THE COSMIC OSIRIS – Don Shepherd

In a series of articles in 2018 under the titles The Secret Doctrine: The One Principle, The Secret Doctrine: Playgrounds of the Soul, and Cosmic Life: The ‘Great Age,’ I set out to present a deeper analysis of H.P. Blavatsky’s writings on Cosmogenesis.1 This analysis examined the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Logos—the immaculate white disk, the darkness of Space, and the central Point of light that emerged from that disk as a Monad—in relation to the seven-fold manifested planes of the Universe. I focused on her ten-fold world system where the Central Spiritual Sun as the 3rd Logos operated through its manifested solar systems, and especially our Sun, during a 311 trillion-year cycle of a Great Age. Having constructed this investigatory framework, it can now be applied to the various world religions that H.P. Blavatsky reviewed in The Secret Doctrine. More specifically, it can be applied to her discourse on ancient Egypt to illuminate the mystery of the Osirian cosmos. Once it is understood that the Egyptian god Osiris represented the 3rd Logos as the Central Spiritual Sun, the veil obscuring the near impenetrable mythology of ancient Egypt drops away. To elucidate Egyptian mythology from the perspective of an Osirian cosmos where Osiris functioned as the Central Spiritual Sun that manifested its intangible force in the Sun of our solar system is to unveil Isis. It is my intent to delineate the Cosmic Osiris within H.P. Blavatsky’s ten-fold world system, thus reconciling the esotericism in The Secret Doctrine with the esotericism of ancient Egypt.

In The Secret Doctrine, H.P. Blavatsky clarified what she had introduced in Isis Unveiled. Osiris, as the “fire-enchanter,” acted as the “fiery BREATH” of the Central Spiritual Sun for the “manifested Universe” with its seven cosmic planes and for “our system” under the direction of the “visible Sun.”8 The Central Spiritual Sun, the “third stage of cosmic manifestation,” and our Sun could not help but be connected since, with the “Great Day ‘Be with us’” of the Great Age when destruction overtook the entire manifested Universe, Osiris said to the Sun, “Come.”9 Suns were endlessly entering and exiting the great Central Spiritual Sun. And our Sun, at the “end of one hundred years of Brahma” when the “Universal dissolution” is said to take place, reunited with the “Destroyer”—Osiris as the Central Spiritual Sun—to disappear beyond the “waters” of the manifested Universe.10 In discussing the Egyptian Book of the Dead, H.P. Blavatsky explained this role of Osiris in greater detail. Chaos, as the 2nd Logos, ceased through the “effulgence of the Ray of Primordial Light” (the 1st Logos) dissipating the “total darkness” (of the 2nd Logos) by the help of the “great magic power of the WORD of the (Central) Sun” (the 3rd Logos).11 Chaos became “male-female” (the Father-Mother combination of the 2nd Logos which originated the appearance of duality and time) and “incubated through Light” (the light of the 1st Logos) the three-fold being issued as its “First-born” (the first-born as the 3rd Logos that arose out of the darkness of the 2nd Logos).12 This 3rd Logos, as Osiris-Ptah, created its “own limbs (like Brahma) by creating Image result for the atenthe gods destined to personify his phases during the Cycle.”13 Because of these self-generated limbs stretching downwards, Osiris was often equated with a tree, vegetative life, or a lotus, “I came into being from unformed matter…I grew in the form of plants.”14 Here we have Osiris as the Voice, or the WORD of the 3rd Logos, penetrating the depths of Silence of the 2nd Logos, as Hathor-Isis, to bring regeneration to the living creatures in the seven-fold manvantaric cycle (311 trillion years divided into “seven periods”) and subsequently to bring their destruction, through his counterpart Ptah, in that cycle once it had run its course.15 H.P. Blavatsky knew quite well that Ptah was a “god of death” like Shiva and that the Sun’s “fire killing” power affected the entire solar system at the close of the Great Age in the Osirian cosmos.16

