lundi 24 janvier 2011

La Grande Pyramide “miraculeuse” de Joseph Augustus Seiss (XIXe s.)

Le texte ci-dessous tient une place à part dans l’inventaire de ce blog.
Il nous entraîne en effet dans des considérations explorant l’au-delà d’une froide analyse scientifique du langage des pierres.
Il est extrait de l’ouvrage The Great Pyramid, Miracle in stone (1877), du pasteur de l’église luthérienne Joseph Augustus Seiss (1823-1904).
L’articulation de la démonstration, du syllogisme de l’auteur est grosso modo la suivante :
- prémisse : la Grande Pyramide est un chef-d’oeuvre inimité et inimitable, édifié conformément à un plan bien défini. Bref, la perfection pétrifiée.
- or : les bâtisseurs égyptiens ont bien tenté de reproduire ce modèle, mais en vain. La raison ? Laissés à eux-mêmes, ils n’en avaient pas les compétences nécessaires : “Les anciens Égyptiens n’ont jamais été un peuple très scientifique.”
- donc : le projet et la réalisation, jusque dans ses plus infimes détails, de la Grande Pyramide ne peuvent être que le fruit d’une inspiration divine. Si cet édifice “miraculeux” est “en” Égypte, il n’est pas “de” l’Égypte.
Les quelques très brefs éléments de cette démonstration qui suivent ont été choisis parmi tant d’autres, dont la lecture peut être hermétique, voire insupportable, pour les non adeptes d’une telle théorie (*). Le lien inséré en bas de citation permet d’avoir accès à l’intégralité du texte.

