Apr 8, 2009

John Anthony West Explains Egypt

Temple of Luxor, Luxor, Egypt

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I first learned of John Anthony West when I read Graham Hancock's Fingerprints of the Gods, many years ago. West's theories on the real age of the Sphinx figure heavily into Hancock's ideas about an antediluvian civilization from which Egypt and Latin America may have inherited much. West originally put forward his ideas about Egypt in Serpent in the Sky; a book designed to introduce the much earlier work of R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz. It is a conception of ancient Egypt very different from the that of most Egyptologists. West has devoted years to exploring a symbolic system he thinks is far deeper and richer than is understood by prevailing interpretations.

West's symbolist interpretation of Egypt is graphically depicted in the television series Magical Egypt. Some industrious soul has uploaded the entire series to YouTube and I've been very much enjoying it. I've broken it down into episode by episode playlists, which are posted on my channel. I cannot recommend these enough, so I'm posting them all.

I should say that West's overall interpretation accords with my own experiential sense of the Egyptian mysteries and the past life memories that I can never seem to escape. One of the most intriguing aspects of the shows is in the introduction. Woven into the opening theme music is something that sounds like a strange, unintelligible whisper. It's a little like the din of conversation one might here at a party, except that it's somehow distorted and diffused; a conversation that you can hear, but can't, even though it's going on right over your head. This is the sound of what I call the "whispering room" of the Egyptian exhibit at the Met. In this room, where a number of the mummies are displayed, this strange, barely audible whisper is ever present. I always find it hard to leave that room to look at the rest of the exhibit. I find it, somehow, comforting. I'm not the only person to have heard it there, and I suspect West has heard it as well; probably in Egypt, itself.

Posted below are all the episodes. DVDs of the entire series are also available for purchase in the bookstore.

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