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Serpent in the Sky

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The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt 

by John Anthony West 

226 pp, Theosophical Publishing House, 1993, ISBN 0-8356-0691-0 

IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, this is probably, by far, the best text now available that makes the heart and soul of the advanced civilization of ancient Egypt accessible to contemporary readers. It is not for the timid, nor for the person who is swayed by academic dogma. John West is not cowed by the Egyptological academic camp, and shows, passionately and eruditely why they are so misguided in their assessments of what ancient Egypt was truly about. If you want the safe, boring, and quite inaccurate stuff, look elsewhere. West helps the reader into a true glimpse of Egyptian consciousness by showing the symbolic triple-level workings of hieroglyphics, and in the describing of the otherworldly aspects of the ancient monuments. His Sphinx update proves (with the backing of geologists) that the Sphinx must have been constructed before 10,000 BC, which date flies right in the face of conventional Egyptology, and indeed, in the face of our 20th Century science and knowledge base.

John Anthony West carries the flag for his mentor, R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, with power, conviction, logic and scholarship. He is one of the few researchers working in this field who is open-hearted and right-brained enough to open windows on the soul of this quite extraordinary civilisation, one that shows our present Western culture as the spent, brutal and impoverished anachronism that it is. This book is not to be missed. In fact, it is absolutely mandatory to read Serpent in the Sky before even attempting Schwaller de Lubicz’s monumental opus, The Temple of Man, (Le Temple de l’homme) which has only recently (1998) been translated from French to English. One could even describe Serpent in the Sky as an introductory preface to the de Lubicz book. [Aurick]

Chapter Titles 
Pythagoras Rides Again 
Serpent in the Sky 
Science and Art in Ancient Egypt 
Myth, Symbolism, Language, Literature 
The Temple of Man 
Egypt: Heir to Atlantis 
Appendix I: The Gauri/Lehner Survey 
Appendix II: The Sphinx Update 

Selected quotes: 

Serpent in the Sky presents a revolutionary, exhaustively documented re-interpretation of the civilization of ancient Egypt; it is a study of the life work of the philosopher, Orientalist and mathematician, the late R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz. After two decades of study, mainly on site at the Temple of Luxor, Schwaller de Lubicz was able to prove that all that is accepted as dogma concerning Egypt (and ancient civilization in general) is wrong, or hopelessly inadequate; his work overthrows or undermines virtually every currently-cherished belief regarding man’s history, and the ‘evolution’ of civilization. 

Egyptian science, medicine, mathematics and astronomy were all of an exponentially higher order of refinement and sophistication than modern scholars will acknowledge. The whole of Egyptian civilization was based upon a complete and precise understanding of universal laws. And this profound understanding manifested itself in a consistent, coherent and inter-related system that fused science, art and religion into a single organic Unity. In other words, it was exactly the opposite of what we find in our modern world today. 

Moreover, every aspect of Egyptian knowledge seems to have been complete at the very beginning. The sciences, artistic and architectural techniques and the hieroglyphic system show virtually no signs of a period of ‘development’; indeed, many of the achievements of the earliest dynasties were never surpassed, or even equalled later on. This astonishing fact is readily admitted by orthodox Egyptologists, but the magnitude of the mystery it poses is skillfully understated, while its many implications go unmentioned. 

How does a complex civilization spring full-blown into being? Look at a 1905 motor car and compare it to a modern one. There is no mistaking the process of ‘development’. But in Egypt there are no parallels. Everything is there, fully formed, right at the start. 

The answer to the mystery is of course obvious, but because it is so repellent to the prevailing cast of modern thinking, it is seldom seriously considered. Egyptian civilisation was not a ‘development’, it was a legacy. 

Following an observation made by Schwaller de Lubicz, it is now possible to prove the existence of another, and very probably greater civilization ante-dating dynastic Egypt – and all other known civilizations – by millennia. In other words, it is now possible to prove ‘Atlantis’, and simultaneously, the historical reality of the Biblical Flood.* There are quotation marks around ‘Atlantis’ since it is not the physical location that is at issue here, but rather the existence of a civilization sufficiently sophisticated and sufficiently ancient to give rise to the legend. And it should be understood that for the name ‘Atlantis’ to be so imbedded in the human psyche there has to be a great deal more to the myth.

Proof of the existence of ‘Atlantis’ rests upon a simple geological foundation. 
Questions of chronology and cause remain unanswered. And it is still impossible to say how the wisdom of ‘Atlantis’ was preserved and handed down, or by whom. But its existence is now as difficult to deny as the completeness and coherence of Egyptian knowledge at its inception. Therefore, it is probably safe to say that in providing this first true picture of ancient Egypt, Schwaller de Lubicz has also provided the key to the study of the wisdom of the earlier ‘Atlantis’.

