Dawning Of The Light: Pharaoh Akhnaton
The Eighteenth Dynasty, Egypt’s Imperial Age, had begun with Ahmose I, a Theban princeling. Thutmose III had salvaged the great treasures of Solomon’s Temple in Israel. Now, the heart of all mankind was ready to receive the WORD as it dawned in Egypt as the blazing ATON. Aton’s servant on earth was to be Amunhotep IV, known to the world as Akhnaton, the “heretic” Pharaoh.
Amunhotep II ascended the throne in 1447 B.C. and died in 1420 B.C. His son, Thutmose IV, succeeded him in 1420 B.C., and ruled until 1412 B.C. This Thutmose and a Mitannian princess were the parents of Amunhotep III (“The Magnificent”). Amunhotep II (the Pharaoh who was buried with his famous bow which no other man was strong enough to use) was the grandfather of Amunhotep III.
After the seventh year of his reign (1405 B.C.), “The Magnificent” never again led his armies out of Thebes, but spent the rest of his life living in peace in his capital with his chief wife, the Great Royal Wife, Queen Tiyi. Tiyi was the uncultured, outspoken daughter of a commoner from Lower Egypt, but she had caught the fancy of young Amunhotep III and he loved her more than any other woman. Over the advice of his mentors, he made her the greatest and most powerful woman in Egypt.
Another of his wives was his own half-sister, Sitamun, who was jealous of Tiyi, and felt that she should be the Queen of Upper and Lower Egypt because the royal blood of the Pharaohs flowed in her veins. She was the mother of Smenkhkare (born 1390 B.C.), the Princess Meriten, and young Tutankhaton (born 1370 B.C.). Amunhotep III also dearly loved another wife, the Princess Giluhepa. She had been given to him by King Shutarna, her father, who was ruler of the Kingdom of Mitanni. She came to Thebes from her father’s capital, Washshukanni on the upper Habur. She gave the Pharaoh a son, known throughout his life as Sinuhe (“he who stands alone”). He had been abandoned as an infant and set upon the water in a reed boat; to be adopted by Senmut, physician to the poor, and his wife, Kipa.
By Tiyi, Amunhotep III gave the world his successor, Amunhotep IV, who later changed his name to Akhnaton. Tiyi was also the mother of the “Magnificent” Pharaoh’s youngest daughter, the Princess Beketamun.
The first suggestion of Aton’s power in Egypt manifested itself with Thutmose IV, who was preparing the way for the Dawn. Amunhotep III and Queen Tiyi often sailed in their royal barge, which they called “The Aton Gleams.”
The King was very concerned with the growing power of the Amun priesthood, and favoured the priests of the Heliopolitan sun god, Re (Ra). He was the first Egyptian monarch to be worshipped as a god in his own lifetime! He was looked upon as the sun god’s earthly representative, and all his subjects believed he actually had a divine, solar origin. What does this mean? Actually, the rulers of this period of earth history were volunteers from other more enlightened worlds and came into physical existence on this planet only to help raise ignorant mankind to a higher understanding and perception of Divine Truth. Therefore they really did have other-worldly “solar” origins!
When the Crown Prince Amunhotep (Akhnaton) was twenty-one years of age he married the lovely Nefretiti, daughter of the powerful priest Ay. (She was not the daughter of Amunhotep III, as historians believe.) Her name meant “the-beautiful-woman-has-come.” Her features have become famous through the sculptured head which was found by the German expedition at Akhetaton (known to the modern world as Tel-el-Amarna).
On the thirtieth anniversary of his reign (1382 B.C.), Amunhotep III appointed his son co-regent, and thereafter Amunhotep IV ruled Egypt jointly with his illustrious father.
During the first four years of the co-regency with his father the young Pharaoh ruled from the capital, Thebes. Then he began to build an entirely new capital city (1378 B.C.) on a virgin site, over two hundred miles down-river from Thebes. In the sixth year of the co-regency (1376 B.C.) he left the capital of his father and established himself in his new location, a holy city which he called Akhetaton (“The Horizon of the Disc”).
