“Poor are those who have eyes but cannot see…”
– Luis Marques, Kemet – The Year of Revelations
The Ancient Egyptians never did things halfway — if they decide to build a temple in this world, let it be one spatially exceptional and palatial enough to accommodate a pantheon of gods under one roof, and one that can last — quite literally — until the end of time.
Karnak Temple in Luxor is one such example. It is in fact not only a “temple”, but a “temple complex”, because it is comprised of many mini-temples, each dedicated to a particular deity. The picture above from Karnak, taken in the biggest hypostyle hall ever built on the face of this Earth, speaks to the scale and endurance of these structures. These rocks have stood on this very spot, unmoved and for the most part staying in tact, for more than 3,000 years. Should the Ancient Egyptian Gods, under the directive of Amun, decide to reconvene for their millennial meeting, this would not be hard to do: the Holy of the Holy is still there, and the sacred inscriptions are still legible (to those knowledgeable) on the walls.
It is not hard to see why places of worship are built to impress our mortal minds: these vertical columns and voluminous ceilings entice us to visually seek what is “up” and “out” there. This physical space, rendered sacred by rituals and incantations and the presence of mystical beings, should be conducive to the spiritual ascent of the soul. This, I feel, is the greatest gift the Ancient Egyptians have left us with: the tools for us to understand and feel for ourselves the extent of their dedication to the gods, in the brief time they had lived in this world.