Only in the sections usually exposed to sunlight are the pillars, in contrast, decorated with open flowers and fronds. Among the constellations represented in the roof of the hypostyle chamber the Celestial Nile is represented, with the gods navigating across them in their barques. Clearly, the chamber represents a dual of Egypt, not indeed Celestial, but sunken underground and infernal, though extremely beautiful and pleasurable.2


The Hypostyle Hall Portrays a Tropial Forest

Anyone who ever entered a tropical forest in his lifetime will readily realize that the hypostyle hall of the Egyptian temples was designed in order to represent one: the imposing gloom, the trick trunes of the pillars all around, the luscius colors, the vegetation above forming a thick canopy high overhead, and so on.

In fact, even the evergreen forests of the temperate or the cold regions of the world do resemble the hypostyle hall of na Egyptian temple, except for the lack of the colorful vegetation. Keep this analogy in mind the next time you are lucky enough to enter na Egyptian temple like the one of Karnak, and you will readily realize the truth of what we are claiming.

Fig. 1(f) - The Egyptian Temple represented a tropical forestUnfortunately, the gorgeous colours are now mainly gone, effaced by the forocious sun of sub-tropical Egypt. But in the times of David Roberts (1796-1864) - the famous Irish painter who visited Egypt in 1838-9 drawing its many marvel - they were still alive, as can be seen in Fig. 1(e) and 1(f) which we owe to the great artist. Space does not allow a fuller presentation of the many beautiful drawings that Roberts bequeathed us and which portray the interior of the Egyptian temples. The ones of Fig. 1(e) and 1(f) show, the interior of the temple of Isis, in the island of Philae.

On the ceiling of the hall is shown the nocturnal sky, spangled with stars. In it fly the repeated figures of the sacred vulture and the sacred beetle, symbols of death and resurrection. The freshness and the beauty of the colors enchanted Roberts, who also extols the beauty of its majestic proportions. The clearing at the center of the hypostyle hall represents the temenos, the sacred open space within the enclosure of the temple where the worshippers gathered for the cult.

The nocturnal sky shown in the figure represents the former sky, the one of sunken Atlantis which became the new earth when it fell down over the former land. On that sky sails the sacred ships of the Sun and his attendant in their nocturnal trip back to the Orient, where the day star will start the new day.

In the colorful foliage that forms the capitals of the pillars we recognize several sorts of tropical vegetation: lotuses, papyri, palm trees. Though cultivated in Egypt from remotest epochs, these plants are not originally Egyptian. As we argue elsewhere in detail, they originated in the Far East and, more exactly, in the region of Indonesia, the very site of Paradise (Punt) according to Egyptian traditions.

On the pillars of Isis' temple of Philae can be seen several christian crosses. These were carved in the VI century, when Bishop Theodorus transformed the temple into a Coptic church. Very little transformation was indeed required, the "Christianization" consistingof the carving of the crosses and the construction of na altar for the celebration of Mass. In fact, one of the key factors of the instant sucess of Christianism and elsewhere was the sunchretism of isis with the Virgin Mary and that of Osiris (Serapis) and Horus with the somewhat equivocal figures of Christ and his mysterious Father.

In fact the Immaculate Conception was taken verbatim from the identical one of Horus by the dead body os Osiris. After the great god had been murdered by Seth, his evil brother, Isis sought out his dead remains, which she gathered and mummified, with the exception of the phallus, which could not be found. In her temple at Dendera, Isis is shown under the guise of a bird, beating her wings to insuffate life into Osiris' body, while magically conceiving her Son Horus in the process.

Though far more explicit than most christian renderings of the Virgin Birth of Christ renderings of the Virgin Birth of Christ, there can be no doubt that both motifs represent one and the same primordial concept, whose true meaning seems to have been utterly forgotten with the passage of time. In fact, Isis as a bird hovering above dead Osiris closely evokes the figure of the Holy Ghost doing the same at the occasion of Christ's baptism or, even more closely, the winged angel "announcing" the Immaculate Conception.3


There Will Be a New Heaven and a New Earth

It is precisely this ancient conception that is meant in the Book of Revelation where it alludes to the fall or descent of the New Jerusalem from above, and adds that "there will be a new earth and a new heaven". The temple of Ramses III one of the most Fig. 2 - The temple of Ramses III in Medinet Habubeautiful and best preserved ancient Egyptian temples will serve as the base of our discussion. It is shown below, in the magnificent reconstruction of Fig.2.

At the faces of the pylons can be seen one of the most constant features of Egyptian temples: the engraved image of the god or the pharaoh impassively smashing the heads of prisoners. Indeed, the images are dual, and represent the twin gods wielding their maces with a solemn detachment. These twin gods are the aliases of Hercules and Atlas, the Primordial Twins of Atlantis. In other words, what the impressive engraving shows is the destruction of Atlantis by its two patron deities, Hercules and Atlas.

The icon also corresponds to a similar motif which is extremely popular in the Far East and which shows Yama and Yamantaka (or their many aliases) killing the Bull or some other enemy that represents Atlantis. It is strange to see the god who is the patron and founder of a nation to wipe it out so recklessly. But such is invariably the case, for the hand that creates is the same one that destroys, when the right time comes. And this great god is Shiva. In the Far East, Shiva is deemed, like Jahveh, to be both the Creator and the Destroyer of all things, which are infallibly doomed to die.


