One day in March 1964, while walking along a low hill or "gebel" in the Nubian Desert of Egypt not far from the Nile and about 100 miles north of the Sudanese border, I sat down on a large boulder of ironstone to rest. As I surveyed the the enfolding magnificence of the desert, watching the waves of heat shimmer in the distance, I had a deep sense of company.
Looking around, I found that I was sitting on the same rock on which a Paleolithic man sat many thousands of years ago as he chipped hand axes from the ironstone. One of his finished axes lay at my feet. Picking it up, I discovered the tip was broken. I could almost feel his frustration at breaking the tip just when he thought he had a finished ax.
I felt a kinship with this artisan of antiquity and intuitively knew that time was only an intellectual construct that trapped my worldly mind, that behind the veil of illusion in complete stillness was the omnipresent unitive state. Because I so keenly felt the ancient one's presence, I also felt the roots of all humanity embodied in and passing through the craftsmanship of one man stored in the seemingly timeless silence of the desert.
As I sat where my Paleolithic brother had sat and pondered his countenance and frame of mind, I knew that I somehow stood on the shoulders of what he had learned and passed on when, to me, time seemed younger and the world seemed newer and more innocent. In that moment, I entered the emptiness of eternal solitude as one liberated in timelessness. All that existed for me was the presence and the touch of my Paleolithic brother.
© chris maser 2004. All rights reserved.