Immortalised as the God of Healing within 50 years of his death, whilst an exceptional tribute in itself, Imhotep of Ancient Egypt was far more than the Father of Modern Medicine, he was the epitome of the Universal Man.
This acknowledgement does not hinge on his countless accomplishments, such as being the architect of the Step Pyramid of Saqqara c.2630BC, a revered priest and scientist, Prime Minister to King Zoser and “the first figure of a physician to stand out clearly from the mists of antiquity”,[i] as well as the man commonly credited as the original author of the medical text now known as ‘The Edwin Smith Papyrus’, a manuscript that revealed areas of medical knowledge far more advanced than those of millennia later.
That Imhotep was a Universal Man was not a result of what he did, but rather the quality of what he did is evidence to us that he brought a universal connection to all that he lived.
We see this most notably in Imhotep’s practice of medicine, where he is recognised by modern scholars as combining what they refer to as ‘magic’ and the ‘spiritual’ alongside an exceptional knowledge and application of science and practical medicine.
But whilst ‘magic’ and the ‘spiritual’ can be terms that signal derision amongst modern day academics and scientists, what this dismissive categorising has failed to see is that Imhotep was a man who had reclaimed and lived a mastery of energy – a mastery available to us all when we re-connect to the universal.
The word ‘magic’ (in Ancient Egypt) was used to explain energetic forces, not that things were 'magical' and unexplained or mysterious or worse still, ‘trickery’. Imhotep lived a knowing that everything is connected and nothing can be isolated as having no effect on everything it is a part of. Not even time can be compartmentalised, as the longevity of his influence remains alive today, at the heart of what medicine has the potential to be today – a living medicine that is all-encompassing.
It is Imhotep’s connection to the source of this knowing that runs like a golden thread through those before and those that followed him, their connection to the Ageless Wisdom.