Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Elizabeth Alsobrooks on Why Egyptian Mythology and the Illuminati Make Sense

After the “elevator pitch” summation of what my book series is about, I am often asked to elaborate because of the rather complex themes that form the foundation for the series in which a multitude of subplots and equally complex main characters reside. I have written about world building before. Obviously I love world building, but in this blog I will attempt to explain the actual logic behind my ancient and modern book series compilation that I think is responsible for making it a what if scenario that is fun for readers to believe (i.e. suspend their disbelief).  The most basic answer to all questions is in why I combined the Illuminati with ancient Egyptian mythology in my Illuminati series.


First, for those of you who may not be familiar with it, let’s take a very basic overview of ancient Egyptian mythology. Like many mythologies, it provides a foundation for its civilization’s culture and rituals. The basic fundamentals of how the world “in the beginning” was created, and by whom. [Let me remind you that myth does not mean untrue. In fact, a culture’s belief system is generally considered “untrue” only by those from other cultures or different belief systems. Merriam-Webster defines myth as, “a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon [such as] creation myths: parable, allegory Moral responsibility is the motif of Plato's myths.”] The ancient Egyptians (from around 4000 BCE to 30 CE) believed that Atum was lonely so using magic he mated with his own shadow to give birth to two children, Shu (god of air) and Tefnut (goddess of moisture). 

They went into the world so that Shu could provide the principles of life, and Tefnut could give it order. They were gone so long, Atum removed an eye and sent it to find them. From this we get the ‘Eye of Ra’. It came back with them and Atum was so happy he cried tears of joy that fell onto the fertile soil of the hill (Ben-Ben) he lived upon and created humans. The humans had nowhere to live, so Tefnut and Shu mated and had two children, Geb (the earth) and Nut (the sky). They fell in love and mated, but Atum separated them so that they could always see each other, but never touch. Already pregnant, however, Nut gave birth to Osiris, Isis, Set, Nephthys and Horus.

Ma’at (harmony) is an important element of all Egyptian myth and when order is disrupted it must be restored. In my stories, as in ancient Egyptian myth, Set is jealous of Osiris, a good and just ruler of the earth. My immortals struggle good versus evil, chaos versus harmony, while Osiris and his wife, Isis, also rule the world. As in ancient mythology, Osiris also presides over the underworld.


But how does one explain ancient gods ruling the modern world? Enter the Illuminati. Though many modern concepts have it as a fairly new organization, heralding from only as far back as the Crusades, I have taken the liberty of using the mystery and secrecy, even the romanticism surrounding the society to create the perfect platform for a powerful, global organization whose machinations are as clandestine as one would expect. To maintain power, they must have their hands in all aspects of the world. They have warriors and assassins to help them maintain order and secrecy. They have researchers, scientists, financial experts, and technology gurus, powerful companies to mask both their work and their motivations. They are the true ruling force behind the Vatican and major world powers.

The stories I conjure grow from these deceptively simple concepts, and like the ancient Egyptians they are infused with an enthusiasm for living that stems from a world in which life on this planet is only one step on life’s journey, but in order to live a full and joyful life for eternity, one must mirror that in this life.

Why do I think my stories are what Joseph Campbell referred to as Hero’s Journeys, with International appeal? Because they have their foundation firmly set in mythos that have universal themes and morals. 

Below is a commercial by the modern day "official" Illuminati site which claims that, "The Illuminati is an elite organization of world leaders, business authorities, innovators, artists, and other influential members of this planet. Our coalition unites influencers of all political, religious, and geographical backgrounds to further the prosperity of the human species as a whole." I guess my "what if" story scenario isn't as far-fetched as some might think...



4 comments:

Diane Burton said...

Wow. What a post, Elizabeth. You have done an amazing amount of research and found a way to incorporate it into your books. Congratulations.

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

Thanks, Diane! I love to research, like many writers. It's the knowing when to stop and what to include or adjust that's tricky...

Nancy Gideon said...

I love the way you've combined those ancient elements in your books with the edgy urban world. I've always been a sucker for myths from any culture.

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

Thanks, Nancy. I'm with you--myths are fascinating.