Gary Goldberg: We’ll be welcoming our first guest Paul R. Boudreau. He along with Lloyd M. Dickie wrote the book “Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer”. In this study of ancient Egypt, Sumerian, Babylonian and Hebrew myths, authors Lloyd M. Dickie and Paul R. Boudreau show that many classic myths contain instructions for awakening higher consciousness allowing access to an enlivened experience of the world and an awareness of the divine within and around us. Inspired by the work of R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz, the authors deeply examine creation myths and well know ancient myths from Mesopotamia and Egypt such as the epic of Gilgamesh and the story of Osiris and Isis. They reveal that these myths are not behavioral morality tales, but actually delineations of how a higher order can arise within each of us. The authors explain how these stories teach us to distinguish the heaven within us from the earth within us and find the essential part of being that provides a link with our higher powers. Spending more than a year onsite in Egypt to personally connect with the myths, the authors explain how ancient storytellers intentionally choose myths as a vehicle for teaching because story has a seed-like capacity to implant itself in the unconsciousness and develop without the individual being aware of it. By crafting these sacred narratives, the Ancient Sumerians and Egyptians provide tools to awaken us to the presence of higher consciousness as well as a road map for the individual to come into conscious alignment with the perpetual unfolding of the universe.
Paul R. Boudreau is an ecologist and biologist who studies ancient myths and sites including on site exploration of Egyptian temples, tombs and pyramids. He lives in Dartmouth Nova Scotia. He is with us right now.
Let’s welcome Paul R, Boudreau. Hello Paul.
Paul Boudreau: Hello Gary, how are you?
Gary: Doing great. I am very fortunate to come across this book. It is quite an adventure to read.
Paul: I am glad to hear that.
Gary: He has some very interesting things to say about the book that he co-wrote with Lloyd M. Dickie called “Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer.” I really loved the book and I want to share it with you.
Awakening Higher Consciousness - what an adventure! For people who are interested in looking at these ancient myths, you can really discover something. If you are anything like me, and want to find out who I really am, not something that I’ve been told, but I want to discover it for myself. Some of the ancient peoples were telling us. But it was not easy. You had to go search for it.
Paul: It’s never going to be easy in that sense. But making it personal makes all the difference for myself. What sounds like crazy stories from long, long ago and far, far way – like The Bible stories of naked people in the garden. It didn’t do much for me. So finding another way to approach them has been key to my own personal interest in life.
Gary: You’ve actually, with Lloyd M. Dickie, both of you went and discovered it for yourself.
Paul: Yes, its been a long journey and yeah we have not restricted ourselves about one form of knowledge, the book is primarily about literature because it is easy to treat that in writing, but we have journeyed to Egypt and spent some time in the King’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid, we’ve walked around Stonehenge and hugged the stones, Lloyd has been to Bolivia, so there is a lot out there that we have to make use of.
Gary: Now as far as the pyramids are concerned there are a lot of misconceptions like they were built to be tombs for the pharaohs. You dispel that.
Paul: We certainly try. There may have been some connection with the Pharaoh’s passing, but from our point of view, the earliest pyramids ever built, in the 4th Dynasty, have inscribed in them on the walls the Pyramid Texts. Working with a friend and colleague, Jeremy Naydler who has written a couple books on this, we explore the nature of the Pyramid Texts as really being directed towards a living person. Someone in the process of transformation, mystic initiation, rather than the common view that it is just for the dead pharaoh and he will survive for centuries. It is a much more fascination and interesting story than when I look at it as a tomb.
Egyptians did build tombs no question. But the pyramids are something special and to relegate them to just something funerary is a sad sight to see.
Gary: Are there many pyramids in Egypt?
Paul: I believe that there are a hundred or so. Most pyramids, the older ones, are always a part of a pyramid complex. We see the pile of stones that has survived. Let’s work backwards. The pyramid was surrounded by a high fence, a high stonewall. You entered the pyramid through a temple with images on the walls. The temple was connected by an enclosed causeway to the Nile Valley. The way we envisage it, is that the initiate, the Pharaoh most likely, had to go through this long journey to be exposed to these sacred texts that were caved inside the pyramid. He probably would have arrived by boat, and gone through this the mile-long causeway that was enclosed except the roof that had a small slit along in so that he could see the stars as he progressed up to the pyramid. There is much more to be seen about the pyramids than just a pile of rocks that someone might have been buried in.
