It is an irony of history that the three great religions of Europe and the Middle East, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, did not originate there but rather had their genesis, like the human species itself, under more southern skies. Indeed, the oldest of these, Judaism, which gave rise to Christianity, and the later Islam were nestled by ancient intuitions that arose and were first codified by seekers of the ultimate, living in the Nile Valley. It was a natural evolution.
Harvesting the crop (Matrioshka / Adobe Stock )
Long before the memory of modern time, along the banks of the Nile’s two sources, the Blue and the White Nile, people began cultivating crops after millennia of merely gathering, scavenging, and hunting. This may have come before or after the sudden catastrophic fall of a high human civilization that many believe set humanity back thousands of years. In any event, despite whatever setbacks occurred, over the eons they migrated down these two branches. This is what today is recognized as the dawn of the Neolithic Age, around 18,300 to 17,000 BC.
Egyptians with domesticated cattle and corn circa 1422-1411 BC ( Public Domain )
By the time of the great Fayum Lake settlements, crop cultivation was an established way of life. The observation of the cycles of growth, maturation, harvesting, and planting reinforced the natural perception of seen and unseen cycles in the natural world. It would have been a small step to notice the planting of human seed in the body of women, growth and pregnancy, birth, maturity, then death and the symbolism of rebirth. With surplus food and a more sedentary life, spiritual reflection on these cycles would naturally arise. In the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth lies the root of the intuition in the heart of the myth of Osiris.
At some point the age-old ritual of the burial of the dead was infused with a new intuition, that of rebirth. The rise of this new cult, an intuition nascent throughout the world at that time, occurred here first. The Africans wrote this down in scripts, and it became the genesis of a new religion and a new idea in human consciousness. The idea was that life and light could move into the unseen realm of death, undergo a transformation, and reemerge in a new form.