The Triple Wall and the Crenelated Tower

As can be seen in Fig.2, the Egyptian temple was surrounded by a triple wall. The admission was from the south side, by means of a pier or dock on which the sacred barque landed on the occasion of the festivals, bringing in the pharaoh and the visiting gods from the other temples along the Nile. The two outermost walls were crenelated. The outer one was lower than the inner one, which posed a formidable barrier against thieves and invaders.

The main gate was garnished with a lofty crenelated tower well stocked with soldiers, who had the range of its thick wall, turning the temple into a virtually inexpugnable fortress. The third, innermost one, was entered through the first pylon, again an impressive structure that we will discuss further below. The triple wall is a characteristic Atlantean feature, one that was extensively discussed by Plato. So is also the crenelated tower which, again, rendered Atlantis virtually inexpugnable.4


The Garden and the Sacred Pools

The common folks and the profane visitors only had access to the outer court and the gardens of the temple. In Fig.1 and 2 one can see that these gardens were decorated with palm trees (date palms), trees (sycamores) and flower plants.

They were well watered, and had two sacred pools fed automatically from the underground with water from the Nile by means of a sophisticate hydraulic device. This can be seen in Fig. 1(c), a reconstruction made by Papus (ABC Illustré d'Occultisme, Paris, 1892). These two pools serving as artificial springs closely recall those of Atlantis as described by Plato, and which were one hot and the other cool, according to him.

The sacred pools (or springs) of the Egyptian temples served for the baptism of the initiants, a ritual that is intimately connected with the Flood and the sinking of Atlantis, as we explain elsewhere in detail (See: The Atlantean Origin of the Seven Sacraments: Baptism). These were also connected, by means of subterranean waterworks, with the underground crypt, where initiatic rituals of a more occult nature were performed. The luxuriant, artificially irrigated garden of the Egyptian temples is another feature that can be traced back directly to Atlantis and, indeed, to the Garden of Eden and to that of the Hesperides (or Atlantides), the daughters of Atlas.

Plato describes the beautiful gardens of Atlantis in detail in his Critias. And the Garden of the Hesperides so often associated with Atlantis lay not indeed in Morocco or in Libya, as some affirm, but in Atlantis itself. These gardens are the same as the legendary Gardens of Avalon, or as the Garden of Eden, the true site of Man's origin that is no other than Atlantis. It is hardly likely that the jealous Atlas would keep the Hesperides both his daughters and lovers, according to tradition very far from his palace in the Orient, confining them in Mauritania (Marocco), on the other side of the world.


The Pylons, Banners and Obelisks

As illustrated in Fig.1, most Egyptians temples had a pair of monolithic obelisks planted just in front of the pylons of the inner gateway. These obelisks were a sort of free standing pillars, and closely correspond to Jachin and Boaz, their famous counterparts posted in front of Solomon's Temple by Hiram of Tyre. More exactly, they also corresponded to the Pillars of Hercules Melkart posted in front of the temples the Phoenicians constructed every where a strategic strait separated two seas or two different regions.

The best known Pillars of Hercules were those of Gibraltar, which many experts mistake for the true archetypes that indeed marked the site of Atlantis, as reported by Plato. Thus, Herodotus (Hist. II:44) mentions Pillars of Hercules in Tyre, in Thasos, as well as in other places.

Many other authorities mention Pillars of Hercules posted in strategic straits such as the Bosphorus, the Syrtis, the Bab-el-Mandeb, Gades, and so on. It is a mistake, then, to believe that the name "Pillars of Hercules" used by Plato and others unequivocally refer to the Strait of Gibraltar, for there were many such responding by that name.

These phony pillars were just a trick of the mendacious Phoenicians intended to divert the attention of their competitors to the wrong side of the world, thereby preserving their lucrative monopoly of the Indian trade. As we have abundantly contended elsewhere, the archetypal Pillars of Hercules were the ones that indeed marked out the entrance into Atlantis. Later, when Atlantis sunk away, these pillars again marked the entrance into Hades, the half-sunken residue of paradise. There they flanked the Strait of Sunda, in Indonesia, the true site of Atlantis and of Hades, which the Hindus call Atala.

It is interesting to recall that Plato often connects Atlantis to the Pillars of Hercules and apparently implies that this hero was indeed Gadeiros, the twin brother of Atlas. Plato also speaks of golden pillars kept in Poseidon's temple, in Atlantis, which its kings inscribed with their royal edits. It is from these that the pair of pillars that decorated the Egyptian temples, the ones of the Jews and those of many nations were indeed copied.

Why would the Egyptians who never sailed the Mediterranean or the Atlantic Ocean, but confined their naval trade to the Indian Ocean consider Gibraltar important and pay homage to its guardian deities, Atlas and Hercules (Gadeiros) by posting twin pillars in the forefront of their temples? Why would the Phoenicians and the Jews, who were originary from beyond the Indian Ocean, from the region of the East Indies, do the same, commemorating gods, places and symbols that were not theirs, but indeed belonged t their enemies, the Greeks and the Romans?

The two enormous pylons that flanked the main gateway of the Egyptian temples is perhaps the most striking feature of these constructions. What do they indeed represent? The Egyptians claimed that they represented the two mountains of Isis and Nephtys, her twin sister. But, indeed, they symbolized the same thing as the twin obelisks, that is, the Pillars of Hercules.


