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21 April 2003

The Pharos, or Lighthouse, of Alexandria was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. As such, it has come to symbolize the ancient city.  In many respects, this incredible structure also represents much of the purpose of the modern day ialexandria Foundationh. 

First and foremost, the Pharos had the very practical utility of being a lighthouse, guiding mariners through the shoals and rocks of life to a safe harbor.  As a beacon of light, it quite literally reached out and drew travelers with different destinations to its unique port.  The east and west harbors guarded by the lighthouse symbolized the meeting of different traditions and customs, the old and the new, and the arts and the sciences.  The Pharos of Alexandria was also a demonstration of the world’s knowledge, incorporating within its design and construction, the best technology of the age (some of which has been lost, and which may in fact exceed some of our modern day technology).

The Lighthouse of Alexandria was built circa 280 B.C.E. by Sostratus of Cnidus for Ptolemy II on the eastern tip of the island of Pharos in the harbor of Alexandria.  It was said to have risen more than 440 feet and had been built in three stages, all sloping slightly inward.  The lowest stage was square shaped and housed the lighthouse keepers in some three hundred rooms.  The next stage was octagonal, and the upper stage cylindrical, capped by the lantern.  The lantern may have included a lens/mirror combination -- one, perhaps, unknown to modern science -- and representing the technological achievement of the age.  The lantern was destroyed in the eighth century by the acts of man.  In the twelfth century an earthquake destroyed all but the square bottom.  Another earthquake in the fourteenth century destroyed even this last vestige of Alexandrian glory.

The very idea of a Pharos has come to symbolize a light or beacon to guide those on long and difficult journeys -- particularly anyone seemingly entranced by the Fickle Finger of Fate, or feeling as if they were trapped in a series of Labyrinths (and when in fact, their path could not be clearer).   

The Pharos briefly described here constitutes a beacon to draw any and all people who have embarked on The Fool’s Journey, and who desire to learn, to experience, to strive for a better understanding of themselves, their world, and the reason for both.  It is a brilliance which strives to shed light on the Great Work of Alchemy.  The degree of its success will be measured one fool at a time. 

Or if you prefer, one Bozo-Sattva at a time.


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