Saturday, April 3, 2010

Egypt 42: Around the Great Pyramid

In one of my obvious oversights, I forgot to get a close up of the entrance that they are now using.  The big gash in the side above the people is the original entrance.

If one looks closely one can see the line of people queuing up on the left, working their way up about 6 courses of blocks or so.  Those were the folks who waited patiently in line for us to leave so they could enter.  The actual entrance is just to the right of them and down a course or two.

It's the pointy black hole with the guy in green just to the left it.  It is much smaller than the original, which is now screened over.

Immediately behind where the last photo was taken, is the line of tour buses that stretched just as far out of the photo to the right as it does to the left that you can see.

This photo and what follows are a very select few of the images I took as we walked completely around the Great Pyramid.  As always, one might quibble with the images I've chosen to share with you.  But, that begs the point: Regardless of my selections, I can only give you a bare glimpse of what it was like to have been there.  You really need to see it in person in order to appreciate it fully.  And I highly encourage you to do so.

As I walked around this massive monument it began to sink in at a visceral level just how much effort it must have taken in order to create all the pyramids on this plateau and place them in perfect alignment with the belt of Orion. When they were finished it was truly as above, so below here.

I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to be part of a society that, despite the typical issues faced by all civilizations, greed, corruption and the like, at least they had a congruent view of their world that worked for them on nearly every level.  Worked well enough they were able to create a civilization that lasted nearly 3,000 years and still leave a lasting legacy that has survived all these years after their passing.

And I could see that it would be very easy to put the ancients on a pedestal, with a desire to go back and recreate their society again, or a society like theirs, in our 'modern' times.

I know folks who genuinely feel this way.  Folks who are angry because they feel as though our modern civilization has degenerated from the 'better' times of ancient Egypt, so to speak.  Yet, I am clear that attempting to move into our future by pining for our past has never worked.

At the same time, I saw overwhelming evidence that all of the major themes which run through modern religions are essentially the same as ones found in the ancient Egyptians' religious thinking.

I personally found that comforting.  I found it comforting because it tells me that some themes are indeed timeless.  Could it be that truth is always true?  That it is not necessary to go out searching for the truth?  It is not necessary because the truths have always been there?  Is the real issue discovering ways to express those truths so that they resonate with the specific manifestations of our current civilization, and who we are now as people?

I know that there are many who are perfectly comfortable with our current, 'modern' religions and the way the ancient truths are expressed through them.  I respect those people.  In their case, I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

However, there are other folks who chafe at the rigidity and dogmatism of our modern religions.  Many of those folks that I have spoken with are searching.  They call themselves spiritual but not religious.  I wondered, as I walked into the shadow of the pyramid, if maybe they might be unconsciously yearning for something the ancient Egyptians consciously created for themselves. 

At the beginning of every new age, the ancient Egyptians either tore down their old temples or redid them for the new age.  Old mythology was dropped and new mythology for the new age adopted.  Hence the parables based upon the Taurus Bull that gave way to the Aries Ram that gave way to the Pisces Fish, etc.

Our time in Pisces is rapidly coming to an end.  The age of Aquarius is nearly upon us.  And I'm wondering if part of the dissatisfaction so many feel with respect to current religions is an unconscious desire for a new set of mythologies to express the timeless truths more appropriately for them in the coming new age.

The new age is coming.  Maybe it is time for a tuneup.  Maybe a new look at who we are as people is called for with respect to what that means to us both personally and now as a global civilization.

I could be wrong, of course.  One can never be sure about these things.  Maybe it was the sun out there.  Maybe it was the awe I felt as I considered what it took to create the magnificent structures before me.  The ancient Egyptians celebrated the cycles of life.  They marched boldly forward into them.  Night is necessary in order to have the day.  They celebrated the sunrise as a symbolic rebirth.  A chance to begin anew.  Another opportunity to gain self mastery and test our powers of creation.

The pit in the lower left is where one of the solar boats, seen in earlier posts, was found.

On the other hand, regardless of how deluded I am, the cycles of life continue around me.  We are born, we grow up, we get old, we die.  From us new life begins and the cycle repeats.  We, as individual people and as a civilization, are evolving with each new generation.  If the discussions are going to be held regarding a new set of mythologies for our new age, they will occur regardless of whether or not I participate.   I'm seriously tempted.

Indeed, one of the reasons I've moved the series of emails where these posts originated into this blog is to begin just such a discussion.

The cycle represented by these posts (as a series of emails) had nearly run its course when this post was first written.  One more post, only, after this was all that remained.  And so it seemed appropriate to end that cycle here on the Giza plateau, the same place where we began 41 posts ago. 

I find myself full of rich and rewarding experiences as a result of my trip, and from recreating my Egyptian journey for you.  I have learned much.  Yet, I find myself still wondering.  Still find myself with even more questions now than when I began.  Can't say I wasn't warned, though.  Egypt, I'm told, indeed, life, has always been like that.

Continue on to Post 43: Cairo before we leave Egypt by clicking here.


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