Dawning Of The Light: Pharaoh Akhnaton – Part II
“As time went on in Akhetaton, more and more people came to love Akhnaton. The Amun priesthood realized that if they were ever to regain any power whatsoever, they would have to strike quickly. They bargained with General Horemheb, who was ruling as Governor of Memphis, because they needed the strength of the army to achieve their purpose.
In 1365 B.C. Akhnaton’s rule was strong because of the love of the people, but it was weak because of internal strife caused by the increasing power of Egypt’s enemies. Pharaoh refused to fight a war, “ holy“ or otherwise. Horemheb tried to convince Akhnaton that he should fight for the sake of Aton if nothing else. But he was told that Aton is not a god of war and does not want his children to kill one another. Horemheb agreed with the Amun priests: Akhnaton had to be eliminated if Egypt’s empire was to be saved. Another new threat were weapons of iron used by the Hittites. The Egyptian army only had spears and swords of copper.
Ay was the “Bearer of Pharaoh’s Crook” in Thebes and ruled it as governor. Ay was very concerned over the state of affairs— the growing tension, and Horemheb’s obvious pact with Amunism. But the priests did not want to put a cheese-maker’s son on the proudest throne in the world. They hoped the surviving Amunhoteps could be persuaded to act as figure-heads for the priesthood. They knew the people would accept those of royal blood; but a cheese-maker’s son for Pharaoh—never!
Akhnaton had seven beautiful daughters, not unlike the mythological seven daughters of Atlas who were pursued by Orion and transformed into a group of stars bearing the name of Pleiades. There was a Lost Pleiad or sister, because only six of the seven stars are visible to the naked eye. The seven daughters are found everywhere in legend: the seven daughters of the priest of Midian, and others.
Akhnaton and his daughters were being pursued by another evil force—Amunism. (Orion is mentioned in Other Tongues—Other Flesh as the symbol of negative, opposing force.)
The oldest was Meritaton, the second was Maketaton, who was the first child of Akhnaton’s to die. She was like the legendary Lost Pleiad, for she faded away, leaving the six. The physician Sinuhe attempted to save her life but she wasted away until Pharaoh could stand the sight no longer. Her death was one of the causes of his nervous collapse and mental unbalance just before he was murdered.
His third daughter was Ankhsenpaaton, and in an earlier lifetime she had been the sister of Queen Tahpenes and became the wife of Hadad. She did not marry her father Akhnaton as historians believe. She was only eight years old when she married Tutankhaton, who was the same age as she was.
An inscription was discovered at Hermopolis in 1938 which states: “The King’s daughter, whom he loves, Ankhsenpaaton the younger, born of the King’s daughter Ankhsenpaaton.” How could Ankhsenpaaton have a child when she was eight years old? It is possible but not likely. This inscription will bear further investigation. It will be found that it means something very different. The translation should be: “The King’s [Tutankhamun’s] daughter, whom he loves, Ankhsenpaaton the younger, born of a [not the]King’s daughter Ankhsenpaaton.” The reference here is made to Tutankhamun, not Akhnaton, and it refers to the first child born to King Tutankhamun and his wife Ankhsenpaaton several years later.
Akhnaton quarrelled with Nefretiti in 1362 B.C. Previous to this, at the insistence of Nefretiti, Akhnaton had married Tutankhaton to his daughter Ankhsenpaaton. Queen Nefretiti knew what was coming; she also knew that Akhnaton was becoming unbalanced mentally. The death of his beloved daughter Maketaton had caused a great change in him, and the increasing pressure brought by the agitated Amun priests and Horemheb’s lust for blood drove him to seek Aton, the One God of all men, in deep meditations and concentrations. He was not insane, but he was unbalanced; he was more in another world than he was in this one!
A great plan had been decided upon by the Aton priests and other-worldly (space) visitors who came to Akhetaton. Since it was now known that the world would not accept and was not yet ready for the Greater Light, a plan was devised that would make Akhnaton be remembered in the hearts men forever. Besides, a plot had been discovered and it was known that the priests of Amun intended to assassinate Pharaoh and other Atonists at prayer. Future generations would say: “Truly our Pharaoh Akhnaton was the chosen voice of Aton, for the One God himself as a blazing disc came close to earth and took our Pharaoh away as in a whirlwind that had no voice!”
The final plan was this: Nefretiti and Akhnaton would be praying in the beautiful Temple of Aton on the proposed day of assassination. The Amun priests planned to close the gates, destroy the Aton royalty, priests, priestesses, and worshippers, then step out of the temple as the new rulers of Egypt! Just as the Amun followers were about to strike, a great space craft would descend to the altar in front of the gigantic stone Cross of Life (Ankh). Its force field would hide the main body of the craft and it would only appear as a blazing disc, a” fire circle,” like the ones observed by Thutmose Ill on his way to Israel. All the observers would be able to say was: “ See, our Pharaoh has performed his duty; he has been the good god; now the Aton has been pleased and touches the earth in his radiant magnificence. . . he takes our king with him in his golden chariot!” But the Atonists cancelled the plan because of Akhnaton’s unstable condition. Instead, soldiers were disguised as Aton-worshippers and when the gates closed many of the Amun conspirators were taken captive instead. No blazing” Aton” descended for Akhnaton.