Here Amunhotep IV changed his name, which meant “Amun-is-satisfied,” to Akhnaton (“It is well with the Aton”). He ordered that the name Amun be struck out of every tomb, temple, and monument on which it appeared throughout the length and breadth of Egypt. The inspired Pharaoh began his noble attempt to emancipate the human spirit. With a single stroke he wanted to replace the ancestral Egyptian religion of gross polytheism with a simpler, purer faith. He recognized and served only One God, symbolized by the Disc of the Sun (Aton).
He pitted his will against the religious inertia of the entire nation and the fanaticism and jealousy of the Amun priests in an effort to accomplish the will of the Divine Father he served. He succeeded in a sense, but later perished amid the ruin of his plans.
The human race on earth began millions of years ago with a belief in One God; then there was a rapid decline into polytheism and idolatry. Originally among all ancient races there was a universal belief in One Supreme God, so Akhnaton was not the first monotheist, as has been supposed by some authorities. But he did bring the Light of the One God back to the people of the world, after that Light had been hidden from man for thousands of years by negative or so-called “evil” forces.
The nobles of Egypt, their families, artists and poets, journeyed to Akhetaton and took up residence with Pharaoh in his new city. Overlooking the broad main street, known as “The King’s Way,” rose the official royal palace linked by a bridge with Akhnaton’s house. Nearby was the new, brilliant Temple of Aton. Where formerly there was only desolate, barren desert, gardens bloomed, enchanting with the flowers and rare trees which Akhnaton and Nefretiti loved.
In 1376 B.C. he declared full war on the ancient god Amun. His father, Amunhotep III, did not die in 1376 B.C., as historians believe, but lived until 1370 B.C. During the time after Akhnaton left Thebes for his new city (1376—1370 B.C.) Amunhotep III kept order in the ancient capital Thebes and subdued the great power of the Amun priesthood, until the worship of all other gods was forbidden. Osiris, Hathor, Ptah…the entire pantheon of lesser deities were swept away by the two riders. Only Pharaoh would have dared such a revolutionary movement!
The demons and monsters who inhabited the Underworld of the gods were eliminated by royal proclamation from all Egypt. The reason historians place the death of Amunhotep III at 1376 B.C. is because that is the date he passes from historical reference. But it is not the date of his death, only the date when Aknhaton quit Thebes for the new holy city built on virgin soil. It had to be in a new area, uncontaminated by the vibrations of the evil Amun—the false god!
Accompanying the great religious revolution and revival was a drastic change in the traditional art of Egypt. All former conventions were abandoned, and artistic realism and humanism flourished in Akhetaton, and from there, the new capital of the world, Akhnaton poured out upon all mankind the new message of the One God. It was accomplished by converting the divine message into a new form of art, literature, and philosophy.
Akhnaton told other rulers, princes, and nobles of far-away lands that God (Aton) desired that His children should follow nonviolence. He encouraged his contemporaries to be pacifists. Most of them laughed at him and called him mad! Because of this, they cleverly and secretly played on his beliefs, and would accept the Cross of Life (Ankh) when he sent it to them, but without his knowledge they began through warfare to destroy the outer fringe of the great Egyptian empire that had reached its military apex during the reign of Thutmose III.
Amunhotep III in Thebes sired Tutankhaton (Tutankhamun) just before he died in the spring of 1370 B.C. He never saw the young prince, who was born in the winter of the same year (December, 1370 B.C.). Smenkhkare, his brother, had been born of the same mother, Sitamun, in 1390 B.C., and was therefore twenty years older than the last child of “The Magnificent.”
Throughout the entire history of the earth, the “Goodly Company” or the multitude of “Christ Souls” have incarnated in a group to fulfil the WORD and the Work—the Great Plan set down by the Creative Spirit. About Pharaoh Akhnaton in the new holy city gathered the greatest minds of the day, those who were to share with him the gigantic task of literally changing an entire world and its false teachings!
