Many of the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, prophets and scribes of the priesthood were known as the “Twice Born Ones.” This term would relate to the secret rites of immortality in which the sarcophagus would play a large role in these rites.
“The illuminated of antiquity passed through the mystic passageways and chambers of the Great Pyramid, entering its portal as men and coming forth as [Twice Born] gods.
The candidate was laid in the great stone coffin, and for three days his spirit—freed from his mortal coil—wandered at the gateways of eternity. His Ka, [or soul] as a bird, flew through the spiritual spheres of space. He discovered that all the universe was life, all the universe was progress, all the universe was eternal growth. Realizing that his body was a house which he could slip out of and return to without [physical] death, he achieved actual immortality.
At the end of three days he returned to himself again, and having thus personally and actually experienced the great mystery, he was indeed an Initiate [of the Twice Born]—one who beheld and one to whom religion had fulfilled her duty bringing him to the light of God.
Today we can witness these rites because they were one of the only cultures in the world who were able to accomplish preserving their dead Pharaohs and other bodies for thousands of years. Essentially, they were masters of the art of immortality, and also fighting the worms which infest us humans to this day and consume our mortal bodies when we die.”
- Manly P. Hall
In the Dead Sea Scrolls we find a whole chapter devoted to the initiation of the Twice Born. From the Book of Scrolls:
“This concerns the mystery of the Twice Born. It relates to those born again, to those who have endured the awfulness of the false death which many do not survive; who have drunk deeply from Koriladwen, the smooth bitter brew which releases the spirit; who have entered Ogofnaum through the thundering doors. This is their path.
The door of Heaven stands ajar, the doors of vision have been opened and now the Cavern of Vision is revealed. The spirit-bearing waves from the abyss have been freed, the rays of the Great light have been set free and the Guides and Watchers have been placed in their positions by the Constant One.
The Welcomers stand back, for this is not their stage. The Brilliant One is there and another who is the Reciter, and he explains the visions:
“O Brave stouthearted one, Syoltash to be, the things you behold are the things seen by the Great Ones of Earth when they came this way in their hour and were returned back to life. They were truly men of wisdom, well versed in the mystic procedures, men who knew their position and parts.”
“Behold the twin stars. These embody the midwifery powers drawing the Twice Born back to their places of origin. They who are with them are the champions of light and darkness. One you must choose as your companion, but the choice must be made according to the law of affinity, otherwise you are lost.”
“The pool wherein you gaze is earthlife. The brilliant light above, far greater than the sun, is the manifestation of The One God, but it is not He. The rays dancing about are the Gods, distorted reflections of what is, distorted reflections of Truth, shadows of reality. The sparkling motes are souls, they descend from the light to manifest in darkness.”
“The clouds obscuring the lesser lights are the clouds of misconception, which darken the face of wisdom. The dark twins standing by the pillar are Delusion and Illusion, the constant beguilers of men. The stream of clear water is Truth and the waters of Truth constantly sheer away the clay pedestal of falsehood.”
“The brightness you see before you and to the right is the naked spirit displaying itself in isolation. It is neither in a mortal body nor within the Kohar. Beyond it is a much greater brightness reflected from afar, which is the Kohar of Kohars, which men cannot yet understand.”
“The repulsive shapes which are behind the flame on your left are doomed spirits which once were the enlivening forces within men. Now they grovel in slime and filth, denizens of the mire, but their fate is just, for they themselves were the judges. The darkness beyond the murk will not become greater. Darkness cannot change to light, for when light comes into darkness there is no darkness, it ceases to exist.”
“The gloominess and shadow scene you see, forward on your left hand side, is the Region of Heaviness where mortals sojourn. The flickering lights which appear here and there are the joys of Earth, while the darker spots are where there are sorrows and suffering. The redness is anger and strife. The blue whiteness is love and compassion.”
“The brightness above and ahead is the Region of Lightness where the Risen Ones rejoice, for there they welcome their Earth companions and are happy in reunion. Behold, here is a Rising One newly arrived, see, she flies upward on the wide wings of spirit and loving arms reach out to welcome her. The star-girt roadway you see rising before you is that trodden by the countless Risen Ones who have gone before. Now, advance towards the left.”
“The abyss now before you is the mouth of Earth, and see, it opens and speaks to you, bidding you farewell. Listen carefully, for it will retell your deeds, your accomplishments and your omissions. If they weigh against you, then cast yourself into the abyss, for you are unworthy to survive this trial; go no further, nor can you turn back, lest you become prey to the Foul Lurker in Darkness.”
