Sunday, February 4, 2018


Look at this more than 4,500 old statue (source). "We" in the 21th century AD "see" a nice statue of the ancient Egyptian king Menkaura and Queen Khamerernebty II of the 4th dynasty (around 2530 BC).

What did Aristotle (384-322 BC) "see" 2,000 later in Ancient Greece? He sees four causes (Greek 'aition'), in 'Physics II 3' and 'Metaphysics V 2'. The material cause, 'that out of which', the stone of this statue. The formal cause, 'the form', the shape of the statue. The efficient cause, the primary source of the change, the artisan who made this statue. The final cause, 'the end, that for the sake of which a thing is done', e.g. a statue in a temple is the end of sculpting. 

What did the Ancient Egyptians "see"? For them a statue is a medium to continue existence. A living statue. A statue for forever. That can come alive any moment. It's an asylum or shelter from which he (the 'Akh') will operate when he (the 'Khat' or physical body) dies to maintain life. Let me repeat: to maintain life. They were so in love with life that they wanted to have more of it. Let me repeat: more days, weeks, years etc in this life.

P.S. More on Aristotle: here.
P.P.S. This point of view is for the biggest part based on Bertus Aafjes' book 'De Blinde Harpenaar, Oudegyptische poëzie' (1955). More on the Ancient Egyptian concept of the soul: here.

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