If such a plan had been put into action, historians would say: “Those superstitious Egyptians, they claim their insane, heretic Pharaoh went up to heaven in a golden chariot! The followers of this king and his Aton must have been mad!”
Nevertheless, the greatest climax of the Aton period would have been when “a great light came down and took away Pharaoh, never to be seen by mortal man again!” But Akhnaton’s own ego and mental outlook prevented it. It was known that the world had rejected Atonism, yet many saw the Light for the first time because of Akhnaton’s labour. The departure in the “ fire circle” would have made the period indelible on men’s minds. Yet, even without such a dramatic climax, the period has never been forgotten!
The Aton priests came to Queen Nefretiti and told her she would have to carry on because Pharaoh was in no position to do so. Daily he became weaker, mentally and physically. Sinuhe and all his knowledge could do nothing. Sedatives did not calm Pharaoh; he did not sleep, but wandered all day and night around the palace. He seemed desperately trying to find something—but what?
One night Sinuhe found him at a pool in the garden. When the physician asked him what bothered him, he said: “Sinuhe, my good friend, I desire only one thing before I die…” Sinuhe said: “But sire, you shall not die, I…” Akhnaton retorted: “Physician, don’t lie to a dying man, for I know that I have done what I had to do in this land. The Heavenly Father has not seen fit to continue the blessings of Aton on the people of this dark world. I symbolized him in paintings by showing the shining disc of the Aton always overhead, with its down-stretched rays, each terminating in a hand which seems to caress the entire world. . . even the whole of creation, Sinuhe.”
Sinuhe looked into Pharaoh’s eyes for a long, still moment and said: “What is it you seek, sire?” He looked at the physician as if it would be impossible to explain his deepest feelings, but he said: “My old friend, I said long ago that as my Father the Aton liveth, I would make Akhetaton the City of the Horizon of the Disc—on the very land we now sit on. And I have done that, but now that I know the end is near, I only pray that Aton will be satisfied!”
Nefretiti informed Pharaoh that she was to carry on the Work because of his ill health. This caused the temporary division between the two who were devoted to each other more than any other mortal mates. They were true soul-mates and the separation was a difficult one; but they never stopped loving each other. The necessity of the Work made it imperative that they be apart for a while.
Queen Nefretiti retired with young Tutankhaton and his child bride, Ankhsenpaaton, to a special palace in the northern part of Akhetaton, cut off from the city by a high wall. Akhnaton was left alone in his southern palace. Nefretiti knew that she had to work fast; she had to prepare the two children now in her charge to become the rulers of Egypt. They had to be told certain secrets, for Nefretiti knew that the Amun priesthood would use them as tools on the throne.
Historians believe that Akhnaton tried to compromise with the Amun priests at Thebes and that Nefretiti may have been the fanatical force behind Atonism. They say she left him because he wanted to give the power back to Amun! But this is not true! Akhnaton served and loved Aton till the very end!
The same year that Nefretiti left Akhnaton (1362 B.C.), Pharaoh married his half-brother Smenkhkare to his oldest daughter Meritaton, and made Smenkhkare his co-regent, just as his own father, Amunhotep III, had made him co-regent during the latter years of his reign.
Akhnaton continued to live in Akhetaton, and Smenkhkare and his wife went to Thebes and ruled. The Amun priests hoped to use Smenkhkare as their figure-head. It would be easy to dispose of Pharaoh at Akhetaton; the city was already losing its population. Its beautiful gardens were withering for lack of proper care; everywhere there was the feeling of desolation and loneliness. The holy city was doomed, and everyone knew it.
Smenkhkare and his royal wife were playing a clever game, but, unfortunately, a losing one. They never intended to be anything but Atonists. In going to Thebes they hoped to learn the plans of the Amun priests by pretending to fall in with them and advocate the quick return of Amun to Egypt. Their true intentions were discovered and they were disposed of, but this came later.
Akhnaton’s last proclamation as Pharaoh decreed that all men in Egypt would be hence forth free men; no longer would there be slaves, nobles, and class systems. All people would be equal and work together for their Infinite Father. On the day of this proclamation, Ay and Maya informed their king: “Sire, you have just torn the double crown from off your head; you are no longer Pharaoh by this act, but you are more: today you are truly Aton’s chosen messenger!