Gary: There are chambers inside the pyramids and there is a lot of inscriptions right?
Paul: The ones we talk about, there are eight or nine specifically which were built at the very beginning of the Egyptian civilization and they started with a bang. These pyramids have fantastic carvings and this very extensive literature all over the inside of walls with images of awakening, progressing and being initiated into higher dimensions. We feel that one has to really pay attention to some of these fine details rather than just the tourist sites.
Gary: What is a neter – ntr?
Paul: Neter is the Egyptian word for god, small “g”, or principle. It is often translated as god, not as the almighty Ra, but as lower principles, lower processes in our lives.
Gary: One of the “ah-ha” moments, and I had many in reading your book, was that we tend to think of ourselves, self-centered as we are, that we were the first to have come along, but what they have discovered in these ancient cultures, Sumerian Babylonians, and Egyptians, there was a whole world of gods.
Paul: There is a lot we still have to learn about where we come from and who influenced us. Western civilization ties our birth to the Greeks – democracy and all that fun stuff. But the Greeks learned all of their values from the Egyptians. Most of the early Greek philosophers went to Egypt to learn. The Egyptian and Sumerians were dealing with these issues 2,000 years before the Greeks.
Now there is some fascinating archaeological work going on in Turkey at Göbekli Tepe. There is an archeological site in Turkey which has been dated to 10,000 years BCE or 12,000 years ago which is that much further back from the Egyptians. And this site has megalithic stones carved quite a bit further back than we have ever imaged. The indications are that this culture in Turkey were hunter gathers. I always bought into this concept that you need agriculture, civilization and progress to build things. I am fascinated that 12,000 years before now there was a population of humans which was carving up huge stones in a way that we don’t know today.
So what came before? How that all developed? What they knew? How that come down to us today is quite a field of study and much more interesting than the average school person learns if you buy into all the normal story lines about the Greeks city states and did democracy. What came before I don’t know but it is an exiting time.
Gary: But to engage our imagination this is what happened to me from your book, Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer. It awakened my imagination and in so doing it opened me up to what I don’t know.
Paul: Fantastic! Those are the kinds of moments that Lloyd and I have gone through over the years. We would approach something like the Gilgamesh story from Sumer, you think you knew it but then you probe a bit deeper and reflect on it personally. There is much more to see there if one becomes engaged and you bring yourself to the myth.
Gary: All of the myths that you break down Orion, Isis and others.
Paul: Those are just our favorites. It is really just an invitation to our readers to look at the world, and look at myth and look at literature this way.
When I talk to people I use the simple example of Little Red Riding hood and the role of the wolf and the different levels that one can perceive a wolf in a common fairy tale - it is a hairy carnivore with big teeth. We have phrases in English about someone being led astray by a bad wolf. At a higher level, just an example of some of the levels one can see, the wolf is kind of key to Red Riding Hood’s development, it is too bad that granny gets eaten, but she goes on with life. I think the need to look at our lives at various levels is key to seeing it for what it is and awakening out of that sleep that takes everything for granted and moves on.
Gary: Why don’t you speak a little bit about the complementarity of opposites?
Paul: The psychologist Carl Jung used the phrase enantiodromia – the reconciliation of opposites. The best way to see it is in terms of our work on creation myths. Most of the book works on creation myths from the various cultures. We see the creation out of the void as being an analogy of what we go through ourselves as a person. We are that void. We live our lives as homogeneous undiversified mess of emotions and hungers. But we at some point, most of us wake up and see ourselves as different from the world. Then we can see inside of us that there are different parts within us - a head that thinks, a stomach that wants to eat, etc. In ourselves we have all these opposites working one against the other. There are different sides – heaven and earth, land and water. Enantiodromia, this reconciliation, requires something higher to balance those two. If I am hungry but in a lecture there is a maturity which I have to bring to those opposites that says, “no for my higher good I am going to sit here for the lecture rather than running off for a hot dog.”
The recognition of opposites is key because it gives some definition and order to our lives and to who we are. But it is not enough to just see the opposites. It is essential that we get to a higher level so that the opposites can co-exist with each other. We think this is a very powerful process in creation.
Gary: Explain this in terms of some of the gods in these myths.
