RSS

Tag Archives: life

Book Review: Reflections of Osiris


I’ve just finished reading Reflections of Osiris: Lives from Ancient Egypt by John Ray. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book originally. I thought it could be dull or completely unhelpful to hear stories of people who had lived in AE. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the book. Ray writes a lot like Barbara Mertz and that makes the book more enjoyable for me- as the text isn’t so academic and dry.

The book opens with a general intro discussing how the book is to be laid out, chronology, names and all that. And by this point, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. The book covers people throughout various periods of history in Egypt including:

  • Imhotep
  • Hekanakhte
  • Hapshepsut
  • Horemheb
  • Khaemwise
  • Petiese
  • Nectanebo II
  • Hor of Sebennytos and his friends (all in the Serapeum)

Now most of these stories I had already heard. We all know about Imhotep, the angry mummy who wants his woman back awesome guy who helped build the pyramids. And you can’t read anything without hearing about the ‘female king’ Hapshepsut. And I had even heard of Hekanakhte through Mertz and Petiese from Sauneron. And the people at the Serapeum are very well known (this relates to two twins who were slighted by their mother. In order to save themselves from starvation, they become part of the cult of Apis at the Serapeum).

However, despite knowing most of these stories and people- this book really does cast them in a different light. Most times, the history around these people is presented in a very cut and dry method. So and so did this, this, that, and that. And that’s it. However, Ray does a great job at making the stories more engaging, and bringing the characters to life. He also discusses these people in a more indirect way. He doesn’t just talk about the people- he discusses what is going on at the time in Egypt. He shows how the political events of the era could influence the people we are reading about. He puts the people in their time and place- and paints a much broader picture than most historians. And for me, these stories seemed more real; they had more depth to them. And in some ways, I understood a bit more about how things can be effected by the surrounding areas.

Here are a few interesting quotes I saw:

“This predecessor was Osiris, a god who can be thought of as the photographic negative of the sun god: a being who had ruled on earth, been put to death by the machinations of evil and disruptive forces, and who passed into a new life as the light below the earth, ruler and judge of the dead who are in the Underworld”

“On his death, the kind was known officially as Osiris the nesu, followed by the throne-name (given at coronation). The second name, the one written with the bee-hieroglyph (given at birth), ceases to exist. On earth, the king had a dual nature, corresponding to the emanation of the divine which was present within his temporal, human, dimension. The latter would grow old, infirm, and die. The former was immortal. Pharaoh was, literally, a god-king.”

“Amun, in upwardly mobile style, got rid of his first wife, a goddess named Wosret, who was the theological equivalent of the girl next door. Instead, he contracted an alliance with one of the most distinguished ladies in the land, the goddess Mut, the embodiment of motherhood. Like her husband, this goddess was somewhat bland in essence, and this made the pair ideal for usurping the roles of more defined, and therefore more limited, rivals. A less cynical school of thought holds that there was no divorce, and that Wosret and Mut are the same goddess going under different names, but if so, we are still dealing with an attempt to upgrade the original product.”

As you can tell by the quotes above, the writing style is approachable and easy to read. And in many cases, you feel like the author is being straight with you. He doesn’t have an agenda to push, or any theories he’s trying to prove. He’s just telling you how it is. I particularly liked the mention at the end of Nectanebo’s chapter- where he relays that the reason we don’t have the end of the story is because the young boy who was translating the story got bored, and decided to draw some weird doodle face instead.

If I had to give any critique to the book, it would be that I wanted to hear more about Osiris. I understand why the author chose the name that he did. And I know the book is more about the people than the god- but there was a chapter at the end about Asar, and it was severely lacking. I would really really really like to find a book that actually goes into the deity himself. The other thing that might be an issue for some is that the stories/people covered in this book are pretty well known. I have no clue if we have records of people who are more obscure- but it would be cool to see stories that are less well known.

