April, 2006

 

 

Mythic Prelude

The Scarab Appears

 

"Be Worried. Be Very Worried," says last week's Time cover story about the alarming acceleration of global warming, and its now undeniable impact on our planet's natural and human systems. There is good news, and there is tough news, about this article. The good news is that a highly successful media courtesan like Time is summoning the nerve to take a stand that will bring disapproval, even trouble, from the petrofelons, death merchants and their wholly-owned subsidiary politicians who will likely continue to mismanage American government and industry for the next three years, and who insist, in spite of the mounting evidence, that greenhouse gases will do nothing more than wilt a tulip here and there.

The tough news is that once again, it seems, the only way to get the attention of human beings is to try to scare the hell out of them. It may be up to philosophers and psychologists to tell us whether this has always been so, or whether the people of our planet have by now been so ground into passivity by poverty, uncertainty and shock -- much of it precisely orchestrated by forces of control who know nothing creates submission like fear -- that even bombs become routine unless they go off in one's own yard. It has probably always been this way. Plato was not the first to compare the hoi polloi of any country to a flock of sheep. Nor was Gurdjieff the first to notice that human beings are so mechanical that the only way to bring about a change in our behavior is to shock us into the next "octave" of perception and action.

It's an art form, really, which religions have practiced brilliantly for millennia, ever since the hanuti of ancient Egypt -- more about them below -- turned the religion of the Nile from an inclusive spiritual practice to an exclusive business arrangement. Amazing what people will do when they're afraid of going to hell, or even only of losing a favorite TV show. A few years back the televangelist Oral Roberts, having exhausted his bag of funding tricks, told his flock that he wondered if the mere trickle of money that was now keeping his ministry barely alive was a sign that God was about to call him home, since he'd failed in his mission and no one was listening anymore. The scheme worked, of course. Millions of dollars flowed in. Oral is still here, and so, presumably, is the "God" who is no longer content with holding the power of judgment over heaven and hell, but now, like a network CEO, can pull the situation comedy of your life off the air if you don't bring in the commercial minutes.

If only the same scare rhetoric that worked for Oral Roberts could work for planet Earth. It is apparently useless to tell people that sea levels are rising, temperatures are going up and so many species are dying off that in a few years all of us will be living on rafts under big umbrellas -- when it's not hurricane weather, that is -- and the only remaining species with whom we'll share our planet will be ocean cockroaches, sharks and flies. Maybe what is needed is that we tell everybody that unless they start taking better care of their planet, Jennifer Lopez will die. No one, certainly, should suggest really doing such a thing, and for all the honorable spiritual reasons, let alone the practical problems of finding enough uniformed men to fight through her entourage and capture her, when the army is already overstretched in a vicious war of economic opportunity in which thousands of its fine young men and women are cynically slaughtered in the cause of greater profit for American energy firms. The police are overextended too, as they try to handle people who are now in a more frenetic tango between poverty and thievery than many of them have ever seen before, and so many officers are needed for their new routine duties of electronic eavesdropping and obstructing through intimidation the people's right to assemble peaceably for peace, for the fair treatment of immigrant workers, and the right of young people in France to get paid for doing as little as older French people do.

And assemble they will. You can bet the ranch on that, whether you've got a spread and some head of beef or just a side salad. The demonstrations of all temperatures that are shouting in North America, all through the Middle East and France are just the beginning. So is the moribund General Motors company, whose troubles are a kind of overture to the events beginning in August, when we will do one of two things. There will be either a broad and collective human achievement in doing the right thing without having to burn anything down -- or the opportunity to do this will be missed. The chance is open in August.

Whether we use this moment or not, one way or another, whatever happens in August, the months from August 2006 until March 2007 will be a major molting phase in which we see outworn institutions of business, government and religion wither and occasionally collapse. Fear will scream. We shall be compelled to stoke and release more creativity than we have used before, and we will have to invent new gatherings and spiritual ceremonies to align people in the intention of love. We are responsible now for doing this more actively, by being aware of and aligning with auspicious moments like the Planetary Initiation coming on April 11. More on this below.

One of the necessary art projects, as we find powerful, beautiful new symbols for the things that connect us, is to notice again and tap the resonance of images that have been here a very long time, and are appearing again in surprising ways now. Among them are the symbols that will adorn this page over the next few months. All of them are related to the ancient culture that has commonly been misnamed "Egypt," and are integral to the lecture series by Khemitian wisdom keeper Abd'el Hakim Awyan in June - July 2006. And all of these images offer us ways to steer through the tricky currents ahead by remembering the themes and choices that kept the Nile civilization vibrant for thousands of years. They are increasingly immediate to us now as lost wisdoms are rediscovered, and true meanings that have long been hidden are finally seen -- and used.

