|A journey today through ancient mystery|
“You will have to face your own personal demons that guard each doorway,” my mysterious Egyptian guide said. “You must guess the guardians’ names to identify them first so that they show themselves and then face and conquer them, one by one.”
My interest and misgivings grew.
“Failure means you don’t survive.”
“My life depends on it.”
“Exactly. It’s either you – or your personal demon. Only one can survive.”
It was a startling thought. Imagine if it were true and hell was a not a place of impersonal tormentors as traditional Christianity painted it, I thought, but rather one where the demons were those of your own making. Did the ancient Egyptians have a glimmer of this?
“Face my demons? I’ve got plenty of those, but I wasn’t quite expecting a tour of hell,” I heard myself say on the surface, while underneath I was thinking: ‘Am I dead already and don’t know it? Surely I would know if my dream trip to my dream place of Egypt had suddenly turned from a dream into a nightmare?
Hell had always been a troubling idea to me. As a writer with a childhood love of Egypt and a later leaning towards a faith, I had wrestled with hell as much as I’d wrestled with faith. Hell was exactly that to a thinker. Hell. And I wasn’t alone in my feelings, I learnt. Celebrated Cambridge University Don C.S. Lewis, ‘England’s must reluctant convert’ and author of the Narnia books had issues with hell and had surrendered only reluctantly to biblical authority. “There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this, if it lay in my power. But it has the full support of Scripture and, specially, of Our Lord’s own words...”
There was no dodging it. The Apostles’ Creed, recited by millions in church every Sunday, hammered the stake firmly into the sand: Christ ‘descended into hell’ and on the third day he rose again.
But if there were a hell, could it be anything like the Egyptian hell with its gateways and guardians?
(Excerpt from DOORWAYS of the Egyptian Night - Amazon Kindle Fiction)