The Gateway of Paradise

The "door" flanked by the true Pillars of Hercules corresponded to the strait that served as the Gateway of Paradise. As can be seen in Fig.2, there were two pairs of pylons placed at the opposite ends of the inner court. This is a very important feature, one that Fig. 3 - Nut forming the four pillars of heaventells the true story of the Pillars of Hercules for those who can indeed read the ancient symbols. The four feet of the Celestial Cow (Nut or Hathor)correspond to the four members of Isis, who is also often shown in a strange arched position, with her arms and legs touching the ground (Fig.3).

This allegory is strange, but highly revealing. Here, Nut, the Sky is shown decked with stars which represent the night sky. The gods navigate along her body, in Heaven (Paradise), obviously delimited by the two pairs of pillars (her four members) at each extremity. These are indeed the Pillars of Hercules, one pair in the Occident (Gibraltar), the other in the opposite extreme of the world (Sunda Strait), in the Far Orient. Beneath her body is the god Shu ("Atmosphere") holding her up, as well as the god Geb ("Earth") lying down on his back.

In certain versions of this picture, the allegory is far more explicit, and shows that what indeed holds Nut up is the huge phallus of Geb, here apparently missing. As we explain elsewhere, the allegory depicts the separation of Heaven and Earth which is really of Hindu origin and figures already in the Rig Veda, where the deed is ascribed to Purusha, the first man.


The Pillar of Heaven

In reality, the Phallus of Geb is the fifth, Central Pillar, the one that stretched the skies up, "like a tent", to use an interesting metaphor from the Bible. This fifth, Central Pillar is indeed Mt. Atlas or Meru, so often identified with the Cosmic Linga, the Phallus of the Earth. Its absence here can easily be explained when we recall what we said above concerning "the fall of the skies". As the very name of Atlas explains (a-tla = "the one who did not stand"), the Titan was unable to bear the excessive weight of the former earth (Atlantis), which thus sunk underground, turning into Hell.

At the rear pylons the ones corresponding to the Oriental Gateway of Paradise are posted the gigantic statues of the Twin Guardians. These often change into lions, sphinxes or some other terrifying creatures. They correspond to the Cherubins that guard the Gates of Paradise in just about all mythologies. In Greece they are Cerberus and Orthrus; in Babylon, the Karibus, in China the Twin Lions; in Angkor and Indonesia, the Nagas. In India, they are the Lokapalas or Dvarapalas ("Guardians"). In reality they are the Twins we encounter everywhere and who are indeed Atlas and Hercules in Greece or Krishna and Balarama in Indian myths.

The twin flagpoles and their banners were another invariable feature of Egyptian temples. In Egypt, the banner on a flagpole represented the deity (neter). The use of banners and standards in temples is common in the Orient and, particularly, in Tibet. It seems that, originally, banners and pennants consisted of impaling staffs over which were hung the flayed skins of the sacrificed prisoners of war in order to scare away the enemy.

Their connection with the Pillars of Hercules and, hence, with the pylons that symbolized them in Egyptian temples, seems to be akin to that symbolism. Indeed, it seems the Phoenicians had the habit of posting impaling poles at the entrance of forbidden straits such as the Pillars of Hercules. These straits were forbidden to all but their ships, and anyone caught while attempting to cross the passage was automatically impaled, as a warning to all.


The Trident of Shiva

In the Egyptian temples, then, the flagstaffs symbolized the impaling poles that were associated with the Pillars of Hercules, whereas the loose pennants that hung down from them stood for the flayed skins of the unfortunate victims caught trespassing the forbidden gateway to Paradise. The same ritual function was also served by the twin obelisks which, apparently, originally served as impaling poles, to judge from their name (obeliskos, in Greek, means "skewer").5

The pylons of the Egyptian temples suggest yet another Atlantean feature of great importance. It concerns Trikuta, the Triple Mountain upon which Lanka, the true archetype of Atlantis, was originally built. The central peak of Trikuta was Mt. Atlas or, indeed, the Central Pillar of Heaven that was identified to Shiva's linga.

When Atlas, the Pillar of Heaven collapsed, it became the huge submarine caldera of the Krakatoa volcano which nowadays forms the Strait of Sunda, separating Java from Sumatra. The two remaining peaks are, in Hindu myths, the Sumeru and the Kumeru, that is, the two Merus, one in the north, the other in the south. In Egyptian myths, these two peaks are known as the Mountain of Manu or, yet, the Mountain of the Orient and the one of the Occident. These names are clearly taken from Hindu traditions, for even their names are the same as in India.

These twin mountains are variously allegorized. But in geographical reality, they correspond to the two peaks that flank the Strait of Sunda, named respectively the Kalianda and the Gunnung Karang. This Triple Mountain was precisely the one the ancients equated with the Trident of Shiva (Trikuta) and, later, with the one of Poseidon, his Greek counterpart. Indeed, this triple mountain is the one that the Argonautica and the Odyssey called by the name of Thrinacia (thrinax = "trident"), and which was later exoterically identified with Sicily, allegedly because of its triangular shape.

