Amon revealed a puzzled look. “I don’t quite understand what you’re saying.”
Horus smiled simply and looked up at Amon: “You are very powerful, and the recent events have proved how arrogant and proud you are. But after all, you are not a true god, and there are things you cannot possibly understand.”
Amon replied: “You are wrong, I cut down Seth’s statues, not because of arrogance or pride, the truth is the exact opposite. I am weak and not powerful enough to find Seth, so I can only force him to show himself in this way. …There are things I really don’t understand yet. I think you are not just here to prove that you know more, but to tell me something, so please let me learn from you!”
Therefore Amon learned. The gods who passed the judgment of fate did not automatically go to the heavenly kingdom as was described in the legends. They actually left this world and went to a “place” where nothing existed. — This was what Horus told Amon, much to his surprise.
Only nonexistence could truly be eternal. It sounds like the theme of a philosophical debate. It is however what a true god should verify.
Amon could not yet understand it thoroughly, because he had not yet verified it, but could only listen to Horus’s description. That “place” was not some other world, nor was it any divine palace or divine realm. It was boundless, endless, and there was no concept of time and space “in it”. It is like what was like before everything started to exist.
Amon had an encounter with Amitabha in Syah Desert, and Amitabha had said “unliving and undying”, which was also a suitable description, and mentioned the way to “build every happening and everything from the non-lasting”. He was apparently talking about the higher achievement after transcending eternal life.
Horus told Amon this first, mainly to explain one thing: Why does one need a divine clan to become a god? There had been geniuses like Marduc in the continent, who had explored and comprehended the power of origin on their own and became a true god but eventually chose to join the Anunnaki. Because after becoming a god, what you enter is Nel, the nonexistent and imperishable eternity, the universe of nothingness.
Ra was known as the Creator in the Ennead. Mythology says that he created the world and the gods, but in fact, he did create a world and established a divine realm in Nel, and this was the true origin of Ennead.
When Horus said this, Amon could not help but interject: “Did Ra really create a world, a divine realm that did not exist in the first place?”
Horus nodded and said, “Yes! Can you imagine yourself creating a world where the sun, moon, and mountains are just as you wish? It is not a dream, but a true creation of all things which belonged to Him. Those who receive guidance from Ennead can enter that place to enjoy eternal existence. The world of Ra is the divine realm of Ennead, where everything is created according to the will of Ra.”
Amon closed his eyes. He could only imagine all these without verification, because no matter how powerful he was, he couldn’t create something that didn’t exist in the world. Just then, he remembered another thing, so he opened his eyes and asked again: “Can a god heal his wounds after entering the divine realm?”
Horus nodded again and said: “How can a god heal in that eternal void? There are only two choices, either to enter the divine realm or to return to earth.”
Amon pointed to Horus’s empty sleeve. “Is this the wound you received? Did Seth cut off one of your arms?”
Horus shook his head: “The gods and mortals are not the same kinds of beings, and the form that they present depends on their will. If I wanted to, I could grow many arms, but I keep this empty sleeve because the wound is not yet healed, and the self in my heart is in such a form. The person who wounded me was Marduc, and Seth took the opportunity to force me off the throne and made a new pact with Marduc.”
So that was it! Amon had always had the understanding that there was a pact between the various divine clans, one which stated that the gods could not easily intervene directly in mortal conflicts unless they were challenged by mortals by their own initiative. Horus took on the form of a huge cloud eagle at the Khenmet defense line and fought Enkidu. The Uruk Legion came from the Kingdom of Bablon, whose chief god was Marduc, so Marduc stepped in to challenge Horus.
Horus lost the battle, and Seth stepped in to make a new pact with Marduc while taking the opportunity to force Horus to give up the throne. Horus thus stayed in the divine realm of Ra to heal his wounds, until Seth was severely injured by Maria’s Tiamat’s Wrath and came to the divine realm as well. Horus did not want to stay in the same place with Seth, so he returned to earth.
The more Horus said, the more questions Amon had, and he couldn’t help but ask once more: “I heard that Isis is no longer around, is she not in the divine realm of Ra? If that is the case, where did she go?”
Horus’s expression turned indescribable as if filled with emotion and regret. He lowered his head and replied: “Isis is indeed gone, or has fallen. But her fall is not because of fighting with anyone, nor is it the end of eternal life, but a wish to pursue a higher realm, it is difficult for me to explain to you clearly.”
Amon was deeply shocked, and he couldn’t help but lean forward and ask: “A higher realm? There are higher realms for gods who transcend eternal life, and they also need to pass the test?”
