isis unveiled: chapter xiv (ancient mysteries)

“The date of the hundreds of pyramids in the Valley of the Nile is impossible to fix by any of the rules of modern science; but Herodotus informs us that each successive king erected one to commemorate his reign, and serve as his sepulchre. But, Herodotus did not tell all, although he knew that the real purpose of the pyramid was very different from that which he assigns to it. Were it not for his religious scruples, he might have added that, externally, it symbolized the creative principle of nature, and illustrated also the principles of geometry, mathematics, astrology, and astronomy.

Internally, it was a majestic fane, in whose sombre recesses were performed the Mysteries, and whose walls had often witnessed the initiation-scenes of members of the royal family. The porphyry sarcophagus, which Professor Piazzi Smyth, Astronomer Royal of Scotland, degrades into a corn-bin, was the baptismal font, upon emerging from which, the neophyte was “born again”, and became an adept.

Herodotus gives us, however, a just idea of the enormous labor expended in transporting one of these gigantic blocks of granite. It measured thirty-two feet in length, twenty-one feet in width, and twelve feet in height. Its weight he estimates to be rising 300 tons, and it occupied 2,000 men for three years, to move it from Syene to the Delta, down the Nile.

Gliddon, in his ancient Egypt, quotes from Pliny a description of the arrangements for moving the obelisk erected at Alexandria by Ptolemaeus Philadelphus. A canal was dug from the Nile to the place where the obelisk lay. Two boats were floated under it; they were weighted with stones containing one cubic foot each, and the weight of the obelisk having been calculated by the engineers, the cargo of the boats was exactly proportioned to it, so that they should be sufficiently submerged to pass under the monolith as it lay across the canal. Then, the stones were gradually removed, the boats rose, lifted the obelisk, and it was floated down the river.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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