The shape of the pylons of the Egyptian temples roughly recall the one of certain churches and cathedrals such as Notre Dame and Reims, which have two blunted towers flanking the central gateway, which is far lower than the other two side towers. Clearly, the same conception guided the hands that built those cathedrals and the temples of Egypt.

In other words, the idea of Atlantis and its triple mountain (Trikuta) and collapsed central peak apparently lay at the root of the ancient Mystery Religions that eventually became the religions of Egypt and of Christianity, not to mention others that are not being discussed here.

The pylons of the Egyptian temples are nearly verbatim replicas of the so-called "Mountain of Sunrise" or its dual, the "Mountain of Sunset" (or of the West), which are endlessly portrayed in Egyptian iconographies and in myths as well. This symbolism is indeed metaphoric, and is taken from India, where Mt. Meru (really the Sumeru and the Kumeru) are called by precisely these two epithets.

What is in reality allegorized by the rising sun shining between the two peaks of the Holy Mountain is the explosion of its central peak (Mt. Atlas), bursting "with the light of a thousand suns" and disappearing under the seas, where it becomes the Primordial Abyss (Nun), whence the Sun originally rose, during Creation.

By the way, in Egypt the sun rises and sets in the Sahara desert, rather than from the sea or even from among the mountains. So, the image of the sun rising and setting in the waters of the sea (the Nun) or from the hills of a foreign country can only have originated elsewhere. And where is that? The only place in the ancient world that fits the description are India and Indonesia, as can be seen in a map of the region. So, once more we see that both in the geographical reality as well as in the mythical image which equates the sun rising with a giant volcanism of an island over the seas can only have come from there, for all other places are irremediably wrong.


The Hypostyle Hall

In Fig.4 below we show a drawing of a typical hypostyle hall being crossed by a procession during a festival of the god. As can be seen from this figure and the preceding ones, both the amount of pillars and their impressive thickness are clearly exaggerated for the weight of the superstructure they had to bear.Fig. 4 - The hypostyle hall of an Egyptian temple

The Egyptians were fine engineers, and would never commit such a mistake. Hence, we may clearly conclude that the purpose of the exaggerated number and thickness of these pillars was ritual. What ritual was that, though? In the introduction to the present essay, we mentioned the fact that the hypostyle hall was indeed a replica of the subterranean realm of Atlantis or, rather, of its tropical forest with its enormous trees. Indeed, it represents the Lost Continent sunken underground and rendered dark when the sky collapsed over it. Can we justify such an unusual assertion? We certainly can.

The semi-obscurity of the hypostyle hall was intended to convey the idea of a nocturnal, gloomy realm like Hades and Cimmeria. This darkness is further enhanced by the decoration on the roof, which depicts the starry night sky. The same symbolism is also encountered in tombs such as the tholoi of Minoan Crete and the tumuli of Etruscan Rome, or even in the domes and crypts of certain early Christian churches. If we look again at our discussion of Fig.3, we see that this gloomy sky represents the belly of Nut, the Celestial goddess in Egyptian tradition.

This dark abode of the dead corresponds, as we said there, to the region of Paradise, enclosed between the four Pillars of the World. But the Egyptian Paradise, their land ancestral, was Punt, the Land of the Gods. Punt is in reality Atlantis, this Egyptian name being a corruption of the Sanskrit Bandha, a name that literally corresponds to the Dravidian Punt. Punt was precisely the local (Dravidian) name of Indonesia in ancient times, when the Dravidas still inhabited the place, before moving on to India and elsewhere. This name was translated into Sanskrit as Bhanda ("Bridge") in the magnificent relation of the Ramayana, one of the first and greatest epics of all times.


Eden and Its Luxuriant Vegetation

Another thing that strikes the visitor of Egyptian temples such as the one of Fig.2, is the bright coloration of the hypostyle hall and the luxuriant nature of the vegetation therein depicted. Very clearly, the realm there depicted is not desertic Egypt, but some tropical forest turned gloomy and nocturnal for some obscure reason. If we review Plato's extactic discussion of Atlantis as a tropical paradise full of perfumes, trees and luxuriant vegetation, the analogy with the region depicted in the hypostyle hall comes naturally to the mind.

The second evidence for this analogy consists in the nature of the vegetation there represented, and which is clearly intended to represent a tropical forest of huge trees, something wholly unlike anything we ever had in Egypt but which, to believe Plato, was commonplace in Atlantis. In hindsight, we only find, in the ancient world, a parallel to that place in luscious South India and Southwest Asia, precisely the site of Atlantis, as we have been arguing.

And it was there, in Punt, where the Egyptians fetched their "wood from Meru", which they indeed never obtained from Lebanon, despite the contrary affirmations of some Egyptologists. Thirdly, the very nature of the vegetation represented in the pillars is very characteristic of the distant regions we just discussed.

Strangely enough, none of the three plants represented in the pillars of Egyptian temples the lotus, the date palm, and the papyrus seems to be a native to Egypt, as we discuss elsewhere. The lotus (Nelumbo speciosum) is a native of Indonesia, and many Egyptian texts explicitly acknowledge its origin in Punt. Punt was the land of smelly plants such as the lotus, whose perfum so fascinated the Egyptians. The smelly lotus was the attribute of Nefertum, the god that came from Punt, certainly bringing along his fragrant flower for cultivation in Egypt.

