The ancient Egyptian Sphinx is a mystery. In fact, much of ancient Egypt is a mystery. But the Great Sphinx seems to hold an unusual power over the human psyche and human conscience that transcends time. It certainly would not have been built on such a large scale if it didn’t represent something big, important and relevant.
Scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg claimed that the ancient Egyptian civilization cultivated a form of spiritual symbolism far beyond that of other societies. These early Egyptians understood that all the spiritual things of God’s heavenly kingdom were represented by all the physical things to be found in the earthly kingdom. This sacred knowledge of the correspondence (mimetic analogue) between the visible world and the invisible world of heaven was made manifest in their hieroglyphics.
The Sphinx seems to be standing guard over something—in the same way that Cherubim guarded the Tree of Life and the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy Bible. Cherubim of the Bible (as seen by both Ezekiel in the Old Testament and John in Revelation) were described as consisting of four creatures—an oxen, a lion, a man and an eagle. According to Swedenborg, these allegorical creatures guarded against spiritual fraud. The wings of these creatures represent the proper elevation (protected path) of the human heart and mind towards the God of Heaven.
The Great Sphinx contains three of these same creatures. Curiously, it lacks the wings of an eagle. This suggests to me that it was created at a time when the Egyptian civilization was becoming less concerned with elevating their hearts and minds towards heaven and began turning its attention to lower, more worldly concerns.
This Sphinx is an emblem (or logo), much like Mount Rushmore is an emblem representing American ideals. Both structures stand guard over their countries and represent the inner quality and conscience of its citizens.
In relatively modern times, the Great Sphinx was re-discovered mostly buried in the desert sand. Swedenborg would say that this predicament of being buried in sand was itself an analogue of the modern human condition because it symbolizes a buried worldview and the desolation of truths (spiritual knowledge) through disconnected and disjointed information concerning ultimate reality.
The world needs a new emblem and a human race that deserves one!