Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 19: One Eternal Round

by Hugh Nibley

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One Eternal Round is the culmination of Hugh Nibley's thought on the book of Abraham and represents over fifteen years of research and writing. The volume includes penetrating insights into Egyptian pharaohs and medieval Jewish and Islamic traditions about Abraham; Greek, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian myths; the Aztec calendar stone; Hopi Indian ceremonies; and early Jewish and Christian apocrypha, as well as the relationship of myth, ritual, and history.

The final groundbreaking chapter delves into geometry and mathematical relationships depicted on Facsimile 2. All these are woven together into a magnificent tapestry of evidence demonstrating that the book of Abraham and its facsimiles represent actual ancient materials and traditions. This book would not have come to fruition without the efforts of co-author Michael D. Rhodes. Includes illustrations by Michael P. Lyon.

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About the Author

Hugh Nibley

Hugh Nibley received his Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1939, and was emeritus professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University. A prolific writer, a keen and witty observer, and a relentless critic of the worldly, he has led members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of all ages to a deeper understanding of and commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dr. Nibley passed away in February, 2005.

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(based upon 4 reviews)

Best read ever!!!!!
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Totally loved this book. Nibley is a genius, no one should know that much!!! Any seeker of truth and enlightenment will find this a marvellous work and a wonder!!!!

Mumbo Jumbo...
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

To make it short: 100 % mumbo jumbo! A total waste of money on speculations, concepts to "force-fit" a system of beliefs with an obvious bias opinion of the author. No scientific at all.

Great Book, The Introduction is Key to understanding the material
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Some of us will need some help understanding the significance of the material in the book. That help is in the Introduction. The Introduction is a key to how the information in the book fits together. I refer to it often.
Being one that believes the events of the Book of Abraham to be real, I enjoy learning about both the historical context of those events - cultures and rites of the time - And how those events have influenced cultures and traditions. The reading of the facsimiles was very enjoyable.

Halfway through the book
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

How apt that Hugh Nibley's and Michael Rhodes's One Eternal Round should meet us at Easter: the theme of the book is the resurrection of the dead.

Nibley's hypocephalus figures both map and compass. It needs to, for it takes us into strange places, we who are as often distraught as "caught up" in the rounds of the Ascension literature so liberally treated here. As in the words of the Native American poet caught in the "turns of time" far above the earth: "I wheeled in the shadow of a hawk. Dizziness came upon me." Coming to, the poet finds himself lying "in a cave, On a floor cured in blood. Ancient animals danced about me." From the heights to the depths.

And it is precisely here, in the depths, buried in the middle of the book, wondering why we need to hear about all these other worlds, that Hugh Nibley stuns the reader with a resounding rebuke. Nibley has taken us to strange places indeed: like the Sokar Land in the middle of the Amduat (the Ancient Egyptian book of the passage of the sun through the Netherworld), we find ourselves in the middle of the Aurignacian-Perigordian (?) and the Magdelenian (now that's Easter indeed!) and the caves of archaic France. We are open to visiting other worlds, and there are many worlds, but the authors are insistent: We must consider the caves of Lascaux. Why those caves? Why these paintings of ancient animals? Why this dance? And why these matters of prehistory, so troubling to our fathers, that bring science and religion into ineluctable collision? We draw back from the mouth of the cave, but Nibley insists we take the rope, and down we tumble--into a face-to-face confrontation.

There are answers here, and the answers are all found in the Pearl of Great Price. We listen, amazed, as matters of "greatest moment" are summarily tossed off: here are answers indeed. But we can't escape the rebuke that comes with knowledge (ps. 392-4). How could you not have known this? How could you have not read these scriptures? Hugh Nibley stands crosswise the typeface like some doughty warrior challenging our ignorance and attendant arrogance. We lose our sense of self, as our selfishness is told off roundly (Nibley's word is "provincial"): "Fortes erant ante Agamemnonem" (didn't you know?); "holy men ye know not of"; and, definitively, "man is nothing." These pages, in the depths of archaic caves, the last place in the world we think to go, pack a rebuke like nothing else in Nibley's writings.

As we learn, painfully, we note that Hugh Nibley doesn't ever close the door on learning. Here opens a door to freedom from debate and fret over all the wrong things. Cut out the endless theorizings and speculations that displease God, says Nibley. He grasps us by the wrist: Let's move on.

The scriptures are newly opened to view: that's his purpose.

The call to repentance is, at once, President Kimball's call to discover and rediscover the scriptures, even as the bounds of the hypocephalus (the "known universe") expand in encircling circumference. We also recall Elder Maxwell's intense focus on galaxies that swirl by the million, and the spheres of glory found in infinitesimally small and large compass, as Elder Scott reminds us. At this Eastertide we are invited to contemplate not alone the creation but the reality of the resurrection.

And resurrection is the hypocephalus writ large, as its central lines show: "O god sleeping in the First Time (j ntr sdr.w m zp tpj), Lord of heaven, earth, underworld, and (his) cosmic waters...enliven the soul of this all too, too mortal king." To sleep in the First Time is an earnest of life: "But Thou wast up by break of day, And brought'st Thy sweets along with Thee" (George Herbert, "Easter Song"). To sleep is not unto death but unto life: "O god who lives in the First Time" (ntr 'nh.w m zp tpj), as the line appears in the Vienna hypocephalus that confirms the grammatical reading of stative for our word, sdr.w (as also correctly given in Nibley's 1980 talk on the Abraham facsimiles). It is this line in the hypocephalus that best describes creation, death, and resurrection as part of that "eternal order of things" as Nibley calls the zp tpj, meaning Eternal Time and Space. The idea also appears in the hypocephalus in the cryptographic sign of Lotus, Lion, Ram (srp.t-mawj-zr, that is, by acrophonic word play, s-m-s), which significantly names a palindrome and means not only, as Marie-Therese Ryhiner points out, "Eldest" but, to be sure, "the one who continually brings about birth" (smsj)--the Hathor cow, as female sun--as earnest of continual refreshment and resurrection.

Here is the hope of George McDonald in his darkest novella so aptly named Lilith. Adam (Osiris) and Mara (the mother, Hathor) affords rest for weary Lona and her hero: "The sleepiness is full of lovely things: come and see them"; "I dreamed cycles, I say"; "You have died unto life, and will die no more"; "Sleep that you may wake." Here is Native American King Lamoni and his brilliant queen in their ancient trance-like sleep, wherein they witness the birth and redemption of Christ: "He is not dead, but he sleepeth in God, and on the morrow he shall rise again." (Alma 19:8).

The poet has been spun, in hawk's wheeling (Fac. 2, Fig.7, as Hugh Nibley would point out), right out of time and space, yet, wonderfully, through "the mirror of masks," the drama rings out a heightened identity: "I am a feather on the bright sky" (Fac. 2, Fig. 2, Oliblish); "I am the farthest star" (Figs. 1 and 2, Kolob); "I am a flame of four colors" (Kolob Quadrifrons); "You see, I am alive, I am alive" (see N. Scott Momaday, Omaha, "At Risk" and "The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee").

Nibley and Rhodes, like Peter and John along that breathless path which all humanity must run, beckon us on toward the reality of One who has sped heavenward our mansion to prepare:

But Thou wast up by break of day,
And brought'st Thy sweets along with Thee.

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