The date palm is an Arecacea which thrives in the Indies, from where it probably came, for there thrive an enormous variety of other members of the family, including the famous areca palm. The specialists do not really know the site of origin of the date palm. But they know for sure that it is not native to Egypt and that it indeed came from farther East than there.

Finally, the papyrus was, like the lotus and the date palm, a plant that only grew under cultivation in Egypt. Even today the papyrus is rarity there, in contrast to Indonesia, where it is so abundant as to hamper navigation in its shallow seas.

All in all, it is plausible to conclude that the luscious region portrayed in the hypostyle halls of Egyptian temples is indeed Punt, and not at all the Egyptian delta, its attempted copy. And, as we already said above, Punt is no other than Indonesia, the true site of Atlantis, the Lost Continent. And that sunken region of continental dimensions can lie in no other part of the globe than Indonesia, as we argue elsewhere.


Dante's Selva Selvaggia

A fourth evidence that the thick wood portrayed there is Indonesia is afforded by many ancient Occult traditions. Dante speaks of the selva selvaggia where he is lost in the beginning of his poem. So do the initiatic novels of the Arthurian Cycle. The Argonauts too are, at the crux of their saga, lost in the "wilderness" before they reach the Garden of the Hesperides which, as we said further above, was precisely the one of the legendary daughters and lovers of Atlas. In fact, the Seven Atlantides (or Hesperides) represent the insular remains of sunken Atlantis, as we show elsewhere in detail.

This mythical "wilderness" also figures in the Bible, where it is often confused with a desert. But is indeed a desolated, haunted, gloomy, fearful region like a tropical forest. Hermits everywhere seek this kind wilderness in order to exile themselves in their quest of Paradise. In this they follow the aranyakas ("errants in the forest") that we find in Hindu traditions, and who seek the seclusion of forests for their retirement from society.

The idea is that what little remained unsunken of Paradise, became a pestilent, infernal region, and was abandoned by all survivors, becoming a deserted jungle in the middle of nowhere. But the Indonesian islands formed out of the mountains of Atlantis that remained unsunken eventually recovered from the cataclysm, and were again inhabited, this time by headhunting savages that took a lot of effort to pacify.


The Atlantic Islands

Among the Seven Atlantic Islands that is, "islands of Atlantis" and not indeed "islands of the Atlantic" sought by the explorers and discoverers everywhere there was always one of them called by names such as "Selvaggia", "Madeira", "Boscosa", "Isla Verde" and other such names that mean something like "woody", "forested", "wild".

In reality, this island is no other than Java, whose name derives from the Sanskrit Yava meaning the same. And Java, like Sumatra and her other counterparts, indeed deserves the name, as it was the wooded island whence the nations fetched their wood, in antiquity. Indeed, the Indonesian islands were the mysterious Meru whence the Egyptians fetched the wood for their temples and their ships, just as did King Solomon and others.6

Yet an argument that is telltale of the true meaning of the origin of the pillars of Egyptian temples has to do with the name of Atlantis. The Hindu name of Atlantis is Atala, (or Patala or Tala-tala), names which are derived from tala ("palm tree", "pillar").

Atala is the same place we know as Hades. This Abode of the Dead is often confused with Hell, though the Hindu abode of the dead ancestors is indeed very pleasant, like the Punt of the Egyptians, the Dilmun of the Babylonians and the Elysium or Islands of the Blest of the Greeks. Indeed, Atala (or Patala) is the archetype of all such "Realms of the Dead" of the ancients.

Actually, Atala (or Atalas) is also the name of Shiva as "the Pillar of World". And this is the very epithet of Atlas, the eponymous hero of Atlantis. It can hardly be doubted that Shiva Atalas was the archetype of Atlas in Greece. In India, many legends tell of the "fall" of Shiva who is, indeed, like Atlas, the Primordial Castrate. And this "fall" or "castration" indeed refers to the one of Mt. Atlas, the Phallus of the World.

There is, yet, another connection between Atlantis and palm trees that is even more compelling to Westerners than the one of Atala. The name of Punt (Puanit in Egyptian) is, as we saw above, precisely the same as that of Phoenicia, the primordial Phoenicia that was both the "Land of the Phoenix" and the "Land of the Palm-Trees".

The origin and reason of this name is not hard to discover. In the Far East, and particularly in the Andaman Islands, the palm-tree is considered the Tree of Life, due to the many products that are taken from it. Moreover, the palm tree is there equated with the Pillar of Heaven whose collapse caused the end of the previous era, the one of Atlantis, as is evident in hindsight.

In other words, this Primordial Phoenicia is the Paradise of origin not only of the Phoenicians, but of many other races as well. Actually, the name of Atala, so closely connected with the one of Atlantis, also means "Land of the Palm Trees", both in Sanskrit and in Dravida, the two sacred tongues of the region of Indonesia before the cataclysm that forced its people to emigrate to better, safer regions of the world.7


The Sanctuary and the Meaning of the Holy Barque

In the sanctuary (or holy of holies) of the Egyptian temple was kept the holy barque of the god or goddess, the one in which he/she was processioned along the Nile. Actually, the statue of the god was kept inside a sort of chest that was indeed the cabin of the embarkation. This cabin was called naos or pyxis in Greek, and corresponds to the Ark of Covenant of Judeo-Christian traditions, to which it served as the model. Its Egyptian name is per, a word which indeed designated the shrine within which the statue of the god was kept.

