Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Search in Secret Egypt

Paul Brunton
E.P. Dutton & Co. INC
New York
ISBN-10: 0943914981

This 1936 book is one of those which has become a classic I have to say that I started to read it a few years ago however I stopped because the author Paul Brunton kept talking about Atlantis so I shied away till know.

So here I have reapproached this book in a different light and must say that I am enjoying the first few chapters. The list of characters who put on displays of mysticism or chicanery for the author is a colorful bunch who perform a series of trivial and unnecessary talents.

You never know when you will need to stick hatpins in your face to entertain guests or sacrifice the neighbor's pet with your mind, very useful indeed! The book interestingly goes on to an interview on Islam with an Egyptian cleric who gives answers to common misconceptions of the faith.

The author then goes into a comparative study of Islam, Christianity and other faiths which have taken me on a journey I did not see coming. The author's words are well placed in a story that deals with the mystical world without challenging the reader into believing anything other than toleration of different faiths including the often misunderstood deities of Pharaonic Egypt.

Mr. Brunton visits and amply describes beautiful mosques and ancient temples who's walls are covered with images of ancient Pharaohs making offerings to animal-headed gods. At the temple of Denderah the author heads to the roof to see the famous zodiac, the original now in the Louvre and in it finds tens of thousands of years in its conception. Then again are the authors "Atlantian's" who he credits for the original seed of this zodiac even claiming the starting date of the alignment of the zodiac was 90 000 years old.

Mr. Brunton visits the ruins of Karnak and appears to misinterpret a scene on its walls to fit his beliefs but his night descriptions of the complex at Karnak are challenging and fascinating.

The author visits a well-known snake charmer who is responsible for keeping the village clear of snakes particularly the deadly ones including cobras with the author himself being taught the art of the snake charmer and becoming though reluctantly a charmer himself.

The book ends with a message from an Adept (holy man) warning about the opening of ancient tombs and the wrath the spirits who are released from the tomb may have on modern society and modern man.

Mr. Brunton was an obviously colorful character who held a lot of ideas I might otherwise consider to be wacky but I finished this book with a respect for its eloquent author and his eccentric views.

I have felt that this was indeed a very interesting search in secret Egypt.


Vincent said...

I really enjoyed reading this book too. I picked it up in a dusty old Fench book shop in Cairo and read it while staying there. It gives an interesting perspective of the time, the early part of the 20th century. I was particulalry interested in his account of the night he spent inside the Great Pyramid.

The book has recently (2007) been reprinted by Larson Publcations with the addition of modern photos.

tim said...

Hi Vincent

Thanks for the info