He who was to be born later as Judas Iscariot was a priest of Amun, and he secretly administered poison to Pharaoh Akhnaton. On the final night in the throne-room at Akhetaton, Horemheb was present to see that Pharaoh died. Others present were Ay, Maya, Ahmose, Amenophis, Tutankhaton, and Sinuhe. Altogether there were seven, besides Pharaoh.
Akhnaton laid aside the red-and-white crown, for it was now too heavy for him, and he looked about the room. He was conscious of all present, yet there was a shining ecstasy in his countenance which made him seem apart.
Before the poison was administered Horemheb said: “Sire, come back to Thebes with me; renounce this Aton of yours; bow down to Amun, and I will see to it that you still wear the double crown. My army will support you!” This was Akhnaton’s last chance to compromise with evil, and Horemheb wanted the record to state that he had given Pharaoh every opportunity to recant.
Akhnaton answered: “I have found that which I sought. Sinuhe knows of what I speak. I have had my vision… I saw Aton’s face in a golden mist…”
Horemheb whispered under his breath: “He’s completely mad! I will not listen!” Ahmose responded: “Be quiet! He is still your Pharaoh.”
The small, pitiful Akhnaton sat on his throne under the great symbol of Aton with the outstretched hand. He said: “I will live and die as Pharaoh. I came to bring a message to my people and from them to all the world. But Egypt has rejected the message of the great and kind Aton; the Aton that I saw as a boy in the blazing sun’s rays. Not that the sun is Aton, but that the great light and heat from the solar orb symbolize Divine Love and Wisdom. The light and heat: one is love, the other wisdom.
“Man’s eternal symbol of his Father’s love and wisdom in the physical world is the Aton or Sun Disc. You, Horemheb, with your armies, you may tear all God’s temples down stone by stone, and the Amun priests can destroy Aton’s people. You can erase His name from the monuments, but in order to destroy Aton you must tear all the stars from the sky and pull down the skies themselves before you can destroy His Word.”
“What care I,” said Pharaoh, “if you ravage the temples of Aton and erect ancient Amun again? Aton’s Kingdom is not made of material substance; it is Eternal!”
Horemheb, red with rage and disgust, said: “The only reality is that which we can see here and now; you, Pharaoh Akhnaton, speak in mad riddles; your illusions are insane. The only thing worth living for is gold, power, and battle. Your Aton is a weak, simple-minded god! I give you one more chance: although I do not agree with your ways, and I have told you that Egypt would fall unless Egypt retained her military strength, yet I will support with my army and my spear, and you shall come with me to Thebes and, if you bow down to Amun, I shall protect you and you shall be Pharaoh as you are now.”
Akhnaton replied: “Horemheb, you are more mad than I, because I will not bow down to the false god. What care I what you do now in Egypt, for this night I have received the greater vision: I have seen Aton. He has told me the plan He has for man. Egypt has rejected the One God and in a future time yet unborn another land shall be the birthplace of Him who shall lead. It shall not be Egypt, but it shall be the Holy Land that our great and good Queen Hatshepsut visited and brought back a message of Light with her; a message that we have seen with our own eyes engraved in her secret chamber in the temple that she built.”
“The world of men has rejected the Light. Let the dark priests bring back their ancient evil. The world has had its chance to do away with all the old systems of bondage. It came as Pharaoh, because only Pharaoh would dare attempt it—only Pharaoh could hope to accomplish it—and I failed. Yet, I see a greater plan now. All is not lost, for there will come a time when our labours will bear fruit. A generation yet to be born will know that I served well.”
Horemheb now knew that Pharaoh could not be used for his selfish cause, and he secretly gave the signal for the poison to be brought in.
Pharaoh drank without even realizing it. All had their eyes on him, for he was suddenly bathed in a violet radiance; all saw it, except Horemheb.
In a voice now fully inspired, Pharaoh spoke over the sound of lightning and thunder outside: “My clarity of perception has wrought my undoing, for I have lived in a generation which has no concept of the simplicity of Truth. The world fears a mind which thinks more accurately than its own; such a mind it destroys in self-protection. To think is to be persecuted by those who do not understand; to have vision is to be hated by the visionless; to be wise is to be reviled by fools. Since the beginning of time itself men have laboured under the delusion that Truth could be destroyed by murdering those who sought to give it to the world. But the sublime verities of Aton are far beyond the reach of mortality and in every age are reborn in others who rise up to carry them forward again. My voice has been a weak and a small voice. But there shall be others and they will sing the glad song of freedom for all mankind to hear.”
Akhnaton’s words were now becoming faint and he slumped on the throne. Horemheb glanced at the double crown lying by itself on the table; it would need a new wearer shortly. He walked out of the throne-room and into the streets wet from the storm— shortly to be wet from blood—and he turned towards Memphis.”
Excerpt from Secret Places of The Lion by George Hunt Williamson
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