The idea that Osiris functioned as the bridge between the Central Spiritual Sun and our Sun finds support throughout H.P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine. For her, the forty “Assessors” who “stand in the region of Amenti” (the netherworld or Duat) as the accusers of the dead “Soul” before Osiris belong to the “same class of deities as the Lipika.”17 Previously, I demonstrated in my article on Cosmic Life: The ‘Great Age’ that these Lipika or cosmic “Recorders” of our solar system “make an impassable barrier between the personal EGO” of the seven human principles and the “impersonal SELF” of the three logoi, circumscribing the “manifested world of matter within the RING ‘Pass-Not.’”18 As H.P. Blavatsky warned, “No principles can cross the ring ‘pass not,’ only the memory of these in the eternal divine ideation, which ideation itself from something manifested becomes the Absolute on that ‘Day Be-With-Us’” or close of the Great Age.19 The Assessors bring the deceased to the feet of Osiris, an act symbolic of the transference of the dead man’s Soul out of the solar system with its seven manifested planes into the realm of the Central Spiritual Sun or 3rd Logos. When Osiris entered “the ark, or solar boat” and took the “seven Rays with him,” the ancient Egyptians captured the moment of this juncture.20 Osiris entered the solar boat as the Central Spiritual Sun in manifested form and the seven Rays were a chain of suns, not merely the rays of a single sun. When Osiris was depicted as a “defunct Sun” buried in Amenti at the close of a Great Age, the “sacred crocodiles” plunged into the “abyss of Primordial Waters.”21 These were the same crocodiles that carried the Sun in its peregrinations.22 The reason that the crocodiles carried the Sun is found in G. de Purucker’s Fountain-Source of Occultism where the Sun (per the structure of the Cosmos, not in the order of the human principles) represented Cosmic Kama or Desire, thereby identifying the solar entity with the crocodile as the Egyptian Seth or Typhon, the “terrestrial and material envelope of Osiris who is the indwelling Spirit thereof.”23 Osiris, as the “higher spiritual triad” dwelling in the outer envelope, symbolized the abyss of Primordial Waters in which the Central Spiritual Sun resided and into which the defunct suns Image result for the goddess isis(as the crocodiles) were once again re-absorbed.24 The reason that Isis is unveiled by understanding this role of Osiris as the Central Spiritual Sun is that, in the return of the deceased Soul to Osiris, the Soul, enwrapped in the Monad, penetrates beyond the darkness of Isis’ veil as the 2nd Logos along the Ray of the Primordial Light to reunite it with the 1st Logos or immaculate white disk, variously referred to in Egyptian literature as Amon or Atum. Isis veiled is a Lady of Darkness, but unveiled she becomes the “Radiant Lady,” the sister of Osiris as the “Radiant One” (the shining Monad)—both children of the Primordial Light of Amon-Atum (where Amon meant “The Hidden One” and Atum meant “The Completed One”) and verily the same as that Primordial Light in their primeval aspects, the first emanations of the “Supreme Deity” as an underbelly of darkness and the subsequent interplay of Monadic light against that underbelly.25 As Plutarch, the Greek historian and priest of the Delphic Mysteries, made abundantly clear, Osiris and Isis were “enamored of each other and consorted together in the darkness of the womb before birth,” but when Osiris was born a “voice issued forth” saying “The Lord of All advances to the light.”26

In looking for this theosophical interpretation of the Cosmic Osiris in Egyptian texts, one can turn to The Book of the Dead, though its actual title The Book of the Emerging into Light more accurately captures Osiris’ advance to the Light, whether inwardly to reunite with Amon-Atum or outwardly to penetrate beyond Isis’ veil of darkness as the luminous Monad. In one key passage from The Book of the Dead that encapsulates all these themes, Osiris rises out of the “egg in the hidden land,” a reference to the Monad emerging from Amon as the Hidden One.27 Having arisen, he is the “lord of the mouth of the tomb,” a reference to his Voice that speaks in the Silence.28 He is ascendant at the “top of the stairs,” a reference to his role as the 3rd Logos above the seven manifested planes.29 To arise he came from the “Pool of Fire” and “quenched it,” a reference to him leaving the realm of the Sun, as Cosmic Kama, to rebecome “head of the Great House,” signifying his place as Cosmic Mahat in the triadic Deity.30 Thus, Orisis “dwellest in the night and in thick darkness,” a reference to his condition consorting with Isis in the womb of the Great House before his rebirth as the central Point of light for the manifested planes.31 In his prescient article on the Osirian mysteries of the Great Pyramid, “Gateway to the Horizon of Heaven,” I.M. Oderberg, in the June/July 1973 issue of Sunrise magazine, explained that there were “three main degrees of initiation.”32 The First Degree pertained to Egyptian teachings on the “orb of light” in the darkness but with no direct experience of the “inner vision.”33 The Second Degree pertained to the direct experience of the inner vision. The Third Degree pertained to the union with the “radiance” of light that “shineth in the darkness.”34 In the Third Degree, the Eye of Horus opened, demonstrating a man’s ability to consciously enter and exit the plane of the immaculate white disk as the central Point of light or the 3rd Logos; the temporarily deceased was Osirified to be reborn as Horus, for he who sees “the dead Osiris will never die.”35 King Akhenaten of the 18th Dynasty in the New Kingdom (1352-1336 B.C.) understood these concepts, subsequently elevating the Aton (or Aten, as the “Heat” which is in the solar disk) to supreme status, exoterically symbolizing the sunrise and sunset of the Sun but esoterically symbolizing the entrance and exit of the Osirified initiate across the horizon of the plane of the immaculate white disk.36 The term Aton became the synonym for “Ra-Horakhti-Khepera-Atum” in its absolute Unity, a combination of god-like qualities that expressed both the exoteric notion of manifested cycles (as Ra and Khepera) and the esoteric notion for an inner “Heat” (as Atum and Horakhti) emanating across the horizon of the Primordial Light beyond the solar disk—the “Great Breath” or “fiery BREATH” described by H.P. Blavatsky.37  Akhenaten portrayed Aton as a more “intangible power of the sun.”38 Aton was not merely the “sun disk but rather the light that is in the sun”—that is, the Primordial Light of the 1st Logos in all its effulgence.39 Akhenaten, in publicizing the Osirian mysteries under the new name of Aton and emphasizing the invisible force beyond the manifested solar disk, opened up the cosmological reality of the triadic Deity within the framework of a presumed monotheism that had previously been hidden and only known to the Egyptian initiates. – Don Shepherd, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

