Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer

Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer

by Lloyd M. Dickie, Paul R. Boudreau

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620553947
Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date: 04/26/2015
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 828,845
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Lloyd M. Dickie, Ph.D., has a master’s degree from Yale University and a doctorate from the University of Toronto. A retired ecologist and former professor of oceanography and biology at Dalhousie University, he has studied ancient Egypt for more than 30 years, including many active site explorations. Paul R. Boudreau is an ecologist and biologist who studies ancient myths and sites, including onsite explorations of Egyptian temples, tombs, and pyramids. Both authors live in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. ⁞

Read an Excerpt

Three
A Dialogue of the Ages

The idea of an arising of Self within us is as old as the stories of the gods themselves. That the concept should appear new in our time is a sobering reminder of how limited our culture is to the difficult questions of reality. We seem confined to differentiating between “reality” and “illusion.” Behind our perceptions of that special part of our natures that might be considered “spiritual,” there is an unrecognized fear of the illusory. The solid ground of reality is clearly not easy to discover, and our desire for a better understanding of reality is one of the reasons for studying ancient myths.

One of the oldest of the Hebrew myths is the story of Adam and Eve, which relates the story of the creation of humankind. By paying special attention to some of alternative translations, we may be able to discern what constitutes illusion and what is true knowledge.

From the Upanishads of India to the dialogues of Plato, an important literary vehicle has been the presentation of ideas in the form of conversations between a pupil and teacher. We therefore propose to listen in on a conversation between two friends—Aquarius and Pisces.

A Conversation between Friends

Aquarius crossed the star garden and seated himself near his friend Pisces. A few moments passed before the younger man broke the silence.

“I have looked at the Hebrew stories of which you spoke, and I have many questions,” he said. “I understand that the God who created humankind must introduce his creation, Adam, to the idea of the Laws of the Universe. But what is this figure the story calls the snake? I don’t understand it or why it speaks to Eve rather than Adam. How in this incident is Adam related to her actions?”

“We could learn much about this from the ancient texts,” replied Pisces, “but problems may arise when we are unable to gain access to the original languages. Take, for example, the third book of Moses, with its story of ‘The Fall’ or what is sometimes called ‘The Temptation in the Garden.’ We must respect the understanding of the early translators, but important meanings may have been lost. To understand what has been said, we need to look at the original texts.

“You referred earlier to the three principles in the story: Adam, Eve, and the Snake. In this case we have access to the original three-glyph names used in the Hebrew text, which we can transliterate as Adam, Ashah, and Nahash. In Hebrew the names are spelled as:

Adam: Aleph—Dalet—Mem
Ashah: Aleph—Shin—Heh
Nahash: Nun—Het—Shin

Each of the individual glyphs stands for concepts or qualities. But even without knowing this we can see that Adam and Ashah share the ‘Aleph’ quality, and Ashah and Nahash share the ‘Shin’ quality. Each of these qualities is combined with other glyphs that help to give the words their whole meaning.

“Initially we can try to find a more comprehensive meaning by looking at the combinations of inner concepts suggested by the glyphs.

Aleph—Dalet—Mem suggest: Universality—Divisibility—Passive movement
Aleph—Shin—Heh suggest: Universality—Active movement—Being
Nun—Het—Shin suggest: Individuality—Relative existence—Active movement

“At best these ‘meanings’ are only approximate abbreviations for the concepts represented by the glyphs. But it is a place to start the search.”

“It appears strange to me,” said Aquarius, “that by the glyphs Adam is associated with passive movement, while Ashah is active movement. If Adam is a man and Ashah is a woman, are their traditional roles deliberately reversed in this story?”

“No one translation conveys the full sense of the original,” replied Pisces. “In an earlier chapter of these books of Moses it was shown that because Adam, the Universal Man, was created in the image of God, he has within him both active and passive principles. However, in tracing the evolution of Adam from when he was first created, the Universal, to the Collective ‘man’ found in the next chapter of Genesis, the translations have emphasized the literal aspect that encourages us to see them as physical images of a man and a woman.

