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A Mystic in Egypt - Paul Brunton in the Great Pyramid

By Brian Haughton

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Egypt's Great Pyramid is thought by Egyptologists to have been built by the pharaoh Cheops (Khufu), a 4th Dynasty ruler of Egypt, somewhere between 2589-2566 BC. It is situated on a plateau on the edge of the desert about five miles west of Giza, and marks the zenith of pyramid-building in respect of both size and quality. It has been estimated that in its original complete condition the pyramid contained about 2,300,000 separate blocks, each averaging around two and a half tons in weight andreaching a maximum of fifteen tons. It has been established that the original measurements of the base of the great Egyptian monument were north, 755.43 feet; south, 756.08 feet; east, 755.88 feet; west, 755.77 feet. When complete the pyramid rose to a height of 481.4 feet, the top 31 feet of which are now missing.

Ancient Egyptian monuments, especially the Great Sphinx and the Great Pyramid, have a mystery and a fascination that fuel not only the imagination, but controversy too. Connections with Atlantis, aliens, and ancient astrology have all been enthusiastically suggested in numerous books and even more enthusiastically denied out of hand by Egyptologists in others. One of the first people in the modern era to take an active interest in the mystical side of ancient Egypt and its monuments was English journalist Paul Brunton.

Paul Brunton in Egypt

Brunton (1898-1981) was a British philosopher, mystic, and traveler who left a successful journalistic career to pursue the his own spiritual quest, living among yogis, mystics, and holy men, and studying various Eastern and Western esoteric teachings. In his book A Search in Secret Egypt, he describes how, when travelling in Egypt in the 1930s he resolved to spend a night alone in the King's Chamber inside the Great Pyramid. 'To sit, awake and alert, for twelve hours in the King's Chamber, while the slow darkness moved across the African world', as he put it. Apparently, Napoleon, when conquering Egypt in the 1790s, had also spent a night alone inside the chamber.

However, Brunton immediately met with problems when asking for permission from the Egyptian government, who owned the Great Pyramid. After being sent back and forth between the Egyptian Department of Antiquities and the Police Department he finally secured written permission for his eccentric request from the Commandant of the Cairo City Police.

So, early one evening he reported to the Mena Police station, signed a book which made the police solely responsible for his safety until the following day, and was led to the Pyramid by a police constable, who gave instructions to the armed guard outside the building. Brunton was then locked inside the structure with an iron grill. He would be one of the last to get permission to spend the night inside Egypt's most famous monument.

Astral Projection inside the Great Pyramid

Once inside Brunton made his way slowly through the galleries to the King's Chamber. The Chamber is constructed entirely of granite, and measures 34 feet 4 inches from east to west, 17 feet 2 inches from north to south, and is 19 feet 1 inch in height. The only object inside the King's Chamber is a lidless rectangular granite sarcophagus, situated next to the west wall of the chamber and aligned north-south. This once perhaps contained the king's body enclosed within an inner coffin of wood. Brunton sat by this granite coffer and put out his light. He had fasted for three days before the experience to make himself more receptive to whatever he might encounter during his vigil. He waited in the total silence and darkness, as remote from the outside world as if he were on the moon.

Hours passed slowly by and in the increasing cold of the chamber Bruton began to feel that there were hostile forces around him, eerie shadows crowded in on him from all sides and a dark apparition advanced menacingly towards him. All the legends of evil ghosts haunting the areas around the pyramids told to him by Arab villagers came to his mind. Soon there was a circle of antagonistic beings surrounding him, 'monstrous elemental creations, evil horrors of the underworld' as he described them. Despite being seized by panic Brunton resisted the temptation to turn on the flashlight and decided to see it through. It was this determination that saved him. The elementals disappeared quite suddenly, and all was dark and quiet again. Soon afterwards phantoms of a different aspect appeared - benevolent beings in the ceremonial dress of ancient Egyptian high priests. The ancient apparitions led him through secret passages within the Pyramid to a Hall of Learning, equating to a mystical journey within the mind.

This mystical experience also involved an astral projection. Brunton describes feeling paralyzed, his own spirit leaving his physical body and going to the 'regions beyond death'. He felt as if he were passing upwards through a narrow hole (also described in shamanic tradition) and becoming a pure mental being with a sense of existence many times more vivid than when in his physical body. He described gazing down on his prone lifeless form and noted a train of faint silvery light projecting itself from his spiritual to his physical body. This 'cord' is mentioned by many people who have experienced astral projection. He was given various information by his ancient guides, including the fact that the Pyramid was built in the time of Atlantis, and that the Pyramid's secret chambers and ancient records were all contained within himself.

He returned to normal consciousness quite suddenly, convinced that he had undergone some kind of initiation ceremony. Interestingly enough, it was the belief of occultists like Madame Blavatsky that priests of the Egyptian Mysteries used the Great Pyramid to initiate candidates into the experience of astral projection and the truth of life after death.

This experience of Paul Brunton in the Great Pyramid is of course impossible to prove or quantify, and of no value to Egyptologists. But perhaps, on that strange night in the King's Chamber all those years ago, Paul Brunton came closer to finding the true secret of the Great Pyramid than anyone.

Copyright 2007 by Brian Haughton
Presented with permission


San Francisco, CA (November 1, 2006) –– The mysterious architecture and artifacts, and the enigmatic characters from ancient history are the special focus of renowned European archaeologist, Brian Haughton. His new book, Hidden History: Lost Civilizations, Secret Knowledge and Ancient Mysteries, quenches our thirst for insight into ancient times. Over fifty photos and illustrations enliven his fascinating exploration of vanished cultures, which include:

  •  The Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient Greek computer found on the floor of the Aegean Sea

  •  The Uffington White Horse, the Crystal Skull of Doom, the Tarim Mummies

  • Bog Bodies, Tutankhamen, and clues to the real identity of the Queen of Sheba

  • Hundreds of years before the Giza Pyramid and Stonehenge, who designed and built the Irish monument, Newgrange?

  • The Nazca Lines, the Piri Reis Map, the Mayan Calendar

Filling the gap between archaeology and alternative history, Haughton combines 21st century data with common sense and provocative theories. Hidden History: Lost Civilizations, Secret Knowledge, and Ancient Mysteries is an ideal reference work for those interested in the study of archaeology and for readers who love to unravel the puzzles of the ancient world.

The book also addresses some of the enigmas of alternative history, such as the Coso Artifact, the possibility of ancient flight, and the mysterious Voynich Manuscript, as well as extraordinary sects, from the Magi and the Druids to the Knights Templar and the Green Children.

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Hidden History Cover

Hidden History: Lost Civilizations, Secret Knowledge and Ancient Mysteries

by Brian Haughton

“Nowhere has such a broad collection of diverse information about ancient wonders been assembled. Hidden History…is a comprehensive encyclopedia of the strange and the intriguing, which will be sought out by anyone fascinated with the remote past.”

Frank Joseph, editor, Ancient American

Book Description

Despite being enmeshed in a culture steeped in technology and science, the magic and mysteries of the ancient world can still haunt our imagination. Through their architecture, artefacts and deeds, ancient cultures speak to us across thousands of dusty years—from the labyrinthine palace of Knossos on Crete and the lofty pyramids of Egypt to the remotest jungle temples of Peru and the megalithic mystery of Stonehenge.

Hidden History brings together a fascinating selection of these ancient enigmas, arranging them into three sections: Mysterious Places, Unexplained Artefacts, and Enigmatic People. You’ll discover fascinating facts about: • The Great Sphinx—Mysticism and archaeology collide in the ongoing debate over this enigmatic monument. • Mystery Hill—Who built the intriguing megalithic complex lying 40 miles north of Boston? • The Antikythera Mechanism—An ancient Greek computer found beneath the Aegean Sea. • The Giant Hill-Figures of England—The Uffington White Horse and other huge chalk figures cut into the English countryside thousands of years ago. • The Queen of Sheba—Clues to the real identity of this mighty ruler famous for her Biblical visit to King Solomon • Newgrange—Hundreds of years older than the Giza Pyramid and Stonehenge. Who were the builders of this Irish megalithic monument?

Hidden History fills the gap between archaeology and alternative history using the latest available data and a common sense, open-minded approach. The book discusses not only ancient history’s major mysteries, but also some of the puzzles of alternative history—like the "Coso Artefact," the possibility of ancient flight, and the mysterious "Voynich Manuscript"—as well as mysterious peoples from the Magi and the Druids to the Knights Templar and the Green Children.

With more than 50 photographs and illustrations, this is the ideal reference work for those interested in the archaeology of these great enigmas.

About the Author

Brian Haughton is a qualified archaeologist, with an interest in the strange and unusual. He is a graduate of Nottingham (B.A. in Archaeology) and Birmingham (M. Phil in Greek Archaeology) Universities. His Mysterious People website, devoted to the lives of enigmatic people, has had more than half a million visitors in three years. He currently lives, writes, and teaches in Greece.

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