However, I feel that the book is worth reading, and it offers a slightly different perspective than most. The book is more useful for historical references and ideas than for religious ones, but I still think there is interesting information in it.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Kemetic Book Reviews, Kemeticism

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Life is an RPG

During one of my recent therapy sessions, my therapist told me that she believed life (and to an extent this whole planet/place) is made just to test us. It’s here to help us grow and learn, and that all of the strife and struggle we go through is merely to make us stronger. To help us get to the next level. She recommended I consider this the next time I got upset, or felt my emotions charging my actions. That perhaps it would be easier for me to do what is best for the situation if I realized this is only a test. I considered her words, and I came up with this.

Life is like an RPG.

Seriously. It is. For those of you who don’t know what an RPG is, it is a “role playing game”. In these games, you create a character, and you get to choose your actions based off of your character’s parameters. Many times you will run around and do things for people, and you usually have to talk to every. single. person. ever. In these conversations, you usually get to pick what your response is. And generally speaking, it follows a simple pattern:

How "Zero Punctuation" sees it.

  • Response 1: Nice, heroic, concerned response
  • Response 2: Neutral or funny guy response
  • Response 3: Asshole response

Based off of what you’re trying to do, you pick the response that will get the result that you want. If you need to harden someone, you might pick number 3. If you’re trying to get into another character’s pants, you’ll probably pick response 1 all the time. I’ve even gone so far as to play a whole game choosing nothing but the third response- just to see how the story changes when you’re a complete dick to everyone.

What I’m trying to get at is you pick your words based off of what you’re trying to get done. It’s a means to an end. There aren’t a whole lot of emotions in picking your responses. You don’t get angry or emotionally distraught when some peasant screams at you belligerently and falsely accuses you of stealing their pigs or something. Instead you take the good guy route and nicely figure out what he means, or you laugh at him as you pick the asshole response. There isn’t a lot of emotions tied to what you’re doing. You’re using the responses to best suit your needs in each situation.

So why isn’t life that way?

How many times in your life have you let your stomach dictate what comes out of your mouth? How many times can you recall letting a bad situation (an argument or disagreement) get to you and then turning and lashing out at someone else who isn’t even involved (aka an innocent bystander)? Can you recall how many times you’ve said something out of spite or anger that you regret later?

Perhaps if we treated life more like an RPG, we wouldn’t have so many of these situations. You could do like the Twix commercials- someone says something that sparks an emotion in you. Pause for a moment to figure out what is actually going on. See if it really is smart to select Response 3. Or if perhaps being calm in the situation would actually make everything better.

I’m considering calling this “Think twice, Speak once”.

Much like ‘measure twice, cut once’, if you consider your options first, you’ll only have to say your piece once, as opposed to multiple times trying to rectify whatever came out the first time. Always giving into our stomachs for our speech leads to quick reactions that only cloud up the situation. It causes us more stress and strife than if we were all to take a step back and assess the situations we encounter without emotion.

This all really reminds me of Super-Nanny. In Super-Nanny, you often see parents at the end of their ropes. They’re trying to be adults and be good parents to their children. Yet these kids are able to drag the parents right down to their level. The parent starts to scream, the kid screams back and it’s a whole downhill slide from there. When she comes in to work with these parents, she constantly has to tell them not to get emotional. That you are the adult. You need to remain calm. That if your anger interferes, it won’t work. If you’re too emotional, take a breath, walk away and come back with a clear head to discipline your child. But the whole moral of the story is don’t react. Act. It’s a lot like an RPG, really. Your words and actions are taking you to a certain result that you want (the child behaving). You say what you need to say or have to say in order to get your children to mind. And you don’t decide that because they are screaming you need to scream too. (This actually reminds me of this link I found when researching Unconditional Love).

Imagine what could be if you applied that to every situation in your life. Imagine if everyone you knew did that too. Imagine how much simpler situations might become if everyone applied ‘think twice and speak once’.

And they say that games can’t teach you anything.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Astral, Crack, Hypnosis & Inner Work, Rambles

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,