J.A. Seiss (Wikimedia commons)
“The arts of man left to himself, never attain perfection at once. At all times and in all countries, there is invariably a series of crude attempts and imperfect beginnings first, and thence a gradual advance from a less perfect to a more complete. Styles of architecture do not spring into existence like Minerva from the brain of Jupiter, full-grown and perfect from the start. But here all ordinary laws are reversed, and the classic dream finds reality. As with the beginning of our race, so with the pyramids, the most perfect is first and what comes after is deteriorate. The Great Pyramid comes upon the scene and maintains its grand superiority forever, without any preceding type of its class whence the idea was evolved. Renan says, "It has no archaic epoch." Osburn says, "It bursts upon us at once in the flower of its highest perfection." It suddenly takes its place in the world in all its matchless magnificence, "without father, without mother," and as clean apart from all evolution as if it had dropped down from the unknown heavens. We can no more account for its appearance in this fashion on ordinary principles than we can account for the being of Adam without a special Divine intervention.
This pyramid once in existence, it is not difficult to account for all the rest. Having been taught how to build it, and with the grand model ever before them, men could easily build more. But how to get the original with its transcendent superiority to all others is the trouble. The theory of Mr. Taylor and Prof. Smyth would admirably solve the riddle; but apart from that, there is no knowledge of man by which it can be solved. People may guess and suppose; but they can tell us nothing.
The evidences also are, that the whole family of Egyptian pyramids, and there are no others, is made up of mere blind and bungling imitations of the Great Pyramid. They take its general form, but they every one miss its intellectuality and take on none of their own. None of them has any upper openings or chambers; and the reason is furnished in what Al Mamoun on making his forced entrance found in the Great Pyramid, to wit, the fact that its upward passage-way was stopped by its builders, filled up, hidden, and then for the first time discovered. These upper openings, though the main features of the Great Pyramid's interior, were wholly unknown to the copyists, and hence were not copied. The downward passage and the subterranean chamber were known, and could be inspected; hence these features appear in all the pyramids. It would be difficult to conceive more conclusive internal evidences of mere imitation, or of the certainty that the Great Pyramid is the real original of all pyramids. All the rest are but vulgar and unmeaning piles of stones in comparison with it.
A building having a square base and its four sides equally sloped inwards to a single point at the top is a pyramid. There may be other and various pyramidal forms, but they are not true pyramids. In stone architecture such a figure requires the edifice to be solid, or mainly so, and can furnish very little internal space for any practical use. It is therefore a style of building which is itself something peculiar and quite unfitted to any of the ordinary purposes for which man erects edifices.
But not all pyramids have the same relative proportions or degree of slope in their sides. In this respect the Great Pyramid stands alone among all other pyramids or buildings on earth. Plato says, that "God perpetually geometrizes," and this pyramid presents a clear and solid geometric figure with all its proportions conformed to each other.  (...)
Viewed as a triangle, if we square its base line, as squared in fact in the Great Pyramid, and add together the lengths of the four sides, we have the exact equal of a circle drawn with the vertical height for a radius. In other words, we have here a figure of the framework of the earth, and that figure possessed of the proportion which is known to mathematicians as the π proportion, thus presenting a practical solution of that puzzling problem which has cracked so many mediæval and modern brains, to wit, the quadrature of the circle. Hence John Taylor says of the builders of the Great Pyramid, that "they imagined the earth to be a sphere, and as they knew that the radius of a circle must bear a certain proportion to its circumference, they built a four-sided pyramid of such a height in proportion to its base, that its perpendicular would be the radius of a sphere equal to the perimeter of the base."
The other pyramids have the same general form copied after this, but these mathematical proportions and signs of high intellectuality appear nowhere but in the Great Pyramid. And when Jomard says, "The pyramids have preserved to us the certain type of the size of the terrestrial globe," he utters a great truth, but what is not true in any definite measure save of the Great Pyramid. (...)
The opinion was given by Lepsius, and from him has been largely accepted as a law in Egyptian pyramid building, that each king, when he came to the throne, began to excavate a subterranean chamber with an inclined passage, which chamber was meant for his tomb ; the first year he covered it with a few squared blocks of stone, the next added more, and so continued till he died, leaving it to his successor to finish and close the edifice. Hence the size of each pyramid would depend upon the accident of the duration of the king's life. Perhaps it was so after pyramids came to be a fashion, though some long-lived kings have only small pyramids. But it is very certain that the Great Pyramid did not grow in this way. Its whole character was calculated and determined beforehand. The drafts of its architects still exist, graven in the rocks (...). There they are in the immediate vicinity of the great building, the projection of whose shape and features, without and within, they still show to every one who wishes to examine them. By them it is proven that the whole structure in its angles and mathematical proportions was contemplated and designed from the start.
Besides, the subterranean chamber of the Great Pyramid which this "law" would require to be finished first is just that part which never was finished at all. It is only half cut out, a mere pit without a bottom. Herodotus also gathered from the Egyptians themselves that ten years were spent in building preparatory works, which are hardly less remarkable and elaborate than the pyramid itself, and that everything was organized on an immense scale, keeping 100,000 men continually at work, relaying them every three months. Furthermore, all the searchings into this pyramid have failed to reveal any signs of the patching of one year's work to that of another, or any arrangements for such a contingency as the possible death of the king before the work was complete. On the contrary, everything argues one continuous and fore-calculated job, evenly carried through from beginning to end, just as a farmer would build his barn or a baker his oven. Hence if there is anything in Lepsius's "law of pyramid building," the Great Pyramid never came under it, but received its being and dimensions from a foregoing plan of the whole, pursued from commencement to completion without interruption or any thought of it. (...)
Could all these things have been mere coincidences ? Is it possible that they just happened so out of blind chance ? Then what is the reason that nothing of the sort has happened in the scores of other Egyptian pyramids ?
And if they were really designed by the builders, whence then came this surprising intelligence, unsurpassed and uncontradictable by the best scientific attainments of modern man ?
Shall we credit it all to old Egypt ? We find it memorialized in Egypt, but could it have been of Egypt ? Not far can we go in such an inquiry till we find the way impassably choked up against any such conclusion. The old Egyptians never were a highly scientific people. Bunsen says, "Their astronomy was strictly provincial, calculated only for the meridian of Egypt" ; and that "the signs of the zodiac were wholly unknown to them till the reign of Trajan". Brugsch says, "It was based on empiricism, and not on that mathematical science which calculates the movements of the stars". Strabo admits that the Egyptians of his day were destitute of scientific astronomical knowledge. Renan asserts, and Edward Everett had said before him, that "Not a reformer, not a great poet, not a great artist, not a savant, not a philosopher, is to be met with in all their history". Never, therefore, was it in their power to understand, much less originate and enunciate, the sublime science found in the Great Pyramid. The other pyramids were of Egypt, but they are totally wanting in all these elements of intellectuality. We look in vain for any traces that the old Egyptians ever understood the mathematical π, much less construct so original a symbol of it. There is no proof that they ever had any appreciation of the pyramid's system of numbers, or knew anything of the sun's distance or the earth's form or weight. There is no sign that they ever used the pyramid inch, or the cubit of twenty-five inches, or any measure founded on intelligent earth commensuration. There is nothing to show that they comprehended the precessional cycle, or ever made use of it. (...)
Many pyramids did Egypt build before the costly fashion went out of vogue ; but even with the great original before them, there was not genius and observation enough in all the land to make so much as a correct copy of it. Of all the enormous mounds of brick or stone which Egypt itself set up, there is not one to tell of aught but vaulting ambition and blundering imitation. From the least unto the greatest there is neither science nor sense in any of them. How then could Egypt have originated this great science-laden forerunner of them all ?
Whence then came this wisdom ? (...)
What have we then in this unrivalled pillar, but a miracle of stone, a petrifaction of wisdom and truth, revealed of God, preserved among his people from the foundation of the world, and thus memorialized by impulse and aid from Him, that it might outlive the apostasies of man, and stand as a witness to the Lord Almighty when he cometh to judge the world, and to fulfil his promise of "the restitution of all things."
Men may combat and scorn a conclusion so sublime. They may utterly reject it, as they also rejected Christ, and still reject his salvation. But it involves nothing impossible—nothing improbable—nothing but what we might reasonably expect in view of what God did in ancient times, and promised to the fathers. It is agreeable to every item of history of which we can avail ourselves. It conforms to the remarkable traditions on the subject, which cannot otherwise be accounted for. Passages and allusions in both Testaments imply, if they do not positively declare, that it is a thing of God. And the great monument itself gives palpable demonstration of what cannot be rationally explained on any other hypothesis.”

Texte intégral : ICI

(*) au gré de mes recherches et lectures, j'ai remarqué que certains chercheurs de confession musulmane se livrent à une analyse similaire, visant à démontrer que la configuration de la Grande Pyramide trouve ses racines dans des versets du Coran.

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