Monday, April 04, 2011

The Emerald Tablets of Thoth, #1, excerpt

I've been active, more like overactive, on Twitter recently, and ran into a talented "speed painter" Quinn Michaels.  His pallettes and his surrealistic slant really appeal to me, and seems like he should have thousands of followers on Twitter.

He had links to the Emerald Tablets of Thoth mentioned elsewhere in this blog, and I tweeted him that I'd like to do some spoken word/music using them. He immediately replied that would be awesome (!) and so I did, and he graciously put them under thisspeed painting video.

I've read various things about the source of these tablets, hoax/authenticity arguments, etc., but I think they are very very interesting. Here is the link to the soundtrack with the text I read.

The text is very thought provoking, in sort of odd ways. For example, I once heard portions of the confession of St. Patrick read on the radio, and it almost seems like this author is "confessing" for Thoth, testifying regarding his thirst and quest for undying knowledge. But at the same time, reading between the lines, it seems like accrual of knowledge isn't everything-- Thoth is a member of a pantheon, after all, not all encompassing.

On one hand, the power and invincibility of his science-magick is immense, and his accomplishments grand, but on the other there is a sense of a compassionless deity. He reaches an agreement with the "people of Khem", and aids them, teaches them, to his satisfaction and to their benefit. He also describes how the Atlanteans became corrupt, and so their immensly powerful science-magick worked to their downfall.

The mysterious "Dr. Maurice Doreal" who translated these tablets may well have done just that, or he may have constructed an elaborate literary world a'la Lovecraft. Personally, it doesn't matter to me, the writing and words are wonderful, and they fit together so well and powerfully.
Quinn's use of the Buddhist concept of "Maitreya" is an interesting comparison to Thoth, and very similar to parallels drawn by other theosophists, for example C.S. Lewis' comparison of the Corn King of pre-Columbian America to Jesus Christ.

These things always come down to a matter of faith. You think you can 'discard' the notion of a higher power through logic and science. And, logically, one can draw the conclusion that one confusing, tangled up set of eschatology is just as good as another and that these sets of myths are indeed 'the opiate of the masses' made up by desparate people to soothe themselves. However, equally logically you can conclude that there really is something to the "one-ness" and some kind of relationship with a higher power because so many different cultures from different times and places have these parallels.

I know the Egyptian gods were on the side of the "bad guys" in the Bible and largely thereafter, in terms of the ultimately ascendant cultures in the region, but I'm thinking that in the context of the Egyptian ethical framework Thoth was used as an archetype for teaching scribes their duty and giving them a sense of mission. There is not a sense of 'evil' or 'good', and no threat of his condemnation other than a very specific one, the purported deity of wisdom and record-keeping saying:  "Look, you, don't forget what I've taught you and noted here-- this learning was an immense undertaking for me and a tremendous labor of diligence and duty that went to your ultimate benefit". This certainly seems like a perfectly reasonable thing for the Egyptian "patron saint of scribes" and deity in charge of record keeping and learning to say, and identical to aspects of the Biblical God.


Blogger quinn said...

What a fantastic read. It was great that you commented on the perception of the Egyptian Gods being an enemy of the Christian God.

One of the main aspects that captures my imagination was how the tablets teach about mans ability to manifest from the light/ether/space dust.

This is what Master Jesus could do as referenced by the bible through the use of his will without the need for sacrifice.

For some reason Thoth was largely forgotten in the Egyptian teachings of our time. It is as though we say his name every day without knowing it... thoth, taught, thought... and so on.

What an awesome collaboration.

4:59 PM  

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