Temenos I: The Heartmind
The first temenos, the temenos of the heartmind, is formed through harmonizing three everyday mind capacities--the powers of intelligence, inspiration, and imagination--creating a fusion of these powers, each rising in quality and strength as the circuit of mind flows in increasing unison. These accessible and commonly understood capacities of everyday life are rarely used in harmonious unison. Yet, forming connections is nature’s way of producing growth: the Khemetic method follows this sure example. Intelligence is nourished through inspiration, and from the fusion of the two, imagination takes flight and returns with the special gift of new vision. Enhancing awareness in this way feeds the mind’s capacity to produce insight and intuition in daily life and also in the life of dreams. As the heartmind formulates more strongly, so the dream life becomes more responsive and meaningful, forming another source of purpose and inward knowing.
Deep alchemical change is set in motion with the emergence of the first temenos, the transforming process commences and generates its own momentum, the process of being and becoming begins.
The Power of Inspiration
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Circles”
The word inspire is derived from the word inspirare, meaning “to breathe into.” This is not a metaphor or an allegory but a description of a peak experience when the breath quickens, the mind becomes enlivened, and a new idea takes root, bringing an enthusiasm of mind and being.
The modern word enthusiasm is derived from the Greek enthousiasmos, but the modern usage of the word has been stripped of its original sacred significance since the word precisely means to be inspired or possessed by a god and to be wrapped in a state of ecstasy, entheos (en + theos). It is a divine seizure of the mind; inspiration is nothing less than a state of divine possession. This is one among the several non-usual states of mind that nevertheless constitute the continuum of mind capacities.
The soul of Khem, its presiding spirit and essential nature, is written in stone and manifested in the partnered ritual relationships with the divinities, the Neteru. The current monotheistic mind-set is either baffled by or dismissive of the pantheistic; there is no meeting place of understanding between the divinity of the one and the divinity of the many. Instead, an abyss of incomprehension and condescension replaces any intelligent and informed dialogue. Jean Houston, a contemporary guide to the metaphysics of the mysteries, writes: “What we call the gods are actually encodings of particular energy patterns from the We Are realm seen with certain qualities and moods to help us to relate to them more readily.”4 Meeting the Neteru opens a pathway to these energetic templates, which are the living powers within creation.
Every civilization takes its root from the nucleus of a prime story. Christianity embodies the story of Jesus, his life, death, and resurrection. Khem embodied the story of Isis and Osiris as its prime myth. These mythic tales form a special genre of telling; they are not factual explanations of the world but charged calls to the human imagination. Its dramatis personae are not simply human but simultaneously the great bearers of fate, trial, suffering, and triumph.
The tale of Osiris-Asar and Isis-Aset includes betrayal, murder, and ambition, but it concludes with honor for the departed and the quiet victory of transcendent loving. It has much in common with the Christian prime story. In the face of desolation and loss, renewal, continuation, and hope stand undefeated. The malicious intent of the adversary instead plants the grit that creates the pearl, from ugly machinations a legitimate kingship arises. This tale of tragedy and triumph established the moral, lawful, and honorable foundation of Khemetic life. Its scope embraces both human and divine dynamics; the turns and twists of fate are acts of intervention and intercession by powers unexpected. Here are the great themes of human life entwined and entangled in a Gordian knot of archetypal proportion: love and hate, loss and triumph, betrayal and loyalty, despair and recovery, jealousy and kindness, generosity and greed, wisdom and ignorance.
The story was pieced together by the Greek initiate Plutarch in the work On Isides and Osiris. It is impossible to say whether this was a work of reconstruction from what he observed or a skillful knitting together designed to serve an initiating purpose. As an initiate priest of Apollo at Delphi, Plutarch was intimately connected with the mystery tradition, and the written word has served the tradition well. Plutarch was also a Platonist philosopher with an interest in all moral and religious questions. In the commentary, he scattered a handful of clues, hidden in plain sight for the sharp-eyed. He stated that he possessed more knowledge than he might disclose and also that the true initiate must of his own motivation keep searching and probing ever more deeply, deepening an understanding of the “things said and done” during the sacred rites: this is clearly a reference to the Eleusinian Mysteries.
The story of Isis and Osiris forms a central template within the Khemetic mind-set. According to Isha, the Osiris myth falls into three parts. First the earthly reign of the divine pair, Osiris-Isis, initiators of human consciousness as regards natural law and changes in matter. This has been called, “the historic reign of Osiris,” precedent to the reigns of our human kings, and this aspect of Osiris is still the pattern for the role of the Pharaoh. Second, his passion, in which his Earth-form is destroyed and the spiritual seed of Horus results. For there is in Osiris, the seed of Horus.”14 The Horus child grows to manhood to become the avenger of his father and the rightful holder of the throne and also the holder of the complete eye, which is also seen in the name of Osiris. Finally, “comes the resurrection of Osiris who symbolises, in nature, the requickening of Earth and the buried seed and in spiritual fact reunion of the soul with the Osirian body, purified, indestructible.”15
The root story of the Khemetic mystery tradition rests in the many episodes of the narrative Isis and Osiris. Much like Jesus, Osiris, the good god and king, is cruelly betrayed and murdered. The tale commences with his loss. The story opens with murder but ends with renewal. From grief and searching comes victory: Isis stands undefeated. As Osiris rose to a new life unencumbered by physical mortality, so his journey formed the template offered to all ancient Egyptians in his wake.
The magical land of Khem still inspires. History and testimony reveal that in certain individuals fascination becomes re-membrance, and from this fire-seed, a radically different life stream evolves. These are the returning sons and daughters of a tradition deeply imprinted in cellular memory, as waking follows upon sleeping, so re-membering follows upon an interlude of timeless dreaming. The re-membering is both recalling that which is forgotten and also bringing together that which has been sundered and scattered. These experiences pose deep questions about consciousness; these are inexplicable mysteries of mind. Lives shaped by an awakened consciousness are as beacon lights upon the inner journey; where these lives lead, so others may follow. Life stories inspired by a divine remembering reveal a unique call to awaken and rise again.
Guidance 1. Planting the Soul-Seed
Use the power of the imagination to create the following scene in the mind.
Imagine yourself floating in celestial space without location. Even though there is no obvious source of light, the darkness is quiet and comforting; you feel utterly safe. You are reminded of starry space, yet something deep from within prompts you to think of another journey that begins in darkness and is completed in light.
Allow yourself to float effortlessly for as long as you wish. When you choose, allow your awareness to turn toward Isis by bringing your favored image of Her to mind in every detail. Build Her image clearly and with intent until you can see Her vividly in your consciousness. In the silence and peace of this place, your heart’s desire will float like a fine veil upon a breeze, so allow yourself to express what you feel. Allow your feelings to rise up toward the image of Isis like a sweet perfume. She will receive all that you give, and in the space of your clear awareness, you may hear the words or sentiments of a loving response. Rest in this place of becoming for as long as you wish; it is a place the heartmind will recognize with ease. Here you can receive the spiritual nourishment and sustenance that will enable and empower your individual journey, so rest without effort and allow yourself to surrender into the bliss of this communion. You may return to this scene often. When you are ready to shift your mind into the consciousness of the everyday, simply allow these images to dissolve from your awareness.
Record your inner experience in as much detail as possible.