The term "Khemitian" comes from Khemt, "the Black Land," which was the word that the indigenous people of the Nile used to describe the amazingly fertile topsoil that the river renewed each year in the gift and miracle of the annual Nile flood. Our word alchemy comes in fact from al-Khemt: that is, the Khemitian practice or the Khemitian art of soul transformation.

The word Egypt will not appear in this page again because the Khemitians never used it. The Greeks coined it from the Khemitian words Het + Ka + Ptah, the House of the Spirit of God. The persistent use of this Greek word for the country that its people today call Masri and its ancient people called Khemt is an old habit that reveals an old bias. Long before the new science of "egyptology" was born in the wake of Napoleon's adventure on the Nile, this culture has been viewed through a lens of Eurocentric history and philosophy as a kind of crude predecessor to the Greeks, its people as a race of brilliant but superstitious engineers who somehow pulled off unimaginably grand feats of construction and public works, while bizarrely worshipping beetles, crocodiles, frogs and baboons. The result of this materialistic myopia is what many people experience today when they are "guided" to famous sites along the Nile by alleged experts, even distinguished "egyptologists," who "inform" their listeners that the wall reliefs before their eyes, packed with beautiful symbols of the soul's flight from the limits of matter to the freedom of spirit, "have no meaning."

The ancient Khemitians had no trouble seeing the meaning, and feeling its resonance in their lives. They did not imagine until late in their spiritual history that "God" was some remote, hidden, punitive figure whom they had to placate with offerings and obedience in order to be spared the pain of death and hell. For them, the Universal Soul manifested in the neters (pronounced knitters) -- not "gods" -- who embodied in the falcon's vision, the frog's fecundity, the lioness' protectiveness and other superhuman marvels the Universal Soul force appearing in the myriad forms of nature, our word that came from neter.

The Khemitians felt their home in the Black Land as a lattice of power spots in which the neter energies were especially active and strong. This is why the people of Khemt never called their sacred places "temples." Nor did they use the word "pyramid" -- a Greek word meaning fire beacon -- or believe that the purpose of these impressive structures was merely to house someone's dead body. Rather, they called their sacred places per-neters, or houses of nature, and knew which ones were specifically designed to use technologies of light and sound to amplify the tremendous energy of the Nile's water table to keep the health of the people strong, their frequencies of heart, mind and soul happy and high.

One last new term. The characters from Khemitian writing that appear below were never called "hieroglyphs" -- a Greek word that means sacred writing -- by the African people who invented them. The people of Khemt called their speech and writing suf: the root word of our Sophia, and perhaps also of Sufi, which may have meant words of wisdom long before anyone wondered whether it meant the woolen garments worn by dervishes.

Like some of our planet's other great civilizations, notably the Vedic culture that sees our history in recurring phases called yugas, the Khemitians viewed the long sweep of life on Earth in cycles of emergence and growth, retreat and rebirth spanning tens of thousands of years. They had no word for "death" -- one fact that makes egyptologists' obsession with "tombs" glaringly off the granite -- but saw everything as eternally present and in motion through beautifully interconnected cycles of rebirth and decay. Their conception of the Sun's daily journey through the sky applied as well to the process of growth and decline, light and shadow, appearance and withdrawal, that they saw occurring over many solar years in the life cycles of individuals, empires and the whole Earth realm.

The Khemitians saw the Sun moving daily along the body of Nut, the netert (fem. neter) whose love for Geb, the Earth, brought forth the natural world. The sun rises each dawn from her birth canal in the east, and sets into her mouth, in the west, then travels by night through the underworld, the duat in the body of Nut's dark counterpart, Mut -- source word of mort, meaning death in many European languages.

There are five stages to the Sun's journey by day:

1.) Kheper, symbolized by the scarab, is the first phase of emergence, of coming into being. It is located at the root chakra and vagina of Nut's body. While the kheper at left with
folded wings is the general determinative sign for "becoming" in suf words and writing, the kheper with wings extended, as shown at right, marks the moment at which the Sun flies into freedom at the first light of the new day.
2.) Ra, "the stubborn one," is the impetuous youthful male who is naturally linked with Aries the Ram. He is located just above Nut's birth chakra, at what Asian martial artists call the dan tien, the locus of the body's physical power.

3.) Oon is "the strong one," the Sun at the zenith near Nut's solar plexus. Usually depicted as a seated male neter whose head is surmounted by the Ra disc, he is the Sun in his prime, his energy now reconcentrated from outer desire to universal love.

