The Scientific Method as Defined by the Hunefer Papyrus of the XIX dynasty of Ancient Egypt

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Scientific Method in Hunefer Papyrus Page

The Scientific Method as Defined by the Hunefer Papyrus

of the XIX Dynasty of Ancient Egypt


Rush E. Allen

SU International

1342 East Chapman Avenue

Orange, California 92866


(All rights reserved.)

Abstract: At the end of the XVIII Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, the Egyptian Empire underwent substantial change and restructuring. During the reign of Amenophis IV (Akhenaten) the bureaucracy of the empire, and all of its temple wealth, was directed toward establishment of a new religious philosophy. These actions represent the birth of monotheism in Western Civilization. The new philosophy failed due to its inability to properly apply the rich tradition of scientific methods indigenous to Ancient Egypt. At the beginning of the XIX Dynasty under Seti I, the scientific method was reestablished as the fundamental process to be applied in the civilization. The famous Hunefer Papyrus, dedicated to the Judgment Hall of Osiris, identified how the scientific method was to be applied.

The present essay presents the metaphorical dimensions of the Hunefer Papyrus demonstrating that Egypt had returned to the scientific method, and indeed had made the essential statement which distinguishes Western Cultures from Eastern Cultures 3300 years later. Through cosmic metaphors and measurements, Egypt declared that all desires of the heart must be subjected to material evaluation through testing and peer review of results by comparison to establish understanding before they could be accepted in the processes of life. This same process is in effect in all of our modern scientific establishments today, and was the philosophy upon which Egypt was founded over 5000 years ago.
Venue: 17th annual meeting of the Society for Scientific Exploration

University of Virginia, May 28, 1998.

Keywords: consciousness, mythology, astronomy, archaeology, theology, astrology
(Format converted to MS Word without text variation on September 24, 2002.)
Plato speaks of Atlantis, as a place of such dimension that it could encompass all of Libya and Asia, and most of Europe.1 His story descends to us from the Egyptians. Indeed there once was a kingdom that stretched from the Atlantic to beyond the Persian Gulf and up to Scandinavia. It was the kingdom of Egypt during the XVIII Dynasty. The story has been passed down as an echo from the past. Like the Garden of Eden, it is mostly mythology to us today. But we are beginning to unravel that mythology and discover that Western Civilization has a long buried secret, which it is loath to mention. We are the descendants of the people who destroyed the greatest civilization which had ever created a world class empire. We destroyed the ancient empire, not by the application of rational science over irrational superstition, as we would like to believe, but by the misapplication of rational science in opposition to intuitive perception.

Figure 1: Atlantis, or Remains of an Egyptian Empire2

Now, after two hundred years of archaeology in Egypt, and the development of computer technology which allows us to model the whole cosmos, we have come to realize that the mythology of Ancient Egypt was based upon fundamental empirical methods which are often superior to modern techniques in unraveling scientific mysteries. With intuitive perception and objective measurements the Egyptians constructed the only Wonder of the Ancient World which survives today.

Figure 2: Science Transcends the Mundane Experience2

Few scientifically trained individuals who have considered the task of building the great pyramid complexes in Egypt would question the need for very complete scientific understanding and empirical knowledge, which they demonstrate. These structures were constructed during the IV Dynasty, four and a half millennia before man walked on the Moon, or controlled a robot on Mars. Yet the volume of scientific information required for the ancient and modern accomplishments are comparable. With gigantic stone edifices, these ancient people constructed a drawing of the heavens and the message written on its celestial wall. It only took 4500 years to go from the sands along the west bank of the Nile to the dry floodplain of Ares Vallis. On July 4, 1997 a space vehicle landed on the surface of Mars at a floodplain called Ares Vallis. This event marked a moment of cosmic significance. After 3.5 billion years the biomass on an inner planet orbiting a common star ventured beyond its own planetary restrictions to begin an adventure on another celestial body. This adventure was the quest written in the details of the design of the Great Pyramid. It represents an answer to a prayer; that mankind be allowed to venture beyond the boundaries of any prior organism on Earth. It is the objective of this essay to bring back to consciousness the original goal and the accomplishments of those ancestors who established the scientific method as the intuitive perception of the Cosmic Will.