NOTES:

     1For these three articles, please see the March, June, and September 2018 issues of Theosophy Downunder.

     2H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol. 2 (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1998), 402.

     3H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, 2:48.

     4As explained in previous articles, G. de Purucker (and H.P. Blavatsky, though more reconditely) diagrammed the Universe either according to the order of the human principles or according to its cosmic structure. When the Sun is described as Atman, it is according to the human principles; when the Sun is described as Kama, it is according to the cosmic structure. On page 435 of Fountain-Source of Occultism, G. de Purucker diagrammed the Universe in relation to the human principles; on page 437, he diagrammed the Universe in relation to the cosmic structure. See G. de Purucker, Fountain-Source of Occultism (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1974), 435, 437. 

     5H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, 2:438.

     6H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vols. 1&2 (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1999) 2: 114, 1:2.

     7H.P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. 12 (Wheaton: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1980), 525.

     8H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 2:114.

     9H.P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. 13 (Wheaton: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1982), 32. Also see H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 1:437.

     10H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 2:69.

     11H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 1:231.

     12H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 1:231.

     13H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 1:231.

     14E.A. Wallis Budge, The Egyptian Book of the Dead (New York: Dover Publications, 1967), 339. Also see H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 1: 379.

     15I use the hyphenated title Hathor-Isis because in a ten-fold system Hathor is technically the 2nd Logos and Isis is the 6th Principle or Buddhi (below Atman). Hathor is the primeval Logos and Isis is the reflected Logos in manifested Nature. G. de Purucker hinted at this in Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy when he wrote, “Neith is the mystic or occult side of Isis; Isis represented the open side, the obvious or plain side, of the hid goddess Neith.” In this case, Neith was equivalent to Hathor. But in a seven-fold system Isis is the 2nd Logos. Egyptian mythology is very complicated. In fact, Hathor, Isis, and Nephthys are the same goddess but merely the representation of different triads in a ten-fold system. It is so complicated that even Osiris got confused and slept with Nephthys, the sister aspect of his wife Isis, and thereby produced the dog god Anubis, symbol of the Astral Light. See G. de Purucker, Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1979), 556. Also see H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 1:36.

     16H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 1:367.

     17H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 1:104.

     18H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 1:104, 129.

     19H.P Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine Dialogues (Los Angeles: The Theosophy Company, 2014), 375.

     20H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 2:141.

     21H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 2:580.

     22H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 1:409.

     23H.P. Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary (Los Angeles: The Theosophy Company, 1973), 346. Also see G. de Purucker, Fountain-Source of Occultism, 437.

     24H.P. Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary, 348.

     25R.O. Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts: Spells 1-1185 (Oxford: Aris and Phillips, 1973), 1:179. Also see H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 1:340.

     26Plutarch, Moralia: Volume V, Trans. Frank Cole Babbitt (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1936), 33.

     27E.A. Wallis Budge, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, 274.

     28E.A. Wallis Budge, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, 274.

    
     29E.A. Wallis Budge, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, 275.

     30E.A. Wallis Budge, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, 275.

     31E.A. Wallis Budge, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, 275. Also see G. de Purucker, Fountain-Source of Occultism, 437.

     32I.M. Oderberg, “Gateway to the Horizon of Heaven: The Great Pyramid,” Sunrise magazine (June/July 1973), Retrieved from theosophy-nw.org.

     33I.M. Oderberg, “Gateway to the Horizon of Heaven,” Sunrise magazine.

     34I.M. Oderberg, “Gateway to the Horizon of Heaven,” Sunrise magazine.

     35R.O. Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts, 3:137.

     36Arthur Weigall, The Life and Times of Akhnaton (Port Washington: Kennikat Press, 1910, Revised edition, 1970), 99, 106.

     37Arthur Weigall, The Life and Times of Akhnaton, 32.

     38Arthur Weigall, The Life and Times of Akhnaton, 41.

     39Erik Hornung, Akhenaten and the Religion of Light, Trans. David Lorton (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995), 54.