Thirty-three centuries ago, Ikhnaton recognized the one God in the spiritual sun behind the physical sun, and he called this God “Aton.” Ikhnaton visualized the Infinite One, Aton, as a divine being “clearly distinguished from the physical sun” yet manifest in the sunlight. Ikhnaton gave reverence to the “heat which is in the Sun,” as he saw it to be the vital heat that accompanied all life. Ikhnaton created a symbol that depicted Aton as a golden circular disk from which diverging beams radiated. He was careful to point out that the solar disk itself was not God but only a symbol of God. Each diverging beam, or ray, ended in a hand extending over every person as a blessing.
For more information
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Ikhnaton: Messenger of Aton (DVD).
Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 41, no. 49.