Monday, May 11, 2020

Thoth's Prophecy for our Times

We live at a crossroads today. There is no doubt about it. We all feel it. We all know it. But it is not the first time that humankind has stood at such a crossroad. The situation we face today has been anticipated and written about in many ancient traditions. Among those writings are the Hermetic texts of Greece and Egypt, written in the second century or earlier by the teacher Hermes Trismegistus, who was the Greek version of the ancient Egyptian god Thoth. In the Hermetica are many dialogues between Thoth/Hermes and many pupils of his. In one dialogue with Asclepius, a certain lament is presented. It is a prophecy in which Egypt seems to serve as a metaphor for the entire world. It is a prophecy that very much speaks to the world we live in today.

Speaking to Asclepius, to paraphrase Thoth, the dialogue goes something like this: Do you know, Asclepius, that Egypt (the world) is an image of heaven? Or more precisely, all the operations and powers that rule and work in heaven are present on the earth below. Yet, since it is fitting that wise men should have knowledge of all events before they come to pass, you must not be left in ignorance of what I now must tell you.

There will come a time when it will have been in vain that the Egyptians have honored the godhead with heartfelt piety and service. And all our holy worship will be fruitless and ineffectual. The gods will return from earth to heaven. Egypt will be forsaken. And the land that once was the home of religion will be left desolate, bereft of the presence of its deities.

Oh Egypt, Egypt, of thy religion, nothing will remain but an empty tale which thine own children in a times to come will not believe. Nothing will be left but graven words. Only the stones will tell of thy piety.

In that day, men will be weary of life. They will cease to think the universe worthy of wonder and worship. They will no longer love this world around us – this incomparable work of God – this glorious structure which He has built – this sum of good made up of many diverse forms – this instrument whereby the will of God operates in that which He has made, ungrudgingly, favoring man's welfare – this combination and accumulation of all of the manifold things that call forth the veneration, praise, and love of the beholder. Darkness will be preferred to light. And death will be thought more profitable than life. No one will raise his eyes to heaven. The pious will be deemed insane, the impious wise. The madman will be thought a brave man, and the wicked will be esteemed as good.

As for the soul and the belief that it is immortal by nature or may hope to attain to immortality, all this they will mock, and even persuade themselves that it is false. No word of reverence or piety, no utterance worthy of heaven will be heard or believed. And so the gods will depart from mankind, and only evil angels will remain to mingle with men and drive the poor wretches into all manner of reckless crime – into wars and robbery, and frauds, and all things hostile to the nature of the soul.


Then will the earth tremble, and the sea bear no ships. Heaven will not support the stars in their orbits. All voices of the gods will be forced into silence. The fruits of the earth will rot. The soil will turn barren. And the very air will sicken with stagnation. All things will be disordered and awry. All good will disappear.

But when all of this has befallen, Asclepius, then God the Creator of all things will look upon that which has come to pass and will stop the disorder of the counterforce of this world. He will call back to the right path those who have gone astray. He will cleanse the world of evil, washing it away with floods, burning it out with the fiercest fires, expelling it from wars and pestilence. And thus He will bring back his world to its former aspect so that the cosmos once more shall be deemed worthy of worship and reverence. And God the maker and maintainer of the mighty fabric will be adored by the men of that day with continuous songs of praise and blessing. Such is the new birth of the cosmos. It is a making again of all things good – the holy and all-inspiring restoration of all nature and it is wrought inside the process of time by the eternal will of the Creator.

The world seems on the brink – of something. We do not know! No one knows whether some terrible global catastrophe awaits us or not. I certainly hope not. I hope it will not come down to a world of misery, suffering, and horror. There is already enough of that. We must never lose sight of the fact that there is not a tale of destruction from antiquity that does not implicate humanity somewhere in the story. Our own behavior and what we do is part of what we are bringing down on the world right now. What we are manifesting in the world is what is coming toward us. We are the authors of this thing, but we can change the story if we choose to do so. I firmly believe that.

Are we looking at a story of the world we live in with this tale from Hermes? Have we forgotten who we really are and lost our connection to a better way of being? If we have forgotten the mystery of who we really are, does this explain why we are so lost, so troubled today – haunted by the sense of something missing that we need to know about ourselves.

For the ancient Egyptians the essential mystery of human existence concerned our spiritual essence. They believed we are participating in this theater of experience that we call life in the world in an immense endeavor aimed at the perfection of the soul. If we think about what is the overriding problem, we must conclude that somewhere along the way we have severed our connection with spirit. And if we are ever going to move forward and progress along a continued successful path of evolution we are going to have to restore that connection.

There is no other way to get there from here. This may be the most fundamental task that all of us now face - not these exterior trappings of power that have brought such horror and misery to the world. This is the crossroad whereupon we stand.

None of us can make changes on the macro level. But we can make changes on the micro level – in our own lives and in our immediate surroundings – changes for the better – changes driven by love. The idea of global destruction is overwhelming and unbearable. Not a one of us can stop that, however. But each of us can stop doing whatever it is that we may contribute to it. If we all do what we can, or at least enough of us do, then I believe a huge change in consciousness can yet occur, and we can look forward to a wonderful future where things are better. We can bring this bright, beautiful jewel garden of a planet back to the way it was meant to be.

Every soul is like a raindrop that falls from the sky
 into one vast ocean of consciousness.
Most raindrops hit the surface 
and make a small ripple that fades away...
but some ripples become waves.
Adapted from the Hermetica and the work of Graham Hancock

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