Fig. 5 - The holy barque, the shrine and the altarActually, many authorities hold that the Ark of Covenant is a direct copy of the Egyptian shrine (per), that is, the naos or cabin of the holy barque. These holy barques correspond to the well-known Solar Boats in which the gods were deemed to travel to and from Paradise, as illustrated in Fig. 5 and in innumerous other iconographies.

To make a long story short, we may say that the barque is the Ark where the gods once came from Punt, crossing the Indian Ocean, driven out of their homeland by the terrible cataclysm that caused its sinking. Such is the nocturnal trip illustrated by the voyage of the matet boat. And, in the end of times the gods, led by Osiris, whose figure the Pharaoh represents, shall return to Paradise (Punt) the same way, sailing in the sactet boat, the one of the return.


The Pharaoh as the Barger of Paradise

In Egyptian, the radix per is connected with the idea of motion and, more precisely, of crossing into Paradise inside the naos of the Solar Boat. It also forms the name of the aa (or pharaoh), who is indeed the alias of Osiris as the ferrier of the Solar Barque of Paradise. Moreover, the word also designated the pylons (or gateway) of the Egyptian temples, which represented the similar ones of Paradise, as depicted in certain Egyptian iconographies. In other words, the Pharaoh (per-aa) was indeed "the great one (aa) in the ship (per)", rather than "the Big House", as some unwise Egyptologists often interpret his name.

This means that the Pharaoh was the captain of the Ark, the pilot of the Celestial Ship represented in the skies by the Argonavis constellation. More exactly, the Celestial Pilot (Per-aa) is represented by the beautiful star Canopus (alpha Carinae), which is often identified with Osiris or Atlas in this role of theirs. As we explain elsewhere in detail, the word Canopus, the name of the pilot of the Argonavis and of the boat of Osiris, the Solar Barque, indeed derives from the Dravida, and means "Pole Star"(xan-oppu. By extension, it also means "Pilot", "captain", as the one who navigated by keeping an eye on the Pole Star.

The word Canopus also applied to the so-called "Magic Calabashes", a sort of primitive sextant/compass combination used by the ship's pilots in antiquity to orient themselves by means of the star Canopus. Canopus is the (talking) figurehead of the Celestial Ship, the Argos (or Argonavis constellation). It is from these "Magic Calabashes" that derives the idea of the Canopic jars used by the Egyptians. It is interesting to note that the star Canopus was the (Southern) Pole Star some 14,000 years ago. Who else but the fabled Atlanteans could be navigating the outer oceans by means of Celestial Navigation and of advanced instruments such as the Magic Calabashes and Canopic Jars? How could the Egyptians and other ancient peoples know that Canopus was once the Pole Star, in times so far past? Why, if not for this reason, was the star Canopus so closely associated with Atlas and Osiris, the personifications of the "Pillar (or "Pole") of the World"?

In Greece, the equivalent of the Egyptian Pylons of Paradise corresponded to the Pillars of Hercules, the impassable Gates of Paradise. The title of the Egyptian Book of the Dead indeed called Reu Nut Pert Em Heru (or "Spells for [Safely] Crossing into the Realm of Light") also embodies the radix per- (with the addition of the t that marks the feminine gender in Egyptian).

This mysterious book of the Egyptians is in reality a recipe for crossing safely into Paradise (Duat or Amenti, the Egyptian Realm of the Dead). And the trip is done in the Solar Barque, which safely crosses through the mysterious place after passing the Gateway (or Pylon) that corresponds to the Pillars of Hercules in Egyptian myth. The soul of the deceased joins the company of the gods under the figure of Osiris, with whom he becomes identified after death.

Fig. 6 - The deceased in the Solar Boat with Ra and the Benu birdMany vignettes of the Egyptian Book of the Dead show in detail the perils of the crossing into the Sekhet-Hetepet (or "Fields of Peace"), the Egyptian equivalent of the Elysian Fields, where the worthy spend their eternal life hunting, fishing and "banqueting in cakes and beer". One such is Fig. 6, which shows the deceased in the Solar Boat crossing into the Sequet-hetepet in the company of two gods, Ra and the Benu bird. The deceased is pushing the boat with a pole. Here, the deceased explicitly represents the Pharaoh in his role of Osiris as the Barger of Paradise; as Canopus, the Pilot of the Argos Ship (the Ark).

Fig. 7 - The deceased arrive in paradiseIn Fig. 7 is shown the arrival of the deceased in the Sekhet-hetepet, in the manner of a "comic strip". In the upper strip, the deceased and his wife are before two gods. Next, they ride the Solar Boat, crossing into the Field of Peace. In the second strip, they get into the place, characterized by the enormous reeds that give it its other name of Field of Reeds (Sekhet-aaru). Next, the deceased ploughs the two sides of a field crossed by a river. The final strip shows the Solar Boat anchored in a canal.

The region is divided in three sections by two further canals. In one of these are the gods, crouching. The two pairs of omphaloi represent the two pylons or gates of Paradise. The four ovals in the extreme right correspond to four lakes; the two birds are Benus. The boat carries a staircase with seven stairs. The seven stairs and the seven sections of the region, wholly surrounded by canals confirms the identity with the seven Islands of the Blest (or Elysium) of Greek traditions. The boat is the one in which the deceased couple crossed into the paradisial place.

