The more we find out about history the less we actually know…
The Great Sphinx in the Giza plateau, original purpose unknown, original name unknown, actual construction date unknown, and despite all that, one of the largest and oldest statues in the world stands proudly looking at us, impressing us and challenging us to find out more. It is so daunting to look at that I am not surprised the arabs call it “Abū al Hūl”, (father of terror).
No matter how much we know about history, how much information we have gathered, and how certain we are about our theories, the largest part of the puzzle remains unsolved, and yet it begs our investigation.
I went to Egypt looking for adventure. I got far more than what I bargained for…
A group of 25 something friends from all around the globe, all eager to find the truth, we headed into the desert on a moonless night to gaze at the stars and dwell on the mysteries of Egypt. It was magical to say the least, until a few hours later someone looked around and we had a feeling one of our friends was missing. We called her name into the pitch darkness but nothing returned other than the eerie stillness of the desert night. It was the kind of darkness where you could not see your own hand, let alone another person lost in the sand. We desperately came up with a plan to separate into groups of 2 and walk around looking and feeling for our friend. We spent about an hour of very high emotional distress and thoughts going all over the place and expectations of the worst possible. We were each running the risk of getting lost ourselves, if not for a far away light that we left as a marker and a place to meet at the end of our search. Our local friend and guide who was with us walked finally to the nearest road and managed to call the hotel in Cairo only to discover that our friend was showered and in bed after having been lost, finding the road and hitchhiking to the hotel while we were busy searching for her.
That night, people of different religions, backgrounds, nationalities and ages worked together while faced with a crisis, an Arab with a German, a christian with a jew, a European with an American, all towards one purpose, the safety of another human being. Amazing how a real life situation can cause all the ‘stuff’ that does not belong to being human, to be shed away, dropped for the sake of our shared humanity. A great lesson was learned by all that night, as the deserts of the planet can do that to us.
The journey to Egypt was more a journey of feelings, sensing and of connection than that of collecting brain information. There were places and things in Egypt that let me ‘feel’ so much more than others. One of these beacons was the tomb of Tutankhamun.
The son of Akhenaten, king at age 9, reformer of religion from god Aten to god Amun, youngest Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt, the young boy king was to die at age 18. There has been so much written and said about this enigmatic king and so much of it fails to meet logic.
One thing that was for me undeniable standing in the tomb where Tutankhamun’s mummy was found, despite it being a much simpler tomb than that of other kings, a soft and gentle cloud wrapped itself around the place and a great quiet, a stillness that I feel even now as I write this. The mummy was housed in 7 levels of gold and wood and it was discovered in 1922 in the Valley of the Kings by Howard Carter.
There is something so entirely remarkable about the statues and the art you see from ancient Egypt. Putting aside any feelings of eeriness and discomfort, the art feels somehow, yes, alive. It radiates, it vibrates, it holds your gaze, it stirs deeply…
And after doing all of that, it makes you think, question, dwell and contemplate. Someone once put out the rather obvious but profound observation that can be easily missed: “Why are teeth never shown in ancien Egypt? What is that all about?”
The seated statues of Nofret (Nefret) and Ra-Hotep (noble prince and Pharaoh’s son and princess) from the 4th Dynasty of Egypt were photographed in the Cairo museum, they stand about 1.2 meters high and are remarkably well preserved. The light on Nefret’s face is from a passing by guide’s flashlight.
Ancient Egypt has the power to hold your attention and point towards the laws of nature, the place where that power arose in the first place…
To an inhabitant of the Earth, what is more powerful than the sun? The constant giver fo life, the provider of warmth and light, the great father. How much value can one give to a power as significant as the sun?
The sun and its symbolism played a very significant part in the religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians and it is evident in the symbology, their art and their legends, like that of the God Ra.
Hathor goddess of love, beauty, music, motherhood and joy
Ka (ancient wooden statue with out-stretched set of arms above the head at the Cairo museum)
While searching and researching inside the realms of Ancient Egypt, the unseen comes into focus as the seen gradually gets blurred…
The ancient Egyptians believed that each person hosted in themselves a double, an electrical entity that ushered and guided them towards their true destiny. They called it the Ka. Their Ka was to live beyond the death of their physical bodies and mummifications served as preparations for homes that the Ka would one day return to inhabit.
Their lives were lived in great discipline as to remain pure and adhere to purpose because any deviation from purpose was an abomination of the Ka.
What was most haunting for me standing in front of this statue was the look in its eyes. It was the kind of look that can take you on a journey, far beyond where you would normally be.