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Aproach to Facimile 2 - Dr Hugh Winder Nibley - May 17 1985

Aproach to Facimile 2 - Dr Hugh Winder Nibley - May 17 1985

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This document was listed under the "no longer available in any format", but I found a copy of it in the special collections devision of University of Utah archives - an absalutely amazing read - it seems it may have been a bit too "mystical" for it to be found on the available in the following format section. A must read in finding deeper meaning of the Book of Abraham.
This document was listed under the "no longer available in any format", but I found a copy of it in the special collections devision of University of Utah archives - an absalutely amazing read - it seems it may have been a bit too "mystical" for it to be found on the available in the following format section. A must read in finding deeper meaning of the Book of Abraham.

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Published by: DEESTER on Aug 15, 2008
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Hugh
NibleyAncient
Studies,
BYU
Given
May
17,
1985
Washington
D.C.
rUNI\TorUTA,fCiBHARlES
I
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I
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THIS
MATEHlAL
MAY
BE
I
PROH:G.
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BY
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'11
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.
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Approach
to
Facsimile
No.2
HiddenClues:--Much
attention
has
been
paid
to
the
provenience
of
Facsimile
II
and
to
hypocephaliingeneral.Preoccupationwithsuchmatters
is
largely
irrelevant
when
the
document
in
question
is
supposed
to
come
to
us
asaproductof
divinerevelation.
I
once
told
the
storyofa
young
man
who
found
a
diamond
ina
field.
Peoplerefusedto
accepthis
claim
and
many
spent
weeks
of
tediousresearch
into
the
background,
past
behavior
and
intellectual
qualifications
of
the
finder
to
prove
that
the
diamond
was
afake.
But
all
that
was
irrelevant
because
the
questionofthediamond's
authenticity
depended
entirely
upon
other
tests
which
the
young
man's
critics
refusedtoundertake,bothbecause
the
tests
required
some
technicalknowledge
and
because
it
was
easierto
conclude
that
suchasuspicious
character
couldnotpossiblyhave
found
a
real
diamond.
They
never
tested
the
diamond--they
tested
~ .
So
it
is
withthe
Book
of
Mormon,andso
it
is
with
the
Book
of
Abraham.
No
matter
how
we
got
either
one,
all
that
really
matters
is
whetherthey
are
genuine
or
not.
The
material
the
prophet
has
given
us
must
first
of
all
be
put
into
the
setting
in
which
it
is
supposedto
havebeen
originally
conceived.
The
three
facsimilies
areaccuratereproductionsof
real
Egyptiandocuments,
no
matter
how,
when,
or
where
we
gotthem;but
what
do
they
tell
us?JosephSmith
interprets
them
as
illustrations
tothe
story
of
Abraham.
The
story
as
he
tells
it
is
remarkable
for
the
wealthofancient
lore
about
Abraham
and
his
world
that
it
brings
together.
Of
particular
interest
is
the
rich
confusionofFacsimile
II.
This
documentbecomes
significant
only
when
we
know
what
is
on
it.
We
beginwith
some
general
observations.
Facsimile
II
is
areproduction
of
Reuben
Hedlock'sengraving
of
an
EgyptianHypocephalus.
Someonemadean
overlayshowing
all
the
correct
proportions
and
indicating
the
parts
that
had
been
broken
off
and
lost.
Hypocephalus
means
"underthehead."Theseround
objects
were
placedundertheheadsof
mummies
to"preserveaflame"inthehead,
puttingthe
body
on
hold,as
it
were,withouthangingup,
to
leaveaconnectionbetween
the
spirit
above
and
the
body
inthe
tomb
pending
the
day
of
resurrection.
The
hypocephalicompriseavery
limitedclass
ofdocuments,displaying
no
signs
of
an
evolutionarybackground,though
the
drawingstend
todeteriorate
toward
the
end
of
theshort
periodduring
which
they
flourished.
(Flourished
is
hardly
the
word,fordocuments
of
this
class
seem
to
be
confined
to
ageneration
or
two
during
the
Roman
rule
of
the
late
period,
and
to
one
particular
social
group,
even
one
family,thoughafamilyof
peculiar
importance.)
Ms.
Varga
collected
examples
of
about
90
hypocephali.
She
reports
that
they
seem
to
be
very
private
and
intimate
possessions,
drawn
by
the
personsto
whom
theybelong,
i.e.,
parties
thoroughly
familiar
with
what
theyweredoing,
who
dashed
off
their
private
copies
in
a
hand
which
oftenonly
the
owner
could
read,
each
knowing
perfectly
well
what
he
orshe(mostof
them
were
women),
wantedtoappear
on
the
talisman
and
knowing
also
perfectly
well
that
no
one
else
would
eversee
it.
1
For
if
these
documents
are
top
secret,
private
and
holy,theyarealso
alien
from
the
normal
run
of
Egyptianfunerary
texts.
Though
all
the
characters
on
them
are
quite
common,
theybelongtoa
cult
which
 