Horus gently shook his head and said: “Not a test, but a wish from the bottom of heart. Isis wished to pursue a higher realm than Ra, but unfortunately, she did not succeed and should have disappeared fifty years ago according to the calculation of earthly years.” As he spoke he imprinted a complex message into Amon’s mind, a form of communication very similar to the means that Ksitigarbha had used back then —
The celestial gods who transcend eternal life are eternal and indestructible beings, but what is the meaning of this eternity?
If one took a step out of the earth and stayed in Nel without the concept of time and space before returning to earth, he would remain just as he is, when thousands of years might have passed on earth. Eternal beings would feel less and less attached to the earth and lost themselves in nothingness. So even the gods seek higher realms.
When Ra created his world in Nel, the world was built upon what he knew and what he visioned. Ra created everything he knew and he wished in this world, and in the beginning, it belonged to him alone, and only two “things” existed – Ra and the things he created. A god capable of doing this is called a Maker.
But other gods could not enter this world, because they were not created by Ra. Later, Ra reached a higher realm and was finally able to open his world and allow the other gods guided by him to enter this divine realm, and so was born Ennead. A god capable of doing this is called a Creator.
Later, two gods also became Maker and built their own worlds in the divine realm of Ra, namely Isis and Seth. If they also became a Creator like Ra, they could also establish a new divine clan themselves.
Why is the realm of Ra called the ultimate transcendence? Isis had asked Ra for advice, and Ra told her the reason. If one still wants to aspire to a higher realm, one must make a wish at the cost of his eternal soul. And if he fails, he loses his eternal soul and the world he created would disappear. Since she had already become a true god and created her own world in Ra’s realm, why should she make such a choice?
The Creator had a supreme and unique status in the divine clan and was different from the monarchs of the earthly kingdoms. He is eternal and irreplaceable. However, in the eyes of ordinary mortals, becoming a Creator was not without cost, because the Creator fuses his eternal soul together with the divine realm he created, so he cannot leave it at will. Once the Creator leaves, the divine realm would extinct and no other gods can enter.
But for the Creator himself, this was not much of a cost, and he would even prefer it. Why return to earth or Nel when he already has a perfect world created by his own will and open to inviting the other gods in?
Both Isis and Seth, who have become Maker, had higher aspirations, but the different choices they made were different.
Seth wanted to become a Creator like Ra, and after the fall of Isis, Seth pushed Horus from the throne and made Pharaoh Merneptah introduce religious reforms, making Ra the only god and himself the leader of the neteru, thus showing his way of thinking. But the right to become a Creator remains secret to him and even to Horus.
Isis, on the other hand, made another choice. She wanted to create another kind of divine realm that was different for the Creators and for the gods who entered it.
The difference was difficult for mortals to understand, but could be barely described in earthly terms. For example, in Ra’s divine realm, a god who wanted a palace had no way to build it himself, because it is Ra’s soul world, and could only ask Ra to build one for him. In contrast, in the divine realm that Isis sought to create, other gods could build their own palaces as long as they integrated their souls into the kingdom. It is as if every god automatically becomes a partial Maker when they get in.
On the other hand, this type of divine realm will not be sealed at the departure of the Creator; as long as the Creator does not perish, the other gods can always get in. But Isis failed, and the price was her eternal life.
With this piece of information imprinted in his soul, Amon was silent for a long time. The sun on the sea gradually rose, the distant waves reflecting the light shimmering, and the wind gradually became stronger, producing the sound of fluttering as it blew on their clothes. Amon finally understood one thing. It was not possible to establish a divine clan simply by becoming a god which transcended eternal life, and this showed how ridiculous Girtablullu’s idea had been, and Amon’s own idea was also a bit impractical.
There were things that Inanna did not tell him, probably because there was no need yet, or maybe it was not yet time to elaborate. Inanna knew in her heart that Amon was not willing to join the Anunnaki, at least for now, it was impossible to persuade him, but the goddess also said that after he became a true god, she would be willing to be Amon’s guide, at which time Amon could reconsider.
Whether it’s Girtablullu or Amon, if they really became true gods, they could establish their own divine realm and guide their disciples to cultivate the power of the origin, but they could not yet establish a divine clan in the true sense. From transcending immortality to becoming a Creator, it was still far from being. The vows of the divine emissaries to join a certain divine clan were not just a kind of allegiance or promise, but also a way to receive a series of crucial guidance before and after they become gods.
Only after a long time did Amon speak: “If Seth won’t see me, I can only find him after I become a true god. Is that all you wanted to tell me today? Thank you! Although I have known about it for a long time, I only understand the real reason at this moment.”
Horus said somewhat reservedly: “I have said so much, but my main purpose is not in that, but actually to seek your cooperation and to invite you to join the Ennead. If you are willing now, I will be your guide. You can also consider it after you become a true god, then I will be the one to receive you. I have already informed Ra of my intention, and Ra does not object. He also said he would love to have you come to his divine realm someday.”
