Among the myriad after-thoughts in my mind after spending two weeks in Egypt are these that each deserve attention: Cruising the Nile, the food and eating, markets and bargaining, ancient pyramids, tombs and temples; hieroglyphics, highway travel, hotels, the weather, our tour group (A.R.E.) and its security. Here is a beginning account.
I must start with our travel group, the Edgar Cayce Foundation (A.R.E), located in Virginia Beach. I learned about Cayce in the 70’s and now know him as the most documented psychic of the 20th century. Traveling under their care and with others who share this common foundation affected our experiences tremendously and consistently. Perhaps later I’ll share notes on particular individuals with whom I connected. Later . . .
The hotels were all five-star, the days were packed with carefully selected excursions. If I had any ‘complaint,’ it was that there was too much packed in! However, what would I have chosen to eliminate? — not one thing. I had moments when I wanted simply an afternoon at one of the gorgeous swimming pools, but, give up seeing a special tomb, pyramid, sarcophagus, or ancient hieroglyphics, no way!
Our guides included A.R.E. experts, John Van Auken and Don Carroll, plus Egyptians with long connections to A.R.E, Mohammed and Ahab. Our first evening in Cairo, we had dinner on the rooftop of Mohammed’s guest house, directly across from the Sphinx! The hotel where we stayed in Cairo was a half mile from the pyramids. We breakfasted sumptuously in a garden with these pyramids as background. It didn’t feel real.
Our second day was the most magical, left me feeling that I could return home then and be fully satisfied. In the morning, our buses took us the half mile to the Giza Plateau, where we walked around the pyramids, visited the Isis temple, took a group photo in front of the Sphinx, all among crowds, all of us walking on uneven ground, with persistent reminders to hydrate from our guides and unending attempts from vendors to buy their books, scarfs, statues, stones, and more. The desert dryness and the 80 degree temperatures were constant; I’ve never drunk so much water as I did there!
We returned to our hotel, the Mina House, for the most extravagant buffet I’d ever enjoyed. We’d been warned to avoid uncooked vegetables, easy to do with so many other options. Similar meals became the norm for this trip. One of the challenges was facing the dessert options, too many to taste them all!
The best was ahead of us. We gathered at 7 pm to board the buses again, this time for a police escort back to the great pyramid, whose entry street was closed to the public after dark. A.R.E had arranged for us to have private time inside that pyramid, for chanting and meditation. We climbed the steps outside to the entrance, then proceeded to crawl through the dimly lit, four-foot high, narrow corridor leading to the central chamber. Once in that chamber, we could stand, then either lie down or sit, leaning against the walls. We listened to John describe some of the history of these 4000 year-old structures, build with geometric precision that we cannot duplicate today. We chanted, then meditated, before reversing our entry as we crawled out through the corridor again. As we left the darkness of the interior, we emerged from the great pyramid under a full moon with the planet Jupiter seemingly next to it.
Whoa! Wow! No words can convey this experience. So, let me return to earth with a description of highway travel in Cairo, a major city. While enroute to Giza, looking out of the window of our bus, I asked our guide why many vehicles did not have their headlights on. He reminded me that we were not in a first-world country and that headlights were not mandatory. So, we were on a highway at night, sharing the road with pedestrians, motorcycles carrying families, cars, trucks, buses, people on horses or donkey-pulled carts, most of which had no lights. Even the police cars often had no lights!
Right now, home for four days, still jet-lagged, I awake during the night, wondering where I am, where the bathroom is located, my head mixed up with dreams and memories, lacking clarity about my physical presence and my mental state. I have a lucid moment, knowing that this mix of physical and mental confusion is indeed an accurate reflection of reality, where energy flows easily back and forth, between life and death, between heaven and earth. The illusion is that we are simply physical beings.
There is much more to tell, but that’s it for now.