International BePeriod Gathering in Egypt
5-13 OCTOBER 2019
BePeriod is inviting its students to an international gathering in Egypt. The event will begin in Cairo, where we will reside nearby the Giza plateau, and end in Luxor, where we will reside along the Nile. Join us for an exploration of the Pyramids, the mysterious Sphinx, the treasures of Tutankhamen’s tomb, Islamic Cairo, the colossal temples of Thebes, the symbolic journey through the underworld as painted on the walls of Kings tombs, and more – all on the inspiring backdrop of the desert, palms, and a spectacular river. We will daily explore traces of school, dividing our time between site visits and relaxing walks, careful study and inspiring talks, taking advantage of being with others who pursue the aim to Be.
Egyptian Museum in Cairo
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo houses the most significant Egyptian artifacts in the world. We will take advantage of this comprehensive collection to study the fundamental elements of ancient Egyptian culture: its main gods, its burial rituals, and how it systemized the daily journey of the sun to portray a similar, hidden potential in the micro-cosmos man. We will pay special attention to the contents of Tutankhamen’s tomb – a golden moment in Egyptian archeology – and aim to begin recognizing different levels of artistry in ancient Egyptian art.
Pyramids and Sphinx in Giza
Our ability to understand ancient civilizations is always limited by the vast difference in era, especially when it comes to ancient Egypt. Before we can form a vague impression of what our ancestors might have thought and felt, we must step into the environment in which they functioned. In this spirit, we will explore the Giza plateau, where the pyramids were erected and the location of the Great Sphinx. We will enter the Great Pyramid of Giza (Pyramid of Cheops), ascend the grand gallery and visit the king’s chamber.
Students will be encouraged to take time in this environment, more secluded from the bustling city of Cairo, to gain a first-hand impression of the silent, desert atmosphere, out of which this remarkable civilization emerged.
Temples of Thebes
From Cairo, we will travel to Luxor, known in ancient Egyptian times as the city of Thebes. Here, along the banks of the Nile, the New Kingdom Pharaohs erected their temples. We will visit Luxor and Karnak temples, explore their statuary and layout, and aim to see how the origins of the Christian church drew their layout here.
“It will seem strange to many people when I say that prehistoric Egypt was Christian many thousands of years before the birth of Christ,” said Gurdjieff, “that is to say, that its religion was composed of the same principles and ideas that constitute true Christianity.”
Medinet Habu Temple
Egyptian Tomb, Valley of the Kings, Thebes
Valley of the Kings
The Egyptian civilization systemized the daily journey of the sun to portray a similar, hidden potential in the micro-cosmos man. Egyptian burial rites revolved around this system, comparing the deceased to the setting sun, and outlining a symbolic journey through the underworld. If the deceased undergoes the journey successfully, he earns a rebirth into eternity.
We will visit some of the best preserved tombs in the Valley of the Kings that present this symbolic journey, and attempt to draw insight into our own inner work from this ancient knowledge.
Conference of the Birds
All ancient civilizations, including Egypt, performed their myths. Practice was never confined to mere study. In this spirit, we will perform our own version of The Conference of the Birds, by Attar of Nishapur. Attar portrays the journey to self-consciousness as a pilgrimage of birds traveling towards a godlike phoenix. The journey consists of seven valleys and is fraught with difficulty. Most find excuses to quit; only few birds arrive at the coveted destination.
Throughout the gathering, our evenings and nights will be spent in rehearsal. We will perform outdoors on Saturday evening, October 12th. The project of staging this play will add creative pressure to the gathering, and make our exploration of ancient Egyptian knowledge more relevant, intimate, and memorable.
Scene from The Conference of the Birds in a Persian miniature
I know of no one in the world profound
As Pharaoh’s sorcerers: the wealth they found
Was faith’s true Way, which is to sift apart
The grosser Self from the aspiring heart.
The world’s known nothing of them since that day
They took this first short step along the Way —
And in the world no wisdom could provide
A surer path than this, a better guide!