2
.
,
appear
when
we
comeas
essentially
notEgyptian,2to
view
them
closely.
The
drawingsinthefivepanelsof
the
JosephSmithHypocephalus
and
thecharacters
on
the
rimare
readily
recognizableascommonplacesofEgyptianfunerary
art,
the
sUbjectofremarkably
little
debate,
presenting
no
great
interest
orchallenge
toscholarstoday.3
Of
no
particular
artistic
appeal,
thesymbolshave
been
obvious
from
the
first.
In
viewingthemtoday
\;e
mustbearin
mind
theprinciple
which
has
recently
been
receiving
renewed
emphasis
among
students,
the
"plurality
ofapproaches,"
which
states
that
theEgyptian,
far
from
being
adversetogiving
more
than
one
interpretation
to
a
character,
rejoices
in
putting
as
many
meanings
and
associations
as
possible
into
every
situation.
Anyone
figure
couldstand
for
more
than
one
idea,
deity,force
or
principle,
so
that
one
may
notsay
"this
figurecannot
beRe
because
it
is
Atum."
On
the
hypocephalus,to
make
things
more
interesting,all
the
symbols,eachwith
its
multiple
meanings,are
drawn
together
into
a
circle
where
theyare
closely
interrelated,
suggestinga
great
wealthof
possible
interpretations.
But
not
for
us--at
least
not
at
this
stage
ofthe
game.
i-
We
must
start
outwiththeboldgeneralaspectsof
the
thing,
easily
recognizedand
rarely
if
everchallenged.Champollion
himself
recognized
that
the
"center·of
the
secondcompartment(fromthetop)
is
occupied
by
aquadrupleram-headed
deity,
Num-Ra,
representingthe
Spirit
of
the
FourElements,
the
Soul
of
the
Materialworld,"
and
not
much
later
Oeveria
saw
in
it
"the
Spirit
ofthe
Four
Winds
or
thefourcardinal
points."4
It
is
the
classic
presentation
ofthe
god
Ammon
and
was
at
oncerecognized
by
De
Horrack.and
others
as
the
equivalent
of
JanusBifronsorQuadrafrons,
Lord
of
theYear,
of
the
CycleoftheSun,
the
Father
and
Rulerofthe
human
race,the
source
of
life
commanding
all
from
histhrone
inthe
center
of
the
universe,
etc.
"The
Sun
was·
supposedtohave
come
forth
to
mark
the
beginningoftime,"
i.e.
from
the
lower
half
ofthehypocepha1i
wh
ich"represents
the
lower
or
dark
hemi
sphere.
"5
Moreover,·everyhypocephalus,
perfectly
circular
and
with
its
broad
rim,
represents
the
pupil
and
iris
ofthe
Wd3t-Eye,[CU-Hypoc.]
reinforcing
the
ideaof"renewed
birth"
which"conveystheideaofrenewalofaperiod
like
afull-moon,
the
solstice,the
equinoxes,
&,c.,"
and
it
designateshere
the
accomplishmentofaperiodof
resurrection
always
assimilated
·withthe
daily
andannual
revival
ofthesun.
"5
The
extensive
and
coordinated
studies
made
of
the
hypocephaliahundredyears
ago
agreed
that
the
hypocephalus
was
an
expression
of
the
unity
of
all
life
with
the
cosmos
itself
in
the
eternal
processesof
death
and
rebirth:originally
the
most
important
figure
on
the
hypocephalus
was
theMother
Cow;[Cow
HYPoc.lthedarkChthbnianregionsare
the
lower
part
of
the
hypocephaluswhile
the
upper
is
reservedforthe
corresponding
male
element,
the
two
producing
the
procreation
of
all
life
dominated
by
the
Ammon
figure,the
GreatBegetter
who
sits
at
the
center
of
all
with
his
ram's-horns
and
staff.
It
is
thespecial
way
inwhich
the
Joseph
Smith
hypocephaluscombines
the
cosmicorderwith
the
life
processes
that
deservesour
attention
at
the
outset.
The
message
is
cleverly
hidden,
and
we
shouldnotexpect
the
obvious,
for
the
Egyptians
werefond
ofcryptograms,
and
the
instructions
for
making
hypocephalus
insist
on
the
greatest
secrecy.
We
are
left
in
no
doubtabout
the
cryptic
natureofthesecharacters
inthe
Joseph
Smith
Explanationsofthem,where
we
are
reminded
that
 
