THE NATURAL GENESIS:

OR SECOND PART OF A BOOK OF THE BEGINNINGS,
CONTAINING AN ATTEMPT TO RECOVER AND RECONSTITUTE THE LOST ORIGINS
OF THE MYTHS AND MYSTERIES, TYPES AND SYMBOLS, RELIGION AND LANGUAGE,
WITH EGYPT FOR THE MOUTHPIECE AND AFRICA AS THE BIRTHPLACE.

 

BY

 

GERALD MASSEY

 

________________
 

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN TWO VOLUMES,
LONDON, 1883
NOW REPUBLISHED IN THIS EDITION
2007
WITH ADDITIONAL MATERIAL BY
THE EDITOR

________________

 

DEDICATORY

At times I had to tread
   Where not a Star was found
To lead or light me, overhead;
   Nor footprint on the ground.

I toiled among the sands
   And stumbled with my feet;
Or crawled and climbed with knees and hands
   Some future path to beat.

I had to feel the flow
   Of waters whelming me:
No foothold to be touched below,
   No shore around to see.

Yet, in my darkest night,
   And farthest drift from land,
There dawned within the guiding light;
   I felt the unseen hand.

Year after year went by,
   And watchers wondered when
The diver, to their welcoming cry
   Of joy, would rise again.

And still rolled on Time's wave
   That whitened as it passed:
The ground is getting toward the grave
   That I have reached at last.

Child after child would say—
   'Ah, when his work is done,
Father will come with us and play—
'
   'Tis done. But Play-time's gone.

A willing slave for years,
   I strove to set men free;
Mine were the Labours, Hopes, and Fears,
   Be theirs the Victory.
 

 

EGYPTIAN PLANISPHERE OF ZODIACAL AND NORTHERN SIGNS
(According to Kircher)

See Enlargement

 

'In the customs and institutions of schools, academies, colleges, and similar bodies destined for the abode of learned men and the cultivation of learning, everything is found adverse to the progress of science. For the lectures and exercises there are so ordered, that to think or speculate on anything out of the common way can hardly occur to any man. And if one or two have the boldness to use any liberty of judgment, they must undertake the task all by themselves they can have no advantage from the company of others. And if they can endure this also, they will find their industry and largeness of mind no slight hindrance to their fortune. For the studies of men in these places are confined and as it were imprisoned in the writings of certain authors, from whom if any man dissent he is straightway arraigned as a turbulent person and an innovator.'—Bacon[1]

 

They needs must find it hard to take Truth for authority who have so long mistaken Authority for truth[2].

 

The Shadows of the past, substantialized,
Environ us; we are built about from birth
With life-long shutting-out of light from heaven[3].

 

'The few who had the courage to call the child by its right name, the few that knew something of it, who foolishly opened their hearts and revealed their vision to the many, were always burnt or crucified.'—Goethe[4]

 

'Tis a truth, howe'er unheeded,
Work least wanted is most needed[5].

 

There is, however, an ineradicable tendency in human nature, howsoever few may cultivate it at one time in the same direction, never to rest short of the attainable; and however minimised its value may appear in the process of attainment, we cannot rest until we know the truth[6].

 

Certain insects have developed the instinct to lay up food for their offspring which they never live to see[7].

 

In Africa the natives still dig round about the modern gum-trees to find the buried treasure that oozed from other trees which stood on the same spot in the forests of the far-off past[8].

 

'ώ αμαθείς άνθρωποι, διδάξετε ήμας, τί έστιν ό θεός έν τοίς άποκλειομένος?'[9]

 

'Bind it about thy neck, write it upon the tablet of thy heart, "Everything of Christianity is of Egyptian origin."'—Rev. Robert Taylor, Oakham Gaol, 1829[10].

 

'It is easy to show that this fabular relation borders on the verity of physical science.'—Plutarch[11].

 

'As for wisdom, what she is and how she came up, I will tell you, and will not hide mysteries front you; but will seek her out from the beginning of her nativity, and bring the knowledge of her into light, and will not pass over the truth.'—Wisdom of Solomon[12].

 

'Why does not someone teach me the constellations, and make me at home in the starry heavens, which are always overhead, and which I do not half know to this day?'—Carlyle[13].

 

'The time is near when these mysteries shall be revealed.'—Zohar[14].