Fig. 8 - The first Aat, the gateway of the Egyptian ParadiseIn Fig.8 is shown the first Aat ("Division") of Sekhet-Aaru. In this figure it is shown isolated, but in others it is shown annexed to the other divisions of the Egyptian Paradise. We note that the design of this first section exactly corresponds to the hieroglyph of P'R with which are written the names of Pharaoh, of the Book of the Dead and of the naos (or per or shrine) of the Solar Barques of the Egyptian temples.

Said otherwise, the hieroglyph of the name of P'R-AA variously represents the Solar Boat itself, its shrine or cabin, the Barger and the Gate of Paradise that is to be crossed by the deceased in his role of Pharaoh, as an alias of Osiris. All these imply an idea of "crossing", "coming forth", that is, of "coming forth to Light", into Paradise, the Realm of Light where the Sun indeed resides and from where he starts his daily journey. The name of P'R-AA is indeed written in hieroglyphs as two Aat symbols connected by the Cow's Belly that represents the Sky (the belly of Nut). The message is crystal clear and unequivocal: "the Gates of Paradise are linked across the Skies by Pharaoh, the Celestial Barger".

In still other words, the Book of Coming Forth (or Crossing) to Light is the recipe for successfully crossing into Paradise, that is no other than Peru or Meru, another name of Punt or Indonesia. And the Egyptian temple is, again, just a replica of Atlantis as the site of Paradise, with its sacred pools, its thick forests, its pylons and divisions and, above all its Solar Boat that garantees the safe crossing into that difficult region, in the company of the gods, who grant the grace of such safety in crossing the perilous ocean that leads into the netherword, that of sunken Paradise (Atlantis).


The Great Virgin Mother and Her Wondrous Son

The Sanctuary (or Holy of Holies) that followed the Hypostyle Hall has a very precise ritual function that has not been properly explained so far. The Open Court, fully exposed to the light of the sun, represents the present era. The intermediate, partly exposed Hypostyle Hall represented, as we just saw, the sunken realm of Atlantis. So, what can the third, holiest but darkest of all three sections of the temple indeed represent?

As a matter of fact, there were two Atlantises or, more exactly, what the Occultists call Atlantis and Lemuria. Lemuria (or Mu) is the Great Mother, "virgin" because it engendered itself without the help of a male, that is of external insemination by other civilizations such as is the case with all civilizations we know of. Atlantis itself was engendered by the Great Mother, of whom it was a colony. So, Atlantis is the Son, the wonderful Son of God who grew up to be far greater than the Great Mother, herself a formidable, universal empire.

It is from allegories such as this that the myth of the Great Virgin Mother who engenders the wonderful Son of God, who later becomes her lover and husband, in an affair as confused as that of Brahma and Ushas; Orion and Dawn; Atlas and the Atlantides; Oedipus and Jocasta; and many others we could quote further.


The Secret History of Mankind Embedded in Myths of Paradise

It is now possible to reconstitute the secret history of Mankind so masterfully illustrated by the Egyptian temple. Humanity was born in Punt (Indonesia), where the two original races of Man represented by Adam and Eve first sprung to life. Adam, the Red, eventually mingled with Eve ("the Great Mother" = Ava), and engendered the third race.

The race of Adam was that of the Chamites (or "Reds"), the sons of God. The one of Eve was that of the Aryans (or "Whites"), the Peoples of the Goddess. The third race was the one of the Semites, the hybrids of the first two. This is the marriage of the Sons of God and the Daughters of Men mentioned in Genesis 6 as the actual cause of the Flood and of the destruction of Atlantis-Paradise. But, not impossibly, the ruddy races of Adam were the Cro-Magnons, the one of Eve were the Neandertals and the third one were us, their hybrid sons. Only further ethno-genetic research will be able to tell with certainty if this ancient tradition is really true, as we believe it is. Would our wise ancestors go to such a trouble just to tell us, their children, a lie?

This mingling the Original Sin resulted in the uncontrolled breeding and the consequent overpopulation of the earth which can only lead to famine, war and, finally, the destruction of the earth and the end of the Atlantean era, just as is apparently happening nowadays. In other words, the Bible is indeed right. But its correctness works at a far deeper level than is usually presumed, one so fantastically real that not even the hardiest of zealots ever dared to dream.

The Egyptians embodied, in their eschatological rituals the ones sacralized in their wonderful temples and their spells of the Book of the Dead the very history of Atlantis in every detail. Moreover, they clearly identified Atlantis with Paradise, and even gave the recipe of the wonderful news: the one that we can indeed be saved by divine grace and return to our Lost Paradise in the company of the gods, by being identified with Osiris and Pharaoh. Indeed a beautiful message, the same one as that of the Gospels, the evangel we somehow distorted into a purely spiritual alias, the one of the never-never-land of Heaven.

