A STORY OF MOSES
Ra! The Lord of Light ~ Part III
Weary were we. Moses would come to sit beside me in the resting areas and never a word did he speak. He would let me clasp his hand. His great strong fingers would close around my small ones with such agony of his feelings that sometimes I knew not how to bear the pain these gave me. Yet was I glad to share some part of his bitter sorrow. The journey in which we went had no comfort in it. The people for whom he had given his life had no gratitude. They quarrelled and fought with one another, crying for the pleasant land of Egypt where grew shade trees and others bearing food, with water always flowing.
We seemed to be going nowhere. Always there was the wilderness before us and behind us. Even when the spirit of the Lord of Light led us to water, it was harsh to the taste and so strong to the stomach that we could not drink it. Moses uprooted a bush and cast it into the water. The salt in the water clung to the bush till it looked liked a bush carved from stone. This took from the water some of the salt so that we could drink it. But I salted it with my tears, for my disappointment was so great that I wept like a child.
Only on that day did he speak of his wife and children. He reminded me of a long time ago when we had been found by the shepherds of the man who gave his daughter to Moses to be his wife and the comfort of his life. “Even as we were kept safely then, so will we be now,” were his words to me. I asked if he did not long to see his wife and sons, as my empty heart longed for mine. He nodded his head and told me that it would be so, for they journeyed to meet us. In his sleep state Moses had seen their coming, During sleep he had spoken to Jethro to tell him the direction of his journey, so that he might turn his steps in the right direction.
I was comforted by this. It reminded me that I was a spirit even when I was a body. One day my spirit would know comfort again when it escaped from my body and from the wilderness through which we now travelled. It strengthened me too, for the trial of that journey, wherein I had often to lay me down to pass into that part-sleep in which the spirit would draw from me the bodily force by which it clothed itself in the cloudy shape that made it visible to the eyes of the common people. When they saw the etherialised shape, then would they follow after it in the morning hours, or the cool of the evening when the radiance of the spirit would shine through the cloudy shape, so that it took the semblance of a burning flame.
Not every day did I lend my body for this, for Moses was strong with the power of the priests and Aaron likewise, and from them the Lord could take the force needed. All of us knew that no man could be in this trance-like state for too long a time, nor yet every day. So we shared the giving of ourselves in the days when our journeying required that we must be spirit-led. Such was my humble offering to my brother Ra-mu-ses and the God of his people. In this way I knew I was but one of the beings on the loom of life from which was being woven a history in which the golden thread of a mysterious destiny gleamed and shone with a radiance, like that of the glory of Ra’s rays.
So the spirit of the Lord now came and saved us all from destruction. It led Moses to a certain place where water lay hidden beneath the rock and commanded him to strike the rock with his staff. Well do I remember the manner in which he held for a little while the staff made for him by his father. Then, turning the golden head downwards, he lifted the end, sealed with a piece of granite, and struck the rock with all the strength of his body!
The blow cracked the beloved companion of his years so that he had to bind it to make it whole. But it broke open the hard stone of that place. Water poured out of the aperture in such abundance that the people ran to fetch containers and kneeled to take it up in their hands. The people became quiet when they saw how the power of the spirit could bring forth water.
ART : ‘Water from the Rock’ ~ Painting by Moshe Gabbay
Moses strikes the rock, the water flows out in front of the elders; the people and their flocks drink the water.
Moses became great in the eyes of his people. I remember how it was that a day had come in which I lay down so that I could pass into the half-sleep by means of which the Spirit of the Lord could make apparent his form to the eyes of the people. As I lay there and heard the sounds growing ever more distant in my ears, and the feeling of great peace passing into me as the spirit drew near, so was I also aware of feeling a fear that was not my own.
It came upon me so suddenly, so strongly, that I struggled against the entrancement of the Spirit. With my heart fast beating I regained my body. It is true that a man cannot offer himself as a vessel to a spirit if he is filled with fear. Fear cloaks him around with a darkness. It is like the shadows of a storm which darkens the air with clouds of dust. I lay still, wondering whence could come so great a fear to me, who had little to live for and but a short span of time in which to continue breathing.