Paul: Let’s go back to Egyptian. There are two gods in particular that we deal with in the book. The god Maat. Some people may know the neter Maat who is the god of order and truth and justice. She is the principle that maintained order over Egypt. A fair number of people are aware of Maat. But in our research of Egyptian and the Pyramid Texts and visiting the tombs, it became apparent that there was a partner or opposite god to Maat and that was the god Heka. Heka is the god of magic. We don’t talk much about magic these days. But we present the essential role for both of these gods to participate in creation and development.
So when we started looking, very often when we found Maat, truth, order and justice, in the background we found Heka. Lloyd and I are biologists, and interested in the whole idea of biology, basic creation and what makes physics into biology. We were very interested to see this concept of the unknown, the intangible in the Egyptian creation myths, as being captured by the god of magic, and always being present and as an opposite of the god of Maat, order and justice.
So that is one example of the kind of opposites we discuss in the book in terms of different sides of creation, how the two have to play a role, you can’t have one without the other. The acceptance of them both at the same time is the reconciliation to let them both be what they are and let the process take place.
Gary: This is a book that you want to take time with. This is something that I really didn’t know much and so I wanted to know about these myths. For instance how the Sumerian is different from the Egyptian. To see that these cultures came from, what they were teaching, how they were similar and different.
Paul: They had shared similarities but they were somewhat different. I believe that these ancient cultures were struggling for a language to deal with consciousness just the way we are today. They captured what they knew about consciousness in the various myths, stories and art. It is powerful to see that translated into my life, our lives, 5,000 years later. It adds a whole different dimension to what could otherwise be just a nonsensical story.
Gary: Thank you for being with us at In the Spirit here on WRPI in Troy. My name is Gary Goldman. We have Paul R. Boudreau with us talking about his book Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer.
Another thing that I would like to discuss Paul is that you tell us about the gods. We have a tendency in the Western culture to take things literally, mechanistic and rationalist. But what about gods - “I don’t believe in that because it doesn’t fit into our framework.” Yet, these gods that the Egyptians spoke about were qualities, so were not literal beings, but these qualities exist in within us and this is how we grow - to recognize that in us.
Paul: Absolutely. To learn more about what is in us that relates to that. Not all gods, principles, neters are not all on the same level. It is possible to see some of the lower and it is possible to see some of the higher.
Gary: What are some of the things that you learned in your discoveries that was really beneficial to you when you were writing the book?
Paul: I have to go back to the beginning. One of the first challenges that Lloyd and I dealt with as scientists was to explore whether myths have meaning. Was there something in the myths or were they just story tales? We found that all myths have a strong story component to them. When we started we encountered a book entitled Hamlet’s Mill by de Santillana and Dechend. It is a huge tome, but it was one of the first books that we explored together. What they did was to look at the myth of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and were comparing the myth with observations of the sky. What they concluded was that the myth of Hamlet is really the story of the precession of the equinox over very long time periods. To us it was a fantastic ah-ha moment. It is fantastic because precession takes place over 20,000 years before it comes back to its own original place. This gave us hope, if the Hamlet myth could contain some high level astronomical information, then in fact myths do have a place in our current studies.
Gary: Why don’t you define for us what a myth is?
Paul: We view myth as a very wide collection of stories that have come down to us through the ages. One person’s myth might be another person’s prayer. Myth for us is any long-standing story that comes down to us today that we can understand. We don’t define it as rigidly as some people do. Any story that is useful to me today generally has a myth basis to it.
Someone the other day pointed out that a lot of our movies these days are based on myth. Star Wars is an example, there is good against bad, find the higher, find yourself. Is Star Wars a myth – yeah.
Gary: Yeah – and something we can learn from.
Paul: Something entertaining there is more to it than just entertainment.
Gary: I love the dialogue between Aquarius and Pisces. That is a good one. Tell us about how that was set.
Paul: We are dealing with a very sensitive subject in Western culture that is the Genesis story of The Bible and we were searching for a way to present the Genesis story to invite our readers to look at it again and look at it in more detail. So we went back to some of the great Greek literature with dialogues and it came up quite naturally that we could put this investigation and exploration of Genesis in terms of a dialogue between Aquarius and Pisces. There are the astrological signs that we wanted to convey. Basically it is a discussion among friends about what the Garden of Eden story is. I am pleased to hear what you say. It presents a tough topic in a way that is more freeing and more open as opposed to get into a theological or academic discussion. It is listening in on a conversation is an easy way to pick up some information.
