Statement of Intent

by Wim van den Dungen

"The difference between the image of Egypt informing premodern and modern Egyptology rests first on the rejection of the biblical, Greek, Latin, and other testimonies on ancient Egyptian culture, whose value as sources was greatly diminished by the discovery of an abundance of Egyptian testimonies, and second on an interpretative abstinence that had already distinguished the antiquarianism of the sixteenth to eighteenth century and was elevated to a principle by the positivism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries." - Assmann, 2002, pp.432-433.

"In esoteric circles, people are too dependent on the old, outdated works of Budge and ought to take into account more recent literature, which has much to offer of esoteric interest." -
Hornung, 2001, p.2.

"Where our poets charts the possible and impossible, and scientists chase the dream of the exact, of certainties, the historian faces the task of assessing the most probable. (...) Our datings for the late Middle Kingdom depend not on grouping names of kings alone, but more solidly on a vast bank of data, such as typologies of coffins, analyses of alloys in metals, studies of handwriting, and study of archaeological finds in stratigraphic sections on excavation. Taken together, these widely varying source materials provide support of a 'most probable' time-line. The reader needs only to remember that a single discovery tomorrow could drastically change the entire carefully elaborated construction we have made of ancient time." -
Quirke, 2001, p.12.

The scientific model used here is not positivistic nor behavioristic, but part of mainstream
criticism infused with postmodern deconstruction, hermeneutics and metaphysics.

Moreover, instead of negating the results of investigations into parapsychology, alchemy, magic and astrology, I also try to understand Ancient Egyptian spirituality precisely by taking into account the role played by
ritual & magic

However, this "operational" side of these Egyptian esoterica (cf. "practical or technical Hermetica"), declared by positivists to be nothing more than a set of dramatized (ritualized) "literary fictions", is explicitly separated from the present Studies in Philosophy.

This to point out the difference between, on the one hand, a historical reconstruction of Egyptian rituals (which is impossible due to the lack of historical data) and, on the other hand, the inventive use of Egyptian historical symbols & examples.

Rituals are understood in a Jungian sense, taking into account their possible neurological impact, as well as the genesis of cognition itself (cf. the Piagetian strata of cognitive growth).

initiated : 2003 - last update : 06 I 2015

© Wim van den Dungen
Antwerp, 2003 - 2017.