The Spirit was still close to me. Its radiance was like a light inside my forehead. From that Spirit I knew why the fear had reached me ~ in a quick moment it conveyed to my mind the knowledge that Moses was filled with terror. I saw a vision in my head of men struggling together while Moses sat upon a rock above them, holding his staff in his hands, and seemed to be helpless.
Like an arrow released from the bow I did go forth to find my brother. I knew not where he was, but my feet carried me straight towards him. The strength of the love that lay between us was like a silver cord which drew me to him. He stood by himself, looking away from his men, who sat in a circle and talked together in voices which betrayed their fear.
“It is the end,” Moses answered when I spoke to him. “Why did I bring these people to this place? They will die like beasts slaughtered for a feast. If we fight, we will be left with but few men to protect the weak. The men who are against us are strong. They wish to drive us from their water places. If we do not meet them in battle then will they let us die from lack of water.” I had no words with which to comfort him. I knew that what he said was true. His people were untrained for fighting. They had been servants and bondmen but had not been soldiers. Only some of the strong men had been taught to march and guard. But they had never been taught to fight for their lives. Their weapons were but the ones they copied from those they had seen on the guards of their masters.
I looked round at the pitiless land and could see nothing but destruction. Yet was the Spirit still close to me, for the radiance was still in my forehead. It caused me to speak and remind my brother that this Lord of Light had led him forth. Surely this same Lord of Light would not desert him now.
“Let the people but see you and your staff, and they will be strong,” I said. “Go you onto a high place. As they see the light upon the golden end of your staff, so will they be strengthened. The Lord is with us. Let us trust in His guidance. As He has used the powers of nature to overthrow Pharaoh, so He may do likewise with these dwellers in the wilderness.”
The words entered into his heart and renewed his strength. He sent forth Joshua, the strong leader of the fighting men, to take charge of the fighters and meet those who had challenged them to battle. The women, children, the weak and aged were gathered together in one place, where I too was commanded to stay, as I had neither skill nor strength for battle.
Moses went to a high place so that his men could see him. They told me, when the battle was over, how they watched the gleam of the knob on his staff. By its light they were able to see his commands to them. And by such commands they knew to fight with men to the right or left of them.
ART : ‘Moses & Staff’ ~ Daniel Henning @ Fine Art America
It was a long battle, for all were strong men. They fought face to face, hand to hand, body to body, till they killed one the other. How many were killed I knew not. Moses was weary of body and sick of soul when it was finished. He walked as an old man does when he returned to the place where I waited with the others who had wept and prayed for hours to strange gods, as well as to the God of their forefathers.
That same night as the moon made white the land, we set stones one upon the other. With a few twigs gathered from a bush Moses created a fire, burning on it twigs from which the leaves had been taken and berries which smelled sweet. People could come there as to a temple, to pray for the dead, to praise their God and to thank the Spirit who had guided and delivered them from death at the hands of the enemy. incense I knew that this was a right and beautiful thing. I knew as I listened to their voices calling to the souls of their dead that this was a better way for men to come near to the Lords of Light than that they should do so in a dark temple. The sweet air of the night was an incense in my nostrils. The moon was a bright lamp in the sanctuary of the arching sky. There, in that place, I felt again the wonder and the peace which had touched my soul when as a boy-man I saw the moonlight gleam on the white courts of the temple at On.
ART : ‘Angelic Embrace’ ~ Jack Shalatain
As I lay down to rest, my soul longed for my own land with so great a desire that it burst the bond which bound it to the body. For a little while I knew peace. As my soul was freed from the body I saw, not my own land, but her whom my soul loved, standing distantly from me, robed in simple raiment. It was not as last I saw her in the jewels of a princess as she was prepared for her tomb, but as a woman with hair loose on her shoulders ~ and beautiful was she.
Then did I know peace. Again I was made aware that death would claim my body in the wilderness. I knew that the beloved princess was waiting for my spirit, for the moment when my soul would be free, watching me from afar, till the time when I might like a freed bird speed upon the wings of love towards her.
I did not sleep. I lay still and thought about my beloved. In memory I saw her again as once she was, with the boy who was now the man Moses standing at her side. I thought how hard it had been for him to live the life he had lived, never with people of his own, always as a stranger amid strange people. Even now among the Hebrews, he was still a stranger, since his tongue stumbled over their words. Because he was their leader he was alone in their midst.