 

'Now Joseph, the son of Rabbi Joshua, being sick, passed into the state of trance. His father inquired of him, "What seest thou?" He replied, "The world turned upside down. The lofty are laid low, and the lowly are lifted up on high." When his father heard this, he said unto him, "Verily, thou hast seen the age of Selection."'—Pesachim[15].

 

EXPLANATORY

The Natural Genesis contains the second half of A Book of the Beginnings,[16] and completes the author's contribution to the new order of thought that has been inaugurated in our own era by the writings of Darwin and Wallace, Spencer and Huxley, Morgan and McLennan, Tylor and Lubbock[17]. It was written by an evolutionist for evolutionists, and is intended to trace the natural origins and teach the doctrine of development. The total work is based upon the new matter supplied by the ancient monuments, ranging from the revelations of the bone-caves and the records of the stone age to the latest discoveries of hieroglyphic inscriptions, the cuneiform tablets, and the still extant language of gesture-signs. The work is not only one of original research, it is emphatically aboriginal, and the battle for evolution has here been continued amongst the difficult defiles and mountain fastnesses of the enemy.

After reading the first two volumes, Mr. Alfred Russell Wallace expressed the fear lest there might not be a score of people in England who were prepared by their previous education to understand the book. Few of its reviewers could be included amongst that number; and some of them were as remote from the writer and his meaning as the apes from man, gibbering across the chasm of the missing link. But the author's mode of treatment, which was deficient in the art of bridge-building, and the exigencies of publishing according to a plan that (so to speak) caused the Exodus to precede the Genesis, may have been unfortunate.

Much of the matter is pre-eval, so that the method could not be historical; nor could it be chronological, because of the links missing in series and sequence. The method is typological; and these two volumes of 'typology' are necessary to the proper understanding of the previous ones, which were written with the matter of these in [p.viii] mind. In the preceding part of the work the author took very extended views of Egypt's enormous past and the age of her pre-monumental mythology. Some of the conclusions set forth therein were characterized by Dr. Samuel Birch as interesting and ingenious. But at that time these suggestions and conclusions were announced in direct opposition to the accepted authorities. Since then, however, the inscriptions discovered at Saqqara have come to corroborate the present writer. They contain allusions to Sirius the Dog-star, which show that at least two Sothiac cycles of 1,460 years each had been observed and registered previous to their time—even if they are not copies of indefinitely older documents—which carries the chronology back to some 9,000 or 10,000 years from the present day. Various myths, hitherto supposed to have been the growth of later centuries or of Asiatic origin, including the most important of all, that of Sut-Horus, were then extant and of immemorial antiquity. In this case it is but just to say that A Book of the Beginnings happened to be the farthest advanced upon the right road.

The German Egyptologist, Herr Pietschmann, who reviewed A Book of the Beginnings, was startled at the many 'unheard-of suggestions' which it contained, and thought the work was 'inspired by an unrestrained thirst for discovery,'[18] but he adduced no evidence whatever to rebut the conclusions, and gave no hint of the author's being wrong in his derivation of facts from the monuments upon which those conclusions in a great measure depend. The writer has taken the precaution all through of getting his fundamental facts in Egyptology verified by one of the foremost of living authorities, Dr. Samuel Birch, to whom he returns his heartiest acknowledgments. He also sincerely thanks Captain R. F. Burton and Mr. George St. Clair, F.G.S., for their helpful hints and for the time and labour they have kindly given during the progress of this work. As a matter of course, the author will have blundered in manifold details. Discoveries are not to be made without mistakes, especially by those who do not cultivate the language of noncommittal. But up to the present time I have not been shown nor do I perceive any reason for doubting the truth of my generalization that Africa and not Asia was the birthplace of articulate man, and therefore the primordial home of all things human; and that the race which first ranged out over the world, including the islands of the north and the lands of the southern seas, was directly Kamite; the blacks of Britain (who left the [p.ix] flattened tibia, the negroid pelvis, the Australoid molars, and gorilla-like skulls in our bone-caves) and the blacks of Australia being two extreme wings extended from the same African centre. Professor Huxley recognizes in the native Egyptian the most refined form of the same anthropological type that survives at a far lower stage in the Australian black. My further contention is that both issued from inner Africa as the human birthplace, and that Egypt itself is old enough to be the mouthpiece of the first articulate language, the oldest intelligible witness to the natural genesis of ideas, and the sole adequate interpreter of the primary types of thought.