Gary: I identified with Aquarius. I like the wisdom of the open minded Pisces, the patience of Pisces for answering the questions and appreciating the curiosity and willingness to explore.
Paul: Without being too heavy handed without laying down the rules it is tied into our personal experience of some of the better moments of instruction that we’ve encountered.
Gary: Can I share some of this?
Paul: Absolutely – sure.
Gary: “The Dialogue of the Ages.
“The experience of awakening higher consciousness within us is as old as the stories of the gods. The fact that the concept is rarely considered in our time is a sobering reminder of how limited has been the approach of Western culture to the difficult questions of reality. In our time we seem confined to differentiating between the dichotomy between “reality” and “illusion.” Those interested in questions of reality therefore must endeavor to re-establish a fully dimensional perceptual world to provide a context for the wisdom that is embedded in ancient myths. Despite one’s impulses to take action that could remedy this situation, history shows that our natures are not readily open to the required sense of order, even when we believe the undertaking to be of great importance. However, it is sometimes seen, in studying one’s direct experiences, that our personal impulses to take action can cooperate in creating a requisite level of being.”
A special note here, I say “direct experience”. I like that.
Paul: If it is not direct experience it is second hand. Going back to my own life, my experience, the few moments that I directly experience “I am”. I tell the story of being a pre-school age kid growing up. It was probably my first experience of Being. It was Christmas Eve and I had my nose pressed up to the window and I saw Santa Claus came down the street and in a flash I saw all of my Christmas gifts disappear because I was still up while Santa Claus was roaming around. But that was a very powerful moment that “I was”. I don’t know where I was before that and of course I have lived a lot of life after that. That is a direct experience of my being different than the world. I was not the void. I could see something. I could see myself. This was at a very young age. I trust some of your listeners and maybe yourself have had one of these early experiences that sets the tone for what direct experience means.
I have gone on to do a lot of book learning. I have a degree from a University and I’ve worked as an ecologist, but that moment still stands out as something that set things going for me.
Gary: A wakeful moment in your early life.
Paul: I don’t think I had enough intellect to interfere at such a young age. There was no concept of philosophy.
Gary: Santa was a big myth for us. I wanted to believe. When I figured it out I wasn’t happy.
Paul: That’s a different show. Don’t forget that people give presents on Christmas and they don’t do that every day.
Gary: I love the magic of going to bed and then waking up and this mysterious man was in your house loading presents under the Christmas tree. That is outrageous and so nonsensical – with reindeer landing on your roof. It is the most ridiculous thing in the world.
Paul: But think of it as the spirit of Santa Claus operating around the world on one night.
Gary: I’ve bought into the spirit of it. I really love the magic of it.
Paul: I think we teach our children a lot of those higher concepts in those kind of moments in those kind of myths that that they couldn’t get from an encyclopedia.
Gary: I like a few of these words in this book like the Duat.
Paul: We have a chapter on what we call the netherworld, what the Egyptians called the Duat. The Sumerians had a very comparable concept of a place, a time-space, a dimension through which a spirit/person could or should journey through to gain higher knowledge to gain higher consciousness.
The Duat, the netherworld is well captured in the myths we look at as a place or a process but something it has some characteristics that I make very personal for myself.
Before one embarks on this journey through the Duat or the netherworld one has to prepare. One has to learn the magic words, one has to remember oneself, one has to cloth oneself.
The myth of the netherworld involves journey where you are challenged by various beings and one has to remember oneself and give the right response. And if all the preparation and all your work and all your awareness can come to bear on this very important journey, one can expect to come out the other end of the netherworld as a higher being.
To me this is an excellent description of the struggles in life. What do I have to learn? How do I prepare? We see this as an analogy for the development of a person on earth captured in a literature 5,000 years old in words that are slightly different than what we are familiar with. But it is a very good description. It is a much better description of what I have encountered in modern language. The whole concept of the netherworld and the Duat gives me a language that I can use to look at myself and to talk to others about in terms of the process of growing up.
Gary: Thank you. There is so much in this book. I would like to read passages but they would be out of context because you would have to read the preceding ones. So I would recommend that people just get into it. “Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer” by Lloyd M. Dickie and Paul R. Boudreau.
The website is Awakening Higher Consciousness.com?