Pharaoh was addressed as “the King, the Ra, the Sun.” This signified his position as leader of the “Goodly Company” of star-born beings dedicated to the salvation of a planet!
At this time other-worldly mentors incarnated as great rulers and leaders because mankind was in the consciousness of worshipping the king, the representative of their god in human, physical form on earth. The people knew him as the “Voice of God.” Later in history mankind was subjected to the rule of the lesser souls, the “spawn of earth.” These became the emperors of Rome and the cruel kings of vassal kingdoms.
The only temple allowed to continue in Thebes was the Temple of Isis, since it upheld the virginity of young maidens. Akhnaton desired that the young women of Egypt would fashion themselves after the precepts of modesty and innocence. But he removed the orgiastic nature of Isis worship, and instead of Isis being adored as a goddess her purity was stressed and she became a model for all young women to fashion themselves after. The only object of worship left in her temple was the symbol of Aton, the golden Disc of the Sun!
The Amun priests were very restless. Their temples had been violated, their idols shattered, their treasuries were empty. The wealth of Egypt and other nations flowed into Akhetaton, not Thebes. Evil priests and ideologies were dying, and their darkness was almost eliminated by the New Dawn; almost, but not quite. Just before Akhnaton’s death, Amunism reared its ugly head once again and phoenix-like rose from the ashes of its ruin to the freshness of new life to live through another cycle of man’s development. It still exists as the dominant and controlling force in the world today!
Akhnaton and the followers of Aton did not worship the physical sun, as some authorities believe! Each soul is like a single ray from the sun, and this celestial body symbolized Divine Love (Heat) and Divine Wisdom (Light). It was the visible, physical symbol in the world of the Creative Spirit; who, like the sun, quickens all with life.
The “Goodly Company” to this day carries the mark of the golden Sun Disc (Aton). On the foreheads of those who still serve, this symbol can be seen by those attuned to such consciousness.
It should be mentioned here that from the word “Aton” came atonement (at-one-ment, at-tune-ment). From the word “Amun” the world derived amen and a-mend-ment. Atonism harmonized the entire creation so that man was ONE with his Creator. Amunism was a corrective discipline, for it attempted to amend and yet control human behaviour through false teachings.
In order to show the extreme importance of the individuals who surrounded Akhnaton at the royal court in Akhetaton, it is necessary to discuss several of the important and some of the lesser officials. Very little is known about anyone, except Pharaoh, and not much is known about him!
In later ages, these same workers in Light incarnated to continue the great work which had received so much impetus under Akhnaton.
There were two men at the court who shared the power as the most important and influential officials. One of these was Ay, chief priest, court chamberlain, and practically court everything else. He was a close personal friend of Pharaoh, and his wife Tyi was nurse to the royal wife, Nefretiti. This is logical, since Ay and Tyi were the parents of the beautiful Queen of Egypt!
Ay worked diligently against the Amun priesthood and supported the Pharaoh in his demands that Amun be completely eradicated from the land.
The other official sharing power with the good Ay, was Maya, king’s scribe. overseer of the treasury, and prime minister of Egypt. The two men worked closely together with Pharaoh. Maya had been Joseph of the “coat of many colours” and even now wore a similar garment of many bright and assorted colours to designate his high position as royal treasurer and scribe. This entity had been David, Ahmose I, and then the vizier Rekhmire under Thutmose III.
He had volunteered, as the others, to come down into flesh, time and time again, not for mere earthly glory and hollow acclaim, but wherever the Work would lead. Early in his career, when as a young man he served Amunhotep III, Maya discovered the records that he had left in the Great Pyramid when he was Joseph. Furthermore, he knew that he had been Joseph, son of Jacob! Maya was a man possessed of strange psychic gifts. One of these was the ability to recall certain past incarnations when it was important for him to do so! Before Maya left Egypt, during the reign of the commoner, Horemheb, he placed records under the Sphinx, and these read: “When future man reads what is written here he shall know that Joseph came again into the land of Egypt, sat on the right hand of Pharaoh, again he passed this way!”
