Pharaoh’s Temple

Red Sea Catastrophe

Time passes seemingly at varying speeds, with good times lasting not long enough and bad times that seem like they will never end, but the stagnant times might be the worst. Though time passes forwardly, ticking away methodically, no matter how much time has passed, it always seems to repeat itself.

Times lessons are often ignored and suffered again when time has expired on something and change is unavoidable. The powers that rule fight to maintain their favor or return to a time that has passed. Time is an illusion, and the past has proven to be a ghost.

Many years ago, and so many civilizations have crumbled since then, stood a mighty empire in what is commonly termed ancient Egypt ruled by Pharaohs. One Pharaoh seemed eerily to have reach forward with a lesson in time that is currently repeating itself before our oblivious eyes in a cautionary tale of ruin.

Pharaohs were worshipped as deities above humanity possessing pure bloodlines or a divinity to be revered and exercise rule over the common subjects, being God on earth. Ordinary peasants were just along for the ride, submissive to their ruler to facilitate the rulers’ glory and commands. Decisions were made from the top concerning the transfer of power and the behavior of the masses, similarly to this ex-President towards the public.

Very little room was at the top for giving orders but plenty of space at the bottom to receive orders. Pharaohs were gods on earth destined and ordained to use the people for their own glorification, often despite the ever-increasing toll on their servants. This Pharaoh’s ego and deification were the only considerations.

Egypt had an established structure and recognized hierarchy with the Pharaoh, his bloodline, his chosen elite, army, laborers or merchants, subjects, slaves, or disenfranchised was the pecking order. Everyone and everything served at the Pharaoh’s discretion. Freedom was an abstract reality that, in practice and practicality, did not exist beyond what was sanctioned by the Pharaoh.

The Ten Commandments, a traditional Easter favorite, told of Moses’ journey and a people he was destined to lead to the promised land against the mighty Pharaoh Ramses II. Worship and loyalty to the Pharaoh were demanded under harsh penalty or death. The ruling method was with an iron fist, even if it was sometimes inserted in a velvet glove.

Ramses II is translated to mean “born of Ra or son of God” and worshiped as such, a god himself. In ancient Egypt, Ra was believed to be the “sun god” creator of all that existed, much like the God of today. Ramses II representing his heritage and Ra’s hand, his God, guiding him, opposing Moses.

The two opposing parties competing for the same undisputed title for their God. The battle for supremacy of their Gods’ power over the others’ God was what played out in the movie. Despite several warnings from Moses to Ramses II and displays that his God was to be taken seriously, Ramses II stood on his spot and dismissed all deterrents as fake magic, including a deadly plague. Reminds you of a foolish President, proclamations of fake news, and the Covid-19 virus of modern times.

After several, I can show you better than I can tell you moments, Ramses II knuckled under to Moses’ demand to let his people go. Once Moses headed out with his people Ramses II decided he couldn’t leave it at that, so he gathered his chariots in pursuit. His ego and entitlement bolstered by his thirst and belief in his own power emboldened by his cronies enraged him to strike out where he had relented before.

So, he vigorously pursued Moses and his people until cornering his pain and humiliation against the Red Sea. While no military man would be caught with no escape route having his back against a sea of water, Moses, as it turned out, had a final trap to prove the power of his God.

By the power invested in him by his God, Moses parted the Red Sea leading his people on faith to safety. This is where it gets interesting because a normal person would have seen this parting of a massive sea as something beyond their pay grade. I can understand Ramses II commitment because he was blinded by his ego and propaganda to maintain power at all cost.

Ramses II nor Ra had demonstrated such an impressive feat as this (like in the one Batman movie where the Joker says, “where does he get all these wonderful toys”). Nevertheless, Ramses II gave that dreadful order for his chariots to pursue through the parted sea. At the same time, he majestically poses safely on top of his chariot upon a rock watching, the equivalent of retreating to the White House while they stormed the Capitol.

Okay, how can the power of one man’s ego send an army of gullible followers on a delusional rampage to placate him and most certainly to their own demise, basically to drown in his ambition? Maybe blind obedience to an oppressive symbol ingrained in their DNA overruled any logic or morality suppressing their instincts for survival? His actions and their obedience to them essentially led the kingdom to collapse and ruin.