“We have to be careful not to let the more recent translators’emphasis on the literal cloud a wider perception. For example, once they were committed to Adam and Eve as man and woman, there was no room left to recognize the aspect given in the original of Adam called Aish (Aleph—Yod—Shin). It is a Hebrew word that also means ‘man.’ Failure to distinguish Aish from Adam causes many problems. For example, in the creation of Ashah the story uses one aspect of the whole Adam, an aspect called Tsalla (Tsade—Lammed—Ayin). The translators called this the ‘rib.’ However, when the ‘Tsal’ concept was introduced much earlier in the story, it actually represents a particular relationship between God and man. It is reminiscent of what the Egyptians called the image, or sekhem, and later psychology calls ‘the shadow.’ By not recognizing this relationship translators missed some of the special qualities of Tsalla. The translation then failed to allow recognition of the properties of Aish that are, in fact, prime attributes of collective humanity, perhaps essential to the wish for action that characterizes this less general level of being.

“A recognition of Aish and his qualities of potential for manifestation represented in Yod, as well as active movement in Shinassists us in understanding the relation between Aish and Ashah in the story of the tasting of the apple. Adam, Aish, and Ashah are three interrelated principles that are important at different levels of being and are not confined to the qualities of the masculine and feminine. Overemphasis on these latter qualities limits the usefulness of the story as a guide to the search for a deeper understanding.”

Table of Contents

Introduction
The Origin of Our Questions

One
Life and Meaning in Myth


Unearthing the Evidence and Methodology of the Initial Study

Two
Myths of Creation and the Awakening of Higher Consciousness

The Origin and Evolution of the Sumerian Creation Myths

The Beginning in Sumerian Creation Myths

The Egyptian Creation Equivalents

Comparisons between Egyptian and Sumerian Creation Myths

The Sumerian Creation of Men and Women

The Egyptian Creation of Men and Women

Summary

Three
A Dialogue of the Ages


A Conversation between Friends

Final Comments

Four
Gilgamesh: The Struggle for Life


The Meeting of Gilgamesh and Enkidu and the

Two-sided Nature of Being

The Character of Enkidu

The Foundation of Personality in Gilgamesh and Enkidu

The Partnership Continues

Further Illusions in the Land of the Living

Difficulties of Matching Aspirations with Abilities

The Power of Discrimination: The Story of the Flood

An Important Aspect of the Love of the Self

Five
Ancient Egyptian Myths of the
Awakening of Higher Consciousness

Our Basis for Understanding the Osiris Myth

Myths of the Mystery of Existence in Ancient Egypt

Symbols of Family Relationships

The Myth of Osiris and Isis

The Roles of Osiris and Isis

Osiris in Relation to the Egyptian Experience

A Bald Generalization about the Egyptian Myths of the Mystery of Existence

Six
Journeys through the Netherworld


Ancient Egyptian Literature and Traditions Regarding Consciousness

Creation Symbols That Accompany the Creation of Atum

The Duat

Reflections on the Nature and Effects of Entropy

The Challenges of the Duat

Concepts of the Netherworld in Sumerian Mythology

Evaluating the Differences between the Sumerian and Egyptian Netherworld

Egyptian Symbolism of Time

Summary

Seven
The Search for Wholeness and Higher Consciousness


Two Principles of Creation: Heka and Maat

A Case for the Importance of Heka

Characteristics of Heka Relating to the Awakening of Higher Consciousness

Magic in the Pyramid Texts

The Need for Attention and the Role of Magic

The Relationship between Heka and Maat

The Need to Awaken to the Larger View of Reality

Final Comments

Appendix 1
The Lineage of Myth


The Egyptian Lineage

The Sumerian Lineage

The Potential for Shared Influences

Making Use of the Ancient in Modern Times

Appendix 2
Meanings Contained in Glyphs


Appendix 3
Creation Represented in Number Systems

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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