4.) Aton, "the wiser," is the Sun at maturity in middle to late afternoon as he moves across Nut's thymus, her high heart chakra between the heart and the throat. As this center unites the powers of feeling and of speech, it is naturally connected with expressions of spirit in words and music, such as the ones created by Akhnaton ("shadow of Aton"), the famous master and "pharaoh" -- another Greek word -- whose life marks the Aton phase in the current cycle of our history, the time when our lives were still communal and generous, loving, healthy and free, linked in continual intimacy with the life of nature and the Universal Soul, from which human life had not yet become distant, even separate and therefore fearful. More soon about this radical take on history.
5.) The Sun becomes Amon, "the hidden one" as he enters Nut's mouth and vanishes. He is usually shown with two tall feathers surmounting his crown because unlike other neters who could be seen and heard in the physical bodies of beasts, birds and river life, Amon was said to be near when the wind stirred reeds and feathers, and showed that he was hiding but still present here.

In the Khemitian view of history, the Amon phase, the long exhalation of the country's life, comes when the communal and spiritual vitality of the people is limited by the hanuti. These gatekeepers and authorities now restrict access to the sacred places that people had always visited freely before, and spread the public message that your passage through darkness back into rebirth now no longer hinges on the heart quality of your life, but on the quantity of grain and gold that you give to the priesthood that embalms your body and prepares your map through the dark gates and scary characters who wait with their knives to block and cut you on your way back to birth.

The result of all this fear rhetoric is easy to find in the art relics of the "New Kingdom," when the hanuti finally overcame the Atonites, and scared their customers so completely that we still find, and will no doubt keep finding, mummies whose bandages are stuffed with hundreds of charms and amulets, and who had interred near them a papyrus with so many complicated spells that not even Aldus Dumbledore could remember and use them.

By Hakim's lights, the showdown battle between Atonites and Amonites, and its aftermath -- roughly at the time of the Greek heroic age, from 1550 - 1200 BC -- explains much of what we have found impossible to trace and understand by the usual methods. The people whom history calls the Hebrews were not, Hakim believes, a foreign race who were brought into Khemt as slave labor, and who then made their exodus into the land of Canaan. Like the "Hyksos," another mystery people, they can't be traced to a place of origin outside Khemt because they started as Nile dwellers who were forced into exile when the Amon priesthood won the battle for religious supremacy. This is why Aton in the suf language became Adonai in the Torah, one of thousands of Hebrew words that were born on the Nile. To Khemitian keepers of legend, the tribes of "Israel" were originally 12 of the 42 tribes of Khemt, which never did recover from their departure, and became in the centuries to come a province of Persian, Macedonian, Roman and other empires.

Controversial is not the word for this view of what happened in the "New Kingdom," and how, and with whom. Exploring it further here will take us too far away from our main goal at the moment, which is simply to ask if the position in which our people and our planet find themselves does indeed resemble the darkest moment of the late Amon phase as the people of Khemt would have understood it.

Clearly, it does. Hierarchic and predatory business organizations are disintegrating. Our religions are being challenged as never before to contribute something more to our lives than excuses for not being free, and most of them are not yet proving very inventive. In cultures of paranoia and secrecy that have infected what used to be circles of government, there are countless Hidden Ones who wish they could retire to undisclosed locations and never have to come back out. Amon may still be as invisible as the breeze, but we still see every day an abundance of Amon wannabes who grimace in the light, and long for the shadows.

So if what we're going through now looks very much like an Amon phase, can we expect a new Kheper phase of rebirth? And soon, at least within the next few years?

Yes. This spectacular image, photographed by Lucy Pringle, appeared on Aug. 21, 2005 in East Field, near Alton Priors, Wiltshire. It shows not only the Kheper, but the Scarab in flight, signaling the moment of dawn. The 14 circles at the edges of its wings suggest many meanings -- fourteen Full Moons, from now to August, 2006; fourteen solar cycles, from 2005 to 2019 -- etc. Does this kheper suggest a time interval? If so, when does it climax, and come to its conclusion

In the meantime, until we can see this more clearly, what to do until the Scarab Flies? Make sound, of course, and join your sound with others. The opportunity that comes this month is the Planetary Initiation on April 11. Thousands of people all over the planet will join together to "generate a collective sound emanation of Ah-Om at 12 noon in all time zones. The Process: Breathe and then sound 'Ah-Om,' giving equal time to both parts of the sound. Repeat as necessary for a minimum of 3 minutes."

Let's hear from you. Keep Holding That Frequency.

 

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  © Copyright 2006 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.