We know that many of our assertions above will seem vaunted and ill-founded to many of our dear readers. But they are the fruit of many years of research, and are founded upon strictly scientific arguments that cannot be given here in full. The reader interested in further details is invited to read Part II of this essay, below, where the symbolism of the Egyptian temple is compared to the one of other nations and different religions. Better yet, he is invited to read our books on Alchemy, on Atlantis, and on related matters. We recognize the fact that most if not all doctrines herein expounded are not only difficult to follow, let alone believe. But they are the Truth, and nothing but the Truth, just as Plato repeatedly affirmed. When the Light the Light that radiates from the Primordial Cave is too much, it can be obfuscating. But light can only blind the bats and other such nocturnal vermin.



1 The word hypostyle comes from the Greek hypos ("under") and stylos ("pillar"). The term means a room with pillars that support the roof (usually heavy and having an upper structure above it) from below. As we shall see, this peculiar structure has a most direct connection with Atlantis. In many places such as Dendera and Kom Ombo, the temple is fully hypostyle and subterranean, and the city is built directly above the roof.
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2 Actually, in contrast to the modern religions such as Christianism, the Hades (or "Hell") of the ancients was very pleasurable and, indeed, a sort of idyllic Paradise where the dead spent their time in endless hunts and banquets. Clearly, this "Celestial Egypt" was Punt, the Realm of the Dead and the Land of the Gods.

Punt was indeed the First Egypt whence the Egyptians originally came when the region sunk underground, forcing them to leave. As we shall see, this underground Egypt is no other than sunken Atlantis, characterized by its sturdy, world-supporting pillars and its many palm-trees and papyrus covered marshes.
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3 Certain Gnostic gospels explicitly identify the Holy Ghost as the Mother of Christ, the Celestial counterpart of the terrestrial Virgin Mary. And the role of Gabriel - whose name means something like "God's Male" - at the Annunciation (Luke I:26-38) is far from clear. Sex changes of Celestial beings are rather frequent, gods and angels being indeed androgynous in character.
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4 The walls of Atlantis were plated with bronze, tin and orichalc, according to the texts of Plato. Obviously, the Egyptians were unable to embody this costly feature on their walls. Many ancient traditions (Hesiod, Theog. 723; Virgil, Aen. 540, etc.) tell how the walls of Tartarus, the realm of Hades, were triple and bronzy, being garnished with a lofty defense tower at the front gate. Hades (or Tartarus) is, indeed, an allegory of sunken Atlantis, turned infernal after the cataclysm that devastated it.

As is clear, it is hard not to see that the Egyptian temples, with their triple walls and lofty towers, were indeed an imitation of Atlantis, whose features they paralled very closely. The descriptions of the Duat or Amenti the Egyptian equivalent of the Elysium or Islands of the Blest, with its towers, walls and pylons, its well-watered gardens, and its canals and districts that one can read about in the Book of the Dead, are too perfect a replica of Atlantis to allow any doubts about its identification with the sunken continent. It is not conceivable, then, that the Egyptians were merely inventing a legend when they told the story of Atlantis and its demise to Solon, through whom it reached Plato.
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5 It seems that the legendary Karibus (or Cherubs) that guarded the Gates of Paradise in all mythologies were a personification of the barbaric custom. Indeed, the word karibu ultimately derives from the Dravidian karippu ("skewer", "spit"), related to the Greek kharax, the Sanskrit khara, and several other bases meaning more or less the same. Many legends tell of the habit of the Guardians of Paradise skewering their victims as a punishment for trespassing. One such is the tradition on Cerberus, the guardian dog of Hades that had the bad habit of thus "caressing" trespassers in the infernal realms he guarded.
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6 The name of Java (or Yava, etc.) also applied to Sumatra, its twin, from which it became separated by the colossal explosion that razed Atlantis, built right on top its volcano, the Krakatoa. The ancients had a fatal attraction for volcanoes, which bring abundance at a price, due to the fertilization of the soil effected by their ashes. It is clear that the legendary Ophir where King Solomon and Hiram of Tyre fetched their wood could not have been the desertic Lebanon. Otherwise, they would have sailed from the Mediterranean Sea, and not from the Red Sea (Ezion Geber) as they did. So did the Egyptians, by the way, as we read in their annals.
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7 In Egyptian, the t ending marks the feminine, so that the original name must be Puani (or Poani). The Phoenicians were called Puni, Punici, Poeni by the Romans, visibly the same name as Poanit or Puanit, except for the feminine ending. It is known that, originally, the Phoenicians came from beyond the ocean (Indian), which they crossed when their original birthplace was destroyed, settling in the Near East. As we argue elsewhere, the Phoenicians really came from the Primordial Phoenicia that is indeed Punt/Indonesia. So did the Egyptians and, also, the Aryans, the Jews, and many other ancient nations as well.

In Greek, the word phoinix ("phoenix") means "palm-tree", so that the primordial Phoenicia was "the Land of the Palm Trees". Indonesia is really the Land of the Palm-trees and, particularly, of the most useful of them all, the coconut palm. According to Egyptian legends, the Phoenix bird, the "soul" of Phoenicia, came to Heliopolis from beyond the ocean (Indian), from Punt (the Island of Fire) every time an era ended. This was a direct recollection of the primordial migration we just discussed. These Proto-Phoenicians are, as we show elsewhere, the pre-Dynastic Gerzeans, well-known from the archeological records of the Nagada cemeteries in Upper Egypt.
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Copyright © 1997 Arysio Nunes dos Santos. Fair quotation and teaching usage is allowed, as long as full credit is given to this source, and its home address is given in full.