From Alexander The Great To Africans Today

A map of glorious Africa
Africa the cradle of humanity and civilisation

In 333 BC, after defeating two Persian armies, Alexander inherited Egypt. Wasting little time, he marched up the Nile at the head of his warriors, as his warships floated alongside. Note how a contemporary European writer describes the scene.

“There can scarcely be a European today not furnished with some visual image of ancient Egypt however trite. It takes an effort of imagination to conceive the pristine impact on Alexander and his men, most of whom had never even seen Athens, of this fabled civilization, a legend since their childhood, as they followed the great river which was its sustainer, arterial road and sacred way; when they reached the towering temples of Memphis, the Pyramids with sides of geometric smoothness, the still unravaged smile of the huge Sphinx. It must have changed the whole scale of their human vision.” (Renault, 1975, p. 118)

Alexander was welcomed as conqueror, and declared the Pharaoh. Meanwhile, the greatest Persian army ever assembled began massing for the decisive battle. Nonetheless, with only a handful of men, Alexander set off at once on a perilous journey. Heading 400 hundred miles deep into the Libyan Desert, Alexander made for the remote oasis at Siwah, home to the oracle of the God Ammon. He was determined to ask him his fate.

The European historian, Peter Green, tells us that “Alexander never revealed what took place during that famous oracular consultation….whatever Alexander heard at Siwah, one thing is certain: it struck him with the force of a revelation and left a permanent mark on his whole future career.” (Green, 1991, pp. 274, 275)

What did he hear? Did the oracle of Ammon tell Alexander that the world, he would carve from his conquests, would produce a Rome that would produce a Europe that would produce an America firmly at the head of the entire world? Did the oracle reveal that Alexander’s tutor, Aristotle, armed with the new Egyptian knowledge Alexander would provide him, would take Pythagorean rationalism, and feed it “truths” that would keep it growing for thousands of years, destroying all the peoples it encountered with its stupendous mastery of the material world?

Did the Oracle tell Alexander that one day his “children” would spawn a way to communicate, mind to mind, without moving the body? That the world he would ultimately create, bereft of Spirituality, and with its surfeit of material mastery, would verge on destroying itself and wiping out all life on the planet? Did the Oracle reveal that the only hope of Salvation would come from the children of Egypt, cast far from home and fighting, against all odds, to reconnect themselves, and all the peoples of the earth, with the realm of their ancestors that produced the oracle himself? Did the oracle at Siwah see all this, and impart it to Alexander “the Great” on that fateful day in 333 BC? . . .

Are these two ideas not the same? The Egyptians proclaimed, “Know thyself!” all knowledge is self-knowledge. Meanwhile, today, European philosophers hold that, ultimately, the individual cannot prove that anyone else exists. Since everything we “know” is filtered through our mind, how can we “know” if anything exists apart from our perceptions? Hence, they both, ancient Egyptian and modern European, agree that “everything is within us.” We have the world within us. We are not just the master of our fate, but of the world entire. Aren’t you just as connected to me, as you are to Alexander, and everyone that dwelt within his time? For isn’t the concept of time, like that of space, only a thought in the mind? Don’t we all live in our own NOW, whether we are together in the room, on the net, or centuries apart?

Time is as illusory as distance. We have long conquered distance, and time, in truth, does not really exist. Everything is happening at once. We are free AND we are fated, simultaneously. Cause and effect, essentially, flow both ways. Hence, we can say what we are, not just let others define us. And thereby clothe the past in garments that alter the future. Our quest is timeless, our journey eternal, and the whole world waits upon us.

Alexander! See him NOW. Mark him, with your own eyes. See the young, rude warrior mount now the very steps of the temple. Now, right now, before us, he enters, alone, into the Holy of Holies as the Oracle of Divine Ammon waits for him within. And now he casts his spell. And… Lo! Lo and Behold! They see us! They see us, today, in this world that was destined to be in Alexander’s wake. . . And afterwards, the vision still burning his eyes, the young warrior comes reeling down the steps of the temple and stumbles off into the black, eternal night that houses the universe and holds the fate of stars and men alike.

(Quotes : Peter Green. (1991). Alexander of Macedon. Berkley: University of California Press. Mary Renault. (1975). The Nature of Alexander. New York: Pantheon Books.)

By; Arthur Lewin author of  AFRICA is not A COUNTRY!.