When we send our spaceships to Mars, or other places, we use a map which was conceived before Egypt was founded. We are oriented to an up and down in the same way the Ancients defined. This orientation is an aspect of what Carl Jung calls the “collective unconscious.”4 Scientists, probably more than any other professionals, realize the dependence on ancient knowledge. Yet, in many cases, scientists are so involved in their perception of the present objective world, that they do not even realize that north is up, because someone standing along side a fire pit many thousands of years ago said it was so. When they made the associations to up, as going from feet to head, and as going from south to north, they were establishing the scientific method. In the beginning, it was Divine Revelation. The choice was made based upon similarities and correspondences. If it communicated well, it was kept as a paradigm, and descended into the collective unconscious. There it could be used just like legs are used to ride a bike, or drive a car. How often do we consciously instruct our legs to do these things which muscle memory dictates they do by themselves? They are part of the personal unconscious, and they do not require conscious intervention, unless they become dysfunctional for some reason or other.

So which way is up? If we were to have orbited Saturn on December 9, 1997 at 6:14 am universal standard time and looked toward the Earth, we would have seen the whole solar system in the up section of the sky. The Earth and the Moon were directly on the meridian that intersected the top of the galaxy, lying along the back of the constellation of Virgo with all the inner planets and Mars.

igure 3: Top of the Cosmic World, the Sky of Nut5

Most of us never stop to realize the amazing fact, that the definition of up was not confined to the direction from our feet to our head. When the Ancients established the scientific method, they defined up to a reference that would not be dependent upon time or space for a period of millions of years. It is clear from the evolution of the design of temples during the ancient periods, that they knew that any lower reference for up would eventually be disoriented due to the wobble of the Earth and the movement of the sun through the heavens.

But, if there is an up, there must be a down. To find the down location reference, we can go to the Earth on December 9, 1997 at 6:14 Universal Time, and look toward Saturn. Of course, at this particular moment, we could not see the planet Saturn from Earth, because it was occulted by the Moon. So we have to apply another great principle of the ancient scientific method. Objects which leave one’s vision behind other objects, do not cease to exist, they continue to exist beyond the shadow cast by the nearer object. This is another great scientific principle which is totally buried in the subconscious, and taken for granted.

igure 4: Foundation of the Cosmic World, the Earth of Geb6

When we look toward the place where Saturn would have been visible, if the moon had not blocked our view, we see it resting on the meridian that intersects the bottom of the galactic axis. At the very bottom of the galactic axis they had connected several stars in the asterism of a man with a staff in his hand. This staff they called a scepter of flint, and the man they called Geb. Above the man grew the asterism of a great tree. Since the trees grow out of the earth, they called the place where the man was resting, “earth.” Conversely, they called the place where the woman was resting above the great cosmic tree, “sky”. All around this man and woman were mysterious places which could be visited, if a mortal was willing to use intuitive perception. Regardless of all the potential places which could be visited, it was essential to keep up as ideal and down as mundane, or else cosmic vertigo would result in disorientation and dysfunction of the intuitive perception. This is the fundamental premise upon which the scientific method is based. When the rational scientific principles are abandoned, up and down are lost, and with them, the whole cosmos is lost.

To help neophytes understand the great cosmic principles of science, the Ancients drew the heavens in vignettes which allowed for discussion and explanation of its ways. From the intuitive perception of the cosmos, they drew the heavens in a pictorial form that neophytes could relate to from personal experience. Over the years, the vignettes and the abstractions became the subject of education, and the original object and objectives were lost. So look upon the subjects of Nut and Geb, and see if it is possible to find the objects in the “sky” and the “earth.”

igure 5: A Subjective Perspective of the Objective Cosmos7

Figure 6: An Objective Cosmos for Subjective Perception8

At the summer solstice on June 21, 1997, the sun was in the plane of the galaxy opposite the moon. Mars was “on top of the world,” as Venus was a companion of the female celestial twin. At the center of the galactic plain in the view of the sky was a great celestial ship, which we will call the “Barque of Ra.” Ra was on the eastern horizon wrestling with his serpent of intuitive perception. “Is it fire? Is it water?” These are the questions that science has pondered throughout the great years of civilization. An answer was found under Virgo and Leo in the sky above the Milky Way. The serpent is fire, when it rises to give birth to Khephera, the creator of the gods.9 But under the barque in the region not shown, the serpent was water. Ra came to understand the duality of the spirit of intuition when he ventured to struggle with the great cosmic bull in the form of Osiris. On the western horizon (up, right, sky), Osiris can be seen riding the donkey of his brother, Seth, as they plunge into the “lake of fire.”

