BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle


Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe


Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)


The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour


Ancient Egypt, the light of the world

by Gerald Massey

Excerpt:

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

A WORK OF RECLAMATION AND RESTITUTION
IN TWELVE BOOKS

BY

GERALD MASSEY

>\

AUTHOR OF "A BOOK OF THE BEGINNINGS" AND "THE NATURAL GENESIS1

It may have been a Million years ago
The Light was kindled in the Old Dark Land
With which the illumined Scrolls are all aglow,
That Egypt gave us with her mummied hand :
This was the secret of that subtle smile
Inscrutable upon the Sphinx's face,
Now told from sea to sea, from isle to isle;
The revelation of the Old Dark Race ;
Theirs was the wisdom of the Bee and Bird,
Ant, Tortoise, Beaver, working human-wise ;
The ancient darkness spake with Egypt's Word ;
Hers was the primal message of the skies :

The Heavens are telling nightly of her glory,
And for all time Earth echoes her great story.

VOL. I

ILantoon
T. FISHER UNW1N

ADELPHJ TERRACE
1907

PREFATORY

/ have written other books, but this I look on as the exceptional labour which has made my life worth living. Comparatively speaking, " A Book of the Beginnings" (London, 1881) was written in the dark, "The Natural Genesis" (London, 1883) was written in the twilight, whereas " Ancient Egypt" has been written in tlie light of day. The earlier books were met in England with tlie truly orthodox conspiracy of silence. Nevertheless, four thousand volumes have got into circulation somewhere or other up and down the reading world, where they are slowly working in their unacknowledged way. Probably the present book will be appraised at home in proportion as it comes back piecemeal from abroad, from Germany, or France, or maybe from the Countiy of the Rising Sun.

To all dear lovers of the truth the writer now commends the verifiable truths that wait for recognition in these pages.

Truth is all-potent with its silent power
If only whispered, never heard aloud,
But working secretly, almost unseen,
Save in some excommunicated Book,'
' Tis as the lightning with its errand done
Before you hear the thunder.

\ For myself, it is enough to know that in despite of many hindrances

from straitened circumstances, clironic ailments, and the deepening *** shadows of encroaching age, my book is printed, and the subject-matter _

i that I cared for most is now entrusted safely to the keeping of John

^ Gutenberg, on this my nine-and-seventieth birthday.

,r

8-M277

ANCIENT EGYPT

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

SIGN-LANGUAGE AND MYTHOLOGY AS PRIMITIVE MODES OF REPRESENTATION

Book I

The other day a lad from London who had been taken to the sea-side for the first time in his life was standing with his mother ilooking at the rolling breakers tossing and tumbling in upon the sands, svhen he was heard to exclaim, " Oh, mother, who is it chucking them heaps o' water about?" This expression showed the boy's ability to think of the power that was "doing it" in the human likeness. But, then, ignorant as he might be, he was more or less the heir to human faculty as it is manifested in all its triumphs over external nature at the present time. Now, it has been and still is a prevalent and practically universal assumption that the same mental standpoint might have been occupied by Primitive Man, and a like question asked in presence of the same or similar phenomena of physical nature. Nothing is more common or more unquestioned than the inference that Primitive Man would or could have asked, " Who is doing it ?" and that the Who could have been personified in the human likeness. Indeed, it has become an axiom with modern metaphysicians and a postulate of the Anthropologists that, from the beginning, man imposed his own human image upon external nature ; that he personified its elemental energies and fierce physical forces after his own likeness; also that this was in accordance with the fundamental character and constitution of the human mind. To adduce a few examples taken almost at random :—David Hume declares that "there is a universal tendency among mankind to conceive all beings like themselves." In support of which he instances the seeing of human faces in the moon. Reid on the Active Powers (4th Essay) says our first thoughts are that "the objects in which we perceive motion have understanding and power as we have." Francis Bacon had long before remarked that we human beings " set stamps and seals of our own images upon God's creatures and works." (Exp. History.) Herbert Spencer argued that human personality applied to the powers of nature was the primary mode of representation, and that the identification of this with some natural force or object is due to identity of name. (Data of Sociology, ch. xxiv, 184.) " In early philosophy throughout the world," says Mr. Tylor, " the sun and moon are alive and as it were human in their nature." Professor Max Miiller, who taught that Mythology was a disease of language, and that the Myths have been made out of words which had lost their senses, asserts that "the whole animal world has been conceived as a copy of our own. And not only the animal world, but the whole of nature was liable to be conceived and named by an assimilation to human nature." (Science of Thought, p. 503.) And " such was the propensity in the earliest men of whom we have any authentic record to see personal agency in everything," that it could not be otherwise, for " there was really no way of conceiving or naming anything objective except after the similitude of the subjective, or of ourselves." (/#., p. 495.) Illustrations of this modern position might be indefinitely multiplied. The assumption has been supported by a consensus of assertion, and here, as elsewhere, the present writer is compelled to doubt, deny, and disprove the popular postulate of the accepted orthodox authorities. i-e.


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