Maya served in the scribe vibration, even as David and Joseph and Rekhmire had served. Maya was born in 1428 B.C. during the reign of Amunhotep II, and was a very young man when his lifetime friend, Amunhotep the “Magnificent,” appointed him royal treasurer.
Now this Pharaoh’s youngest full-sister was a fair child by the name of Ilipaamun (“Beloved Child of Amun”). This sister of Pharaoh had been Asenath, wife of Joseph. Even as Joseph saw her when she was the daughter of Potiphar, he looked upon her again at court and secretly desired her. However, Pharaoh knew this secret of Maya’s heart and gave him Ilipaamun to wife. This was destined once again, because the two were to serve a great purpose in the Dawn of the WORD.
The first child born of this union was Tantahpe, who, as a babe, was dedicated in the Temple of Isis before this goddess had completely fallen from her high position in the pantheon of gods.
Another man close to the heart of the court at Akhetaton was Ahmose, a royal scribe and steward of the house. He had been Levi, son of Jacob and Leah; half-brother of Joseph in another lifetime. He was later to become Amos, a minor prophet of Judea.
Amenophis, son of Hapi, had been a great architect and adviser under Akhnaton’s father and continued in this service to the court at Akhetaton. The records say: “. . . he found forms of mysteries for amulets and discovered magic names.” He had been Thoth of Atlantis, and then Iemhotep, architect of King Zoser in the Third Dynasty. After his death, Iemhotep was deified, and so was Amenophis. As deified mortals, they stand almost alone in Egyptian history. (It is interesting, therefore, to note they were the same entity!) It was his duty under Akhnaton to secure the secret hiding-places for the Aton records, and his architectural skill produced fantastic results.
General Horemheb was head of the Egyptian army. He hated Akhnaton, for Pharaoh stood for peace and non-violence. Horemheb was the son of a cheese-maker and had risen to great power amongst the military faction because of his magnificent physique, his endurance as an athlete, and prowess as a great hunter. The army suffered under Akhnaton because there were no wars to be fought. The empire that Egypthad built over the centuries was fast crumbling. Horemheb knew that, even though it was far away from Akhetaton, on the fringes of Egyptian domination.
Horemheb longed for battle, to feel the heat of hand-to-hand combat and the blood of one’s enemies on his strong hands. Generals were not popular at court, and especially this one, for Pharaoh said: “The sight of one so anxious to destroy his fellow man and so loath to take the Cross of Life fills me with disgust… he makes our sacred chambers smell of blood!”
Horemheb had been Jeroboam and was later to become a Roman emperor and a Spanish conqueror.
Huya was major-domo for Queen Tiyi, and supervised the preparation of records which the great queen completed after the death of her husband, the “Magnificent.”
Mahu was the chief of police and was responsible for the protection of the temple and palace and of the holy city itself. His one desire was that the knowledge brought to the world through Akhnaton would “live eternally like the Aton.”
Akhnaton’s mother, Queen Tiyi, continued the work of her husband in Thebes and kept the Amun priests under control. She had been Hatshepsut in another lifetime, the queen who had herself portrayed as a man by many artists. Tiyi was the daughter of the commoner Yuya, and his wife, Thuyu. Yuya, since he was the father of the favourite wife of Pharaoh, was made provincial governor and master of the horse at the court of his son-in-law, Amunhotep III.
Sitamun was a half-sister of Amunhotep III, and therefore an aunt of Akhnaton. But she was also the second wife of the “Magnificent” Pharaoh. Sitamun bitterly resented the commoner Tiyi, for she was the rightful Queen of Egypt since she was of the House of the Amunhoteps and royal line.
The priests had informed the young Amunhotep III that “Hatshepsut, our great and good Queen, lives again in Lower Egypt, as daughter of Yuya.” Through a divine oracle they had discerned that Hatshepsut was again in life. Amunhotep III knew that he had to find her, take her to be first royal wife, put her on the throne beside him, and fulfil his destiny with her.