In the earth section of the heavens, we can see that Osiris and Seth enter from the east (down, left, earth) along the “lake of fire,” which trickles off to a stream on its way back to the bottom of the galaxy. Orion travels down that great river and is eventually consumed by a tree. This tree is magic, for it is watered by the “fountain of youth.” From here the spirit of Orion rises to the galaxy with the help of a fish, a goat, and an eagle. As the reborn Horus, he steps over the wiseman in the earthly moor, known as the archer Sagittarius, and becomes Ra, as Horus the Younger, rising above the galaxy into the sky once more.

Figure 7: Enlightenment

With a little time and patience, any neophyte can unravel all the mysteries of the cosmos. Unfortunately, we neophytes are not given a little time, we are given an infinitesimally small pittance in the wealth of cosmic time. To overcome this limitation, we are also given the power of intuitive perception. Intuitive perception gives birth to the concepts of up and down, as the cosmos begins its journey into rationality. Who is it that separates the mundane from the ideal? It is Shu. Not the name, the object, the path of the planets and the sun and moon, the ecliptic. This is how the wandering stars got to be above or below the great sea of the galaxy. She, the galaxy, is the companion of the ecliptic by the name of Tefnut, or Neith, from which all life springs like a fountain of youth.

Figure 8: Purpose

Under the arms of Neith is the abyss of existence for which definitions cease and are not yet reborn. But they can be brought back to life by rational translation of intuitive perception, whether masculine or feminine, for Neith has a chin beard. Under the right arm of Shu is a vulture and an empty feather. Under his left arm is an eagle, or hawk, clutching a full feather. This is the definition of the works of Shu, the ecliptic. The ecliptic tells time and defines the rational understanding of the intuitive perception. It is rational behavior that gives birth to the ideal and mundane concepts embodied in up and down, Nut and Geb. Without a rational escort, the universe remains an abyss to the neophyte. This is the meaning of the scientific method. It is not discovery without purpose. Discovery is its self created purpose.

Hidden behind the objects of these four heavenly spirits are the universal objectives which they give definition to, air, water, earth, fire. Shu, being rational, is the product of utterances, air. Neith, being intuitive, is the product of emotion, water. Geb, being mundane, is the product of material existence, earth. Nut, being ideal, is the product of inspiration, fire.


Figure 9: Night Passage

Beyond the rationalizations of Shu and the sweep of the planets, a barque sails across the sky. The sailors on the Barque are Ra, the captain, Maat, the emissary, and Thoth, the helmsman. These four are the echo of cognition before it is conceived; earth, fire, water, air. As the barque rises out of the abysmal night, Thoth is slouched over the helm as if he is weathering a great storm of wind and sea. Maat has upon her knee a small ankh which is a revelation of the larger ankh on the knee of Ra. She gets the message. The skipper has the goal of life! If only she could tell Thoth where the barque is going, then Thoth would not be so burdened. But that is precisely why she is there. She reads the mind of the Creator, and by intuitive perception, she comes to know the destiny of the great cosmic ship.

Figure 10: Day Passage

When the barque crosses over the sky, represented by Nut, which is the object, Virgo, and the subject of cosmic analysis, she gives the full feather to Thoth. Thoth places her feather at the helm, and leans back with an ankh and the scepter of flint on his knee. In his lap he has a stylus, for he had learned by experience that the emissary of intuitive perception of the Creator surrenders to truth, and he is her scribe.

Thoth is satisfied with his knowledge and wears his crown proudly. All three of the companions carry an ankh of nearly equal proportions, as they journey on to the net of Neith. But the creator, Ra, has been transformed by this adventure. His ankh is smaller because of his sharing. And his crown has changed. What was once a great light within the body of a simple serpent has become the differentiated spirit of the solar disk within the acknowledged body of enlightenment. This is the scientific method, applied to every being within the disk which contains the sun. That disk is the body of Neith, it is the galaxy itself. The sun disc is its enlightenment, which comes with experience, and the serpent is the intuition which can see through the “eye of Ra.”

