Monday, August 6, 2012

The Sphinx – Memories by Major Wellesley Tudor Pole - A Guest Post by Michael Brine

Source of Photo:
The Sphinx – Memories by Major Wellesley Tudor Pole – 1919.

Some of you will have seen this before but I felt to share this with you once more because of its wisdom. It was written by Major Wellesley Tudor Pole in 1919 near Cairo, Egypt where he was re-covering from a war wound he got fighting up on the Turkish front in WW1. He was an amazing man who worked with Churchill and the King during WW2, and was responsible for what became known as The Silent Minute just before the 9 o'clock news every evening, in which the whole British Nation would stop and be in silence for 1 minute sending out prayers for peace. At the end of the War a German Gestapo Officer was asked why he thought Germany lost the war. His reply - "You had a weapon we didn't know how to stop - Your Silent Minute."
I had the privilege of working briefly with him in the restoration of the Chalice Well and Gardens and attending his quiet talks given in the evenings in what became known as the "Upper Room" of the Chalice Garden's office. This was in 1961/62.

“The Sphinx at night! It is the wonder of the world. Travellers speak of it as an inscrutable monument hewn from rock, expression unchangeable. It is not this to me. I have never seen the same Sphinx twice. This is no simple carven image rising from the desert waste, gazing eternally toward the east. Let us sit down upon the sand awhile. Those eyes! What do they see? The mouth. Surely words lie behind it? Those ears. Are they not listening in the silence? Every curve of face and figure expresses power and life.

This image is more than a rock-hewn idol. It is a great symbol, and it is more. The Sphinx expresses life elemental, life that can be felt by all who stand before it. The questions I have come to ask die down upon my lips. Those eyes pierce into the recesses of my being, into the secret chamber, hidden within, where the answer to all questions can be found. 

I began to understand. I have brought with me the solution to every problem. There is no need to ask the Sphinx to unlock the gate of knowledge. All that I need to know, I know already. The Sphinx has one great message to those who make pilgrimage to its feet. Tonight the message took this form: ‘Cease searching in the outer world to solve the mystery of life. Within yourself there is a chamber. It lies hidden at the end of a long, winding corridor. This chamber is your secret sanctuary. There you will find all that is needed by your soul. Stay with me awhile in silence, and I will lead you to the door. The door is locked, but the key is in your hand. It has always been there, invisible. While you have ranged the wide world searching for it. ‘Use your own key. Retire within. I will not come beyond the threshold. In showing you the way, my task is done.’

This is what the Sphinx said to me tonight. I believe it gives the same message, in a myriad ways, to each one who stands silently before it, listening.

The moon is rising across the river. The desert becomes a silver lake. The silence deepens. The message of the Sphinx is with me. The key is in my hand. I hasten down the corridor. I pass through many avenues within my mind. I stand before the inner door, key in hand. The door is open. Here is sanctuary at last. I have no need to seek elsewhere, for within the sanctuary I can see the light. Within the light, the prophets of God Omnipotent are walking. Peace dwells therein. I hear the Sphinx speak once more: ‘Those who attain true inner peace become God’s messengers in a world at war. Shed forth the light from your secret sanctuary until it is caught up and reflected everywhere. Then will a world at war become a world at peace.’

Michael Brine 

Also, other articles by this writer can be accessed at the following web site:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. TP was an inspiration for many, and still is - for me at least.