Sitamun gave Pharaoh the child Smenkhkare, and later Tutankhaton (Tutankhamun), and a fair daughter named Meriten. But she took no interest in the children she bore her king and would have sent them down the river in reed boats had not Tiyi intervened in time. Sitamun wanted to become a channel of truth and spiritual wisdom, but she could not. However, her son, Tutankhaton, was to become a medium through which his father would speak again to the Egyptian world.
To the present day, Sitamun has had no children, but is now a great channel of truth in America.
But why did these people marry their own sisters, and so forth? The answer is an obvious one. This was before the Aton had been fully revealed to the world. The “Goodly Company” did not mix its vibrations with the “ spawn of the earth.” To do so would have meant a change in the pattern and a vibrational change would not have assisted in the coming of the Dawn. The practice is thought to be perverted today, but it was an entirely different thing then.
The bust that has been recorded by historians as that of Tiyi is actually that of Sitamun. Because she was of the royal blood, her portrait was used instead of Tiyi’s on all State carvings, reproductions, and where the royal family was portrayed. She had the characteristic features of Egyptian nobility and the Amunhoteps. That is why her son, Tutankhaton, resembled her so much. (When the tomb of Tutankhamun was opened and the mummy unwrapped the striking resemblance between the so-called likeness of Tiyi and the young king was noticed. He also resembled Akhnaton, since they had the same father.)
Tutu was the minister of foreign affairs for Akhnaton. It was his duty to see that all correspondence from foreign rulers (Palestine, Syria, etc.) and officials was properly filed at the royal archives of Akhetaton. (About four hundred of these clay tablets were discovered in A.D. 1887 in the ruins of the Foreign Office at Tel-el- Amarna.)
Cato was Egypt’s greatest artist, a master craftsman in stone, wood, and precious metals. Under his inspiration and direction the great art revolution took place under Akhnaton. This Master was to be born later as the famous Kungfutse (Confucius), Grand Master Mason and philosopher. He had been Cheops (Khufu), great king of the Fourth Dynasty.
Rahotep, the young son of Cato, was born in 1367 B.C. He became a greater artist than his illustrious father, even though he only lived to be seventeen years of age. He was a fine, sensitive young man; a channel for the powerful forces working with and through him. This youth had been none other than the great King Solomon, who was also an artist and alchemist. Rahotep later fashioned the golden mask for his boyhood friend, Tutankhamun. History has never known the identity of this artist.
Sinuhe was the court physician at Akhetaton, and one of Pharaoh’s personal friends and advisers. He had been named “Sinuhe” (“He Stands Alone“) by his foster parents, Senmut, the physician to the poor, and his wife, Kipa. His actual name was Setymeramun, and he was the son of Princess Giluhepa of Mitanni and Amunhotep III. He was Akhnaton’s half-brother, but Sinuhe did not know this until years later when he reigned for the brief period of one month. He had been put adrift in a reed boat after his birth and was found by Senmut, who adopted him and trained him to be a physician. He then entered the School of Life where he won recognition for his skill.
Pharaoh Akhnaton was certainly not alone in the job he came to perform. The Infinite Father had hoped that man would grasp and understand the new Light of the Dawn, but he did not. Many followed their good Pharaoh, but the majority believed him to be a weakling. Behind his back he was called “Sister of Egypt.” He was a small man, not over five feet five inches tall, and displayed feminine characteristics. He had a swollen belly and an elongated skull poised on an unusually long neck. History does not record it but he also had a deformity of one hand.
His physical peculiarities and attitude on non-violence and peace caused him to be looked upon with suspicious eyes. On one, occasion, when he was being carried through the streets on his throne, he waved to his people! The populace was shocked and some screamed in horror! Pharaoh—the Living God of Egypt— stepped down from his pedestal and became a human being. The people called after Akhnaton as he passed their way and shouted: False Pharaoh—away with the false god!
But, strange as it seems, Akhnaton was closer to God than any Pharaoh had been before him. Some of his people recognized this, but others only knew that their Pharaoh was no longer acting as Pharaoh should, according to the convention of tradition.
Excerpt from Secret Places of The Lion by George Hunt Williamson
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