15 11 2008

Veteran’s Day was a holiday for me, and I added Monday as a leave day, creating a mini-vacation of 4 days. I spent the last three of them doing what I like to do best, staying home and fiddling. In this case that meant ham radio operating and tinkering.

Late Tuesday afternoon I went out and sat on my front porch to enjoy what I had so far ignored—a gorgeous Fall day in the deep South (For you Northerners, that means an October or early November day. During this period our weather is approximately like that of San Francisco.) My porch faces due west, and beyond the high house across the street the sun was making its way slowly toward sunset. As I sat looking into the mild blue sky above that house I became gradually aware of delicate clear sky-shafts raying outward from behind it. Sharp-edged yet softly bright, almost pearlescent, they were as insubstantial as a thought, but, once stared at for a while, seemingly as solid and real as steel beams cantilevered across the sky.

This was sunlight made visible by dust in the air, of course, but, puzzled by their apparent solidity, I turned away from that knowledge and instead diverted myself imagining those great rays as beams of power, signs of some mighty force reaching out into the world from the sky. The Egyptian sun god Ra came to mind then, and in a moment I became able to see those sunbeams as the arms of that Highest God reaching into the world to arrange things as He would have them be.

Then I understood an ancient Egyptian tomb symbol for Ra that I had first seen decades ago:

[Stylized Version]

And I knew that at that moment I was seeing one part of the world exactly an Egyptian would have done in 2000 BC.

“Repetition”, someone once said, “is the only permanence human beings can ever know”. That is apparently as true for the human race as a whole as it is for us individuals. Kudos to Mr. Jung for having noticed this fact first.