Figure 11: She Provides10

So, we have come upon the “tree of life.” It can be seen growing in the garden amongst the fish and fowl under the galaxy above the reclining body of Geb. That is the object represented by Figure 4. The subject is emotional and rational behavior symbolized in Figure 11. We all start rational existence in the body of a serpent of desire, and we apply our intuition to senses which can capture our attention. As our ship sails on, we, like Thoth, begin to rationalize those experiences. Within the feminine tree is the maiden who pours water from her fountain of youth for the body, gives leavened manna for the mind, and inspired revelation for the soul; earth, water, air, fire.

Is this science or superstition? Is it fire or water? Is it truth of myth? These questions can only be answered by those who sail their own barque over a sky that they personally raise up out of a mundane existence. These definitions of cosmic intuition are the archetypes of Carl Jung. What Jung could not relate to substance in the twentieth century science of psychoanalysis, the Ancients had written on to the sky before the founding of Egypt, five millennia earlier. As Jung has proven, we have not forgotten these archetypes of the collective unconscious, we have simply boxed them away on some shelf in the unconscious memories. When the hiding places of unconscious memories are first revisited, we inflate like a balloon on a helium bottle. Off we go into the wild spaces of ecstasy, where reality is not our concern. Our revelation exceeds all truths and we are psychologically invincible. By this shamanist trance we endeavor to travel through “Heaven’s Gate.” And like the cult of that name in 1996, we are destroyed in conspicuous consumption, as our compulsion takes leave of the senses. As we venture beyond out of body experiences, the residue we leave behind becomes the chaos which our followers have to clean up, unless we return to define the purpose of our journey.


In describing the phases of recovery for psychoanalytical patients who have been led to the revelation of the collective and personal unconscious within, Jung uses the term “godlikeness,” acquired from Adler, to characterize certain basic features of neurotic power psychology in an analysand under his guidance.

Well might he feel himself like a Prometheus chained to the Caucasus, or as one crucified. This would be a “godlikeness” in suffering. Godlikeness is certainly not a scientific concept, although it aptly characterizes the psychological state in question. ---- The insight and understanding, then, gained by the analysand usually reveal much to him that was before unconscious. He naturally applies this knowledge to his environment; in consequence he sees, or thinks he sees, many things that before were invisible. Since his knowledge was helpful to him, he readily assumes that it would be useful also to others. In this way he is liable to become arrogant; it may be well meant, but it is nonetheless annoying to other people. He feels as though he possesses a key that opens many, perhaps even all, doors. Psychoanalysis itself has this same bland unconsciousness of its limitations, as can clearly be seen from the way it meddles with works of art.”11

This comes from a recognized expert who also considers that “a genuinely scientific attitude must be unprejudiced. The sole criterion for validity of an hypothesis is whether or not it possesses an heuristic --i.e. explanatory-- value.”12 In these words, and in many of the considerations of the psychoanalytically oriented, we recognize that validity is based upon rationality, rather than revelation.

Figure 12: I am! You are Not! -- I am fire! You are water!13

Egypt knew this behavior as the archetype of Seth. He avoids losing control of the helm of consciousness by standing at the bow of the barque and fending off the serpent of chaos from the bow. He hitches visible material and invisible subliminal powers from the four elements to the bow of his barque and attempts to assure that progress is made one fold in the enemy of rational understanding at a time. Lacking intuition, he does not realize that his progress is totally dependent upon what he forgets, for the folds of victory over chaos are his only support. This is the process of repressing memories. This form of “godlikeness” has the objective of eliminating the concept of “godlikeness” for the sake of rationalizations. The chaotic spirit says, “I am.” Seth says, “You are not.” Creativity, consciousness, and memory, symbolized as Ra-Heru-Khuti, Horus, and Thoth, are all passive in this revelation. The Sethian goal is the symbol at the helm, the Utchat. This symbol represents progress towards cosmic unity. The psychoanalytical goal of individuation is at the helm of the barque which Seth steers. Individuation overcomes chaos by eliminating all options to self identity. Seth sings the song Frank Sinatra made famous, “My Way.” Rationality forgets that “My Way” is carried on the back of prior experience on a “cosmic” voyage.

Figure 13: One Is First.

In the vignette of Nut and Geb, the Utchat is at their joined feet. Thus, this revelation declares that all is derived from the One. Shu and Seth both represent the archetype of rational action. Shu creates by discriminating. Seth destroys by compartmentalizing. In the process, the intent gives birth to fulfillment. That is the crown on the head of Neith.

