The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.
John Maynard Keynes
In the case of Ancient Egypt the view of academia transferred to school texts, museums, and documentaries has been that of philosophers, historians, linguists and archaeologists, united disciplines which broadly define the Egyptologist. The painstaking work of this profession has grappled with an enormous subject matter and the vast remains of a civilization which flourished 2000 to 5000 years ago. And yet the achievements in cataloguing, preserving, translating, and understanding a civilization which but a mere two centuries past seemed a complete mystery have been astonishing. The problem is that in certain areas standard theories use to explain things like how the pyramids were built have proved impossible. And it is only of late that some Egyptologists are beginning to admit that the subject could benefit from other disciplines such as those of geologists, astronomers, engineers, and builders, particularly those who understand the realities of building with stone.
When an enormous amount of work has been done based upon fundamental assumptions these are not easy to give up. And it is in this that a great deal of compassion, forbearance, patience and understanding are needed alongside an appreciation for, and respect of, the tremendous skills and accomplishments achieved in the study of Ancient Egypt thus far. Such attitudes are not just to be directed at Egyptologists. How petty that would be. But they are to be sought within each of us, not only toward others but most of all toward ourselves.
I may have strong convictions based upon what I have observed and felt from what I will call “overwhelming intuitive messages and spiritual visions.” However, I still feel that I have but seen through a crack in a door which leads to a whole universe of understanding that streaches far beyond my ever so limited comprehension. I also know that despite differences of view there is always something and in some cases a great deal to be learned from others no matter how they may view my own approach and perspectives.
If there is any hope for humanity it lies with those who despite their differences seek common ground upon which to build and learn. Recognizing as they must that truth is vast and multidimensional, and that each of us despite our unique levels of understanding and mastership of skills may be no less valuable in some regard than any others.
Whoever sets himself up as judge in the field of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the Laughter of the Gods.
All of us to a greater or lesser extent are as children when it comes to understanding “truths” on so many levels if not all. The remnants of the ancient world and “prehistory” have not only succumbed to common forces of deterioration, but to all kinds of earthly cataclysms, pole shifts, ice ages, the massive movements of continental plates and the ensuing earthquakes, tsunamis, and changes of sea level. A tremendous amount of what once lay upon the earth has very likely been almost entirely erased or buried deep. And yet astonishing evidence of advanced pre-historic civilizations grows daily. Science opens up new perspectives on the most profound aspects of the Universe. And yet the more that is understood the more questions arise. One new discovery can overturn the applecart or a least put it in a whole new perspective.
Humility and an appreciation for the human condition, paradoxically limited yet sublime, is what’s needed. Humility is perhaps one the most difficult of all qualities to acquire. Therein may lie one test (among many) for judging the advancement of a civilization or a person. Self-examination, at least in my case, reveals all kinds of areas for improvement. THE big thing that everyone wants is to get it right; to plumb the truth and prove your case given the facts. Yet the facts are ever expanding and so often threatening what once seemed a given. How silly it then seems to hold onto the idea that we pretty much have truth nailed down.
So it was with an open mind that in 2009 I stepped onto the Giza Plateau. It was my first trip to Egypt, after twenty years inspired by her mighty and ancient accomplishments in art, architecture, profound symbolism and sentiment. Alone, without a guide, I felt myself blessed to be able to wander amid the remnants of this incredibly ancient and hallowed site, allowing it alone to speak for itself.
To this end it is incredible how preconceived thought shapes the understanding of what we experience at any given moment. Taught for years from pre-school up that the pyramids were nothing more than monumental tombs built by mass labor using primitive tools; or that civilization has ever been ascending to new heights (with our own assumptions as to what constitutes the meaning of ascent), it would have been extremely hard to imagine anything different. But such teachings had given place to doubts in me early on.
Was this culture of ours really so advanced over it’s predecessors? On a host of fronts more “developed” certainly, but more advanced? Was it more just, more peace loving, more respectful of the earth, more honorable, or more sincere? No. I certainly had my doubts on that score; more deaths in war having been committed in the twentieth century than the entire sum of two thousand years previous. Though indeed schools and especially the media have invested a tremendous amount of effort at “reminding us” either by text or through their “re-enactments” that morally mankind and the ruling status quo have never changed. Really? What indeed did our present society seem to hold sacred and worship above all else? That was easy: money and the personal power it gives us over others. How different Ancient Egypt seemed where every expression, from its colossal temples to everyday items, paid loving homage to the life giving, the eternal, the triumph over death. In contrast, our mainstream culture has just about ceased giving any real, deep, lasting or profound consideration to anything of the kind.
Certainly Ancient Egyptian texts reveal the reality of hatreds, jealousies, lusts, injustices; indeed some things have not changed. Yet parallel to these was a theocratic system dominated by the temples and their mystery schools. Therein lies the great divide between our culture and theirs. To cross it is to enter into an understanding of the disciplines, learning, and testing which lead to initiation and position within a system which guarded profound truths and great metaphysical knowledge and power. The very silence which bound those admitted, except through the use of esoteric symbol and meaning, has been one of the chief stumbling blocks to anyone who would try to make sense of this culture. So one may understand how this aspect has been very easily omitted, though it was central to the entire power structure of Ancient Egypt.
And so as I entered the plateau, I just let myself be guided by whatever thoughts or questions seemed to present themselves given the sights at hand. Strangely I found myself becoming quite analytical as I took in these immense structures. The more I looked the more I confronted issues and questions that as far as I could remember I had never heard mentioned in even the most revisionist studies of Giza and the pyramids.
My mind was blown away by the implications of what the stones seemed to be suggesting. Thousands of experts had walked the same path. I felt sure I was hardly the first to take notice of some things just because I had never read about them anywhere. To this end I am sure I am just re-hashing what many others have noted and perhaps even written about. And yet why had I never seen any reference to these features made in the most up to date and controversial documentaries?
The more I examined the Great Pyramid in particular one impression overwhelmed all others; I was observing a structure built by absolutely exceptional beings using absolutely exceptional means. And therein lay a mystery of such astonishing immensity that I felt sure that one day a new and startling understanding would present itself. A whole different light will be cast on the significance of Giza.
May we learn to welcome that light with humility and gratitude. For I feel sure of its divine nature and its immanent coming.