The ideal that was central to the ancient Egyptian civilization was the concept of Ma`at. The continuance of civilization and social progress rests upon the individual’s ability to “do unto others as you would be done to”. Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs had no great ethical content but in practical matters there was a recognition that justice was a fundamental good and part of the natural order of things.
Originally the word Ma`at meant level, ordered and symmetrical. It later came to mean righteousness, truth and justice, the basis of the American constitution.
Ma`at became a basis for the Egyptian legal system and soon came to stand for all “rightness”, from the equilibrium of the universe to honesty and fair dealing in daily life. The concept of Ma`at became the hallmark of a good King.
Every King or Pharaoh was described as “he that does Ma`at”. Social order and the balance of justice cascaded down from the King(the living God Horus) and only through the preservation of the divine line of Kings could the civilization of Egypt survive. This ensured the political stability of the country and by embracing Ma`at the Gods would ensure the continuing prosperity of the country and victory in war. A king that fought evil was said to be a ” good God”.
Geological evidence is beginning to show that the desert state of much of the Middle East is relatively new and that as recently as 5,000 to 6,000 years ago Egypt was a much greener and more fertile area.
As believers in the principles of Ma`at , the Egyptians were a generous people and provided wandering tribes ( Habiri) with water and land on which to graze their sheep when conditions outside the Nile Delta became unbearable. Without an immigration policy the country became over run by these Nomadic people and Egypt entered a period of continual decline with weak government and social breakdown. Foreigners spread across the land and crime became commonplace.
Inevitably, invasion followed and the “Hykos” or Desert Princes infiltrated Egyptian society until they were in a strong enough position to take over.
The Hykos were no believers in Ma`at and in their search for power they could be cruel. By the eighteen century BC they had extended their rule right into Upper Egypt The Hykos people were warlike and self centered. They adopted as their chief God, Set, the murderer of his brother Osiris, the God whom every Egyptian King expected to become. By identifying themselves with Set, The Hykos showed their disdain for the Egyptian people and their allegiance with the force of evil.
When the ruler of the two lands or King died, he became Osiris and his son immediately became Horus and the new King. The coronation ceremony of the new King was also the funeral ceremony of the outgoing King. This was conducted in secret and restricted to the inner sanctum of senior officials- the Grand Lodge. This was a secret ritual transmitted to a tiny group by verbal means.
It has long been speculated that the Jerusalem Essenes, the authors of The Dead Sea Scrolls were descendants of the Ancient Egyptians, members of The Egyptian Mystery School founded by Akenhaten and carried some of the secret rituals which are found in Freemasonry. This community was forced to leave Jerusalem and moved to Qumran, near the Dead Sea, for around two hundred and fifty years until they dispersed following Roman domination.
Some of these secret scrolls, believed to be part of the Dead Sea Scrolls, written in coded form were discovered by the Knights Templar and identify a secret tradition that members had to swear to never divulge .The positive virtues taught in the Essene Community were clearly laid out in the scrolls: truth, righteousness,kindness,justice,honesty and humility along with brotherly love.
Jesus was believed to be an Essene Master.
The founder of the Knights Templar , Hugues de Payen and his small group of nine knights discovered some of these scrolls in AD 1119 beneath the rubble of Herod’s Temple.
The nine Knights who discovered the Nasorean scrolls had found treasure they could not share with the world at large. It took several decades for the order,established by Hugues de Payen, to become one of the most powerful forces in Christendom.
The Knights Templar took the ancient Ma`at inspired secrets of the Essenes for their own initiation purposes. It is suspected that they may have also found gold, silver and other treasures buried by the Jewish group as the Romans swept forward.
The Templars were a French speaking order with most of their connections in that country and in the seventeenth century, Philip IV initiated a plan in conjunction with the Pope to destroy the Templars and seize their wealth.
This culminated in the arrest of some fifteen thousand Templars who were tortured and executed and the destruction of their order. The majority of Templars who escaped this persecution migrated to Scotland, England and America.
The Templars went underground, emerging as Freemasons, the original guild of stone masons, with many of their secret rituals intact and today there are approximately five million members world wide.
As members of the British aristocracy and royalty became Freemasons, the order became powerful and influential again and was a major moving force behind the American Revolution and the founding of the United States of America.
Of the fifty-six signatories of the Declaration of Independence, only nine can definitely be identified as Freemasons, while ten others may possibly have been. Of the general officers in the Continental Army, there were so far as documentation can establish, thirty-three Freemasons out of seventy-four.
The American Dollar which has the image of a pyramid with an eye set within it, represents God ( Amen-Re) having an ever present eye, casting his gaze over his people to judge every action they make in life, so that they will receive their just desserts in death and the symbol for the dollar is an S with a double vertical strike through, although this has now been replaced with a single vertical strike. The two vertical lines symbolized the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt which were united as a single kingdom around 5,200 years ago. This unification was believed to be central to the well being of the state.
By their devotion to Masonic principles of justice, truth and equality for their new country they were attempting to build a land driven by a rediscovered Ma`at. A modern heir to the greatness of ancient Egypt.