Monday, March 28, 2011
Recently some friends gathered to reflect together on my recent Egyptian journey. In contrast to the standard academic approach to Egypt, our tour (as do all Quest Travel tours), had a spiritual focus. We came smack up against the unknown, the mysteries and the profound.
One of the reliefs that particularly spoke to me was in the Temple of Queen Nefertari at Abu Simbel. It show Set on the left, who represents the forces of darkness, chaos, disintegration. On the right is the falcon-headed Horus, whose name means 'he who is above.' Horus is a complex deity, at core standing for wholeness and light--the realized divine principle, higher consciousness.
Between the two forces we find a pharaoh -- a human being, with manifold potential. As someone in the middle, between conflicting forces, we can feel caught, trapped. He/we could be pulled apart, split up by the contrast, the juxtaposition. Or he/we could seek to understand, integrate, balance, and even transform the two seemingly oppositional forces.
For me, this relief is a whole cosmology at one glance! As human beings we have the opportunity, the capacity, the challenge, to integrate forces of darkness and light, disintegration and wholeness. Standing in front of this relief, I was deeply touched... by its simplicity, its depth, its message -- to me, to us, to our world -- so fraught with conflict, and so full of potential for integration and wholeness.
There would be countless major examples -- Japan, Libya, politics... Here's a personal one.
Two few weeks I had a bike accident -- the forces of chaos in action! I was cycling unsafely, (way too fast for the wet conditions; long story, no excuse!) It would all have been fine if a fellow had not stepped out from between the cars right in front of me. I slammed on my breaks, fish-tailed wildly, and fell.
I avoided collision, no cars were coming, I was not seriously injured. (Guardian angels? Luck? Forces of light?) My response was to curse and swear, and I did that for some minutes; all the while the person was apologizing profusely. Later I realized this was a perfect example of missed opportunity to transform the forces of chaos, using presence and consciousness. How I would like to have taken a deep breath, owned that I had been going too fast, accepted his apologies, and said how we both were really fortunate, and had lessons to take away from the incident. At least I realized this some moments later, as I was cycling home, slowly and carefully. Better late than never!
Consider the following:
• We embody within us, as human beings, all the laws and principles that operate within the greater cosmos that sustains and embraces us.
• Those bizzare, animal-headed gods were not figment of the primitive imagination, but cosmic principles. (Credit to our magical tour guide, John Anthony West)
What do you think about these ideas? And what, if any, relevance do you see for us today?
What we do know is that the mystery schools of Egypt dealt with the essential considerations about the true nature of humankind and its relationship to the cosmos. More in coming blogs, and about the links to Becoming: Journeying Toward Authenticity -- Maximizing Memorable Moments :-)
May you be enriched by the interplay of the forces of chaos and regeneration; may the image of integrating the Set and the Horus principles in yourself and your world be provocative and fruitful.
Comments and examples welcome!