Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Egyptian Enneagram, part 2

 The ancient Egyptians constructed their society, as I mentioned earlier, so that the geographical conditions reflected the division between the upper and the lower worlds. Their necropolis and all of their great temples in Luxor are in the northern part of the Nile, up the river, that is, in an "higher" place than the lower kingdom.

In the Memphite theology,  Geb is cited as the lord of the Gods. This takes on significance when we realize that Geb is the Lord of snakes, that is, the serpentine energy which rules the exchanges between chakras in the yogic systems. In the Memphite theology, Geb sorts out the conflicts between Horus and Seth so that unity is achieved. We can presume that the reason Horus is given ultimate authority over this unity within the context of the myth is that this unity takes place on this level, that is, on earth. Ultimately, the idea is that a higher energy descends to bring unity.

The symbol of the cobra on the forehead of Horus (above) and, indeed, the kings of Egypt, is it indication once again of what is called "kundalini" or yogic energy and its higher influence. The Egyptians specifically chose to depict it on the forehead, where Swedenborg said that the divine influence of God enters man. The location is not coincidental, as any student of yoga with experience in these matters can tell you.

 One of the more interesting features of the Memphite theology is the creation myth of Ptah. Ptah creates the world using language, and his heart:

"Heart took shape in the form of Atum, tongue took shape in the form of Atum. It is Ptah, the very great, who has given life to all the gods and their kas through this heart and through this tongue, from which Horus had come forth as Ptah, from which Thoth had come forth as Ptah."

 This is consonant with the Judeo-Christian creation myth, in which God created the universe with the word. And, as we shall see, the universe is indeed a form of language in its own right. (upcoming posts on the Language of the Lord, July 5-9.)

Perhaps most importantly, we see that the universe was created not just through the Tongue of Ptah- which occupies the note la, the note of purification — but also through the heart of Ptah, which occupies the note sol, Being.

In this sense we discover a universe whose very foundation and purpose, according to the interpretation provided by the enneagram, is the purification of Being, which ultimately rules over all activity:

 "Thus heart and tongue rule over all the limbs in accordance with the teaching that it (the heart, or: he, Ptah) is in every body and it (the tongue or: he, Ptah) is in every mouth of all gods, all men, all cattle, all creeping things, whatever lives, thinking whatever it (or: he) wishes and commanding whatever it (or: he) wishes."

Gurdjieff offers us a nearly identical universe in Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson — a universal tale in inexorable rotation around the central axis, or center of gravity, of the chapter The Holy Planet Purgatory.

In the Memphite theology, the ubiquity of the word of God, or, Ptah, is reminiscent of the Buddhist concept of the Dharma, another yogic concept referring to the absolute unity of all things—which is the ultimate theme in the Memphite theology.

 Even more important, this ancient teaching refers to an essential teaching that is still, in modern times, worth making efforts to fathom:

"Sight, hearing, breathing — they report to the heart, and it makes every understanding come forth. As to the tongue, it repeats what the heart has devised."

 The passage anticipates Sufism and Swedenborg: Divine Love lies at the heart of the universe. There is no I, there is only truth; the way to the truth is through the heart.

 Despite the damaged condition of the Shabaka Stone, missing terms and verbiage, and the inevitable confusion that arose as its layers of idiosyncratic mythology were applied to high esoteric teachings, the message is still present after all these centuries — millennia, really — and it has remained the same throughout time, for all mankind.

May your soul be filled with light.

1 comment:

  1. Lee, your latest posts have shown a new depth and range of understanding the many different spiritual disciplines collate. That was a very great aim of my own, and to see you embarked on this is marvelous in my sight, I can "taste" your understandings and marvel at what you have accomplished with your intense super-effort regarding the Enneagram, and not to give you a swelled head but I think you know I can be blunt to the point of injury. Although One mustn't hide one's light under a bucket, but on a hill where all can benefit from it's light, but not a rotating laser powerful enough to cut through steel.

    You have kept a level head and it is paying off, you have several books worth of new insights into many things with great specificity. I love watching you make this journey. And if I comment in an untoward manner, feel free to delete any comment I may make that seems unproductive.

    Occasionally a little corn pressing is helpful, but I realize that I have yet to sand down my fingertips enough to crack the safe of myself.

    I ask your forgiveness, but have ceased from expecting it. -- Always yours in the Work,

    --Richard

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