Thursday, October 21, 2010

Joseph Campbell, 5

The fact that most of the Founders were Masons and would have studied ancient Egyptian lore explains many of the symbols on the dollar bill. In Egypt, the pyramid represents the primordial hillock. After the annual flood of the Nile begins to sink down, the first hillock is symbolic of the reborn world. That is what the pyramid on this seal represents.

The pyramid also showed the Founders that one has to distinguish between reason and thinking.

Reason is one kind of thinking. But thinking things out isn’t necessarily reason as the Founders understood it. The mouse that bumps its nose and figures out there’s another way to go, is figuring things out the way we figure things out. But that’s not reason. Reason has to do with finding the ground of being and the fundamental structuring of order of the universe. When these men talked about the eye of God being reason, they were saying that the ground of our being as a society, culture and people derives from the fundamental character of the universe.

The pyramid myth, with its suggestion that if you’re going to govern correctly, you’ve got to govern from the apex, from the eye, can still inform us today. It can contrast the current state of political ‘discourse’ with our nation’s ideals as envisioned by the Founders. It offers a venerable alternative of compassionate cooperation, inclusion and connectivity. Individually, most of us are now, politically and historically, on one side of the pyramid, one side of the argument, not representing the principle of the eye.

In fact we’ve fallen so near the pyramid’s base that we even distrust and mock those who attempt to pull us up toward reason. We need to get to the top, the eye, individually and collectively. It’s there in our history, our roots, and has been a part of human civilization for thousands of years. We don’t have to invent it, we just have to awaken to it, claim it, and live it.

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