Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
The god Temu, the spirit of creation, manifests first as Ptah and then as the word spoken by Ptah, which brings creation into existence. Ptah creates first himself, then the other gods, and finally creates Egypt, by speaking the divine words that make the gods aware of themselves; thus, all of creation exists as different aspects, or “faces,” of Ptah, and of his words. Immediately after he speaks these first powerful magic words, while the earth and the waters of primordial chaos are still in the process of separating themselves, Ptah promises eternity to the dead who are not yet born. On that same day, the god Anubis, protector of the souls of the dead, allots to each person a destiny and holds all these fates in readiness.
For mortals, the immediate earthly manifestation of Ptah is Ra, the sun, and it is in this form that they most often contemplate the one God. Priests use many names to refer to the different faces of God; these names vary from place to place, but the names that the gods give themselves are hidden, because in their names lies their essence, and so their power. By a stratagem, Isis learns the hidden name of Ra and, with a power derived from his, becomes queen of the goddesses. Her power is illustrated by the story of her healing of her mate, the god Osiris.
Osiris is murdered by Set, his brother, who in his malice cuts the body of Osiris into pieces and scatters them across northern Africa. Isis, weeping, gathers these...
(The entire section is 871 words.)
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