Figure 14: Reunification

Upper Egypt, in the form of the ideal of virgin birth, or self stimulated procreation, has the subjective symbol of the white crown, which is smoothly shaped like a bowling pin. Lower Egypt, in the form of mundane action and vegetative rebirth, has the subjective symbol of the red crown., which is shaped like a ladle. Wafting from this ladle is the transcendental image of water returning to the heavens in a vaporous state. This combined crown and the chin beard of Neith are the symbols of Ra setting on the horizon as Tem (Atum). Tem represents the a priori destiny of the cognitive creator. Combined, Ra-Heru-Khuti-Tem represents understanding of Cosmic Will. The understanding aspect is evident in the absence of the body of Neith, which is standing under the horizon.


These discussions have shown that the so-called gods of the Egyptians are archetypes of human experience, in fact, archetypes of cosmic experience. If we are to accept modern psychoanalysis as a form of science, then it is abundantly clear that the psychoanalytical science of the Egyptians far exceeds anything pondered by Freud, Adler, Jung, Hubbard, or any other sage of the modern human psyche. This, more than anything else, explains why Egypt enjoyed success for so many centuries.

Destruction of these archetypes of the cosmically conscious would be equivalent to the destruction of astronomy, physics, geometry, calculus, biology, chemistry, and all the “exact” sciences of today. Only a self centered tyrannical megalomania would attempt to destroy these neters, and thus the people of cosmic Egypt. This personality is the archetype of Seth. It is precisely the characteristic which Jung spoke of as neurotic “godlikeness.” Contrary to Jung’s statement, “godlikeness” is “science,” it is just not confined to the realms of rational and material sciences, it is spiritual science.

During the XVIII Dynasty, the Egyptians spent huge fortunes on the construction of the temples of Luxor and Karnak. These temples were the places where Egyptian wisdom was developed and nurtured before it was taken to the people. Throughout its history, Egypt was resistant to building temples to Geb. The concept was totally at odds with the scientific application of their principles. Geb represented mundane aspects. Why would anyone spend great wealth to exalt mediocrity? The answer to this question was fully revealed by the communist social experiments during the Twentieth Century. When it was all said and done, the communism of the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics was an experiment in megalomania. Arrogance and tyranny prevailed, as these inheritors of “godlikeness” trampled all forms of self imagined chaos to express their own individuation process. The lesson learned from the communist social experiment is that individuation, without intuitive cosmic awareness, leads to self destruction. When citizens become satisfied with mediocrity, their dreams are filled with emptiness, hopelessness, and despair.


At the end of the XVIII Dynasty the “king of kings” sat on the throne of Egypt, and thus, the throne of the whole civilized world. This Pharaoh was Amenophis III. During his reign, Egypt experienced a renewal of sensual expression. Behind that renewal was a “World Class” attitude toward governing humanity. This world class attitude recognized the need to unify divergent principles. Amenophis III and his priests of Amen were smitten by the serpent of intuitive perception to develop a kingdom which would last forever. Amenophis III was recognized throughout the world for his great wisdom. If there ever was a real Solomon, it was this Pharaoh. He never experienced war or even the hint of war. When he lived, Egypt experimented with the success of Divine Revelation beyond all of its wildest dreams. They ruled Atlantis on Earth, and the prosperity of the reign was a direct result of the scientific application of their Divine Revelations.

When he died, Egypt was unprepared for the consequences of his Divine Revelations. A priestly group he had supported was to take control of the throne of Egypt. These priests taught the theology of the Aten. Aten is a term that Egyptologists have interpreted to mean “disc.” The variance in this theology is that Ra-Heru-Khuti-Tem had become One and all other gods were None. Hidden behind the name “disc” is the obvious reality that the disc which supports the sun is the galaxy. Donald B. Redford presents the message of cosmic reality in his book Akhenaten, The Heretic King.Through her association with the blazing daytime sun, the ‘Eye of Re,’ the uraeus serpent that adorned the king’s brow what ever crown he wore, took on the attributes of the sun-disc;--.”14 Redford is telling us that “she” has assumed the “Dazzling-Sun-Disc.” The “she” he is referring to is Neith, Nut, Isis, Maat, and all the feminine spirits which were the intuitive source of the Divine Revelations of Amenophis III. Egypt was unprepared for the consequences of upsetting the masculine feminine balance.

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