Brunton, Dr Paul - A Search in Secret Egypt - Past life
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Dr Paul Brunton
SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
I could not tear myself away from the stone seat, but sat in wondering reflection and uneasy speculation in the silent society of these stone divinities.
A half-hour passed in this way, and then I must have fallen into some kind-of reverie.
A shroud seemed to fall from before my eyes, my attention concentrated itself on a point midway between my eyebrows; after which an unearthly light enveloped me.
Within that light I saw a brown skinned masculine figure with raised shoulders, standing sideways near me. And as I gazed upon him, he turned and confronted me.
I trembled with the shock of recognition.
For that figure was myself.
He bore precisely the same face that I bear to-day, but the dress was that of ancient Egypt. He was neither prince nor commoner, but a priest of a certain rank. I knew that at once by his head-dress and robe.
The light spread out rapidly around him, and, far beyond-spread until it took in a vivid scene about an altar. Then the figure of my vision bestirred himself and strode slowly towards that altar, and when he reached it, prayed . . . and prayed . . . and prayed....
And whilst he walked, I went with him; and when he prayed, I prayed with him, too - not as a companion but as himself.
I was both spectator and actor in this paradoxical vision. I found that he was grieved at heart, sorrowful over the condition of his country, sad at the decadence which had descended upon his ancient land. Most of all, he was unhappy about the evil hands into which the leadership of his religion had fallen. Again and again, in his prayers, he begged the old gods to save the truth for his people. But at the end of his petitions his heart was as heavy as lead. For no response came and he knew that Egypt's doom was irrevocable. He turned away with downcast face; sad, sad, sad.
The light melted back into darkness; the priestly figure disappeared, and the altar with him; I found myself in solitary meditation near the Temple of Ptah once more. 'My own heart, too, was sad, sad, sad.
Was this merely some dream suggested by the environment?
Was it but the riotous hallucination of a meditative mind? Was it the emergence of a latent idea derived from my interest in the Past?
Was it the clairvoyant vision of a spirit-priest who had really been there?
Or was it an ancestral reminiscence of a former existence of mine in Egypt?
For me, knowing my own intensely stirred feelings, during and after the time of the vision, there was but a single possible reply.
A wise man will not leap swiftly to conclusions, for Truth is an elusive lady who, says ancient report, lives at the bottom of an extremely deep well.
Yet I accepted, I had to accept, an affirmative answer to the last question.
Einstein has upset the conservative views of time which once prevailed. He has demonstrated mathematically that someone able to take a four-dimensional glimpse of things will have a very different sense of past and present from that which man ordinarily enjoys. This may help one to understand the possibility that Nature keeps a perfect memory of the past, in which are perpetuated the pictures of vanished centuries. I could well comprehend how in these sensitive moments of meditation, a man might involuntarily and mysteriously touch this memory.
The source of the experienceBrunton, Paul
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
Brunton, Dr. P. (1936) A Search in Secret Egypt, 2nd revised edition, New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc