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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baden-Powell: Sun God

Whilst "scouting" for pictures of the Boy Scout Memorial for the last post, we came across this picture of Lord Robert Baden-Powell (and wife Olave's) gravestone. Note the circle with the dot inside; ostensibly this is the traditional Boy Scout trail sign for "I have gone home."

What made us look twice is that this very same sign appears in a quote on our post about the Voortrekker monument:

The creator aspect of Ra, symbolised by the sun at mid-noon, was in ancient times known as Aten. Aten was written as a dot enclosed by a circle in Egyptian hieroglyphics. The monument incorporates the Aten-hieroglyph by allowing the sun to shine through an aperture in the sky dome. Looking upwards at mid noon, the aperture is visible as a backlit dot inside the circular sky dome. At 12:00am on 16 December the sun is projected as a disc-dot onto the cenotaph stone. Looking down from the top dome, the floor aperture in the Hall of Heroes is once again seen to encircle the disc, as the sun's rays strike the cenotaph stone. Moerdijk's message as implied by the interior design is: through exodus out of the British Cape Colony, God has created a new African civilization inland.

Taking that quote out of order we see that:

Based on Moerdijk's reference to the watery floor of the Hall of Heroes, as well as his statement about old Egypt, the opening in the water-floor can be identified with the watery abyss, as in the creation theology of ancient African civilization. Rising out of this watery abyss, was the primeval mound, the Benben stone.

And:

Via the sun, heaven and earth are simulated to be visibly connected through a ray of light.

It should be remembered that B-P first made a name for himself as a hero of the Boer War at Mafeking in South Africa.

Another coincidence for us is that this monument, as described in the quote, would appear to symbolize the regeneration of the Boers as they forged a new nation for themselves.

This idea of regeneration was also mentioned in the context of the Boy Scout Memorial (see comments), which led us to the picture of the B-P grave, whose hieroglyph reminded us of the Voortrekkers and now back again to the Scout Memorial. Full circle.

Voortrekkers, incidentally, means "those who trek ahead." Like say....Scouts, or, as they're known in much of Europe, Pathfinders. In the Netherlands, Scouts 18-21 used to be called Pivo's, an acronym for (Pionier(st)er/Voortrekker Ranger/Rover).

Neat, eh?

5 comments:

  1. Very neat! I like the out-of-order technique towards gleans truths.

    I also liked those BS symbols that you linked to.

    Do you know why the circled dot means "gone home"?

    It seemed easy enough to understand the origns of the other symbols...

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  2. BS is right! I don't know why the circle/dot was chosen...maybe it's because it looks like a tit, thus, back to mama, back to the teat and thus closer to the womb. Perhaps it's because Egypt is the source of all Mediterranean civilization, because the sun is responsible for all life on earth. Maybe because the sun is the ultimate rebirth symbol and B-P believed in eternal life or reincarnation? I think it's all of this and more and none of this.

    The other symbols are obvious, this one less so.

    Also, we can quote ourselves quoting others out of order if we want and get away with it: these are our fucking mythologies damnit!

    To those who don't like it: a compassionate and kind fuck off! Think about why we fuck you off (the Zen master's strike on the head with a stick) and then get back to us.

    I hope all this is read as I intend: loving, interested, non-conclusive and very, very true.

    Good, question though.

    The circle is the endless journey? The center not real but symbolic of the decision to make an arbitrary end point, take a stand, put a nipple on the world boob? (Death is arbitrary, but definitive....)

    Holy cow, I'm drunk, it's snowing, the kids are making noise upstairs and all that is as true and meaningful as any other hoo-haw.

    LoS: regenerating the world one post at a time. This could be our new slogan....

    We're getting somewhere, Gid, slowly but shirley, there is something going on here. LoS has become a new history of the world, sly, slightly offensive without meaning to offend.

    There are no kinder people in the world than you....wait a minute. You are kind. I'm a bit of a prick actually.

    Not because I'm mean, but weak. I mean well though!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, but the world could use more like you!

    Stay on course! Watch the nail, not your thumb.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ... for your hammer shall strike your graze

    ReplyDelete
  5. A good Zen-like proverb for sure! Thanks, but more like me would make the world a sadly inefficient place!

    ReplyDelete

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