A New Story for a New Time
Warm greetings from us here on Hawai'i Island. I have just returned from teaching in New York, so the word 'warm' has special meaning.
I am often asked by members of the public at conferences and workshops, and even occasionally by my less timid (or should I say more courageous) academic colleagues, how I, with my training, my anthropological fieldwork, and my advanced degrees from prestigious universities (the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Colorado at Boulder) could abandon my scientific objectivity and "wallow" in superstitious non-science or nonsense.
I think about this a lot in the middle of the night when sleep is elusive and the presence of 'transpersonal others' can be keenly felt.
The Case of Egypt
As many of you know, Jill and I have recently returned from Egypt where we accompanied a travel group of 32 pilgrims through two weeks of spiritual and archeological exploration. Most of these worthies had passed through our shamanic training workshops across the years and so they were seasoned visionaries. They were ready to be there...
The trip itself was extraordinary in every way, partially because of the flawless flow of the travel experience itself -- fabulous meals, wonderful 5 star hotels, easy airport transfers, a Nile River cruise, explorations of 13+ ancient sites, the whole tapestry woven and supported by our Egyptian hosts with Guardian Travel...
The success of this safari was also due to what the ancient Egyptians put into place so long ago to receive us. I say this with deliberation for they constructed those great temples and religious centers to last forever -- to be available to each new generation of spiritual seekers in order to bring them into closer connection with the Great Mystery.
Ancient High Science
When you are standing on those ancient sites, dedicated to this god or goddess by that king or queen, there is no doubt that these mysterious Egyptian people of the past possessed a high science that allowed them to build their great temples using their knowledge of mathematics and engineering as well as sacred geometry, the golden mean, and the concept of pi, all supposedly invented by the Greeks two thousand years later. Hmmm...
It is one thing to look at finely crafted photographs of these colossal Egyptian sites in photography books. It is something quite different to actually stand in the shadows among the massive stone columns, smelling the desert in your nostrils and feeling cool breezes from the Nile on your skin while you stare at the gods themselves, represented as huge sculptures or rendered in bas relief on the towering temple walls along with their myths and their stories, as well as the testimonials of mystics who lived four thousand years ago, written in exquisitely carved hieroglyphs for those who can read them.
This high science, for that is what it was, allowed these worthies to connect with the archetypal forces and draw them into relationship, enabling them to do various things, first on behalf of themselves and their religious orders, including their kings and their ruling families, as well as on behalf of their communities and the public at large.
The Real Archetypes
Now in discussing these forces, I am not talking about the mythic creator deities of the polytheistic and monotheistic traditions of the world's diverse cultures that were invented by their priesthoods to appeal to (and control) the common peoples of their societies.
I'm talking about what we could call the "higher organizing intelligences" that exist in the transpersonal realms above (or beyond) what we as embodied immortals may conceive in our cultural belief systems about 'God' or 'the Gods' or 'the Angels.'
And I deliberately put that word 'higher' in quotes because like it or not, they appear to be organized into a hierarchy that is determined by their own level of evolutionary development in the spiritual schema of the Great Mystery.
The great temples of Egypt were built to honor these forces as well as to honor the kings or queens who built them. But the great secret that can only be learned from direct revelation is that they were also built to actually house these higher archetypes, so that when we as embodied immortals stand inside the great courtyards surrounded by those immense monolithic pillars and temple walls, or when we stand in the presence of the ancient red granite altar in the inner sanctum of the "holy-of-holies", we are actually in the presence of these forces themselves.
In those moments, we are actually inside 'them' for they are there, all around us, and they may come into relationship with those visionaries who can sense them and who are ready...
This is why this trip to Egypt was so amazing. Jill and I watched intrigued as our tour participants responded to these sites and were drawn into connection with these 'organizing intelligences' allowing us all to experience directly the transpersonal worlds described within the myths and sacred texts.
Formed of 'subtle fire' (energy), my own experience of these compassionate forces has revealed that they are vastly intelligent. 'They' have been through all that we are going through and they have evolved beyond being embodied on the physical plane of existence. Accordingly, many of them are in service to us and are poised to help us in various ways.
In Egypt, we all learned that the spirit worlds are not in some far away remote location. They, and the beings that reside within them, are right here, all around us, all the time. The trick lies in learning how to perceive them and enter into a relationship with them...this has been the subject of our teachings for over two decades. As more and more of us embark on the path of the mystic (that of direct connection), we accelerate not only the development of our own consciousness but also the consciousness of all humanity, thus being of great service to the whole.