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My Blind-Date With Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum:
Oct 26, 2005 11:22 PM 2780 Views
(Updated Oct 27, 2005 12:52 AM)

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Who could have figured out that it could be such a fascinating vibrant & exploratory adventure? Not me, in the least. But this Blind-date WORKED & brought about an attitudinal change in me for life!


I. Intro:


I always nursed & cherished my pet conviction that Dead Museums & Caged-animal Zoos were school-going-girly-'n'-boyish-routine- excursion-things by default & they held no adult-interests. Every visit to the Museums & Zoos sprinkled all over India & abroad strengthened & confirmed how right I had been before this Blind-date came my way.


II. Build-up:


a) Are you interested in the Exploration of Life, People, Tradition, Culture & Civilizations (ancient & modern)? If you say, 'yes', then you must have this blind-date with One of The Greatest & Most Ancient Egyptian Rosicrusian Museum at San Jose (Ca).


b) Where is it exactly? Location: 1342,Naglee Avenue, San Jose (Ca)


Contact Phone #: 408-947-3135 for details.


c) It was on a Saturday afternoon (not Saturday Night) on July 3, 04 when I had this rendezvous. Admission was free that day, as the next day happened to be America's auspicious Independence Day.


d) Oh boy! Do you call such a Massive Structure,a Beauty & a Marvel a Museum? It was simply stunning & greatly promising at the very outset. They said this structure was 'architecturally inspired' by the Temple of Amen at Karnak and it housed 'the largest collection of Egyptian Artefacts' in the whole of the Western USA, from ancient pre-dynastic times to Early Islamic Era.


III. The Entry & Exploration:


a) As I entered, 'the walls covered with hieroglyphics, clustered lotus columns & Colossal Statues of Egyptian Gods' welcomed me.


b)Floor Arrangement:


WingS: No. 1: AfterLife Gallery, 2.Tomb Replica, 3. Daily Life Gallery, 4.Religion & Kingship, 5. Akbenaten & the Sekhmet Shrine and 6.Museum Store.


c) I was all set for the Exploration of Ancient Egyptian Culture & Civilization dating back to 2880 B.C. to 200 B.C.


IV: Salient Features:


Without going into details, I shall attempt to give an outline of what were all that Impressed me most: (Look for the Commonalities & the Differences from that of our Ancient Tradition, Culture & Civilization)




  1. Their love of Life & their Families (especially children), shunning of Death and aiming for Resurrection




  2. Their customs like separating the Birthing Room: Isolating Mother & child during the TRAUMA of birth itself & naming the child between 7 to 14 days. (Doesn't it echo our customs too?)




  3. The place Of Women in Society: How Women lived in dignity not allowing themselves to be considered as 'trophies or pawns in their own lives' and how they 'acted with great individuality in their own decisions'.






4.Their appreciation of BEAUTY not only in Temples & Palaces but also in the objects of everyday use




  1. The personal possessions of those who lived some millennia back were on show, neatly arranged & each of them with beautiful explanatory notes




  2. Their dread at 'mysterious fate, strange Diseases, misunderstood weather patterns' and dangers like 'swamps, snakes, sand & storms, crocodiles' & their recourse to Piety to regain a sense of Control over their lives & destiny.




  3. Their concept about death & Why & how they preserved mummies in tombs.






V. The Sacred Aspects Of Life: (Religion, Piety, Gods & Goddesses)


1. We come to know how their life & Religion went hand in hand & how every aspect of their life & death was associated with religion.




  1. 'Secular & Sacred aspects of Egyptian Life Had No STRONG DIVIDING LINES'. ( Like that of Ancient India?)




  2. The Concept Of God as 'a Creative & Powerful ENERGY rather than a personal entity' & 'deified Humans'




  3. The Concept of Polytheism (like Ancient Hinduism?).Every town having patron deities besides multiple Gods & Goddesses with distinct independent portfolios (Cabinet Rank!).




  4. Some Gods & Goddesses & their Portfolios:






1.Bess: (The Dancing God) Protector of Children & the Helpless. (His image was reported to be worn as amulets & painted on the walls). 2.Hathor: The Goddess of LOVE & Sexual Beauty, 3. Tawerets: (the Hippopotamus Goddess) The Protector Of Pregnant Women, 4.Bastet: (The Cat goddess): Protector of HOME, 5. Sobek: (the Crocodile God) Protector of the Family from Death related to the River Nile. Goddesses: Not a reflection of their mates as they were in other cultures.




  1. Place Of Women in Religion:: Women young & old served as Priestess in ancient Egypt (Isn't it Revolutionary?). They came from the best families & were highly regarded by their communities.




  2. Jewelry ( necklace, Bracelets) & other items such as Linen Shirts with paintings were worn as Magical Protection (amulets).




  3. Beliefs: 'They believed, afterlife was very similar to familiar life but there was more personal connect with the Gods'.






VI. Secular Aspects Of Life:


a) Administration: We see Kings Rushing to the War Front in a Chariot (not sitting at Bhavans & watching the proceedings of war 'live' on TV )


b) Class Distinctions: There were the rich & the poor. The lazy rich had hoards of servants / slaves to work for them.


c) Trade: Barter System was in vogue. The exchange of Goods or Services for Goods or Services of equal Value.


d) Writing: Cuneiform writing (wedged Shapes) ;Cylindrical Seals seem to be in use.


e) Musicians: No special dress.


f) Hammurabi 18th C BC Beautiful Law Code in Stone,Nebuchatnezer,Lapuz Lazuli ring bells.


VII. Spiritualism: The Rosicrucian Order & Tradition (inquiring 1. The Nature of the SOUL, 2.Developing Intuition, 3. Energy Centres in The Body, 4.Self-healing Techniques & 5.Meditation) appeal to me most.


Conclusion:


At the thought of this Museum, among other things, 'the pleasant evening walk in the Egyptian-Style Gardens 'with elaborate modern fountains', 'the COLOSSAL Statues of Egyptian Gods & Goddesses', Alexander the Great, The Great Woman Ruler Cleopatra VII. Rock-cut tombs (with Boats) for preserving mummies etc etc spring to my mind. Now I've a fairly good grasp of what This Ancient Egyptian Civilization means to the world.


Friends:


With the help of scribbled notes in my scrap-book, I have tried to collect together, reconstruct & share with you all some glimpses into my past experience . Hope it would be interesting to you too.


I'm waiting for your feedback.


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