: ~ "
...
V ' N ' ~ ~ : ~ ~ 6 ' W ; " " " " W
I
" · ' r ' . ; : I ~ : 7 \ ~ i \ 1 5 I g ' ~ i ~ , ~ ~ ~ J , } j r !
1\1"1
I
,
,
..
-,'
.
3
some
of
the
meaningsare"to
be
had
in
the
Holy
Temple
of
God."
(We
arenot
told
that
theyare
"had
in
the
temple,"butto
be
had,and
so
we
ask
ourselves
whether
the
timeelement
may
not
be
significant;"""
What
is
"to
be"
is
yet
to
be.)Othermeanings,whether
known
to
Joseph
Smith
ornot,
werenot
to
be
revealed
inhis
day;others
we
can
expectto
be
revealedin
the
own
due
timeof
the
Lord;
still
others
theworldhasbeeninvited
to
figure
out
any
time
if
it
can.Butnever
are
we
told
that
these
things
aretaboo
and
shall
never
beknown.
On
thecontrary,
it
was
the
Egyptian
practice,
as
E.
Drioton
showed
at
length,
to
put
things
intocryptogram
to
challenge
and
exciterather
thandiscourage
curiosity,
therebyensuring
that
the
writings
get
some
attention.
From
letters
I
havebeen
getting
it
would
appear
that
for
the
first
timetheExplanation
to
Facsimile
II
has
become
a
special
target
of
criticism.
That
is
as
it
shouldbe.
It
was
given
to
us
asachallenge,
and
it
is
a
good
sign
when
somebody
beginsto
show
interest
in
it
beyond
its
decorative
effect
for
bookand
magazinecovers,calendars
and
candyboxes.
The
first
word
that
stands
out
in
"The
Explanations"
is
Creation,followed
by
government,measurementoftime,
celestial
time,
...
God,
throne,
power,
authority,
crown,
light,
firmament,
revolution,
Sun,
stars,
Moon,
Earth,
quarters,
heavens,templeof
God.
We
are
completely
at
home
in
the
worldofthehypocephalusas
the
expertsof
the
1880's
and
-90's
put
it
together.
The
main
ideainbothcases
is
the
transmissionof
power
and
light
among
ahierarchyof
orders:the
words
"medium"
and
"borrowingof
light"
are
particularly
significant,
for
it
was
specifically
that
borrowingof
light
through
the
medium
ofthehypocephalus
itself
that
keptadivinespark,a
beam
from
above,
warming
the
head
of
the
one
who
lies
in
the
tomb,
maintaining
an
unbroken
connection
between
the
mummy
and
the
spirit
above
until
theycan
be
reunited.
All
thisis
explainedinadocument
which
fortunately
furnished
thestudents
withthe
key
to
thehypocephalus,Chapter
162
of
the
Book
of
the
Dead.
[162]
The
Joseph
Smith
Explanationsays
that
certain
numbers
areconcealedin
the
drawingsas
part
of
the
cryptogram--anoldEgyptian
trick.
The
facsimile
is
replete
with
invitationsto
numbers
games,
buthere
we
can
call
attention
toonlyone.Cleverlyhidden
from
the
modern
eye,butprobablynot
from
an
Egyptian
priest,is
the
most
significant
ofnumbers,
the
sacredproportion
on
which
the
Egyptians
and
Pythagoreansplacedsuch
great
store,
that
is
the
so
called
Golden
Section,
"whichfrom
ancient
timeshasbeenenvelopedinahaloofmysticism."6
It
meets
us
everywhere;herearea
few
examples:(see
illustrations)
The
Golden
Rectangle,aproportion
greatly
favored
by
the
Egyptians
in
their
buildings,
hasalengthtwice
its
width,
fromwhich
we
getthe
Golden
Triangle,
its
heigthtwice
its
base.There
is
also
a"SacredTriangle"with
sides
of3,4,
and
5
units
in
length,
but
it
is
altogether
too
neat--a
static
object.
The
really
dynamic
figure
is
the
GoldenTriangle
from
which
we
construct
the
Golden
Section
(Illust.);
the
proportionbetween
thesections
of
the
altitude
is
the
Phi-ratio.
Plutarchsays
that
the
Egyptians
and
Greeksbothexplain
life
by
the
triangle.
6a
It
was
distressing
to
find
no
exactproportionbetweenthe
sides
and
the
diagonal
of
a
square,
butinthe
Golden
ratio
was
found
a
more
satisfactory
and
productivenumber,a
numberwhose
wonderful
properties
are
shared
by
no
other.
7I
was
longpuzzled
by
what
seemed
an
inconsistencyin
the
Joseph
Smith
Hypocephalus.
Long
ago
Rochemonteix
showed
that
"1
ike
the
skyeveryEgyptian

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