The Natural Genesis
IN an epistle to the Egyptian Anebo, assigned to Porphyry, thelearned Greek writer asked, “What is the meaning of these mysticNarrations which say that a certain divinity is unfolded into Light frommire; that he is seated above a lotus, that he sails in a ship, and thathe changes his form every hour according to the sign of the Zodiac? Ifthese things are asserted symbolically, being symbols of the powers ofthis divinity, I request an interpretation of these symbols.”According to Proclus, in his Commentary on the Enneads ofPlotinus, Jamblichus wrote his work on the Mysteries as a reply tothe pertinent questioning of Porphyry.1 But Jamblichus, like somany who have followed him, began with things where he first metwith them, on the surface, in their latest phase. He represented theEgyptians as worshippers of the one God, uncreated, unique, omnipotent,and universal. He starts with this as their starting-point,and affirms that all the other gods of the Pantheon are nothing morethan the various attributes and powers of the Supreme personified.In short, he makes Monotheism the foundation instead of the summitof the Egyptian religion. This view has been maintained by severalEgyptologists.
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