From the posts:
In the ancient Egyptian texts of the afterlife the deceased along with the sun god cross waters on boats until they eventually "cross over" to the "other side". The journey through the netherworld is a transition/transformation/transfiguration that the deceased and sun god go through. The waters have to be crossed when they first enter the netherworld from the land of the living and then again when they make their way through and out of the netherworld into a "heavenly" realm. While the sun god is in the netherworld he goes through a baptism/renewal, transfiguration, resurrection/rebirth, raises the dead for judgement, etc. A lot of the same motifs you find in the NT.Beginning with the gnostic interpretation of the Exodus motif and the question of its origin, we have arrived at an element of critical importance: the metaphor of transcendence, expressed figuratively as [reaching] the “other shore”... Once the Buddhist origin of the Therapeutae is seen as plausible, it can be shown that their central mystery consisted of an interpretation of the Exodus, an interpretation based upon Buddhist sources. This interpretation, in turn, was the seed of the Christian sacrament of baptism... In Mark’s gospel, Jesus repeatedly crosses the Sea of Galilee ‘to the other side.’ Detering’s analysis and the foregoing discussions now open the door to an allegorical understanding of those Marcan passages. According to the foregoing view, earliest Christianity was a religion of ‘crossing over.’ Both Dr. Detering and myself have argued that ‘the other side’ was originally a gnostic construct: the transformation from ignorance to gnosis...
"One encounters the expression “to the other side" (eis to peran) astonishingly often in the canonical gospels: 4 times in Matthew, 5 times in Mark, and once in Luke—a total of 11 times. In comparison, the expression occurs only 9 times in the entire Old Testament. Mark employs the phrase in three distinctive passages: at the stilling of the storm (4:35 f), at the crossing of the sea (6:45 f), and at the multiplication of loaves (8:13 f). "[H. Detering, p. 64]
I have long been convinced that the repeated ‘crossings over’ of the Sea of Galilee in GMark are allegorical. As actual events they are immediately problematical, for no purpose is served in ‘crossing over,’ while the destination is unimportant. Detering also notes the ambiguity of Mark’s language—in two of three ‘crossing’ passages, the evangelist does not specify a destination. “This is not about travel itineraries and geography,” Detering writes, “but is a metaphor for reaching the world beyond"
The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day Eva Von Dassow
In the following quote the sun god "calms the storm" in the netherworld and helps the deceased "proceed in peace"....the dominant theme of the work is the land and water routes through the beyond...What the two paths represent is subject to much debate, but clearly the deceased must travel before reaching his or her final destination in the next world, a motif which constantly recurs in the BD
Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt by Jan AssmannBy the center of the last section of this text, we find three boats, all of which may perhaps be intended as the solar barque, from which the serpent Apophis must be repelled. In spell 1,130, the "Lord of All" gives us his final monologue from his barque:
WORDS SPOKEN BY HIM WHOSE NAMES ARE HIDDEN.
The Lord to the Limit speaks
before those who still the storm, at the sailing of the entourage:
'Proceed in peace!
I shall repeat to you four good deeds
that my own heart made for me
within the serpent's coils, for love of stilling evil.
I did four good deeds within the portals of the horizon:
I made the four winds that every man might breathe in his place.
This is one deed thereof.
I made the great inundation, that the wretched should have power over it like the great.
This is one deed thereof.
I made every man like his fellow;
I did not ordain them to do evil, (but) it was their own hearts which destroyed that which I pronounced. *
This is one deed thereof.
I made that their hearts should refrain from ignoring the west,
for love of making offerings to the gods of the nomes.
This is one deed thereof.
I created the gods from my sweat.
Man is from the tears of my eye.
I shine, and am seen every day
in this authority of the Lord to the Limit.
I made the night for the Weary-hearted. **
I will sail aright in my bark;
I am the lord of the waters, crossing heaven.
I do not suffer for any of my limbs.
Utterance together with Magic
are felling for me that evil being.
I shall see the horizon and dwell within it.
I shall judge the wretch from the powerful,
and do likewise against the evildoers.
Life is mine; I am its lord.
The sceptre shall not be taken from my hand.
I have placed millions of years
between me and that Weary-hearted one, the son of Geb;
then I shall dwell with him in one place.
Mounds will be towns.
Towns will be mounds.
Mansion will destroy mansion.'
I am the lord of fire who lives on truth,
the lord of eternity, maker of joy, against whom the otherworldly serpents have not rebelled.
I am the god in his shrine, the lord of slaughter, WHO CALMS THE STORM,
who drives off the serpents, the many-named who comes forth from his shrine,
the lord of winds who foretells the northwind,
many-named in the mouth of the ennead,
lord of the horizon, creator of light,
who illumines heaven with his own beauty.
I am he! Make way for me
so that I shall see Niu and Amen.
For I am a blessed spirit, equipped with otherworldly knowledge;
I shall pass by the fearful ones -
They cannot speak (the spell) which is on the end of the book-roll;
they cannot speak for fear of him whose name is concealed, who is within my body.
I know him; I am not ignorant of him.
I am equipped, excellent in opening portals.
