If you haven't read The Great Hymn to Aten, give it a look. It's not only well written, but Pharaoh Akhenaten in general is an interesting figure. He was the first and only Pharaoh who tried to introduce the worship of One God to the people of Egypt, after he had a vision wherein he saw a sun disc resting between two mountains. The light disc had commanded him to build an entirely new city in the desert, dedicate it to the worship of only one God alone, and move the capital from Thebes to that location. Compelled by the scene, he complied, and was so sincere that he changed his birth name and ordered the defacement and closure of numerous polytheistic temples, along with the destruction of the statues of old gods.
How manifold it is, what thou hast made They are hidden from the face of man
O sole god, like whom there is no other Thou didst create the world according to thy desire Whilst thou wert alone: All men, cattle, and wild beasts Whatever is on earth, going upon (its) feet And what is on high, flying with its wings The countries of Syria and Nubia, the land of Egypt Thou settest every man in his place Thou suppliest their necessities Everyone has his food, and his time of life is reckoned
You create the numberless things of this world from yourself, who are One alone.
Within his writings, he talks about an eternal god that is unlike the creation, alone should be worshiped, fashioned all living things alone, and governs time. Aten was to be praised throughout Egypt as the sole "Creator" and "Giver of life".
Later on in his reign, he would give a royal decree that the name 'Aten' shall no longer be portrayed by the hieroglyph of a sun disk, but instead had to be spelled out phonetically. This further extended his then-heretical belief that Aten was not the disk nor orb of the sun, but a universal spiritual presence. It's thought that this was done to dispel misconceptions among the people of Aten being a sun god like Ra. The sun disk became a representation of the One who is above all things, and above all concepts of physical beings and things, with its far-reaching rays often ending in hands that blessed. The people of Egypt had struggled to understand the concept of an invisible god, because they were used to being able to see their gods in the form of statues and art. In the secrecy of their homes, they continued to hold onto their idols. Despite this, Pharaoh's staunch efforts in forbidding the worship of other gods, including barring the veneration of idols and images, was unique in this time in Egypt's history. It was an enormous break from the unwavering customs of his forefathers. But his goal to eradicate the previous polytheistic belief system in Egypt which had been in place for centuries prior wasn't accepted by the people. The high priests who held power were angered that they were rendered redundant with the exclusion of their gods by Akhenaten. He was labelled an heretic, and his system was forcefully erased after his death and the ascension of his successor, Tutankhamun.