“If you have not been found wanting in the weighing, then step forward boldly and without fear, for the mouth will close to let you pass. If you are not numbered among the triumphant ones, then better by far that you be swallowed forthwith than that you survive to meet the Dread Lurker, the Devouring Horror, and be returned to Earth a witless, empty shell.”
“Beyond the abyss lies a stretch of blue water which contains the Pool of Wisdom and the Pool of Purification. Therein you must bathe and refresh yourself. The trees growing to your right bear the fruits of spiritual nourishment, eat and become strong. Know, as doing so, that the things done, thought and visualized on Earth become qualities which are here transmuted into the things and experiences of this nature.”
“Pass between the waters and the trees and you will see a cliff against which is a ladder, the rungs of which are bound in leathern throngs made from the hide of the Bull of the Nightsky. This ladder, which rises before you, is the Ladder of Experience. Its two supports are experience in the body and experience in the spirit. The rungs are your daily deeds and thoughts and fantasies of your earthly life. Now is the test. Will your daily deeds and secret thoughts support your ascent, or are they incapable of bearing you upward? See, above is your Kohar, call upon it for help, for therein you may have stored a reserve of spiritual strength. Or, perchance, it may be barren and empty, only you know. Those who uphold the ladder are the Lords of the Ladder, and they greet you as the Ascending One.”
“The ladder leads onto a plateau, and beside you appears the strangely garbed Reciter who sweeps his arms about and says, “All wherein things manifest is the firmament, which was before the beginning and still is. In the beginning its darkness was pierced by just a single ray from The Sun of God, but later, when the first spirits entered, the firmament was brightened and it was divided by heaviness and lightness. Then, when it was set apart, it was divided by the entry of dark spirits whose need was for a place with which they had a sombre affinity.
Therefore, the firmament of lightness is divided, there is a Place of Light for the Victorious Ones and a Place of Darkness for those who could not rise to victory. There are regions of gloom and shadow, regions of twilight and shade. There are regions of light in many hues, regions ranging from dazzling lights to dim light. There is a veil across the firmament, dividing Heaven from Earth, and each spirit departing from Earth penetrates through this veil, going to its appointed place, carried by the winds of affinity. Arriving there, the spirit, good or bad, strengthens and extends its compatible territory.”
“The Kohar is the Knower and the spirit is the known. All knowledge is with the Knower, but the known can tap it so it flows out into the known. The Kohar receives the spirit seed in Heaven, for there it is as the body is on Earth. Even as the earthly body is made of things from the Region of Heaviness, so is the Kohar made of things from the Region of Lightness.”
“These things are said by the Reciter before he leads you to the place where sleeps a serpent, and pointing to it he says, “Behold the serpent it sleeps at the bole of a tree from which hangs the body of man, the tree of his backbone. It is on guard, safeguarding the precious gem of spiritual powers, which lies enwrapped in the threefold covering. To obtain the gem the serpent must be aroused and then overcome. To rouse this serpent is a thing not to be lightly undertaken, for it causes a fire to mount into the heart, which may destroy the brain with delusions and madness. Only the Twice Born can really obtain the gem.”
“You pass on with the Reciter who will say: “These are the things you must establish in your heart, the knowledge of the eight roads along which you must travel to reach the Land of the Westerners. These will bring you to the twelve first portals leading to the Land of Shadows. Here I will recite for you the twenty-two deeds of wickedness you have not done. You will then pass through the Land of Shadows as if it were your hour, and, beyond it, come to the Great Portal where it must be established, before the Great Guardian, that you have ever done all within your power to live according to the twelve virtues. Then you pass through the portal to the Hall of Judgment. Here, for the first time, your light is revealed and it is made known whether your tongue has spoken in accordance with the things within your heart.”
“Many are they who know the words of the tongue but sever these from what is written in the heart. If the words of the tongue are copied from the writings of the heart and are a true copy, then cross to the Place of Assessment where your true form and likeness will be displayed for all to see.”
A curtain of darkness descends, there is a heavy dark mist, then the muffled crash of Thundering Doors. The aching body reclines within the tomb of stone. The questing pilgrim has returned to his homehaven. He has learned truths he could never learn on Earth and now knows the Grand Secret. Faith is replaced with certainty and he is now an Initiated One.
- The Book of Scrolls