As for any man who knows this spell,
he shall be like Re in the east of heaven,
like Osiris within the Netherworld;
he descends into the entourage of fire,
without there being a flame being against him, for all time and eternity!
This first phase was carried out in the name of purification. Everything “foul,” that is, everything perishable that could represent a danger to the goal of achieving an eternal form, was removed from the body. For this reason, in the few representations of the embalming ritual, this phase is represented as a purifying bath. The corpse lay “on” (that is, in) a basin, and water was poured over it. The Egyptian word for such a basin is sj, “lake,” and such a “lake” is mentioned repeatedly in the accompanying spells, some of which we shall cite in chapter 5. Old Kingdom inscriptions describe the deceased’s crossing into the afterlife with turns of expression such as the following:
Going down into his house of eternity in very great peace,
that he might be provisioned by Anubis and Khentamentiu
after a mortuary offering is brought for him at the opening of the shaft,
after crossing the lake after he is transfigured by the lector priests.
Setting out to the western mountain,
after crossing the lake while he was transfigured by the lector priest
and the rites were carried out for him by the embalmer in the presence of
May the crossing of the lake be earned, out for him,
may he be transfigured through the carrying out of the rites by the lector priest.
“Crossing the lake” and “transfigured,” that is, being changed into a transfigured ancestral spirit by the lector priest, who recited the funerary liturgies from a roll of papyrus, often go closely together. Both turns of expression refer to the embalming, the one to its physical and the other to its spiritual-magical aspect. The phrase “crossing the lake” refers to passing safe and sound through the purification phase.
It seems to me that there is another central motif here, one that Hornung has also connected with the idea of regeneration: the motif of the primeval waters. In the netherworld, the deceased, just like the sun god, comes into contact with elements of the pre-cosmos or preexistence, that “primal matter” (so Hornung) out of which the cosmos emerged at the beginning and which remained ever present as the source of regen-
eration. Every morning, the sun god emerged from the primeval waters, and the annual Nile inundation that renewed the fertility of the land also fed on these netherworldly primeval waters.
we live again anew,
after we enter the primeval water,
and it has rejuvenated us into one who is young for the first time.
The old man is shed, a new one is made .
The Search for God in Ancient Egypt By Jan AssmannThus, the external fact of the place where it was represented already reveals that the renewal of the sun god in the depths of the world has to do with a mystery. In hymns, mortuary texts, and other genres of Egyptian literature, only brief turns of expression allude to this mystery, which receives detailed verbal and visual representation in only one genre: the Books of the Netherworld...During this journey, the sun god descends into the netherworld, waking the dead from their sleep, giving them light and air, and addressing them with his regal words; he grants them nourishment, judges the evil, overcomes the dragon Apopis, who opposes him even here, decides the fate of the dead, and unites himself with Osiris, who is his corpse. From this union, he gains the power of renewal.
Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many by Erik HornungA major part of the Egyptians' astronomical knowledge served specifically to measure time, especially the lunar month, whose beginning rested on observation, not calculation, as well as the hours, whose length varied--for day and night, from sunrise to sunset and sunset to sunrise, were always each divided into twelve segments of equal length. Above all, however, this knowledge was related to the course of the sun, which was conceived of as a journey through the sky and the netherworld and described down to the last detail...Whence does the king--or the priest who represents him in the cult--derive this knowledge? From a literature that describes it's own function thus (I cite here the title of the Amduat):
Knowing what is in the hours and their gods
knowing the course of the hours and their gods,
knowing their "transfigurations" for Re,
Knowing what he cries out to them,
knowing the flourishing ones and the annihilated ones.
The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinsonin his daily descent into the realm of the dead the sun god Re must also become “Osiris,” for he dies and appears in the underworld as a “corpse.” But in this case the Egyptians imagine that there is a true union. Unlike the rest of the deceased, Re does not assume the title “Osiris”; instead he incorporates the ruler of the dead into his own being so profoundly that both have one body and can “speak with one mouth.” Osiris does indeed seem to be absorbed into Re, and becomes the night sun, which awakens the underworld dwellers from the sleep of death.
Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt By John H. TaylorThe great sun god Re was thought to grow old each day and to 'die' each night(though for the same reason, specific mention of the god's death is not found), and then to be born or resurrected each day at dawn."
The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife By Erik HornungThe first stage was the purification of the corpse by washing...According to Egyptian belief, water held important purifying and life giving qualities. Each dawn was a repetition of the original birth of the sun god from the watery chaos of Nun. Hence lustration came to be closely associated with rebirth...A ritual purification was necessary before the dead king could ascend to heaven...The 'hery seshta' was closely linked with the god Anubis, who had mummified Osiris, according to mythology. In the ritualized process of mummification the deceased was identified with Osiris.
The nightly journey of the sun is the focus of all the books of the Netherworld...This nocturnal regeneration of the sun demonstrates, by the way of example, what powers of renewal are at work on the far side of death. At the same time, the journey occurs in the spaces of the human soul, in which a renewal from the depths becomes possible...The nocturnal journey leads through an inner region of the cosmos that was regarded not only as the netherworld and the depths of the earth, but also as water (the primeval water, called Nun)