Professor Huxley has asserted that the Iberian (or African) blood remains in Britain even though 'all traces of language may have been obliterated.'[19] But all traces of a language can never be obliterated. We hear of a Pictish language disappearing along with a lost race and only leaving a word or two on the surface. That is impossible. The Cornish race and Cornish words live on after a particular dialect has ceased to be spoken. The structure of language changes, dialects dislimn and transform, but words do not pass away; the oldest are preserved in our dialects. Neither Cymraig, Gaelic, nor Irish Celtic is spoken in Dorsetshire, yet 'Rimbury' remains with its place of urn-burial to prove that it was so named as the 'Roimh,' a burying-ground, the meaning of which is repeated in the Bury.

The present writer has been charged with being 'sublimely unconscious that words have a history;'[20] but he knew that certain words were also prehistoric, that they are older than languages, and that words, like myths, customs, laws, or beliefs, do not always begin where we may first meet with them. The prehistoric is everywhere the dominating difficulty with which we have to deal. It is said that you can do anything with words, but the illustrations chiefly relied on by the present writer were precisely those words and names which the current etymology could do nothing with, neither account for nor affiliate them. These proved to be Egyptian, and that pointed to an extension of their history, or of ours. Moreover, it was found that the Kamite typology offered a principle of naming which determines the primary nature and significance of words. This the writer applied to the type-names of places, waters, hills, and caves in Britain. The result is to show that the most ancient names and words are Kamite, not Aryan nor Semite. [p.x] That is they are words still extant in Africa, which can be brought out of that land together with the black race, but cannot be got into it backwards from Europe or Asia, America or Australia. For example, it was suggested that the name of Deruthy, the place of the bone-cave, at the junction of the two rivers Gave, was identical with the Egyptian teru, for the river-branch. But the writer did not then know that the name was applied in Egypt at teruta, ¨lκ, the land (ta) of the river-branch, which is the name of an Egyptian town situated on the Nile at the junction of the Bahr-el-Yussuf.[21] Here the type is the tree, whence the branch, and this is the teru in Egyptian and numerous other African languages. Again, in the earliest known mention of the Cimbri, Philemon the poet says they called the Northern Sea, from their own country as far as Cape Rubeas, the Morimarusa or Dead Sea[22]. This has been compared with Mormarwth in Welsh for the Sea of Death. But in Egyptian mori is the sea, meru means the dead, and sa denotes the hinder-part, the back, behind, i.e., the Kamite North. Thus read, Mori-maru-sa would signify the Dead Sea North. Such type-words—and I have adduced hundreds—are equal to archaic coins for comparative purposes, and these prehistoric words, which are not derived from language in Asia, bear the stamp and superscription of Egypt. Hence my claim that the recognized non-Aryan (or pre-Aryan) residuum constituted the African origins.

It has now been amply shown in these volumes that certain root-words run through all language, and thus point back to a unity of origin which has to be sought for in the most primitive conditions.

The main thesis of my work includes the Kamite origin of the pre-Aryan matter extant in language and mythology found in the British Isles,—the origin of the Hebrew and Christian theology in the mythology of Egypt—the unity of origin for all mythology, as demonstrated by a worldwide comparison of the great primary types, and the Kamite origin of that unity—the common origin of the mythical genetrix and her brood of seven elementary forces, found in Egypt, Akkad, India, Britain, and New Zealand, who became kronotypes in their secondary, and spirits or gods in their final psychotheistic phase—the Egyptian genesis of the chief celestial signs, zodiacal and extra-zodiacal—the origin of all mythology [p.xi] in the Kamite typology—the origin of typology in gesture-signs—and the origin of language in African onomatopoeia.

At least sufficient evidence has been produced to prove that all previous discussions, speculations, and conclusions concerning the genesis of language, mythology, fetishism, theosophy, and religion are inadequate if only because the Kamite element has been hitherto omitted, and to show that the non-evolutionist could not possibly bottom any of the beginnings. One object aimed at in these and the previous volumes is to demonstrate that the true subject-matter of 'Holy Writ' belongs to astronomical mythology; the history first written in the book above, that was sacred because celestial; and that this has been converted into human history in both the Old Testament and the New. The 'Fall in Heaven' was an Egyptian mythos previous to its being turned into a Hebrew history of man in the garden of earth. The exodus or 'Coming out of Egypt,' first celebrated by the festival of Passover or the transit at the vernal equinox, occurred in the heavens before it was made historical in the migration of the Jews. The 600,000 men who came up out of Egypt as Hebrew warriors in the Book of Exodus[23] are 600,000 inhabitants of Israel in the heavens according to the Jewish Kabbalah, and the same scenes, events, and personages that appear as mundane in the Pentateuch are celestial in the Book of Enoch.

