Ancient Egyptian Images concept
Egyptian Monotheism and Polytheism
The Ancient Egyptians believed in One God who was self-produced, self-existent, immortal, invisible, eternal, omniscient, almighty, etc. This One God was never represented. It is the functions and attributes of his domain that were represented. These attributes were called the neteru The term, gods, is a misrepresentation of the Egyptian term, neteru.
The animal or animal-headed neteru (gods/goddesses) are symbolic expressions of a deep spiritual understanding. When a total animal is depicted in Ancient Egypt, it represents a particular function/attribute in its purest form. When an animal-headed figure is depicted, it conveys that particular function/attribute in the human being.
Names in Ancient Egypt were not just labels. A name was like a short resume or synopsis of the principle. For example, the neter (god) Ra (Re) is described in the Unas Funerary (Pyramid) Texts: "They cause thee to come into being as Ra, in his name of Khepri." Khepri is not just another label/name for Ra (Re). Khepri means coming into being.
Far from being a primitive, polytheistic form, this is the highest expression of monotheistic mysticism.