Amon’s eyes narrowed, as if the light reflected on the sea was too harsh, and asked in a soft voice: “What makes you think that it is possible for me to accept your proposal?”
Horus replied nonchalantly: “I know your relationship with Mourrin, and she must be willing to be your guide, but you must not forget the attitude of the whole Anunnaki towards you. Whether it is Enlil or Marduc, you will not be welcome. I would rather return to earth to heal than stay in the same place with Seth, and I am afraid you would be even less willing to join the Anunnaki.
Ennead is different. I know you and Seth have a grudge, and Ra has sent down an oracle to let Seth resolve it himself, for his actions to bear the consequences, the rest of the gods and emissaries in the Ennead will not intervene. You and the Ennead should have no grudge, I once showed up to help you on the battlefield, and I can see that you have great admiration for Isis.
You want to destroy Seth, I can help you, and we can cooperate. If I succeed in the future, I can share the position with you when I reclaim my kingship, just like how Marduc and Enlil have done. We can both become king of the Ennead and share the divine realm of Upper and Lower Ejypt. The shrine of Seth in lower Ejypt will be the shrine of Amon in the future. You have removed the statues of Seth from the altar, but what could be better than this form of revenge?”
Amon looked straight into the eyes of the god and said: “Whether you make such a promise or not, whether I join the Ennead or not, I will not let Seth go. As Ra said, that is between him and me, and if you would like to offer your help, I would thank you. But your offer doesn’t interest me, I’m here for Maria, not for you or Seth.”
Horus smiled: “You don’t have to be in a hurry to refuse, it’s not too late to answer until you become a true god, then I will come back to you.”
Amon also smiled: “When the time is right, I will talk to Ra. Much of what you have told me today is also beyond your insight, isn’t it? …But I still want to thank you, although you have your purpose, now I only want to know two things. First, is there any way I can get Maria back? The second is when I become a true god in the future, how do I enter the divine realm of Ennead? You can choose not to tell me, I will ask Inanna.”
Horus was stunned. “Inanna?”
Amon explained: “Inanna is Mourrin, you have seen her on the battlefield, isn’t it because of her appearance that you have shown up?”
Horus replied with hesitation: “Not exactly because of that…you do not yet understand the matters between the gods, but in fact, the two questions you are concerned about I am able to answer them. It is not difficult to enter the divine realm of Ra, only that you are able to accept Ra’s guidance and understand the beliefs he has taught on earth. Maria left behind a God’s Tear, which I heard was taken by you. You still don’t understand the real value of this parangon, do you?”
Horus imprinted another message in Amon’s mind. Amon had long possessed a God’s Tear, from the relics of Bair and Troni, and he knew that it was an incredible parangon. It was not like any material he has seen and could assist the casting of any kind of magic arts. If embedded on the staff, it could even enable one to cast magic arts instantaneously.
Horus also told him one more thing. The gods could not bring anything to Nel at will, and even their own bodies have become a different kind of existence after becoming gods. As for magic weapons used in the earthly world, only the ones fully refined and integrated into the gods can be taken to Nel. Those materials, being completely refined, can become part of the user and transform at his will. Such magic weapons were also called holy objects or deitifacts.
A God’s Tear was a natural deitifact, and even without any processing, it could also be fused with a person’s body and mind and change as one. The meaning of a deitifact is exactly that and had nothing to do with its strength or power. However, it was usually more powerful and useful than the other magic artifacts. The God’s Tear could replace any parangon, and all the artifacts that needed to be processed with other parangons could also be processed with the God’s Tear and would result in a much more powerful magic artifact.
A God’s Tear also had another use. If it was used to refine any magic artifact, as long as the magic artifact was completely refined, the God’s Tear would integrate into it, and the entire magic artifact would become a new deitifact. As for the strength of its power, it would depend on the skills of the refiner and the materials used.
In addition to its usefulness in terms of artifacts, the most important attribute of God’s Tear itself was that it could guard the soul and integrate the power of faith into the soul. Therefore, using it as a medium, the probability of success when performing rituals of power awakening would be much higher, and the power and scope of the magic arts of blessing and protection would be greater.
The God’s Tear, which Amon obtained earlier, was a sacred object refined by the Adoratrices of the Shrine of Isis, containing the spiritual imprints of the Adoratrices of all generations, but only the Adoratrices were able to open these imprints. And the God’s Tear that Maria left behind was mined by Amon and only Maria alone had refined it, so it contained the guidance that Maria’s faith received as well as her spiritual imprint, which only Maria herself could open.
This was the unique magic that the successive generations of Adoratrices used to refine the God’s Tear on their scepters, which Horus was aware of.