It was my aim to be foundational and accomplish a work that should be done for the first and last time: to ascertain how the oneness in primitive thought bifurcated in duality and was differentiated in expression by visible and audible signs—how natural gestures got stereotyped as ideographs and hieroglyphics—why the letter a should win the foremost place in the alphabet—why mankind should come to worship a supposed divine being alleged to divide all things into three, as a mode of representing its own triune nature. All through the object was to reach a root-representation of the subject-matter. Evolution teaches us that nothing short of the primary natural sources can be of final value, and that these have to be sought in the totemic and pre-paternal stage of sociology, the pro-religious phase of mythology and the ante-alphabetic domain of signs in language.

One clue to the writer's mode of elucidation may be found in his treatment of mythology as the mirror of prehistoric sociology, and his beginning with the mould of the motherhood which [p.xii] preceded a knowledge of the individualized fatherhood. Also, such phrases as 'serpent-worship,' 'tree-worship,' 'water-worship,' and 'phallic-worship' have but little meaning from the present standpoint. Nowhere did the cultus originate in religion, but in a system of typology, a primitive mode of expression, a means of representation. The natural need of making signs by gesture-language led to the gradual adoption of certain things that were used as typical figures, a medium for the exchange of meanings, the earliest current coinage ever stamped and issued from the mint of mind. Such types were adopted for use, and became sacred in the course of time, the fetishtic or religious being their final phase. The present writer has sought for the natural genesis of the primitive mode of expression which created the types that were continued in the typology that is held to be fetishtic in Africa but religious in Europe. The oldest types, like the serpent, tree, or water, were feminine at first, not because the female was then worshipped, but because the motherhood was known before paternity could be identified. The serpent sloughed periodically, so did the female. The tree was the producer of the fruit, as was the female. Water was the female fount of source. The ancestral spirit that preceded the individual ancestor, which was represented as creating or continuing by transformation of itself, might come to be typified by the serpent that sloughed and renewed, because a type once founded could be variously applied, but the serpent was a feminine ideograph from the beginning, and only the natural genesis of the type will enable us to interpret the later typology. Much of my matter has been fetched from far, and may be proportionately long in obtaining recognition. Being so remote from ordinary acquaintanceship, it could not be made familiar at first sight by any amount of literary skill. The appeal has to be continually made to a lapsed and almost lost sense of the natural genesis of ideas, customs, and superstitions. Nothing short of the remotest beginnings could sufficiently instruct us concerning the origin of religious rites, dogmas, and doctrines, that still dominate the minds of men without being understood, and years of intense brooding had to be spent in living back to enter the conditions and apprehend the primary phases of the nascent mind of man, so as to trace the first laying hold of things by the earliest human thought of which the cave-dwellers of the human mind have left us any record; and the writer believes that no such sustained, or at least [p.xiii] prolonged and elaborate, endeavour has hitherto been made to interpret the mind of primitive and archaic man by means of the types—found to be extant from the first—which are herein followed from their natural genesis in phenomena to their final phase of application. To trace the natural genesis of mythology and typology is to write a history or present a panorama of man's mental evolution; and every type portrayed or traced in these pages proves the lowly status of the beginnings, and tends to establish the doctrine of mental evolution in accordance with the physical.

My work is written long and large, and the evidence is faithfully presented in every part for each conclusion drawn, so that the reader may test its truth. Indeed a certain absence of personal showmanship or explanation by the way in marshalling the long array of data may be set down to a dominant desire that the serried facts should speak for themselves and tell their own tale as far as was possible. A judgment of facts is now asked for, not belief in a theory; the judgment of those who have time and patience to study and the capacity to comprehend. Belief has no more to do with the reading of this book than theoretical speculation had to do with the writing of it. From the peculiar nature of the work it is almost inevitable that its critics will have to learn the rudiments of the subject from the volumes offered for review; and great patience may be needed to reach the root of the matter, or to perceive the author's drift through all the mass of details. Each section is complete in itself, but the serious student will find the whole of them correlative and cumulative. They are called sections to denote that they have not the continuity of narrative; but they are parts of a whole.

