The Hermit

13 Sep

Three years ago I fled into the marshes of the Nile Delta and became a hermit.

My career as a junior priest of the temple of Ptah in Memphis had become stultifying to me. Everything there had become frustrating. I could no longer continue in the boring routines. A new interest had caught hold of me. I had to be alone and undisturbed in order to pursue the mission that had grabbed hold of my mind.

Years of reading in the Ptahic archives had fundamentally changed me. Papyri from distant past ages furnished ideas that inspired me to seek inner enlightenment. I perfected my inborn psychic abilities, particularly in the area of self-enchantment. My thought could now be sent up to the highest celestial plane and transmitted far distances. I had mastered the arcane art of mental transference with fellow priests of Ptah. It became necessary for me to change my life and place of residence.

I fled from Memphis and became a fugitive outlaw. No one knew what my secret purpose was. I now was free to carry out original explorations on my own. That became the central focus of my new life.

Fishing with small nets furnished me plenty of food. I slept at night  under a roof of palm leaves and papyrus rushes. My primary activity was psychic development. The nearest village was far away. No one ever came near or disturbed me. With all my time and energy, I concentrated upon a single project. Through the power of my thought, the Pharoah himself was to be contacted and communicated with by my mind. I intended to shape his royal will from a distance. Without his recognition or conscious acceptance, my thoughts were to become his.

As the runaway priest named To, I was to be the mastermind in control of  the ruler of the Two Egypts. Pharoah Minmose was to turn into my puppet. I planned to set his policies in a new, different direction. The heavy burdens on our cultivators were to be lightened through reduced taxes and lower labor exactions. No more war was to be fought against the Nubians or the Hittites. Our armies were to turn to peaceful civic construction. My goal was to give Egypt perfect happiness and prosperity.That was why I had become a recluse in the marshy delta. The aim of all my efforts was to make my native land into a paradise. That was what I dedicated myself to.

Pharoah Minmose did not know what made his sleep so troubled. He began to suffer torturous head pains. His doctors had no remedies for him. Unable to complete his duties, he retreated into his personal quarters in the Memphis palace. His misery grew intolerable.

One night, a clear message from the unseen entered his mind. It concerned the future condition of Egypt. The Pharoah at once summoned his vizier, the trusted priest of Ptah named Setem.

The short, very thin monarch appeared to have become a new, revitalized person of limitless energy.

“A vision came to me last night as I slept and my illness has suddenly disappeared. I shall describe to you the message that I believe originated from divine Ptah himself.”

The ruler and his chief minister stared at each other.

“I must take Egypt in the opposite direction from that of the past. We cannot continue with the measures and laws in use up to now.”

He proceeded to give the directives sent to him by To in the distant delta marshes to the north.

The vizier gaped at him with an open mouth.

“What you say astonishes me,” muttered the large, weighty head priest of Ptah in charge of the government. “I shall need sufficient time to carry all of that out. A lot of preparation and consideration will be needed. None of what you wish done will be easy.”

Minmose frowned. “These reforms must commence at once,” he said.

Setem only gave a nod, then slowly without another word departed.

I sensed at once the moment when my thought took hold in the mind of our monarch.

All at once the distant link was completed and my inner force was triumphant.

My duty now was to maintain and strengthen the influence available to me. I had to see to it that this tie never weakened, that my will continued to prevail.

There existed enemies around the Pharoah who would oppose the new direction of his reign. They would attempt to create obstacles to the success of my program.

Watchfulness was called for on my part. I will have to fight with all my mental power to prevail.

But with firm determination I vowed to maintain my psychic transmission to Memphis. For the sake of the well-being of all Egyptians, that had to remain my sacred duty.

How could such a situation come about? pondered Setem over and over.

There had to be someone with special esoteric knowledge of the Ptahic arts of thought transmission. Who could it be? As vizier and high priest, he was determined to uncover the identity of the individual posing such a threat to his authority and influence.

Setem delved into the papyrus manuscripts of the temple archive, hoping to find some helpful clue. Who was this rival able to sway the thinking of the divine monarch? He had to be located and stopped before he destroyed the traditional order inherited from the past. What would it mean to be vizier or high priest if an interloper prevailed?

The only way to restore what had been was to find and demobilize this dangerous psychic operator.

Gradually, Setem attuned his own mind to that of the ruler. He picked up the reverberating echoes of what was being sent to Pharoah Minmose. The vizier sensed that waves of thought were emanating from the north, somewhere in the delta region.

Under the pretext of hunting for valuable relics of early dynasties in that area, Setem excused himself from his official duties in Memphis and headed for the Mediterranean coast with a small company of priests and guards.

“I intend to discover something of immense value,” he told Minmose before leaving the capital.

The vizier was certain that he detected the signs of telepathic influence. The extraordinary mind communicating with the monarch could not be allowed to change the principles upon which rested the Egyptian state. From Ptahic texts he learned that such potent psychics were rare, appearing only a few times over the eons of time. Minds of the present generation lacked the capacity to control a Pharoah, except for this one potent example.

Who was he? Where was he to be found and his dangerous skill brought to an end?

As he crossed the branches of the Nile Delta, Setem grew certain that the invisible signals became stronger in the western sector. That had to contain the home base of the subversive foe, he told himself.

A sense of certainty came to the vizier as his own mind felt the transmissions aimed at the ruler grow ever stronger.

The capture of the sender seemed immanent to him. Power over the Pharoah was about to return to him.

I feel the approach of a fatal presence that cannot be stopped by anything that I do. It is now impossible for me to flee anywhere. Where would I escape to from this marsh? How can To, a fugitive priest, run from what is fated to occur? My duty to divine Ptah is to complete what I started. My responsiblity is plain and clear. It cannot be evaded.

I think that I hear noises from the nearby wetland. More than a single person is coming for me. But till my last breath, nothing can be allowed to distract my concentrated attention from my single life task. I am resigned to whatever all-knowing Ptah has in store for me.

Setem and his company of guards caught sight of the palm leaf and papyrus lean-to. All eyes turned to the vizier, waiting for instructions.

All of a sudden, an indescribable haziness took hold of the conscious thought of the official at the pinnacle of the royal administration. Specific words held sway of his mind, instructing him what he must now do.

The vizier began to shout out orders to those to both sides of him.

“Turn about and go back! No one should cause any harm to this man! He has the protection of the god Ptah and must be inviolate. That is the divine will.”

Setem then took the lead, turning about and starting to retreat.

The words directing the vizier repeated over and over again from his mouth.

“Do no harm to him! He is protected by the shield of Ptah!”

Soon the intruders disappeared. For the rest of his days , Setem believed he had been commanded by the god.

The message that entered my thought at the moment of greatest anxiety  told me that I was to continue my mission of leading Egypt to prosperity.  To my great surprise, these words were sent to me by Pharoah Minmose himself. I had ignited his inborn psychic potential through my communications to him.

So, I am still a hermit, but no longer all to myself as before.

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