Then thought I how alone he would be when my soul fled from my body. I prayed to Ra to give light into the life of Moses, to shine upon his journeyings and to shed light into his heart. Whether it was because of my prayer I know not. I knew Jethro and his family were journeying to seek us. But they knew not where we were and in that unknown land we might never have met. So I like to think that Ra, the Lord of Light, answered my prayer and guided towards Moses those who alone could bring joy to his heart.
I remember how strange it was to hear a sound suddenly break forth from the man who was often silent, and whose smile had been destroyed by this difficult command of his unruly people. Now did Moses shout with joy and run forward with widely-opened arms to embrace the man whose beast kneeled to let him down to the ground.
I saw that this was Jethro, the man who had been as father to him. Jethro had come with the children born of Moses’ seed and the mother of his sons was there, too. Gladness was between them. Words of joy filled the air like dust dancing in the sunshine of the early morning. My heart rejoiced, for I saw a smile in the eyes of my brother. A tenderness relaxed his lips, as his empty arms were filled with those who loved him.
The people of Israel came to look and to listen. They stood, watching, their eyes filled with wonder, to see the great man, who had brought them forth from Egypt, now as simple in his happiness as they could be, with his wife, sons and her father. They nodded their heads and spoke the one to the other. They understood the love of a man for his woman. It seemed to them to be good that the woman desired him so much that she searched for him in the barren wilderness till she found again the strength of his embrace.
Jethro was wise with the wisdom of a real priest. He listened to all that Moses had to tell. He spoke with Aaron and the others of the circle. Even to me did he come, looking at me with those calm eyes that saw beyond my flesh and into my soul, and into the land beyond death. I spoke with him as a man may speak with his father. I unburdened to him my heart with its sorrow for Moses, my brother, and my fear for his loneliness when I died.
Like the sun on water was his smile as he told me that Moses would not be alone. She who loved him would face the unknown perils of the wilderness at his side, though she would send her sons back with her father to the land of Midian. His voice was gentle to my ears as he spoke in some of the words of my tongue, which he had learned from Moses.
“Great is she, the daughter of my seed,” he said. “Her heart is like a spring of water in a hidden place. Love flows into her heart like the water rising from a secret place. Like the water of a spring she sweetens all who draw near to her.”
Then said he words that never had been spoken to me by any man: “You are great. But you know not your heart and the fountain of love that flows deep in your own soul. Moses has spoken and told how the love in your eyes has comforted him.”
Such praise was to me like oil dropped onto a wound, honey on the tongue, or the lips of a woman pressed lovingly against the skin. Such praise had I never heard. I had been only the keeper of the King’s archives. As a man I was of no importance, so I took these words into my memory and hid them secretly. As a woman hides treasures in a casket, so hid I these words of praise. Now the memory of them I share with you. The light of remembrance shines into the open casket and reveals that Jethro said these words to me, even as he spoke wise words to Moses, who was striving to bring peace upon his quarrelling people.
Only one thing more can I tell of my journeying with Moses. My life ended when the Israelites had travelled on to the next water-place. Jethro and his grandsons left us when we began to move, for they had to return to their own people. The food we had was but small. They knew food for them in Midian was plentiful. So we watched them leave on their camels. All longed in our hearts to go with them, yet knew we could not. If one of us followed him, then so would all. Midian would be too small for so great a number of people.
I could have left with Jethro. I was but one man who ate only a little food and drank only a little water. He asked me to go with him. I would have lived to be an old man in the safety of his tents. But my heart was with Moses and him I could not leave. So I travelled onward with the people of Israel, who no longer quarrelled with me, because the bones of Joseph were carried with other burdens on the tall beast which Jethro gave to the husband of his daughter.
As we travelled we saw growing ever clearer the dark shape of hills against the sky. Ever before us was the smoke rising into the air like a great feather from the tails of the birds that lived in the land of the Nubians. As the people drew near they began to grow silent. They thought a god must dwell in such a place. They were afraid when they made their tents and heard the sound of fire inside the hill, making it give forth noises like the belly of a great man after he has eaten food.