The claim now to be advanced on behalf of the work is that it sets forth a physical basis for the human beginnings in thought, language, and typology; shows the mode in which the primitive and archaic man attained expression in terms of external phenomena; demonstrates the natural genesis of signs and symbols, recovers the lost foothold of mythology in the phenomena of space and time, and traces the typology of the past into the mytholatry of the present; that it represents the ancient wisdom, the secrets of the mysteries, numerical, physiological, and astronomical, according to the mode in which the gnosis was expressed; that mystical subjects previously dabbled in are for the first time sounded to the depth; that the foundations of the phallic cult are laid bare without the [p.xiv] grin of the satyr in Greece or the libidinous leer of the subject in its Italian phase, by a process as purely scientific as the origin was simply natural. The writer has not only shown that the current theology is, but also how it has been, falsely founded on a misinterpretation of mythology by unconsciously inheriting the leavings of primitive or archaic man and ignorantly mistaking these for divine revelations. The work culminates in tracing the transformation of astronomical mythology into the system of Equinoctial Christolatry called Christianity, and demonstrating the non-historic nature of the canonical gospels by means of the original mythos in which the messianic mystery, the virgin motherhood, the incarnation and birth, the miraculous life and character, the crucifixion and resurrection, of the saviour son who was the Word of all Ages, were altogether allegorical.

During a dozen years the writer has put his whole life into his labour, fully facing the fact that the most important parts of his work would be the least readable, and that the more thorough the research, the more fundamental the interpretation, the more remote would be its recognition and the fewer its readers. But the work is warranted to wait, and the author does not doubt that its comparatively few friends at first will be continually increased from many generations of genuine men and women[24].

 

CONTENTS TO PART 1

BOOK

 

PAGES

1 NATURAL GENESIS OF THE KAMITE TYPOLOGY 1-58
2 NATURAL GENESIS AND TYPOLOGY OF PRIMITIVE CUSTOMS 59-134
3 NATURAL GENESIS AND TYPOLOGY OF THE TWO TRUTHS 135-184
4 NATURAL GENESIS AND TYPOLOGY OF NUMBERS 185-234
5 NATURAL GENESIS AND TYPOLOGY OF PRIMORDIAL ONOMATOPOEIA 235-291
6 NATURAL GENESIS AND TYPOLOGY OF THE MYTHICAL SERPENT OR DRAGON AND OTHER ELEMENTARIES 292-370
7 NATURAL GENESIS AND TYPOLOGY OF THE MYTHICAL MOUNT, TREE, CROSS, AND FOUR CORNERS 371-455
8 NATURAL GENESIS AND TYPOLOGY OF THE MYTHICAL GREAT MOTHER, THE TWO SISTERS, THE TWINS, TRIADS, TRINITY AND TETRAD 456-552

CONTENTS TO PART 2

9 NATURAL GENESIS AND TYPOLOGY OF THE MYTHICAL CREATIONS 1-92
10 NATURAL GENESIS AND TYPOLOGY OF THE FALL IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH 93-170
11 NATURAL GENESIS AND TYPOLOGY OF THE THE DELUGE AND THE ARK 171-266
12 NATURAL GENESIS AND TYPOLOGY OF TIME AND TYPOLOGY OF THE WORD OR LOGOS 267-377
13 NATURAL GENESIS AND TYPOLOGY OF EQUINOCTIAL CHRISTOLATRY 378-503
  APPENDIX: COMPARATIVE VOCABULARY OF SANSKRIT AND EGYPTIAN 507-519
  GENERAL INDEX  

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
IN PART 1

    PAGE
1 EGYPTIAN PLANISPHERE OF ZODIACAL AND NORTHERN SIGNS Frontis
2 THE FIVE ELEMENTS 316
3 THE SERPENT POWER 340
4 AGOYE, AN IDOL OF WHYDAH 356
5 THE TREE AND THE SERPENT 360
6 SEBEK 369
7 THE CROSS OF CHRIST AS A FOURFOLD PHALLUS 425
8 THE EGYPTO-GNOSTIC HORUS 454
9 THE GREAT MOTHER 466
10 THE GODDESS NUT 470
11 OSIRIS AND THE DIVINE SISTERS 502
12 THE BIUNE BEING 516

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
IN PART 2

    PAGE
1 THE SEVEN HEAVENS 50
2 THE EGYPTO-GNOSTIC HORUS 393
3 THE DIVINE ANNUNCIATION 398
4 THE CHILD-CHRIST AS AN EGYPTIAN MUMMY 437

 

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