My aim is to call attention to Schwaller de Lubicz’s vast and neglected work; to arouse sufficient interest in it to inspire its publication in English and its dissemination among those capable of recognising its real significance and of devoting the time and effort necessary to study it in its original form. To appreciate this radical work, it is essential to understand both the manner in which orthodox Egyptology has been developed and the reasons for its continued prevalence.

Egyptology, along with all modern disciplines devoted to past or alien cultures (anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, sociology, paleontology, etc.), is based upon certain assumptions considered so self-evident they are never stated explicitly, never questioned. Generally speaking, ‘authorities’ within these fields are unaware that their disciplines are based upon these assumptions: 

1 That man has ‘progressed’. That there has been an ‘evolution’ in human affairs. 

2 That civilisation implies progress and that the height of civilisation is in direct proportion to the
rate of progress. 

3 That progress, hence civilisation, began with the Greeks, who gave us speculative philosophy 
and rational science. 

4 That science and science-based disciplines are the only valid instruments for arriving at ‘objective truth’. 

5 That without rational science and speculative philosophy there is no real civilisation. 

6 That there is nothing the ancients knew that we do not know, or understand better. 

These assumptions have been accepted by almost every scientist and scholar for the last two hundred years. They percolate into every aspect of education. No reader of this review will have been taught otherwise at school or university. Yet each of these assumptions is false, or represents a half-truth more insidious than outright falsehood. To demonstrate this according to prevailing academic ground rules is simple enough but time consuming, and would take us too far from Egypt. (The reader interested in pursuing the subject is referred to the Bibliography.) 

The world is what it is because of progress, not in spite of it. Progress is neither a corollary of civilisation nor vice versa. ‘Civilisation’, like ‘love’ or ‘freedom’, is a word that means something different to everyone. By ‘civilisation’ I mean a society organised upon the conviction that mankind is on earth for a purpose. In a civilisation men are concerned with the quality of the inner life rather than with the conditions of day-to-day existence. Though there is no commanding logical or rational reason why ‘concern with quality’ should depend upon ‘sense of purpose’, human nature is such that without the sense of purpose, it is in practice impossible to maintain that essential unwavering concern – a concern which involves the personal determination to master greed, ambition, envy, jealousy, avarice and so on, all, those aspects of ourselves that make the world what it is. History is there to bear grim witness: even with the sense of purpose man usually fails; without it there is no compelling reason why he should even try. In a true civilisation, men try and succeed. 

‘Progress’ is a parody of civilisation, understood in this sense.

Knowledge is a parody of understanding.

Information is a parody of knowledge.

We live in a so-called age of information, and if we swallow whole the bait of modern education, the thought, art and literature of truly civilised men is, to us, incomprehensible. Egypt was a civilisation, and the academic Egyptologist stands helpless in the face of its accomplishment. 

It is for this reason that, in all our schools, we are presented with an obvious paradox. We are taught that the ancient Egyptians were a people capable of producing artistic and architectural masterpieces unequalled in recorded history, yet that at the same time they were priest-bound necrophiles, an intellectually infantile race obsessed with purely materialistic concerns for a mythical hereafter; a people slavishly worshipping a grotesque pantheon of animal-headed gods; a people devoid of real mathematics, science, astronomy or medicine, and devoid of any desire to acquire such knowledge; a people so conservative, so opposed to change, that their artistic, political, social and religious institutions remained rigid for four millennia. 

So why does the academic Egyptologist cheerfully devote a lifetime to working out the details of Tutankhamen’s laundry list and other trivia? Why indeed, when there are such spiritual and intellectual riches to be gained by opening oneself up to the reality of this great culture?

Actually, what we are witnessing, not only in Egyptology, but in other fields as well, is the senescence and demise of an academic approach based upon faulty premises but at the same time responsible for the development of powerful, if limited, investigative methods. As this approach expends itself in discussions over how many asps killed Cleopatra, a new generation of scholars, free from the prejudices but armed with the methods, begins the process of revitalisation. Schwaller de Lubicz may be regarded as one of the great links between old and new, making meticulous use of the methods and data of his predecessors in order to present a synthesis so new, daring and comprehensive that the youngest of the new school have not yet caught up to him.

* There can now be no logical refuting of the actuality of the Flood; it is stressed in the mythology of every world-wide culture, something like over 300 accounts in the ancient annals of every European, Asiatic, Australasian, Pacific, Oriental, and Mesamerican civilisation from the oldest records onwards.

Written by aurick

16/03/2009 at 4:03 pm

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