In my heart I was fearful too. Never had I seen such a thing before. I knew from the lips of men who had travelled in other lands that such hills were to be found and often fire spilled from the top and ran like fiery water down the slopes. The water we drank was warm from the heat of hidden fires. Many were afraid to drink it. The taste was as if it was burned by fire. Yet knew we this could not be. Because fire cannot burn water. When night came, the top of the hill glowed with secret fires. It was like an eye watching us all and closing not itself in slumber.
ART : ‘Moses At the Burning Bush’ ~ Water color Bible illustrations, WELS.
The men of Israel watched the fire, listened to the sounds and said the one to the other, “There is God.” They were simple men and knew not that fire could come from the heart of the earth. When Moses said that he would go up to the high place, as the Spirit had commanded, they knew it was good. “He goes to see the God who has led us to this place,” they said, “that God may tell him all that is good.”
Moses would not that any one of his circle should go with him. Not even me would he take, though I begged it for the sake of the love that had bound our lives together. He would go alone. He feared the danger of the fire and thought the surface of the hill might be thin and easily broken by the feet of men.
“The Lord said he would speak to me on the high place, not to all men, but to me. So to the high place will I go. The Lord will protect me, or the Lord will take me if I die.” So did he speak. Not one of us could change his will.
Sorrow is it to me to remember how I watched him go. It was the last time I saw him with my mortal eyes. He aided his footsteps with his staff as he began to climb. His shoulders were bowed, for he carried food and water on his back. Some of his men waited at the foot of the hill, ready to run to his aid, should he but call, for they loved him as men should love such a man.
I sat in my small tent, praying to Ra for the safety of Moses. A long time did I pray, until that silence came upon my soul which sometimes reaches all men when they pray. In that silence all my thoughts were laid to rest, while the sounds of the world faded away and the hours seemed not to pass at all. In such silence a long time is but little ~ and a little time may seem to be immensely long.
ART : ‘Sekhmet’ ~ Art by Stuart Little John
It was among the men who had wished me to be their bondman that the trouble began. Among the murmur of many voices, it seemed to me as if I heard my name spoken. A coldness moved in my heart. Terror chained my feet to the ground. Why would they speak my name unless with hate? I tried to go. I wanted to run. At last my feet obeyed me, but it was too late. My feet were not swift to answer the command of my will.
The ground was hard to my bones, as they dragged me. “Ra-mu-ses! Ra-mu-ses! Ra-mu-ses!” I called with what breath I had, for my mind was with my brother. Yet was there no one to hear. As I lay, sick and bleeding, I saw the strong man, Joshua, coming with Aaron, forcing a way through the throng of people till they reached me. The people stayed their anger against me for a time. Aaron had the power of the priest and he tried to command them by his will. He stood beside me and I heard him command Joshua to call Moses to come quickly. As I lay there on the ground I heard the strong, steady beat of the feet of Joshua as he ran swiftly, thrusting people out of his way as he went, but my strength died with the sound of his departing feet.
Aaron remained with me, waiting for Moses to return. I think he must have seen the knife with which they ended my life, but this I know not. I heard him say softly to me: “The spirit of man is the lamp of God. Burn brightly, Tek-Sek.“ Then was I surprised by pain that suddenly ended and a great light came towards me.
I cannot describe it in words, for it was the light of the great Lord who had guided me and the people of Israel through the wilderness. The light filled all the place wherein my soul was. I found my princess, the beloved queen of my heart. And I found my father, for there was no shadow to hide anyone of us from the vision of the other. Then did I know joy. Since that time have I known peace. But how long a time it has been I know not. Time is measureless when the love and the lover are as petals folded together in the bud of a lotus.
ART : ‘The Golden Calf’
Ursula Roberts, the Spiritualist Medium, wrote an Autobiography : ‘Living In Two Worlds’. This was first published in 1984 & is still available
Tek-Sek was Pharaoh’s Scribe. As Moses grew into a young boy, Tek-Sek taught him the writing signs of his land (Egypt). Their lives became entwined after Moses was taken from the bulrushes by the Princess. Over many years and hardships, the thread of love existed between them, and always did he love Moses.