Look around. Most people are not consciously searching for the path to spiritual understanding. Yet, Theosophy teaches that they have attained the relatively high state of Humanhood over countless lifetimes in the past. If evolution has brought humans to a relatively advanced stage of self-awareness with little self-conscious endeavour on their part, imagine what could be achieved with self-directed effort!

osirisIn Ancient Egypt, the process of growth in spiritual understanding was often pictured as the adventures of the soul in the after-life. One of these stories tells of a soul travelling down a road and reaching a fork offering two paths called, ‘The Two Paths of Liberation’. Whilst each path leads to the abode of the Gods, each one involves different experiences. One path, passing over land and water, is that of the Egyptian God, Osiris, who represents cyclic nature and this path involves many lifetimes. The other way leads through fire in a direct, shortened passage along the Road of the Egyptian God Horus who in many texts symbolizes the divine spark in the heart of all of us. Many other cultures also speak of a pathway to a blessed, or heightened state of spiritual understanding, though such a pathway is usually for ‘warriors’, or the very brave at heart. For example, the American Indians speak of the ‘Red Path’ in similar terms. In Egypt, such a brave soul, if successful in his/her journey along the Road of Horus, became an initiate and was called a ‘Son of the Sun’, or a ‘Master of the Secrets’.

For the rest of Mankind travelling along the Road of Osiris, the way is slower, progressing certainly, but more gradually, through the challenges of daily life through many incarnations. The ultimate achievement is the same – to radiate the highest qualities of the spiritual element within the aspiring soul. So how and why should theosophists as people aspiring to spiritual understanding make the considerable effort to set foot on the Road of Horus? Because the world desperately needs all the assistance it can get from people who are working in every way to uplift human consciousness and such workers are few. In particular, people who are prepared to tackle the root causes of suffering in the world are few and far between, and recruits to their ranks are needed in all fields of human endeavour.


How to take the first tentative steps down the Road of Horus? By taking charge of one’s life and trying at least to self-direct our evolution instead of being blown about by the ‘winds’ of external circumstances. I recently heard two pieces of superb practical advice on taking control of one’s life from the writings of Dr Edward Bach, the discoverer in the modern era of the famous flower remedies. Dr Bach called upon his own soul adventures to offer these signposts for us to tread along the Road of Horus.

Firstly, he said it is necessary to ‘Know Yourself’:

The ancient Egyptian Book of two ways, (University of California ...“Have courage to think for yourself. Trust your own convictions, take only from books, teaching courses and other people’s opinions what you feel within you is true. For, what is true for others may not be so for you, or what is true for you, may not be so for others. Know yourself. This is the way you can learn, that is the way to exercise your gift of free-will. Choose between what is right and wrong for you.

To choose through this gift of free-will how you will face external conditions, experiences and stresses that come your way is your choice. Whether you take them with cheerfulness, with interest, learning from them how to deal with another such experience when it comes along. Or whether you let them get you down, cause you fear, worry, depression, strain. Yours is the choice.”

And finally on the basis of his experience as a medical doctor, he advised ‘Looking Forward’. He said:

“Many hospital patients find it very difficult to allow themselves to become free from past mistakes. Self-condemnation is as much of a stumbling block to recovery as self-pity, pessimism, and other such forms of negative outlook. It does not matter how trivial the error. The fact that one recognizes a mistake and then works to avoid making the same mistake again is forgiveness itself. It is this recognition, the lesson learnt, that is the all-important factor to consider.

Once one can accept the fact that all mistakes occur for our own benefit. That all experiences whether ‘good or ’bad’ are equally important in our development, then we are in true perspective. Life’s problems and setbacks are not periods of bad luck. They are purposeful tests offering exciting challenges. If we can recognize the true value of these lessons, we will emerge so much wiser and prepared for whatever life has next in store for us unshackled from the past.”

Dr Bach’s comments are quoted from a lecture by Dr Alan Gudenswager to the TS Pasadena in Brisbane in July 1995. Further information on the ancient Egyptian teaching on the Two Paths is available in: The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Two Ways, translated by Leonard H. Lesko, 1972. Please see I.M. Oderberg’s article ‘Light from Ancient Egypt’ published in Sunrise, April/May 1985, pages 124-128 for more information on the Road of Horus.