Paul: AwHiCo.com – the first two letters in Awakening Higher Consciousness. If people do a Google search for awhico we have a Facebook site, twitter feed and Linkedin we have some blog material with some addition symbolism of the Egyptian view of the Milky Way. Hopefully we are making ourselves available and we would love to hear from people and get their feedback.
Gary: I do appreciate that you have used Facebook so well for promoting this and for putting this out there. You actually made it an event on the Facebook page. Which is great. So those people who are listening because of that, put together by our friend Paul Boudreau, who is with us right now – welcome. Thank you Paul for doing that and bringing people to listen to this wonderful program and you and what you have to offered here. What an incredible journey to take. I am really glad that I am on. Once you are on board your on board.
Paul: Thank so much for having me. It was great to chatting. We are still discovering new things and we have much to learn.
Gary: Are you going to be writing more?
Paul: We have two other books in the works. We are polishing them off. In Book 2 we get into quantum physics and how it ties into some of the things we’ve been talking about. That’s just a little bit of a bait for you.
Gary: When reading the glyphs, how did you do that?
Paul: Lloyd has taken a number of years of studies in Egyptian language so I rely on Lloyd’s ability to read the Egyptian hieroglyphs - although he has shared a few of his insights with me.
I still remember a powerful moment when I was in an Egyptian tomb and we were studying the hieroglyphs and it wasn’t readily apparent. And what all of a sudden came across us was that we were reading the phrase, “Our Father who are in Heaven.” It was an incredible moment that you could still read a prayer, a myth from 5,000 years ago. Lloyd’s ability with Egyptian language made that moment possible.
Gary: I would like to make a point that when those who have been raised in the Western culture, the Abrahamic culture, they didn’t begin there. They took their myths from ancient myths.
Gary: I want to point that out that it didn’t begin with an original discovery. These things were already discovered. They were just re-calibrated, rephrased put together for the sake of their interpretation of it. Would you say that is accurate?
Paul: Yes. Christianity has a lot of this ancient knowledge embedded in it if you look around for it. I think that’s a strength to we still have such a robust lineage of this information.
Gary: Even the Adam and Eve myth goes back. It’s an ancient myth. But it wasn’t as The Bible says, that Eve that choose the fruit, it was Adam. It depends on how it’s written.
Paul: Chapter 3 of the Book we get into this all the way. It is the active principle that bites into the apple – not the passive. I couldn’t agree with you more.
Gary: This book is loaded with great photos. I love all the illustrations. This is fascinating stuff.
Paul: We couldn’t publish color photos so we put the color photos online at the awhico.com website. Thank you. We feel that the photos are very important to the story. You have to look at the myths from different points of views. Sometimes the words connect, sometimes the photos, sometimes an experience. They are not extras, not just entertainment they are meant to invoke things that might not have connected.
Gary: All these photos along with your words have really opened me up. Wow! I need it. It is like refreshment. You don’t want to fall on old thinking you want to shake things up a bit.
Paul: I think we shake things up and hopefully to good effect.
Gary: Tell us about you were inspired by R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz?
Paul: He was working in Luxor, Egypt. He was a mystic interested in higher knowledge. He spent 20 years working in Egypt studying the temples and tombs. He’s written a couple of books on the symbolic and the symbolique. He wrote in French and we are quite lucky that Inner Traditions, our publisher, has translated a lot of his work. He wrote a lot about the higher knowledge of the Egyptians. Both the geometry, Pythagorean triangle 3-4-5 he finds evidence for that through the Egyptian work. He finds evidence of higher mathematics embedded in the Egyptian. He is not easy to read but with some effort a bit of work he brings out a lot of the higher knowledge from the Egyptians and presents it to us in the modern world. It may not be easy reading, but we found him a great inspiration and we always reference him. Schwaller de Lubicz wrote about sacred geometry. He was an incredible guy who wrote a lot of very useful things.
Gary: Thank you Paul. I also want to acknowledge Inner Traditions. I love the books they put together. I interviewed a number of authors from Inner Traditions and appreciate what they do.
Paul: They publish a lot of things that I would never see anywhere else. They shake things up which is what we need.
Gary: Inner Traditions and innertraditions.com
Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer by Lloyd M. Dickie and Paul R. Boudreau is the book. As mentioned they are very active on Facebook and into social media.
Type Awakening Higher Consciousness and you will find the material regarding this. There is other material as well that people can explore.
Paul: Its been a great pleasure. Good fun.
Gary: Good fun. Thank you.