Osiris – Lord of the Dead

ego2005 – Osiris via Flickr

In ancient Egyptian religion, Osiris was the god of the dead and fertility. He was the son of Nut and Geb and the husband and brother of Isis.

According to the mythology, Osiris originally was king of Egypt. He was slain by his jealous brother Seth, who cut up and scattered 13 pieces of his body through the provinces of Egypt. Seth tossed the 14th body part, thought to be Osiris’ nose or penis, in the Nile.

The body parts were collected by Isis who dutifully wrapped them in bandages and anointed them with perfumed oils. This restored Osiris to life but the gods declared that he should not live among mankind, so he was made king of the underworld.

In the Egyptian cult of the dead, Osiris personified life after death for the pharaohs and, as time went by, for mankind. His worship continued until Christianity replaced this shadowy, nature-bound mythology with something arguably higher and truly heavenly. Interestingly, Wikipedia, describes the rise of Christianity here with a seemingly negative slant:

Osiris was widely worshipped as Lord of the Dead until the suppression of the Egyptian religion during the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire. [emphasis mine]¹

¹ Wikipedia, like so many social institutions today, puts on a calm, “professional” front and claims to offer some semblance of objectivity when its entries are often just as biased as any other human venture. Many people don’t see this because Wikipedia often reinforces largely unconscious social biases. This likely is how it has always been with bias. It is true that Early, Medieval Christians and even some modern Christians (in Ireland, for example) can be totalitarian, violent and evil. But it is also true that many converts speak of an entirely new head-space that cannot be attained through some non-Christian pathways.

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