Favored servants pledging allegiance and resigned to their fate in the face of being confronted with extraordinary circumstances of death were needed. No power to resist being ordered to your detriment to satisfy a sycophant leading to a Red sea calamity.

It seems like it would have occurred to them that this doesn’t seem like a good idea, realizing that destruction would eventually be cast upon them. A coward dies a thousand death but a fool many more. Fear of righteous reprisal should be more critical than any foolish allegiance to a man that swallows his own credibility and dignity while sacrificing yours.

As we continue with our cautionary journey, we find Moses and his people at rest near the mountain’s base, having escaped Pharaoh. Finally, Moses takes a stroll of enlightenment when met by a burning bush followed by the BIG GUY himself for further direction of the people and their order for prosperity in accepting the new land.

Now wouldn’t you know it while Moses was aging and taking care of business on high, you had some nonsense brewing at the base. Some easily persuaded, and some who were never convinced just masquerading were now being led astray by their desires. It is always one primary agitator, Dathan, played by the legendary Edward G, reputedly questioning sarcastically, “where is your Moses now?” to get the party started right. A Mitch McConnell or Lyndsey Graham-type rebel rousing.

The crowd is whipped into a frenzy; in comes the golden calf to really turn it up. Now it is on and cooking, the crowd is hyped, but some stayed true to the game. Some remained faithfully loyal without supervision, but in the end, all were judged to suffer the same fate by association.

Once Moses descended and was greeted by his greatest disappointment, he knew they had blown it and had earned a judgment upon them all. They wandered around in the wilderness deprived of the promise that could have been, that should have been, but could never be by their member’s own device and corrupted spirit.

This should be a tale about being so close to having it all and blowing it by self-destructive behavior preventing your deliverance to the promised land, but that would be too easy, would it not? Maybe the tale that has revisited us is the lesson of how unchallenged lies and questionable deeds committed by great egos awry invites self-humiliation and divisiveness, if unrestricted, will lead to mass destruction.

The dastardly deeds, irrational obsessions, and excessive efforts executed to maintain power is the very thing that leads your ego to the errors that deprive you of the power you were seeking to preserve. Maybe the more damaging penalty was for Pharaoh, who lost everything by his arrogance. Moses, whose people were delayed suffered the delay. Eventually, after those with the old way of thinking had perished, they were gifted what was promised.

It’s funny how the few, along with their supporting cast of enablers, have always controlled the many. The choices are often binary, either this or that, good or evil, Ramses II or Moses, Democrats or Republicans, Red or Blue, you get the point. Either way, the choices are made for us mainly on a traditional basis leaving us with a selection among those choices giving us the delusion of choice when it was in essence chosen for us.

Reward and atonement are always balanced to compel us in a desired position or decision based on a subjective optimism managed and manipulated by Pharaoh. This resonates throughout time and history, even to this very day. In needy time the equivalent of a crumb of bread or a morsel of grain to sustain yourself can either be granted or denied by Pharaoh.

Meanwhile, you build Pharaoh luxurious chambers, kingdoms, legacies, and monuments of wealth and ego. They call it stimulus or unemployment benefits today granted or rescinded by their determination of what is best for you that secures their best interest, not relieve your suffering.

The factory known as workers who toil in the mud and straw is unknown and irrelevant in these astounding building accomplishments for the glory of Pharaoh, which seems like the one percent trickle-up economics sort of, doesn’t it? Flow from the bottom up on the backs of the little people, much like under Ramses II, whose thirst for power and wealth by any means necessary would risk self-destruction to destroy the Kingdom and lose everything to hold onto power.

Regarding the former Presidency, the old adage, if I can’t have you America, nobody can seem to apply. Just like in the Ten Commandments, the question can be asked, are you a master builder or a master butcher by ideology who doesn’t realize that blood makes poor mortar and blind ambition knows no father? Remember, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Pharaoh back together again, meaning Moses may be desperately needed now to lead the people out of political, psychological, and economic bondage.

This may not come as some surprise but, Cleopatra, whom it is said had a face that could launch a thousand battleships, and Hatshepsut, who dressed like a man, was the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. They had prosperous reigns then and could probably at least be Vice-Pharaohs today in the 2020 election. We can only hope that Moses can once again lead us to the promised land despite Pharaoh’s objections.

Thurston K. Atlas

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