Earth and Mankind in the Egyptian Model
Dealing With Mother Earth
[Related to current subjects about immigration, borders, wars, land disputes,environment, etc}
1 Tenants Not Owners
The concept of land, to the Egyptians (Ancient and Baladi), doesn’t accept the premise that land is a property that can be owned. To them, people have the right to occupy a land only if they work it, and they can only own the fruit of their labor. The Ancient Egyptians had no verb meaning ‘to possess’, ‘to have’, nor any verb meaning ‘to belong to’.
Farmers are allowed access to the land only if they cultivate it. This concept of land is found in many countries in the world and is called 'public land' (or some other similar term). The idea is that the land is “owned” by the government (meaning, people) and access is provided for the people to work it in a certain way (mining, grazing, etc.).
The farmers’ work was/is closely associated with local (and regional) water resource superintendents.
2. Tread Lightly
The Ancient and Baladi Egyptian beliefs in Animism were also reflected in their traditional relationships between people and earth. The Egyptians believed/believe that land had no value apart from people, and, conversely, that people could not exist without land. They recognize and respect the supernatural residents of the land—any land. The spirits of a place (trees, rock outcroppings, rivers, snakes, and other animals and objects) were identified and placated by the original founders who arrived and inhabited the land at an earlier time. The spirits of the land might vary with each place, or be so closely identified with a group’s welfare that they were carried to a new place as part of the continuity of a group with its former home.
The rights of a group, defined by common genealogical descent, were linked to a particular place and the settlements within it not through “ownership”, but because of their pact with the primordial spirits of the land/site. The spirits, both of family and place, demanded loyalty to communal virtues and to the authority of the elders in maintaining ancient beliefs and practices.
Newcomers (spiritual migrants) join the local spirit population in a new covenant between themselves and the local spirits. This covenant legitimized their arrival. In return for regular homage to these spirits, the founders could claim perpetual access to local resources. In so doing, they became the lineage in charge of the hereditary local priesthood and village headship, and were/are recognized by later human arrivals as “tenants of the place”.
3. Keep It Clean
This spirit of Animism makes people environmentalists, for they treat everything with care and respect. Such coexistence with nature in all its forms was a mandatory requirement of each person. Here are a few of the well-known Ancient Egyptian 42 Negative Confessions that emphasize that one must be true environmentalist in order to succeed in reuniting with the Source:
7- I have not plundered the neteru.
16- I have not laid waste the ploughed land.
22- I have not polluted myself.
34- I have not fouled the water.
36- I have never cursed the neteru.
Neteru means the divine essence (spirits) living in everything—plants, air, water, minerals, etc.
4. Peace On Earth
Such respect for the spirits of the land is indicative of a peaceful (non-invasive) people who will not violate anybody or any land. Egyptians, as such, are very peaceful people. For the Ancient and Baladi Egyptians, stepping on foreign land in peace or in war was done with careful consideration for the land and all its inhabitants, human or otherwise.
[This topic is expanded in the following the following three references by Moustafa Gadalla : Egyptian Cosmology The Animated Universe,3rd edition, Egyptian Romany The Essence of Hispania; and The Untainted Egyptian Origin]