difference between the image of Egypt informing premodern and modern
Egyptology rests first on the rejection of the biblical, Greek, Latin, and
other testimonies on ancient Egyptian culture, whose value as sources was
greatly diminished by the discovery of an abundance of Egyptian
testimonies, and second on an interpretative abstinence that had already
distinguished the antiquarianism of the sixteenth to eighteenth century
and was elevated to a principle by the positivism of the nineteenth and
twentieth centuries." -
"In esoteric circles, people are too dependent on the old, outdated
works of Budge and ought to take into account more recent literature,
which has much to offer of esoteric interest." -
"Where our poets
possible and impossible, and scientists chase the dream of the
exact, of certainties, the historian faces the task of assessing the
most probable. (...) Our datings for the late Middle Kingdom depend
not on grouping names of kings alone, but more solidly on a vast
bank of data, such as typologies of coffins, analyses of alloys in
metals, studies of handwriting, and study of archaeological finds in
stratigraphic sections on excavation. Taken together, these widely
varying source materials provide support of a 'most probable'
time-line. The reader needs only to remember that a single discovery
tomorrow could drastically change the entire carefully elaborated
construction we have made of ancient time." -
Quirke, 2001, p.12.
The scientific model used here is not positivistic nor behavioristic, but
part of mainstream
Moreover, instead of negating the results of investigations into
parapsychology, alchemy, magic and astrology, I also try to understand Ancient
Egyptian spirituality precisely by taking into account the role played by
However, this "operational" side of these Egyptian esoterica (cf.
"practical or technical Hermetica"), declared by positivists to be nothing more than
a set of dramatized (ritualized) "literary
fictions", is explicitly separated from the present
Studies in Philosophy.
This to point out the difference between, on the one hand, a
historical reconstruction of Egyptian rituals (which is impossible due to
the lack of historical data) and, on the other hand,
the inventive use of Egyptian historical symbols & examples.
are understood in a
sense, taking into account their
impact, as well as the genesis of cognition itself (cf. the Piagetian